L600 Polarity Issue

Hello Polk Community and Support,

I recently purchased a pair of the Polk L600's. Was very excited and hooked them up right away. Hooked them up to my Emotiva DR2 Amp (which has only the RCA inputs being used from the pre-amp).

Upon running my Denon pre-amp Multi EQ I received a message the front two channels were out of phase vs the remaining of my 5.2 setup.

Through some testing, both audio test and a battery test I believe to have confirmed the speakers are in fact wired internally backwards.

I first must say I love the speakers in a stereo setup and have been enjoying them very much for the past week. What I ended up doing was hooking them up "backwards" or how I believe to be correct which is producing an excellent front channels to a 5.2 listening experience.

I have raised this issue with Polk audio support approx 1 week ago now with no progress on the issue (not even an answer). I'm a bit disappointed how difficult it is to get someone technical from Polk on the phone, email, chat, etc.

I'm afraid I may simply need to return or possibly exchange the speakers if nothing else can be done (not sure anything else can be).

Anyone else experienced this with their set and what is everyone's opinion on Polks customer service. I've been a lifelong "aspiring" audiophile and this is the biggest single purchase I've made in the hobby so far. Bit saddened about diving in with the L600 feeling like support is MIA...
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Comments

  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    It’s normal with the auto setup microphone systems to alert to speakers being out of phase. The speakers are not wired out of phase. It happens with most speakers I have had over the last decade.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    Audessey setup is notorious for reporting that speakers are out of phase when in fact they are not. Listen to music, you should be easily able to tell
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • What are your thoughts on the fact I've battery tested them and found them to be backwards? Shouldn't this all but confirm the issue?
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,602
    Is this what the back of yours looks like?
    1otfgpt5dgr2.jpg
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Hi f1nut, yes exactly. Hooking a battery to the back of the speaker, positive to positive and negative to negative results in the woofers moving inward. I'm currently using them hooked up in reverse as a result.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,602
    AgentTJ wrote: »
    What are your thoughts on the fact I've battery tested them and found them to be backwards? Shouldn't this all but confirm the issue?

    Exactly how did you perform this test?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,768
    I presume your battery test was applied to each loudspeaker, and in once case the woofers moved "out", and in the other case, they moved "in"?

    If you're certain that the polarity of the inputs on one of the two loudspeakers is inverted -- why not simply hook that one up with reversed polarity from your amplifier/speaker cable (i.e., + to - and - to + ; or red to black & black to red, so to speak)?
    That should fix the problem!

    "white noise" is a good test of speaker polarity. The Stereohile test CD has "in phase" and "out of phase" noise on it, clearly indicated, to do the test, or if you have an FM tuner or receiver, set the tuner to "mono", turn off the "muting" and listen to the static-like noise between stations. If the two speakers are wired correctly, the noise will be dead center between the two loudspeakers. If one is reversed in polarity with respect to the other, the noise will be much more diffuse. You can swap cables (ideally, with the amplifier or receiver turned off, just in case!) and hear the difference.

    As an aside: The best tool I know of for really testing polarity of a speaker, a driver, or a cable is the Galaxy Cricket. Maybe not something you want to procure just for this exercise (although not really very expensive), but a very handy (nigh-on invaluable) tool for installation, DIY loudspeaker construction, and troubleshooting.


    https://galaxyaudio.com/products/cpts/

    5m1m5jty3vzo.png

  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    Did you test both l600’s?
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • Hi mhardy, thanks for your reply. Correct on your thoughts from the battery test. I have them hooked up currently how I believe is "correct". They sound great, I think my biggest concern is how when raised to Polk they are not responsive to my incident case. I am less worried about my listening experience (because I can simply wire them in phase as you mentioned) and instead their resale value or secondary market value should I choose to part with these a long time from now. Explaining this to another person is not likely to go well IMO. should I just return/exchange these for a properly wired pair?
  • Yes stangman, tested both. Also tested my entire surround setup (diff brands).
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,768
    I cannot find an on-line file or video using white (or pink) noise, but this one is OK. The only problem is: you can hear the difference between correct & reverse polarity, but it may be hard to know right from wrong! The 'correct' reproduction should be centered between the two channels. I just listened on a laptop moments ago, so I am not certain that's what you'll hear on a proper hifi.

    https://youtu.be/bsEos4kwj_o
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,602
    edited February 2023
    AgentTJ wrote: »
    Hi f1nut, yes exactly. Hooking a battery to the back of the speaker, positive to positive and negative to negative results in the woofers moving inward. I'm currently using them hooked up in reverse as a result.

