Diagonal Connection With Two Pairs Of Binding Posts


This is from the Chord website:

"As a general rule, the treble connections are usually reckoned to produce better sound quality than the bass connections. However, in many cases, we find that a diagonal connection produces the most musically coherent sound. To do this, connect the positive (+) speaker cable to the positive treble connection and the negative speaker cable (-) to the negative bass connection. So in effect, the cable is connected diagonally. This is quick, easy and fun to do and the results are easy to hear."

I decided to try this today on my Harbeth SHL5+ speakers. Previously, my cables were connected to the lower posts (LF).

I listened to very familiar music for a couple of hours and the change was significant and for the better. The high frequencies were clearer without being bright. The soundstage was wider and overall sound had more presence.

I was not aware that a diagonal connection was an option.

Has anyone tried this? What were the results?

I left the jumpers in place. Should they stay in place in a diagonal set up?

Would appreciate your thoughts/comments.
          
ericsch
my 2 cents -- its all b-s

though you can try it every which way -- all permutations -- and decide for yourself

pls come back let us know what you learned

btw - harbeth has been removing bi wiring posts from its newer speakers, that should tell you something...

have fun
Yes, only the SHL5’s have them. I don't think any of their speakers have had them for a very long time.
I had C7's 10+ years ago and they did had two posts. 
jj has it right and given the ever higher price of binding posts 2 pair is a waste of money.
Don't use this approach for a bi-amp setup.🤣
Ok I'm a little thick so bare with me.

Two set of post with jumpers between them?

OR is the jumper removed between the binding post?

If it is I'd really like to see how that works.

I know it could if the other terminal had a toggle switch or a jumper for the other two binding post..

That would either double or half the impedance..

Leaving the jumper in and going diagonal? Better jumpers maybe, remove the bars if they have them, replace them with good ribbon jumpers..

That will change the sound.
Jumpers, what jumpers? Most jumpers are 100% CRAP. Invest in a HQ set of audiophile grade jumpers, then decide
@oldhvymec

Assuming that the crossovers are not connected internally, without the jumper the ground only connects at the amp.

By swapping grounds though you alter where the ground current flows, so you have the Treble ground current flowing with the bass ground wire, and vice versa.
@Erik_Squires
@Oldhvymec

I have good jumpers, they are Analysis Plus and match my speaker cables. So the consensus seems that if I continue with the diagonal connections, I should leave the jumbers in place. Right?

@ericsch, I have tried the diagonal connection as you described it it, with jumpers on, on my Dunlavys, thought it was an improvement which apparently wasn’t, and now i have the best results with a better set of jumpers. Simple.
@petg60 So after you got the new jumpers, you went back to the conventional connections?
  

@yogiboy Please read my OP, it is not about bi-wiring.
Single-wiring of bi-wireable speakers has been discussed previously on A'gon.  You might find some further useful input if you search.  It's also covered on Nordost and Audioquest web-sites.  Nordost advocates - (black) up and + (red) down.  AQ just the opposite.  Jumpers are still required when single-wiring bi-wireable speakers regardless the connection pattern used for the + & - leads.  Depending on "tuning" needs, I'll use the Nordost diagonal for a little more treble energy on Totem Forests and the AQ pattern for a less but with Silverline Prelude Plus, I connect both + & - leads to the lower speaker terminals.  As also noted on the Totem website, it can't hurt to experiment with all the possible permutations (4).  

Here's a link to the Nordost discussion.  AQ's should be easy to find too.
https://www.nordost.com/downloads/NorseJumperinstructions.pdf

    
Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse. 
Diagonal cross connections is one way that Nordost has recommended for many years. You won't know until you try it. There are some who say if it's a two way speaker, go for the upper posts and if it's a three way, go for the lower ones. 

I've tried all combinations and found the cross connection to be best, when using jumpers. You'll find that with some speakers, dual speaker posts are just a gimmick and with others, they're really built to be bi wired. 

If someone is saying it's all BS, take that with a shaker of salt and move on. They probably feel the brass plates that come from the factory are good enough. It's very easy to hear the differences. 

All the best,
Nonoise
@ericsch, yes back to conventional.

@ghosthouse 
@nonoise 
@petg60
Thanks for your comments, very helpful.


Here's a link to the Audioquest discussion.  The section you want is 

Using Full Range Cables On BiWire Capable Speakers

http://tools.audioquest.com/downloads/literature/learning_modules/Understanding-BiWiring.pdf
@ericsch ,
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that if possible, try two pair of cables, of the same make, to see if you hear further improvement. They needn't be expensive nor do they have to exactly match.

I'm using a 10GA cable for the lows and 12GA cables for the highs from the same manufacturer and this set up easily beat any combo of jumpers and connectors I've tried. It's what Richard Vanderstein recommends and as it turned out, for me, he's right.

