My tonearm must be wired out of phase


I have always had a slight channel imbalance with 2 cartridges and 2 phono stages.  The right channel always played slightly louder than the left and the sound stage leaned that way also, more center and right with the left stage almost nonexistent.  The meters on my monoblock amps also indicated less output on the left channel.

After switching the cartridge leads everything snapped into focus.  Full soundstage, 3 dimensional, amp meters equal and test record pink noise indicates equal balance as well.  My tonearm is a Basis Vector 4 with a captive cable.  Somewhere in the chain the wires must be crossed...that’s all I can come up with.  Anyone had this experience?  
pops
Would be unusual. Check with a meter. You can replace the little female plugs on the cartridge end and put the right colors in place. If it really is the case that one side was wired out of phase it is just because the tech soldered on one of the channel's colors backwards as that process would come last. But you should trace everything out with a meter checking continuity and write down which color belongs where.
 There are two very different ways in which a stereo system can be wired out of phase. In the first case, one channel is 180° out of phase with the other. This produces some dramatic negative effects, imaging is damaged severely, and it’s just quite noticeable. In the second case, both channels are wired in the same phase with respect to each other, but the phase of the system is 180° different from the phase with which the material was recorded. Frankly, I have never been able to hear that second difference in my system, perhaps because I use dipolar  electrostatic speakers. However, there are golden ears who claim that system phase makes a great deal of difference to them. Nevertheless, this second sort of phase issue is unlikely to have anything to do with your observation because it’s quite subtle, at most..

So please tell us exactly what you mean when you say you “switched cartridge leads”. Thanks.
Thanks for responding, I switched the white and blue leads with the red and green.  Out of phase might not be the correct terminology.

Perhaps as mijostyn suggested the clips are on the wrong wire inverting phase.  Similarly, my CJ preamp inverts phase.  Like you Lewn, I can't tell the difference with phase inversion but for good measure I reverse my speaker connections at the speaker.  I also have a phase inversion switch on my phono preamp but can't really discern a difference either way.

I haven't spent a lot of time on this new discovery yet.  While I can conclude at early stages is what I described above.  Before this new revelation the soundstage was nice and "chunky" from the center, right center and far right with a noticeable hole left center and far left.  

I know what wiring your system or speakers out of phase sounds like and my description above is not that.  That result is as you mention Lewn, extreme sounding.  With the cartridge leads reversed it sounds way better in terms of filling the entire stage between the speakers.  Not change in tonality just equal balance between the channels and speakers........man.....analog.  Of course my digital plays fine.
Perhaps you simply had a poor cartridge pin connection. 
Thought about that testpilot, but wouldn't a loose pin mean signal or no signal?
Yes pops or in and out. People who think they can hear a difference inverting the phase of their entire system simultaneously are chewing too much hemp as you rightfully suggest.

Mike
Buy yourself a Hi-Fi News Test LP and Cardas Test LP there are phasing tests, so you can check polarity.  
@mijostyn,

"Hearing a difference" when inverting phase may be different that being able to "experience a difference, in terms of enjoying the music". There is a difference. One might not be able to explain it properly?
"Thought about that testpilot, but wouldn't a loose pin mean signal or no signal"  

I might result in a lower signal level. I have had that happen with a loose connection on speaker cables.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
Thanks chakster there is one sitting in my album rack!   I even used it for channel balance test tones never thought to test polarity.  At any rate it will be an interesting test. 
Perhaps the wires are not consistent directionality-wise. Also, Polarity errors can exist anywhere in the system. Check all connections. XLO Test CD has a Polarity Test track (out of phase track).
The tonearm is wired in correct polarity using the hifi test record.  The puzzling piece for me is when the connections at either the pins or the phono pre are reversed, the balance is spot on between the channels according to my mono block meters and my ears.

It appears to be my phono pre, switching tubes does not change the imbalance, the right is still louder than the left.  Also, I retubed it with fresh tubes.  I just had it in with a tech and he adjusted the power supply to the designers specs but otherwise measured in perfect working order.  I thought it was solved.

Conclusion, chase the dragon and go a witch-hunt or listen with the leads reversed which reverses the channels but sounds terrific.  Or listen to my backup phono pre which sonically is inferior.
@pops ,

Your "conclusion" makes no sense.

Glad all turned out well though.
My conclusion means some issues with components are daunting and evasive.  I have been after this for a while.  My last resort is shipping a 50lb component possibly overseas.