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  1. #1
    Moderator myrman's Avatar
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    Reverse phase - what does it mean?

    Following on from the Modwright thread can anyone explain what reverse phase is. There seem to be a number of manufacturers that make reverse phase products so what are the benefits of such a design?

  2. #2
    Super Wammer Chumpy's Avatar
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    Only benefits for paying listener are if safely/paying listener prefers such-configured bitties.

    E.g.

    http://www.google.co.uk/#sclient=psy...w=1920&bih=797
    'Sometimes via the senses, mostly in the mind' (or pocket)...

  3. #3
    Wammer karlinamillion's Avatar
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    It flips the phase on both channels, so instead of the signal going up, down, up, down it goes down, up, down, up etc. Thus your speaker will be going in, out, in, out instead of out, in, out, in. Exactly the same can be achived by flipping the speaker cables at one end only, ie what was in + goes in - etc.
    I had an amp with this facility, couldnt hear fuck all diffrence, you could argue for certain sounds that the first transient is always in the same 'direction' (ie either pressure or rarefacation) it is important. Such as a kick drum, where the leading edge would be going up. Temper this with all the phase errors introduced by the entire recording chain, studio mic to domestic speaker, and it's a very muddy pond.
    Note it's important that this is done to both channels, flip the phase of just one & you get all sorts of cancellations & phase effects.
    Last edited by karlinamillion; 30-11-2011 at 08:57 AM.
    If it ain't going in, it ain't coming out

  4. #4
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    Wot he says.

    Though I thought Chumpy's explanation was the best.
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but Iím not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  5. #5
    Super Wammer bmtell's Avatar
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    My old pre-amp reversed phase. As I understand it the polarity is just inverted. I just connected the output of the power amp the other way round. Otherwise I think the speakers would have been sucking instead of blowing.

  6. #6
    Super Dooper Wammer Cable Monkey's Avatar
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    Reversing phase can move bass nodes around the room. If you were sitting in a position where bass seemed weak it could be because your were in a position where bass might be cancelled out. Reversing the phase quite can result in increase or decrease in bass but it obviously varies dependant on room and circumstances. A lot of subs come with the facility to reverse phase because it can be easier to do that than to try and site the sub optimally.
    Let me get this straight. You take a perfectly good CD and put it in a DVD player??!!

  7. #7
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    True Henry, but with a sub, when you reverse the phase you are reversing it for the sub only, so not changing the phase of the main speakers. This will certainly have a notable effect.

    Reversing absolute phase means that the phase of every speaker driver in the system is reversed. Even with a low bass note at 50hz, the speaker cone is moving backwards and forwards 50 times per second. For the life of me, I can't quite see how whether it starts off by moving forwards or backwards is going to make the slightest difference.
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but Iím not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  8. #8
    Moderator myrman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabski View Post

    Reversing absolute phase means that the phase of every speaker driver in the system is reversed. Even with a low bass note at 50hz, the speaker cone is moving backwards and forwards 50 times per second. For the life of me, I can't quite see how whether it starts off by moving forwards or backwards is going to make the slightest difference.
    So why bother confusing the consumer with such a design. If there are no great benefits there seems little point.

  9. #9
    Super Dooper Wammer def's Avatar
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    I think CJ are run that way as their circuit creates an 'out of phase' signal in the pre and rather than reverse it in the amp they choose to do it via the connections.

  10. #10
    misaligned
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    Quote Originally Posted by def View Post
    I think CJ are run that way as their circuit creates an 'out of phase' signal in the pre and rather than reverse it in the amp they choose to do it via the connections.
    Some of the old Linn stuff used to do that. Always made me think "if you can't get the phase right, what else is wrong?".

  11. #11
    Super Dooper Wammer hifinutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by def View Post
    I think CJ are run that way as their circuit creates an 'out of phase' signal in the pre and rather than reverse it in the amp they choose to do it via the connections.
    yes so far that aspect has put me off cj amps
    You might slip, you might slide, You might stumble and fall by the roadside, But don't ever let nobody drag your spirit down, Remember you're walking up to heaven
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  12. #12
    Moderator meninblack's Avatar
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    LOL - I love that people get so elevated about this. Some recordings are out of phase - and there is no way of knowing which ones!

  13. #13
    Deaf Wammer Tel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifinutt View Post
    yes so far that aspect has put me off cj amps
    Why?
    At least they tell what they are doing.


    I had a Bryston pre-amp once that had a reverse phase switch on the front. The manual said it was so you could switch the phase for known recordings as a lot of them were out of phase. How you were supposed to know it didn't explain.

    I can't see as how it makes any difference as long as everything is in the same phase.

    There was a wammer a few years ago who had a bake off and people said that something wasn't right and suspected that one speaker was out of phase. All the connectors were checked and everything seemed OK.
    Eventually it was found that one of the speakers had the internal wiring out of phase and that is how it had left the factory!
    "We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap" Kurt Vonnegut

  14. #14
    Wammer June's Avatar
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    I have a friend who uses a phono stage with an 'invert phase' button. Apparently, with recordings that were recorded out of phase, using the phase button makes the soundstage snap into place.
    Ketamine: Just Say 'Neigh'

  15. #15
    Moderator meninblack's Avatar
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    My old Cyrus CDP had a phase invert button. It never made the slightest difference. You can invert the phase by moving your head half a wavelength nearer the speakers. Every frequency arrives at your ear with a different phase....

  16. #16
    Miserable Git unclepuncle's Avatar
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    My Wadia has a 'phase invert' option - tried it and can't hear any difference.
    The truth is out there, you just have to know where to look.

  17. #17
    Wammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclepuncle View Post
    My Wadia has a 'phase invert' option - tried it and can't hear any difference.
    Just tried this exact same thing with my Wad. Slapped 10 different CD's in and flicked btween in and out of phase and cant here ANY difference.

  18. #18
    Moderator meninblack's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised. The human ear doesn't have a mechanism for sending absolute phase information to the brain. Doesn't stop the foonatics claiming they can hear it, of course.

  19. #19
    Wammer
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    All the current croft amp are phase inverting according to Glenn. So if you match his preamp to his amp, then the phase is correct. As I'm only using his preamp (and previously only his power amp) I flip speakers terminals. Honest to God it sounds better, slightly more focus center stage, while when phase inverted it gives a wider but slightly hollow soundstage.

    May be it's just strong imagination....

  20. #20
    Super Wammer Manxstar's Avatar
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    It raises the element of self doubt; is it or isn't it.. Best left in the standard/correct/universal configuration imho.
    Specifications subject to change because they just might.

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