The Importance Of Impedance

Published on
January 19, 2021 12:20:57 PM PST January 19, 2021 12:20:57 PM PSTth, January 19, 2021 12:20:57 PM PST

Electrical impedance can be a tricky subject to understand if a) you are not very tech savvy or b) it is explained in too technical a fashion.The following article will attempt to put an easy spin on electrical impedance and help you understand why it is important when it comes to selecting certain components for your setup.


In order to avoid confusion, we are only going to go so deep here.So, in simplest terms, you can think of impedance as resistance.Where a resistor creates “resistance” to the flow of a current, it is not the only electrical component that causes resistance to happen.Think of “impedance” as the overall resistance of ALL the components in a given circuit.


One other thing to remember is that impedance is measured in a time-varying and voltage-varying audio signal.If you have ever hooked up a multimeter to your speaker leads to confirm the impedance of the speaker and seen a funny looking number, the above is the reason why.Your multimeter is applying a fixed voltage to the lead in an effort to measure it, which is why your reading doesn’t simply come across as a straightforward “8 ohms.”


In the amp world, most people are typically concerned with impedance as it pertains to speaker/amp pairings.This is a valid concern as a mismatch could mean certain detriment to your amplifier over time.In general, it is always best to ensure that your amp’s impedance matches that of your speaker : 8 ohms with 8 ohms, 16 ohms with 16 ohms, so on and so forth.  In the short term, if for any reason you have to have a mismatched load, this is okay and it may simply drive your tubes harder.In the long run however, it is highly recommended that you have a matched pairing, otherwise you could cause legitimate damage to your output section in one way or another.


There are a ton of informative articles out there regarding impedance, what it is, how it works, and the every little detail you may need to know about it.For those who, want to dig deeper, the world is your oyster.But for those who simply need to know what is safe and what is not, you’re a seasoned veteran now!