(Topic ID: 233805)

Stern Spike Speakers and Ohms

By pindude80

5 years ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Good-Times
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

You

#1 5 years ago

I've upgraded speakers on my past Sam systems with good results and thought it would be a good idea to upgrade the speakers on my Iron Maiden. When I went to inspect the cabinet speaker I saw it was 4ohm so I ordered a 4ohm cabinet speaker and 4ohm backbox speakers. Yesterday when I went to install the backbox speakers I saw they were 8ohm and not 4ohm like the cabinet speaker.

I hooked everything up and switched the settings for both the backbox and cabinet speaker to 4ohms. I noticed that I was barely getting anything out of the cabinet speaker but if I switched the setting to 8ohm it came to life! For the backbox speakers set on 4 ohm I have to crank the volume up pretty high, 35 or more, to get good volume, but with the factory speakers it was pretty loud at 11 or so. Do I have my settings right for the speakers I have? Do I need to go back to 8ohm speakers for the backbox?

#2 5 years ago

If I recall, the backbox speakers are wired in parallel. So, two 4 ohm speakers in parallel would be TWO ohms. That's way too low of impedance for the amplifier circuitry.

#3 5 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

If I recall, the backbox speakers are wired in parallel. So, two 4 ohm speakers in parallel would be TWO ohms. That's way too low of impedance for the amplifier circuitry.

I had the same thought, but wondered if changing the setting to 4ohm took care of that problem.

#4 5 years ago

Also, I would like to know if the factory setting for the cabinet speaker is 8ohm or 4ohm since it's a 4ohm speaker. The reason I am asking this is because it seems to me I remember seeing the factory setting as 8ohm but don't remember for sure and I hardly getting anything out of my cabinet speaker on the 4ohm setting.

#5 5 years ago

I would be using 8 ohm backbox speakers. That's what the factory used.

#6 5 years ago

You could overdrive the amp if you use 4ohm speakers and set it to 8ohm in settings, and go past half volume. I experienced sound cut outs when I did this.

#7 5 years ago

I've found discrepancies between Spike1 and Spike2 hardware.

Spike1 boards use 4 ohm backbox speakers and 8 ohm cabinet speaker.

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from spidey:

You could overdrive the amp if you use 4ohm speakers and set it to 8ohm in settings, and go past half volume. I experienced sound cut outs when I did this.

I had that thought also about overworking the amp. I think I'm going to stick with leaving both backbox and cabinet settings at 4ohm for now unless someone tells me differently. I am still curious what the factory cabinet speaker setting is. I would think it should be 4 ohm since that's what the speaker is but I don't know for sure since I've changed mine and it doesn't have a "factory setting" labeled for either of the settings.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

I've found discrepancies between Spike1 and Spike2 hardware.
Spike1 boards use 4 ohm backbox speakers and 8 ohm cabinet speaker.

Weird, and Spike 2 is the opposite; 8 ohm backbox speakers and 4 ohm cabinet speaker.

#10 5 years ago

When I was searching around I found this in the read me when code was updated to 1.01: Supported speaker types are "8 OHM" and "4 OHM".
The amplifier power curve is appropriately adjusted for the selected speaker type.

So, I guess it's ok to run 4 ohm speakers, even in parallel as I understand they are wired from the factory, as long as the settings are set correctly.

1 year later
#11 3 years ago

There is a thread discussion about speaker replacement in a JP, and the consensus is the current JP Pro/Prem machines use 4-inch 8ohm back box, while the JP-LE version uses 5-1/4 inch 4ohm speakers! So it appears the SPIKE2 hardware is INTENDED to support either 4 or 8 ohm speakers in the back-box, which is settable. What type of speakers did you settle on?

1 week later
#12 3 years ago

Does anyone know the sensitivity of factory stern speakers? Specifically this is a jp premium, so the newer ones. I'm trying to understand all of this speaker information and one thing I've picked up is you need an efficient speaker for pinball machines. If you don't have an efficient speaker and you only replace the cab speakers with inefficient speakers, the balance between cab and backbox will be messed up. The only way around that is to add resistors (or get new speakers), but I have no idea how many ohms of resistance I would need to add because I don't know the sensitivity of stern speakers. According to Amazon the speakers I bought have a sensitivity of 82 dB

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Does anyone know the sensitivity of factory stern speakers? Specifically this is a jp premium, so the newer ones. I'm trying to understand all of this speaker information and one thing I've picked up is you need an efficient speaker for pinball machines. If you don't have an efficient speaker and you only replace the cab speakers with inefficient speakers, the balance between cab and backbox will be messed up. The only way around that is to add resistors (or get new speakers), but I have no idea how many ohms of resistance I would need to add because I don't know the sensitivity of stern speakers. According to Amazon the speakers I bought have a sensitivity of 82 dB

Contact pinwoofer, amazing difference

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from Hayfarmer:

Contact pinwoofer, amazing difference

I'm cheap, I know there are quality systems out there. Not interested though

#15 3 years ago

Ok, u don't know what yr missing

#16 3 years ago

i upgraded my games to the LE speakers in the back box, anyone have a recommended Spike 2 Sub replacement?

