Speaker polarity

I have checked my speaker cables for polarity and it is right but my AV receiver Denon 2311 says check for centre and surround

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    The phase warning is just a warning to check the speaker wiring. If it's correct on the amp and speaker then you can just hit skip. It has no effect on the calibration. Sometimes speaker makers intentionally wire a driver out of phase and MultEQ sees that and gives you the warning.

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    carlos

    The first time you connect the speakers Audyssey system showed no problems, but when sticking to the wall, and returned to run the Audyssey system that showed the problem of the phase in front left speaker, I check the cables and are well connected but Audyssey system still shows the same problem.

    how I can fix it?

    thanks

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    It's not unusual for the polarity warning to come up.  It could be due to an acoustical effect or because one of the drivers in the speaker is intentionally wired out of phase by the manufacturer.  This is a simple warning.  It has no effect on the measurements.  If you have checked the wires on the back of the speaker and the amp, then hit Skip and proceed with the calibration.

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    Nigel Frater

    I have a similar issue with setting up my Denon 1909. My problem is I have no skip option, only cancel or retry, which yields similar phase errors each time.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Nigel, are you looking on the on-screen display on the TV?  The Skip option is there.  It may not show on the front panel of the AVR.

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    Nick March

    Hi,

    I am intrigued by this. I understand it makes no difference but this puzzles me.

    All my cables are wired correctly, all speakers the same manufacture and series.

    I have the multeq room equaliser sitting between my Rotel rsp 1570 and denon poa a1hd power amp.

    I ran the setup yesterday via the pro install kit and it reported my FL to be out of phase along with a dipoles. I was expecting the dipoles to be out, as they should be. So out of interest I switched the cables round and the phase rectified.

    Today I decided to do another calibration, and it says FL / FR / SL / SR are all out of phase. Nothing has changed or moved since yesterday? Any ideas?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    It could be a combination of the speaker, the room acoustics and the exact mic placement. Polarity is calculated from the first mic position so variations in that may cause different readings.  Not worth worrying about.  If the wiring is as the manufacturer asks then you should go with that.  MultEQ completely ignores these warnings in the filter calculation.

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    Nick March

    Wow, thanks for the prompt reply. I wish all other companies copied your customer service ethos.

    Yes, I am not worried. And indeed I did just skip thru. Was just puzzled by the anomaly that is all. Checking I wasn't doing something silly on the setup.

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    ashley ashna

    Hi Chris,

    Does it matter which color of the wire hoos up to which pole?  I am using speaker wire that has a clear houseing and a darker grey housing, but I'm not sure which one needs to go to negative and which one needs to go to positive.

     

    Also, should I be facing all of my speakers in the direction of the main seating area?

     

    Thank you,

     

    Ashley

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Ashley, it doesn't matter which side of the wire is connected.  As long as the same color goes to positive and negative on the speaker and the amplifier.

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    Dimitrios Triantafyllidis

    If sometimes, as you say Chris, speaker manufacturers intentionally wire a driver out of phase, doesn't that mean that the driver will be pushing out air, when all other drivers in the system will be breathing in? This seems like a problem to me. To be more specific I recently purchased two new FL and FR speakers from Sonus Faber, which are recognized by Audyssey, as being out of phase (although they are wired correctly). The C, SL and SR speakers are from Tannoy (Arena 5.1 system). How can I be sure that all speakers are in phase? Couldn’t it be that some manufacturers follow a different convention regarding the naming of their speakers polarity?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Γεια σου Δημητρη,

    If you have checked the the wiring on the speaker and the amp, then you can ignore the polarity warning.  It's quite possible that the speakers have the low frequency driver wired out of phase with the tweeter intentionally.  This is done to address certain response issues at the crossover frequency.  You may want to check with the manufacturer directly to see if this is intended or not.

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    Dimitrios Triantafyllidis

    Γεια σου Χρήστο!

    Wouldn't it be better to decide on the phase of the speakers, only by judging by the measurements of the low frequencies? If the bass driver moves in the correct direction, then Audyssey could ignore the internal wiring of the rest of the drivers. Thus, most of the erroneous messages could be avoided in the first place. Just a suggestion...

     

    By the way, I experimented with my setup, finding out that my subwoofer is in phase with the FL, FR speakers. This was possible, because it has a 0-180 degrees adjustment potentiometer, so when I turned it to 180 degrees, bass decreased significantly in my room. So I suppose, everything must be all right after all.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Yes, actually that is exactly how the polarity is checked.  But, in some speakers the low frequency driver is intentionally wired out of phase and that causes the warning to show up.  

    Actually the so called phase knob on the subwoofer is pretty useless... It only adjusts the phase at one frequency (they don't publish which one...).  The rest remain unchanged.  This ends up usually making a bump in the frequency response of the sub and that makes it sound like "more" bass.  More is not better--flat (smooth) is better.  I highly recommend against using the phase control knob for subs as it usually does more harm than good.

