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  1. #1
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    Question Are my speakers not in phase? Why does it sound like this?? Help!

    I have a pair of tannoy fusion 4 speakers biwired with audioquest cv4 and tara labs quantum III cables. Recently I purchased a onix xcd-88 cd player and replaced my yamaha cdc775. Lately I have noticed that I must turn the dial on my NAD C350 way luder than usualy, around 10 to get decently loud. This was never the case before. Also the sound is very ?trebley? and harsh in the top range, the midrange isnt as warm as usual and the bass is kind of lackluster! What happened? I tested the same cd on my sony sacd/dvd player and it has that same sound, it never sounded like that before. Its not just the one cd either. Using the THX setup I can clearly make out the left channel, the right, and center is directly ahead. When the phase test comes the speakers sound like they are in phase when they are supposed to be and out of phase when they are not supposed to be. One thing I have noticed is that the white noise doesnt sound as loud as it did before.

    I have heard before that NAD reverses the polarity for some reason. Could this be the cause. Would switching all the posotive cables with the negative cables on the back of the speaker terminals fix this? I have checked and all cables are setup correctly.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTilbury
    I have a pair of tannoy fusion 4 speakers biwired with audioquest cv4 and tara labs quantum III cables. Recently I purchased a onix xcd-88 cd player and replaced my yamaha cdc775. Lately I have noticed that I must turn the dial on my NAD C350 way luder than usualy, around 10 to get decently loud. This was never the case before. Also the sound is very ?trebley? and harsh in the top range, the midrange isnt as warm as usual and the bass is kind of lackluster! What happened? I tested the same cd on my sony sacd/dvd player and it has that same sound, it never sounded like that before. Its not just the one cd either. Using the THX setup I can clearly make out the left channel, the right, and center is directly ahead. When the phase test comes the speakers sound like they are in phase when they are supposed to be and out of phase when they are not supposed to be. One thing I have noticed is that the white noise doesnt sound as loud as it did before.

    I have heard before that NAD reverses the polarity for some reason. Could this be the cause. Would switching all the posotive cables with the negative cables on the back of the speaker terminals fix this? I have checked and all cables are setup correctly.
    Did all this start with the change in cd players? I know you have posted problems with the NAD amp before and it may be time to have it checked out. When I try to diagnose a problem I try to remove as many variables as I can. For the time being I would put the jumper straps in and single wire your speakers. Check to make sure you do have the polarity correct. I think it would be easier to make an error with this bi wired especially with two different brands of cables. Next I would unplug all your source componets and use just one to check the different inputs. If all the inputs sound the same I would take the one source componet and use different interconnects to see if you have a bad interconnect. I have used this example in other posts but my Sony ES cd player sounds very grating in the high frequencies with a high capcitance cable. Also some cd players outputs can be a little lower than others so you would need to set the volume control to a higher level but this does not hurt anything. The symptoms of having your speakers out of phase is vague imaging and reduced bass. Reverse phase would not cause this problem.
    JohnMichael
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  3. #3
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    The thing is that it sounds this way with my dvd player also, I was watching gladiator and it just sounded thin and not very three dimensional. I had to crank it up and the voices were just flat and none realistic. I think i tried the headphones and the sound was great. So I just am not sure what this could be. So if the speaker wires are reversed it will sound exactly the same? Because I dont think they are out of phase, it is a different sound.

    This weekend I was away at a friends house, who has the Tannoy mx4s. He has them bi wired and I was telling him about this problem of mine. We decided to see what his would sound like if we reversed all the speaker wires, and low and behold the bass became a lot thinner, the highs became harsh and very trebble like, it didnt sound terrible, neither does mine, but it became very non musical flat and two dimensional. You might not have known if you never heard them hooked up the other way. But if you had you would know something was wrong.

    I havent had time to go home, i am at work now. But could this be my problem? could the NAD be reversing the - and + on the back terminals? Someone here or on another forum said he owned a shop and almost all the NAD amps had this problem, bad QC? or did NAD forget to tell people?

  4. #4
    RGA
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    My dealer had a lot of this out of phase LIKE sound but not out of phase -- but they only had the problem on the 320bee from what he said. He has carried NAD for years and was trying to get NAD to get the designer on the phone but he is contracted by NAD. In my listening session of the 320bee I felt it was very poor sounding and downright dull on top of the weird stage. The Rotel RA2 was much better in every way - he carries Rotel as well.

