positive or negative? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : positive or negative?

12-23-2006, 10:42 AM
Car audio question, but it is more fundamental than car specific, I checked out the car audio forum, but little to no traffic.

I just purchased some replacement speakers for my wife's Honda mini-van. One was rattling when any bass was heard and the speakers I purchased, while cheap were a nice step up from the OEM models. So, installation appears to be really easy, but I cannot figure out what the polarity of the speaker wires are, by sight alone. The after market wire harnesses allow the wires to be connected either way. I will try and see if Honda can help, but would not hold my breath on that one. Any thoughts on what I could do to figure this out?

Can I go ahead and wire up and see how they sound, how would I know if they were wrong? I am assuming I could tell, but not as blatant as the songs playing backwards.... although that may allow me to confirm once and for all the satanic messages in the Mickey Mouse songs:ihih: Or could that damage the speakers or radio?

Thanks for your help.

12-23-2006, 01:21 PM
Let me try and remeber this old trick. It involved a 1.5 volt battery and two pieces of wire. Attach a wire to each lug and place one lead against the negative end of the battery. Then gently touch the other lead to the positive. If the cone moves out then the lead you touched to the positive side of the battery is the positive side of the speaker. If it moves in then the one you are holding to the negative end of the battery is positive.

Touch the wire to the battery briefly just to see how the cone will move. Do not hold the connection for an extended period of time.

Dusty Chalk
12-23-2006, 02:58 PM
It shouldn't damage anything -- audio signals are A/C -- so even if you get it wrong, in another half a cycle, you'll be right. Since woofers and tweeters are set at various distances from the driver's/listener's ear, the phase is screwed up anyway. The important thing is to try to get them close at the crossover region.

So: unless you listen very carefully in the car, shouldn't matter that much. If you can try it one way, listen to it, then try it the other, pay specific attention to the crossover region, and pick the one with less of a suckout.