    That certainly indicates they are wired incorrectly.

    Unfortunately, Polk CS isn't what it once was. Did you buy them direct or from a dealer?

    This is the direct email to the person at Polk who gets things done.
    [email protected]
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Purchased direct from Polk
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    edited February 2023
    We can all agree that Polk CS has gone mostly the way of the dodo. I wouldn’t trust audessey but if your battery test is going the way you say it is, then you are correct. For me, I would want to get the incorrect one replaced, just for peace of mind
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • Cool, thank you all. Glad to have your confirmation. Appreciate it.

    Polk CS, time to step it up!
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    edited February 2023
    AgentTJ wrote: »
    Cool, thank you all. Glad to have your confirmation. Appreciate it.

    Polk CS, time to step it up!

    Did you buy direct from Polk? If not, go through whoever you bought from
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    If the speaker wires are connected out of phase and the auto setup run again are the main speakers no longer reported as being out of phase by the auto calibration system?
  • That's correct Emlyn
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    Maybe another forum member who owns the L600s can battery test their speakers the same way you have and see if the results are the same. Would save returning a pair only to find the replacement pair does the same thing.

    It could just be that's the way the speaker drivers and crossover are designed internally. It's not unusual for speakers that do stereo and home theater duty. Focal actually recommends running Audyssey with reverse polarity on the speaker wires if the auto calibration says the main speakers are out of phase then putting the speaker wire back in phase after auto calibration is done.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    @Emlyn either way both speakers should act the same way when given voltage. Speaker manufactures do not make speakers out of phase from each other
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    True. The same model speakers should behave the same way electrically and acoustically as one another but the individual drivers in the speakers can be deliberately set up internally, working with the crossover, to not all be in phase with each other in the same cabinet. That's not at all unusual.

    If I had a question in my mind about internal wiring problems I would battery test both L600s for the same behavior and see if another forum member, or a Polk engineer, finds the same behavior.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    I guess the op never answered this question. Do both speakers behave the same when voltage is applied? Or differently?
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • Both speakers behave the exact same way when tested with the battery.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    edited February 2023
    Yea I would argue it is unlikely that both speakers are wired incorrectly. Not saying yo I are doing the test wrong, I’d bet that the speaker is just designed that way. Not so sure I’d be worried if both speakers are behaving the same exact way
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,323
    edited February 2023
    One way to find out is open them up and look. Is the positive binding post going to the positive side of the XO ? Is that then going to the positive side of the drivers?
    In rare instances the phase gets shifted (reversed) in the XO and must be corrected at the end, meaning positive wire goes to negative side of a driver.
    This is the direct email to the person at Polk who gets things done.
    [email protected]

    I would email Kim he knows his stuff and can help you
    Post edited by pitdogg2 on
  • Stang, i totally agree with you, seems that way and would be weird to have them both be incorrect if not on purpose. But in order to have them in phase with my other brand (rears and center) I had to reverse them.

    pitdogg2, I def thought about doing this but was concerned about voiding my warranty or anything on them. Thoughts?
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    If all you had to do was swap the leads and you are happy, let it ride. You can verify with Polk, but I certainly wouldn’t open them up personally. No reason to potentially mess something up when there isn’t a real issue.
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    When you have guests over you could impress them by saying you discovered that running the mains in phase with the rest of the speakers produces a better soundstage.

    B)
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    edited February 2023
    What’s interesting is both preamps I have had in my system are wired with reverse polarity, now the difference was they stated the fact in the manual so I knew I had to reverse the speaker leads!

    Interesting if the L600’s are intentionally wired reverse polarity.
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • So Kim from Polk responded to my email with very helpful information. I'd like to share the jist of it here for others below. This looks like my reversing the wires is correct with a speaker with a 2nd order crossover, while my other brands do not invert phase.

    "The L600’s employ second order filters in the crossover design and this type of crossover / filter does invert phase so this is normal.

    First order and third order filters are phase correct. Second order and fourth order filters invert phase.

    Attached below is link that may help better explain this.



    https://www.calsci.com/audio/X-Overs4.html



    Hope this helps."


    Thanks all!