This is bi-amping, not bi-wiring.
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I had my Apogee Duetta Sig's bi-wired, not a huge sound upgrade IMO. I had an extra amp of the same make but not the same model that I always wanted to try out in a passive bi-amp mode..so one day when I had to much time on my hands I gave it a try, this turned out to be a HUGE upgrade even though it is not an active bi-amp setup.
I could never go back to single amp setup now and will in the future explore active bi-amp or tri-amp setup with two subs. That said..some people do seem to report great results with bi-wire only..I did not hear it on the two systems I have tried it on in the past and don't think it's worth the extra cable cost.
My experience with biwiring and biamping differs from Dave's.
I also had Apogee Duetta Signature Speakers and tried them in both biamped and biwired configurations with one amp. In my experience, the sonic difference was not noticeable; however the amplifiers were much cooler when biamped.
I currently have Von Schweikert VR 6 speakers and although they are set up for biwiring, and could also be biamped, neither choice is currently on my list of things to do.
I find the sound of bi-wiring is usually better than using a single wire of the same type. The only speaker in my experience for which this wasn't true was the Sonus Faber Concerto Home.
Much of the benefit may be eliminating that base metal jumper so many manufacturers use. With my Sonus Faber Electa Amator I's I had two runs of OCOS connected to the top binding posts and a high quality jumper between the top and bottom. It was easy to disconnect one of the wires anytime anyone asked the question, and the difference was obvious and convincing.
I have VR4 GenIII's & there is a 3' distance between the upper & lower module binding posts. I bi-wire these, as a 3' jumper doesn't seem practical to me from an economic standpoint vs. another set of cables. I did try using some inexpensive "jumpers" while auditioning different speaker cables & there was a difference in the quality of the sound, but to be perfectly honest, don't know what if any difference there would have been (compared to bi-wire) if I had used the same quality of jumper, as it was economically impractical to do that just for auditioning purposes.
Some 'philes who bi-wire use different brands or materials to further experiment; for example, copper for the bass & silver for the higher freqs. Additionally, a full size set of cables can be more readily sold if the user wants to try something else, etc.
As for bi-amping, using an electronic crossover is the best way to utilize multiple amps, as I have heard the same speakers with an electronic crossover then passive crossover & there WAS a very major difference between them. Most home stereo systems don't have electronic crossovers, so the bi-amp question, once you decide whether to use vertical or horizontal bi-amping, is if it makes enough of a difference (it will, regardless of configuration) for you to warrant the additional expense. Also, there is the question of using stereo vs. monoblock amps.
You'll have to experiment & judge for yourself and then decide if its within your scope of diminishing returns
B&W specifically say that "Bi-wiring is the preferred method of connection ... The separation of the signal paths improves resolution of low-level detail and allows the user to optimise (sic) the type of cable to the frequency range of use." in the owner's manual, so I've Bi-wired my N803s. I figure B&W know what they're talking about and I've never bothered to see if any other connection options are any better.
I have some Tannoy D-700's. Started off at first with only one McIntosh amp and regular wiring. Bought some high end speaker cables and BIG sonic improvement! Bi-wiring made no noticeable sonic improvement.
Bought 'another' MC352 amp and "vertically bi-amped"...BIG BIG sonic improvement. Essentially, the high end and low end of each speaker has its own separate amplification.
Bi-wiring two similar two channel amps is a much more dynamic setup than using two monoblock amps with regular or bi-wiring.
I just don't think biwiring one amp alone is worth anything. Would like to hear other's opinions on this.
This is an interesting thread. I could start another thread but I think my question can fit here.
oops, make that....just a few....question(s!)
What is the differance between vertical and horizontal bi-amping. Of course I know what up-and-down and accross is, but how does one go about this on speakers. I have Kef Referance 205s and there are three sets of speaker inputs.
Second, is there anything I sould be aware of before trying? Sometimes I have a habit of "throwing it against the wall and see what sticks" approach to fixing things and this has gotten me into trouble......several times.
