Doubts on XLR config

I have a full XLR system. The pins for DAC and preamp are 1gound 2hot 3cold. I'm considering getting a poweramp with 1ground 2cold 3hot. I was told I have to reverse the red/black speaker cable to connect to the speaker. But would it be the same if I keep the red-red and black-black on the speakers end and instead have red-back on the poweramp side? My wild guess is there is difference. Reversing red-black at the speaker end is reversing the current flow on the speakers crossover. Whereas reversing the red-black connection at the poweramp is reversing the current flow in the speaker cables while preserving the original direction of flow at the speakers crossover. Anyone know what I'm talking about? I doubt myself. Thanks
Talk to Frank at
Reversing the connection at either end of the speaker cable will result in exactly the same final polarity. Assuming that the cable is an unshielded variety (as most are) then the performance will be identical regardless which end you invert. Kevin Halverson
You've had advice from an expert, Kevin H, but if you want more conversation, email [email protected], who advised me on the same issue. He also told me that CD's are usually made in such a way that it may not matter which polarity you choose--it can change several times through a CD, and it's hard to know which phase you're hearing, no matter how you arrange the cables. Upon hearing that, I left my connections alone, though they're just like yours, and don't seem to be suffering from it.
The only issue you are confronting here is polarity inversion, and thus Kevin (who is one of the real gentleman in this industry and also an extremely knowledgeable designer and manufacturer)is absolutely correct. In fact, if your preamplifier or DAC has a polarity inversion switch, as many do, then there may not even be any need to touch your speaker cables: just activate the switch as necessary or preferred. Based on extensive listening, I am also inclined to agree with Tom's comments about individual recordings being so variable with respect to polarity that the whole issue may not be that relevant on a practical basis.
Thanks to all you gentlemen's advice. So I can forget about all these polarity issue and sleep tight with my current red-red black-black connection. But well, from time to time I really doubt if there's any real audible difference though some swear by it???
My Threshold service manual suggests reconfiguring the interconnect between preamp and power amp in such a situation: "important: any associated equipment that is to be connected to the balanced input of an E-line amplifier (i.e. preamp, crossover, etc.) must be connected with an appropriately configured cable assembly in order to maintain proper system phase characteristics." In other words, keep hot to hot and cold to cold. Then wire the speakers normally. Why live in doubt if you don't have to? Good luck.