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Thread: 16 Ohm Speaker in a 8 Ohm Amp?

  1. #21

    Default Re: 16 Ohm Speaker in a 8 Ohm Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Mavashi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rid View Post
    With tubeamps.....comes straight from a guy who has build these things for more than 4 decades....keep the impedance matched....tubeamps do not like mismatch very much.
    ^^^^ best answers.

  2. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: 16 Ohm Speaker in a 8 Ohm Amp?

    I've been using tube amps for years. I'm no tech and some times, just sometimes, people worry too much.
    In the past 40 years of playing, the old trick used to get some extra grind at a bit lower volume was to miss match the speaker load but....always go higher in impedance of the speaker, never lower. As said several times below, using say an 8 ohm out to a 4 ohm speaker (example: Marshall cab with switch using 16 and 4 ohms), you can fry the head. Easier laymans terms would be that with a 4 ohm speaker hooked up to an 8 ohm out, there isn't any place for the extra voltage to go except to back up into the OT and eventually cook it. On the other hand, using a 16 ohm speaker in an 8 ohm out, would cut the power down because there's not enough voltage to drive the speaker so there wouldn't be any extra load on the OT. This is what gives the extra distortion if cranked. The amp is working to fulfill the needs of the speaker but just isn't making it or, it just works a little harder.
    That's the way us "old schoolers" learned it> Everyone I know in this profession did this from time to time when a pedal broke down or something, giving you an alternative to a more grindy sound than plain old clean at higher volume. You can call me wrong, I'm no tech, but if you live on only the technical side, nothing makes sense electronically.
    As far as I've been doing this over the years, I use to run my 72 Marshall head at 4 ohms with the cab set to 16 ohms. Sometimes the sound isn't the best but, it NEVER blew any head that I've used. On the other hand, a friend of mine and just recently, went the other way not thinking and fried is 69 plexie.
    From what I've read on tech reviews and all that, Stevie Ray did this with his Fender amps too. At this time, I'm running a Fender supersonic 22 (8 ohm minimum load) with a 16 ohm warehouse guitar speaker (30 clone) and so far, it's fine. Gives a little grit for the clean side. I will say though, I have my reservations on the newer amp dealing with the mismatch so I'm watching for the signs!
    Take it for what it is, the older amps handle this better than the newer ones do. They're built like tanks compared to the new ones. I had Reinharts, Fuchs and others that fried and they were barely used and everything was up and up on impedance so with that said....try it, it may work, and it may not! It's only your pocket book if it doesn't.
    Now I know someone will argue with me about this on here but this is the way it worked for thousands of lead guitarists over the past 50 years....thanks for reading!
    Last edited by blueshand58; 03-20-2014 at 03:34 PM.

  3. #23
    Tone Member JCM900MkIII's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: 16 Ohm Speaker in a 8 Ohm Amp?

    For people who have trouble picturing it. Here is a car analogy (which kinda works when talking Impedance matching of amps and cabs).

    Not enough oil and you engine will overheat and seize/lock.
    Too much can burst your gaskets or the crankshaft can whip up the oil, creating bubbles (which burns and creates residue inside the engine)

    I'm no mechanic, but I take care of my car. No need to fully understand the technical bit.
    I just know that if I don't, I will blow up the car.
    And that should be enough.

    P.S. I never have the urge to ask the car mechanic if it is ok to drive with too little oil....or with too much. Because I know the mechanic will tell me it's a silly question....
    On the other hand, he doesn't mind repairing my car or selling me a new one.
    Last edited by JCM900MkIII; 03-21-2014 at 01:57 AM.
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  4. #24
    He Did the Monster Mash DrNewcenstein's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Default Re: 16 Ohm Speaker in a 8 Ohm Amp?

    Interesting and timely thread (for me, anyway).

    Though I'm sure someone will cry about bumping old threads.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Note View Post
    I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had b00bs and was on fire!
    My Blog

  5. #25
    Glossless SlyFoxx's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    Default Re: 16 Ohm Speaker in a 8 Ohm Amp?

  6. #26
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
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    May 2004
    Dateing your cougar aunt

    Default Re: 16 Ohm Speaker in a 8 Ohm Amp?

    over on the Hughes and Ketner amp tips page this topic is very well explained and what the difference in sound to the speakers it can produce.
    8ohm amp with 16 ohm cab= more midrange grind from the speakers
    8ohm amp with 8 ohm cab= manufacturers spec sound
    8ohm amp with 4 ohm cab= more highs and lows and less midrange

    use these tips at your own risk..........I don't build them I just play them.
    and if this actually works........I have a 16 ohm speaker load on my evh iii 2x12 cab. If this works I can actually set my impedance on the back of my combo to 8 ohm right into the 16 ohm speaker load for more midrange grind. The combo has a built in attenuator so the volume drop for me wouldn't be a big incentive. I am gunna try this to see if it works on this combo. I think I will still leave it at matching 16 ohm levels when I am done but I want to try this for a minute and see if it works
    Last edited by philthis; 04-14-2015 at 06:15 PM.

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