Magnepan 1.6QR : to bi-wire or not to bi-wire

Hello, everyone!

I'm looking into speaker cables for my Maggie 1.6QR and would like to know whether bi-wiring would improve the performance of the 1.6QR.

I understand that certain speakers do sound much better bi-wired while others would do not produce significant improvements to justify the cost of a bi-wire.

I've even heard that bi-wiring would cause the speakers to lose coherence between the bass and the trebles. Is there any truth in this?

Your experienced advise is most appreciated. Thanks!

Best regards.
I'm a long-time owner of Maggie 1.6QR's. I've tried a number of different speaker cables, and combinations with mine. I tried bi-wiring with Analysis plus Oval 9 cables (with pins) and really couldn't hear any improvement. This was with a pair of Classe CA200 amps run in monoblock (about 600 wpc). The sound was different, but not better. If anything, I thought the soundstage became somewhat indistinct. I had better results with simple mag-wire cables.

Anyway, if you can get your amps really close to the speakers, the length and type of wire can't make that big a difference. One of my biggest improvements was going to long interconnects and short speaker wires. YMMV

The biggest breakthroughs in sound for mine involved hacking the speaker:

* First, replacing the stainless speaker connectors with Cardas connectors, made a notable improvement, especially improving the quality of the internal wiring (I rolled up the socks to keep from cutting them--really easy!).
* then, about 3 months later, replacing the internal crossover with an external crossover, using high quality components (North Creek/Jensen)
* then, about a year later, going to a bi-amped system, with an active line-level crossover between the preamp and the amplifiers. The two stereo amps were hooked up directly to the drivers--one channel per driver--bypassing the fuse and connectors. This was HUGE!! A major step forward in clarity, detail, and impact.
* most recently, switching to tube amplifiers instead of solid state. I found that I could run lower power amps, and get much better sound. I have EL34-based amps on the tweeter/mid panel, and gain-matched KT88-based amps on the bass panels. No need for a subwoofer with this setup!

At this stage, the sound has progressed far beyond any other 1.6's I've heard. It's a bit more expensive than just buying another set of speaker cables though!

A lot of support to be had on the Audio Asylum Planar board. You should check it out!

Hope this helps!
I do not believe that Magnepan are one of those speakers that exhibits any significant benefit from biwiring. I believe I once read that even the Magnepan company makes no endorsement for biwiring. There may be some improvement to be had by mixing and matching the best cables for the quasi-ribbon tweeter and the bass panels, but this would be an expensive and time consuming venture. I personally have used internal biwires with no significant improvement on my 3.6s (debatable whether there are improvements to be had for internal biwiring). I am aware of persons who like the combination of cables they have stumbled upon, but I would suggest that the money and efforts for improvements in these speakers are better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, I have found no problems or degradation of sound from biwiring. Actually, I can see no reason why there would be a degradation of sound and coherence on any speaker unless they are referring to the problems of mixing and matching different types and brands of cables before one finds the magic combination. As always, your experience will be system dependent, but my personal recommendation would be against making biwiring a goal as I do not think you will find any significant improvements. But, if you stumble on the "right" cables for your system and they can only be had in a biwire configuration, there is no need to hesitate on using them.
I took out the magnepan jumpers and "bi-wired" my 1.6 speakers using two runs of apex signature speaker cable. I've also ran them using a single run but think the double run is better. If you find a pair of these cables (not made in 10 yrs)get them. They have made a huge difference in soundstage and power compared to nordost flatline gold and blue heaven. I have not heard anything better when it comes to speaker cable but I have not heard all of the present high priced offerings.
Thanks for your feedbacks on the matter of bi-wiring the Maggies, Dfhaleycko and Hartwerger. Now I can perhaps allocate a bit more on better interconnects since I do not need to spend extra for a bi-wired speaker cable setup.

Interesting enough, Dfhaleycko, I am also looking into using the Analysis Plus Oval 9 range of speaker cables for my 1.6QR. What interconnects are you using? I have a rather dark sounding Mark Levinson pre and power amp and figured silver-based interconnects would help to better reveal the highs.

Any recommendation on interconnects, anyone? Thanks!