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?

Showing 1 response by stevemj

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 ;-)