1. “I don’t need to know the difference between 70-volt and 8-ohm audio systems.”
70-volt systems, in truth, can simplify your audio system needs in many ways. 70-volt audio systems allow you to use more speakers than traditional 8-ohm audio systems by minimizing the need for impedance calculations and specialized wiring techniques. 70-volt systems can allow you to run high numbers of speakers on one cable run, daisy-chaining speakers along the way and dialing in exactly what wattage goes to each speaker.
2. “70-volt speaker systems are expensive.”
Due to the transformer within 70-volt mixer/amplifiers and the transformer on the speakers, 70-volt systems do have a slightly higher price point. However, they can save you money by letting you use smaller gauge cables and allowing you to tack on speakers after the original installation. As a business owner, if you install 8-ohm speakers throughout your space and you decide to add on another pair of speakers after the fact, you may drop the impedance of your amplifier to dangerously low loads. This increases the risk of blowing speakers or burning up amplifiers. In fact, to add on to an 8-ohm system correctly, many times we have to go back to the drawing board and revisit the system design entirely.
3. “70-volt speakers are old or outdated.”
This myth stems from the fact that, in many factories or commercial spaces, you can see 70-volt speakers that were installed decades ago. Old speakers in a space may seem like a negative, but in many ways it is a positive. Commercial, 70-volt speakers are designed in order to last for decades despite running for hours every day. 70-volt systems consist of commercial grade, professional products that are designed to work for you, much unlike your home receiver that may be designed to run for a few hours a day and then rest. Think of a 70-volt speaker like a car, these are not designed to break down after a few 100,000 miles, but built to last.
4. “70-volt speakers don’t sound as good.”
This myth is based on a few factors. First, it is true that there is a degree of what is called “insertion loss” or “saturation”, this is frequency response that is lost going to and from the transformer. However, the biggest names in audio have devoted billions of dollars to research with some of the brightest minds in audio to make commercial speakers as musical as possible. If comparing the sound, most listeners would be hard-pressed to decipher a quality 70-volt speaker from an 8-ohm.
5. “70-volt systems are difficult to install.”
70-volt systems are far easier to install than 8-ohm systems. Stringing together numerous 70-volt speakers is much simpler than designing, wiring, and troubleshooting systems that incorporate complex series-parallel techniques, which require intense devotion to detail and electrical knowledge.
6. “70-volt systems are just for background level music.”
Many 70-volt speakers have tap settings or wattages capable of high-volume, foreground level output. Most 70-volt speakers are extraordinarily efficient, sensitive, and can reproduce high audio output levels at lower wattage settings than you may anticipate. For example, if an in-ceiling speaker is rated at 90 decibels at 1 watt at 1 meter, in a 10’ ceiling at a 25-watt tap, this speaker is quickly approaching volumes that the OHSA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulates.
7. “70-volt systems are complicated.”
This is by far the least founded myth of this list. 70-volt installations and designs are far from complicated, they may just seem counter-intuitive as most people’s audio knowledge stems from home or car audio. 70-volt systems require a different way of thinking, a way that many of our in-house sales team and techs are well-versed in. We can answer any questions that you may have about these types of systems to help deliver the quality audio products you need for your project. You have an asset with us in the world of audio, be it in 70-volt or 8-ohm, just let us know how we can best serve your audio needs.