I see a lot mentioned about bi-wiring. I am not familar with this. I know you must have speakers that can be bi-wired and they are configured for bi-wire by removing a buss bar to seperate speakers and/or crossovers within the cabinet. I have also read that you need to have an amp that has bi-wire capability (two left and two right speakers outputs - and not to be confused with speakers A & B).

Can someone explain what takes place within each speaker when it is set up for bi-wiring? What are the advantages and disadvantages if any? What if my amp only has one set of left and right speakers outputs (but has something called loops for additional amps), Can you accomplish bi-wiring if you had two amps? If so how would it work?
How 'bout we teach you about the search function here where you will find several threads on the subject that even cite websites where you can find speaker designers thoughts on the subject.
sfrounds- you are only half right. The speakers need to be set up to biwire, with separate + & - for LF and Mid/HF on each side. The amp, however, can and typically does have only one set of outputs. Imagine 2 + and 2 - for each channel at speaker end (for LF and Mid/HF). Then imagine the two + terminated together at the amp end, and the
2 - also terminated together. Therefore, there are two terminations per channel at the amp end, 4 per channel at the speaker end. In actuality, the cables can be entirely separate (just terminated together at the amp end) in a dual or shotgun biwire, or there can be + LF and + mid/HF together inside one jacket and - LF and - mid/HF in another jacket (called internal or single biwire).
Kinda a slow day/I'll tell you how/ what little I know; (this should be a very short story) If your speakers have what you described / It matters not, about the double posts on the amp end. You can buy an identical pair of wires/double them on the posts, at the amp end, then one pair to the low and one pair to the high terminal for each speaker/wala!! thats it. Yes, If you have a pair made for biwiring ,it is easier.That would mean there would be 1 spade on the amp end / 2 spades on the speaker end / A total of 4 pieces/ and no need for the double posts on the amp. Just about any speaker with such an arrangement, benefits from this. If you were to use 2 amps ;this is called bi-amping/If they are identical amps/this is usually better/but more costly.The speaker does love to "see" a feed from the amp for the highs and lows separately,for reasons my second grade education keeps me from explaining/but not to worry. For you; the second pair, from the same mfg. used, and probably available here, is the cheapest way to go.Welcome to the club!!
Swampwalker, Thanks for the explanation, I now think I understand.

What is actually being done is running one additional pair of conductors to each speaker, so you end up with a total of four pairs. The two pairs from each speaker terminate together on the amp end, and are seperated or bi-wired on the speaker end. This in fact accomplishes what - decreases total resistance on the wire? - Allows only specific frequencies to run through each pair of wires? Curious!!

Are improvements in quality usually noticed?

I got confused between bi-wire and bi-amp, thanks for clearing this up. Maybe someone can answer my new questions

Thanks again
I have no idea how true this is but I was told that another reason you experience benefits is that the drivers actually create a small amount of distortion and it is picked up by the other drivers in the speaker. The bi wire isolates the drivers from each other eliminating the distortion.
All your questions will be answered at this website which
includes diagrams for bi-wiring.
Also your speakers owners manual should have some info on bi-wire set-up if you have bi-wire speakers. Remember to remove connecting bars between two pairs of cable connectors
if you bi-wire.
Sfrounds: Biwring is very simple. At some point, the signal from your amp has to be split in order to feed the individual drivers in your speakers. Normally, this split occurs at the speaker terminals. With biwring, the split occurs at the amplifier terminals. Does it matter where this split occurs? Electrically, no. The full signal passes through both wires, and exactly the same signal reaches the low- and high-pass filters feeding your woofer and tweeter, respectively. Assuming you're using the same cable for both runs, any distortion introduced by the cable will be identical to the single-wire alternative.

In other words, biwiring makes no difference. However, many people report that they hear a difference when they biwire. There are two possible explanations for this. One is that listeners tend to be swayed by the power of suggestion. The other is that there is some mystical, magical force that no one's ever been able to identify, but some day a new Galileo will come along and tell us what it is.

There is one advantage to biwiring, however. If you're the type of audiophile who actively seeks out cables that color the sound, then biwiring gives you twice as many opportunities to do so.
Jostler3 may be partially right, but he's not completely right. His theory only makes sense if the connection between the bass and treble speaker connections are connected by jumpers made of the same cable as your speaker wire, and your wire and jumpers happen to have the same properties as the binding posts themselves.

