Do you Bi-Wire, if you can?


This topic came about in another post.

If your speakers allow for bi-wiring, do you use this feature? Or, do you use good quality jumpers and single wire cables? Or, do you just use the jumper plates that come with the speakers and single wire cables?

(If you are bi-amping, then that's completely different.)
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&policy=eyjlehbpcnkioje0ota4njywodesimnhbgwiolsicmvhzcisimnvbnzlcnqixx0%3d&rotate=exif&signature=69ec531ddda16de78bcc30d10dde9d5d7e5bb654ed7d366962e4cdd7d91c312c&w=128mofimadness
For me, I use good quality jumpers and run single cable, (well actually I run them in a shotgun configuration), but still use jumpers.

I haven't bi-wired in a very long time even if I could.
I have one pair of speakers that allow biwire. Although I have done it in the past, I couldn't hear any difference. Now that I'm 61-years-old I wouldn't bother listening for a difference so I no longer biwire.
My other two pairs of speakers only allow single wire connection.
Yes. I have Vandersten 5s which are equipped for biwire. Richard Vandersteen is very deliberate about his design and backs it up with rational explanations. I have spoken with him and find him to be a man of both integrity and common sense, so I've never run them any other way.
My Daedalus Ulysses speakers cannot be biwired. Presumably Lou Hinkley doesn't want users to be tinkering with the sound he has worked so hard to achieve. I believe that in the past I've only owned one pair of speakers that could be biwired, many years ago, and I used them single-wired.

Best regards,
-- Al
Always Bi Wire when possible, jumpers blah! Two sets of runs always tightens things up!
I have bi wired in the past. Now I single wire with good jumpers. It works out better that way for me

YMMV
Mostly do not believe in the whole bi-wire syndrome unless the speaker has been specifically designed for it. And I circumvent jumpers by simply using a single wire bridging the same plus/minus termination if possible.

I've even done surgery on some bi-wire designs and internally bridged the terminals with positive effect.

Read Israel Blume of Coincident speakers take on it all.
I used to bi-wire but doubt I could really hear a difference. Just did it because the speakers were set up for it and the speaker cable I used at the time allowed it. With current sp. cable (Morrow SP4 or Clear Day double shotgun) I single wire and use Clear Day jumpers. Even so, have played around with connecting to top or bottom posts or diagonally. Just something else to make one's self crazy. Current iteration is diagonal with red to low and black to hi freq. posts. Again, not sure I can really hear a difference.
If your speakers have dual terminals - The answer is yes - Why would you want use jumpers to almost do the same job?
Single wire with jumpers. Thinking about trying some more expensive jumpers to see if I can detect a difference. I was using anti-cable jumpers, then tried a set of inexpensive jumpers and couldn't hear any difference. Maybe I'll be wasting my money, maybe not.
I began with single wire and sound was excellent. I later upgraded to biwire.

To be completely honest, single wire for dollar spent was a more sensible option. I used identical brand and performance level both times so I think this was a fair test.

Anyway I‘m biwire now and enjoy the small performance advantage.
yes, my speakers allow for biwire. at the start I used a single pair of speaker cables + jumpers. The sonics were good.
Then, when I had some money, I bought a 2nd pair of speaker wires & did a shotgun run of 2 pairs of speaker cables per speaker. The sonics were vastly improved in the bass region. on this account i'm seconding Mattmiller "Two sets of runs always tightens things up!
Mattmiller"
In my case it was very apparent & successful. I won't be going back to a single pair + jumpers. FWIW. YMMV.
All speakers I have owned which can be bi, tri, quad wired have had explanations in their owners manuals about the benefits, and why the manufacture chose to design and build them this way. I have always taken advantage of this feature. My Matrix 800 are quad-wired. It does however cost more in ancillary equipment.

