17 responses Add your response
You can run the cable either "backwards", as you define it, "forwards" with the low and high frequency runs connected to the same speaker terminal (positive lead to positive terminal, negative lead to negative terminal) or "forwards" using either just the low frequency run or the high frequency run. If you decide to employ the last configuration described, I would tape the two exposed leads of each unused run (left channel and right) since if they were left exposed there is the possibility of shorting out your amplifier if the exposed leads touch. I have used the last configuration without problems. I have no experience with your brand of wire, but I can't see how it matters. I doubt that the speaker wire is directional. All configurations described should sound the same and should sound identical to a standard single-wired configuration. Why don't you try several out and see? I wouldn't modify the wire since it would reduce the resale value of the wire in addition to the issue of the cost of retermination.
Don, I would do as you proposed, hooking up all four leads on the amp end. Should not cause a problem but I will guesss you'll have to go through another break-in period with the reverse signal directions and all the moving around you've had to do. The length difference isn't enough to make a difference.
Maybe you can advertise for a even-up trade with someone who has the single-wired configuration of those same wires. The other guy would get the better deal in terms of resale value, but you'd both get what you want in the end. Good luck
Don: Directionality in speaker wire is another of those myths dreamed up by the cable guys to differentiate their products. Electricity flows in both directions; always has, always will. As for length, extra feet of length don't make a difference, so a few extra centimeters certainly won't. And whether you use your method (hooking all four speaker ends to your amp) or Rayhall's (terminating two speaker ends and using the other two), the electrical current reaching your speakers will be indistinguishable in most respects.
Right on, Jostler 3. It has always annoyed me that cable manufacturers and audio dealers perpetuate the myth that cables are "directional". As you note, electricity flows in one direction, and until the laws of physics are repealed, it always will. Ditto for shielding: it works the same, no matter the orientation of the cable. So, DJJD, hook up your cables whichever way works.
Yes, directionality for speaker cables is silly, but for interconnects there is an issue. It has nothing to do the wire, but it does matter wrt grounding issues. Most interconnects are grounded only at one end. Depending on the source and load components, the cables MAY, but not necessarily WILL, sound different depending on which end you use the cables that have the ground. It's no big deal though; just try them both directions and stick with the one you like.
Actually, I asked Cardas this very question regarding a bi-wired pair of Cardas Golden Reference cables. Colleen Cardas told me that it did not matter which direction their Golden Reference and Golden Cross cables were hooked up in, but that those cables would require the same amount of break-in as when they were new, as the different direction of flow would cause the cables to act as if they were new. I never actually did it because I made other system changes; but she insisted that this bi-directionality applied only to their Golden Reference and Golden Cross cables, not to their less expensive cables. Take all of that for whatever you want.
Jostler3 is correct. Wires are not directional. Audio signals are AC, which means the electrons run in one direction, then the other, and so on. Rgd and Dkuipers, the issue with grounding at one end has to do with shielding the signal conductor(s)--to keep out hum, RF, and noise--without causing ground loops, which, ironically, can cause hum. All else being equal, when connecting between two grounded components (let's say you're going from A to B), leaving the shield connected at the sending end of the interconnect--the output of A--instead of the receiving end--the input of B--will provide better shielding from hum and will prevent a ground loop. To provide better shielding from RF, the cable shield may at the "unconnected" end have a capacitor to B's ground.