Many bi-wire ready speakers have their bass/treble connections bridged by posts. I had a pair of Mission 753 speakers with gold posts connecting the low and high speaker terminals. Those rods were not a good connection. The treble was favored when the speaker wire was run to the high connection, and the bass was favored if it was run to the low connection. The resistance through the connector & crossover was obviously different from the resistance thru the connector post. Bi-wire cable sounded better than the gold posts (treble and bass were balanced).

I'm not saying that bi-wiring sounds any better or different than wire jumpers (I didn't compare), but it was better than the manufacturer supplied posts.

A dealer told me that our choice of bi-wire or wire jumpers should depend on our speakers' cross-over design (and he wasn't trying to upsell me...the cost was the same, and I wasn't buying anything). I'm not a speaker designer...I don't know if that's true, or not.
Phild: I have a hard time believing that a one-inch gold(plated) post would have an audible effect, unless the connection itself were a problem. But that's what makes me a skeptic. Even so, buying another 20 feet of cable seems an extreme solution. Replacing the posts with a short bit of whatever wire you're using should suffice.

With all due respect to your dealer, the crossover gets the same signal, wherever the split occurs (again, assuming you're using the same wires, and all the connections are sound). He may not have been trying to sell you something. He may have been repeating what he was told by a manufacturer's rep who was trying to sell HIM something.
The best thing is for you to try it yourself. To keep the cost down while you are experimenting, buy (or borrow) some plain ordinary 12 or 16 AWG bare speaker wire like the Monster cable stuff they sell at Radio Shack. Cut it in four pieces. Listen to some of your favorite music with the speakers wired both ways and decided whether it matters in your particular system or not. Every system is different. If any type of tweek does not work for someone, do not assume it does not work for the rest of humanity. It you find a difference and you like it, then go out and buy some better speaker cable.
Jostler, I respectfully disagree with your assertion that biwiring makes no sonic difference. I will attempt to explain why in my situation at least it does. I have a set of Martin Logan ESL's. If you remove the jumpers on the back of the speakers you can biwire. I believe when biwiring the amp gets connected directly to the woofer with one set of speaker cables and the other to the esl panel through the crossover. Given that the amplifiers damping factor is essentially the speakers impedance divided by the amplifiers output impedance you can see that in this case biwiring can influence damping factor as it would seem easier for the amp to sink the back EMF from the woofer without the crossover.
Liguy: I'm not familiar with your speakers, but what you're saying is unlikely. Typically, what goes to the woofer is whatever is connected to that set of terminals--either the jumpers or the second cable. Biwiring has no effect on where signals go once they enter the speaker. And the load facing the amplifier is also identical. After all, it's driving exactly the same thing(s) it was before.
Jostler, you are right and I stand corrected. Here is the real scientific explanation on why biamping effects sound. This came off the net if anybody is interested. When a current is pushed forward by the amplifier through the voice-coil in the magnetic field of a loudspeaker driver, the voice coil and attached cone move forward - the electric motor effect. However, the voice coil moving in the
magnetic field generates a back voltage - the electric generator effect. In a perfect driver, the back voltage matches the forward voltage, giving rise to the driver's dynamic impedance. In the real world, the back emf is distorted by nonlinearities in the magnetic field etc giving rise to harmonic distortions and so does not exactly cancel the forward voltage. These harmonic products from one driver's terminals end up across other drivers in the loudspeaker if they have common terminals and can cause further muddling of the sound. By connecting each driver through separate leads back to the amplifier, the distorted harmonics generated by each driver can be short-circuited by the low impedance output of the amplifier. The ability of the amplifier to sink this back emf from the low frequency driver is the damping factor. Where I went off course is not knowing that when the jumpers are removed the crossover is in effect halfed, so that the amp always sees the same impedance and does not effect damping factor. There now I feel better.
Liguy - You realize that when bi-wiring both the high and low side of the crossovers are still hooked together. It's just at the amp instead of the speaker. You can accomplish the same thing with larger speaker wire.

Damping factor is the ability of the amplifier to maintain a constant output voltage as speaker impedance changes. It can be very high in SS amps and good enough with tubes.

Take a woofer with a powerful motor and connect its terminals together. When you move the cone it feels like there is a shock absorber connected. Its a very strong effect. As you move the cone a current is generated that opposes the motion of the cone. In a system this effect improves the accuracy of the cone movement. So, it would be nice if there were nothing to impede this correction current generated by the speaker itself. Decent sized speaker wire and reasonable amplifier damping factor help. Typically, far more resistance is created by the crossover networks themselves. The slightest driver efficiency mismatch will have required the speaker designers to provide resistance to the louder driver. Resistance is unavoidably high throughout crossover regions.

