New member
Username: Gessie7

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2004
Does bi-wiring make much of a difference say on a pair of high end speakers like Paradigm Studio 60 and decent amp?

Unregistered guest
From what I have read you get much more from biamp than biwire. I'd like to hear some expert opinion on this also.

If I understand the concept correctly, biwiring shouldnt make much difference since it splits the amplified signal at the receiver versus splitting it at the speaker binding posts. Am i missing something?

New member
Username: Gessie7

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2004
Thanks. I too heard that bi-amping makes a big difference but that means two amps and $$$$.

In meantime i was wondering if bi-wiring made a worthwhile difference.

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 40
Registered: 01-2004
Biwire is worth it if your speakers have two sets of binding posts (one for Treble, and one for Bass).

In active equalized/crossover systems biamping is necessarily designed into the system. The EQ/XO unit has two or more sets of outputs for connecting multiple amps.

Otherwise, biamping offers no advantage if you do not need more power.

New member
Username: Gessie7

Post Number: 6
Registered: 01-2004
There are two sets of binding posts (how else would i bi-wire : ) ) But didn't know signal was split to bass and trebel if bi-wired. That sounds like it would make a big difference. Do recommend bi-wring if there are 2 sets of posts on all speakers

New member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 42
Registered: 01-2004
When speakers have (2) sets binding posts, it typically splits the Tweeter to one set within the speaker, and the Bass to the other (in 3-way speakers, the Tweeter/Mids to one set, and the Woofer(s) to the other).

The cables are doubled up at the amp, but allows the Woofer/Bass to draw only the designated low frequencies through one set of cables, and the high frequencies through the other set.

It is recommended over using a jumper to connect to the separate sets of binding posts.

Unregistered guest
Here are lots of reading on bi-wiring...enjoy!:

Confused about Bi-wiring?

My take is that if you use bi-wire cable, the cable actually increases in gauge and therefore better. Rule of thumb states that the thicker the gauge, the better. However, it's going to cost more so just use what is sufficient. IMO, 12AWG is ample.

Bronze Member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 49
Registered: 01-2004
From Siegfried Linkwitz, of Linkwitz-Riley crossover fame, and designer of probably the best loudspeaker systems in the world (Audio Artistry, and DIY systems explained on his web page <> ):

Q37 - What cables and interconnects do you recommend?

A37 - I prefer not to recommend any specific product. Cables can have audible effects and some manufacturers make sure they will, either through unusual electrical parameters and/or by suggestion. Weaknesses in the design of the output-to-input interface are exploited. Sounding different does not mean it is also a more accurate transfer from electrical to acoustic domain.

My guideline for speaker cables is to keep their resistance to less than 0.1 ohm for the roundtrip path of the current. This defines the maximum length of a 2-conductor copper cable for different wire gauges.

Wire gauge Max. length in feet
18g 8'
16g 12'
14g 20'
12g 30'
8g 80'

I measured the 16 gauge Megacable from Radio Shack (278-1270) that I use. A 10 foot length has 0.07 ohm resistance, 714 pF of capacitance and 1.9 uH of inductance. The line impedance is 51 ohm. A typical tweeter has a voice coil resistance of 4.7 ohm and 50 uH inductance. At 20 kHz this yields an impedance of about |4.7 + j6.3| = 7.9 ohm. Add to this the cable inductance of j0.24 ohm, and 0.07 ohm resistance for 10 feet, and the impedance becomes 8.09 ohm. This causes a 7.9/8.09 = 0.98 or 0.17 dB reduction in tweeter output at 20 kHz which is insignificant. The cable effect is even less at lower frequencies.

Speaker cables can act as antennas in the AM frequency band and may cause distortion in the output stage of a solid-state amplifier, if strong radio frequency signals are present. In particular, the cable capacitance in conjunction with the inductance of a driver voice coil may form a resonant circuit for these frequencies. The resonance can be suppressed by placing a series R-C circuit of 10 ohm/2 W and 0.33 uF/100 V across the cable terminals at the speaker end.

Coaxial interconnects with phono (RCA) plugs tend to pick up radio frequencies in the FM band. The currents that are induced in the cable shield must not be allowed to enter the inside of the coax. This requires a very low resistance connection between the outer conductor of the phono connector and the chassis (signal ground) of the equipment that it plugs into. The continuity and low resistance of the shield is also very important for hum and buzz currents, so that they will not induce a voltage on the center conductor. The technical description for this is the Transfer Impedance of the cable and connectors, which must be in the low milli-ohm range. Unfortunately I have not seen this specification used by the audio industry. An excellent description of the theory and treatment of hum and buzz problems in equipment setups with mixed two and three prong AC plugs is given in AN-004 by Jensen Transformers, Inc. I have not found balanced interconnections to be necessary for the high level circuits past the preamplifier. But sometimes it requires to experiment with AC outlets in different locations to reduce to insignificant level the buzz that one may hear with the ear close to the speaker cone. So, when choosing a coaxial audio interconnect look for good mechanical construction, direct contact between shield and connector, and well plated contact surfaces.
I find what is needed at Radio Shack. I solder speaker cables to terminal strips on the speaker end and use dual in-line banana plugs on the amplifier end.


Bronze Member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 50
Registered: 01-2004
[Bi-wire, or not]

Most of the links offered to allegedly claify bi-wire, or not, are to audio magazines, or their advertising cable manufacturers, or from the disinformation perpetuated by them to justify sales of alleged 'hi-end' VERY hi-co$t cables.

The so manufacturers go to great (even preposterous) lengths in metalurgy, and various technologies to affect the 'sound' from components of a playback system, and thereby allegedly justigy the VERY high cost of their products.

