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What cables do you have? I would say Yes, go ahead and connect all four. Unless it is a BiWire only brand of cable, the Biwire post versions that are a single cable are the same cable as the standard cable, just terminated for Bi-wire. Many cables have more than one insulated conductor per channel, they just separate them into 4 instead of 2 on the speaker end.
Turnaround: It is OK to connect the 4 ends at the amp & then parallel the both pairs at the speaker end. I have a similar situation & confirmed its safety with none other than Mr. Bruce Brisson, who happened to pick up my call. However do not "turnaround" the cable's signal direction; it was not designed to operate that way. If you ever replace or rewire your speakers to bi-wirable mode, the cable would have been run in incorrectly & would require considerable time & effort to properly reverse back to normal.
You will want to connect the wires at the amp as they shold be. At the speaker end you NEED to connect all 4 wires as they should be + and + to + post and - and - to the - post (unless using phase reversing then keep togother ++ and --and reverse). If you do not you MUST TAPE off the lose wires as they connect as a single + and single - wire at the amp which means that if not connect at the speaker as well you have two hot wire floating around there that can short out. Also by connecting the 4 wires you are just increasing you wire size, which in almost all cases is a good thing. Good luck Bob
Craig (Garfish) is correct that bi-wiring makes little sense if your speakers have only one set of binding posts. The advantage of bi-wiring your speakers will NOT be realized unless the speaker has two internal crossovers to provide a separate signal to the mid/high frequency drivers, and another to the bass/low frequency driver. The two signals your amp will send to the speaker will simply be combined at the speaker's crossover. There is even a chance that you may degrade the sound, since using the set of bi-wires will simply increase the capacitance that the signal sees.
What you are proposing is called shotgunning and the results will tend toward a somewhat looser and fuller sound than a conventional single run of the same cables.It is normally used in tailoring a system to acquire a larger presentation.
You can alternately attach just a single set of connectors to the speaker end of the biwire pair for an interesting and educational experiment in capacitive loading.The sonic results will vary depending on your amplifier and the particular speakers being used.
As Aknorth stated, the unused ends should be securely taped over or fitted with wire caps to prevent an accidental short.
If your speaker cables are the same as the non-biwire versions you will not be shotgunning. Many brand of speaker wires are bi-wire capable. There are mulitple conductors (separate wires) per channel. All they do is segregate the separate conductors into 4 on the speaker end instead of 2. These type of cables will therefore be no different than the non biwire cables if used on your speakers.
1)Turnaround has a pair of biwire speaker cables, consisting of 2 sets of single wire cable in a common jacket
2) he intends to use half of the bi wire set to make a single run, either with an open ended ,unconnected pair on one set of speaker terminals or tying the separate pairs of runs together to form a single but doubled parallel pair
3)shotgunning simply involves runing 2 parallel identical runs to the speaker terminals
If he is using just a single pair run from this setup, he is using one half the number of strands, one half the amount of cable and in a configuration and topography with different load qualities including the added capacitance of the unused second run.
If he ties them all together at the speaker end ,he is effectively doubling the run in parallel.
Semantics aside, the results will still be a shotgun configuration if he ties both runs together.
It wasn't until after my last posting that I finally understood the full implications of your statement.It never occured to me that a company would stoop to such a cynical marketing ploy as the halved "biwire" scheme that you were referring to.I sincerely hope that the cable products that you address are sold for the same cost as the single run cables from which they would have been derived.Care to name names?
Caterham: A lot of cables are sold this way. Most of the Straightwire, Audioquest, Kimber, Wireworld, etc; you get the same cable whether single or bi-wire. The cost is usually only +/-$30 for the extra labor to terminate in a bi-wire configuration. If you go the their websites you will read that the cables are "Bi-wire capable".
This does seem that strange to me. If the speakers are not biwire, the signal is split to the low/high inside the speakers. Bi-Wire is moving it back to the amp (moves the crossover back). Many brands do not make a shot-gun cable, you have to terminate double runs.
I realized later what you were saying also. There are many bi-wire cables on the market and they do cost a lot more than the single cable because they are double inside (MIT, Nordost, Analysis Plus).
The speaker cables are 8' harmonic tech pro 9+, which have four terminations on the speaker end. My speakers are Thiels, which have a 4 ohm impedence rating.
I am wondering if it's okay to go with what I have, or if (for safety or sound reasons) I should consider cables with just two terminations on the speaker end.
Can you explain more about this idea of the shotgun configuration -- how/why does that work, and on what systems what would it be good or bad?
It seems to me that there is every reason that shotgunning the system would result in a different sound, though how that sound would differ might vary considerably from cable to cable. This is because the total capacitance, inductance, and resistance "seen" by the system would be different with two cables in parallel versus just one cable, even if the cables were perfectly identical.
Hell, just hook 'em up this way and that and see what sounds best.
BTW, I'm told that when one opens the back of even some very high end speakers one finds the biwire terminals jumpered, with just two conductors running to the xover. What a joyful surprise that must be for some poor schmuck who has just laid out lots of extra cash for a set of biwire cables....
May such vendors all suffer immediate and total stapes calcification!
Turnaround: There is only a $28 difference between the list prices of the mono (single) and bi-wire versions of your cables, and the website only describes one type of construction of the internal cable, so they are definitely the same cables whether they are terminated with 2 or 4 connectors on the speaker end.
Therefore, if you just connect the two reds together and two blacks together on the single red and black lugs on the back of your speakers, they should perform pretty much the same as the mono (single, non-biwire) version of those cables.