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Impedance question

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Robert Quigley:
New guy here. This is probably a dumb question and I think I already know the answer but I want to double check.

I recently got a pair of passive cabs rated for 8 ohms. The amp powering them is 8 ohms. The horns in the cabs are 4 ohms and the woofers are 8 ohms.

One of the woofers is gone. I'm looking to replace it with an oem woofer but they don't make them anymore. So, I took to the internet and found a few that are 4 ohms.

My question is, could I put a 4 ohm woofer to replace the 8 ohm woofer and still power it with an 8 ohm amp?

John Roberts {JR}:
you could but you shouldn't


Chris Grimshaw:

--- Quote from: Robert Quigley on June 01, 2020, 02:30:15 pm ---
My question is, could I put a 4 ohm woofer to replace the 8 ohm woofer and still power it with an 8 ohm amp?

--- End quote ---

The answer, like so many others, is that it depends.

Chances are your amp isn't exclusively capable of driving 8ohm. So, a 4ohm woofer might be okay.

However, if there's a passive crossover in there, then the chances are that it's designed to work with the original 8ohm woofer. Crossovers rely on the speaker being a particular impedance to function correctly, so changing the woofer impedance will mean the crossover isn't aligned well and the results will be unpredictable.

I'd say that more information would be useful. Some questions to start you off:
- Which speakers?
- What did the previous woofer die of?
- Which amplifier are you using? Is there any EQ or limiting involved in the signal chain?


Brian Jojade:
+1 on Chris's response.

Yes, you probably could use the 4 ohm speaker, but it will change the behavior of the cabinet.  If you have a pair of cabinets and want to go that route, replace BOTH of them, or they won't match.

Luke Geis:
The passive crossover unit depends on the load it is driving to work right. So you need to replace it with an 8-ohm speaker. Can you put a 4 ohm in there and have it work? Yes, but will it work correctly? No.


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