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Series vs parallel speakers

11/17/1999 1:44 PM
Stephen Conner
Series vs parallel speakers
Hi folks,  
Imagine I have a 2 x 12" cab and an amp with an 8 ohm output. I can buy two 4 ohm speakers and connect them in series, or two 16 ohm and put them in parallel.  
Assuming the speakers are identical apart from the impedance, is there any difference in tone between the two connections?  
11/17/1999 2:09 PM
The damping is better with the parallel  
connection because each speaker is connected  
to the amp directly, rather than through the  
impedance of the other speaker.  
SO the resonances oughtta be less pronounced.  
I don;t know how audible this is.
11/17/1999 10:25 PM

It's audible. Each speaker un-damps the other, exactly as you note.
11/18/1999 3:04 PM
Stephen Conner

so I will get a looser and flubbier sound with the series connection? It's a bit of an academic question because my amp has a 16 ohm tap only (unless there are others hidden inside the output transformer casing) so I will need to use two 8's in series.  
11/18/1999 11:18 PM

Yeah, the series connection will damp the speaker's motional resonance less because it has less control of the speaker cones electrically. The only way that can possibly be changed is to get the speakers to be acoustically coupled in a way that causes them to be acoustically/physically coupled. Then the damping of the amp would start acting on the pair. To some extent, this is true if you have both in a common enclosure, so the looser damping is not as bad as it might be, but the effect is frequency dependent and dependent on the box and external acoustic environment, so you can't count on it.
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