Fully utilizing an amplifiers damping factor may be achieved with bi-amping or tri-amping, since there are no passive crossover components between the drivers and amplifiers. How much real world gain there is to bi-amping, I don't really know. I am undertaking a DIY speaker project shortly and it will be tri-amped with very high damping factor amps. When I am done with the project I still won't know ;-)
Just in case anybody missed it, Liguy's most recent post refers to bi-AMPING, not bi-WIRING. There's an important difference, as Steve points out.
i was under the impression that biwiring, in some cases, can be effective because the back-voltage going thru the wiring of the woofer is now separated from the wiring to the the tweeter, even tho it eventually meets up back at the amplifier. i believe that having the connection point several feet of wire away, at the amp, instead of at the speaker, can make a difference. i know my monitors sound better w/a stereo amp when bi-wired, as opposed to having a single run w/the speaker mfr's factory yumpers in place. but, perhaps its sonic degradation of the yumpers? or yust the fact that, when bi-wiring, i am doubling the quantity of copper cabling? i admit that i havent tried doubling the speaker-wire to only *one* set of terminals w/the yumpers in place...

doug s.

Liguy is right, it makes a big difference with Martin Logan speakers. The first set of Aerius i I tried out where set up for single wire only, I ordered Bi-wire option just in case it would benefit ( only 100.00 or so ) The new set came, I broke them in then bi-wired. Big change.
I disagree with almost everything Jostler, Stevemj have posted here, and so do the majority of high end speaker manufacturers, but they are entitled to their opinions.

The actual mechanics of bi-wiring, and special design of seperate crossovers that control what signal travels down each cable are covered in detail on many differnt web sites.

The only question to the customer is do the benefits of bi-wiring overcome the additional cost involved with two sets of cable. Or another way of putting it is do two sets of $500 cable sound better than one set of $1000 cable.
Hey Sedond, try leaving the jumpers in place (be very careful not to cross plus and minus), or as Jon Risch suggested in another forum, just the jumper for the "negative" side. First, if the sound is the same with both jumpers in, I would assume biwiring has no effect other than more wire. Second if the sound is better with one jumper left in, then you have a cheap tweak upgrade. Might be worse though, people have reported different results.
paulwp, if i unnerstand ya correctly, i should try the yumpers *and* biwiring at the same time? and, yust yumper the negative while biwiring? as i'm currently using only one amp, - i traded my electrocompaniet aw100 for an aw75 to match my existing aw75, & it's not here yet - i can try this...

doug s.

Yes, try connecting wires to both sets of terminals and leave the jumpers in (belt and suspenders), and compare the sound to biwiring without the jumpers. If biwiring makes sense, I think (and as everyone knows, I could be wrong about this) you should prefer the sound without the jumpers. The second suggestion is a "tweak" recommended by Jon Risch, who says that in some systems, people have reported better sound (I dont know in what way) from connecting just the negative jumper or shorting strap. I never could figure out what that meant for me because with my preamp I have to reverse the cables.
Sedond, regarding bi-wiring: if your speaker's crossover network isn't enough to isolate the tweeter from the woofer, why would some extra wire be enough?
Nobody is more skeptical of bi-wiring than I am. Even the designer of my speakers, who put bi-wire terminals on the speakers, doesn't really support the idea.

But, but. For some strange reason that has no logical basis in science my speakers sound better traditionally bi-ired than non-biwired using the same amount of wire or bi-wired using the Jon Risch "tweak" mentioned above. Even my little spl meter thinks the bass is better (more of it). But the treble is also clearer, and that just generally makes for better imaging as well as a purer sound and tighter bass.

So, try it. What's the harm?
70242, it's the interaction of the woofer & tweeter w/the amplifier that i'm referring to, - bi-wiring puts distance between these interactions, making them happen closer to the amp, not to the speaker.
Sedond: The crossover reduces the interaction between the woofer and tweeter. Any back EMF produced by the woofer will be absorbed by the amplifier and rejected by the tweeter side of the crossover network, as it should be. Adding wire will not help this process.
702, i don't doubt what yure saying, but emf produced by the woofer, absorbed by the amplifier, & rejected by the tweeter's side of the x-over network, is going thru more wire from woof-to-amp-to-tweet, & when going to amp, the tweet isn't seeing signal fighting the emf coming at it.

look, i'm no scientist, yust looking for logical info as to why it sounds better. see also, paulwp's experience - even his spl tinks it's better... ;~)

don't tell me it doesn't sound better yust cuz there's no logic in it for *ewe*. it *does* sound better, please help me figure out why.

doug s.

