SH Spotlight Reversing red/black speaker wires. Polarity vs. Phase...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JPartyka, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    That's funny. Better tell Clark. He'll set them straight!

    But I was indeed wondering WHY they had that feature. It couldn't have been for us Audiophiles...
  2. Paul L.

    Paul L. New Member

    Well, one handy use I found for it: I made a CDR the other day of an LP, and there was a very bad "pimple" in the vinyl that resisted all attempts at cleaning. It made the stylus jump about three grooves when it hit it. I borrowed a cassette of it that my brother had made many years earlier of the same LP. At that time the "pimple" caused only a slight tick.

    I adjusted pitch and volume and was going to make the insert edit when I realized that the LP and cassette were opposite polarities. So all I had to do was invert the little piece I used from the cassette.
  3. FabFourFan

    FabFourFan Forum Resident

    Amazing! And neat!

    I was wondering what made you realize that the LP and the cassette were in opposite polarities? Was it because you heard a noticeable difference?
  4. Paul L.

    Paul L. New Member

    What made me notice it was strictly visual, when I was going to precisely join the waveforms. In order to do that you have to find the exact same waveforms and then join them so that there is no overlap and nothing missing either. The best way I've found is to look for something in the waveform that visually sticks out, something unique.

    So, in this case when I was looking to make a seamless edit, I noticed that where one particularly noticeable portion of a wave went up on the LP, on the cassette the same spot went down the same amount. By inverting the edit piece, I could see immediately that it had been flipped, relative to my LP transfer.

    I'm talking about getting the edit *precisely* right, not just pretty close, or a hundredth of a second close, or a thousandth of a second close, but right smack on. (I grant that it's not really possible to have it accurate to the millionth of a second or something like that, but a great edit is absolutely undectable, and a fair one is detectable only if you know what to listen for and exactly when. A fair edit is only acceptable when you've actually got some information missing in between and so it's impossible to join the music seamlessly.)

    The little I listened to in this instance of the insert edit, before flipping it, I did not detect any sound difference in the audio.
  5. DanG

    DanG On Green Dolphin Street

    What is so amazing to me about this thread is the idea that just by reversing the plug, or switching a wire, we can effect a startling change to the sound our systems are producing. Jeff and Dave reported positive results. Humorem (Tom) encouraged us to test. So I did.

    Humorem recommended: ... if you put on a nice vocal and you don't get a rock solid, correctly sized singer with a chest, then try reversing the plugs in the wall one at a time until you do.

    I used Nat King Cole Greatest Love Songs, XRCD2. I played with reversing the plug on my integrated amp (amp + preamp). One way sounded OK. But the other way snapped everything into place, so I got that "chest". Amazing.

    My twenty-year-old CD player died mid-experiment. Tom had earlier noted I should really hear a difference reversing the plug on the CD player. I found I had the CD player plugged into a switched outlet on the back of the integrated amp, so I spent an hour reorganizing all my plugs directly into the power strip. And then the Cd player went kaput. My new CD player has one wide blade on the plug so I'll need a cheater to play with that.

    Another important change I've made to my system is speaker placement. I was into following up minor tweaks that produced major results. I felt my system was correctly phased but I wasn't getting everything out of my right speaker. I checked the literature and it recommends having a smaller distance between the speakers than from the speakers to the listener. I was about the same distance each way, so I moved the speakers closer together. Voila! All of a sudden my right speaker is really there.

    THANKS Tom, Steve, Jeff, everybody.
  6. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA

    I have often visited friends who had their speakers too widely separated. I think it is natural to plonk the speakers down when they first arrive a bit too far apart.

    Experimentation is the key as driver integration, polar dispersion characteristics, room interaction, listener placement etc are different in each system.

  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

  8. JP Christian

    JP Christian Forum Resident

    Well having heard the new 'Skylarking' - my mind had been opened to the possibilities of other recordings out there with their 'absolute polarity' reversed.

    On the skylarking thread there was only one guy who hated the new version and claimed it was much worse - perhaps his system might be in need of reversing? :hide:
  9. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    I originally had my speakers at 5 feet apart but ended up using the Deep Forest 1992 CD as a guide and eventually was happy at 7, for phase toe in used Steve's recommendation on some old mono kinks :cheers:
    Steve Hoffman likes this.
  10. JP Christian

    JP Christian Forum Resident

    My test is, again thanks to our host pointing it out - listen to Waterloo Sunset in Stereo. Backing vocals in surround sound!

    It's official - the Kinks invented 'Q-sound' - by accident!
    c-eling and Steve Hoffman like this.
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Wow, great old thread. Patrick RIP.

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