TEACH ME ABOUT BI-WIRE


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?
sfrounds

Showing 4 responses by 479058

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.
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.
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.
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.