Sedond, you've got part of it. But the tweeter's side of the crossover network is a very high impedance--typically several kilohms--to the woofer's back EMF, while the amplifier is a very low impedance, typically several milliohms. That means that the tweeter network is going to reject the woofer's back EMF, and the amplifier will absorb it, regardless of the extra wire. It's like pouring water on the side of an incline; it's going to flow downhill (the low impedance path) instead of uphill (the high impedance path), and you don't need to do anything extra to make the water not flow uphill.

To improve the amplifier's absorption of the back EMF (better known as damping), you should provide a path between woofer and amplifier that is as low in resistance as possible. That would entail wire with large conductors. Alternatively, you could place the jumpers on the speaker terminals, and thus use doubled-up conductors, which would provide the same benefit as using wire 3 AWG larger.
So the irrefutable logic of Jostler, Stevemj and 702 wins the day. The only explanation (if we believe Jostler) is that biwiring is beneficial because it deludes audiophiles into enjoying their music more, or is there some mystical unknown (to Jostler and his merry men that is) influence, tee hee - like "star earthing" and other such mystical unknown stuff. RHUBARB to the three wise men - when, by the way, will we ever hear about any of your listening experiences guys? Or does listening to music not enter your agenda? Just in case you are interested, there was a calculation of the distortion changes due to bi-wiring published in HFN&RR about a dozen years ago - it was actually a calculation of the effect of star-earthing a cross-over, but the same logic applies. But personally, I could not care less. The calculation only produced a number. Whether or not the difference is muscally significant, only the ears can tell.
702, again, yer explanation sheds no lite on why biwiring my speakers sounds better than not. perhaps having a separate wire for the *downhill* signal, & the *uphill* signal, as opposed to one wire for *both* signals, has something to do w/it. the tweeter network may reject the back emf, but if it doesn't have to, then it's one less ting for it to do when sending signal to the tweeter. again, i'm no scientist, but i *can* hear.

doug s.

Good post Doug: The back of my mind had been mentioning this to me, but could not quite grasp it until now. I had been thinking of plumbing systems in which certain areas of a home receive better service (even though they are further away from the main with more pipes and a longer travel distance), perhaps through the positioning of a vent or who knows. It seems that BI-wiring may just offer such a vent.
Sedond and Dekay, I admire your patience with the bullies. When Jostler makes claims that bi-wiring makes no difference, and yet claims the scientific high ground he is being fraudulent - and his band of cohorts have been variously guilty of the same thing. Draw the circuits. Assume you have a four core speaker cable and assume each conductor has some resistance. Then assume that each pair and each quad has some other electrical properties such as capacitance and inductance. Draw the circuits for single-wire, internal bi-wire and double bi-wire - and none of these circuits is the same. Therefore for a scientist to claim there is no difference then that scientist has to assume away the importance of the electrical properties of the speaker cable. What kind of scientist is this? These are the same discredited guys that that claim amps and speaker cable are perfect and want you to throw all your money at speakers and drive it with a competent receiver, since it is only the speaker that shows gross distortions by their measurements. This is the same kind of scientist that makes no reality check to his assumption and then has the gall to tell audiophiles that do hear a difference, that they only hear it because they assumed they would hear a difference before listening. Now when I look at that, I reckon the audiophile comes out on top in such a comparison. The so-called scientist looked at his numbers and made an assumption - not bothering to listen with his ears. Yes, I am getting steamed up again, I will bite hard on my lip and receive my whipping now in silence. Just ever-so occasionally I will creep out and point out the arrogant and fraudulent nature of certain posters here who decry others reported experiences and offer none of their own.
Redkiwi: I know how you feel. I personally am getting tired of Black eyed peas with garlic and parsley. They are getting really old and just don't seem to have anything to say at the dinner table anymore. Maybe we will switch to Rhubarb.
I agree. We're back to the same old stew about cables, electrons and so called science "running down hill". Most speaker manufacturers produce bi-wire speakers for a very good reason. In most reasonably assembled stereo rigs, Bi-Wiring sounds better and the speaker manufacturers know it. That's why they design and build them that way. Most people who have tried bi-wiring have had success with it.

