I pretty much had to have a polarity switch; My Gallo speakers are "extremely polarity sensitive," in the words of a Gallo tech. I had been switching speaker cables to change polarity, but finally gave up and bought an Aesthetix Calypso (formerly owned a CJ Prem 17LS2) with polarity switching via the remote, and haven't regretted it. Most speakers won't even reveal polarity changes, but if you have a pair that does, a polarity switch becomes kinda important.
It would be a deal breaker for me. Any preamp that has that kind of extraneous circuitry just won't work for me.
By the way, in multi-tracked recordings you will often find that the different mike feeds are in differing polarities, the result being some instruments in positive polarity and some in inverted polarity. Not to say that having your system in one polarity or the other won't sound better on any given recording.
I have a linestage that has a remotely controlled polarity switch (Levinson Ref. No. 32) and others that do not have such a switch. I like having the ability to make a switch for near instantaneous comparison, but, not having such ability is NOT a deal breaker for me.
I find that, with a lot of recordings, switching absolute polarity has mixed results, for example, the vocals may sound better one way, but the piano now sounds oddly phasey. One can be unduly distracted by trying to find the best position (this can change from track to track on a given recording). My current linestage does not offer this ability, so, I largely ignore the issue even though I know that there is a difference.
You do not need a polarity switch. The great majority of people cannot hear reversed polarity differences. Just one more thing in the way of music. Forget about it
It's not so much whether or not you can hear it. It's whether your speakers LET you hear it (or make it unavoidable).
Dopogue, is Gallo's low-pass filter a 1st order crossover?
There's no crossover between mids and highs and just a single capacitor between woofers and mids. They're crossover-free from (I think) 150hz up.
I have it on my Wyred 4 Sound Dac2 and Integrated amp. I can almost always hear a difference on my recordings and have a preference one way or the other for a given recording. I switch from the listening seat via the remote so I don't need to get up and down and the reversal is instant. Since the reversal is done in the digital domain, I don't think it affects the sound quality at all.
I have another "more pure" system without polarity reversal and I really miss having polarity reversal in that system.
My Dacmagic has a polarity switch...don't use it much but I can tell the difference when I switch it. It's polarizing.
In all of my years in the audio hobby I have only had
a phase switch once. It is on my recently acquired Octave
jubilee preamp. I have experimented several times
and have concluded it makes a difference on certain
material. For example, I was playing an LP
that I thought sounded kind of thin and closed in
Now for most of my lp's, they do not exhibit this
anomaly. This one LP did and I reversed the phase
on the preamp and what a difference. Generally speaking
most music can be played back without thinking about
phase settings. Every once in a while you come
across a situation where you wish you had or
just carry on. The fact that I did not use a phase
switch before does not mean that I do not
want it when I need it. It is like having a spice
or something of that nature. You probably could live
without but if you had, use it. So, a phase switch
is not a deal breaker for me, but, since I have
found usefulness in having one, I may be more
Inclined to seek out that option in any future
upgrades, which at this point I do not see happening
Viridian, I can't speak for all preamps but on our preamps the phase switch is very simple, as our preamps are internally balanced. So to do the phase reversal requires no circuitry other than the switch itself.
I have found that the switch does not have much use unless you are listening to a fairly pure recording- one that is done with a minimum of microphones (hopefully only 2 and if there is a third it is the center channel). Then the difference can be quite noticeable. I've not found the speakers to play a huge role in this.
Ralph, you need to immediately send me one so that I can verify your outlandish claims; please contact me off board for my shipping address.
Seriously Ralph you always educate me, and I would have no reason to think that it is not exactly as you say it is. In fact, it's funny that you join in, I was just looking at a picture of you in Positive Feedback Vol 7, No. 4, page 37 from Spring of '98, when you were young and still.....handsome in a bolo tie wearing sort of way.
Who is Ralph...and should I care?
Who is Wolf_garcia...any why would anyone care?
Ralph is Ralph Karsten, the founder and principle designer of Atmasphere electronics. His designs are fully balanced, so, phase reversal is accomplished just by using a switch. Single ended electronics would require an additional "active" amplification stage, and for that reason, there is much more of an issue of whether the sonic benefits of the ability to reverse polarity is worth the inevitable degradation from having another amplification stage.
Hey, what is this? Trying to compete with my thread? :-) I had a CDP that had a phase switch. I could never tell the difference.