Polarity Explainantion

agolcha
agolcha Posts: 4
edited March 2005 in Car Audio & Electronics
Can someone tell me what exactly happens when you reverse the polarity of a speaker? I have a set of DB 6500's and I wanna know what'll happen if I reverse

a) the polarity of the input
b) the polarity of the bass unit from the crossover
c) the polarity of the tweeters from the crossover
Post edited by agolcha on

Comments

  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited March 2005
    if you reverse the polarity the speakers will be out of phase....will you hurt them, no...will it sound like ****, yes.
  • MacLeod
    MacLeod Posts: 14,358
    edited March 2005
    Not necessarily. Playing with the phase can change the sound and imaging. True it can screw it up pretty good but it can also fix a lot.

    When you wire a speaker out of phase all it does is fire that speaker later than the on that is in phase. So if you have one speaker closer to you than another, you may be able to have them hitting your ears closer to the same time by wiring one out of phase.

    For example, my tweets are mounted closer to me than my mids are and as a result they dont mix well and are kind of harsh. I switched the phase on my tweeters so now their output reaches me a little later than the mids which matches them more closely and helps in them blending together.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D
  • Last night during an intensive listening session with a new-to-me set of SRS 3.1TLs, I was listening to the drum work on Ryo Fukui's "Scenery" and was particularly interested in the type of sticks the drummer was using since they sounded "floppy". Very difficult to describe, but it sounded as though he was playing with rubber sticks and the traditional "pop" of the snare simply sounded like a "fwop". My stereobuddy who was over noticed as well and suggested that perhaps the speakers' polarity was reversed.

    Shutting the amp down, we switched the R's for B's and the B's for R's on both speakers and listened to the track again. Ryo's piano instantly sounded more intentional, the snares and cymbals came back to life with the crack and snap that you would expect.

    I ran a large number of records through those speakers last night and am confident that this pair is reversed out of the factory.

  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,630
    I've come across a replacement woofer before that had it's polarity reversed from the factory.

    Is there a way for you to open up your speakers and verify your findings? Or no need, since the ear test is good enough?
    Olivesaxer wrote: »
    I ran a large number of records through those speakers last night and am confident that this pair is reversed out of the factory.

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,742
    edited June 2018
    which side is the red binding post on? left or right?

    Maybe someone took off the binding post nuts and put them back on wrong....
  • FestYboy
    FestYboy Posts: 3,857
    Anyone notice this thread is 13 years old?
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,526
    ... and I same so close to responding to it.

    Wait.

    Whoops.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,742
    FestYboy notice a new poster came in at 2:57 we are responding to.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,526
    edited June 2018
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I've come across a replacement woofer before that had it's polarity reversed from the factory.

    Is there a way for you to open up your speakers and verify your findings? Or no need, since the ear test is good enough?
    Olivesaxer wrote: »
    I ran a large number of records through those speakers last night and am confident that this pair is reversed out of the factory.

    oh... well... not sure exactly what the endgame is for today's poster, but as a general tool for checking polarity there's a handy and not terribly expensive gizmo called the Cricket.

    https://www.parts-express.com/galaxy-audio-cricket-polarity-test-set--245-261

    lt9fi9srpqka.png

    It is, I'd opine, invaluable -- at least for folks like me who 1) fool around with old drivers of, shall we say, varying polarity standards (I'm looking at you, JBL!) and/or 2) DIY loudspeakers or crossovers.

    38242355396_4488185fe1_b.jpgDSC_9771 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    Trust but verify, you know?

    :)

    PS My apologies to today's earlier poster(s) if this information is utterly useless! :/

  • OleBoot
    OleBoot Posts: 821
    edited June 2018
    Ah, so much change in the polarity of things since 2005. The proliferation of cell phones, smart refrigerators, internet connected teddy bears, not to mention global warming and asteroid near misses has disturbed the ley lines and means that you can actually gain bass by hooking your speakies up the wrong way round. But you also have to consider absolute phase, whereby a pre 2005 recording may throw the whole thing into oblivion if your turntable cartridge leads are the wrong color..
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,526
    ^^^ serious audiophile cred there!

    :)
  • FestYboy
    FestYboy Posts: 3,857
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    FestYboy notice a new poster came in at 2:57 we are responding to.

    I did... And read his post, and face palmed to it and the previous post from MacLeod.

