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Answers for Questions relating to VINTAGE AUDIO EQUIPMENT
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Hi-Fi Stereo - Loudspeakers
Impedance or Ohm rating of speakers.
Question:©For 16 Ohm speakers does the amplifier have to have a 16 ohm rating?
The basic answer: No, in regards to solid state amplifiers
If connectiong to a tube amplifier: set the output impedance of the amplifier's output transformer to 16 ohm. Most tube amplifiers offer 4, 8, 16 Ohm output impedance settings.
The more detailed answer: Solid state amplifiers: No - 16 Ohm speaker would be a farily light load ot the amplifer and would not use the full power potential that the amplifier offers. In other words: the results are less volume coming form the speakers than if a seaker of lower impedance would be used
For tube gear: if the tutbe amplifer's output trasnformer does not have a 16 ohm top / setting: will work without damage, but usually the feed back loop in the amplifier depends on impedance load, so if a 16 Ohm whould beconnected at the 8 Ohm tap, sound not be optimal and may be unusual.
Question:©When is considering speaker impedance important?
Particularly when operating two or more spekaer pairs on the same amplifer at the same time.
Here why: Most amplifeirs that have connections to hook up more than one speaker pair if using more than 1 pair at the same time switch the connected pairs of speakers in parallel. That reduces the load impdance or resistance of the speakers in half. For example: Two 16 Ohm speaker pairs at the same time reduces the load to 8 Ohms. Two pairs of 8 Ohm sopeakers to 4 Ohms. Two pairs of 4Ohm speakers would be 2 ohms. Most ampifers are designed to drive a 4 Ohm minimum load. If the load impedance would be 2 Ohms - Do NOT do it! This will over load the amplifer and almost all modern ampifiers will get damaged by this requiring expensive electronics repairs starting at $100+.
Speaker Impedance Selection Considerations:
A) If planning to use 2 (or more) pairs of speakers on the same amplifer at the same time: Get 8 Ohm (or 16 Ohm) speakers so that the amplifer can handle it. Most amplifers that allow to connect more than 2 pairs of speakers allow only to use 2 pairs together at the same time. Consult the owenrs manual for your equipment for complex arrangments.
B) If wanting to get the most volume out of the amplifer and connectign only one pair of speakers to the amplifer: Get 4 Ohm speakers..
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