Whats the big deal about 4 ohm speakers? - AVS Forum
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok everybody talks about 4 ohm speakers like they sound the best in the world. And how they need so much power to drive them. Now I am not slamming them, and I donnt think I have ever heard 4 ohm speakers, but do they really sound that amazing, its worth spending so much money on power and the speakrs to have them? Just asking not slamming anyone.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by metalguy View Post

Ok everybody talks about 4 ohm speakers like they sound the best in the world. And how they need so much power to drive them. Now I am not slamming them, and I donnt think I have ever heard 4 ohm speakers, but do they really sound that amazing, its worth spending so much money on power and the speakrs to have them? Just asking not slamming anyone.

 

 

Some 4 ohm speakers sound better than some 8 ohm speakers and vice versa. Being 4 ohm doesn't automatically make them better sounding.


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Old 03-28-2013, 07:18 PM
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:23 PM
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Try this http://www.avsforum.com/t/1110592/why-4-ohm-speakers

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:38 PM
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Some 4ohm speakers are very efficient and don't required a lot of to drive them at all.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

Some 4ohm speakers are very efficient and don't required a lot of to drive them at all.
And some 4 ohm speakers are very inefficient and require a lot of power to drive them, while some 16 ohm speakers are very efficient and require very little power to drive them. There is far more to efficiency than just impedance.
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Ok everybody talks about 4 ohm speakers like they sound the best in the world.
Who is everybody? That thread is full of misconceptions and disinformation.

There are no particular benefits to 4 ohm speakers, and with so many receivers being only 6 ohm rated one should consider them carefully before buying one.

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Old 03-28-2013, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok well that did not tell me anything. Just links to other sites. I dont want to read articles. I want to hear from people who have them, who made a choice to have them and why. they saw a benifit in getting them so what would that be?
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by metalguy View Post

Ok well that did not tell me anything. Just links to other sites. I dont want to read articles. I want to hear from people who have them, who made a choice to have them and why. they saw a benifit in getting them so what would that be?

Maybe they bought these speakers for various other reasons, such as how they sound, how they look, or how much they cost, and the speakers just happened to be "nominally" rated at 4 ohms.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

Some 4ohm speakers are very efficient and don't required a lot of to drive them at all.
And some 4 ohm speakers are very inefficient and require a lot of power to drive them, while some 16 ohm speakers are very efficient and require very little power to drive them. There is far more to efficiency than just impedance.
Quote:
Ok everybody talks about 4 ohm speakers like they sound the best in the world.
Who is everybody? That thread is full of misconceptions and disinformation.

There are no particular benefits to 4 ohm speakers, and with so many receivers being only 6 ohm rated one should consider them carefully before buying one.

Why so serious, son? smile.gif Seemed like a lot of confusion to me....and no research wanted by the OP so seemed appropriate....

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 03-29-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Why so serious, son? smile.gif Seemed like a lot of confusion to me....and no research wanted by the OP so seemed appropriate....
IMO a link should be posted if it's helpful. That link is anything but. I rate its utility about the same as trying to organize a marching band at Gallaudet University. rolleyes.gif
Quote:
and the speakers just happened to be "nominally" rated at 4 ohms.
That would be it more often than not, especially if it's a dual woofer cab. Most woofers are 8 ohm, if you have two the wiring options are either 4 or 16 ohms.

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Old 03-29-2013, 06:42 AM
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Let us not forget that allot of speakers are listed as x ohm nominal ...etc... There are no true standards here. Some list 4 ohm if the speakers lowest rating dips into the 4 ohms. Since 4 is the lowest that is really listed some speakers can actually be 2 ohm...

Some "8 ohm" speakers are actually dip to 4 ohms. You have to really see the impedance charts to truely tell ohm.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Let us not forget that allot of speakers are listed as x ohm nominal ...etc... There are no true standards here. Some list 4 ohm if the speakers lowest rating dips into the 4 ohms. Since 4 is the lowest that is really listed some speakers can actually be 2 ohm...

Some "8 ohm" speakers are actually dip to 4 ohms. You have to really see the impedance charts to truely tell ohm.

Then should those 8 ohm speakers that dip into 4ohm or lower territory be listed as 8 ohms? Unfortunately, there are no standard/ mandatory regulations governing speaker specifications...........it certainly would help us normal folks as opposed to looking up measurements on speaker websites ( if they are EVEN there) or on audiophile review sites ( if the speaker in question has been reviewed)........

I read somewhere that for a speaker to be listed at a certain impedence level, it should not dip ~1/3 below its rating ( i.e. an 8 ohm speaker should not dip below ~5.2 or 5.3 ohms over its audible FR)...........wish I could remember where.........
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:17 AM
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Many speakers which are designated as 8 ohm speakers actually have an impedance as low as 3 ohms at some frequencies.

In any case, the impedance has NOTHING to do with the quality or the performance of the speakers.

Low impedance speakers are usually not going to work well with the typical AVR because they almost all have really crappy power supplies that cannot supply the peak current needed to drive that kind of speaker, and distortion results.