**************************

From the Matrix 800 owners manual

Bi/Tri-wiring
Worthwhile improvements may be obtained by the progressive replacement of links by multiple loudspeaker leads which helps to minimise cable-borne interactions between crossovers.
Bi-wiring is strongly recommended as a minimum requirement.
I use Kimber 8PR in a 5/3 configuration. 5 wires for the woofer, 3 for the tweeter.
Check this. Pretty interesting. ouhttp://www.nordost.com/downloads/NorseJumperinstructions.pdft
I use unterminated cable and bare wire is fed through both terminals and secured in place.
No jumpers or quality jumpers needed.
Geph0007, couldn't get that url to work. Is this what you mean?

http://www.nordost.com/downloads/NorseJumperinstructions.pdf

The Nordost diagonal biwire. I use this method with a single cable run. I believe there is a difference in sound.
Geph0007....Take off the extra t on your link....

ouhttp://www.nordost.com/downloads/NorseJumperinstructions.pdf
Single speaker cable with jumpers made from the same wire as the main cables.
I do. I don't question Albert's judgement so my VR-5s are biwired. There is another potential benefit - choosing cables specific to the job (hi or low) can help you to tailor sound a tad.

I'm biwiring with Analysis Plus Oval 9/Oval 12 and it gave my system more low end punch. I can see this combo eventually replacing the ever popular Kimber 8TC/4TC biwire setup as the working man's biwire bargain - speaking in relative terms, of course. It's smoother and more musical than the Kimber combo.
I have found that bi-wire runs of speaker cables tend to be more critical on some speaker designs than others. The speakers I am using currently (Reference 3A Episodes) Have the bi-wire option, and they sounded much better when Bi-wired with the same brand of cable versus single wire with a bare ended wire jumper made from the same speaker wire. It really opened up the width, depth and layering of my soundstage. With another pair of speakers I once owned, the most noticable change was an improvement in bass definition and clarity. Hopefully, your favorite wires are affordable, and it won't hurt the budget to give bi-wiring a try.
Biwiring for me produced a a slight "difference" in the sound preferred by some but not by others myself included. I sold the second SC and bought a better IC for source to amp which improved the sound dramatically for EVERYONE who listened. YMMV.
Yes in a shotgun config. AQ type 6, old but good...
Any of you who are bi-wiring ever try also connecting jumpers (while bi-wired to both terminals), just to experience the effect? If so, what did you think, better, worse, different-how?
Bad idea...by doing so, you would short your amp as the current would take the least resistive path. Nothing would reach the crossover/drivers.
Chris, no, that's not correct. Using biwire cabling at the same time as jumpers are in place is little different than paralleling two sets of cables, and will work fine. Albeit with the resulting sonics perhaps being somewhat different than if the jumpers were removed.

Also, FWIW, the commonly stated belief that current follows the path of least resistance is an oversimplification. If current is presented with two paths between the same points, or between points that are shorted together, it will divide up between the two paths in inverse proportion to their resistances. Since in this situation the resistances of both cable paths and the jumpers would be near zero, as a rough approximation the current will divide up pretty much equally between the two paths.

And regarding "nothing would reach the crossover/drivers," keep in mind that the jumpers would not be shorting + and - together, they would be connecting + to +, and - to -.

Regards,
-- Al
Its like every other thing in Audio, you need to try it in
your system with your speakers in your room with your music .
My suggestion to try connecting bi-wired speakers with jumpers at the speaker terminals was intended as a way for folks with bi-wire cables and dual speaker terminals to easily hear the effect of single-wiring their speakers. Some might say running the bi-wire cables to the two terminals and then connecting (the two positive terminals and the two negative terminals) at the binding posts with jumpers would be better than single wiring the speakers, since the magnetic field from the woofer signal would be separated from the MF/HF cable right up to the binding posts. Advocates of bi-wiring usually say separating the woofer's magnetic field from the higher frequencies is the primary advantage of bi-wiring while opponents sometimes quote a lack of coherence and phase issues. I wonder if the jumpers might improve on the coherence/phase issues?
09-22-15: Mitch2
Some might say running the bi-wire cables to the two terminals and then connecting (the two positive terminals and the two negative terminals) at the binding posts with jumpers would be better than single wiring the speakers, since the magnetic field from the woofer signal would be separated from the MF/HF cable right up to the binding posts.
Yes, some might say that, Tim (Mitch2), but they would be wrong. Per the second paragraph of my previous post, in that situation both the low frequency content of the signal and the high frequency content of the signal would divide up between the two sets of conductors in approximately equal amounts.

