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Speaker ohms compatibility


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If the car speakers I am replacing (not working, sun baked, paper/cone shot) are labeled as 8 ohm and the ones I am thinking about buying because they fit the car and my budget are 4 ohm, what kind of issues (if any) would I encounter?

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You are short 4 ohms and 4 more original ohms can be hard to find these dayūüėÄ. ¬† The radio output electronics were¬†designed to operate with¬†an 8 ohm impedance load. ¬†For best results and to keep the radio from possibly failing a replacement 8 ohm impedance speaker is the way to go. ¬†

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Output transistor(s) (if not tube type) will run hotter and distortion is likely at higher volumes. I'd only replace with mylar of the proper impedance.

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Back in the days when every town had a Radio Shack or Lafayette Radio shop, a 4 ohm resistor soldered into the speaker + lead would easily change 4 ohm speaker resistance to 8-10 ohms range and protect radio innards. 

 

Don't know where you'd find any now short of buying enough to last the next 75 years.

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41 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

Back in the days when every town had a Radio Shack or Lafayette Radio shop, a 4 ohm resistor soldered into the speaker + lead would easily change 4 ohm speaker resistance to 8-10 ohms range and protect radio innards. 

 

Don't know where you'd find any now short of buying enough to last the next 75 years.

Sites like mouser or digikey electronics let you buy small quantities of things, but you'll pay more in shipping. For common parts like resistors you could probably get them from eBay or Amazon.

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8 hours ago, Dave Mellor NJ said:

If you had two 4 ohm speakers you could wire them in series to get the same result as an 8 ohm

Most likely, the speakers in the original radio were connected to separate output devices, so be sure not to connect them in series unless you are sure. The easiest way to tell is if there is only one output jack on the radio.

 

Frank

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Finding 8 ohm speakers isn’t my issue. Finding a pair that are “budget friendly “ is. I can get 4 ohm speakers that fit for around $25.00 a pair. The 8 ohm speakers I have found are much more expensive. 
 

Due to the cost difference is why I am asking if 4 ohm speakers would work.

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Would help to know the specific radio. Many GM speakers were 10 ohm.

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Maybeso. Doesn't mean they are OEM. Is there a reason not to identify the radio ?

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Ten ohms would work ok, going to less than 8 can be a problem.  What size do you need?  Thrift shops sometimes have old music systems or speakers for cheap, might want to look there to save some $$$.

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15 hours ago, TerryB said:

You are short 4 ohms and 4 more original ohms can be hard to find these dayūüėÄ. ¬† The radio output electronics were¬†designed to operate with¬†an 8 ohm impedance load. ¬†For best results and to keep the radio from possibly failing a replacement 8 ohm impedance speaker is the way to go. ¬†

 

Try Crutchfield 

Car Speakers at Crutchfield

 
 

 

I had the exact same issue when replacing the door speakers on our '02 Suburban. The front doos each use both a 4 Ohm Mid-range along with a 4 Ohm Tweeter, wired in series, so no problem there,

but the rear doors each use an 8 Ohm speaker which IS available through Crutchfield. Unfortunately the 8 Ohm they had didn't properly fit my truck without modifications, but may work for you.

Other sources were found on Amazon.com

 

Good luck, but best to stay with correct specs

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