Low impedance speakers need to be driven by an amplifier that has a very good power supply and that usually means an expensive amplifier.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Let us not forget that allot of speakers are listed as x ohm nominal ...etc... There are no true standards here. Some list 4 ohm if the speakers lowest rating dips into the 4 ohms. Since 4 is the lowest that is really listed some speakers can actually be 2 ohm...

Some "8 ohm" speakers are actually dip to 4 ohms. You have to really see the impedance charts to truely tell ohm.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:34 AM
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I am running a pair of B&W 683's with a relatively puny Denon 1613 AVR.
The 683's have a Sensitivity of 90dB spl (2.83V, 1m) and a Nominal impedance of 8Ω (minimum 3.0Ω) according to B&W.

Most people in the B&W topics say that you should have an external amp to power these guys,
and people say that they are mostly 4 ohm speakers.

But for me they are already very loud at -50dBs, and the max volume that I can enjoy listening to them at is -40dBs on my AVR. And at those volumes I notice no distortion.
I am not a "low volume guy" my older small speakers would require an extra 15dBs on my 1613 to get to the same volume levels.
But I also don't want to listen at "raise the roof" volumes.

Many of the AVR experts in the AVR threads will often tell you that any decent AVR can power 4 ohm speakers just fine at normal listening volumes. And it is hard to notice distortion etc unless you are listening closely at "club volume levels". But when you raise the volume like this your AVR could shut itself off because of protection mode...
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padgman1 View Post

Then should those 8 ohm speakers that dip into 4ohm or lower territory be listed as 8 ohms?
No. The industry standard is for the minimum impedance to be no less than 0.6 time the nominal impedance, so the minimum impedance of an 8 ohm speaker should be no less than 4.8 ohms; the average is 5.5 ohms. But not all manufacturers adhere to the industry standard.

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Old 03-29-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

No. The industry standard is for the minimum impedance to be no less than 0.6 time the nominal impedance, so the minimum impedance of an 8 ohm speaker should be no less than 4.8 ohms; the average is 5.5 ohms. But not all manufacturers adhere to the industry standard.

Apparently not!

B&W 683s
Nominal impedance of 8Ω (minimum 3.0Ω)
http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Home_Audio/600_Series/683.html
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

No. The industry standard is for the minimum impedance to be no less than 0.6 time the nominal impedance, so the minimum impedance of an 8 ohm speaker should be no less than 4.8 ohms; the average is 5.5 ohms. But not all manufacturers adhere to the industry standard.

Bill, thanks for clearing that up................

Any reason why some there is no official quality standard that manufacturers have to meet in this regard ( or others, like sensitivity)?
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by padgman1 View Post

Bill, thanks for clearing that up................

Any reason why some there is no official quality standard that manufacturers have to meet in this regard ( or others, like sensitivity)?
There is an unofficlal ruling body, the AES, but they have no power of enforcement. I have my own way of dealing with those who post false specs: I don't reward them with my business.

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Old 03-29-2013, 01:22 PM
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I have many 4 ohm speakers and I generally ignore the impedance when buying speakers. No matter what system you have, if you play it too loud, you can fry your equipment if it gets too hot. It's true with 8 ohm as well as 4 ohm speakers. I buy receivers/amps that can supply way more power than I would ever need, so I don't worry about impedance.

Also, the impedance values are garbage. You can't give a single figure for impedance since it varies with frequency. That's why the numbers are broadly rounded like 4, 6 and 8 instead of 6.73.

I do think 4 ohm speakers are generally better than 8 ohm. It has nothing to do with the impedance. I've found that many manufacturers blindly put a 8 ohm value on their speakers. Those with 4 ohm ratings took the time to actually measure it and those manufacturers also tend to take the time to produce a decent product.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

I do think 4 ohm speakers are generally better than 8 ohm. It has nothing to do with the impedance. I've found that many manufacturers blindly put a 8 ohm value on their speakers. Those with 4 ohm ratings took the time to actually measure it and those manufacturers also tend to take the time to produce a decent product.


And that brings up a noob question...........what make a 4 ohm speaker a 4 ohm speaker and not an 8 ohm speaker? Driver size/composition? Crossover type/components? Other?
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by padgman1 View Post

And that brings up a noob question...........what make a 4 ohm speaker a 4 ohm speaker and not an 8 ohm speaker? Driver size/composition? Crossover type/components? Other?

The voice coil. Wire has a resistance. Thinner wire has more resistance. Longer wire has more resistance. The voice coil is basically a long wrapped wire.

Resistance can also be added in the crossover if needed.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

I do think 4 ohm speakers are generally better than 8 ohm. It has nothing to do with the impedance. I've found that many manufacturers blindly put a 8 ohm value on their speakers. Those with 4 ohm ratings took the time to actually measure it and those manufacturers also tend to take the time to produce a decent product.

The pro-audio standard is 8ohm.
The car-audio standard is 4ohm with many running down to 2ohm.

The home-audio standard was 16ohm, which worked well with low-power, high-bias amplification such as tube amps. With plentiful power available, and the move to solid state, the typical resistance of home-audio speakers had dropped. Norm seems to be around 6ohm now.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padgman1 View Post

And that brings up a noob question...........what make a 4 ohm speaker a 4 ohm speaker and not an 8 ohm speaker? Driver size/composition? Crossover type/components? Other?
The voice coil.

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