From my experience there is NO benefit to biwiring. My Snell Type AIII's have this as an option and I have heard NO difference either way! IMO it is just a clever marketing ploy to get the gullible to spend more money!
39 responses Add your response
It is entirely speaker / system dependent.....full stop.
without taking a bi-wire loom for an A-B in-house bake-off, you will never know if a bi-wire is an improvement or a marketing o,scebo. Otherwise, all the blind responses herein are nothing more than anecdotal with no assurance that it will actually work in your system.
So ask your dealer for a weekend loaner for the cables and put it the litmus test, with the understanding that if you do change, he gets the sale (don't stiff him by then buggering off to the used ads in AGON)
+1 akg. Very speaker dependent. I have compared single vs. shotgun biwire Satoris on my Soliloquy 6.2s and prefer the biwire, but the difference is not night and day. On my cables, the high frequency cable is a standard Satori cable and the midwoof cable is specifically designed for that purpose -- not sure how much that is driving the difference between bi and single wire. I believe Robert at AZ will custom build a shotgun pair for your specific purposes and speakers, but you might want to check on that. If you're in the NYC area you're welcome to borrow mine for a bit.
What actually made a bigger improvement than biwiring was adding thin wire jumpers in the banana connectors ALONG WITH biwiring (this was recommended to me by a cable designer that I tried with great skepticism). This tightened the bass up noticeably and improved imaging to the point that I wouldn't listen without them. I got mine a while back from Stereovox (now Black Cat?), and IME this is a cheap (and relatively obscure) tweak everyone should try if they can.
Anyway, hope this helps and best of luck. BTW, great speakers. Ironically my final decision was between my 6.2s and the RM22s, and it was a VERY tough decision. My next speakers will almost certainly be JAs.
This similar question is just a few inches down the list
It has most of the same discussion one would add here,
So I am not going to elaborate
@vinylbliss I own Joseph Audio speakers and I kind of "bi-wire" them. Before I did so I asked Jeff Joseph if he recommended it. He said he didn't think it made much of a difference. I like the effect, but the way I'm approaching it is not transcendent by any means. I only did it because for not much more money I could get the end of my speaker wires to be quad wires on the speaker end (allowing one pair low and one pair high attachment) and single wires to the positive and negative poles on the amplifier. I don't consider this a true bi-wire, which as others note is two separate cables independently from the speaker to the amplifier.
I’ve talked this over with several local dealers who I respect and got diametrically opposed opinions on this issue. But the folks at Acoustic Zen and Used Cable are big supporters of “true“ bi-wiring (by that they mean using two cables to each speaker). Based on that I took the plunge and purchased a pair of “shotgun” bi-wire Acoustic Zen Satori cables. As I have used these cables before in “mono” format I will report back my impressions of the difference.
Thanks to all for their input.
This thread got me interested in trying bi-wiring yet again. I'd tried it in the past but didn't think there was much benefit if any at the time (different system components than now; different wire). Tried it this weekend running Cardas Parsec cable to lower posts and Clear Day double shotgun wire to upper posts of Prelude Plus speakers. (I know - some experts say not to use different cable types. We appreciate expert opinions.) Amp is a Hegel H200 (two pairs of outputs for each channel) in HT by-pass mode using a Freya pre amp in JFET buffer mode. This time around, I did think bi-wiring made a difference; very similar to the comments of @will62 - more air, detail, a bit more separation for instruments and voices, and better imaging (more stable, better defined, more 3D). I'm not saying it was a huge night and day difference but improved enough such that music sounded "better". Didn't hear anything that could be considered a downside. If interested, rather than agonize over theory, it's worth experimenting and trusting your own ears.
This is a fascinating but highly technical analysis of the science behind bi-wiring. https://www.qacoustics.co.uk/blog/2016/06/.../bi-wiring-speakers-exploration-benefits... I don't know anything about Q Acoustics except that they make speakers in the UK (and we all know how smart the Brits are when it comes to hi-fi!). Given that they don't make or sell speaker cables, perhaps their conclusion that there is some benefit to true or external bi-wiring is an unbiased view of the issue. To be honest, most of the article is far too technical for me to understand. Perhaps there is an engineer out there in Audiogon forum-land who can interpret this for the rest of us? But of course at the end of the day ghosthouse nailed it - you have to trust your ears and what works for your system in your living space may not work for others..............
