bi-wired mains / line-level sub


I recently purchased some new speakers which are set up for bi-wiring.
My previous speakers only had a single pair of binding posts.
I had MusicMetre Signature ( quasi-solid-core, ribbon cables running them from my CODA ( solid-state amplifier.
I also have some Apature ( Signature 500 Plus 12GA multi-stranded wire available here.

My new speakers ( are set-up for bi-wiring -- which is also the suggested wiring scheme.
It was recommended to me to run the MusicMetre quasi-solid-core cables to the top (mid range and tweeter) and the Apature stranded to the bottom (woofers).
I have heard and read opposing thoughts on this.
Some say that the stranded wire is good for the bottom because of the extension and control; whereas, the solid core is better on top because of the softer, warmer, more detailed, and spacious sound.
But this does not seem to correlate well with other reports regarding highs running on the skin and lows in the core of the wires.
I have also purchased a sub-woofer ( which will require a line-level connection.

I have yet to fire up the sub, but I started burning in and playing with the "satellites" over the past weekend.
I started out as suggested (multi-stranded on bottom / "quasi" solid-core on top) most of the weekend to get everything warmed up good and to establish a good mental image.
Sounded pretty good :-)
Then, I switched the wires around and the highs became much more pronounced and forward.
I kind of liked it at first, but it soon seemed to wear on me.
I liked the extra extension on top, but it was kind of cold/harsh sounding and not as open or spacious.
It was more difficult to notice the effect on the bottom, but it seemed to be more laid back this way.
I thought for a while that the bass might have been a bit tighter with the solid-core, but I was not certain.
After switching the wires back, it became immediately apparent that the bass was indeed more extended and pronounced with the stranded wires.
Also, the top was definitely a lot warmer, richer, smoother, and more spacious with the solid-core.

So the bottom line for my system is that the multi-stranded cables provide more extension and a louder, more forward character to both ends, while the quasi-solid-core cables provide a warmer and richer sound -- albeit perhaps a little bit subdued.

I definitely prefer it the way it is (stranded on bottom / solid-core on top), but I think I would really like something a little bit in between.
That's where some of the reviews I have read recently about the Goertz flat-ribbon, solid-core cables sounded very interesting.
There seems to be considerable talk about both aspects (extension and detail as well as the spacious, warm and clean sound).

I guess if I was to just have the VR-3.5s without the subwoofer, I would probably be inclined to leave things the way they are (to perhaps get a little bit extra bass).
But with the added subwoofer (which I still need to hook up), I don't know if perhaps I should rely more on the sub for the bottom end and pull back the bass on the 3.5s a little to get a more balanced sound???

Do any of you fine folks have any thoughts on the subject?

Much appreciated...
As a general rule, I would have run the system the same way that you currently have it i.e. solid on top and stranded on bottom. Going to heavy gauge solid wires on the bottom in a low capacitance design ( twisted pair, star quad, etc ) would offer the extension and output that the stranded is currently supplying while adding the "control", "snap" and "definition" that the smaller gauge solids were previously providing.

As to the Goertz cables, they offer a lot of surface area ( gauge ) for low resistance and high current capacity. At the same time, they are ALL "skin" due to their thin & flat design. This miminizes smearing of the signal as you have one low resistance heavy conductor passing the signal throughout the entire frequency range. There is no "jumping from strand to strand" or "skin effect" or "multiple paths" for the signal to take. That is one of the reasons that they present the very unified i.e. "seamless" and "coherent" presentation that they do.

The fact that the nominal impedance of their flat cables is also very low allows the amp to more efficiently couple to the speaker. All of the Goertz are between 2 - 8 ohms nominally whereas most other speaker cables are well above 20 ohms nominally. While there are some exceptions to this rule ( Dunlavy & some of the heavier gauge Kimbers that i'm aware of ), both Nordost and standard 12 gauge Monster type cable clock in somewhere around 100 ohms or so. There are cables that come in even higher than that, but most are somewhere in the 40 - 120 ohm range.

Since the amp sees EVERYTHING that is connected behind it as part of the load, why would you want to introduce a higher nominal impedance into what is basically a low impedance circuit ? Obviously, the higher impedance can act somewhat as a "buffer" if you have a highly reactive yet low impedance load that the amp is having a hard time dealing with. While this can effect the sonics, it would be up to the end user and personal preferences as to whether the results were good or bad. That is why cables are both system and user dependent.

As to the question about the mains / sub, get the mains dialed in to where they sound good on their own. If you can't do this, you'll simply be adding another variable ( the sub ) to what is already a mess. The sub can then be dialed in simply to augment and extend what is already there. Too many people try to use a SUB-woofer as their main low frequency driver i.e. "woofer" and the results are never as good as they could be. The only advantage to doing something like that would be if you have a speaker that really isn't full range and the designer was trying to extend what little bass output it had beyond a reasonable amount. Taking the load off of such a design can benefit the upper bass / midrange clarity and slightly improve dynamics and spl capability. That is strictly a "band-aid" approach unless the system was designed to work that way as a whole though. Sean
for the great info.

Yea...that's what I was thinking too regarding the sub-woofer.
That's why I have not messed with it yet.
It will only be used for the very foundation (20Hz - 35Hz).

Sounds like you're on your way to a very nice sounding system. Good luck and keep the volume down, will ya : ) Sean
I finally did fire up the sub a little bit last evening.
Initially, being right there next to the speakers and with the sub and cable being brand new and cold, I was sort of dissappointed a bit that it wasn't particularly overwhelming to me.
I messed with the volume and crossover controls a bit and could not really get it where I wanted it.
It seemed to be either too much or not enough.
So I turned the sub completely off again to give the system another listen without it, and now I could tell a lot more by its absense.
Where the main speakers sounded pretty good before, now they sounded very light on the bottom.
I turned the sub back on and just set both controls (level and frequency) at mid dial, and then just went across the room and sat down.
I don't know if it was getting myself back away from things a bit or things having an hour or so to warm up (or both), but now it was really sounding pretty nice.
Very deep and TIGHT!!!
When the source material was there, the sub pounded it out quite nicely, I must say.
She really adds a nice foundation and punch to the overall sound.
Now I just need to continue burning and dialing in everything.
I think I'm gonna like it!