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Old 30th November 2013, 10:51 AM   #1
audioenthusiastnoob is offline audioenthusiastnoob  United States
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Default amp/speaker matching

I have a 20 watt amp and 2 sets of 30 watt speakers. one set is 4 ohms and the other set is 8 ohms for best sound quality and maximum sound, which set of speakers should i use? 4 ohm or 8 ohm?
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Old 30th November 2013, 12:43 PM   #2
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Use the 8ohms speakers.
All solid state amplifiers perform better when the loading is less severe.

What is that 20watt rating?
Honest or fiction?
Into 8r0 test resistor, or into an 8ohms speaker, or into 4r0, or into a 4ohms speaker?
At what distortion? 0.1% THD, or 1%, or 10%?
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Old 30th November 2013, 04:26 PM   #3
Cal Weldon is offline Cal Weldon  Canada
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amp/speaker matching
What Andrew is trying to say is that 8Ω speakers are safe for almost all amplifiers so without knowing anything else, that is the first answer. Many amps can handle a 4Ω load without difficulty so often it comes down to whichever speaker sounds better.

Tells us what amp you have and maybe send us a link to it.
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Old 1st December 2013, 08:43 AM   #4
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Andrew T must have made a bad job of saying that all solid state amplifiers perform better with 8ohms compared to driving 4ohms.
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Old 1st December 2013, 01:25 PM   #5
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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I'm not convinced of that, anyway:
"better performance" is way too subjective: it looks like most have lower THD specs driving 8ohm than 4ohm, but THD is in no way the only definition of "performance".

I have a PA amp here that definitely has better performance into 4ohm than 8ohm: it has double the power output when driving 4ohm loads. Since the primary objective here is to get lots of power out, performance has increased with 4ohm use, and increases further with 2ohm use.

The only time when I can think the above example wouldn't hold is where the power supply would collapse trying to drive a 4ohm load, in which case I'd argue the amp isn't worth bothering with.

Chris
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