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    Dimitrios Triantafyllidis

    Hmmm... I thought it would be the tweeter or the mid-range driver that would be intentionally wired out of phase. If the low frequency driver is wired out of phase doesn't that cause trouble in relation with the rest of the speakers (especially if they are from a different manufacturer, who has wired them correctly)? I mean, some of the bass drivers would be pushing outwards whilst some others would be going in the opposite direction.

    But, now that you mention it, I must admit that when I changed the wiring of my two new speakers, Audyssey reported that everything was fine. Maybe I should wire the new speakers with inverted polarity after all?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Dimitri,

    We have no way of predicting the intention of the speaker designer.  All we can do is report a polarity flip as a warning.  Our recommendation is to check the wiring and if it's correct just hit Skip and proceed.  You may want to contact the speaker company for info on their internal wiring.

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    Markus

    Hi Chris,

    I just ran a test and connected the cable going to the right satellite speaker in reverse. My Onkyo TX-NR3008 did not detect the error.

    Also tried swapping the cable of one of the surrounds. Still no error.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Markus,

    Detecting absolute polarity acoustically can be a difficult problem.  It's not 100%.  Frankly speaking, there's not much science here.  It's a 2 minute task that involves connecting a 1.5V battery to the end of the speaker wire.  If the woofer moves out when the + terminal of the batter is connected to the positive wire then you have the correct polarity.

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    Markus

    So we can't rely on the AVR reporting polarity?

    I ran the reversed wire test on 3 different AVRs. Onkyo TX-NR708 and Onkyo TX-NR3008 didn't report the wiring error whereas a Denon 2312 did. An Integra user reported that his 80.3 also doesn't detect a reversed speaker cable.

    Is the polarity check even implemented in Onkyo AVRs?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    I believe that Onkyo may have dropped the automatic polarity detection.  It's simpler to just check the wiring manually rather than spending processing cycles to try to find it...

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    Jmschnur

    In through the wall systems with 11 speakers, I think an audyssey check would be helpful.

    The Aix sound calibration disk has helped me a lot with respect to phasing complex installations.. It would be nice if audysey could do a check and say all is ok. Perhaps this could be done in the pro kit software or is it manufacturer limited?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Audyssey does check for polarity, but it can be fooled some times.  I think that's why Onkyo decided to stop implementing it.  Acoustical conditions, drivers intentionally out of phase, etc. can give false alarms.

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    Greg Madine

    Hi Chris,

                 running the speaker setup on my Pioneer LX-83 I get the wrong polarity warning on my RS speaker even though the wiring is correct. Is it safe to skip and proceed i.e. it wont damage my speaker (Monitor Gold's) or Receiver??

    Will noise still come from the speaker?

     

    Thanks

    Greg

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Greg,

    I can't really speak for Pioneer as they don't use Audyssey.  However, if you have checked the wiring on the amp and the speaker then it's fine to proceed.  There is no chance of damage and sound will come out of the speaker.  The only thing that is affected if one of a pair of speakers has the wrong polarity is imaging.  That's very important to get right for the front speakers and less so for the surrounds that are supposed to sound diffuse anyway.

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    Greg Madine

    Thanks very much for your help Chris.

    All the best

    Greg

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    Art MacNee

    I'm using a Marantz SR-5005 in a home theatre system with vintage JBL speakers circa early 1980's. Front L/R are L112's, center is another L112 and the surrounds are L15's. When running Audyssey Auto set up I receive the following error message Front L/R: Phase. Does this mean that both the Left and Right front speakers are out of phase or that the Left and Right are out of phase with each other. I've double checked the wires and have Red (+) from the receiver to Red (+) at the speakers. The JBL tecnical sheets all show red (+) at the red binding post. I've pulled the low frequency driver out of the front R & L and both are wired correctly to the JBL diagram.  If the error message means that they are both out of phase it would seem that I can ignore the error message.However, if it means that they are out of phase with each other it seem that I might have a problem to find. Your input would be appreciated.

    Art

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Art,

    This is just a warning to check the wiring on both ends.  If it's correct on the amp the back of the speaker then you can hit skip and proceed.  There are several reasons that can cause this warning, but since you have checked the wiring there is nothing to worry about.  The warning has no effect on the calculation of the room correction filters.

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    Art MacNee

    Thanks. Still wondering whether the error message Front L/R: Phase means that both front Left and Right are being sensed as out of phase with the other speakers in the system or out of phase with each other.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Audyssey checks each speaker individually for polarity.  I am not familiar with the Marantz interface however.  Most other AVRs indicate individual speaker polarity warnings.

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    Stephen Powell

    I have both a Denon 3808CI and now a new Marantz 1602NR - completely different type speakers connected - completely different listening environments and speaker placements - and...deja vu when setting up the Marantz: it says Surround Left out of phase exactly as did my Denon when I set it up.  I did just skip over it after pulling the wires and triple checking the connections.  Maybe just random, but it kind of freaked me out and led me to this page. ;-)

     

    Otherwise brilliant stuff - the difference it made on the Marantz/B&W/REL setup was incredible - sounds amazing.

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