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SH Spotlight SH Forum members: Are your speakers in correct phase?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Ah, I see. I'll double-check, then.
  2. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Forum Resident

    London, England
    Just noticed this thread, very interesting stuff. Thought I understood this subject, but was not aware about the directional nature (and which way the writing goes) on speaker cable. Found that one of my speakers had this the wrong way round.

    Additional question, if anyone can help....

    My speakers are Mordaunt Short Aviano 1XR with a Cambridge Audio AM10 amp (with Project Debut SEII deck and Pioneer DV-565A SACD player). There are two speaker cable attachments on the back of the speakers, LF and HF. Which should I be using?
  3. Simon_LDT

    Simon_LDT Forum Resident

    England, UK
    Amazed that people actually get this wrong. I mean, it's pretty much common sense, right? When you plug in a cable you trail it and plug it in the correct socket/terminal the other end.
  4. fluffskul

    fluffskul Would rather be at a concert

    albany, ny
    Yeah but many people (myself included) didn't innately realize that speaker cable/RCA connects had a correct direction, as they will "work" either way.
  5. OldShiftyEyes

    OldShiftyEyes Forum Resident

    Thank you for reposting this, Steve. I have unmarked wires so I tried the mono Beatles test and it was absolutely obvious I was out of phase. Everything snapped to the center as soon as I fixed it. Sounds beautiful now.
  6. Simon_LDT

    Simon_LDT Forum Resident

    England, UK
    I should clarify that I was referring to making sure the + connects to the + and - to the - . Just seems so simple to me.
  7. charlie W

    charlie W EMA Level 8

    San Antonio
    A few days ago, I cleaned the shelves on my audio rack by removing all the components. I connected everything back as usual and everything worked. Today, just out of curiosity, I checked the speaker cables. Everything was in phase but I had the channels reversed!
  8. gazatthebop

    gazatthebop Forum Resident

    My initial thought was why would i own a mono cd ever? But. Yes i do have Past Masters!!.

    I spent some time working for a sound engineer, his dad was based at a UK radar station at the start of WW2 and he sometimes went with as a bored teenager. Without his dad's knowledge he'd built a piece of equipment at home that he installed at his dad's station knowing it would improve the range of the radar, housed in a hidden wood box ...it worked. It was soon discovered one radar station had better performance than the rest around the coast and the bored teenager having been found out, was fast-tracked to a very distinguished career, ending up at the bbc. One day i told him i'd just bought silver speaker wire, he smiled and called it a gimmick saying he used lighting cable!
  9. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Isn't this a contradiction in terms? (Not that I understand this whole phase thing anyway.)
  10. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Forum Resident

    Pleasantville, NY
    I am happy to report that I am in phase (I would like to think that I am always in phase :winkgrin:). Since my c-j preamp inverts absolute phase I have had my red and black switched at the monoblock for each channel since day one. :)
  11. charlie W

    charlie W EMA Level 8

    San Antonio
    No. The right speaker was attached to the left channel amp terminals and the left speaker was on the right.
  12. Jerquee

    Jerquee Take this, brother, may it serve you well.

    New York
    Considering the strong opinions on this board, their speakers better be hooked up in phase!
    sgb likes this.
  13. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Just to issue a disclaimer: I am not technically minded at all, but can someone explain how you can be in phase and have the direction of the cables wrong? I know there is this thing where some amps start off reversed (absolute phase??), but there seems to be two types of phase here. I did read most of the threads here, but now I am right royally confused. I find it hard to imagine, as a bit of a newbie here, how anyone here (because I know most everyone here knows their stuff) could be listening in the wrong way like this. It would be great if someone could explain in relative layman's terms what the difference is - and if biwiring (which I have) makes a difference with phase. I actually really need to know what correct phase is - helpful as Steve's original post.

    One thing I will admit: I've yet to go back and reverse-wire my speakers since I re-wired correctly. Maybe after a few months of listening in the correct way, I will hear a difference.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    You are going to confuse people here. You are talking about "Absolute Polarity". Something different (as I mentioned in my first post).

    Read more on the subject by reading "The Wood Effect" by my buddy Clark Johnson.




    And so on.

    This has nothing to do with making sure your speakers are in correct phase. This can come later, after you know what you're doing.
  15. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Thanks, I'll read up. Thanks for the references, and sorry for any confusion.:oops:
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    It just might confuse others, that's all. We all learn at our own rate of speed here..
  17. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Right. Re-reading your original post yet again, I can see how the above could have confused. I am reasonably certain I am in speaker phase as regards the direction of the cables (your original point 1); I have to find a way to check if I have absolutely polarity (your orignal point 2, when you wrote 'if you have an "audiophile" type line stage or premap, and know for sure or have read in the manual that your line stage or preamp inverts phase (absolute phase, not the phase that I'm talking about in post number one) you must do the following ...'. (That will be a bit harder as my instruction manual is in Japanese.) I am learing here all the time. :agree:
    Steve Hoffman likes this.
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Just note, don't lose sleep over this. Why? I'd say that at least 50% of all recorded music out there has something that has the wrong polarity in the actual recording. Sometimes (as in the case of multi-track recording), one instrument will be in correct AP and another NOT. Can drive you nuts....

    My point being is that if you switch polarity, the OTHER instruments on your recording will then be out. So on many records and disks, there is no right way...
    dhoffa85 likes this.
  19. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Got you, and I do have a very basic system (not to mention rather untried ears as far as the audiophile world goes).
  20. mikaal

    mikaal Sociopathic Nice Guy

    May have missed if this has been asked and answered already, but...my monster cable quite by luck, has the writing in the correct direction, but my red "ends" are the ones without the writing. The guy who sold me my wire connected my alligator clips for me and he has put the black ends on the strands with the brand writing on it. Does this present a problem or if black to black and red to red is observed is it all cool? I can't believe I am asking this after forty odd years of knowing about in/out of phase!!!
  21. mikaal

    mikaal Sociopathic Nice Guy

    ...also my interconnects from amp to cd player have no writing on them at all (red to red etc is fine).
    Is this as important as the speaker leads?
  22. frimleygreener

    frimleygreener "It 'a'int why...it just is"

    united kingdom
    just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons: "left speaker/right speaker".. is that "left" as in your listening position,or "left" as in where you would expect a lead guitarist to "appear" on the sound stage?
  23. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Buffalo, NY
    I have an in-phase out-phase track on a test record that is useful.

    Can anyone mention any records that were produced out of phase on accident?

    I have an integrated arriving today that has a polarity switch. Should be interesting.
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    All fine, no worries.
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    No need to worry.

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