    I don't know about the polarity issue and the 350 and 370 I like a LOT more than the 320bee -- But it has been a few years perhpas they put out a bad run. NAD has not exactly been great in the QC department over the years.

  5. #5
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    Are my speakers out of phase?Why dothey sound like this,Help?

    No such things the 320bbe is a reliable sweet sounding amp at this price the Rotel at this price is much more mechanical sounding and bright and doesent have near the power and soundstage deph as amatter of fact they dont even sell well over here in the states Ro2 thats the model to RGA somethings always gonna be wrong with you equipment.Just take every thing down and go over it again and that doesnt work contact your dealer.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    TBOMB - No such thing -- seems this poster I and my dealer and everyone else who has heard this problem is hearing it. This poster is clearly hearing a problem which seems to be similar if not the same problem I and others have heard with another NAD.

    The Rotel is slightly lean and it's a little bright -- so you won't get argument from me but for the money it's one of the better ones around and this complaint I could level at a vast number of much more expensive SS amplifiers. The Rotel doesn't lack power -- many speakers lack sensitivity for no good reason.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    RTilbury, while going thru all connections may not be a bad idea. I would wait a bit. If ALL connections have been unchanged...hook the old yamaha cdc775 back up and reevaluate the sound. If all is good...then you have something to go on. The Rotel may not be perfect...but I wonder if it could be bringing the (possibly) phase issue to more light.

    That's if there is a phase issue...I don't know. But I wouldn't discount it either.


    good luck




    dan
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  8. #8
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    I do not have a Rotel, I have a nad c 350. I dont think it is my new onix cd player because while using the sony dvd.sacd player still hooked up it has that same sound, when I never heard it before. I used to enjoy my system, now all I can think about is how uninvolving it is, non musical, flat, shy bass and hard treble come to mind.

    RGA Do you have simmilar experience with a problem like this from other NAD amps? Please give details!!!

    If this is the NAD problem I will be happy to see it go, but im just shocked because it used to sound soo good.

    This saturday i might be ordering the Jolida 1501rc from my local dealer...First though i want to fix this problem of mine. I dont even want to listen to music any more.

  9. #9
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    So I waited all day at work for the chance to get home and reverse all the speaker cables to see if this would finally fix my system. It seems for the last month or whenever I havent enjoyed my system at all, I would even turn it off thinking I wouldnt listen to it for a few weeks. Well I i changed all the cables, and wow from the first song I played I knew my old system was back. It sounds so amazing I cant believe it, I finally can hear what my new cd player is all about! Coldplay used to sound terrible to me on my old cd player, but now its like I am hearing their cds for the first time. Diana krall has her weight back and damien rice sounds like he is standing right in front of me.

    I cant wait to get my jolida lol.

    The tannoy fusion series are amazing speakers, for anyone interested.

    Whoever says they cant tell the difference between inverted polarity must be crazy
    Last edited by RTilbury; 06-27-2005 at 07:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you got everything working good. Great news!


    Quote Originally Posted by RTilbury

    Whoever says they cant tell the difference between inverted polarity must be crazy
    Yep....you can even hear when a single driver is wired out of phase.


    congrats!

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  11. #11
    RGA
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    I did not realize it used to sound good -- the 320 Bee have problems right out of the box -- If your amp was fine before and now it is not then I can't explain it -- maybe a problem elsewhere

  12. #12
    ***** Irregular yogo's Avatar
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    You reversed ALL your speaker cables?

    If that's what you did that would not fix a phase problem (possibly a sub phase problem but I don't think thats what you're experiencing) and you shouldn't hear any difference from before. I don't think you have a phase problem.

    I have older receivers that have much more "punch" than newer similarly watted rated recievers. I agree with Gonefishin in that the problem may be the change to a new unit.
    That's when then the problem started. Sounds like the Nad doesn't have the same sound as your Yamaha. Only way to tell for sure is to hook up the old unit.

    Luck

  13. #13
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    I agree with yogo. If you switched all your speakers cables you couldn't have fixed a phase problem. The problem with phasing happens when each speaker in a specific pair you're comparing are wired at different polarities (one +/-, the other -/+).

    Let's say you're listening to the main speaker pair in stereo and you run a test tone. The speaker cones will move in and out. When the speakers are in-phase each cone will move in at the same time and out at the same time. Out-of-phase when the left speaker is moving in the right is moving out thus the waves are moving in opposing directions almost cancel each other out. This a is why it sounds thin. Changing all the wires won't change the relationship between the specific speakers.