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

If you don't have an efficient speaker and you only replace the cab speakers with inefficient speakers

Easy. Don’t replace them with inefficient speakers. Haha. Sorry I have no idea what you mean here.

Also since these new games don’t need color dmd, put that money towards Pinwoofer. Haha. Better than any topper you’ll see as well. And way less expensive.

1 month later
#18 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Does anyone know the sensitivity of factory stern speakers? Specifically this is a jp premium, so the newer ones. I'm trying to understand all of this speaker information and one thing I've picked up is you need an efficient speaker for pinball machines. If you don't have an efficient speaker and you only replace the cab speakers with inefficient speakers, the balance between cab and backbox will be messed up. The only way around that is to add resistors (or get new speakers), but I have no idea how many ohms of resistance I would need to add because I don't know the sensitivity of stern speakers. According to Amazon the speakers I bought have a sensitivity of 82 dB

I'm not sure, but 82dB is ridiculously insensitive and you'd certainly need an external amp to drive them properly imo. I just purchased some new 5 1/4" coax speakers fo upgrade my Pro, and found some at 93dB. My guess is, much like cheaper car audio speakers, that the stock speakers are very efficient and most likely above 90dB to allow for the weak af in-built amplifier.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Good-Times:

I'm not sure, but 82dB is ridiculously insensitive and you'd certainly need an external amp to drive them properly imo. I just purchased some new 5 1/4" coax speakers fo upgrade my Pro, and found some at 93dB. My guess is, much like cheaper car audio speakers, that the stock speakers are very efficient and most likely above 90dB to allow for the weak af in-built amplifier.

It's perhaps better to discuss speakers for pinball in your own words rather than trying to compare speaker specs, since most folks won't really care as much about rated efficiency or sensitivity. I would suggest that what they care about is :
1) Is the sound quality of the game good? Does the audio sound crisp as it should be, and can they feel the lows. Do voices sound natural? Are sound effects believeable?
2) Is the volume enough for the space you are playing the machine? In a small room, you typically need less volume, but in a larger room you could use more.

Best to describe what you are hearing (or not hearing) and then decide what to do and see what others are doing...

#20 3 years ago

Hey dudes.

You can control the balance between the backbox and cabinet speakers with the balance menu setting. I believe all of the Spike-2 systems have this feature. Also, Spike-2 is Stereo (SAM is mono) which means you can run either 4 Ohm or 8 Ohm, cabinet or backbox speakers regardless of trim pack. I've seen some mention of guys running a dual voice-coil cabinet speaker using the stock amp (i.e. from the MPU board). This is a no-no if you run 4 Ohm voice coils in parallel because you'll be presenting the amplifier with a 2 Ohm load and this will likely cause heating and premature wear-out of the amplifier section of the MPU board (a.k.a. the de-rated clock radio amplifier).

Finally, totally agree - PinWoofer is the way to go!

1 week later
#21 3 years ago
Quoted from Markharris2000:

It's perhaps better to discuss speakers for pinball in your own words rather than trying to compare speaker specs, since most folks won't really care as much about rated efficiency or sensitivity. I would suggest that what they care about is :
1) Is the sound quality of the game good? Does the audio sound crisp as it should be, and can they feel the lows. Do voices sound natural? Are sound effects believeable?
2) Is the volume enough for the space you are playing the machine? In a small room, you typically need less volume, but in a larger room you could use more.
Best to describe what you are hearing (or not hearing) and then decide what to do and see what others are doing...

I disagree. We need to discuss speakers that suit the pinball machine's amplifier. Everything else can come later (tonal preferences). I assure you if you offer your machine's amp an 82dB 4ohm speaker, you will hear next-no-nothing and your amplifier will most likely not last long. The cheap speakers most commonly used, are selected to suit a low-powered amplifier module on the audio board. So in order to improve the sound without additional amplification, you will need to meet or exceed the stock speaker sensitivity rating (rated in decibels at 1w at 1m). At a guess this would be between 88 and 91 from the factory. I would select 88db as an absolute minimum. This is the first spec you need to look at when selecting a speaker. Then if it's Spike 1 you most likely want an 8ohm driver (uncommon) or Spike 2 is fine with 8 or 4ohm drivers. Then and only then can you look to the other specs such as frequency response, your favourite colour etc etc.

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