preamp inverts polarity

I have a DeHavilland Ultraverve 3 preamp that inverts polarity.
my problem is my speaker cables, the negative cable is designed for negative terminal connection as is the positive cable is designed for positive terminal connection, so reversing the speaker cables defeats the design of the speaker cables.

what am I to do ?
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Are the speaker connection non-standard?...  If they are spades, just reverse the pos and neg.
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It certainly does not defeat the design of your speaker cables.  Just reverse on BOTH speakers.  I had 4 tube preamps which inverted polarity and never had a problem with the speaker cables.
the negative cable has little different design than the positive cable, they are both designed to be connected to the negative or positive terminal. the connections are both standard just the internal design of each leg is different.
these cerious technologies speaker cables, here is a better description from a review.

Grost chose to construct the negative/ground cable from a mix of conductive composites and wire. The positive lead according to the literature, on the other hand, employs hundreds of stands of microfiber saturated in proprietary liquid ceramic.
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The design of the positive and negative leads on your Cerious cables has nothing to do with your speaker terminals. The speakers don’t care.
Simply reverse positive and neg. I also have a phase inverting preamp.

At the speaker binding posts, attach + cable to - speaker post. And - cable to + speaker. Do this for both speakers.
Unbalanced interconnects should absolutely not be re-wired to invert polarity. If that were done the signal provided by the sending component would be connected to the circuit ground of the receiving component, and the circuit ground of the sending component would be connected to the signal input of the receiving component. In addition to not working properly that could conceivably even result in damage to the sending component in some cases.

If the interface is balanced in both of the interconnected components, interchanging the connections to pins 2 and 3 of the XLR connector at one end of the cable would do the trick.

HOWEVER, I agree with Stringreen, Stereo5, and Lowrider that all you need to do is to interchange the + and - connections to the speaker terminals, on both speakers. The currents going into and out of the + and - speaker terminals are identical (they have no place else to go!), and so the cable wouldn’t know the difference.

It seems remotely conceivable to me that interchanging wire types between + and - at the amp end might make a slight difference in some circumstances, for example by affecting the characteristics of RFI the cable might pick up and introduce into the feedback loop of the amplifier, if the amp has a feedback loop. But even that seems far-fetched, and in any event I can’t envision a means by which interchanging + and - at the speaker end would affect the behavior of the cables, the speakers, or the amplifier.

-- Al
Al is correct. I thought the preamp was a balanced design, however it is single ended. Reverse the polarity at the speaker end.
P.S. to my previous post:  In advocating a swap of + and - at the speaker terminals I'm assuming that the speakers are entirely passive, i.e., that they do not contain an amplifier themselves.  Let us know if that is not the case.


-- Al
Having the system in reverse Polarity can be a blessing if you play CDs since at least half of all CDs are in reverse Polarity, at least according to the Polarity Pundit, maybe a lot more than 50%. There are no standards for Polarity.
That is utter nonsense and it’s likely you know
Wolfie, your response is somewhat indicative of a two-year trade school education.
I listen to "redbook" CDs frequently and although my DAC has a polarity switch, I rarely use it except to check if "maybe" something is out of phase, but generally nothing is and they sound great. Thanks Kaitty, a two year trade school education would have been great!
"...except to check if "maybe" something is out of phase,.."

I don't think your ears will be able to tell the difference unless you have a "phase correct" reference you can compare with. I listen to a lot of the same music albums on both LPs and CDs and I occasional run into a CD/LP where I can easily\y tell the difference but it is more like the channels are reversed because both media sound good and nothing seems to be missing.

Got some bad news, Wolfie. You is officially deaf. Is it too late to request a full refund from your trade school?
Please Kaitty, don't tell the various venues who keep hiring me for my live sound mixing/production skills...I wish I had a closet full of dusty magic rocks and various snake oil sonic remedies so I could enjoy being a failed imaginary "Industry Insider." THEN I'd get some respect!
I imagine it’s because you work cheap.
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Well, relative to Kaitty at least I work in the live sound business, where in his case he seems to work only for the cheap shot. 
I have a tube preamp that inverts polarity (for some reason it is designed that way).  I reversed the speaker connection on one of the speakers, and it sounded better to me.

Playing a test record confirmed my suspicion.

