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July 2000
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Cease and Resist - A "Courting" Order

By Steven R. Rochlin
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Proper Electrical Plug Orientation

  So you're introducing that shiny new sexy amplifier to your preamplifier yet somethin's unhappy. They seem to fight each other day after day and you're not sure what to do. Well, you may wanna see if they're just resisting each others "love vibe". This little ditty below discusses how to enhance your systems love life through less resistance.

So here what cha need for this ditty: Just a simple multimeter that can measure DC resistance and a few "cheater plugs". Cheater plugs are available at most Home Depots, electrical supply huts, and even Radio Shack (known as Tandy to my European friends). File down the larger male prong on the cheater plug so that BOTH prongs are the same height. This way you can reverse the electrical phasing of the electrical plug of your component(s) by using this re-engineered cheater plug.

Now please unhook all your components from each other so that we are ONLY measuring the DC resistance of one component at a time which IS NOT connected to anything else. Please electrically plug in the component you want to test and do the following:

Turn on the product we are testing and give it a few moments to get warm and happy. Set your multimeter to DC resistance and insert one of the test probes to the GROUND of your electrical outlet (the rounder lookin' thing usually on the bottom for us American folks) . Then place the other probe so that it touches one of the OUTSIDE PART of the analogue audio RCAs. WRITE DOWN the DC resistance your meter sez. Now turn off the component and use the cheater plug to reverse the electrical phase of the component. Turn the component back on and again test the DC resistance. Whichever measurement is LOWER is usually the best. Now simply repeat this for every component in your music reproduction system.

REMEMBER, there are no "hard and fast" rules here so one component may subjectively reproduce music better with higher DC resistance. Like some love affairs, a little more resistance may actually be a good thing! In the end, let your ears decide which electrical phase makes the "love vibe" work.












































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