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Bi-wiring of speakers, balanced/unbalanced interconnect


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Actually bi wiriing can be quite beneficial. I've done some a / b /a comparisons with the same cables.

 

Depending upon the speaker a lot of them have jumpers between the highs and lows. This is another piece in the way of your direct sound. If you remove this and connect straight to the binding posts it makes quite a difference. It doesn't sound like much but those jumpers really do impede your direct sound. Even with high quality jumpers you are losing something.

 

 

 

 

 

Mojo Audio Mac Mini- 2.6GHz i7 quad-core Mac Mini, 500GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Internal Filter Module, Joule 3 power supply. Rogue Audio M180s. Revel F 52s. REFLink Asynchronous USB Converter. Bel Canto Dac 3.5 with VBS power supply. Rel Gibraltar G1. All Sain Line Systems cabling. Etc.... Etc... Etc.... Lol

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Absolutely correct. The OEM jumpers are usually a problem, as Kurt mentions. The speaker cable people will tell you it's related to the choice of metal, brass usually. Cardas, for example, recommends rhodium-plated copper.

 

But the main point is that taking the jumper out and replacing it with single or dual bi-wire should make a big improvement, on balance, in the sound. Your mileage may vary, but it's a good thing to try.

 

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I always biwired by Vandersteen 2Cs, on Richard's personal recommendation.

 

Never even listened to them any other way, as they were my first audiophile speakers, back in the early 80s.

 

I would tend to agree with you regarding the (possibly gratuitous) use of shotgunning of cables, but I've got no actual experience with this. It would likely benefit the cable manufacturers (and those who derive advertisement income from them) more than any negligible gains for the audiophile.

 

Speaking of cables, I had an interesting experience with the J2 last night. Knowing that Nelson Pass usually pooh-poohs special power cables, I switched from the Analysis Plus power cable I bought a few years ago to the dealer supplied (broken-in, as it was the same cable as from 5 years ago), and lo and behold, the J2 stepped up to another level entirely, just by swapping OUT the expensive after market power cable. Turns out I was missing even the natural sibilance found on recordings, and an awful lot of the mid treble (8kHz plus or minus) as well. Amp sounds even more open now, still without sounding 'solid-state' in the least. ;)

 

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clay,

 

Surprised to hear that the OEM cable was better than your aftermarket. I've tried a ton of different aftermarket power cords and never found one that was actually worse than the OEM provided.

 

I would guess that the aftermarket cable has something wrong with it. Don't count aftermarket cables out yet.

 

If you ever have the interest in trying out some cables from a local cable maker who makes exceptional cables for the money check these cables out. http://saincables.com This guy is an absolute audiophile perfectionist. They've beat out my Cardas, Kimber, Tara Labs, and Wireworld cabling.

 

If your interested I can arrange an in home audition for you I'm sure.

 

~kurt

 

 

 

Mojo Audio Mac Mini- 2.6GHz i7 quad-core Mac Mini, 500GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Internal Filter Module, Joule 3 power supply. Rogue Audio M180s. Revel F 52s. REFLink Asynchronous USB Converter. Bel Canto Dac 3.5 with VBS power supply. Rel Gibraltar G1. All Sain Line Systems cabling. Etc.... Etc... Etc.... Lol

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"I would guess that the aftermarket cable has something wrong with it. Don't count aftermarket cables out yet."

 

Nope, I'm not counting them out. I was trying to sort out an issue and was quite pleasantly surprised.

 

But, perhaps for Nelson's amps, this is less surprising. He's a maestro with an electrical circuit, and does things that others don't - witness the recent 'F' series in which he developed five (and counting) different types of amps for special purposes, all sounding great, with different electrical characteristics.

 

I'll have to check in with him.

 

I've got line conditioning gear (with a lengthy break-in period) on deck.

 

cheers,

clay

 

 

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Not all manufacturers recommend BiWireing:

 

My owners manual for Verity Parsifal speakers says: " DO NOT BIWIRE YOUR PARSIFAL. When hooked to the Parsifal Woofers, the Parsifal Monitors must be high-pass filtered at all times. Bypassing this filter section will limit the dynamic range of the system and will cause midrange overloading as well as nonlinear behaviors at high power levels"."

