Advantages of bi-wire?

Can someone explain the advantages of bi-wiring speakers to me? I think I once knew but need a refresher. Lynne
Search the topic archives,literally hundreds of threads on the subject.Some good info is available.
It isn't always an advantage. It depends on the crossover. What speakers are you using?
It works with both men and women.
Tvad, must be a Friday, huh?!

And where is Kal?
He is usually chiming in about now on this particular subject. He is a HUGE believer in bi-wiring his speakers!
Right Kal?
Dealers love buy-wired speakers.
No explanation of the superiority bi-wiring has ever made any sense to me. I do bi-wire my speakers because it didn't cost any more for bi-wire cables, and they're easier to use with Vandies. Also it's easy to make your own bi-wire cables.
Seriously, like many things in audio the proof is in the listening. Systems differ. Speakers differ. Listeners differ.

Discussing it on the web never really yields a conclusive majority opinion.

Try bi-wiring versus single wiring/jumpers, and decide for yourself which is better (if in fact either is better).
Cool. My speakers are AR9's (vintage--they might be older than some of you so that you don't know the speaker. Came out in about 1978 and ran until '81 when I bought mine). I have them biamped now and have never bi-wired anything. I'm thinking about getting the hk990 integrated. I am surprised that that there is not agreement on the superiority of bi-wiring. I thought it was a given. So I've learned soemthing already. Lynne
Depends on the speaker. I have done both single and biwire. In the biwire runs I usually use a smaller gauge wire for the HF. It also depends on the speaker cable and its ability to accurately portray the HF range. If this is the case, I use jumpers.
My Maggies come factory ready for bi-wiring/amping.
But, since I'm a poor skeptic, I simply changed out the AWFUL Chrome Plated Steel jumpers for some hand-whittled 6ga copper and feel so much better that is sounds better! The wire was 0.40$/foot.
Like the Home Depot has. There is some critic who swears by speaker cable home made from house wiring that he gets from Home Depot. Can't remember if he uses 8awg or 10awg.
Tpreaves. Found good info searching the archives. Searching "biamping" in addition is also good complementary info. Not so hot on biwiring now. Thanks. Lynne
Bi wiring offers an advantage to any speaker, speaker wire, connector, or binding post manufacturer to sell more "product" and/or to promote the superiority of their product vs. a traditional single configuration.

"System dependent" allows any of the parties mentioned above to escape criticisms that bi wiring offers no advantages to their customers.

I guess I'm going to risk getting into an argument with Cwlondon by disagreeing with him, but I can only offer personal experience in my system.

I have had three primary pairs of speakers that all were capable of bi-wiring. In all cases, the manufacturers recommended bi-wiring. On two of the speakers, I preferred single wire with jumpers...which is to say, I couldn't hear much difference between the approaches.

On the third pair of speakers, I prefer bi-wiring, and I can clearly hear differences that I like, e.g. an image that has more weight and sounds more cohesive.

I really believe every owner who is curious needs to experiment for him/herself. I push back hard against those who are intractable in their view that any difference heard by a listener is a result of wishful thinking, or the placebo effect.


I think I have bi wired the pair of ATC's on my desktop, to the extent that I use two sets of connectors on each speaker which emerge from a single cable?

But I too am a little confused regarding theoretical and actual benefits, so I was just kidding around a bit.
1-14-10: Cwlondon
I think I have bi wired the pair of ATC's on my desktop, to the extent that I use two sets of connectors on each speaker which emerge from a single cable?
Yes, that's one way to do it.
Bi-wiring is for the politically correct audiophile.

Don't hear, don't tell.
I biwire because I had the extra cable available to do so, but I can't honestly say I heard that much of a difference. One thing to try before you spring for the extra cable ...

Try hooking up your single wire cable as follows and see if you hear a difference. + to the treeter + and - to the woofer -. Then use jumpers to the other connectore. Or try reversing it, + to the woofer + and - to the tweeter -.

I've heard good reports that this "cross wiring" will improve on just hooking the cable to the tweeter (or woofer) + and - and jumping from there.

completely agree with tvad--having experimented with biwiring with alot of different speakers, i've heard great improvement in some cases and no improvement or no discernible difference in others. i do suspect, however unscientifically, that manufacturers push biwiring because audiophiles generally believe the more wires the better, not necessarily because there's a sonic advantage. note that some very well-regarded manufacturers like thiel that don't offer biwiring and opine that single wiring/amping is superior; i guess like most things audio there are no absolutes.
A very simple, free test to determine if you would be likely to hear the difference bi-wiring makes.

If your speaker is bi-wire capable, simply switch the posts used to feed the speaker. i.e. If you use the bass posts and a jumper to the Mid/Tweeter, switch it around and feed the Mid/tweeter and jump to the bass. I'll bet there are some audiophiles who have never tried that.

What you're doing is testing the difference the jumper in the signal path makes, and in my experience almost universally, if the jumper is not a high end cable, the results are uglier for the "non-wired" driver(s).

If you cannot hear the difference, then you won't likely hear the difference in bi-wiring. If you can tell a distinct difference/improvement on the drivers fed the cable directly, then you likely will likely hear a difference bi-wiring. Then you have to determine if it's worth the cost of the extra cable. With cables running the gammut from affordable to obnoxious, you likely could find something appropriate.
Hi Lynne,

Besides the possibility that biwiring will not be helpful in many cases, some prior threads make clear that it can sometimes result in significant degradation of the sound.

If your search of the archives did not turn up the following threads, I think you'll find them to be of interest. Three different people reported that in their systems biwiring resulted in significant bass loss, which was even measurable in one case. Near the end of the threads, I offered a possible explanation:

Also, the following papers by Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio, who participates here as Audioengr, explain some speaker cable effects that might occur at ultrasonic and rf frequencies, that would be affected by biwiring. Which in some cases could conceivably have audible consequences via their effects on the amplifier.

Although one could debate the likelihood that a lot of what Steve describes would be audibly significant, I think his papers get across the idea that biwiring can call into play some subtle technical effects that are essentially unpredictable.

Best regards,
-- Al
Douglas_schroeder echos my experience when determining whether or not I was going to bi-wire.

With my ProAc D2's the results are convincingly positive. A single run is a downgrade.
I went from using single-wire Analysis Plus Oval 9 with gold plated jumpers on my Unity Audio Signature 1's to shotgun biwire Acoustic Zen Sartori. Huge difference for the better-improved bass extension and slam, better separation of instruments and voices, improved clarity and detail. Now how much of the improvement was due to the biwiring or simnply ugrading to a better cable is the question.--Mrmitch