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What happens if wire headphone signal/ground reversed?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of old Sennheiser drivers that I would like to wire up. Problem is I can't tell which solder post is signal and which is ground. I'm wondering what would happen if I happen to guess wrong. Will it just not work or will I destroy the drivers?
post #2 of 11
they will play out of phase.

if both are in the same phase (in OR out) the differences are nominal.

if they are NOT in the same phase (one in phase, one out) they are going to sound pretty funnay.

either way, the simple act of running the drivers out of phase wont kill em.
post #3 of 11
The world will stop rotating and all life will cease to exist as we know it.
post #4 of 11
It's as bad as crossing the streams.
post #5 of 11
Like nikongod said, if you wire one backwards from the other, they'll play out of phase and it'll sound dreadful. If you wire both backwards, then you'll only invert the absolute phase. In neither case will the drivers be damaged, as the coils have no inherent polarity to them; the way you wire them just affects which direction they move the diaphragm on the positive and negative swings of the signal.
post #6 of 11
it is worthy of note that wiring the jack on an amp improperly (ground to ring or tip rather than sleeve) can cause some larger issues, but you only do it once, and its harder to mess up.

i like that the terminals on neutrik jacks are alllllll clearly marked.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Drivers all wired up, jack all wired up, plugged it all in for a test drive and no Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man showed up at my door. Phew!
post #8 of 11
Just give him a minute, he's around the block and he doesn't move very fast.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post
they will play out of phase.
Nothing more, nothing less...
post #10 of 11
If they are out of phase an interesting thing will happen to stereo recordings: sounds that are mixed to center (typically lead vocals) will disappear. This is how those "vocal eliminators" work. For musicians, it can be a nice way to hear things like hard-to-hear rhythm guitar parts.
post #11 of 11
Carefull, you can dislocate your eardrums. With the drivers cone moving in the opposite direction, it will cause a pulling instead of pushing action. This vacuum will pull on your eardrums!
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