I was just looking at the new models at Tekton. They have a very interesting new version of the Pendragon with the 5-driver array from the Dynamo Monitor. Looks good. But it's $2200/pr loudspeaker. Is there a similarly priced audiophile quality amplifier that can consistently drive a 2 ohm load. And that's an average rating which means that it must dip below 2 ohms at some frequencies.
What puzzles me is the obsession with impedance. When the speakers are 98dB sensitivity, how much current can it possibly take??!
Also if you do want to talk impedance, try listening to Eric. Learn that low impedance is actually desirable and yields better sound. Some of his designs like my Moabs can be ordered in 8 ohm version. All the gear heads on this site urged me to order them, swore they would sound better than 4 because, tubes. Current.
While on the other hand, every time I point out the irrefutable fact that low sensitivity speakers are hard to drive, people come out of the woodwork skirts over their heads in a tizzy. Like we don’t all know low sensitivity requires tons of watts and current.
So even though this is all patently obvious I do not expect it to catch on any time soon. We live in an age of superstition. Believe what you want. Buy em or don’t. Puzzle away all you want. Me, I have a fantabulous sound system to build. See ya!
I have a pair of Impact Monitors (4 ohm) on order. So to an extent you are preaching to the converted. I have an amp that will cheerfully drive a nominal 4 ohm load all day long and is stable into 2 ohms. I'm not questioning Eric's technical chops at all. But from my experience working for a consumer amplifier manufacturer and having represented several others in the business, I know for a fact that those circuit designers are not typically expecting their customer to be driving speakers with a 2 ohm nominal load - especially since that "nominal" impedance implies that the actual impedance dips lower than that. Now the engineering team at Crown or QSC, etc. have a different mission. My question is what consumer-positioned brand makes an amp circuit that is happy at 2 ohms and lower? That's all.
Talk to @atmasphere. He will tell you how lower impedance = more distortion. The question is always how much (will vary by amp) and is the distortion pleasant sounding or not.
One thing for sure you will likely be advised to NOT use Atmasphere amps with those if truly a nominal 2 ohm load and especially if any kind of response down to 20 hz can be delivered as advertised.
2 ohms will make any amp work harder than if higher. That is a fact. It’s best to make any amp not work harder than necessary.
MC is just plain wrong when he says high efficiency means any amp will do. Not the case if these are in fact 2 ohm speakers with flat response down to 20hz.
BAss is where an amp must work hardest to deliver. The lower the frequency, the harder it works...exponentially.
I would anticipate at best running true 2ohm speakers well off most any amp means limited and distorted bass.
But you never know for sure till you try (and measure) as they say...
Offering a product advertised as 2 ohms tells me Eric is mainly interested in being able to toss a variety of bait (various speaker models with various differences) in order to catch the most fish. Nothing wrong with that. It is what it is. I suppose there is a unifying design approach to them all. The tweeter arrray I suppose. Tweeters are not nearly as hard to drive well as bass drivers. Much less work involved.......exponentially by frequency.
Easy peasy.. Hypex NC500 will drive them no problem.. If they are wired at 2 ohm, no idea on that one. I wouldn't, especially for a full range speaker.. limits the choices.
That is a class d amp speaker plain and simple.. 2 ohm stable A/B way to expensive. Class d for sure.. 1000.00 will drive the neighbors out for sure.. BUT 2 ohm? WAY to much distortion and the lower you go the higher it goes.. 8-16 ohms is still preferred for mids and highs..
Especially valve amps.. Night and day on small planars or ribbons when they are driven at 4 opposed to 16 ohms.. Just very clean at 16 ohms.. The tech side is "better bandwidth". The same reason I like valves for low mids, mids and highs.. They just work better there..
98% what on earth are they used for PA? How do you get 98% domes? You better not have ANY noise in a system... That is really pushing it..
I think the 98% is a bit hype... I'd have to see the numbers on that one and how they came up with them.. They just don't work...
With todays amps and the headroom available for the dollars.. WHY? 2 ohms?
So yeah, impedance matters, in big and subtle ways. Of course, in the big ways, the current draw can overtax an amp or limit the output voltage severely, or just blow it up.
In the subtle ways, impedance drops can alter the frequency response. The amplifier's output will start to emulate the impedance chart. Look at almost any tube amp review in Stereophile and the simulated speaker load for an example. It can also be why some cables sound different.
Having said all of this, Tekton often leaves me scratching my head. While I find the use of many tweeters truly innovative, possibly derivative, but still very interesting I also find at times really questionable crossover design choices. 2 Ohms for 98 dB sure seems like one of them.
My question is what consumer-positioned brand makes an amp circuit that is happy at 2 ohms and lower? That’s all.
