Effect Ohms Have on db and Speaker Sensitivity

My speakers are rated at 97db into 6 Ohms.

Is there a mathematical equation to determine the sensitivity at 8 Ohms?

Thank you,

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Still 97dB, assuming the manufacturer is using the conventional definition of sensitivity -- 97dB at one watt measured at one meter. For a 6 ohm impedance, the voltage for one watt is 2.4 volts. When the impedance swings to 8 ohms then 2.83 volts is one watt of power consumed and 97db SPL will still be measured at one meter.

How exactly do you plan on changing the nominal impedance of the speaker? That is what the 6 ohms means and that's not changing. 
First, be aware no spec gets fudged more than sensitivity! :) Most speakers are rated 3-5 dB higher than they actually are.

dB at 1W / 1m is "efficiency" and varies by load impedance, which as stated above, is 2.83V at 8 Ohms. Think of it as "power efficiency." With modern SS amps this is a meaningless measure really. You want sensitivity.

dB at 2.83V / 1m regardless of load (and therefore regardlesss of power) is "sensitivity." Again, think of this as "voltage sensitivity" to try to remember why they are not the same.  This measurement makes more sense, since most speakers impedance varies WIDELY at different Hz. Measuring between say 6 to 20 Ohms in the same speaker is quite typical. I don't really care about how much power is being dissipated at 2,450 Hz as much as how loud it will get with a 40 Watt amplifier.

Also, the exact Hz at which the dB are measured varies. I use 1 kHz, but some manufacturers may try to eyeball it.
As Kosst alluded to the question is somewhat unclear. But **if** you are asking what the difference in SPL would be on a per watt basis between an 8 ohm speaker rated at 97 db/2.83 volts/1 meter and a 6 ohm speaker rated at 97 db/2.83 volts/1 meter, and assuming those specs are accurate (which is often a bad assumption, as Erik indicated), the calculation would be as follows:

Power into a resistive load = Voltage squared/Resistance


2.83 volts into 8 ohms = (2.83 x 2.83)/8 = 1 watt

2.83 volts into 6 ohms = (2.83 x 2.83)/6 = 1.335 watts

The ratio of two amounts of power, expressed in db, is:

db = 10 x log(P1/P2), where "log" is the base 10 logarithm.

10 x log(1.335/1) = 1.25 db.

So if both speakers are provided with the same number of watts the 6 ohm speaker would produce an SPL that is 1.25 db lower than the SPL produced by the 8 ohm speaker, if both have sensitivities of 97 db/2.83 volts/1 meter.

-- Al

I'm not sure if this is why you could be confused, but some driver manufacturers do offer 2 versions of the same woofer: an 8 and 4 Ohm.

The 4 Ohm allows twice the current to flow in the coil, which means 2x the power for the same V will be dissipated. The advantage in this particular case, everything else being equal, is the 4 Ohm version gains 3 dB of sensitivity.

It is only in this type of situation, where everything except the voice coil impedance is the same, that we can generalize and say that 4 Ohm versions are more sensitive. We cannot take this and compare drivers in general even within the same manufacturer. The magnetic strength, gap, weight, cone diameter, suspension, all come into play.
Thank you for all the feedback.

Thanks to Almarg for the math lesson.

Maybe I should have started by stating my issue:

I have speakers with 97db efficiency into nominal 6 Ohms. I'm running a pair of 300B mono amps......about 8 watts. 

I thought that 97db speakers at 6 Ohms would be efficient enough for the 300B's to really "sing,"  however, they lack the bass depth and slam that we all enjoy.

I may need a bit more power, or a speaker that is 97db into 8+ Ohms.
Try the 4 ohm taps if it's got them. 
8 Ohm taps only.....unfortunately.
There are a many possible causes of the symptoms you have described that are more likely to be responsible for the issue than the fact that the speakers have a 6 ohm nominal impedance instead of an 8 ohm nominal impedance. One such factor being how the impedance of the particular speaker varies from its nominal value over the frequency range. Another possible factor being the output impedance of the particular amp and how it interacts with the variation of speaker impedance over the frequency range.  Another possible factor being an impedance incompatibility between the preamp and the amp.

More power may not be the answer either.

What I suggest is that you indicate the specific make and model of the speakers, the amp, and the preamp or other component that is driving the amp. Some idea of the kind of music you listen to, how loud you listen, room size, and listening distance may also be helpful. Hopefully that information will enable us to provide suggestions that focus on your specific situation.

-- Al
Hello Almarg,

I wanted to get back to you after I tried a couple things.

While it did not solve 100% of the issue, I did get 60% of the desired result by lowering the noise floor with an Entreq Silver Minimus Ground Box + an Eartha cable.

I am able to now turn up the volume about 1 to 1.5 clicks, drive the speakers a bit better, without sacrificing clarity.

Not cheap, but a nice tweak.