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Bi-Wiring a Hoax?

 

Unregistered guest
Its appears that there a lot of confusion relating to bi-wiring a speaker.

To try and clarify, I am not refering to bi-amping(connecting more than one amplifier to a speaker) but bi-wiring(connecting two sets of wire from the amplifier to the speaker)

There are all sorts of claims being made as to the benefits of bi-wiring, but if you start with a decent set of speaker wires, don't you get the same benefit as running two sets of wires?

One claim was that the signals for the woofer is fed via one set and the signals for mid-range and tweeter is fed via the other set. Now my question is how is this possible if both sets of wire are connected to the same binding posts on the amplifier?

I suppose the question could also be why are speaker manufacturers producing speakers that are bi-wireable. Is this just a ploy to sell more speaker wires?

Any real world experiences out there to help clear the confusion in my mind?

Cheers
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dloweman

Post Number: 88
Registered: Nov-04
I was told that it bypasses some of the circuitry in the speakers which allows for less distortion from the tweeter. I had some extra speaker wire lying around so figured why not, and I feel that it cleared up my high end a little bit.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/122956.html


 

Unregistered guest
I do understand that some of the circuitry could be bypassed, but why run a pair of extra wires? Just replace the metal connecting the two sets of terminals with decent cable.

I have read the forum suggested by J Vigne, but still do not have a clear cut answer on bi-wiring. With bi-amping I can see the benefits without trying it, but bi-wiring still seems like a case of "It sounded better, but I am not 100% sure"

Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the principle, but only looking for a clear answer to explain why (at least in theory) bi-wiring should make a difference.

Thx for the responses though!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 42
Registered: Apr-04
I have never seen a "bi-wirebable" speaker that by-passes any circuit element when bi-wired. That would require more than 2 sets of wiring posts or some kind of switch. Most important: you CANNOT modify the circuitry when bi-wiring, unless you want to blow your tweeters sending unwanted bass frequency ranges. Changing circuitry only makes sense when bi-amping AND using active crossover.
My own experience was bi-wiring KEF Q-7 speakers using AR 12 gauge 10' long cables, powered by a NAD 773 in stereo mode. Result: I didn't notice ANY difference (my wife also got the same conclusion). I agree with alphabet, as long as the wires have proper gauge, it's difficult to get any improvement.
 

Anonymous
 
I agree with alphabet in that replacing the, usually low quality, jumpers with speaker wire does generally give good results. In the case of biwiring again I feel that doing away with the metal jumpers is what gives the gain in sound quality and not the two sets of cables. How can two sets of cable from the same outputs from a single amp give an improvement?
 

jamnpi
Unregistered guest
Check out these links regarding bi-wiring your speakers.
http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/local.faq/ObjectID/F5CA2E9F-3D20- 11D4-A67F00D0B7473B37
http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/biwiring.htm
http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/page7.htm
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
It seems to me that bi-wiring would only stand a chance of making some difference if your amp had two sets of outputs for each speaker that you're biwiring, with one pair dedicated to higher frequency signal and the other pair dedicated to lower frequency. Otherwise you're sending the exact same unseparated frequency to each of the two inputs on your speaker, from what I can see.

Or am I missing something here?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 43
Registered: Apr-04
It depends on what you mean by two sets of outputs. If they are just internally directly wired to the same amp output, then there is pratically no difference to having one output set. Now, if a pair is dedicated to high/low frequency by means of a crossover between the amp out and the posts then I think is the worst case because you are adding crossover not tuned to the speakers. If you mean each set is wired to a different amp then you have bi-amping, where you may have some benefit.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> Now, if a pair is dedicated to high/low frequency by means of a crossover between the amp out and the posts then I think is the worst case because you are adding crossover not tuned to the speakers.

That's what I mean, and I do see your point, thanks. I forgot that the speaker is bound to have its own crossover too.

