Do 4 ohms speaker sound better than 8 ohms? - AVS Forum
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know its out of topic but I just always wonder. I see high end brands like B&W, Thiel, PSB, etc having 4 ohms impedance. Does it mean they sound better? Most amps that I see are only able to push 8 ohms speakers continiously so the reason I ask.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:14 AM
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No. In general, speaker impedance (which cannot really be defined by a single number) is completely uncorrelated with sound quality.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

No. In general, speaker impedance (which cannot really be defined by a single number) is completely uncorrelated with sound quality.

Just wondering, thanks for the response. I may ask as well, then why are these high dollar speakers made to have low impedance? Just wondering as I am an uneducated when it comes to audio electronics and always have the notion that these high priced speakers must sound good as they are priced way out of my budget.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:38 AM
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It's just different, not better.

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

-Dan D.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDeeds View Post

Just wondering, thanks for the response. I may ask as well, then why are these high dollar speakers made to have low impedance? Just wondering as I am an uneducated when it comes to audio electronics and always have the notion that these high priced speakers must sound good as they are priced way out of my budget.

I asked the same question once - why do some speaker designers choose 4 ohm drivers. The answer was not helpful.

In car audio, due to the low supply voltage, 4 ohm speakers make sense. But in the home audio environment, supply voltages are higher, and you are trying to drive many speakers from the same power supply.

Many receivers probably can't handle having all 4-ohm speakers hooked up and running at high volumes. I would think that your typical receiver will be happier with 8 ohm speakers. It will run cooler. Maybe even last longer.

If your amp/receiver can handle 4 ohm speakers, that increases the pool of speakers you can select from.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDeeds View Post

Just wondering, thanks for the response. I may ask as well, then why are these high dollar speakers made to have low impedance? Just wondering as I am an uneducated when it comes to audio electronics and always have the notion that these high priced speakers must sound good as they are priced way out of my budget.

price really doesn't play into it either...

there are dirt cheap 4 ohm speakers, and VERY expensive 8 ohm speakers...

it's a design choice...

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Old 06-22-2010, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDeeds View Post

Just wondering, thanks for the response. I may ask as well, then why are these high dollar speakers made to have low impedance? Just wondering as I am an uneducated when it comes to audio electronics and always have the notion that these high priced speakers must sound good as they are priced way out of my budget.

Check to see if the speaker is ported vs, sealed. I have noticed that many (if not most) sealed speakers systems are 4 ohm. Also, If they have very large drivers the nominal impedance will dip as those tend to require more power to drive. But the ohm rating doesn't correlate with SQ.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:00 AM
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There is lot of variation in speaker impedance regardless of price. You can look at something like the Magnepan 1.7, which is 4 ohm and 86dB sensitive, and in the same price range you have the new Soul from Zu Audio, which is 16 ohm and 101dB sensitive. Both will sound, I'm sure, great, but have radically different designs which lead to different sensitivity measures. One isn't better or worse, they're just different.

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Old 06-22-2010, 10:09 AM
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16 ohm, wow. I don't remember seeing more than one other 16 ohm speaker, and that might have been some vintage model.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

16 ohm, wow. I don't remember seeing more than one other 16 ohm speaker, and that might have been some vintage model.

This was pretty standard in England until globalization of audio industry.

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Old 06-22-2010, 10:26 AM
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Quick question guys...I recently bought speakers with 6 ohms nominal impedance and 4 ohms minimal impedance. I am thinking of getting NAD's T747 receiver (60 watts).

Does the NAD have enough power to drive/support my speakers?
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:28 AM
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I don't think that the NAD is a good value, but it will work, yes.

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

-Dan D.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonesuch75 View Post

Quick question guys...I recently bought speakers with 6 ohms nominal impedance and 4 ohms minimal impedance. I am thinking of getting NAD's T747 receiver (60 watts).

Does the NAD have enough power to drive/support my speakers?

I use an NAD T754 (similar specs to the T747) to drive a pair of 4 ohm speakers, usually at pretty high volume (it's in a bar) and have never had a problem.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonesuch75 View Post

Quick question guys...I recently bought speakers with 6 ohms nominal impedance and 4 ohms minimal impedance. I am thinking of getting NAD's T747 receiver (60 watts).

Does the NAD have enough power to drive/support my speakers?

Hello,
The size of your Room will have a large impact in terms of how well the T747 will work for you. In addition, depending on listening preferences and Sources, you might want more power.

What kind of Speakers are you using? As in addition to Ohms, there are things like the Sensitivity and Capacitive Phase Angle that might make using an AVR that excels with 4 Ohm loads more advantageous. However, more than likely, the T747 should be fine.

As to the original question, I am in complete agreement that it is a Design decision. Some Speaker Technologies are much less efficient and can dip below 1 Ohm. Such is the case with Martin Logan Electrostatic Models. It is only at the uppermost frequencies that the load is that low. And Speakers like the aforementioned Magneplanar which use Planar Ribbon or Quasi Planar Ribbons are comparably inefficient and low ohm. Moreover, Speakers such as Thiel which employ First Order Crossovers and are Time and Phase Aligned, present a challenging load.
Cheers,
AD

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