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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Maybe this has been covered before, but I've read that connecting up the speaker wires incorrectly (to red on the receiver end and to black on the speaker end) can cause damage to the speakers and/or receiver.

 

If I accidentally hook them up incorrectly will I get any sound at all?

 

I've hooked up my surround speakers and the sound seems to come through fine but I'm worried I might not have them hooked up correctly.

 

 

Thanks in advance.
 

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Yes this has been asked/covered before.

Nope... no damage to either.

If you hook them up reversed, you will get sound, although it may not sound well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24456458


Yes this has been asked/covered before.

Nope... no damage to either.

If you hook them up reversed, you will get sound, although it may not sound well.
The only way it would sound bad would be if one speaker is hooked up differently than the others.


If they are all hooked up "backwards" it will be just fine sonically.


I challenge anybody to be able to hear a difference between all the speakers hooked up in polarity and all the speakers hooked up out of polarity (in relation to the amp).
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24457017


If they are all hooked up "backwards" it will be just fine sonically.

I would disagree.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24457399


I would disagree.
Why? I am just curious. If they are all hooked up "backwards", they will still still be in phase with each other.
 

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Yes... although, when wired with correct polarity, the speakers "push" as opposed to "pull". Although the difference in sound may be subtle (using reversed polarity), it's possible that some lower frequencies could be compromised.


IMO, I'd recommend wiring the speakers to the amp as intended. OTOH, if you prefer the sound of the speakers with polarity reversed on all the speakers, go for it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24457017

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24456458


Yes this has been asked/covered before.

Nope... no damage to either.

If you hook them up reversed, you will get sound, although it may not sound well.


The only way it would sound bad would be if one speaker is hooked up differently than the others.

The active subwoofer is hard to hook up backward, and its phase with respect to the upper range speakers is important.
Quote:
If they are all hooked up "backwards" it will be just fine sonically.

Agreed, although tools like Audyssey may be able to figure this out.

Quote:
I challenge anybody to be able to hear a difference between all the speakers hooked up in polarity and all the speakers hooked up out of polarity (in relation to the amp).

There have been DBTs related to polarity, and with a fairly narrow range of sounds some not musical, polarity can be reliably detected by ear. The data agrees with you in general, but there are a few odd exceptions.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24458713


There have been DBTs related to polarity, and with a fairly narrow range of sounds some not musical, polarity can be reliably detected by ear. The data agrees with you in general, but there are a few odd exceptions.
Yes you can generate some specific examples-agreed.


But I was meaning (I did not state it as such) that with any sort of normal material that would normally be played through a loudspeaker (music-movies-speech etc) ti would take a VERY SPECIAL person in a very controlled situation to be able to tell the difference in absolute polarity in a blind test.


The rest of the 99.999999999999999999999999 % of the population could not do it-repeatably.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24457017

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24456458


Yes this has been asked/covered before.

Nope... no damage to either.

If you hook them up reversed, you will get sound, although it may not sound well.
The only way it would sound bad would be if one speaker is hooked up differently than the others.


If they are all hooked up "backwards" it will be just fine sonically.


I challenge anybody to be able to hear a difference between all the speakers hooked up in polarity and all the speakers hooked up out of polarity (in relation to the amp).




Kind of interesting, but that is not always the case when speakers are not all identical. I have to wire up my center speaker in reverse polarity to maintain phase with my R & L main speakers. My R & L mains (and surrounds) are larger three way speakers and my center is a 2 way.


The relative phase test that I used was to place 2 way speaker and three way speaker side by side and run pink noise through both. Then reverse polarity of one speaker and retest. It is obvious which relative polarity is correct when you look at the results on an RTA!
 

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Red + to Red +

Black - to Black -


There's color coding and symbols for a reason. Why not use them?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24459388


Red + to Red +

Black - to Black -


There's color coding and symbols for a reason. Why not use them?



That only applies to identical speakers. Speakers that are not identical may have individual drivers wired in reverse polarity from other speakers.


My "large" three way speaker drivers are wired with positive polarity for the low end drivers and reverse polarity for the mid and tweeter drivers. The 2 way center has identical mid and tweeter drivers and crossover, but the drivers are wired with a positive polarity relative to the terminal colors.


Regardless, it is easy to test!
 

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Funny.

Either way. "Identical" or not... Post #10 is the way to go unless the manual tells you to do something differently.


And yes! It's easy to test with a small battery and at least one good eye.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24460519


Funny.

Either way. "Identical" or not... Post #10 is the way to go unless the manual tells you to do something differently.


And yes! It's easy to test with a small battery and at least one good eye.


The battery test is very limited and almost useless. Pink noise measured with a program like TrueRTA does the trick.


That being said, I would always start wiring red to red and black to black.



Absolute phase and large speakers are discussed here:

http://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/denon-avr-5805/audyssey-and-system-set-up
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24462713


The battery test is very limited and almost useless.
Huh? It's a simple (limited) test to check polarity. Pretty useful for in-wall wire runs if using unmarked wires.
Quote:
That being said, I would always start wiring red to red and black to black.
Yeah... that's pretty much that de-facto standard.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24458686


Yes... although, when wired with correct polarity, the speakers "push" as opposed to "pull". Although the difference in sound may be subtle (using reversed polarity), it's possible that some lower frequencies could be compromised.


IMO, I'd recommend wiring the speakers to the amp as intended. OTOH, if you prefer the sound of the speakers with polarity reversed on all the speakers, go for it.




That is not an accurate statement. You are talking absolute phase with your wording. RED to RED does not guarantee that a specific speaker will give you an absolute phase response (in-phase with positive polarity or speakers "push" when wired with the "correct" polarity).



"Determination of absolute phase,( or in-phase with positive polarity), is a critical aspect of on-the-screen/center channel speaker symbiosis that, as Tom points out, was known by Todd-AO as far back as 1954. So Chris Kyriakakis' team has thrown out the common method utilized by other systems of determining phase by means of looking at speakers in pairs. Instead, the Audyssey system can accurately determine both a positive wave front and distance to the audiophile seat (primary listening position) from the single center-channel speaker."


http://www.audioholics.com/room-acoustics/audyssey-labs-multeq
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24463759

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass  /t/1521594/speaker-wire-question#post_24462713


The battery test is very limited and almost useless.
Huh? It's a simple (limited) test to check polarity. Pretty useful for in-wall wire runs if using unmarked wires.
Quote:
That being said, I would always start wiring red to red and black to black.
Yeah... that's pretty much that de-facto standard.


It is the standard for matching speakers!
 

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Okay. The OP (and whomever else) can take the info provided and put it to use.

You brought up the "phase" discussion, which was not part of the OP's question.
 

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Red to Red.

Black to Black.

The battery test works for testing when polarity is in doubt. And a good eye.
 
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