You want to stay within the same quality range, but no, the jumpers must not match the speaker cable. Your logic does make sense to a point. Here come the rebuttals........
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I'd been using biwired speaker cables of varying brands for a few years.
Last summer I bought a single run pair of Audience AU24. I'd read they recommended the single run plus jumpers approach for the AU24, so I began using that configuration. I'd been using the AU24 jumpers with them as well.
For the last two weeks, I've been comparing a single run of AU24 versus the same of Ridge Street Audio Poiema. I noticed certain qualities one had that the other didn't, so on a whim I decided to try biwiring with the AU24 going to the tweeters of my ProAc Response 2.5s and the Poiema connected to the woofers.
I was expecting this odd set up might introduce some phasing issues, but what resulted was a very nice sound. This is the first time I'd tried biwiring with different brands of speaker cables and got a result close to what I expected.
Last week I even tried connecting double runs of 47 Labs OTA to each of the negative return leads of my speakers with the Poiema, and got very good results as well.
A few years ago I would have never considered odd experiments like these, but hanging around Viggen so long has opened my mind to some unorthodox and often pleasing audio sonic approaches.
Since Bi-wires originated from a single point. The terminal of your amp. Shouldnt instead of connecting to for example the low freq posts then jumpering to the High but instead connecting in the middle of the jumper be the same as bi-wiring? Picture your amp being the apex of the V with your high and low posts being the ends. now grab the wires at the apex of the "V" slide it towards the speaker Creating a "Y". Essentialy the "Y" is there all along its just that the vertical leg is in the amp hidden from view. Try that experiment ☺
Flickkit, it doesn't quite work that way. The point of bi-wiring is to have the currents that flow through the high-frequency drivers travelling in a different wire than the currents for the low frequency drivers. If it was wired as you suggest it would be no different that single wiring with a jumper. Both high and low frequency currents would flow in the same piece of wire. Jon Risch at audioasylum has some good material on the subject.
Inpep, nope it's not the same. The gauge of the wire is irrelevant. The high frequency currents are much less in magitude than the low frequency currents. Assume the amp is an ideal voltage source. It's output is no different whether you bi-wire or not. The low frequency currents will cause a certain amount of voltage drop in the wire. The high freq currents will cause much less. If you combine them in the same wire, the low freq signals will modulate the high freq signals. If they are in different wires, they won't. See Jon Risch's tutorial at the link below.
Nighthawk, that is true if the wires see different frequency content, which is true if the speaker is bi-amped with the crossover before the amplifier. In this case, both wires have as their source the same frequency content since the dividing network is at the speaker, not at the amplifier. The low frequency driver gets the whole signal and the high frequency driver(s) also gets the whole signal, but then passes through the crossover to eliminate the low frequencies. Just adding a wire that goes to the "high frequency" terminals on the speaker doesn't render the feed intelligent so that it knows which wire to follow!
BTW, all waves modulate each other to give the final waveform, which is the sum of all of the modulations.
Inpep, with a speaker designed for bi-wiring, the crossover network doesn't bridge the high and low speaker terminals. Yes, they do see the same frequency content. However, the high-pass filter network goes to the tweeter (and maybe mids) while the low pass filter network goes to the woofer (and maybe mids). It is as if there were two independent speakers in the same box - one for highs and one for lows. This is why you need jumpers if you're not going to use the bi-wiring capability. That's the only way both filter networks will be connected to the signal.
The high speaker terminals in a bi-wire setup don't see the IxR losses due to the large woofer currents passing through the wire. (Tweeter currents are comparatively tiny.) The woofer currents are confined to the low wire. It is the same as bi-amping in this respect. Thus the high wire is free from this admittedly small amount of distortion due to the passive losses of the wire. This assumes the amp is a good enough voltage source that it is not affected by the back EMF from the woofer which would then modulate both wires anyway. The wires are not ideal - they have resistance, capacitance, and inductance. You have to consider these properties to understand why bi-wiring works.
As to the audibility of bi-wiring, who knows? I think the effect is fairly small. It would seem that the shorter the cable, and the heavier the gauge, the less difference it would make, assuming the same cable make and model was used in both single and bi-wired configurations. I'll take a better single-wired cable over a lower performing bi-wired cable anyday.
I have a bit of a tricky question for you guys. I have just got a pair of Monitor Audio GR-60 speakers. They come with gold metal plates to connect the binding posts together. However, in case you do not know the speakers, they are TRIWIRABLE. I have a set of Zu Cable Wax biwire speaker cables which I really love, but with the triwire speakers I am connecting to two binding posts and the other one I am using the plate. My 1st question is: is it worth investing the $100+ to get Zu Cable Wax jumpers (even more costly for me since I need to import them to my country) or are those plates the speaker came with okay. The 2nd question is: when using it with a biwire cable, what is the best configuration? Currently I have one set of + and - connected to the lower binding posts (bass I assume) and the other set to the middle posts, with the gold plate connecting the middle and upper posts.
Nighthawk, isn't your conclusion what I said? Use one good wire over two is better and less fuss.
Of course the individual drivers don't see the same voltage signal, that is what the filter section in front of it is there for. The wire, however, feeding the voltage signal to the filter network has exactly the same signal for both the high and the low pass filters.
Reading this thread and some of the posts led me too further experimenting. In order to improve my bass I changed the configuration of my wiring. Im using Apature 16 strand silver wires. The stock set-up is 8 ea. Combined at the amp end, pos. and neg., 4 strands each terminal at the speakers. I changed the speaker ends so I now have 6 strands on each low post and 2 strands on each high post.
I was hoping to get better bass responce and while this did improve the most noticable change was actually in the high end. The highs became cleaner and clearer. Cymbals now "ring" much crisper. When there is a lot of high frep. music happening at the same time the separation is noticably improved. Overall it was a good improvement. I also must say that comparing this cables to others I have allways picked the Apatures. Now there better
Up until recently, I've been using internal triwires to my Alon Circes. This means that the three legs are all carried in the same jacket of Discovery Essential cable. I was eager to see what happened if I ran a separate leg to the woofer and converted my triwire to a biwire set for the mid and tweeter. Joe at Essential loaned me a single run of Essential and I tried the combination. I really was not sure there would be much of a difference but what I noticed was 1. improved bass impact and weight - maybe even too much compared to the midrange and highs, 2. the midrange also had greater weight with piano in particular seeming more solid, and 3. the soundstage seemed a little less refined but also more three dimensional.
To alleviate the modified frequency response, I moved the speakers an extra half inch from the back wall. That was all it took to bring things into balance again. Of course, this provided an added benefit of improving the soundstage. I'm not done fiddling yet, but I can definitely see the advantages of this setup. But to be honest, I cannot say how much comes from the true biwiring of the woofer/mid-highs versus simply having more copper between my amps and the speakers.