Therefore, assuming good contact integrity for all of the connections that are involved, whatever sonic differences may occur between single wiring and biwiring with twice as many similar wires but with jumpers in place are likely to mainly be the result of the factor of two difference in resistance and inductance that results. With the magnitude and character of the resulting sonic difference being dependent on the impedance characteristics of the particular speakers that are being used.

Best regards,
-- Al
Thanks Al for the explanation... I see better the circuit.
Mofi, I used biwire cables with my previous Infinity Reference 60's, Renaissance 90's & later, Marten Coltrane Alto's. With my Ref 60's, I initially ran Audioquest single wires with the factory gold plated jumper plates before upgrading to Audioquest Slate biwire cables. I'm sure I heard a tad bit more resolution and space, though i'm not sure how much of that owed to the higher quality Slate cable.

My current Magico S5's are single wire only. So wnen I stepped up to the S5's I traded up my old Jorma Prime biwire cables for Jorma Statement single wires. Interestingly, Jorma Kosky found a single run of Statement sounded better than Prime biwires! That is because one pair Prime biwire and One Pair Statement single wire with jumpers costs about the same, but with higher sound quality so it is lower in price/performance.
It sure would be easier if there were "standards" in the audio world, like providing only a single pair of binding posts on speakers. Like most things in this hobby, it can be difficult separating product features designed for better sound from those designed for better sales, with the only true test being how it sounds.

I suspect more than a few speaker manufacturers jumped on the bi-wire bandwagon simply so they would not be left behind and their products thought to be inferrior. If they were really interested in better sound, they would include higher quality jumpers than those crappy metal jumpers that come with even relatively high-priced speakers.

I have achieved the best results in my system by keeping cable runs short and heavy on the copper. Although I am currently bi-wiring my speakers, my speaker cables are only 1M long and consist of a double run of 10 awg vintage WE wire, resulting the best sound I have heard with my current speakers.
It sure would be easier if there were "standards" in the audio world, like providing only a single pair of binding posts on speakers. Like most things in this hobby, it can be difficult separating product features designed for better sound from those designed for better sales, with the only true test being how it sounds to the end user.

I suspect more than a few speaker manufacturers jumped on the bi-wire bandwagon simply so they would not be left behind and their products thought to be inferior. If they were really interested in better sound, they would include higher quality jumpers than those crappy metal jumpers that come with even relatively high-priced speakers.

I have achieved the best results in my system by keeping cable runs short and heavy on the copper. Although I am currently bi-wiring my speakers, my speaker cables are only 1M long and consist of a double run of 10 awg vintage WE wire, resulting the best sound I have heard with my current speakers.
09-23-15: Mitch2
It sure would be easier if there were "standards" in the audio world, like providing only a single pair of binding posts on speakers.
Mitch2, there cannot be a standard in audio for providing 1 or 2 pairs of binding posts on a speaker because cross-over design is not a cut-and-dry process where every manuf will have the same circuit. Cross-over design is complicated & full of trade-offs (such as rapid response decay & good transient response). Each speaker designer is going to choose a slightly different set of compromises that will result in a different cross-over circuit & a different sonic signature. The way the cross-over circuit is designed will have a large bearing on whether the speaker designer want the cross-over to "see" the low impedance of the amplifier (parallel cross-over topology) or to "see" the impedance created by the other cross-over elements (series cross-over topology). In the series cross-over topology the designer might not want you messing with 2 pairs of speaker binding posts that changes the impedances of the cross-over connected to the various drivers - he will want full control of this by ensuring that the signal comes in at one point & then fans out into his cross-over with controlled impedances (by his selecting the value of L or R or C per his calculations) at each node.
Cross-over design is art + science & many compromises to the final result. There can be no standard when such is the nature of the problem.
There can be no standard when such is the nature of the problem.
Perhaps not, and of course there isn't a standard, but the amplifier output originates from a single positive pole and a single negative pole. Therefore, assuming only a small L/C/R effect from the speaker cables, is not the relative current draw at each crossover board determined by the drivers and crossover components and not whether it arrives at the speaker by means of a single pair of positive/negative wires or two pairs of wires in a bi-wire configuration?
Perhaps not, and of course there isn't a standard, but the amplifier output originates from a single positive pole and a single negative pole. Therefore, assuming only a small L/C/R effect from the speaker cables, is not the relative current draw at each crossover board determined by the drivers and crossover components and not whether it arrives at the speaker by means of a single pair of positive/negative wires or two pairs of wires in a bi-wire configuration?
Mitch2

Sounds great. But just to nit pick, you leave out the option of bi-amping with a single set of binding posts as a standard.
Good point...many report positive results of bi-amping, but it would be hard to bi-amp with a single set of binding posts.

