# Thread: I just read the balanced tutorial and there is an error

1. ## I just read the balanced tutorial and there is an error

It says: "The audio signal is transmitted on both the hot and cold lines, but the voltage in the cold line is inverted so it is negative when the hot signal is positive. These two signals are often referred to as being 180 degrees out of phase with each other. This terminology can be confusing — it does not mean one signal is delayed until it is out of phase,

This is confusing because it is incorrect. The signals have a opposite polarities, they are not "out of phase."

Phase refers to differences in time between 2 signals. If one signal is delayed relative to another they are out of phase.

Inverting a signal has nothing to do with phase and the word should not be used in the explanation of balanced lines.

2. Hi Herman, thanks for your feedback. This is a topic that has been thrashed out here previously and I thought we'd reached an acceptable wording but apparently it still wasn't clear enough so I've had another go at changing it. The point is that....

"These two signals are often referred to as being 180 degrees out of phase with each other."

They are indeed often referred to in this way. The point of the sentence above, which is taken somewhat out of context, is to address this very misunderstanding. The article explained both before and after this sentence that the signal is actually inverted, not delayed and made out of phase.

Anyway, I've changed the wording yet again so hopefully there is no more room for confusion. I would be very grateful for any comments, corrections or suggestions for better wording:
http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/ba...-balanced.html

3. Yes, I think that is much clearer. I agree that you often hear that expression just like you hear that speakers are out of phase when one is being fed a signal with inverted polarity. I think that is because "out of phase" rolls off the tongue but trying to state it with the phrase "inverted polarity" even though correct is awkward.

Sorry to be so picky but after teaching electronics for over 10 years one becomes sensitive to such things. It is rankles to hear things such as voltage through a component when it should be across, speakers out of phase, and the like.

Nice forum, first visit but I'll be back.

4. I do commercial audio seminars for a living, and I have given up all hope of getting even my own students to stop saying "180 degrees." It's too ingrained. As Herman says, it can lead to confusion, so I explain the error, but I don't try to correct it.

My high school shop teacher taught that there is no such thing as a "drill bit." The correct term is "twist drill." Maybe so, but when I go into the store to buy them, they're labeled "drill bits"; that's what I call them, that's what everybody else calls them. Trying to change things like this is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.

5. Thanks guys, I feel better about it now. There's certainly no need to apologize for being picky - that's what I like

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