 

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Manufacturers who include bi-wiring options do so after experimentation. I remember being involved in developing a a 2-way commercial loudspeaker 15 or so years ago 4 x 6.5" specially developed midbass drivers crossing over to a ribbon tweeter at 4.5kHz. Only crossover components a resisitor and capacitor for the high pass to the ribbon.

 

We assumed that bi-wiring would make no difference at all in such a simple setup, and were disinclined to add the option. That is, until we tested and realized it made a significant difference. Go figure!

 

Frank

 

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I have to (at least partially disagree). Some manufacturers include bi-wiring terminals because of consumer demand rather than any real improvement. I've heard it said that Kudos speakers are better if ordered with single-wire terminals, but public demand is such the standard model is bi-wirable.

 

The comment about "good for cable manufacturers" may be true, but I've experienced that single-wired with £20per meter QED able sounds better than bi-wiring with £10 cable (for example).

 

The balanced / unbalanced question is even more down to equipment - some devices just use conversion on inputs/outputs, others are true balanced devices and it's in these cases that using balanced interconnects generally pays dividends. Of course long cables to active speakers are generally best if balanced.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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of the 4 sets of speakers that i have compared biwiring or not, (of course using the same cables), all have benefitted from biwiring but to different degrees. In all cases sound was less congested and more open. I guess whether it is worth the difference depends how expensive your cable is.

 

 

[br]Mac Mini > Lio-8 > Graaf Gm-20 > Stax ESL-F83x[br]Ipod / Wadia Dock / Wadia 830 > ULN-2 > Krell KAV400xi > B&W 805

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salwani said "of the 4 sets of speakers that i have compared biwiring or not, (of course using the same cables), all have benefitted from biwiring but to different degrees. In all cases sound was less congested and more open. I guess whether it is worth the difference depends how expensive your cable is."

Just by virtue of doubling the conductors in the cable will in most cases improve the sound ... the question isn't is (for example) single wired QED Silver Anniversary bettered by bi-wired QED silver anniversary, the question is more is is bi-wired silver anniversary better than a single-wired X-Tube 300.

 

Of course upgrading from single to bi-wire is different (in terms of cost) to the initial purchase.

 

Also if you bi-wire you have the opportunity to bi-amp which again is another kettle of fish.

 

Eloise

 

PS. My comment about the Kudos speakers was about specially ordered with single-wire terminals NOT just single-wiring speakers with the standard bi-wire terminals.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Eloise

 

The cable I use is internally biwireable, and thus is cost effective to experiment with, and the number of conductors doesnt change.

 

 

 

[br]Mac Mini > Lio-8 > Graaf Gm-20 > Stax ESL-F83x[br]Ipod / Wadia Dock / Wadia 830 > ULN-2 > Krell KAV400xi > B&W 805

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I think you're missing the point...

 

You can spend (for example) £10 per meter on single wire cable. To get the same bi-wired cable you would need two lengths so £20 per meter.

 

Often getting a single length of £20 cable gives better sound.

 

Also, a few sets of speakers can be order with single or bi-wire terminals. A particular example (Kudos) I have heard of sound better with the single wired option than with bi-wired.

 

As with all cases of cables ... YMMV

 

eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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These threads illustrate the benefits of actually trying things out, rather than just talking about them. The answer on the bi-wire issue is, well, it depends (budget considerations aside).

 

The main thing, from my perspective, is that given a speaker set up for bi-wiring or bi-amping, removing the usually-acoustically-harmful cheap jumper bracket between the terminals, and replacing it something like the Cardas audiophile jumper bracket described in this thread, which I haven't used, but it's quite likely to be a big improvement over most OEM jumpers. For your application, it could be good enough. Done.

 

This is a good first step, and is highly cost-effective, close to zero risk.

 

One suggestion: if you want to dual bi-wire, simply get two identical runs of cable, rather than having them soldered together at the amplifier end. This allows you to do bi-wiring or bi-amping, as you so desire, and as your system evolves over time.

 

On the dual cabling strategy, just make sure the speaker terminals on the amp allow the lugs to be stacked without inducing any strain on the terminal or the cabling.

 

My approach has always been to start out with very high-end cabling, which stays constant despite changing equipment. Buy it used on Audiogon, or even better, by representative cabling from 3-4 vendors, get a feel for what each firm does, and then trade/sell the ones that you don't need.

 

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