Speaker Connections

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Von Pein, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Upon playing around with my speaker connections, I noticed that it doesn't seem to make a bit of difference if the positive wire is connected to the positive terminal, and neg. to neg.; sound comes from the speakers no matter which wires are hooked up. How can this be? And, therefore, WHY are the positive & negative markings even there?! Confusing...
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Phase.

    If you get them backwards the speaker cone will be going in when it is supposed to be going out. If you wanted to test- take the speaker cable and touch a 9volt batter to it- tap it so the + pole on the battery hits the part of the wire connected to the + pole on the speaker: you will see the cone jump outward. Flip the battery around and touch the opposite poles, and note the cone will move in the opposite direction.

    The sound will still happen even if you set them up backwards- and to be honest if ALL your speakers are out of phase, you probably won't ever notice.

    However- if your 2 front speakers (or any two speakers) are out of phase with one another- this creates a problem. On material that is supposed to be percieved as "center" or imaged half way between the two- you won't get a focused image, you'll get an unfocused and dissapated image.

    Again- this all comes into how soundwaves work- and constructive/destructive interference. A good calibration DVD like AVIA or Video Essentials has phase test patters which will allow you to determine if all your speakers are in fact "in phase".

    -Vince
     
  3. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

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    On the wires themselves, it makes little difference whether you use the positive or the negative sides to make either connection. As long as the positive termination at the receiver is connected to the positive termination at the speaker you will be in phase. The markings on the wire are simply their to make sure you make the right +to+ and -to- connections so you don't have the phase problems that Vince and Buzz mentioned.

    I should add that some wire makers claim that the different sides of their cables are better as a positive or negative connection due to the wire's molecular structure but the jury is still out on that one. (Note the directional arrows on Monster brand cables) Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't, but I haven't been able to tell the difference.
     

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