    Another way to tell if your speakers are wired in-phase is to use a AA battery. If you touch the + end of the battery to the + speaker wire and the - end to the - wire, the speaker cone should move outward. Checking each speaker this way will tell you if there's a problem with cabling between the receiver and speaker. If each speaker responds the same, the polarities of your wires are correct. When connected to the receiver correctly, all speakers will be in-phase unless there's a problem with the receiver.

    I'm guessing your problem was associated more with a loose interconnect connection, stray speaker wire touching where is shouldn't, or something else. Or you had a phasing problem, but didn't "switch everything" and the error was corrected during the switch.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I thought of something else that might have given you problems. You mentioned that you biwired your speakers. I was wondering if you had both speaker wires coming out of the speaker A binding posts or if you were using both A & B speaker posts. Most biwiring is done from a single set of outputs unless the amp is designed for one set of speakers and has a second set of posts for easier biwiring. The electronics experts out there can probably explain why its better but I remember reading something about when two sets of speakers, or one set using both A & B outputs, the amp will reduce output so the impedance drop of two sets being hooked up won't strain the amp.
    JohnMichael
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  15. #15
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    First I am going to get things straight. My system is as follows

    Amp - NAD C350
    Speakers - Tannoy Fusion 4
    Cd player - Onix xcd-88
    (old cd player) - Yamaha cdc-775

    I used to love my system, the NAD was a great sounding amp and I used to have the tannoy mx4 paired with it. Everyone that heard it loved it. I sold my speakers and bought the Tannoy fusion 4 brand new because they were 60% off. I hooked them up, and they sounded ok, a few days later they sounded good but something just wasnt the same. I got some money and bought the onix xcd-88 and put it in, keep in mind i wasnt listening to the system as much because it just wasnt doing it for me. Hooked up the cd player and since it was late at night listened through my sennheisers 580s. Wow the bass was amazing, it had never shook my head like that and the details were so crisp. I always thought the sennheisers had weak bass. Guess I was wrong. So the next day I sit down to actually listen with my speakers, ehh.... Bad sound, all the things it sounded like as I have stated in my other posts. I just didnt get why it sounded so bad, before it had sounded ok nothing terrible, now it was unlistanable.

    I was upset, i just bought this new cd player that should have been a big improvement over my 5 disk changer yamaha. I turned my system off for a few days thinking it was just me. I turn it on again hoping it will somehow sound good, no, still the same bad sound.

    So this brings us to the other day, searching through countless archives and forums I find that other people have had the same experience, ITS NOT PHASE ITS POLARITY. So I reverse all the speaker wire and my system sounds amazing. Every cd sounds good, even the old crannberries which I thought was thin now sounds very good.

    Obviously polarity is a huge issue, maybe in some systems people cant really tell the difference. Perhaps the onix reverses polarity or the yamaha did and the nad changed it back so i never knew it. Something changed in my system. Perhaps even the tannoys are reversed in their crossovers, all i know is that they hate being played one way. I have heard of this before in other speakers, where the crossover was meant to be directional.

    And it wasnt a loose interconnect because I didnt mess with any of them yesterday, and it wasnt a stray speaker cable because i had tried cleaning and re connecting them a few times before i reversed them and it sounded the same.

    Also the NAD does not have a + b speaker outputs, only one set. And I know that they were all connected correctly because I have checked numerous times and my cables are color coated so there is no mistake to which side is which.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Peter_Klim's Avatar
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    Nevermind the polarity/pahse problem. I want to know about the Jolida amp!! (jk about your problem)

    I haven't been able to find much about this amp anywhere on the net. I think this would be nice for me in a 2nd system. Please inform us when you get it!

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    You havent been able to find anything about this amp? There are tons of reviews on this site and if you google it you can find a lot of very high resolution pics of the inside and out. My dealer carries all models of jolida but does not have the 1501rc on the floor, Most of his stuff is the all tube amps and the envoy system. He also carries BAT, Audio Research and NAD.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular Peter_Klim's Avatar
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    Maybe the 1501, but not the RC model.

  19. #19
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    Yea the RC model looks way more appealing then the 1501a. The remote, the looks, the extra inputs, the tape loops, the standby mode, and the benefit of being able to add an extra amp or the 3 channel jolida for surround sound. Why would someone want the regular 1501 a? haha

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