My question would be who makes an amp circuit that has any emotional feelings, happy, sad, or otherwise? Seriously. If I were you and my amp had the impertinence to express any opinions whatsoever I would fire it on the spot. When it comes to amplifiers I hold the same opinion as Justice Thomas: "Mine’s inanimate."
Whole bunch of guys here swore up and down, went on and on about the superiority of high impedance loads. How I should get the 8 ohm Tekton. 4 ohms just won’t work with tubes. 4 ohms nominal means yada yada blah blah blah. I read it all. Until I realized it is all bunk. A guy who makes amps and probably knows a fair bit about amps, but does not build speakers and so what are the odds the guy who does build speakers knows more about speakers?
I am the last person to ask about circuits. I could not possibly care less what circuit does what. All I care about is does it sound good? What’s the difference? The difference is if you come hear my system you wind up posting comments about how the sound was so freaking good you had a hard time getting your mind around it. More than one, that is pretty much what they said. That’s the difference.
(Oh, and those comments were long, long ago! It sounds WAAAAYYYY better now!)
I seriously, seriously doubt that Eric Alexander went to the trouble of coming out with a new design and was so out of it he never bothered to notice nobody makes an amp that can drive it. That is really what you are saying. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Right.
I find it infinitely more likely that a bunch of armchair engineers can’t get their mind around the fact that if a speaker is 98dB sensitivity you can drive it just fine with just about anything, even a little flea watt amp, and impedance hardly even enters the picture. That’s all.
LOL not at 2 ohms MC it just won't happen with a valve amp. A Mac will do 2 ohms in series or paralleled. BUT only in mono. At 4 ohms in mono they sound OK at best. 2 ohms, you could fry eggs on it.. I have no doubt.. The older MC275 get HOT.. @ 8 ohms.. Every Mac I own runs better at 8-16 ohms.. same power, little difference from 2 ohms to 24 ohms, same wattage or very close.. They just sound better, because of the bandwidth, and distortion.. They run 1/2 the heat index too, @ 12 - 16 ohms. Tough to beat a MC240 all dolled up.. They really don't like 4 ohms. HOT!!!!
With a tube amp, the issue is not only whether or not the amp can drive the low impedance load. Because tube amps often have a high source impedance, the speaker impedance at all frequencies must be high enough so that frequency response is not affected significantly by the high source impedance. Also, because the speaker voice coil is moving in the magnetic field or the driver, it develops a "back EMF" that can be absorbed (damped) by the amplifier if there is a sufficiently high ratio between the speaker impedance and the amplifier impedance. Tube amplifiers, because of their high impedance provide less damping and this becomes significant if the speaker impedance is too low. The extent to which such "ringing" or lack of damping is deleterious to the sound is a matter of taste. This is why tube amp fans generally prefer their speakers to have a high impedance.
I tend to find that, while there are theoretical reasons for avoiding low impedance speakers for tube amplifiers, in practice, even 4 ohm speakers can be mated with suitable tube amps. But, I wouldn't push it to such an extreme as a speaker with a nominal 2 ohm impedance, unless I have an opportunity to audition the pairing.
Reading the marketing write up on the site for the product, sounds like this product is pitching a unique sound to its cult like fans. I suppose distortion associated with low impedance speakers used with most amps would produce a unique sound that some might take to and not find elsewhere. But based on pure science it sounds like a bad idea. Which means some rebels out there will love the idea just because it defies science/common knowledge. Plus they probably will go loud faster than many and maybe not even damage their amps. Would have to see more detailed measurements like those on Stereophile to know the likelihood. Can’t imagine anyone would sell a speaker that kills amps though it reads like these would have a better chance than most anything else. Who knows. Could just be all marketing hype.....another product that is somewhat different to garner attention. Time will tell. 2 ohm nominal? Wonder what the low and high impedance is at the various frequencies. 2 ohm nominal suggests it will be even lower at some frequencies.
someone is bound to review these and do some measuring just because 2 ohms will attract attention if nothing else. I’d like to see that.
there have been popular cult speakers with very low impedance over the years. Apogee comes to mind. Some people swear by those ribbons and will do what it takes to find an amp that can do them justice.
Who listens to MC anyway? He is so wrong on many of his comments. A 2 ohm load is going to be a problem for most amps. With speakers like what MC has, you would be spending around a grand or 2 for an amp to match the caliper of his speakers and no way are you going to find an amp that will handle a 2 ohm load at realistic volume levels. Also, a couple of reviewers that have reviewed Tekton speakers have stated their 96-96db ratings were over exaggerated by 7db, a typical speaker will be in the 86-90db range
I don't know what solid state amps would be happy with a nominal 2 ohm load, but, there probably are some out there. In the past there were crazy demanding speakers, like the Apogee Scintilla, that were notorious for blowing up amps. That speaker had a 1 ohm rating. It was called the Krell killer. I liked the sound of that speaker, but, I bet some of the appeal had to do with the thrill of living dangerously.
