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My neighbor just purchased a new home. There are 5 speakers in the family room and two speakers in both the patio and the living room. All in-ceiling.

The installation was done (I am pretty sure) by a professional. All the wires are covered with blue covering. The 5 speakers in the family room have the typical red and black wires inside the blue covering.

BUT (here's where I need your help) the other two rooms each have one blue casing over FOUR wires. Red, Black, White and Blue.

Red and black no problem but the white and blue wires, I do not know which might be PLUS and the other MINUS.

Is there an industry standard regarding the white and blue wire? Is one always PLUS and the other always MINUS?

Also, is there an industry standard which speaker the white and blue wire connects to? Is it possible that the white and blue white wires go to the left speaker and the red and black wires go to the right speaker??

Any thought? The attic in the home is extremely shallow and I am hoping that I won't have crawl across the attic to see.
 

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I don’t know if there is a standard protocol for the blue and white wires. Basically what you’re going to have to do is just connect a signal source to the speaker wires and play something through them. That’ll easily identify the right and left; however, polarity is a bit trickier. What you can do is download some sine wave test tones from say, between 300 and 80 Hz, and play the lowest one that you can hear at a good volume. You already know the correct connection for the red and black wires; to check the polarity of the other two wires, just play the signal through both speakers, and then switch the polarity for the white and blue wires. The connection that gets the bass tone the loudest means you have the correct polarity.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don’t know if there is a standard protocol for the blue and white wires. Basically what you’re going to have to do is just connect a signal source to the speaker wires and play something through them. That’ll easily identify the right and left; however, polarity is a bit trickier. What you can do is download some sine wave test tones from say, between 300 and 80 Hz, and play the lowest one that you can hear at a good volume. You already know the correct connection for the red and black wires; to check the polarity of the other two wires, just play the signal through both speakers, and then switch the polarity for the white and blue wires. The connection that gets the bass tone the loudest means you have the correct polarity.

Regards,
Wayne

Wayne

I thank you.

I have just copied and pasted your instructions to take it with me tomorrow when I try to hook everything up.

Once again, thanks
 

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A trick that was shown to me was to use a 9v battery, very briefly touch the wires and actually watch if the cone moves in or out. Check the red/black first and note the direction of the cone and then test the other to determine the polarity. Of course, for this to work you will need to be able to see the cones through the grille (not always possible with in-wall speakers) and you would need a helper. Never leave the battery connected or it could damage the speaker (though unlikely with the amount of power it can deliver).
 
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