However I do have some extra speaker wire lying around so in the next few days I will attempt to experiment with biwiring, will get back with the results.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 30
Registered: Dec-04
I'm sitting here listening to the speakers which I biwired earlier today.
It took me the best part of 6 hours to do, because I had to rearrange all the wires which go underneath a carpet (total of ten wires). Harder work than it sounds, I assure you.

I think it sounds better! But it's all in my imagination, because I haven't removed the links between the two sets of terminals on my speakers yet! So all they are getting is two feeds from 12AWG oxygen free cable instead of one. Maybe all the work involved has convinced me that it ought to sound better.

As an experiment, I have purchased a couple of 15 Amp switches which i will fit between the terminals to toggle the link between the bass/treble to see if I can spot a difference between settings.
I know this won't prove anything to anyone else, but will allow me to judge if there is any difference.
Regards,
diablo (who tries everything once except inc*st and clog dancing ;) )
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 44
Registered: Apr-04
Diablo,
I look forward to see your post after the switch is included on your tests. I've also read the above links from Jon Risch and I think he has a point, at least theoretically. So I became curious about other tests again.
Thanks
 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 34
Registered: Dec-04
I have fixed up the switched links between the bi-wire terminals on my speakers, and in response to then huge demand (thanks Dary!) am posting the first results of the tests I mentioned earlier.

My main system consists of a NAD T753 receiver and Castle Conway 3 speakers. The tests were conducted using only stereo mode.

I selected three shortish pieces for the first trial --

Brigitte Fassbaender singing "Gute Nacht" by Shubert, with Aribert Reimann on piano.
Smetana, Ma Vlast (first part of Vitava)
DVR recording of Alison Krauss & Union Station playing "The Lucky One"

Although I expected no difference in the sound between having the links on or off, it did seem to me that there was a difference. I seemed to prefer the sound with the links switched out -- i.e. bi-wire mode. It seemed to me that mid frequencies were a bit 'cleaner'.

I will have to try the same experiment again when I have someone available to switch the links without me knowing what the settings are -- an ABX trial type thing.

Hmmm, maybe I'll be buying £1,000 a metre speaker cable next? Nah, probably not! :-)

 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 168
Registered: Nov-04
diablo, i have noticed a similar improvement. but strangely i only noticed it in certain pieces. i did notice that on certain songs the mids actually sound worse then before. maybe limitations of my speakers? but i did notice a bit more clarity when i biwired. maybe im going mad.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 45
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks Diablo! Nice work.

> I will have to try the same experiment again when I have someone available to switch the
> links without me knowing what the settings are -- an ABX trial type thing.
I like your impartial evaluation. Please go ahead and tell us.

As soon as I receive my NAD back I'll try to setup similar tests.

BTW, on speaker cables, have you read Roger Russel comments? http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
Regards.
 

New member
Username: Dairymeister

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jan-05
Daiblo:
Did you do your tests by having someone make the changes without you knowing which was which?

Dary:
Thanks for posting Roger's link. Now I'm hoping my Home Depot bought wire doesn't turn green.

NAD T763 - I'm now up to 2.05 version of firmware and have no issues. Yet :-) I'm waiting to see if it "shuts down" the audio again which is about the only problem I've had with 2.02 where I had to reboot. Also under 2.02 was an audible noise when switching sources that appears to be gone with 2.05.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 46
Registered: Apr-04
Dairy,

>Did you do your tests by having someone make the changes without you knowing which was which?
This is exactly what Diablo intends to do next.

I'm glad you liked Roger's link. It's the type of unbiased opinion I constantly look for. Now, the Jon Risch info made me think about bi-wiring, specially my surrounds that use 30' cables.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 40
Registered: Dec-04
Dary,
I had read the Roger Russell piece which you linked to. It would be surprising if I hadn't, 'coz I must have read about 200 articles about speaker wiring since I've had my new system.
Some would not consider it unbiased though. :-) I eventually went for Shark OFC 12AWG cable at £1.50 (approx $2.80 American) a metre, so you can see which side I came down on.

