Jump to content

Bi-wiring, does it make my any difference?


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I just a new pair of speakers and I have found that they can be bi-wired and also my amp supports it. Can someone advise if it will be worth to try as I’ll need to buy the cables.

Amp is Yamaha a-s1200 and speakers are Sonus Faber bookshelf speakers 

 

Cheers

 

H

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a pair of legend kantu 8i and Cyrus amp  With my setup biwire   Sound  soft and better separation  between vocal and instruments,  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This can be a hotly debated topic.

In short - yes it could make an audible difference, but not always.  It does make a positive difference in my system.

There are many factors at play, but the most important is that you remove any jumper leads (or lugs) when you bi-wire.

Recommend that you try with 2 sets of 'ordinary' cable first.

 

Cheers

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you double the amount of cable going to your speakers it will improve the sound regardless of whether you do it biwired or just to the same posts. From that you should be able to figure out how biwiring is likely to be helping.

Link to post
Share on other sites


IME is depends on the cables and depends on the setup.  Heading into this area of tweaking is dangerous and possibly quite expensive.

 

My advice is leave your cable tweaking until last, get everything else right including and especially the room acoustic behaviours as these will give you much more noticeable results. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The manual for Paradigm Studio 100s recommend bi-wiring or, better still, bi-amping. I bi-wire my Studio 100s from Musical Fidelity 550K Superchargers and obtain an improvement in clarity.    

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My Linn Kabers improved with the recommended tri-wiring. They were mostly the product of Dr Rod Crawford who now owns Legend (see Mani's post above).

Link to post
Share on other sites


On 02/04/2021 at 11:48 AM, hlov said:

Hi all,

 

I just a new pair of speakers and I have found that they can be bi-wired and also my amp supports it. Can someone advise if it will be worth to try as I’ll need to buy the cables.

Amp is Yamaha a-s1200 and speakers are Sonus Faber bookshelf speakers 

 

Cheers

 

H


Hello Hector,

 

Bi-wiring will do nothing sonically for you new loudspeakers mate and the only difference you’d notice would be your wallet being lighter due  to paying for that extra unneeded cable on both sides.😄

Now, biamping though could certainly improve them sonically, if you select your amplification carefully.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:


Now, biamping though could certainly improve them sonically, if you select your amplification carefully.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

Biamping with the (internal) Sonus Faber passive XO still in place?  Neglegible improvement IMO, Keith - better SQ would be obtained from the OP buying a better power amp (like one with a proven capability to drive 'difficult' spkrs.

 

Andy

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, andyr said:

 

Biamping with the (internal) Sonus Faber passive XO still in place?  Neglegible improvement IMO, Keith - better SQ would be obtained from the OP buying a better power amp (like one with a proven capability to drive 'difficult' spkrs.

 

Andy

 


Frankly, I wouldn’t be doing either with those loudspeakers, but if you reckon he should chase better amplification, I guess it’s his money after all. Rest assured though Andy, bi wiring will make absolutely no difference.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:


Rest assured though Andy, bi wiring will make absolutely no difference.

 

Cheers,

 

 

AIUI, Keith (maybe I read this on Rod Elliott's site?) whether bi-wiring will make a difference or not ... depends how the grounds of the internal XO are wired.

 

If it's a 2-way with the standard parallel, high-pass / low-pass filter arrangement for tweeter & woofer then:

  • if each filter has its own ground wire - which goes back to the respective 'ground' BP on the back of the speaker - then bi wiring will make a (positive!) difference.
  • if the HP & LP filters share a common ground - then bi wiring won't improve anything ... well, apart from Con's point that bi wiring means more wire going from amp to the spkrs.

Hence @GregWormald's comment about his Rod Crawford-designed Kabers.

 

As I assume you know ... bi-wiring separates the high currents going to the woofer from the lower currents which go to the tweeter.

