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speaker polarity

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by uglyrumor, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Does it matter in a single speaker configuration what polarity it is wired? Does that change with the addition of other speaker boxes? Is there a way to determine speaker polarity if it is not marked? Thanks!
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Correct, doesn't matter with a single speaker, matters ALOT when adding additional speakers. You can test the polarity with a 9 volt battery. A quick search will find the exact steps to take, but it's super easy- you take a 1/4" plug with bare wires on the other end, plug it into the cab, and touch each wire to one side of the battery, and the other. The speaker will either move "out", or "in". You want them all to go the same direction.
  3. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    You can even do the polarity check with a standard guitar or speaker cable, with 1/4" plugs at both ends.

    Just touch the 9v battery terminals to the tip and sleeve of the plug.
  4. How can I tell which way it goes if the speaker tabs are unmarked? Which pos, which neg?
  5. padenski


    Feb 19, 2008
    Landenberg, PA
    If it moves out, then the wire that was on the positive terminal of the battery is the positive terminal on the speaker. The other is the negative. If the speaker moves in, than the positive on the battery is connected to the negative on the speaker.
  6. Be advised that on some JBL loudspeakers, red is negative.
  7. Thanks. There is no color. I wired it as the one that came out was wired. I'm going to get another cabinet, so then I'll check to make sure they are the same. Looks like I'm on my way to a bigger rig again! I need more mids.
  8. Hi.

    Regardless of the colours or other indicators, the battery test never fails.

    In order to save You from future grief, do wire both of the cabs to tip/positive. That'll help if You have to use unknown (correctly wired ;)) cabs for some reason.

  9. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    +1. I thought this was convention.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    it may not matter as much, but i would still rather have the speaker shooting out than in.
  11. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Not to disagree entirely, but as soon as you put your single speaker into a band environment, or add PA support, it is now working in conjunction with more than one speaker, making phase an issue pretty much all the time.

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