Factory Radio Impedance in 1979

Interior and Electrical

  1. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking to replace the single dash mounted speaker but I want to get the right one the first time.
    I've seen universal 8 ohm speakers for older cars, the newer aftermarket stuff all seems to be 4 ohms.
    My car is a 79, not antique but not modern-era either so I'm not sure which one I'll need and there's a 40-50 dollar price difference (per speaker, 8 vs 4 ohm) so a mistake would be expensive.
    I'm not an audiophile, obviously... the mono setup would be unacceptable. But I would like to be able to use the radio without the obnoxious blown speaker racket.
    The head unit is the factory am/fm with green digital display, LED I suppose. It works fine... I have no plans to replace it.
     
  2. Cordoba1

    Cordoba1 Well-Known Member

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    You may use either an 8 Ohm or 4 Ohm speaker. Both would work fine. If the speaker isn't impedance-matched to the radio, the only down side is that you'll lose some efficiency. No harm will come to either your speaker or your radio.
     
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  3. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    I've got 8 ohm speakers in my '79 and they work fine. With the 4 watts per channel of the stock AM/FM, the sound quality isn't exactly good but it gets the job done.
     
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  4. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    That's what I think is called for. Unfortunately they're considered obsolete now and priced accordingly.... you have to go through an "antique radio specialist" vs just buying a 20 or 30 dollar 4 ohm unit through Amazon.
    I hope that's the case. From what I've picked up in my limited "research" today (now I'm done working so I can dig a little deeper) the 8 ohm speakers were designed for a tube-type radio and the 4 ohm work better with more modern solid-state... ? Am I even close?
    I'll buy whatever it needs, that's the tacit agreement we make w ourselves when we start farting around with old stuff. But $20 vs $60 is a jump I'd rather not make if there's little or even no real advantage.
     
  5. volare 77

    volare 77 Well-Known Member

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    I thought I read that the older radios would have issues over time if you use the wrong ohm speaker. I`ll see if I can find that web site. There are places that can upgrade your old radio.
     
  6. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    I must correct myself! I have 4 ohm speakers in my car, not 8 ohm. They're the lowest priced ones that Crutchfield offered in 2011 or so. IIRC all 4 speakers were under $100. If it does cause issues over time, I don't turn the radio on that often in the Aspen anyways. Probably because of the sound quality. Even with modern speakers, bass is only a dream, but I'm fine with that.

    Maybe someone knows, would it sound better with 8 ohm speakers, or does it not matter. It sounds better than it did with the original 35 year old (at the time) speakers ever did. I bought the car in '87 when it was not even 8 years old and it sounded tinny (especially the little dash speakers) and didn't improve over time, lol:p
     
  7. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the newer cars have but in my 05 Ram I had replaced the radio with a new one. I replaced the speakers at the same time. Upon making the deal at trade time I pulled the radio first and put the stock one back in. I tried the radio with with the aftermarket speakers and again after I changed the speakers. The stock radio sounded much better with the aftermarket speekers........
     
  8. volare 77

    volare 77 Well-Known Member

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    Well I have NOS speakers in my volare with a stock radio and the sound is ok at best. One front and two rear speakers I thought maybe it was because they were old. Dunno.
     
  9. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    05 is new. :D

    I'm wondering where the cutoff is. I guess I was thinking that the change from analog to digital was the indicator but that seems not to be the case.

    My radio doesn't get much use either, 15-20 min drive to and from work and even then it's news/talk... that's why I'm satisfied w the single speaker in the dash. I wouldn't mind having a better system, but it's not a priority.
     
  10. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    I sent an email to these guys www.turnswitch.com this morning asking what they suggest. I'll come back and post up what they tell me
     
  11. Cordoba1

    Cordoba1 Well-Known Member

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    It seriously doesn't matter. Impedance is the same as load. The lower the number the greater the load. An 8 Ohm speaker has less of a load on the amplifier as does a 4 Ohm load. Where one would get into trouble is if the over-load the amplifier by putting two many speakers in parallel. Two 8 Ohm speakers wired in parallel will make a 4 Ohm load. Two 8 Ohm speakers in series will create a 16 Ohm load. What you DON'T want to do, is get down to less than 2 Ohms. Seriously, a 4 Ohm load on an 8 Ohm amplifier will cause no issues at all. It simply won't go quite as loud, and I promise you won't notice.

    As an option, if you can find a speaker of the correct size in a junk yard, the yards practically give them away. I do this all the time as OEM speakers are often of higher quality than replacements.

    If you do decide to go with a stereo setup, it is important to get the polarity right. If you have one speaker wired up the opposite way of another, one speaker's bass will cancel out the other. It's called being out-of-phase, and I can detect it instantly. If your radio sounds "weird" as you move your head left and right, try switching the polarity on one of your speakers.
     
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  12. volare 77

    volare 77 Well-Known Member

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  13. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    That's Electro Tech... same guys I emailed this morning. They did get back to me (same day) with a reply.

    Which was, they don't know... '79 is too new for them.