Speaking of bi-amping, with the improvement of Class D amplifiers, I suspect the industry future may hold more internally powered speakers, with amplification dedicated to each section of drivers, similar to the idea behind the Linkwitz Orion, but more evolved like the new Kii Audio Three speaker, that even includes an internal DAC...I would like to hear a pair...Kii Audio Three
Perhaps not, and of course there isn't a standard, but the amplifier output originates from a single positive pole and a single negative pole. Therefore, assuming only a small L/C/R effect from the speaker cables, is not the relative current draw at each crossover board determined by the drivers and crossover components and not whether it arrives at the speaker by means of a single pair of positive/negative wires or two pairs of wires in a bi-wire configuration?
Mitch2
Mitch2, it's not as simple as you make it out to be. Yes, current is single-ended when it comes out of the amplifier (altho' several Ayre amplifier designs are fully differential outputs) but it's not just running current into the speaker x-over. It's also a lot to do with the impedances the x-over circuit creates & whether or not the speaker designer wants to introduce a highly variable parameter from the speaker wires (it's R, L, C) & the amplifier output impedance (remember tube output impedance is much higher than s.s. output impedance. thus tube amps have a different effect on the x-over than s.s. amps).

A picture is worth a 1000 words. take a look at these pics that I've uploaded for you viewing. These pix are courtesy of Arthur C Ludwig Sr - from his article on this subject.

https://picasaweb.google.com/106074825717940223133/SpeakerCrossOverCircuits?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLa8tuTSmPLALg&feat=directlink

if you are using a parallel x-over topology it's easy to see how we can have 2 pairs of speaker binding posts.
What happens when we use the series toplogy? How do you break that circuit & provide 2 pair of binding posts? And, the speaker designer can definitely decide to use the series topology as that might be better for his speaker design. In the series topology the x-over components provide a very controlled impedance at each node that can be upset if an external entity (like a speaker cable or a power amplifier - tube or ss) is suddenly introduced into the network. In such a case it would ruin the speaker response.
am i making any sense? Or am i talking thru my hat here?
Thanks for the information Bombaywalla. So, basically, a standard is not feasible because while having a single set of binding posts works for both parallel and series crossover topologies, dual or tri binding posts only work with parallel, but not series, crossover topologies. However, a single set of binding posts does not work for the speaker builder who wants to offer their customers the option of bi-amping for best sound.

I think the reason bi-wiring from a single amplifier causes so much discussion is that it is sort of a poor man's bi-amping and in many cases does not result in significant sonic differences/improvements over single wiring with jumpers.

I think the reason bi-wiring from a single amplifier causes so much discussion is that it is sort of a poor man's bi-amping and in many cases does not result in significant sonic differences/improvements over single wiring with jumpers.
Mitch2

That's exactly how I see it.
welcome Mitch2. glad that i could be of assistance in this matter.

I think the reason bi-wiring from a single amplifier causes so much discussion is that it is sort of a poor man's bi-amping .......
Mitch2
oh boy! I really hope that you are wrong in thinking this when you wrote it! IMO it would be a bad hallucination to think that bi-wiring would give you any of the benefits of bi-amping.
I see bi-wiring as a method of impedance control between the speaker & the amp: the woofer driver & x-over see the low impedance of the power amp (assuming the negligible impact of the speaker cable) immediately which helps to control the woofer back EMF. This is in comparison to 1 pair of binding posts where the woofer sees the low output impedance of the amp thru the metal jumpers or short jumper cables + the speaker cable which is worse.
In contrast bi-amping not only has 2 or more amps to drive the speaker but also the freedom to play around with the x-over frequencies & the x-over slopes.
ANyway, hopefully people are a lot wiser now to not mistake the benefits of one for the other. Thanks.
That was sarcasm. Bi-amping offers significantly greater potential benefits.
geez!! you said it with a straight-face that i did not get the joke. Sorry! ;-)