 

 

Andy

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites


31 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

AIUI, Keith (maybe I read this on Rod Elliott's site?) whether bi-wiring will make a difference or not ... depends how the grounds of the internal XO are wired.

 

If it's a 2-way with the standard parallel, high-pass / low-pass filter arrangement for tweeter & woofer then:

  • if each filter has its own ground wire - which goes back to the respective 'ground' BP on the back of the speaker - then bi wiring will make a (positive!) difference.
  • if the HP & LP filters share a common ground - then bi wiring won't improve anything ... well, apart from Con's point that bi wiring means more wire going from amp to the spkrs.

Hence @GregWormald's comment about his Rod Crawford-designed Kabers.

 

As I assume you know ... bi-wiring separates the high currents going to the woofer from the lower currents which go to the tweeter.

 

 

Andy

 

 


Andy, I’ve got no idea what AIUI means, but if Hector, the OP, wants to try bi wiring his loudspeakers, well that really is going to be up to him. You seem to think that bi wiring is worthwhile, but in my experience, he will be wasting his time and his money.😉

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by cheekyboy
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:


Andy, I’ve got no idea what AIUI means, but if Hector, the OP, wants to try bi wiring his loudspeakers, well that really is going to be up to him. You seem to think it is worthwhile, but in my experience, he will be wasting his time and his money.😉

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

Hi Keith.

 

AIUI is an acronym for, as I understand it and I agree 100% that bi-wiring is a waste of time ,cable and money.:)

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, cheekyboy said:


Andy, I’ve got no idea what AIUI means, but if Hector, the OP, wants to try bi wiring his loudspeakers, well that is going to be up to him. You seem to think it is worthwhile, but in my experience, he will be wasting his time and his money.😉

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

Keith, please don't misquote what I said.  I said bi-wiring can only make a difference when the internal parallel passive XO has completely separate HP ('high pass') and LP ('low pass') wiring.  As evidenced by:

a.  @Mani's comment about his (Rod Crawford-designed) Legend kantu spkrs, and

b.  @GregWormald's comment about his Linn Kabers (also designed by Rod).

 

So some people obviously do think that bi - or even tri- wiring spkrs delivers a sonic improvement.  I don't bi- or tri-wire my spkrs because they are active ... so I use 3x stereo amps on my Maggies, instead.

 

btw ('by the way'), AIUI is short for 'As I understand it'.  (This is "SMS-speak"; 'SMS' standing for "short messaging service" - ie. mobile phone texts.)

 

Andy

 

Edited by andyr
  • Like 1
  • Love 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, andyr said:

 

 

Keith, please don't misquote what I said.  I said bi-wiring can only make a difference when the internal parallel passive XO has completely separate HP ('high pass') and LP ('low pass') wiring.  As evidenced by:

a.  @Mani's comment about his (Rod Crawford-designed) Legend kantu spkrs, and

b.  @GregWormald's comment about his Linn Kabers (also designed by Rod).

 

So some people obviously do think that bi - or even tri- wiring spkrs delivers a sonic improvement.  I don't bi- or tri-wire my spkrs because they are active ... so I use 3x stereo amps on my Maggies, instead.

 

btw ('by the way'), AIUI is short for 'As I understand it'.  (This is "SMS-speak"; 'SMS' standing for "short messaging service" - ie. mobile phone texts.)

 

Andy

 


Andy @andyr, I wasn’t quoting you at all as far as I can see and your summation of crossover network construction is nothing short of stating the bleeding obvious and therefore I certainly have no  interest in arguing with you about something as basic as bi wiring or not bi wiring a pair of loudspeakers.............IMO (in my opinion) the OP (original poster) will get no benefit from bi wiring his loudspeakers. If you disagree, then good luck to you and I wish you all the best with you projects. 👍
 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by cheekyboy
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


Early days I bought some bi-wire cables for a set of speakers I still have. They looked impressive and suitably thick and I never heard a difference whatsoever between them and some conventional two wired cables on those speakers.

