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Speakers - left or right?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by henryv, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. henryv

    henryv Member

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    Warm greetings,
    I am new to this section of the forum and have a real 'Newbie' question!:)
    Why does it matter that you have to have the 'Right' speaker on the right.
    i.E. if you swap them over having the 'left' speaker on the right side and vice versa what effect does it have on the sound and why?


    Henry.:):):)
  2. k13 wjd

    k13 wjd Member

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    perhaps you could open your question up a bit...

    what speakers are you refering too, amp...is it a 5.1setup, or just 2 channel stereo.


    Ive a small feeling that the answer will be the same regardless.......there will be no difference in the right and left speakers - ive only ever seen one set of cabinets that were truly sided.....and they were custom build for the room - and so could ONLY go one way, due to their physical attributes.

    What does matter, is that you wire them up correctly...I.e the left output from the amp goes to the left channel.....and vice versa.
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  3. blue max

    blue max Active Member

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    I think you may be asking non-specifically, rather than about a particular speaker - correct me if I'm wrong.

    When the material was recorded, a combination of the left and right channels converge to place the singer in the centre (generally), with instruments to one side or another. Swopping the speakers over is going to have an effect, which will be akin to having your back to the stage.

    Chances are it would sound ok, but not what the sound engineer had laboured to achieve. Swop them over and see if you can tell :smashin:

    Graham
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  4. k13 wjd

    k13 wjd Member

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    i think the OP needs to clarify what he meant

    Speakers...Or channels.....

    I know some sony ss systems have left and right marked on the speakers, but they are identical in every way....

    Getting the speakers round the wrong way, wont have any effect.

    getting the channels the round the wrong way will. By that i mean the left channel being wired to a speaker on the right hand side.

    you might only notice it if you are used to hearing a particular track the correct way round, then heard it with the 2 fronts opposed.
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  5. henryv

    henryv Member

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    Thank you.
    I know I put the question poorly!
    I meant that if you crossed the cables over.
    I.E The left cable to the right speaker and vice versa.

    Also I have Edirol MA-15D speakers on my iMac computer.
    The powered speaker has a single cable running to the other speaker, and again you are told to place the powered speaker on the right!? There are no left and right cables so you would think it would not matter?
    I must admit, having swopped them round, that they sound better the 'right way'. Thank you Graham - it makes sense!


    Henry.:):):)


    Henry.
  6. k13 wjd

    k13 wjd Member

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    got you.


    yes it will make a difference.......i know the type you mean, with the amp in one speaker unit, and a output for the other side.

    I agree, having them the " right " way round is fairly sensible.......

    i used to have a cheap set of 5.1 speakers, clearly assembled in uzbeckistan......anyway, on the instructions, it listed the right and left channels in a configuration that meant my back was to the t.v by that i mean they had made the left and right points whilst looking at the rear speakers.......stupid people.
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  7. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard Well-Known Member

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    In a stereo system, it won't effect the sound quality at all. The only problem you will have is with the stereo amp's Balance control. When you turn it to the right, the left speaker will get louder.

    With at least a 4 channel surround system it will make a difference though, unless your back channels are alway wired backwards as well. Sound coming from the right Rear channel is mostly coordinated with the right Front channel.

    So, let say you hear the sound of a car driving toward you, you first hear it at a distance in the right front channel, then the right front channel starts to fade and the right rear channel start to increase its sound level creating the illusion that something is moving forward toward the listener.

    If the left and right channels are crossed, the the audio illusion will not match what you see on the screen. The car will seem to drive right to left, when what you see on the sceen is a car moving forward.

    That may not be the best example, but I think it illustrates the point. If the speaker channels are cross in back, but normal in front, the auditory illusion created by the surround sound will be off.

    Even if both front and rear are crossed left to right, what you hear will still be out of sync with what you see. Though in this case it will probably be less noticable.

    Now that applies to Surround sound, but music would probably be less of a problem, and as I pointed out, there would be no problem with stereo beyond the confusion of which way to turn the Balance knob.

    Steve/bluewizard

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