    Switching phase does not delay the signal, as MacLeod suggests. Nor does flipping phase on BOTH channels change the relative phase of the signal. There should be no noticable change to the output, all other things remaining the same. What did happen, is the voltage is now being pushed through the XO backwards, so the speakers are now in front of the XO, so to speak.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,630
    edited June 2018
    LOL, I just scrolled up and read that post. I want to know how stoned he was when he "came up" with that grand idea.

    "For example, my tweets are mounted closer to me than my mids are and as a result they dont mix well and are kind of harsh. I switched the phase on my tweeters so now their output reaches me a little later than the mids which matches them more closely and helps in them blending together."

    6hNJHnfsuoFDa.gif
    FestYboy wrote: »
    Switching phase does not delay the signal, as MacLeod suggests.

  • Hermitism
    Hermitism Posts: 3,587
    Clipdat wrote: »
    6hNJHnfsuoFDa.gif

    It says Polarity Explainantion, not Polarity Explosion, but I think it supposed to say Polarity Explanation. Or perhaps Polarity Exploitation.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,526
    just don't cross the streams...

    52lw23dy4h94.png
  • Clipdat wrote: »
    I've come across a replacement woofer before that had it's polarity reversed from the factory.

    Is there a way for you to open up your speakers and verify your findings? Or no need, since the ear test is good enough?
    Olivesaxer wrote: »
    I ran a large number of records through those speakers last night and am confident that this pair is reversed out of the factory.

    It is quite obvious to the ear - especially on percussive instruments (specifically snares, cymbals, and piano).

    What is interesting though, is that you may have trained your ear to listen to your track the wrong way. Therefor, the only way to know is to switch and then switch back until you are satisfied with your findings.

    Just BE SURE to power off your amp as you are doing fiddling.
  • The other thing that I am not sure about
    - i am sure many posters here will tell me if it is true or crapolla -

    I was told that there was no standard for polarity established years ago - so that the polarity of the recording could be different coming out of the studio than what you have your speakers set at home. I am not sure if there is truth to it, but the person who described this problem to me says that, again, the only way to know is to listen to the same recording repeatedly going back and forth until you are confident with your selection.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,630
    @Olivesaxer - were you cable to check Ivan's suggestion below?
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    which side is the red binding post on? left or right?

    Maybe someone took off the binding post nuts and put them back on wrong....

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,742
    Olivesaxer wrote: »
    The other thing that I am not sure about
    - i am sure many posters here will tell me if it is true or crapolla -

    I was told that there was no standard for polarity established years ago - so that the polarity of the recording could be different coming out of the studio than what you have your speakers set at home. I am not sure if there is truth to it, but the person who described this problem to me says that, again, the only way to know is to listen to the same recording repeatedly going back and forth until you are confident with your selection.

    Well there "could" be a sliver of truth to it. Some Pre-amps have a reverse polarity switch. My Carver C16 has one, it is disengaged 99.99% of the time. Sometimes I do play with it and have never heard drastic differences engaged or not.

    My stuff is set + to + - to - the last thing i worry about is whether or not the studio has reversed the polarity. I sit and listen to the music.
  • Clipdat wrote: »
    @Olivesaxer - were you cable to check Ivan's suggestion below?
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    which side is the red binding post on? left or right?

    Maybe someone took off the binding post nuts and put them back on wrong....

    Not yet - I will check when I am home - if they switched the caps, they would have had to switch all 4 on both speakers since the 3.1's have 4 binding posts per.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,630
    Ah, yeah. Unlikely, but anything is possible! Keep us updated.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 7,659
    What you are referring to is called "absolute polarity" and there is an industry standard. According to the standard when a sound reaches a microphone's diaphragm this positive moving air pressure pulse causes the diaphragm to move inward producing a positive electrical pulse. The complete audio recording chain should allow the speaker's sound producing material (cone, dome or Mylar sheet) to move forward towards the listener.
    Considering how many gain stages, compressors, expanders, filters, converters happen between these two ends of the chain it's a minor miracle if absolute polarity is maintained. The Sheffield record company would suggest that listeners reverse the polarity of their speakers for best results with their direct-to-disc recordings.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,630
    Interesting. I have some CDs from Sheffield Lab and I didn't realize they recommended that.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 7,659
    I'm not sure about their CDs.
  • lightman1
    lightman1 Posts: 10,662
    Swauger is old....
    His "discs" are made of vinyl.....
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,526
    lightman1 wrote: »
    Swauger is old....
    His "discs" are made of shellac.....

    Fixed that for you (both) ;)

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