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2 Ohm vs. 4 Ohm

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Old 03-26-2006, 04:27 PM
dR6 dR6 is offline
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2 Ohm vs. 4 Ohm

Before I start, I spent several hours looking at past threads about this issue and still have questions:

I'm wanting a quick, inexpensive way to boost my Bose stereo. I want to do a quick replacement for the components and it's my understanding that the Bose system runs on 2 Ohm speakers.

I like the Infinity Kappa components that are rated at 2 Ohm (should be a direct swap). However, I listened to the Infinity Perfects and they had so much more warmth. I'm interested in those, but they are 4 Ohm resistance.

So the question is, should I just use the Kappa's or go w/ the 4 Ohm Perfects? What would the drawback be if I got the 4 Ohm speaker and the rest of the system stayed at 2 Ohm. I know I would have to adjust my fader, but is that the only drawback?

I don't think I want to add an amp right off the bat, because I want to make it cheap and simple. I just want a bit better music coming from my car. It kills me that my friend's Chevy Malibu sounds better with his stock system.

Thanks in advance.
Old 03-26-2006, 04:39 PM
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I am not an electrical engineer, so forgive me if I am wrong. The speaker impedence measure of 2 or 4 ohms will place different demands on your amplifier (head unit here). An amp that makes 100 watts with a 4 ohm speaker will need to make 200 watts to drive the 2 ohm speaker equally. So you may end up with less volume, since you will be using higher impedence speakers. Also, the amp conceivably will have trouble with mis-matched impedences.

OK, now all you engineers and car hi-fi experts can tear me apart!
Old 03-27-2006, 01:35 PM
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You are correct. The ohm rating refers to the load of resistance on the speaker/amplifier. The higher the ohm rating on the speaker, the more power you will need to make it loud (more resistance at the speaker = more power to run it). If the speaker resistance is too low (i.e. 2ohm or 1ohm) your amplifier will have less resistance, hence more power being delivered to the speaker.

have 2 ohm speakers isn't a big deal, as long as your amplifier can deliver power at 2 ohms (many of the decent or more powerful amplifiers can sustain 2 ohm loads, but you need to check). Don't think that any amplifier will do it. You may blow the fuse (instantly), or worse, the amp will heat up and blow (most likely more damage).

So, if you replace the factory 2 ohm speakers with 4 ohm speakers, you are going to have 1/2 the sound output from those speakers (twice the resistance = 1/2 the sound) - not a very good idea. The reason infiniti has this setup is to get the most out of the speakers with minimal power (saves them money).

Your best bet is to change the speakers, and add an amplifier. You can get some great 4-channel amps from Pioneer, Alpine, Etc for cheap (under $200) and add some better speakers and you will be really happy. I can give you some more ideas for stereo stuff, just IM me.
Old 03-27-2006, 01:52 PM
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Andy: Stock speakers are not amplified by the stoch HU in a Bose system, only non-bose. Bose systems have an outboard amp in the trunk.

Joes: Be sure he knows whatever amp you sell, he will most likely need a special LO (unless he gets a JL "Slash", DLS, PA Xenon or other OEM-integration-friendly amp).

Original poster: simply swapping the front speakers for aftermarket speakers and running them on the stock amp is going to sound like

Last edited by amthar; 03-27-2006 at 01:55 PM.
Old 03-27-2006, 03:27 PM
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Unless you get a very high efficiency sub that has dual 4 ohm coils. Then you can bridge it to 2 ohms and it won't require much power to sound good.

If you really want to go this way look for one of the old kicker free-air subs.

The better way to go is a small enclosure in the trunk with a new amp.
Old 03-27-2006, 04:59 PM
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The quickest answer I can muster:
It depends on your end goal. All else stock, the Kappas will sound better. They will not sound great because higher quality (Than stock) speakers will magnify the other weaknesses of the system, namely dynamic roll-off and EQ'ing in the amp. This is compounded by the fact that these speakers require more power for equal audible levels, even though they are 2 ohms, due to heavier cones and stiffer suspensions.

You will not hear the "Warmth" that is claimed as the reason you would opt for the Perfects in the context of the stock system. There is of course more potential here.

I personally went the Kappa route, ended up unsatisfied with the increased flatness at 20+ volume levels (Required to achieve ~17 sound from before). Conceding to an amp, I was then forced to choose an amp that would deal with those 2 ohm speakers that I purchased to avoid having to by an amp. See where this is going? If you can't do both the front components and an amp, then I suggest not doing either. If your budget requires time-staging, the Kappas will drive you nuts more slowly than the Perfects before you get the amp in.

Oh yeah, and SEARCH.
Old 03-27-2006, 05:35 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I'm gonna think about it a bit.

Oh and Macgyver, please see my first line that I wrote. If you don't want to respond to a thread, then don't. Nobody put a gun to your head to do it.

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