Any chance of me arranging an 'ABX' trial with a reliable volunteer seems some way off for various reasons, so I've devised a way of testing the bi-wire/normal switch without knowing which mode the speakers are in, without anyone else present.

It may even be better, as someone waiting around whilst you are listening to a musical sample doesn't aid concentration.

I'm slightly worried by this forthcoming test. I've largely convinced myself that the bi-wirng has improved the sound - which I am now listening to as I type.

I will feel foolish if I have to post that there is no difference at the end of the test. But, what the hey - I can always re-register under a different username and hysterically condemn myself as a complete fool for believing such self-deluded nonsense in the first place! :-)

Best regards,
diablo






 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 41
Registered: Dec-04
Christopher Lee said "diablo, i have noticed a similar improvement. but strangely i only noticed it in certain pieces. i did notice that on certain songs the mids actually sound worse then before. maybe limitations of my speakers? but i did notice a bit more clarity when i biwired. maybe im going mad."

Christopher.

It seems obvious that you are actually completely mad. Maybe even loopy, deranged. moonstruck, touched, unbalanced, unsound, bonkers, cracked, daffy, gaga, loony. bananas, batty, buggy, cuckoo, fruity, loco, nuts, nutty, screwy, wacky. Chiefly British(eh!?), crackers, non compos mentis, around the bend, crazy as a loon, mad as a hatter, not all there, nutty as a fruitcake, out to lunch, off one's head, off your rocker, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, sick in the head, stark raving mad, laughable: absurd, foolish, harebrained, idiotic, imbecilic, insane, lunatic, moronic, nonsensical, preposterous, silly, softheaded, tomfool, unearthly, zany, cockeyed, crazy, loony, loopy, dippy, dopey, jerky, sappy and wacky. (all these gratuitous insults provided by Google thesaurus when mad is input)

But what has that to do with judging hi-fi? The largest selling hi-fi mag in Britain is run by people who seem to be all of the above!
regards
diablo

p.s. this is the actually the sensible bit -

I have yet to play anything which sounds worse since bi-wiring. But my tests (as mentioned in previous post) may prove me worthy of all the above insults. :shock: :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 47
Registered: Apr-04
Diablo,

>Some would not consider it unbiased though.
You are fully right. Practical proof is relative. I didn't read it, but I think Einstein stated that in his theory... :-)

> I eventually went for Shark OFC 12AWG cable at £1.50 (approx $2.80 American) a metre,
> so you can see which side I came down on.
About even. After testing some monster cables I bought AR Pro 12 AWG wire (about $2.5/meter)

> I will feel foolish if I have to post that here is no difference at the end of the test.
Please don't worry about that. Go ahead, do the test and tell us how you've done it without any help (and also inform your next login name...). Anyway you'll give us a great contribution: either bi-wire works or psycho-acoustics motivation does it.

Best regards,
Dary
 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 43
Registered: Dec-04
As mentioned earlier in this thread, it was my intention to devise a testing method which would allow me to see if bi-wiring had made any real difference in my set-up.

After considering various methods, I adopted a crude solution using a symmetrical switchbox to make/break the links betwen the bi-wiring terminals on my speakers. The idea is to rotate this quite a few times between tests, so that the switch function is unknown to the user. Sticky labels attached to the rear of the box enable later evaluation.

To cut a long story short, the difference which I thought was there, wasn't - the only difference was in my head.

Anyway, I'll probably keep the bi-wiring in place - as one thing I have proved is that it doesn't make the sound any worse!

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 48
Registered: Apr-04
Diablo,
Thanks a lot!
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 160
Registered: Jan-05
Ouch........copper wire must be expensive over there.

I found 12AWG speakerwire as cheap as $.38/foot here in the US.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mystro

Post Number: 37
Registered: Jan-05
B&W recomends biwire in their speaker manuals.
 

kr0ne
Unregistered guest
Its all about frequencies, resistance and induction.

The wider the diameter of a wire, the less resistance and the better quality the sound. Run two sets of wires to your speaker and leave the binding post jumpers in place and it will sound better than a single pair of wires.