My speakers, like yours, are relatively high efficiency designs, and my uneducated guess is that as a result we may hear less benefit from doubling the cable size than might be heard when connected to lower efficiency speakers (and/or amps with higher output impedance?). That said, and as I mentioned previously, I still get a small but still tangible benefit in my system, but I'll be interested in your findings. Obviously make sure cables are fully broken before making any definite conclusions.
The main reason for this post is to reiterate that this may be a good time to try the aforementioned banana jumpers in addition to the biwires once you have a handle on the biwire effects. These are just 3" thin single wires you'd use to bridge each the two positive and negative speaker posts together. I'm not really sure why this works, but it provided a much greater benefit in my system than just biwiring alone. FWIW.
I have never heard of using jumpers simultaneous with bi-wiring but I will give it a try after the shotgun cables are broken in and report back. I sent Joseph Audio an email about bi-wiring a few days ago but have not heard back. FWIW, I note that at least one of JA's newest models (Profile) only has one pair of terminals.
The Cable Co. advisor also suggested trying bi-wiring with jumpers in place. Apparently this is something Chris Somovigo (StereoVox, BlackCat Cables) advocates. I tried it in the course of recent bi-wiring experimentation and did not like what it seemed to do the sound. The sound lost impact and became a little recessed. Went back to single wire for a while and then the next day, removed jumpers and tried bi-wiring as described in an earlier post on this thread. Bi-wire without jumpers is what's in place today. FWIW
Ghosthouse is correct. Chris was the one who got me to try this using his jumpers, and in my system it was all positive. Just shows how this cable stuff is really so system dependent. I too thought biwiring required removing jumpers, but that's not the case. In my setup I have shotgun biwire cables with spades, so my jumpers are terminated with bananas and bridge the lower and upper positive terminals and same for negative -- just to be clear on how this works. At the very least it's a cheap and easy tweak to try, and if it works you won't listen without them anymore.
Thanks so much for the suggestion – I never would’ve thought of trying jumpers with bi-wiring! I will need to wait for my new shotgun cables to break in before trying the jumpers as well. I have good quality jumpers but not on the level of the Acoustic Zen Satori cables. The folks at Acoustic Zen tell me that they do offer Satori jumpers though......
passive biamping is more noticeable then bi-wiring because usually amplifier are more nonlinear than wires.
However it is a matter of fact (Ohom's law) that in both approach
the current is divided; high freq. current flows in one mean (cable or amp) and the low freq. current flows in the other.
If the wires were perfect then there would be no difference. but if wires distort then bi-wiring decreases intermodulation between high freq. and low freq. signals. So it is more plausible that biwiring is more audible with low quality cables. In other words. biwiring is more effective with low quality cables. An amplifier is much more non linear that a cable so biamping (passive) effects is by far more audible that biwiring. Those who hear difference between cables are likely to hear also differences when they bi-wire their system.
I was told by people here, that when using jumpers, try using, on one side (pos or neg) the upper one and the other, the lower one. They say it sometimes results in improvement over using both on the lower or higher posts.
I tried it that way, and going with both to the upper posts but it turned out that it sounded best the way the JBL instructs to: using the bass or lower posts. You just have to experiment.
Eventually, I found the best way was to thread the wire through the lower post's eyelet up to the upper one, using just the speaker wire itself. If it's too thick, just make an "S' shape with the wire going around the lower post to the upper post and tighten down the posts.
It's the most coherent sound I ended with.
All the best,
I've gotten very good results with "diagonal" bi-wiring using jumpers. FOr example the red speaker cable connector goes to the red treble terminal and the black goes to the black bass terminal, then the jumpers connect the other terminals. This is Nordost's preferred connection method--they no longer make bi-wire cables, shotgun only....
Stringreen has ended the discussion: if the speaker is designed to be bi-wired, then bi-wiring will optimize sound reproduction. But, a cable capable of being bi-wired (designed to be bi-wired) is in order. The classic example of a bi-wired speaker is the Tannoy Westminster Royale SE/GR series … which is (SE version) the speaker I use. Cardas bi-wires cables BECAUSE THEY ARE DESIGNED in such a way as to be capable of being bi-wired. I'm poised to replace my Cardas with MIT Magnum M1.5, which MIT bi-wires if ordered in a bi-wired configuration. If a cable isn't designed to bi-wired, it cannot be satisfactorily bi-wired.
Andynotadam … but Nordost will bi-wire their cable if requested. I asked them this question about two weeks ago ($600USD)' to bi-wire a set of Vahalla 1 non-bi-wired cables. They can do so because the cable has the capability of being bi-wired. Not all cables are capable of being authentically bi-wired.