4ohms or 8ohms for refurbished WATT/Puppy 5.1's?


I'm hoping for some guidance here.  I have a McIntosh MC2100, McIntosh C28, and WATT/Puppy 5.1's (7 tweeter and 6 midrange, they are refurbished).

My question is, on my MC2100 there are posts for 4ohms, 8ohms, and 16ohms, and I'm not sure which posts I should be using.  The seller told me they are 6ohm speakers, but that still doesn't do much in terms of helping me understand which one to use.  

I have done some research and listened at both 4ohms and 8ohms, and it seems like 4ohms may sound a tad better. 

I am not very well versed in this realm, so any insight would be very much appreciated!


If the 4 ohm tap sounds better us them!

In summary, the 4-ohm tap has a lower output impedance because it’s closer to the primary winding, allowing for efficient power transfer. Experiment with both taps to find the best match for your specific setup!

The 4 ohm tap has half the copper windings of the 8 ohm tap. Use whatever sounds better.

The rule of thumb is to try them. Like positioning, it is a suggested starting point.


i would start with the one you immediately think sounds best and leave for a couple months. This will allow you to really get to know the sound. Then switch. If the change is not obvious, leave there for a couple weeks and switch. Doing really slow changes will allow you to listen to the music… all kinds and really know the sound before changing. It is likely the best will stick out like this.

Thanks everyone!  I was unsure if it would potentially cause issues with the MC2100 but sounds like it won't.  I am going to keep it at 4ohms for a while and listen before switching back to try 8ohms, since I've had it on 8ohms since I got it all working.

It does not matter, as far as safe operation is concerned.  The 4 ohm tap would probably work best with difficult/demanding loads and almost all Wilson speakers are that kind of load regardless of their efficiency.  

@OP. I'm not sure about the 5.1, but the original series 5 had a couple of severe impedance dips in the bass, including one at 100Hz where there is a lot of energy. But it also had a rising impedance from 5K onward, so it's idiosyncratic. So the best bet is to listen to both taps on a wide variety of music and see which sounds best.

@simonphoenix sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I think you could certainly get an improvement from an amplifier upgrade. As one suggestion, Passlabs amplifiers work well with Wilsons as they have lots of current and are fairly forgiving tonally. Current Mcintosh gear is pretty good too though personally I think Passlabs bests it for sound quality. There are other choices as well, of course. However, I do think that for that generation of Wilsons, a quality Class A solid state amp is the sweet spot.