Question from a Novice Listener

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mattables

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I am relatively new to the high quality audio world, and I need a little help. I am running a pair of Clarities with a beautifully restored McIntosh (MC2205). This is an older amp, and I have the choice of a 1, 2, 4, or 8 ohm output. The Clarities request 6 ohms, so should I be using the 4 or the 8 ohm to achieve the best sound, and Why? I am using Nordost Flatline cables (10 foot). Thanks for your help.

Mattables
 

Anthony A.

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im not too familiar with mcintosh, but are you saying that you must choose which impedance the amp outputs (such as using a switch)? if this is the case, i would opt for 4 ohms.
 

mattables

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On the back of the old Mac amps, there are separate connections for each output. Right now I have it set on the 4 ohm. I was just wondering why 4 ohm is better than 8 ohm in this case.

mattables
 

DavidG

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4 ohm is good

The thing with MLs, clarities included, is that the impedance varies depending on the frequencies going through the speaker.

The Clarity is listed as a nominal 6ohm, dropping to 1.1ohm at 20kHz(!)

This means that at some point in the frequency curve it will pass through 4ohms, but will never get as high as 8ohm (unless the impedence curve is even more wierd than normal).

I don't know the exact impedance curve for the clarity, but 2ohm would simply be wrong, 'cause it's not going to drop that low until you reach some very high frequencies, so 4 seems like the best match for your system.

Cheers,

David
 

roberto

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trust your ears!...

Hola Mattables. I think that it depends on your liking. Sometimes the 8 ohm tab is more musical than the 4 ohm, and viceversa. Of course, I'm not saying that you should use 8 ohm tab. What I'm saying is play different kind of music thorugh your Clarities and listen the scenario. Play heavy bass music and also strings, wind instruments, vocals and percussion. Listen carefuly and choose the one that you like most. The setting will not harm your speakers or your amp. With tubes, you can match your liking. In a general way, 8 ohm tab will give you more bass than 4 ohm. Try to listen again the scenario, the size of the instruments and not having ping-pong forward-to-back percussion instruments. (too much highs will produce this problem). To my liking, I will do several tests before make a decision. I have the Prodigies now, and I'm using the 4 ohm tabs at my sonic frontiers power 2 amp. When I listen my CLS IIz, I use the 8 ohm tabs...as I said before, it is my liking to set up my speakers in my room this way...and I like a lot the sound that I get from any of them. Trust your ears and have fun!
Happy listening,
Regards from Costa Rica,
Roberto.
 

mattables

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Thanks Roberto

I will try moving them around, but my amp is a solid state.
You said, "With tubes, you can match your liking." Is it harder for a SS amp to run different ohms?

Matt
 

risabet

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mattables said:
Thanks Roberto

I will try moving them around, but my amp is a solid state.
You said, "With tubes, you can match your liking." Is it harder for a SS amp to run different ohms?

Matt
I believe your amp is a transformer coupled SS amp, so my recommendation is to hook up the Clarity's to each tap in turn and find the one that sounds best to you then use that one.
 

roberto

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I agreed with this 100%

risabet said:
I believe your amp is a transformer coupled SS amp, so my recommendation is to hook up the Clarity's to each tap in turn and find the one that sounds best to you then use that one.
Hola Risabet. You are right!. Yes, I think that the best way is to listen the kind of music that we like most or the one that we are listening frequenly...then choose the tab that we like better for our ears...it will not harm the speaker or the amp, setting them in different impedance's tab...so we can use this feature as a sound balance between -bass-mids-highs. Matt, choose the one that you get goose-bumps when listening or tapping your feet with the rithm of the music that you like most...this is a good sing that everything is O.K. Risabet, thank you for your help!
Happy listening and again trust your ears! :) ,
Roberto.
 
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