But 'difference' does not necessarily mean accurate. Or even the best quality any wire can have, e.g., non contributing to the sonic characteristics of the system.

Rather the 'connoisseurs of coloration' laud one characteristic of distortion over another, and even rediculously recommend the use of one to compenaste for yet another. Absurd.

And all this about the wire that connects one component to another.

To advantagously affect the accurate playback characteristics of any system: first select speakers capable of accurately playing whatever is on the source material (dipole, electrostatic, planer, or especially open baffle dynamic driver systems, do the best job) appropriatly sized to the environment they will operate in, and set them up to best deal with the acoustic anomolies, and aesthetics for the particular space.

Power them with a non distorting amplifier, again appropriately sized to the speaker requirements (consult manual, or ask mfgr). VERY low distortion amps are: Hafler DH-200, 220; ATI; Bry$ton, and Jeff Rowland$ Design Group. Ranging in price from $200 to $8,000. Sounding very much the same (superior), though with wildly varying build qualities. The ATI line is probably the best value.

Thirdly, aquire a variety of reference quality source material that has been tested for superior sonics and engineering to evaluatate the system/room interaction. See the MUSIC link at

You are now so far past the alleged significance of not only cables and other tweaks, but of most top end gear as well, that you will be amused at all the hoop-la expressed over the least significant components.

So, sounding different does not necessarily mean better, nor does spending more money, and considering the cost to affect ratio, a sensible person will take a different tact entirely than is persuaded by magazine reviewers and their advertisers.

A.Wiseman said:
'I hope the material presented here will add to the general understanding of what is necessary for accurate sound reproduction. Regrettably, much misinformation and outright nonsense have been spread to promote certain "high-end audio" products. The power of suggestion works exceedingly well, when listeners cannot trust their own hearing. I recommend to re-calibrate yourself frequently. Listen closely to all sorts of un-amplified sounds in order to recognize and remember natural aural patterns. It becomes an endless and futile pursuit to listen for and try to evaluate differences between speakers, equipment and accessories without a reality based mental reference.'

Bronze Member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 51
Registered: 01-2004
[Bi-AMP, or not]

Aside from adding required power based on the speaker manufacturer requirement range (which you want to stay in the middle of, going neither to the min -for a sense of ease at higher levels, or max -to protect against speaker damage (better the amp should clip, which gives you some time to correct the problem), the function of multiple amplifiers is for a designed 3 or 4 way system where an active equalizing crossover is designed in, requiring a different amp for the various channels.

Of course the more channels XO'd per number of speaker drivers, the less power needed from each amp since it will be powering individual, or at least fewer, speakers per amp.

Otherwise, additional amplifiers added to a 2 channel (stereo) system will contribute little to nothing to the performance of the system.

Much better to upgrade the speakers (the PRIMARY component to any playback system). For significanly improved accuracy of speaker/room acoustics: planer, ELS or open baffle dynamic driver systems perform best.

Because they are dipole (directional) as opposed the 360 degree radiaion pattern of enclosed cabinet dynamic driver systems (box speakers) they contribute least to those pesky room mode anomolies that are nearly impossible to tame.

Next in siginfance is a low distorion amplifier. Say, <0.1% THD (IMD) over a frequency range of 5hz-50khz with Output Impedance of <0.4ohm, again, sized to the specific speaker system.

New member
Username: Xtremeht

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2004
Bi-wiring and bi-amping each have their own advantages. When a speaker is not bi-wired the crossover tends to pull more voltage to the low pass side because of the heavier load. Bi-wiring reduces this and bi-amping takes care of it all together. Bi-amping also allows you to use a valve (tube) amplifier for the highs and a solid state that can better control the lows. Also the use of two amplifiers helps with diaphram control (increases damping factor) since there are two amps sharing the load. Unless you are a die hard audiophile the cost probably isn't going to be worth it to you to bi-amp but many people say, and I agree, that bi-wiring is worth the extra run of wire.

Bronze Member
Username: Homedesign

Post Number: 53
Registered: 01-2004
[Shaun Culver]

Point of order:
The only issue with the number of drivers getting current from a single amp is how much power that amp has to offer. Each driver draws what it needs (and leaves the rest to unused).

If there is enough for them all, no problem. If not it is a problem that can be resolved by getting a larger amp, or adding an amp (bi-amp). See speaker manual. Go a little over the minimum for ease of sound at higher levels, and stay under the maximum to protect the drivers. Better the amp should clip, which gives a little time to fix the problem, than blowing the driver.

BTW in biamping the crucial issue is that both amps have the same gain so as not to degrade whatever integration the designer accomplished in the crossover.

Biwiring is alleged to be a subtle improvement by separating the amplified low frequency signal from the highs by each being transmitted in a separate wire.

Until you have aquired the last speakers you will ever buy, put your money into speakers instead: sized appropriately for the environment they will operate in, and work on the setup until you know you have maximized their potential in that invironment, which requires some knowledge of acoustics in the small listening room to deal with those pesksy room mode anomolies which can degrade the sonics through the distortion they cause.

For $100 a reference quality earphone (Shure E2) can be obtained to accurately reveal what is on the CD. Then compare to the playback system and its setup.

It can be very discouraging, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Rising to the challenge is what makes one an 'Audiophile'.

Next in significane is a LOW distortion amp, and well engineered, sonically superior (true to the original) source material (see MUSIC link at for several tested CD's in a variety of genres.

The rest, including top end gear, cables, and other tweaks, is for the connoisseur with money to burn.
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