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Absolute Polarity

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VinylSound

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Has anyone out there played with your vinyl by switching the red and black outputs from your amp to change the Absolute Polarity?

It's quite a hassle to go back and forth, but some records I thought were very poorly recorded turn out to be diamonds in the rough if you reverse the Absolute Polarity.

Even more to my surprise, some of my CDs improve.

The system is a Sota Sapphire with a Grado Platinum Reference MM cart, Musical Fidelity A308 preamp, a Mobile Fidelity amp (Michael Yee), old Sony CD player/recorder, a pair of SL3s and various wires and interconncects.

Any thoughts or fellow experimenters who can share would be a huge help. For those of you who haven't tried this, find an album which sounds muffled and reverse the Absolute Polarity and let us know how it turns out.

best to all!

Doug
White Stone, VA
 

roberto

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VinylSound said:
Has anyone out there played with your vinyl by switching the red and black outputs from your amp to change the Absolute Polarity?

It's quite a hassle to go back and forth, but some records I thought were very poorly recorded turn out to be diamonds in the rough if you reverse the Absolute Polarity.

Even more to my surprise, some of my CDs improve.

The system is a Sota Sapphire with a Grado Platinum Reference MM cart, Musical Fidelity A308 preamp, a Mobile Fidelity amp (Michael Yee), old Sony CD player/recorder, a pair of SL3s and various wires and interconncects.

Any thoughts or fellow experimenters who can share would be a huge help. For those of you who haven't tried this, find an album which sounds muffled and reverse the Absolute Polarity and let us know how it turns out.

best to all!

Doug
White Stone, VA
Hola Doug, as an example of this, Philips records are done in reverse polarity...there are other brands too, like Deutsche Grammophon in some records. The Industrial Standard has not yet get alone with this. Another reason why most hi-end digital processors has this option, and in some recordings, you can find which mics are with reverse polarity. In this recordings, you have the right size of the instruments while others are out of position. When you reverse the absolute phase, then the instruments what where bad are right and the others bad...funny? yes, and the industrial tech. says that we can not hear the polarity, perhpas they are right if they think in a Sony portable recorder, but in a truly high en system of course you can. Chesky Records to mentions one good fine product takes care a lot regarding the polarity, and of course there are a lot of more recording brands that do this. Happy listening,
Roberto.
 

twich54

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Interesting Doug, I love it when I have another reason to listen to my LP's !
I'll let you know what I hear or not !

BTW, SimAudio maker of some mighty fine CD players reverses polarity, so I'm told.
 

Gordon Gray

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Conrad Johnson preamps too

I've owned two CJ preamps. They reverse polarity also.

GG
 

SugarMedia

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VinylSound said:
Has anyone out there played with your vinyl by switching the red and black outputs from your amp to change the Absolute Polarity?
Exactly how is this done? I'm curious to give it a try.
 

roberto

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SugarMedia said:
Exactly how is this done? I'm curious to give it a try.
Hola Sugar media, at the connections post, on the speaker´s cables, the red goes to the - and the black goes to the + on both channels...happy listening,
Roberto.
 

aliveatfive

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As Roberto suggested, not only do some cd players, phono stages and preamaps reverse polarity, there is no industry standard on software and polarity. Some recordings from the same manufacturer do not have the same polarity. Some preamps have the ability to accomplish polarity-reversing. Those in the the know have suggested that you treat each recording on an individual case basis. What sounds best is correct. BTW - sometimes the difference is not subtle. (Based on personal experience.)
 

MiTT

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A lot of higher end phono stages and pre-amps (like my Aesthetix and BAT) actually have polarity or phase switches built in for this reason. I usually experiment with it when I first listen to an album or CD, and it makes a difference about 40% of the time.
 

VinylSound

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Yah, I suspect that about 40-50% of my recordings are affected by the Absolute Polarity issue. I understand that the DG recordings mostly need to be switched, but haven't tried. And yes, when you find one which is muffled and switch it the results are not subtle. Led Zepplelin II was pretty much live in my living room when I switched the polarity on Atlantic SD 8236.

Happy Listening!
 

SugarMedia

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VinylSound said:
Yah, I suspect that about 40-50% of my recordings are affected by the Absolute Polarity issue. I understand that the DG recordings mostly need to be switched, but haven't tried. And yes, when you find one which is muffled and switch it the results are not subtle. Led Zepplelin II was pretty much live in my living room when I switched the polarity on Atlantic SD 8236.

Happy Listening!
Perhaps that explains why my Zeppelin CD's sound like crap. Good topic. thanks.
 

VinylSound

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Did your Zeppelin CDs improve after changing the Absolute Polarity?
Anyone interested in working to create some kind of master list of records where the polarity is reversed?
 

Jeff Zaret

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Like (GG) Gordon Gray. I have had several CJ preamps, still have one and I have the polairty reversed at the speakers and the sounds is full and wonderfull.

Just my 2 cents

Jeff :cool:
 

SugarMedia

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Just wanted to give my findings to the mentioned topic.

I had a difficult time deciding if there was an improvement or if it was just my imagination wanting there to be one. I played, 'All of my love' and reversed the Polarity (4) four times trying to decide.

My conclusion is that it does make a difference. The soundstage seemed to be a bit wider and a veil taken off of the music in certain areas, but not all. I also heard a small, some what off string pluck at 16 sec coming out of the right channel that was louder than it was with the 'normal polarity config.' In addition the overall sound was louder when the polarity was reversed.

The cd I'm using for reference is: "Led Zeppelin- Latter Days" The best of Zepp Volume Two. Atlantic recording Corp.

Cheers.
 
T

Taz

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I do not know if this is along the same lines but through my Denon 4806 my ML's show up as the polarity reversed. They are not wired backwards and I called Denon and they said this is normal for some speakers. I have not asked ML yet any thoughts?
 

risabet

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Absolute phase is clearly audible!

For many years I was a proud owner of a pre-amp, the name eludes me, that had a polarity switch. Many sessions were spent listening to the differences in AP that occur in each recording. I came to the conclusion that the most obvious differences occured in instruments with highly asymmetrical waveforms such as brasses and instruments with rapidly changing waveforms such as percussion. IMO AP is clearly audible though subtle and if you have a simple method to change it use it. Since I no longer have a preamp with a switch I no longer bother, as it is, AP is right half the time anyway and I'd rather spend my time listening to music.
 
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