Author Topic: Speaker wiring question  (Read 3025 times)

Offline ST-Rider

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Speaker wiring question
« on: November 08, 2012, 09:54:47 AM »
Please bear with me....

A long time ago, a friend of mine told me about a unique way to wire my speakers. I think he had learned it from his Dad, who was an electronics guy that worked for some casinos in Atlantic City.

Anyway....I don't remember what the technique was (and that's ultimately my question here)....but something about how he swapped the L/R and/or +/- combination of wires seemed to almost turn the sound stage inside out. When I listened to music that way, I was able to hear things in the mix of a record that were otherwise buried, while the things that were prominent in the mix were relegated to the background.

It was most profound when listening to sonically dense music.  Then one I remember vividly was "I Wish U Heaven" off of Lovesexy by Prince. That record (and single even more so) has many many vocal layers with pretty unique harmonies. When I listened to it with the speakers hooked up this way, I heard harmonies that I didn't normally hear, and it provided new perspective on the music.

Curious if anyone has any idea what I'm talking about, or could provide any hypothesis on what the wiring might have been to provide what I described.

thanks!!


-j
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Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 10:47:27 AM »
Sounds like he was throwing on channel out of phase from the other.   This can sometimes yield some interesting results, but most of the time just makes it sound thin and hollow.   If you are interested in being able to do this from tie to time, you may want to set up one speaker with banana plugs.   They are very easy to pull out and reverse the polarity on.   Just power down the amp first.

Offline ST-Rider

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 10:49:01 AM »
Sounds like he was throwing on channel out of phase from the other.   This can sometimes yield some interesting results, but most of the time just makes it sound thin and hollow.   If you are interested in being able to do this from tie to time, you may want to set up one speaker with banana plugs.   They are very easy to pull out and reverse the polarity on.   Just power down the amp first.

So, how would you do that (i.e., what would you change to get that done)?

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Offline ST-Rider

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 10:49:53 AM »
Sounds like he was throwing on channel out of phase from the other.   This can sometimes yield some interesting results, but most of the time just makes it sound thin and hollow.   If you are interested in being able to do this from tie to time, you may want to set up one speaker with banana plugs.   They are very easy to pull out and reverse the polarity on.   Just power down the amp first.

So, how would you do that (i.e., what would you change to get that done)?

Or do you just mean take one side and reverse the +/- ?   I'll give that a try, but I think it was more involved than that.

thanks
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Offline TNRabbit

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 01:12:08 PM »
What you're talking about is the original Hafler Matrix:






I heard about this when I was a kid & tried it; it can make for some interesting effects, but it's not realistic.

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Offline ST-Rider

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 01:14:06 PM »
Thanks....Is there a version of that with 2 speakers? Because I remember  there only being 2 speakers when we did it.




What you're talking about is the original Hafler Matrix:






I heard about this when I was a kid & tried it; it can make for some interesting effects, but it's not realistic.
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Offline MacGeek

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 05:46:15 PM »
...............Anyway....I don't remember what the technique was (and that's ultimately my question here)....but something about how he swapped the L/R and/or +/- combination of wires seemed to almost turn the sound stage inside out. When I listened to music that way, I was able to hear things in the mix of a record that were otherwise buried, while the things that were prominent in the mix were relegated to the background.................



Some people claim to be able to hear a difference when reversing absolute polarity (this may be source dependent).  This is done by reversing both pairs of speaker wires.  If the speaker and amp connections are color coded, instead of red to red (+ to +), use red to black, or black to red  (+ to -, or - to +) on both channels.
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Offline TNRabbit

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2012, 08:44:36 PM »
You can do it with it hooked up like the rear speakers are in the diagram, but you'll be missing a lot of information.
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Offline TNRabbit

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Re: Speaker wiring question
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 07:05:55 AM »
FYI:

Robert Harley -- Mon, 06/09/2008 - 13:17

From Anthony H. Cordesman:

The Hafler "quad" circuit is actually a derived rear channel that drives the rear speakers with out of phase data. There are some old Stereo Review and Audio articles on how to make your own unit, but they are hard to find. The Wikepedia suggests making a connection from the right-positive post on the power-amp to the positive post on the right rear speaker. Then running a single wire from the negative post of that speaker to the negative post on the left rear speaker. And finally, running a single wire from the left rear's postive post back to the left-positive post on the power-amp.

The resulting sound creates an out of phase signal in the rear, without a clear sense of direction wi. The circuit does not somehow extract ambience, alter the timbre, or have any delay effect. All it does is add a sense of "space" with some recordings -- although the effect can sometimes be weird. It is a good idea to listen to a given recording with the front channels off to know exactly what is coming out in any given case. Performance is also very much a matter of set up, and room effects.

The user should be aware that this is a passive circuit, and effectively adds a new form of load to the amplifier and stereo speakers. This interaction rarely has a critical impact on sound, but is scarcely what high end gear is designed for, and can sometimes present problems.

It is not a good idea to use an old Halfer box designed for much lower wattages and far less sophisticated speakers. Anyone who experiments with this should research the various options, and then make their own box as a do it yourself project with connectors and wire gauges suited to a modern stereo system. The user should also know that speaker efficiency match will be a problem and it may be necessary to add a L-pad(s) into the circuit to match speaker levels to get the best effect.

Quite frankly, the various ambience circuits in a good AVR modern preamp or receiver will sound far better, although any synthetic rear channel effect will always be a "midfi" cludge. The Lexicon AV preamps contain the best options for creating such rear channel data that I have yet heard, but even these are not my thing. It takes a surround recording to get anything approaching high end surround sound. Barring that, I'd stick with stereo.

Anthony H. Cordesman
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