The catch is:  not all of my records sound better with the speaker wires reversed on one speaker.  I would say 80% of my records sound fine either way (I can't hear a difference), but some (those with good sound staging) have improved "imaging" (if I am using that term correctly).  And a few "image" better the other way.

This makes no sense to me.  Is "phase inversion" the same as "polarity inversion"?  And why do some recordings seem to have it backwards?

And why would anyone want to change both speakers? 
preamp manufacturers say both speakers, if you only do one then the speakers are out of phase.  that is one woofer goes out while the other goes in thus canceling the bass out.
The speaker cables are marked differently so you can get both speakers wired consistently.  They are not made of different materials designated only for + or - . 

Are the tires on your car for only going forward?   Reverse the wires and be done with it.
genez, the positive and negative cables are different as i posted in an earlier post (4th post)
" Grost chose to construct the negative/ground cable from a mix of conductive composites and wire. The positive lead according to the literature, on the other hand, employs hundreds of stands of microfiber saturated in proprietary liquid ceramic.

"Is "phase inversion" the same as "polarity inversion"?"

Good question.  
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From the intro to The Wood Effect (1988) by Clark Johnsen, audio journalist at large,

Newcomers to Polarity do deserve some introduction though, which for the sake of everyone else I shall make brief. The abstract to The Wood Effect (1988) still explains it best:

Masked by random combination with other distortions in the music reproduction chain, an unsuspected major contributor has lain hidden: Aural sensitivity to "phase inversion", the Wood effect.

Musical instruments normally create compression waves in their attack transients. Electronics, however, often invert that natural, positive polarity to negative, unnatural rarefaction as emitted from loudspeakers, thus diminishing physical and aesthetic impact. The term Absolute Polarity uniquely describes the correct arrival to the ear of acoustic wavefronts from loudspeakers, with respect to actual musical instruments.

Wrong polarity, when isolated, is obvious to almost everyone. Its present neglect results primarily from habitual disregard for linear phase response in loudspeakers, due largely to the erroneous auditory theory of Helmholtz.

In case anyone is still reading this thread, I need to clarify the end result of my experiments with "phase" and "polarity".

It turned out I had a speaker wire reversed at the amplifier.  Once corrected, I was able to run "stereo polarity tests" that proved my speakers were "in phase" (  Also confirmed with my HiFi News test record.

It seems we need some concise definitions regarding "phase" and "polarity".  I have no idea what to call it, but if you get your "red" wires and your "non-red" wires reversed somewhere along the line, you will end up with compromised imaging and sound.
Absolute phase and polarity are the same thing.
Relative phase is one channel out of phase with the other and should be corrected, regardless of the absolute phase/polarity (IOW, whether your system is inverting or not).
I rarely agree with Geoff on anything, but in the case of recordings he is correct. The recording industry doesn't care about absolute polarity; 50% of all recordings are inverted polarity.
We have a switch on our preamp to correct this if needed. That's a lot easier than swapping the speaker cable polarity in both channels to see if its better or not.
Absolute polarity can usually only be heard if the recording is done with just two mics (possibly also with a third center channel mic mixed in). If more than that, the signal gets too messed up and you simply can't tell.
atmasphere, you should agree with me more often. You’ll be much better off in the long run. 🏃

To be a little picky, I have been saying for CDs the percentage might be much higher than 50%. In fact, if you believe G Louis, the Polarity Pundit, the percetage is 92%.  That’s why I’ve pointed out a number of times recently, i.e., the last few years, putting one’s system in Reverse Absolute Polarity might actually be the best long term strategy. What with overly aggressive compression and the absolute Polarity issue CDs have devolved from perfect sound forever to perfectly atrocious.
I don't believe G Louis. He came into our room at CES once, insisting that the polarity was off in our system without even sitting down to make his revelation. I flipped the switch (which has been a part of the MP-1 preamp circuit since its inception). At that point he said it was only audible on CD- not LP (which was the second sign of baloney).
I had the same cut on CD and played it- he didn't see that one coming... At that point he insisted that if it was recorded analog, but encoded to CD, you couldn't hear it. What nonsense.

The thing was, it sounded better the way we had it. The recording in question was done with two mics (Canto General). He made a hurried exit, apparently aware he had embarrassed himself.

