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Bi-Wiring, yes, again.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Katz, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Katz

    Katz Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bucharest
    So after months of reading websites and forums about whether bi-wiring is or isn't worth it, things are more confusing than to start with.

    I'm sure I'm not BY FAR the only poor soul that went down the rabbit hole and spent hours on forums and threads and read through hundreds of posts and articles and came out empty handed.

    However, in my searches, I have only come across 1 (ONE) article about bi-wiring that included some hard(ish) scientific proof and/or measurements regarding it's advantages or disadvantages (in this case it's a case FOR bi-wiring), and it's this one:

    Bi-wiring Speakers: An exploration of the benefits -

    If you check it out, it's an interesting read, and there are actual measurements about intermodulation distortion and how it is with vs without bi-wiring.

    Now, the flip side is that Q-Acoustics is actually the same company as QED (cable manufacturers), so I take it with a grain of salt (plus i'm no electrical engineer).

    But many some of you there are more versed in electrical engineering, measurements, and whatever intermodulation distortion is.

    And in that case - take a look at the article and measurements - .

    What do you think? Are they lying, distorting, making up things? Is intermodulation distortion a thing and does it really make an audible difference, etc?
     
    angelo73 likes this.
  2. angelo73

    angelo73 Cast Your Fate to the Wind

    Location:
    Orbiting Sgr A*
    Yep. Caused by non-linears of signal processing through your equipment.
     
    The Pinhead likes this.
  3. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I have become entirely convinced this is a “try it, see if it’s better” issue, as there seem to be scientific arguments on both sides, and it also seems to depend on the design of the speakers in question whether bi-wiring benefits them or not. I have been scientifically convinded both ways, being a layman, but my ears (and my wife’s, which are not prone to bias since she has no idea what the hell I am talking about with any of this) prefer the bi-wiring.
     
    scobb, jonwoody, Funky54 and 4 others like this.
  4. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Problem is, regardless of the merits of the science, there will always be at least one who counters it. So being a layman, you're left to determine who to believe, or to verify credentials - a difficult task on public forums.

    That's the type of world we live in now - any scientific facts and evidence thereof will be disputed by someone, and everyone gets a voice. Good luck.
     
    bluesaddict and timind like this.
  5. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    In theory, the amplifier's damping factor should short out any interference caused by the unused crossover elements, but with only a single cable, that damping factor is a long way away. That is, assuming your amp has a damping factor worth mentioning....
     
    Mr.Sign likes this.
  6. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Back around 1990 I asked well known speaker designer Robin Marshall about bi-wiring. His original Epos ES14 were single wire, but later version were bi-wireable as were the Epos ES11which he bought with a view of us stocking (they were good, we did).

    I hope I recall this correctly as it was a long time ago, but I believe his view is it ciuld make an improvement depending how the crossover was laid out and the complexity. The Epos had very simple crossovers and the bi-wiring made no difference and interestingly the ES14 was single wired when it was Robin's company. I believe the ES14's became bi-wireable after Epos were sold to Mordaunt-Short in 1988 and had bi-wiring as it was very much a "must have" feature!

    If my memory is correct, this explains some of the variability in results: some speakers respond to bi-wiring, some it makes no difference! Some of the Linn speakers I demonstrated around that time, definitely sounded better bi-wired.
     
    wgriel likes this.
  7. Hipper

    Hipper Forum Resident

    Location:
    Herts., England
    I bi-wire but if there are any benefits they are tiny and not justified by the extra cost of speaker cable.

    One thing I was surprised at was how much low frequency signal travels through the bi-wire tweeter cable. Not that I know anything!
     
    Leroyd likes this.
  8. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Audio Expurdt

    Location:
    Free Speech Land
    Four conductor Mogami is cheap.
    If you don't like separating the tweeter, just tie it together.
    On all my sets that could be bi-wired I heard an immediate improvement in clarity.
    If you don't get improvements then you wind up with nice wiring anyway if you tie them together.
    So what's the big deal?
     
    bluesaddict, Mr.Sign, MGW and 2 others like this.
  9. Monsieur Gadbois

    Monsieur Gadbois Senior Member

    Location:
    West Coast
    Take a couple of these and call me in the morning. :p

    [​IMG]
     
    gakerty, Morbius, 500Homeruns and 3 others like this.
  10. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    When you run bi-wire cable from the same amplifier binding post, you are simply moving the connection the speaker terminal strap makes back to the amplifier. They are the same electrical point so explaining a difference is difficult at best.

    If you run an extra set of cables to bi-wire you are increasing wire gauge.

    If you run something like the Mogami cable mentioned by @Doctor Fine, to bi-wire, you aren't doubling the wire gauge.

    As @Big Blue said, the only way to know if it sounds "different" is to try it.
     
  11. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    That could power a small city.
     
  12. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Audio Expurdt

    Location:
    Free Speech Land
    I wish life were so simplistic as that.
    But in my world I can HEAR quite easily that the treble has more definition using a biwire approach.
    Experimentation and listen to the results,.
    If it doesn't make any difference at least with Mogami you haven't lost anything.
    You just have some nice wires connecting the speaker to the amp.
    But IF splitting the connections tightens up the treble---well, don't say I didn't tell you so...
     
    timind and Big Blue like this.
  13. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Broadly speaking, waste of time. Academic these days as using active speakers!
     
    timind and The Pinhead like this.
  14. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    They are the same point only if you ignore the cable reactance, a common oversimplification.
     
    Doctor Fine likes this.
  15. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Ironically, the pair of speakers that most improved from bi-wiring, in my experience, were Epos Epic 2s.
     
  16. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Not exactly. There will be a difference in current on the cable legs between a bi-wire and single-wire configuration. That's the part of the Q-Acoustics article that is factual.
     
  17. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Try it and see as the last sentence in my post said.
     
  18. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Irrelevant for a standard run of speaker cable.
     
  19. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    Says you...
     
    Doctor Fine and timind like this.
  20. Davey

    Davey like smoke from a lithium dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I use a modified bi-wire configuration on my current 2-way speakers. Both drivers and their crossover sections get the single (+) line from the amp. Each of the driver returns run separately back to the (-) amp terminal, as does the single crossover return. So the driver returns only handle in-band current from each driver.

    Of course, it requires modifying the speaker, but I updated some of the components anyway, so no big deal.

    I've always liked this method, I also had a diy 3-way design with similar configuration, except the crossover boards were mounted close to the amplifier so there were four wires from the crossover to each speaker side, one for full-range input, and three separate driver returns.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  21. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    IME, if there's a worthwhile difference in bi-wiring a set of speakers, it can be heard with Home Depot zip cord. So if your speakers have the provision, there's no good reason to not experiment.
     
  22. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    I have never tried it going back to bell wire, but tend to agree with you. If the improvement is noticeable and from what I can recall trying this maybe on a couple of dozen speakers 25-30 years ago, it is very speaker / crossover dependent, then yes, you should hear it.

    Even a reel of double insulated, round 2.5mm cable is £20 for 25 metres, so it isn't expensive to try.
     
    Helom likes this.
  23. Given a set budget of X, then a question to ask is whether money is better spent on two runs of cable costing 0.5X per run, or one run of cable costing X. (Ignoring termination costs).

    Assuming that we aim for the best cable for our money, then which approach will deliver the better results?
     
    Bananajack likes this.
  24. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    This is true if you are starting from no speaker cable, and need to buy either one or two runs. However, if you already have a pair of good cable, then you only need to buy one additional pair of the same cable to bi-wire.
     
  25. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    That's an interesting question, which unfortunately is likely to be totally speaker / crossover dependent.
     

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