speaker wire polarity


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Old 08-26-03, 10:54 AM
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speaker wire polarity

Hi,

I just hooked up my stereo in my basement. When I moved in there are 3 sets of speakers & wire run from three different rooms in the drop ceiling. The sound stops while playing the radio and the cd player. Some of the speaker wire has a stripe on one side and some of it doesn't. How can I tell which is neg and which is pos? Also how can I tell if there is a short in one of the wires?

Much appreciated,
jt
 
  #2  
Old 08-28-03, 12:44 PM
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Generally, there is no one polarity for either wire. It all depends on which terminal you plug the wires into at the stereo system end.

Also... it's not detrimental to get the polarity right. It'll work either way.
 
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Old 09-03-03, 10:38 AM
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simple

What you have is a simple soultion it does not matter what side the wire with the stripe goes on but what is important is that all speakers have the stripe hooked up to the same side.This is what they call being in phase.so if you hook the stripe to the pos side make sure that the stripe is on the pos side everywere.Also in the back of your reciever.
 
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Old 09-03-03, 03:44 PM
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wire's not striped

thanks for your reply,

but 2 or the 3 sets of speaker wire do not have stripes, and i can't tell one side from the other.

thanks again
 
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Old 09-03-03, 04:43 PM
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another easy fix

No stripe no problem make your own just use a sharpie and mark the ends.All you need to do is identify the wire mark one wire of the two on both ends.
 
  #6  
Old 09-04-03, 02:25 AM
threesheds
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Another way to phase speakers is to put the speakers close together facing each other. Play a track that has a good base content and make a mental note of the sound. Then turn off the amplifier (it's safest to) and swap the wires over on one set of speaker terminals only. If the base notes don't have as much 'punch' with the wires this way then swap them back how they were. If the base increases then that's the way the wires should go.

Try it a couple of times to be sure.
 
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Old 09-04-03, 02:38 PM
Belrix
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Some wires are not marked for polarity with printed lines or marks but you may find a difference in the molded insulation (one squarish, one rounded or a molded bead) or you may find that one wire is copper colored and one silver.

Just make sure that you're consistent (line to plus, non-line to neg) on both the stereo end & the speaker end. The wire itself has no polarity but the best sound will come from keeping your speakers in phase, which means consistent polarity.
 
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Old 09-05-03, 09:37 AM
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Some wire only has writing (molded into it, hard to see) on one of the two wires.
 
  #9  
Old 09-11-03, 07:16 PM
Smokey
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Speaker Polarity

Whether you connect a speaker positively or negatively, it will work. But a speaker produces the best sound when the speaker is connected to the amplifier in the right polarity.

To deduce the polarity of a speaker, connect a small 1.5 volt
battery across the speaker terminals. Look at the voice cone.
If it deflects outward, the positive terminal of the battery is the
positive terminal of the speaker. If the speaker cone deflects
inward, you have the battery reversed.

To determine the polarity from the amplifier is touchy. If the amp
is a quality unit, the negative lead is grounded. You can check
the negative lead with a volt-ohm meter.

A cheaper amp may run an ungrounded negative. To deduce
that configuration, you put an ohmmeter on the lines. Read the
lines in both directions. When you read the lowest ohm reading,
your positive meter lead is hooked to the negative line and your
negative lead is hooked to the positive line.

But, nothing is truly certain. The best way is to find the amp,
follow the line from the amp to the speaker, and find out first
hand which is positive and which is negative..

But, in all cases, if you manage to reverse polarity on a speaker,
the worst thing that will happen is that you will lose a little
fidelity. Most people won't even notice the loss..

It's only folks like me, an old radio broadcaster. that would
hear a change in fidelity.

Smokey
 
 

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