What happens if...speaker wires are crossed over?


New member
Username: Kingdufus


Post Number: 4
Registered: Apr-04
Hi all,
Just trying to understand a bit more about speakers. What happens when a speaker's wires are hooked up to the wrong terminals: + is connected to - and vice versa. Does the sound get degraded, is there feedback? Thanks!

Silver Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 442
Registered: Dec-03
no feedback, just lousy sound on peaks.

I've always wondered that too. does it damage the speakers though?

Silver Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 450
Registered: Dec-03
only during prolonged use on high volumes. Specially when there is a signal that causes the speaker to have excessive incursion.

Jan Vigne
Unregistered guest
NO, NO, NO!!! I'm sorry but that answer is WRONG! If you connect both speakers with the connections reversed at either the amplifier or the speaker you have simply reversed the absolute phase of the system. This means that a signal that should push the speaker cones outward (a positive signal) will now pull the cone of both speakers inward. There is some dicussion among the very high end, golden ears that your ears will react differently to a positive and a negative pulse but for the most part, in this example, both drivers (the woofers) will be simultaneously moving in the same direction for any given signal and therefore the sound you hear will be in phase as it reaches your eardrum and will be recognized as a bass note with no significant damage to the sound. As an aside many audio components actually reverse the absolute phase as the signal passes through the circuits and so it is seldom possible to realize absolute phase without test equipment. If you have connected one speaker with the polarity reversed you have now thrown the system out of phase with itself. This results in one woofer moving forward while the other woofer moves backward. As your ear percieves sound by the positive and negative pulses to your eardrum you have now taken what should be a positive pulse and negated its effect by also having a negative pulse reach your ear at the same time. This results in a diminished sense of bass response as you have essentially created no signal. This effect is not as noticable at higher frequencies because of the shorter wavelenghth of the signal as it ascends in frequency. To check if your system is in phase with itself do this: place the two speakers (we're talking stereo here not home theater multichannel) equal distance apart, and not more than eight feet apart; put your FM tuner on a frequency where you will find a single announcer's voice (if this is not possible[?] put the tuner on an open frequency and disengage the FM muting circuit); sit between and in front of the speakers. If the speakers are in phase with one another you will hear a distinct position where the signal is centered between the two speakers. Do not change any connection. If the sound seems to come from no distinct position but instaed seems to come from everywhere, the speakers are out of phase. Reverse the connection at one speaker only and repeat the test. Neither condition will damage your amplifier unless you have shorted the wires together in the process. Turn the amplifier off before you make any connections to your system. This is a basic rule that should not be ignored by someone who thinks they can do it without turning things off. It is too simple to do so just do it right. If you would like a further explanation there is a site on the internet called "How Things Work", look for loudspeakers there.

Unregistered guest
What happens if the two speaker wires at the speaker in are allowed to touch each other?

Top Deals

Loading, please wait...
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »



Main Forums

Today's Posts

Top Deals

Forum Help

Follow Us