Swapped a few amps in and out and...nope, no aural difference.

 

Read an article on a guy tri-wiring a set of speakers with three amps to a speaker and did the maths and it = nutjob.

 

Dust on the end of your cart makes far more difference, speaking of which...time for the brush.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes in my experience it makes a whole world of difference BUT not at your level of equipment.

 

I have had numerous bi-wire and tri-wire speakers.

Bi-wiring them is far superior than a single run with jumpers in the same speaker cable(it should). 

 

Cost of course is a consideration.

 

Better off using the extra funds for better speaker cable in a single run with jumpers(for the same price as a double run), or as suggested, using funds for better speakers/amplification.

 

This will yield a superior sound for the same price.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

btw ('by the way'), AIUI is short for 'As I understand it'.  (This is "SMS-speak"; 'SMS' standing for "short messaging service" - ie. mobile phone texts.)

 

Andy

 


I’m sure you weren’t trying to be a smart-arse with that quote above, but you’re probably closer to the mark than what you might think. When I got my first smartphone (iPhone something) a few years ago, I had it for around 6 months when my two eldest girls visited from Melbourne and they taught me more about my iPhone in about 10 minutes than I’d managed to learn in 6 months on my own!😄

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, GregWormald said:

My Linn Kabers improved with the recommended tri-wiring. They were mostly the product of Dr Rod Crawford who now owns Legend (see Mani's post above).

Rod is very generous with his time and  knowledge .

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, GregWormald said:

My Linn Kabers improved with the recommended tri-wiring. They were mostly the product of Dr Rod Crawford who now owns Legend (see Mani's post above).

And ATC offer bi & tri-terminate their passive speakers. ATC didn't earn legend status by  following fashion. If tri-wiring sounds better, then give the people 3 pairs of terminals. But don't look for ATC brand tri-wire cable.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Worth noting the number of Loudspeaker manufacturers who incorporate Bi-Wiring in their design work. Be interesting to hear what the designers at ATC, KEF, Wilson Benesch have to say on the topic.

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Set up my Paradigm Monitor 9s with bi wiring, couldn't hear a difference.

Set up a double blind test and had a few friends listen; no-one could hear a difference.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Am not sure I would bother with biwiring for your speakers but also have not tried so wouldnt say absolutely not. One thing biwiring does is get rid of the metal jumpers that often come with biwirable terminals. My view is these are often the cause of an unnecessary reduction in sq as they are usually just cheap and come with the oem terminals.  I would first try plugging into the top and then bottom terminals to see if you can hear a difference. If not its unlikely anything else that makes sense at that pricepoint will. If you do hear a difference then get jumpers made (or make them yourself pretty easily) from the same cable you use for your speaker cable.  You may get a further improvement from using a second set, as technically (as mentioned previously) there is potential for improvement.  However you may get a bigger improvement by doubling your budget on a single set of cables and jumpers.  Should keep you busy for a while trying all that out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/04/2021 at 1:09 PM, 075Congo said:

Worth noting the number of Loudspeaker manufacturers who incorporate Bi-Wiring in their design work. Be interesting to hear what the designers at ATC, KEF, Wilson Benesch have to say on the topic.

Cheers

Here's the KEF take on it:

 

Hopefully this article will clear up some misconceptions about bi-wiring and help you make your best decision when setting up your system.

 

Simple Definition

In a bi-wired system the single output of the amplifier is connected separately to the MF/HF crossover and the LF crossover using separate terminals for each on the back of the loudspeaker.

 

Fact

Electrical current will pick the path of least resistance (or in this case least impedance). 

 

The cable connecting the MF/HF signals presents a higher impedance to the amplifier during low frequency passages.

 

The cable connecting the LF signal presents a higher impedance to the amplifier during high- and mid-frequency passages.

 

Because of this electrical reactance, the separation induced by the cables creates a de facto high- or low-pass filter, depending on which frequency we are talking about. Therefore, high frequencies will naturally tend to travel through the cable connected to the MF/HF crossover and low frequencies will travel through the cable connected to the LF crossover.

