Wiring question -- speaker phase


For the experts: what difference would you expect in the sound if the speaker polarities were reversed from being in-phase to out-of-phase, or the other way?

The reason I am asking is because I ran two cabs in parallel, each with a Celestion Blue, and the sound had a funny 'stereo effect' which clearly was not normal, but sounded great. Turns out that the two speakers were wired out of phase.

My questions are:

1. Is there any impact to be expected, other than getting rid of the stereo effect, if I rewired the cabs to have the speakers in phase?

2. Does a 2x12 sound much different from having the two speakers in two separate cabs when the cabs are placed next to each other?



Silver Supporting Member
While there's no right or wrong when it comes to tone, when speakers are wired out of phase they are fighting each other, which can cause a hollow or dead sound. In phase, they work together and the overall sound will be more alive because both speakers are trying to move air in the same direction.

As far as cabs go, due to the cab being physically larger, I would expect a 2X12 to have a deeper tone than two, similarly equipped, smaller 1X12's.


If your running two separate cabs and the ohmage load is right for the amp, it won't hurt the amp, it doesn't care. Now with respect to moving air and creating sound waves, well that's a different story. If the two cabs are spead apart you will get a 'stereo' sort of effect depending on where you listen from.

If two spkrs are parallel wired 'in phase' with amp + to spkr + the initial signal should push the cone out toward the front of the cab. In a two spkr config that is 'cross wired' one spkr will be pushing air while the other is pulling air (that SUX) and you will get sound 'cancellation'. They will be working against one another, not good. Sound is only a matter of moving air.

On a single speaker amp it really isn't a concern although I prefer having things done the RIGHT way for any installation esp if you plan to use a slave cab in the future. This is not ALWAYS true cause some nitwit manufs do it bassackwards. aaargh!

In the case of a 'series' wired cab the amp + to the first spkr +, the - of the first spkr will go to the + of the second which has it's - going back to the amp.

Wire them correctly and enjoy the richness of the amp and speakers/cabs..........

A quick polarity check of a speaker w/o the tabs labelled is to take a 1.5V dry cell (D) battery and hook it up an see which way the cone moves....... + forward and - backwards. Doesn't move much but will give you a reliable indication.

Are we confuzed yet? I am........ :eek:

Hammer on.......Blair


I say if you like it, leave it. It doesn't hurt the amp, but you will get the dead spots due to phase cancellation, but this also creates the stereo effect. You're in no danger unless maybe you play really loud. There is a small chance that the speakers would "twist" your baffle loose since they would actually put torque on the baffle.

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