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Two 8 ohms speakers in series vs one 16 ohm speaker

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by foul_owl, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    I have a simple question. I am going to build one of these for recording:
    http://www.amptone.com/diyisobox.htm
    I greatly prefer the sound of 16 ohm loads over 8 ohms.

    I was thinking I would get a 2x12 and use two 8 ohm V30s in series. But how would the sound compare to using a 1x12 with 1x16 ohm V30?

    Only micing one of the speakers here with an SM58. High gain guitar amp.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You're going the wrong way. If you connect one 8ohm speaker to an amp set to 8ohm output that's what you have. If you chain another 8 ohm speaker in series to the first one you now have a 4 ohm setup.
     
  3. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Impedances add in series. You are thinking of parallel.
     
  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member


    What type of amp are you using and what's the nominal power output and impedance?
    When you say you prefer the sound of 16ohm loads over 8, what is it about the sound you prefer?
     
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    @foul_owl: mea culpa. I was momentarily confused. Too much Wagner this morning.
     
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Jack:
    Do you prefer Wagner in 16ohms or 8ohms?
     
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    LMAO!!! Tonight I just want all the right notes with dynamics and dictation perfect articulation..........In this case the orchestral reduction has us reduced from 8(horns) to 4(horns) (Walkure overt). I'll start out the night with mucho resistance and end with zero! And then we'll throw Symphony Fantastique on the end for fun.
     
  8. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    4 horns would be 8 horns in parallel
    But if you put the 4 horns in series you'll get 16 horns
    And I'm pretty sure that would sound better!
     
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Especially if it's the London Horn Sound recording.
     
  10. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Amp is 120 watt, high gain of the Soldano or ENGL variety.

    Good question! As far as I can tell, 16 ohms sounds much thicker and more detailed. More complex. Whereas 4 ohms, by comparison, just sounds loud, and sort of dull, not as complex I guess. 4 ohms is good if you are going for LOUD. To be honest I have never done the 16 ohms vs 8 ohms comparison, but I would imagine that 8 ohms is somewhere between the two.
     
  11. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Are you building a DIYbox and a speaker cabinet?
    if so what are the specs on the speakers your planning on using?
    Does the amp have 4/8/16 ouputs?
    Is the amp rated at 120W into 8ohms?
     
  12. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Attention!!

    Do not connect a higher impedance load to a Tube amp then written in its specs.
    If you do this with high volume over some time, it will kill your tubes....and never switch it on (standby =on) without speakers connected...
    Whereas, shorting out a tube amp is just pushing the valves to their highest output and dose not instantly harm them. I am not saying it is healthy, better just don't.
    ;-)

    When using a solidstate amp don't deceed the indicated impedance, or it will grill your transistors in a while... Not to short-circuit it is know, I suppose.
    So, it is just reverse rule between tubes and transistor amps...

    Always keep in mind, that the sound of a speaker is not really all about its impedance, but depends on its age and brand much more.
    To work an amp with the specified impedance is widely considered to be the best technical solution and extends longevity of the device.
    I'd rather go through the various speaker chassis to find the best sound for my purpose. AND: a speaker sounds different in a closed compartment like this...

    I have the speaker cabinets blowing into a hidden large absorber which is a build-in acoustic feature of my recording room...
    So, I do not have any experience with iso-boxes and, therefore, can't comment on any suitable speakers..
     
  13. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Have you tried using one of those Reflexion type vocal screens mic pointed at your guitar amp?

    Using the isobox method is really no different than building a full vocal booth for a singer..in your case your trying to control the acoustics (the box) the source (speaker and amp design) and then the mic on top of all that.....

    Another thought on your amp/speaker(s) combo is that using multiple speakers would be much more difficult to achieve a smooth sound field...multiple speakers in a guitar cabinet are great for stage where volume and large dispersion is needed but for studio recording, you would have better results with a single cone...the impedance of the speaker should closely match the specified efficient output of the amp at its rated power output...if that happens to be 50W into 8 ohms then I would use that....using the amplifier at its most efficient design is always best....the speaker is your weakest link here....tailoring speaker design and its construction to the specific guitar tone your looking for is far more important.....you don't need 120W in a box pointed directly at a sensitive microphone to achieve color and tone....
     
  14. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    The reason I am building an isobox is due to neighbors. :( It is getting made no matter what.

    I also realize that I don't need a 4x12. Just looking at a 1x12 or 2x12 at this point. Probably going to go with the 2x8 ohms in series I think.
     
  15. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering why you're leaning toward the 2x12 if it's primarily for recording purposes. I think it simplifies recording life it's it's a single speaker cabinet - maybe that's just me. It seems to me, there are fewer phase issues from the single source.

    And if bothering the neighbors is a concern, it would follow you don't need the extra thrust of another 12".
     
  16. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Pretty much the only reason is because of power handling. Recording a 120 watt amp, 2xV30s can handle 120 watts. Also not sure about geometry of the iso box too.
     
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Most studio/recordings are made with much much smaller amps. By a factor of 10 even. For recording purposes, you can get great tone and sound from a 5 or 10 watt amp, too.
     
  18. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I don't know what kind of music you're specifically into, but some of the greatest rock recordings of all time were made using dinky little amps in the studio. For instance, if you saw the little Supro amp Jimmy Page used for a lot of the Zeppelin stuff at a garage sale, you'd think it was some kid's first practice amp from Sears and walk right past it.
     
  19. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Oh yes, I know these things. But I am only interested in capturing the sound of this particular amp that I have in my possession, rather than trying different amps. Thanks for the help so far!
     
  20. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    I guess, phasing is not such a problem in the iso box. Although, it is not necessary to run a 120 watts amp at 120 watts full blast.
    Those valve watts are incredibly loud when you want to get a decent tube sound. You will have to box it in, anyhow, I guess...
    Tell us about your experience with it...
     

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