Does Your Guitar Amp Sound Better At 4, 8 Or 16 Ohms?

Published 19 Jun 2020

Take the same guitar amp, same speakers, same cabinet: does the sound change when you wire for 4, 8 and 16-ohm output impedance?

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Welcome to the show. It’s a super tweaky one this week. We spend most of our time on That Pedal Show talking about the Big Things that affect tone – different guitars, amps and pedals as you would expect, plus all the various things within those categories, for example pickups, components, wattage, gain, EQ, speakers etc etc etc. Well here we’re getting a little more nuanced.
You might think that your amp’s output impedance is one of those things that makes no difference – you just plug in the cab and play, right? If it’s a combo, it’s probably always just plugged in and you’ve never given it a second thought. As we discover in this video, the differences are there. Do you care?
Enjoy the show!

SAFETY WARNING: When dealing with amplifier output impedance and speaker matching, IT IS VITAL that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Failing to do so could risk voiding your warranty and/or causing damage to your amp.

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• Sonic Research ST-200 Tuner (link for the ST 300 Mini)

• Greer Lightspeed
UK & Europe:

• ThorpyFX Warthog
UK & Europe:

• Walrus Audio Ages
UK & Europe:

• Strymon Compadre Compressor Boost
UK & Europe:

• Dunlop EP103 Echoplex
UK & Europe:

• TC Electronic Ditto
UK & Europe:

• MXR Clone Looper
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 00:00
- What are we doing today?: 02:00
- What is impedance?: 04:50
- Speakers & loads: 07:30
- But does is sound different?: 10:40
- Matchless 4- and 16-ohm comparison: 13:35
- Do you prefer 4 or 16 ohms?: 19:15
- Marshall at 4- and 16-ohm comparison: 23:55
- What have we learned so far?: 30:45
- Impedance mismatches: 32:00
- Mesa Lone Star comparison: 33:10
- Mesa at 4- and 8-ohm mismatch: 35:47
- What about 100 watts?: 38:22
- What have we learned today?: 39:38

Guitars in this episode:
• 2002 PRS McCarty Soapbar – Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop ’52 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at

Amps in this episode
• Marshall 1987x with Custom Zilla 2x12 / Celestion Alnico Ruby speakers

• Matchless HC-30 with Matchless ESD212 / Customised Celestion G12H30 and Celestion G12M Greenback speakers

• Mesa Lone Star Classic 112 / Mesa C90 speaker

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