Originally Posted by m. zillch
In a typical situation, when listening to an inexpensive speaker wire with an inexpensive AVR amplifier (kept below clipping), which load would be most likely to cause changes to the sound you could hear?
A. An 8-ohm nominal impedance speaker
B. A 4-ohm nominal impedance speaker
C. A 4-ohm non-inductive resistor
I think I know what your answer will be, but I want to be sure. I know you could answer along the lines of, "Well, it depends on the specific speaker used" but the question is just speaking in general terms using common, typical devices. Thanks.
More likely (B) the 4 ohm speaker. The lower the impedance of the speaker, the more it affect the voltage divider ratio.
When you say, inexpensive AVR, this likely to have only one or two pairs of output transistors, speaker cables might not be important anymore, no point of even talking about low inductance.
In case (C) resistor doesn't make sound!!! So there is no sound quality to affect. If you look at the frequency response graph, it's still going to be quite flat, just slightly roll off at high frequency. Only in reactive load like the speakers with crossover that can make the graph ugly.
It is NOT the speakers ( woofer, mid and tweeter) that cause hardship, it's the crossover network inside the speaker that causing the trouble. The impedance profile of the actual speakers is actually quite mild, no big peaks or valley. The crossover that consist of LC circuit ( we call them tune circuit) that create the peak and valley of the impedance profile. The better the quality of the inductor and capacitor, the sharper the profile.
I think the phase change can be even more damaging to the sound, phase change on the mid and high frequencies can be noticeable, just like if you more the mid or tweeter speaker back and fore from the listening distance. Any of the LRC circuit can cause a lot of phase change at the peak.