Is it safe to put a 6 ohm speaker in an 8 ohm cabinet

Wilberry

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I have a defective 8" Paradigm mid/bass that is 8 ohm. I have found another 8" mid/bass but it is 6/4 ohm. Is it safe to put it in the 8 ohm cabinet.

I will be getting two so I could swap out both mid/bass woofers on each cabinet if required (total of two cabinets).

Thanks
 

ien2222

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Mar 28, 2010
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Hey, just to clear up some things:

Very short answer is yes, you can.

The longer answer is that it's going to sound different which you may or may not like. There's actually quite a few specs that drivers have called the Theil/Small parameters or specs. A change in most any of them will result in a different sound. Not that you need to know how they work, just letting you know as a point of reference.

Competent speaker manufactures will design crossovers specifically for the drivers being used, sensitivity mismatches and phase problems will be corrected if need be, also optimal crossover frequency between drivers will also be determined and incorporated. There also could be various filters built in that smooth out the frequency response. How these are created is a function of how the driver behaves and interacts with the baffle. The T/S parameters tell you how it behaves.

So, if you use a different driver that you already know isn't quite similar, it most likely won't work correctly with the original crossover. From a fidelity perspective, the chances of it being worse are probably better than 99% since it's all but guaranteed to be less neutral than before. The caveat here is that personal preference is subjective, you may like the way it sounds afterwards...you may not.

My suggestion would be to contact Paradigm support and ask them about buying replacement drivers. If they do not have anything that would work well, you can also try www.parts-express.com customer support to see if they carry anything that would be either a straight replacement or something that's similar enough to work.
 

lodders

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It will probably work. But it is likely to have poor sound quality.

A speakers characteristics are matched to the cabinet and the tweeter. Replacing with one of a different type is not a good option.
 

Wilberry

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Thanks for the reply, the replacement is also a Paradigm mid/bass 8" woofer. The only real difference is the newer ones use 6/4 ohms versus the older one which I have is 8 ohm.

So when you say sound quality is that because of the ohm difference or your assumption the speaker is not similar?
 

maddogfargo

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Mixing speaker resistances like that will have 2 effects:

1) Putting a lower resistance driver in will make it louder and throw off the sound balance and likely your crossover points
2) Lower resistance drivers need to be able to handle higher wattage to avoid burnout. Quick estimate: If you had a 100w 8ohm midrange before, you'd need a 150w 6 ohm or 200w 4 ohm driver.

TL-DR version - It will work, but not well and might break. Try to get a matching replacement component to avoid issues.
 

Wilberry

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Thanks for the reply, your example is dead on as the current speaker is rated at 100W and the replacement is rated at 150W. Could you elaborate on the crossover as that is a concern, would there be a chance of damaging the crossover?

I am running this on a vintage Pioneer sx-3600 currently which is only rated at 30WPC, but will be moving it to my sx3800 once it's been restored which is only 60WPC. The receivers are both rated for 8 ohm speakers based on the manual.

Thanks for the replies


 

lodders

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The crossover between bass and treble is dependant on the speakers Ohms

If you turn the volume up high, the amp may start distorting sooner because the lower resistance pulls higher power from the amp..

Why not ask Paradigm for advice?
 

Wilberry

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That's a good idea
 

chris-L

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Nov 13, 2015
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Yes it is "safe" to put those in. They are above the minimum 4 ohm load the Pioneer receivers require, assuming you have only 1 speaker cabinet hooked per side. Yes changing the woofer's impedance will change the crossover point but it shouldn't necessarily damage the crossover itself. What is more likely to occur is a change in tonal characteristic from the different speaker within that cabinet. That may
be good or bad depending on your taste. But it should be "safe" in terms of your original question. 8" is small for a woofer if you
are trying to play this real loud. not sure what happened to your original woofers, but watch out that you don't apply so much power that the woofer cone excursion gets too far and hits the magnet assembly as it moves in/out. I've seen lots of speakers damaged that way. Also,
I've changed lots of speakers with non-original drivers so am familiar with your situation. again it is "safe" to put in the other woofers if you elect to, as long as you operate your Pioneer amps reasonably.
 

Wilberry

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Thanks for the reply Chris, Paradigm refers to these 8" speakers as mid/bass woofer and they are the original size, The replacements are very close in spec. just a little newer, both from Paradigm, same size, with a little more wattage, but different ohm.

The crossovers are are fairly close, the replacement speaker uses a 2.0 khz crossover and the original cabinet has a 2.3khz crossover. Not sure if this is relevant, this is where I put my noob hat on.

Even the internal volume of the speaker cabinets are similar based on the brochures.

Thanks again for the reply Chris

 

ien2222

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Mar 28, 2010
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Hey, just to clear up some things:

Very short answer is yes, you can.

The longer answer is that it's going to sound different which you may or may not like. There's actually quite a few specs that drivers have called the Theil/Small parameters or specs. A change in most any of them will result in a different sound. Not that you need to know how they work, just letting you know as a point of reference.

Competent speaker manufactures will design crossovers specifically for the drivers being used, sensitivity mismatches and phase problems will be corrected if need be, also optimal crossover frequency between drivers will also be determined and incorporated. There also could be various filters built in that smooth out the frequency response. How these are created is a function of how the driver behaves and interacts with the baffle. The T/S parameters tell you how it behaves.

So, if you use a different driver that you already know isn't quite similar, it most likely won't work correctly with the original crossover. From a fidelity perspective, the chances of it being worse are probably better than 99% since it's all but guaranteed to be less neutral than before. The caveat here is that personal preference is subjective, you may like the way it sounds afterwards...you may not.

My suggestion would be to contact Paradigm support and ask them about buying replacement drivers. If they do not have anything that would work well, you can also try www.parts-express.com customer support to see if they carry anything that would be either a straight replacement or something that's similar enough to work.
 

chris-L

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Nov 13, 2015
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chris-L

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Nov 13, 2015
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you seem to have a very close match in those drivers.
I would use them, no problem.
again, you should be safe for the Pioneer amps as they typically will work ok
into anything above a 4 ohm load.
don't add any other speaker cabinets to the Pioneers in addition to the 2 you currently have
Since the new woofers are rated at the lower ohms this limits how many additional speakers you can run with
a Pioneer. It is primarily the impedance (ohms) of the new woofer, not the original cabinet/crossover which
the amp will "see" as the load.
it should work fine.
judge any tonal quality change for yourself as you are your best judge.
but, electrically for a proper amp load you are ok.
 
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