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Speaker Connection Polarity

Audiolab 6000A Amplifier

rishi.s

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Hi,

Recently bought Jamo s606 and SW300 to go with my Onkyo 509. Am a little confused about the wiring. The Jamo wire that I am using doesn't seem to have any color coding at all to distinguish b/w positive and negative, because of which I can't make out the right polarity when connecting to the back of the AV receiver. I've connected the wires and the speakers seem to be working ok, but was wondering if there's any way to make sure that the wiring polarity is right.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

baijuxavior

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Did you perform audessey auto calibration? Usually this will point out which speakers are connected in reverse polarity. Another way is to use a multimeter or continuity checker to test the cables and mark them appropriately.
 

venkatcr

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The simplest method is as follows.

Take the speaker cables out. Stick a small red tape on one of the leads. Trace the lead all the way to the other end and stick another small red tape there. If your speakers cables are non-black, stick a small black tape to the other two leads. You are done.

If you feel the speaker cables, in some brands, one of the leads will be perfectly circular, and the other squarish. The easiest way is to physically trace the cable.

If the cable has been installed inside walls or something, take the help of an electrician who will use a small battery to test the continuity of a cable. That was, again, you can trace the leads and stick red and black tapes.

Cheers
 

alpha1

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What happens if I reverse the + and - ?
Why should polarity matter to the magnetic drivers?
 

denom

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Jamo wires usually have a + + + sign printed on the positive wire insulation material. Take a close look & find it

:)
 

alpha1

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In fact the more I think about it - the more I feel its the tone nazis who try to force polarity rules on everyone.

+ and - have nothing to do with sound production. Sound is alternations in polarity (physically = push + pull, not either one in isolation).
So why would polarity matter?

Well it may if one speaker is connected in reverse, and another one is connected normally - because these two would be perfectly out of phase then.

But then - in a stereo recording - the stereo effect happens because of inherent phase differences between Left and Right mic/speakers. So, when you invert it - you are still left with a phase difference but with a ? radians lag/lead.
How different does it sound?
This requires an experiment using Audacity
 

SatSon

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In fact the more I think about it - the more I feel its the tone nazis who try to force polarity rules on everyone.

+ and - have nothing to do with sound production. Sound is alternations in polarity (physically = push + pull, not either one in isolation).
So why would polarity matter?

Well it may if one speaker is connected in reverse, and another one is connected normally - because these two would be perfectly out of phase then.

But then - in a stereo recording - the stereo effect happens because of inherent phase differences between Left and Right mic/speakers. So, when you invert it - you are still left with a phase difference but with a ? radians lag/lead.
How different does it sound?
This requires an experiment using Audacity

Consider the case of woofer with the polarity reversed; for a low bass beat, the woofer cone will move backward instead of forward which is the correct movement it is supposed to do, which will ultimately affect the sound quality?
This is my understanding, correct me if I am wrong.
 

SatSon

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Hi,

Recently bought Jamo s606 and SW300 to go with my Onkyo 509. Am a little confused about the wiring. The Jamo wire that I am using doesn't seem to have any color coding at all to distinguish b/w positive and negative, because of which I can't make out the right polarity when connecting to the back of the AV receiver. I've connected the wires and the speakers seem to be working ok, but was wondering if there's any way to make sure that the wiring polarity is right.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Some pair of wires(without +/- marking on the outer) usually has copper colored inner which is + and a silver/chrome colored inner which is -.
(Pardon me if the colors are wrong, I am very bad with identifying colors :)
I have seen many speaker wires like this.
Check your wires for this.
 

alpha1

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Consider the case of woofer with the polarity reversed; for a low bass beat, the woofer cone will move backward instead of forward which is the correct movement it is supposed to do, which will ultimately affect the sound quality?
This is my understanding, correct me if I am wrong.

Speaker don't move backward or forward in one direction only.
They move back and forth.
This back & forth = vibration is what vibrates the air and it reaches our ear - and we hear the sound.

As I said, if one speaker moves back, while another moves forward and vice-versa, then there might be issues - and to analyse what listening issues could be there - I would have to do testing with sound editing software.

Will upload the sound files here - so that everyone can know what all this is about in hearing terms. (and whether it actually makes any difference)
 

SatSon

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Speaker don't move backward or forward in one direction only.
They move back and forth.
This back & forth = vibration is what vibrates the air and it reaches our ear - and we hear the sound.

As I said, if one speaker moves back, while another moves forward and vice-versa, then there might be issues - and to analyse what listening issues could be there - I would have to do testing with sound editing software.

Will upload the sound files here - so that everyone can know what all this is about in hearing terms. (and whether it actually makes any difference)

I know that it'll move in both directions :)
What I was saying is that, if the polarity is reversed, the current will be moving in reverse direction through the voice coil. If current flows in opposite direction, the speaker cone movement will also be in opposite direction, which is not the way it is supposed to oscillate, which affects sound quality.
Also, as you said phase problem will also occur if either L/R speaker is connected reverse.

Troubleshooting section of most of the amp/speaker user manuals advise checking speaker polarity, if the sound lacks bass.
 

alpha1

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I know that it'll move in both directions :)
What I was saying is that, if the polarity is reversed, the current will be moving in reverse direction through the voice coil. If current flows in opposite direction, the speaker cone movement will also be in opposite direction, which is not the way it is supposed to oscillate, which affects sound quality.
Also, as you said phase problem will also occur if either L/R speaker is connected reverse.

Troubleshooting section of most of the amp/speaker user manuals advise checking speaker polarity, if the sound lacks bass.

So finally I did check by reversing polarity on one speaker.
I can tell what reverse polarity does.

When speakers are in phase - the sound appears to come from front. In front of your face.

When speakers are out of phase - the sound appears to come from some weird place. You cannot pin point the source.

This is what makes it weak sounding.
So yes polarity difference between left and right speakers DOES matter.

(Double blind tested - by using software to reverse polarity of one channel of a track)
 
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