 

The Pros

Many knowledgeable people swear by bi-wiring and they back it up with science: namely the Hall Effect.

 

Hall Effect

Hall Effect is the magnetic field developed across a conductor that is transverse (perpendicular) to the voltage on that conductor blah blah blah and is defined as the ratio of the induced electric field to the blah blah magnetic field and something to do with electrons, holes and ions and other stuff Edwin Hall discovered in 1879 but nobody cared about until it totally messed up early semiconductors seventy-five years later.

 

Basically, electrical conductors (in this case cables) become magnetically charged because of the electrical energy running Cable Clutterthrough them. That’s why you're never supposed to run cables parallel and perpendicular to each other – it’s actually better for your cables to be a giant disorderly mess than an aesthetically pleasing array of neatness.

 

Proponents of bi-wiring claim the MF and HF benefit the most because the low current MF and HF signals do not have to travel on the same wire as the high-current LF energy. This leaves the HF and MF free from the disruption caused by the high-current LF field fluctuations and CEMF (Counter Electro-Motive Force).

 

Proponents of bi-wiring also claim you can choose cables specifically designed for specific frequencies, further enhancing your sonic reproduction. Personally, I totally disagree with this which I’ll detail later in this article.

 

Others claim you can hear enhanced airiness and a more well-defined soundstage with bi-wiring. I have experienced this, but in some setups every song I listened to – regardless of the production and mix – started to sound identically airy so I'm not sure if I was listening to an improvement or some effect caused by components or cables in the system.

 

The Cons

People who scoff at bi-wiring maintain that there is no electrical difference between a run of standard gauge cable from your amp to the two terminals on a speaker cabinet and a single run of cable from the amp to one terminal that then splits the signals before sending them to their respective crossovers. Meaning that if bi-wiring was a thing your speaker's terminal plate would perform the same function as two separate cable runs.

 

CEMF from the bass driver is not an issue because it will be at such a small current (and at the same frequency the woofer just produced) that any current washing back into the crossover circuit will be either inconsequential or filtered out by the MF/HF crossover (like it was designed to do).

 

Due to skin effect on the cable, higher frequencies tend to travel on the outside of the cable and lower frequencies on the inside. Take this argument with a grain of salt because skin effect doesn’t really kick in as a nuisance until much, much higher frequencies than those in the audio range.

 

And anyway, that's why you need a crossover in the first place: To separate all of those busy little signals from each other into frequencies each specific driver can reproduce.

 

Is Bi-Wiring Better Or Not?

Yes. And No. Probably. Maybe. It depends on who you talk to. Half the people you talk to will swear by it, half the people you talk to will ridicule you for even thinking about it, and the rest will offer no opinion whatsoever.

 

Higher-end loudspeakers generally come with two sets of terminals and two distinct signal paths to the crossovers because theBlade Two backpanel end-user deserves the opportunity to figure out what sounds better for themselves.

 

At the electron level there is merit to the argument that the signals created by a cymbal will find their own path on a cable separate from the signal created by a kick drum.

 

I have experienced a difference with bi-wiring compared to mono-wiring that was pure and definable, but I have also heard bi-wired systems I found distracting and somewhat unpleasant.

 

This all brings us back to the constant struggle in the audio world: separating the subjective data our brains think our ears are hearing from the actual physics of what we hear.

 

Because of the physics involved I am a proponent of bi-wiring. Regardless of your setup you will derive some level of benefit from bi-wiring – the catch is will you actually hear the improvement? There are so many factors involved when we are talking about these subtle kinds of changes that unless you’re really tuned in to what you are listening to, you may not experience what you hear the same way someone else does.

 

Bi-Wire Or Not, Here Are Some Best Practices To Help You Get the Best Sound Possible

Regardless of whether you bi-wire or mono-wire your system, your speaker cables should be the same length. Cable runs of differing lengths can present phasing issues and imaging deficiencies.

