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Author: Marxtacy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 10514  
Subject: Re: Speaker wire question Date: 2/2/2004 2:33 PM
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You won't blow anything up. In fact, you don't even need to plug in the stereo. A neat trick is the "battery pop test."

Get a battery smaller than a 9 volt (e.g., AA to D). An "AA" battery will work great.

Plug a speaker into one set of wires. Go to what you think is the other end of that set of wires and hold one wire to the negative side of the battery. Then, brush the other wire across the positive side of the battery. If you hear a "pop" then you know that is the set of wires that goes to that speaker. If you hear nothing, then try the other set of wires. This will quickly solve the question of which set of wires go to which speaker.

Now that you know which set of wires go to each speaker, you can repeat the test. This time you are looking for the movement of the speaker. (You might need a friend to look at the speaker if you can't see it from where the other end of the wire comes out of the wall.) With the speaker wire plugged into a speaker, go to the other end of the wire. Once again, hold one of the wires to the negative terminal of the battery and brush the other end of the wire across the positive terminal of the battery. If the speaker cone moves OUT (towards you) during the "POP" then you have the polarity correct. (That is, the wire touching the positive side of the battery terminal goes to the positive speaker terminal, and will be connected to the positive output of the stereo.) If the speaker cone moves IN (away from you) during the "pop" then you know you have the polarity wrong, which means the positive wire is the one touching the negative terminal of the battery.

If you have speaker grills that can not be removed, then a friend might be able to use a flashlight to see the movement of the speaker.

If still can't see the speaker, you can use the "Avia Guide to Home Theater" DVD to test polarity. Be sure you read the explanation, because some people have a hard time understanding exactly what they should be listening for during the test.

Let me know if you have any questions.

marxtacy
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