Talk about bad wiring, what gear could Beverly Hills 70242 and Stevemj use to reach such conclusions? Does anyone besides me find it odd that they dodge the subject repeatedly and refuse to say what it is? Perhaps bi-wiring makes no difference with their gear. None of them have ever posted their gear or given a listening impression of it; single wire, bi-wire or anything else. If they were to share their experiences of their gear, as the rest of us do, perhaps some of us would take them seriously. I'm sure their gear measures just fine. Personally, I just itchin to read something by these guys about a pre amp or DAC but all I ever see is the same old "wire" posts and little else. Oh! I almost forgot about the "Farewell" forum post where one of them posted that he was leaving because he felt sorry for himself. I don't know about anyone else but I find wire and drama a dull mix.

So come on guys, let's hear it. What gear do you use to validate your scientific theories in the real world?

Your silence doesn't surprise any of us.
Sedond: You say bi-wiring makes your speakers sound better. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, maybe it's real, maybe it's all imaginary. I don't have any reason to believe that it does (the hypothesis you mentioned doesn't add any weight), but then I believe in keeping high standards to avoid wasting extra money on stuff that doesn't work.

Redkiwi: Your conclusions are faulty. The issue is whether there is real benefit to bi-wiring, not in whether the circuits are the same. There is proven benefit to minimizing the speaker cable resistance between the speaker, especially the woofer, and the amplifier. There is only anecdotal evidence -- no positive results from blind testing -- that bi-wiring improves the sound. Therefore, it's far more likely that joining the wires at the speaker would improve the sound by reducing the series cable resistance through parallel wire paths than separating them into a "bi-wire" arrangement, which doesn't take full advantage of the conductors available.

Jerie: Any component can and should stand on its own performance, regardless of brand or model. Speaker wire, however, has a single purpose: to deliver audio in the form of electrical signals to the speaker. The ideal wire will deliver exactly the same voltage to the speaker as the amplifier produces. No wire is perfect, but it's easy to get close enough for practicality by minimizing the electrical attributes, primarily series resistance but to a much lesser extent shunt capacitance and series inductance, that degrade the signal voltage. That's why speaker cables that work best tend to be as short and fat as possible, regardless of brand.
This is rich. First we have the scientists stating "there is no difference". When I point out that there is a circuit difference, I get "the issue is whether there is a real benefit". Then the same tired old rubbish about blind testing proving something. Unlike your mindless repetition of your belief in blind testing, I cannot be bothered to point out the counter-argument again. Don't you have anything more interesting to say about music than imply nothing exists until it has been proven by a blind test? Why on earth do you think this is a forum for posting the results of blind tests? And your suggestion 702 that the only issue with regard to speaker cables is series resistance is just absurd. All you really deserve as a response is RHUBARB.
702, ewe say:

"Sedond: You say bi-wiring makes your speakers sound better. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, maybe it's real, maybe it's all imaginary. I don't have any reason to believe that it does (the hypothesis you mentioned doesn't add any weight), but then I believe in keeping high standards to avoid wasting extra money on stuff that doesn't work...."

ab-x testing has been shown to have mixed results, science hasen't figured out all the wariables to measure that can explain every sonic difference, subjective listening can lead to imaginary perceived gains - what's an audiophile to do??? ;~)

i, too, believe in keeping high standards, cuz i *can't* afford to waste my money. that's why i'm open-minded about *all* methods to obtain better sound. but, bottom line is i *listen* to my stereo. of *course* ewe have no reason to believe whether or not my system sounded better bi-wired vs single-wire - yuve never heard it! but, ewe have no reason *not* to believe it either - unless, yer preconceived ideas are clouding yer thought-processes... so much so, that yude doubt someone that has actually *listened* to someting! ;~) it *did* sound better to me, & *i'm* the only one that i'm trying to impress. (well, i'd have a hard time justifying the expenditures to the wife, if *she* dint hear any differences!)

imagination? possible, but i don't necessarily fall for that *more-is-better* stuff. i found that only *one* electrocompaniet amp, in biwire configuration, actually sounded better than when i had two (same mfr, but different models) set-up in a horizontally bi-amped configuration. not what i expected, & definitely *not* what yude expect one to *imagine*, that's impressed by bigger/better/more-expensive/etc.

now that i'm running two electro amps vertically biamped, same exact model amps, (eight #'s apart according to their serial #'s), i tink the rig has never sounded better. but, ya know, it could be my imagination... mite have been my wife, family, & friends, that were imagining it, too. :>) hey, the mind is a powerful ting - if a couple gnu black boxes trick me-n-everyone else into enjoying better sound - cool, as long as it's *better*! of course, my brother-in-law dint know i'd hooked up gnu amps - after he walked into the room and heard, he *did* immediately look around to see what was different w/the rig, tho... ;~)

regards, doug s.