@p05129 Well the internet is a powerful tool for shaping opinions. Seems like if you repeat something enough some perhaps many people will believe it. Need not be true. There is a lot of that at play these days. Especially when it cost you nothing except time and effort to try and shape people’s opinion and gain influence.
First, it is true that you don't need a ton of power, but there are relatively few Hi-Fi amps that are more than stable at 2 ohms and few thrive at such a low impedance. Either auto or pro audio might have decent options as they tend to run at lower impedances.
Second, as someone who has owned speakers with a 1.7ohm minimum impedance, they are a giant pain. I had the original Infinity Kappa 8.1s which were notoriously miserable to drive. There are not many amps that are happy at a nominal impedance of 2 ohms, and definitely not in that price range. Certainly, you will never drive them with a tube amp.
The Naim NAP 300 DR is one I can think of that is fine at 2 ohms for extended periods but that is a $14K amp. Not sure I can think of many others. If I bought those, I would buy a big bag of fuses to go with them unless I had just the right amp.
@mapman, +2 You have been on point with your comments on this thread. As you and others have noted there’s ’little’ rationale for a 2 ohm nominal speaker load. The only possibility I can envision for 2 ohm impedance and 98 db sensitivity is seeking a high SPL/ volume objective.
Ralph (Atmasphere) has explained very eloquently that the lower the speaker impedance load the more amplifier distortion. Less distortion when driving higher impedance loads. I guess to some he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Okay. Charles
My guess is that they are choosing to use 2 x 4 ohm mid-woofers, and matching the tweeter impedance to that rather than making a 4 Ohm speaker with 92 dB sensitivity... which would be fine.
Usually we see high efficiency speakers with high impedance as great matches for tubes. This is not that speaker. It is instead a very demanding speaker for solid state amplifiers which in the end probably won't give us much more volume, since the max output of most amps is going to be current limited.
My VAC PA100 tube amp has dedicated 2 ohm taps. Can’t say how it would play on that tap as I’m not interested in that type of speaker. But if someone is interested in trying the aforementioned speaker, the VAC could theoretically be a solid match.
If they are like most bass section, they will go from 2-22 ohms without some type smoothing. Phase shift of that magnitude from a bass driver is demanding enough. BUT below 2 to over 20 ohms @ 2-400 hz. That is the reason for the bloated bass a lot of tube amps have.. The fact that they ARE doing bass duty and have a swing in load.. Load demands and quicker response from a power supply (hexfred) make a big difference.. BUT relieve the valve amp bass demands and it just works BETTER in the mids and highs.. 2 ohms though.. on a valve amp is just a NO NO..
In an automotive application it’s not uncommon to see 1/2 ohm loads to PUSH an amp.. BUT have you seen what it takes in cable size? IT’S JYNORMUS. A lose connection is a fire.. Have to TORQUE the lugs, AND you better use a contact enhancer for the power supply.
Home use, you better keep the connection tight to @ 2 ohm, too. STUFF will get hot... Not a question of that.. Class D get hot too.. HOW HOT? They will MELT and talk about STINK...
@rhljazz, BTW the discontinued VAC Kevin Hayes designed Renaissance models were 300b push-pull ciruits(1990s) have 2 ohm speaker taps to use if push came to shove. Nonetheless they were at their best sonically when driving higher impedance speaker loads. All one had to do was listen. Charles
There are good sounding amplifiers that will drive two ohm loads but they are very few and far between you have a lot to worry about because the speaker will require four times the amount of current from the amp as an 8 ohm load would and if the amp is not capable it will sound thin and bright which you do not want. The problem is that all of the newly manufactured speakers over the last few years are dropping their impedance because of cost of manufacture of the drivers because it takes way more wire and a stronger coil and cone to make a high impedance speaker as well as a better basket, spider, magnet and every other part. It all boils down to cost and sticking it to the customer. Try and find an 8 ohm or higher speaker and give it a listen you will not be disappointed.