Good luck in your quest and, all the best,
Nonoise
you should only remove the jumpers if you biwire the speaker using all four connectors with an amp capable of such a connection or two amplifiers i you are using a diagonal connection you leave them in but i always use the bass connectors with jumpers but to get much better sound make your own jumpers with high quality wire and the difference will be far greater than any connection options.
one person’s experience to report -- tried over 5-6-7 pairs of speakers over the last 20 years (epos, proacs (2 sets), spendors, vandersteen, ariel, sonus faber) with wire from aq cardas canare wireworld qed kimber mapleshade

had spouse, other family members, or friends do the swaps blind - i could NEVER reliably call the configuration or reliably tell which was superior (i never tried the diagonal thing...)

end of story for me... so i say its b-s

one person’s experience
If a speaker is bi wireable, then bi wire it! Dump the jumpers. If the speaker only has 2 terminals, we'll then, you don't need to worry yourself. Pretty simple. Me? I'm bi wiring If the speaker is able to be...just because the all mighty Harbeth got rid of it says absolutely nothing, except cost savings. Tannoy provides 5 binding posts, one is for ground...guess what I did? 😜
Great topic. I will try the different combinations and look into upgrading the jumpers. Thanks for sharing. 
many paths to happiness, and the journey is part of it

this bi wiring stuff is easy to try every which way, everyone can make up their own minds

like all comparisons in this pursuit, just make sure you are doing it properly, so you don't doubt the result due to suspect methodology
After I posted this I went over to HUG and looked at some of the comments. I know they have their biases (all amplifiers sound basically the same, exotic speaker wire is a waste of money, etc.). Alan Shaw says that since the SHL5 series has always bi-wire capability he did not want to change it because then his dealers would be stuck with an outdated model. Further, it was strictly a marketing decision to keep 4 binding posts, i.e. customer choice.

He said he never listened to them bi-wired and they were not voiced that way.  

BTW, none of his other speakers are set up for bi-wire.

FWIW, I have had the SHL5 Plus 40th Anniversary for over 3 years and they are wonderful speakers.  

      
Great news. It pays to poke around and read as much as you can on the subject. Knowing, now, that the speakers don't really need the use of 4 binding posts, I'd just get the best pair of jumpers you can afford and be done with it, except for the experimenting you'll be doing with which posts to use.

All the best,
Nonoise
@ericsch
I second what Nonoise (and others?) have said about getting the best jumpers you can afford.

After living with mftr. supplied jumpers and trying DIY (didn’t hear a significant change), I finally sprang for a used set of mid product range Cardas. I was very surprised at the noticeable improvement those little runs of wire did provide. Another area of wire skepticism laid to rest. Once you decide what connection arrangement suits you best, definitely consider upgrading your jumpers.
Remove the jumpers and bi-amp with an active crossover, you will never go back. Passive crossovers suck, especially stock ones.
At least this tweak is FREE!
One of those-"if you think it works, then it does" 

Looks impressive enough to leave it as is, even though I can't hear a difference. Tried it years ago when I purchased Nordost cables/jumpers. My non audio friends approve.

Fiesta75 's suggestion is the real solution to wiring those 4 posts. Painful on the wallet though.
as fervent, dedicated enthusiasts, part of the deal is we obsess over the smallest details, optimize every little aspect, but it sometimes really benefits us to step back and look at the whole thing, think about the various potential improvements levers in terms of their relative proportionality and importance against the absolute performance level 

that last .025% of improvement, even if we were sure it is real, might not be worth the time, effort and cost, if the quality of the music being reproduced is already absolutely splendid
I also have the SHL5+ 40s and have tried diagonal with better jumpers using AQ Rocket 88s.
Just for kicks, I cut 8 pieces of some old Monster Cable.  Each piece is 6' long with both ends twisted together and tinned.

So now, I have 4 pieces going to each speaker utilizing all 4 posts with the jumpers removed.

Tried this with both my Hegel H190 and an old Jolida SJ 502A tube integrated.

Very minimal but noticeable improvement all around over the Rocket 88s.

Sound is more open and airy with better clarity.  
4 pairs vs 1 pair per speaker certainly provides for a cumulative increase in wire gauge. 

@ericsch - Agree 100% these are wonderful speakers!


As mentioned above read about this method from Nordost several years back and tried it, preferred, and never looked backed. Was first with Clear Days Jumpers and Double Shotgun then to WyWire Jumpers and Silver Series. Very nice tweak indeed. 
It is unfortunate people cannot post photos or pictures showing the connection. Reading through all this I'm not sure if I'm getting it right.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.
@ryder Look at the Nordost link earlier in this thread. On the second page, the third illustration shows the diagonal connection. The Audioquest article was a little clearer, but that link doesn't seem to be working.  
@ryder

See if this helps clarify things:

Jumpers are used with both Nordost and Audioquest diagonal speaker connections and jumper connections are the same for each, i.e, from upper to lower speaker binding posts (+ to + & - to -).

For the 2 speaker cable leads going to each speaker...
The Nordost method has + (red) leg going to the corresponding (+) BOTTOM binding post and - (black) leg going to the corresponding (-) UPPER binding post.

The Audioquest method is opposite, i.e., it has + (red) going to the corresponding UPPER binding post and - (black) going to the corresponding LOWER binding post.

That’s all there is to it.

Thanks Ericsch and Ghosthouse. It’s clear now. Chord has the same recommendation as Audioquest (+ Red going to UPPER (treble) binding post and - Black going to LOWER (bass) binding post). I use this connection with the Harbeth SHL5+ using Chord Signature jumpers. I’ve tried the various permutations several years ago and the differences are subtle, not night and day but it’s there. A better balanced and coherent sound with the diagonal connection and this was with Harbeth speakers.

When I was looking for new speakers, one of the prerequisites is the speaker has to have a single pair of binding post. Save all the hassle and better sound too. Harbeth did admit that biwiring binding posts were provided due to marketing. The people wanted it as they believe biwiring will produce better sound quality. Apparently not.

Millercarbon - nice killer system!

@ericsch I've been playing with wiring options since your post. Both diagonal options did sound different. For now I settled with + in the treble post and - in the bass post of my B&W CM8S2. I'm impressed that the difference would be as clear as it was. I also replaced the stock nickel jumper bars with some speaker wire. Again, that provided another improvement to the sound.