 

To reduce noise along the way, the shorter your speaker cables the better. If necessary for aesthetics it's better for your line-level cables and interconnects to be longer so you can make your speaker runs as short as possible.

 

Use the same type cable for all runs, whether you are going bi-wire or mono-wire. Different cables may have different physical characteristics and those differences may result in sonic inconsistencies. In the frequency ranges we're talking about, a cable that transmits 80Hz well will very likely transmit 10,500Hz equally well, but a cable that has more of one type of metal in it may wind up sounding completely different when compared to a cable with a different physical makeup.

 

Use the best quality cable you can afford, not less and not more, and never use smaller than 14AWG cable (higher number – Wire Gauge16AWG is smaller than 14AWG) for a standard loudspeaker setup. Smaller gauges can be used for rear channels in small systems or for certain custom installation configurations like sub-6" speakers in low-power systems.

 

Conclusion

It's not a big technical challenge to experiment with bi-wiring and all you'll be risking financially is another set of cable runs. Have some fun, try it out (do your A to B comparisons with the same music). Maybe you'll love it, maybe you'll hate it, or maybe you won't hear any difference.

 

I really can't tell you anything more than that. I bi-wire when possible, but there have been many times when I was unable to discern a difference between the two wiring methods.

 

KEF offers bi-wire/bi-amplification terminals on most of its passive product to give our customers the options they may want, so have at it. Maybe you'll hear something you like.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally system dependent. In my various iterations, bi-wiring has been superior to single wiring. Not sure why, but it does.

 

Currently Elektra Audio Reference HD driving the Aurum Cantus New Grand Supremes. Bi-wire is necessary.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmm, sorry, @jeffhk ... I was interested in reading the KEF blurb - until it mentioned the 'Skin Effect'.  A completely different topic entirely.

 

4 hours ago, Paul R said:

 

Totally system dependent. In my various iterations, bi-wiring has been superior to single wiring. Not sure why, but it does.

 

 

Absolutely!  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again everyone for your time and advise. I decided to give it a go, a good friend of mine gave me some cables and I also bought banana plugs. I love it, as @cheekyboy mentioned before is not a game changer but it does improve the sound a lot. I used the new cables as a single pair first to verify that the sound difference is not because of I’m using different cables. 
 

Listening to APP now, wish it will be early morning ...

 

H

 

Edited by hlov
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/04/2021 at 5:01 PM, jeffhk said:

 

Use the best quality cable you can afford, not less and not more, and never use smaller than 14AWG cable (higher number – Wire Gauge16AWG is smaller than 14AWG) for a standard loudspeaker setup. Smaller gauges can be used for rear channels in small systems or for certain custom installation configurations like sub-6" speakers in low-power systems.

 

 

But what about the problem, Geoff, that some cable mfrs appear to quote a guage which is actually the total guage of the wire to the spkrs - whereas other mfrs (IMO more truthfully), specify the guage of each of the wires to the +ve or -ve spkr terminal?

 

Andy

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say the ones that quote the combined size of the cable conductors are either uninformed or deceptive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That chart makes no sense to me.

 

I wouldn't be using 12 or 14awg with 100db speakers and a 3 watt SET.

 

Appropriate size no more and no less.

 

Edit: and are they talking about stranded total, or single solid core wire runs.

Edited by muon*
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, hlov said:

And this is a video of how my system sounds now.

 

 

 

Hm, sounds like iPad speakers to me...

🤪

Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Steffen said:

 

 

Hm, sounds like iPad speakers to me...

🤪

Close, I used my iPhone to record it :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bob_m_54 said:

I'd say the ones that quote the combined size of the cable conductors are either uninformed or deceptive.

 

Yes, they are (being deceptive!), Bob - but they print their specs and the poor punters have NFI whether they are being conned or not ... until they buy the cable and are able to examine it.  :(

 

Andy

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...