50% is about right. Mastering engineers are not worried about whether their equipment inverts polarity or not. So its just statistics.
Atmasphere, after listening to your explanation I’m even more inclined to believe G Louis. Two microphones or one, doesn’t matter, or three microphones. I also believe him when he states most audiophile recordings, even such famous ones as Mercury Living Presence and RCA Living Stereo, are in Reverse Polarity. You can squawk all you like.
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Another excellent knee jerk reaction by the poster boy of knee jerk reactions. It’s not necessarily the recording engineer’s fault. It could the the mastering engineer. In any case there are no standards for Polarity. Any more than there are standards for dynamic range compression, another big fault that’s not the fault of the recording engineer. If you can’t hear Polarity, which in your case I imagine is true, then you shouldn’t worry about it.
Air is a single ended medium of transmission.
It is? Exactly what do you mean by that?

You can compress it much more than you can decompress it.
You can decompress air it until it's a vacuum, so it isn't clear what you mean here.
Costco is close but no cigar. For starters air shocks in cars compress as much as they decompress. Air is a compressible fluid. Pressure, volume, temperature, whatever. Hel-loo! Second, when the system is in Reverse Polarity the speaker drivers move OUT when they should be moving back IN and visa Versace. They are 180 degrees out of phase. Follow?

Cleedsy, old bean, a vacuum is created by evacuating air from the system not by compressing it. Hel-loo!
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“why single ended amps best emulate the character of the medium sound travels through”

This is very intriguing. Does this have to do with how the electrons move to create voltage to drive the speakers or something else? Hard to connect the dots.
Hey, I’m going to clunk your heads together. You do not (rpt not) obtain a vacuum by compressing air. You suck the air out of the container to produce a vacuum. A vacuum is measured by no. of air molecules per unit volume. A perfect vacuum would have no (as in zero) molecules at all. Obviously, a tremendous mass will compress air a lot but not (rpt not) completely, which is why air shock absorbers work even for very massive commercial jetliners. PV equals RT. The number of gas molecules in the container remains constant. Hardly a vacuum. In fact there are MORE molecules per unit volume when the air is compressed. A lot more.
geoff, read their posts again...they said “ decompress” air not compress. Either way, you’re correct about how vacuum is obtained. 
I’m still stuck on that single ended amp remark...😁
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Just to be clear here, Push-Pull amps can be class A and also all triode. The 'air is single-ended' thing is a bit sketchy and also a bit of a red herring, since air has nothing to do with how amplifiers operate.
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Even if what you say is true, which I actually doubt, it would not change the fact that at least 50% of CDs are mastered in reverse Polarity. SETs don’t magically counteract Polarity. There is no balm in Gilead. Not to mention the fact a lot of people don’t like the sound of SETs.
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No offense, Costco, but I’m filing your post under Whatever. 
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Three things i don’t believe were mentioned.

Some folks don’t hear phase reversals - even those with golden ears. You might be one of those lucky individuals.

Secondly, do we know that your amplifier doesn’t invert polarity? You might have two inverting components which net out to non-inverted.

Finally (and building on the second point), you need to take the entire signal chain into consideration - your digital front end as well as your phono section.
For each source selected, add up the total number of gain stages. An even number means non-inverting and an odd number means inverting.

It could end up (for example) that running through your digital front end, the signal is inverted and through your phono section, it’s non-inverted (or vice-versa).

BTW, I’m one of the lucky ones ;-)

Thom @ Galibier Design
Look, first establish whether your system is in correct Polarity or reverse Polarity using a Test CD such as XLO Test CD. Then you have a baseline. Otherwise, you’re just shooting blanks in the dark. 

As I pointed out previously, it actually doesn’t matter whether your systemis in correct or reverse Polarity since at least half of CDs are in reverse Polarity anyway. If the percentage is much higher than 50% then wouldn’t it make more sense to place your system in reverse Polarity to begin with? Obviously, if you have a Polarity switch you can determine the best sounding position of the switch on the fly. But unless you have established whether your system is correct or reverse Polarity you won’t know whether the CD you’re playing is correct or reverse. Follow?

Oh, incidentally, the out of phase track on the XLO Test CD is the same track for determining the absolute best speaker locations in the room. The best stereo image is obtained when the sound is in correct Polarity after you have found the precise speaker locations that produce the most diffuse sound using the out of phase track on the XLO Test CD or any test CD that has a similar track.