Would an outlet with reverse polarity affect sound quality??
Dec 1, 2008 at 6:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

tke398

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I have been using an outlet that is connected to a Panamax Max1000 line conditioner. I just found out that the outlet was installed incorrectly and the polarity was backwards. Since all of my components were plugged into the Pamanax and the Panamax was plugged into the outlet, would that cause a difference in sound quality?

The reason why I ask is because I took a quick listen after plugging everything in to another outlet with correct polarity. My Grado 325i's sounded less bright and much warmer. It was a really noticeable difference, but I want to make sure it wasn't a placebo affect or maybe just because it was a track I wasn't intimately familiar with. I didn't have time to listen to my normal selection of music.

Any thoughts?
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 8:01 PM Post #2 of 3

cobra_verde

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Yes, polarity matters! The audio newsletter Bound For Sound when giving reviews almost always states whether a piece of gear sounds better way one way or the other polarity wise. See Tweaks for more info. I've actually had a dedicated line put in with reverse polarity so I can experiment with my gear to see which way sounds better.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 9:04 PM Post #3 of 3

edstrelow

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I agree polarity does matter. I have a tester which detects magnetic fields which sounds like it would be the same as the "voltage leakage to the chasis" descibed in the tweak link above. When polarity is correct the field is weaker and the sound is usually better most obviously in terms of dynamics. This is a problem with some non-polarized plugs. I take these plugs and reverse them to see how they shape up, and them mark them so I know which way to insert them. Supposedly even some plugs which are already polarized can be improperly set up and could be reversed for better sound.
 

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