All advice, even beyond the above is appreciated.
Unclejeff, with a horizontal biamp, one amp is used to power the mid/tweeter of both speakers and the other amp is used to power both speakers woofer sections. In a vertical biamp one amp becomes the left and the other the right channel with say the designated left channel of that amp powering the mid/tweeter and the designated right channel powering the woofer. The supposed advantage is that one amp is not overly taxed driving both speakers woofer sections. It is thought that there will rarely be high level bass and treble in one channel at the same time and the amps will have a greater power reserve and better dynamics.
Yes, I bi-wire and am going to tri-wire as soon as I can find another set of cables (Veritas 1.8's are set up from factory for tri-wire). I think it does help sound quality. I currently have the Highs and Mids jumpered together and the Lows on their own. These speakers sound wonderful single wired, but the clarity seemed to improve somewhat with the current bi-wire arrangment.
Anyone wanting to read a good explanation of Vertical Bi-Amplification should go to:
To sum it up:
1. One stereo amp per channel, equals 4 channels of amplification
2. Each stereo amp is dedicated to one channel...vertical bi-amping
3. The two inputs of each stereo amp are wired in parallel
4. Outputs are wired separately to woofer and midrange tweeter inputs on the loudspeaker
Thanks to Dennis J. Had for this excellent informational write-up (president of Cary Audio).
He really turned my listening experience around. (Unfortunately, I use McIntosh equipment :) )
I have a pair of Innersound ISIS (Electrostatic Hybrid) speakers and I have bi-wired and bi-amped them. IMO bi-amping made a considerable difference. I use a High Current SS amp for the bass and moderately powered tube amp for the mid/high panels.
It may be that hybrids lend themselves to this application better than other speakers but you should give it a try if you can.
My experience is on the much lower end here than most people, but in a setup that's basically all NAD gear and a pair of Wharfedale 8.3 speakers I notice a difference in biwiring... I'm just not sure it's positive, negative, or simply different. Half of my reason for going biwire was the pathetic thin plate jumpers that bridged the HF/LF terminals.
Given that the speakers were designed with biwire terminals I have been using them for a while without much questioning. I plan to experiment with some quality jumpers.
Most of my assesments end up as "inconclusive" due to the fact that I'm still a college student... Just when I think I have speaker positioning and system tweaks nailed, one of the following happens...
- The female I live with rearranges the room or decides that my speakers are in an unacceptable location (or that they have to be positioned "neatly" - i.e. flat up against a wall/corner or similar nightmare)
- I have 4 aerospace exams in 3 days and end up forgetting what my system sounded like before I let it idle during finals week.
- It's time to go home and all my room specific tweaks are negated when I take my stereo home for break/vacation.
Good luck with your exams, you know what's going to buy you expensive audio gear in the future!
About the (ahem) intrusive young lady and your gear...lift the ground on your amp (internally as well as externally. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and shoes when doing this.) and put it in an "unacceptable" position in the room. That should end Ms. Buttinski's gear moving for a while and even give her a nice perm.
Kidding, kidding, here, now...but don't you wish, sometimes that...!
Had a similar situation with a love-interest back in college. She just couldn't bear the sight of all that wire on the floor. Well, at least I didn't marry her. Married a messy one instead and it's been bliss.
I bi-wire the B&W N804's in my living room system, but the Coincident Total Victories in the main rig are single-wired. The designer says that the only reason to bi-wire a pair of properly designed speakers is if you eventually want to bi-amp. I know many disagrere, but beased on the sound of my TVs I can't imagine that bi-wiring would add anything to them.
There are no universal truths here, there can be noticable improvement bi-wiring but it depends on the crossover design of each speaker, some benefit more others hardly any.
Even when benefits are realized you have to determine if they are greater than just spending 2X as much for better main speaker cables......some speaker designers take the decision out of your control and only offer one pair of binding posts.