70V vs 8 Ohm Systems

Historically, 70V systems were reserved for large commercial applications, while low impedance systems (6-8 ohm) were considered more “hi-fi”. The ease of wiring, scalability and system cost of 70V has made it a great choice for PA systems and background music, while residential installers have typically preferred 8 ohm for multi-room installations. This overview is designed to help you understand which type to use and when. Let’s take a quick look at the advantages of each:

70V Setup – Episode Landscape 8 Ohm Setup – Episode Landscape 8 Ohm Setup – Episode Terrain
Size - best suited for large systems Size - best suited for smaller systems (fewer than 2 speakers per channel) Size - Low-cost, includes 4 satellite speakers and an 8" burial sub (can be expanded up to 8 speakers)
Wiring - longer runs over smaller gauge wire Flexibility - can be used with common amplifiers and A/V receivers Flexibility - Can be used with common amplifiers and A/V receivers
Scalability - easily add speakers later Power - speakers can handle more power, which is ideal when using fewer speakers at high volume Scalability - Can be expanded up to an 8.2 system
Volume - individual tap settings at each speaker Bass - lower frequency response, especially for subwoofers Bass - Low frequency response
Mono - for large areas with background audio or PA, mono ensures uniform coverage Stereo sound - better sound quality, separation and imaging for critical listening Stereo sound - Good sound quality, separation and imaging for critical listening

Hybrid Systems (Episode Landscape)

Some systems use a combination of both 70V and 8 ohm to create a hybrid solution. Episode Landscape, for example, combines the versatility and simplicity of 70V satellite speakers with the power and performance of 8 ohm subwoofers. Unlike their 70V counterparts low impedance subs do not require a large transformer, resulting in superior performance, deeper frequency response and increased power handling. Combine your Episode system with a versatile two channel 70V/8 ohm Crown amplifier for a no-compromise solution that supports the best of both worlds.

Landscape System Design and Installation Guide

8 Ohm System (Episode Terrain)

The Episode Terrain Landscape Speaker System is a low-cost landscape system that includes four 4" satellite speakers and an 8" burial subwoofer. This system is designed for 8-ohm applications, making it perfect for use with a standard multi-channel or 2-channel amplifier. It can be expanded up to an 8.2 system, but remember that changing the number of speakers and subwoofers will alter the nominal impedance on the amplifier.

70V System Wiring

Follow the guidelines below for 70V systems:

  • Wiring: always run in parallel (+ to + and - to -)
  • Wattage: calculate the total amplifier wattage needed by adding the speaker tap settings, then add 20% to account for line loss. Choose an amplifier with an appropriate rating to power the system.
  • Type: 18-gauge or 16-guage wire is typically sufficient for 70V systems

8 Ohm System Wiring

There are a variety of ways to wire, including series, parallel or even complex combinations of the two. Our video below is a great primer and other calculators are readily available online.

8 Ohm Wiring Recommendations:
For 8 ohm systems, performance can be drastically impacted by the wire gauge used. As a rule of thumb for speakers, use 16 gauge or larger for wire runs up to 100 feet, while 14 gauge wire is best for runs up to 200 feet. For subwoofers or high power applications step to the next largest size (i.e. 14 gauge wire up to 100 feet and 12 gauge up to 200 feet).