Remove those posts and signals induced by the speakers in the wires are fed back to the amp and not each other which will result in a better sound yet.

Biwire one of your speakers and normally wire the other and then listen to a few tunes through them. Move from one speaker to the other and I guarantee you will hear the difference, particularly in the bass response.

Suggest The Chemical Brothers - Bass Test.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 315
Registered: Feb-04
J. Vigne Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 11:49 am:

> https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/122956.html

The section concerning bi-wiring is far from convincing.
 

T Aguirre
Unregistered guest
Diablo,

Regarding your blind test. That was pretty ingenious of you and very honest.

Come on, thinking that biwiring will improve the sound.

Hey, at least you are honest and I do give you credit for that!

T Aguirre
 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 53
Registered: Dec-04
T Aguirre,
Thank you for referring to me as honest. Along with the implication that I am also somewhat gullible. Which, I must admit, seems to be true. :-)

I have been dubious about possible advantages of bi-wiring all along. Despite reading about the high current low frequency signals 'swamping' the delicate low current highs, it always seemed that separating these into two sets of wiring from the speaker terminals would have little effect, because the signals still share a common path between the output stage of the amp and the back of the amp output connectors.

My views have usually been similar to those expressed in this link.

However, the evidence of apparently hearing a difference with your own ears is pretty convincing. Initially, when I bi-wired, I didn't expect there to be a difference but it seemed that there was.

The effect seemed real at the time. And there are many millions who have duped themselves similarly. I am pleased that I have demonstrated to myself that I was wrong.

(Interestingly, if you type 'bi-wiring ABX' into Google, the first link that appears is to this thread! )
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 218
Registered: Jan-05
If biwiring sounds better, imagine how good triwiring would sound.

Heh
 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 54
Registered: Dec-04
Paul,

Are you referring to my post with your comments?

As I have said, bi-wiring was a temporary delusion for me. I no longer believe in it. I only thought it was better for about five days. I was wrong and have admitted it.
Why not have a dig at the people who still believe it instead of me?
I'm starting to think I ought to have done my tests secretly and kept the results to myself. :-)

Have you never made a misjudgment yourself???
 

David Armaun
Unregistered guest
No paul is allways right and his oppinions are fact!
You can tell him something you've seen/heard and he will call you an audiophile
and that you believe in garbage! He doesn't even seem to try and understand it.
As long as it's different from his belief it must be wrong! I've witnessed
this tendancy in many a thread on this board.

Diablo I commend you for admitting that you have changed positions from what
you previosly had thought about something with honesty to yourself and others.
More people should question there beliefs from time to time and see do they
actually make sense with more testing and or knowllage. LEARNING?

As to your findings on biwiring I'm at the point where it seems that some amps
and speakers benefit more from it than others.
It seeems to make sense when you read why biwiring is suppose to help.
Some speakers and amps react differently to the feedback mainly coming from
the woofer and if you seperate the tweeter from that wire sending the feedback
to the amp the tweeter and midrange may get a cleaner signal.
Seems like a logical answer that may have merrit!
But I'm still open to what it is or isn't that makes it work or not.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 219
Registered: Jan-05
Diablo,

My triwiring comment was not directed to you or any person. It was simply directed to the silly topic of biwiring. If I were that concerned with wire thickness, I would surely order a single set of 10AWG wire as opposed to running two smaller sets. To me, it's a silly topic, and my response was directed to the topic, and no person in general.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dary

Sao Paulo Brazil

Post Number: 51
Registered: Apr-04
Diablo,

> My views have usually been similar to those expressed in this link.
> http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46335

Thanks again! Excellent link. I also agree with Aguirre, your report shows great personnality.
It'll save time and money for many of us.
My conclusion: when I install my new receiver, I'll by-amp the front channels (won't use SB spkrs) - maybe I'll get small improvement; and make a good check on the cheap metal speaker crossover bi-amp post connections on other spks.

Regards, Dary
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