First of all, kudos for Tekton, for calling them out what they are, 2 ohms! Finally, a company who is honest about ratings. (Instead of the "4R with dips below 2R" pure BS advertising - it's either 4R or 2R... impedance is defined by the lowest dip, not a random convenient number.) That being said, here's what not being said:When speaker impedance is halved, the speaker cable has to carry TWICE the current for equal output. That is, you are effectively cutting the speaker cable down by 3 gauges with every halving of impedance. Thus, a 2R speaker needs x8 the current as a 16R speaker does. Hence, you need x8 THICKER speaker cable to get equivalent results! So, if you have AWG10 speaker cable fro your 16R speakers, then you need a total of AWG1 speaker cable to get equivalent bass performance as said 16R speakers.With my 16R speakers I can tell a massive difference between AWG12 and AWG10 speaker cables. (Hey, I'm bi-cabling with two AWG10 runs!!!) So, not only does the speaker become impossible to drive as impedance drops, but your cable also degrades exponentially. To have GREAT bass from 2R speakers, you will need 8 runs of AWG10 speaker cables to feed it... or, if you want to simulate my setup in a 2R scenario, then it's 16 pairs of cables! (Total AWG00!!!!) That will cost way more than the speakers do. Plus, you need that heavy internal wiring as well. NOT possible to hook up that much to the drivers tiny connectors....
Common example: you have an AWG12 speaker cable, which functions as AWG12 for a 16R speaker. You connect it to a 2R speaker, it will function as an AWG21 cable would for a 16R speaker!!! A mere fraction of a lamp cord. Makes for terrible bass control.
@speakermaster, It has been postulated by others on this forum in the past that the high impedance speaker's decreased manufacturing was due to, 1 The increasing availability in the 1960s of transistor amplifiers that made obtaining more watts much less expensive compared to tube power.
2 A good quality high impedance speaker is relatively more expensive to build and requires more effort. These 2 factors are said to have led the shift to 4 ohm speakers becoming more popular and the default choice. Charles
And seeing as how a speaker requires an amplifier, this is kinda relevant stuff.
The amplifier feeds, the speaker eats. Easy loads makes for a happy amplifier. Hope once this global shutdown eases, that I will get to hear Fritz’s speakers. The Acoustic Reality Series Crossover he uses is quite a simple circuit that helps the amp to see an easy load. I have recently been experimenting with the AR-SXO and using it in a diy speaker. Crazy amount of detail. Phase coherent, time aligned (coax) and easy load combined to generate this level of distortion free detail.
Also told me to order 8ohm. Again, I don't know if my amplifier is happy or not. Even if it had feelings, which it does not, I could not possibly care. It's job is to make me happy. If you think your job is to make your amplifier happy by all means do whatever you think it will take to have it crying tears of joy. Tell it bed time stories. Feed it cookies and hot chocolate.
I don’t think so.. Your leaving out the only part that counts the AMOUNT of the load. It’s a 2 ohm load at what? There is not an unlimited demand, why are you acting like there is an unlimited SUPPLY. Your "cable run" numbers are WAY off.. Your limited by the wall current and 15 or 20 amp breaker.. It’s a supply and demand issue, why are you trying to meet a demand that CAN’T be there.. 100 amp breaker maybe.. LOL
What are you running for amps the old Lincoln torpedo arc welders... ????
In the early 1990’s I worked along side Mark Nazar, the lead designer of the Scintilla at Apogee. He was almost always harping on making sure that the end-user had dedicated, high amperage lines to feed the amps driving his speakers!
You can tell when folks are in over their head as they dismiss the basics and cling to their hard fought, unchanging beliefs. The reality as far as what a low impedance speaker does to the distortion produced by the amp is pretty clear. If you enjoy that distortion, more power (ha) to you. Any system under severe stress, is not operating at its optimum.
Everybody has bought into the same BS. Even Duke, yes Audiokinesis, told me buy the 8 ohm Moab. One small thing however. Pay attention please! I said well, Eric recommends the 4 ohm version, says it sounds better.
And Duke said, (are you paying attention people? Because this is the really important part) he said, "8 ohms is all things being equal, which they never are, the designer knows better if he says 4 go with 4."
There you have it. All the blather, every last bit of it, all it boils down to is a bunch of guys who do not freaking have a clue think they know better than the guy who does this for a living!
Its the armchair electrical engineers vs the guy actually building world class speakers.
Are you all really that arrogant? Or.... is it willful ignorance?
Two different issues, 1 4 ohm speakers are common these days so in that regard nothing out of the ordinary for Tekton to choose that route. If a 4 ohm load is relatively flat and avoids steep phase angles (Particularly at lower frequencies) many amplifiers can manage that. I drove a friend’s 4 ohm Double Impacts with my 300b SET without any problems.
2 The topic of this thread is more specifically referencing 2 ohm nominal speaker loads. This is not a common choice at all and for good reason . Many posters on this thread have givenlogical reasons as to why this is so. Big difference between 2 ohm versus 4 ohm nominal speaker impedance loads.
One is commonplace and the other is rare (For very good reasons). Who has even questioned the 4 ohm Moabs (Probably very similar to the Double Impacts mentioned earlier). It is not the topic as it’s not a 2 ohm load. Charles