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Can you wire a speaker backwards?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by selfblessed, May 7, 2010.

  1. selfblessed


    Dec 29, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    I bought an old CTS era Fender 15" speaker. I hooked it up but I am worried that I might have done it backwards.

    Judging from the pick. Which one is the black wire and which one is the white wire. Also...Is that Positive and negative?
  2. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    Notice the connector that is GROUNDED? That is the MInus Lead, the other is the plus.

    NOW. Depending on which way your amp is wired will depend on which is white and which is black... If this is hooked in a cab, with a jack on the back... The tip will need to be plus. The quick battery test will make sure the cone goes out... Simple.

  3. my understanding is that if it is the only speaker in your setup it is not an issue, but if there are others, it must be wired in phase with them ie. so that it moves in and out at the same time and not opposite to them
  4. Tone Meister

    Tone Meister

    Dec 9, 2009
    Expanding on Bob's battery test suggestion ...

    To be certain, take a 9-volt battery and touch the speaker terminals, taking notice of which terminal the battery + is touching.

    When the cone moves outward, then the terminal touching the battery + is the positive + terminal. If you have it backwards the cone will move inward toward the magnet, which is reverse polarity.

    Works for most any common musical instrument speaker.
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    true in theory. however you want it to be "standard" as a backwards install can cause problems if the amp is ever slaved out, used in conjuctnction with others - etc. Like forrest gump said - that's one less thing!
  6. Indeed indeed
  7. selfblessed


    Dec 29, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    I notice that they look different. But which one is grounded...I am not sure.
  8. selfblessed


    Dec 29, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    I also intend to add another speaker...soon. So I would like it to be correct so I can just add it.
  9. Tone Meister

    Tone Meister

    Dec 9, 2009
    Now it becomes a no-brainer. Wire it positive polarity, or in phase. Any other way will be incorrect.
  10. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    A reversed-phase bass cabs can be really distracting & disconcerting to a sound tech, if you're using a PA as well as your amp. If you're in any doubt, borrow a known good (correct-phase) cab and do the battery test on both. Save yourself a future headache.
  11. What does an improperly connected speaker sound like?

    I have a feeling one of my speakers may have this problem. My cab is quite trebly and has a hum and click when I attack hard (GK SBX+).

    Sorry for the hijack.
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    in a single speaker enclosure it sounds identical to a properly wired one. in an enclosure with one properly wired and one wired with reverse polarity the most obvious thing will be a drop in lows.

    9v battery test will confirm this in .1 seconds
  13. Strongjag


    Aug 14, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Beards.
    9v battery test? How?

    Never mind. Really should read the whole thread (DUH)
  14. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    If you only have one speaker there is no problem. If you have two or more out of phase speakers you will get phase cancelation issues. This may not seem like an issue depending where you are in the room. As you move around the room you will notice the sound gets louder in some spots and quieter in others. One speaker will be pushing while the other is pulling. When it comes to speakers the positive/negative thing is for reference only. The battery test is a good one for detecting this.

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