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Speaker out of phase and clipping

Old 02-20-09, 03:37 PM
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Speaker out of phase and clipping

I have a 7.1 surround system set up with Celestion AV501 (or something) speakers. The front left speaker pops during very loud noises when I have the volume up high (that's clipping, right?). No other speakers do it. If I swap that speaker with another in the system (say left for right), the pop still occurs at the left front. That eliminates any particular speaker as the problem.

Also, I got a Denon 1909 the other day, and when running the Audyssey audio setup it reported the left front as being "out of phase". It reported no other speakers as such.

So now I'm inducing that this out of phase condition is what leads to the clipping. Is that reasonable, and how do I fix it?
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Old 02-20-09, 03:49 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

Reverse the wires and make sure there is no short. Then test it. If that does nothing or makes it worse, I'd say you have a fault inside your receiver.

Did this start with the 1909?
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Old 02-20-09, 04:35 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

No, this is now the second receiver that this is happening on. I'm quite certain the wiring is correct, but I'll swap them just to see what happens.
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Old 02-20-09, 04:37 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

So, different receivers, different speakers, same location. I guess that pretty much means that the wiring is the issue, no? How can I test for a short?
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Old 02-21-09, 02:03 AM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

A short should really only be possible at the ends of the wire, receiver and speaker. So just check those connections out. Unless you think the wire could have been damaged somewhere in the middle.

"Out of phase" means the wires are reversed. Almost certainly.
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Old 02-21-09, 01:27 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

Possibly check at the back of your receiver if some wire strands are shorting out.
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Old 02-21-09, 03:43 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

I have Celestion as well....and this maybe over simplistic but....

What power is your Denon? Those are nice little speakers (I love them for the money). But you maybe just over powering them. I have no doubt that Denon has nice clean power, but depending on just how high you are taking it, you maybe over powering them.

I have a H/K but is "only" 40 watts per channel. Now H/K does not screw with their numbers. I have have a hard time over powering these speakers with it, but I can hear the sound quality reducing a little if I truely give it full power.
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Old 02-21-09, 03:59 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

Well, you mean drive the underpowered receiver too hard, I think. Which can damage both amp and speakers. No receiver is going to overpower normal 8 ohm speakers. Possibly the Sunfire receiver with real light-weights, but who would have that combo. And even that is only 200wpc.

If it is something like this, it would have been the original receiver that damaged the speaker and now it's bad regardless of the new Denon, I would imagine.
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Old 02-27-09, 09:44 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

I would just like to apologize to everyone here, my deceased parents, and all my school teachers throughout my life. Turns out I've had the speaker wire reversed all this time. That's what I get for having blackout curtains on all the windows and inadequate lighting. What a bone-headed mistake. And it's only taken me two years to figure it out!

Put on the Superman Returns sonic boom scene and nothing but crisp pure sound. Joy at last.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-27-09, 11:50 PM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

It shouldn't make a difference, reversing the positive and negative speaker wires connected to a speaker. Out of phase makes a difference in relation to how the other speakers are connected. This assumes the crossover inside each speaker is wired up as designed.

You probably had a short in the wires connected to the speaker. Re-connecting the wires may have fixed that issue.
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Old 02-28-09, 10:33 AM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

Originally Posted by Patman View Post
It shouldn't make a difference, reversing the positive and negative speaker wires connected to a speaker.
Then why is there a red and a black connection on each end? I always assumed that black needs to run to black and red to red.
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Old 02-28-09, 11:02 AM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

Well, Patman said it a little weird. The 2nd sentence is the point. The color coding is for convenience so you don't, uh...plug them in backwards.
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Old 02-28-09, 11:10 AM
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Re: Speaker out of phase and clipping

Right, had you connected all the black wires to each of your speakers' red terminals, and vice-versa, you'd still be considered in-phase.

My first sentence was about clipping, and how simply connecting the black wire to the red terminal and vice-versa would not cause clipping in one speaker if the other speakers weren't clipping as well. Therefore, the clipping was caused by some short in the connections between the red and black wires to the speaker, either by some frayed wiring if you aren't using terminal plugs, and just twisted bare speaker wire and screwed in the wired to the terminals from the amp side, or the speaker side.
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