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Dumb speaker cable connection question

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by HMHB, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I'm setting up the speakers for my new Denon 3805 and have a slight problem. I've put the rear speaker cables under the floorboards, they had already got banana plugs on one end but were bare wire at the other. I know now that I should have marked them :blush: There's no way of telling which cable is which (+ve or -ve) at the speaker end when it comes to putting on some plugs.
    Is it obvious if I've got them the wrong way round when I play something through them ?
    Can I do any damage connecting them up the wrong way round ?
     
  2. huwg

    huwg
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    check out owains last comments on the thread 'speaker cable upgrade' - you can use an multimeter to test the wires.
    what cable are you using, some have an 'edge' on one side to help you distinguish.
    you won't do damage, but the speakers could be wired out of phase, giving a loss of volume.
     
  3. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Thanks for the reply, unfortunately I can't get the 2 ends of the speaker cable close to each other as it already goes under the floorboards and they are now 16 feet apart. I'll have a closer look at the cable later to see if there's any distinguishing marks on it.
     
  4. huwg

    huwg
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    wiring speakers out of phase, (ie 1 speaker wired correctly, the other incorrectly) can bring about a loss of bass,
    If you can, put the speakers face to face fairly close, if they are out of phase, one drive unit will be going out whilst the other is going in, resulting in a severe loss of volume.
    then swap the connections on one of the speakers and see if it makes a difference, if it does, keep whatever is better sounding/loudest.

    wiring speakers out of phase and putting them face to face is a good way of running them in (you can put a blanket over them and leave them playing overnight with not much sound comming out).

    keep whatever sounds best to you.
     
  5. huwg

    huwg
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    I used to make my own Dolby surround set up by wiring a single surround speaker to the positive outputs from the front pair! the result is the difference between the 2 main channels being fed to the rear. - don't try it with expensive kit though :laugh:

    I connected a cheap midi system to the tape out on my stereo amp. Then connected a speaker to both +ve outputs on the midi system. (+ve left to speaker -ve, +ve right to speaker +ve)
    My amp controlled the main pair, with no danger of damage and the midi was on surround duties.

    can't say if it worked or not, but it was interesting!
     
  6. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Hi John,

    I bet you were fuming when you realised that had happened! It reminds me of a ridiculous 2 hours I spent effectively changing a plug, the amount of time it took you'd swear I was inventing the waste disposal not connecting it up...

    Any way, as far as your problem goes, if the cable doesn't have any marking on it (they usually have writing on one of the runs don't they?) then you could get a cheap length of flex (anything that will conduct -bell wire, mains flex, old speaker cable) and use that to test with a multi meter: Just twist the free end with the spare cable, then walk to the other end and test which of the banana plugs goes to that run.

    Hope it works out ok, as huw said having the speakers out of phase is not going to damage them, it'll just sound crap. The AVIA disc has a phase detector to test whether the speakers are in phase so that may be an easier way of finding out if you can get hold of a copy.

    Owain
     
  7. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Good idea mate, I've got some old cheapo speaker cable I can use for that.
    Thanks.
     

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