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Bi Wire vs Double Runs


DancingSea
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Aloha,

 

Any experience on the merits of bi wire vs double runs?  My speakers are bi wire, and my power amp has 4 sets of terminals (see photo).

 

I'm considering new speaker wire trying to decide if double runs is worth the extra money.

 

Thanks.

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 6.39.29 PM.png

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3 hours ago, DancingSea said:

Aloha,

 

Any experience on the merits of bi wire vs double runs?  My speakers are bi wire, and my power amp has 4 sets of terminals (see photo).

 

I'm considering new speaker wire trying to decide if double runs is worth the extra money.

 

Thanks.

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 6.39.29 PM.png

 

A true bi-wire is a double run. There are lots of myths about bi-wiring but the real reason that it works is a simple interpretation of Ohm's Law. Each run is really a resister of sorts so when you have two in parallel ( a bi-wire implementation as at the amp end there is a common source regardless of whether there are two outputs or one) the total resistance is cut in half thus allowing for greater current flow from the amp at a given voltage. This will usually lead to a beneficial change in the sound if the amp is up to the task.

 

I use it on my system and it did make a difference over my prior single run set-up.

 

Try it with modestly priced speaker wire first and upgrade later if you like it.

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2 hours ago, bobflood said:

A true bi-wire is a double run. There are lots of myths about bi-wiring but the real reason that it works is a simple interpretation of Ohm's Law. Each run is really a resister of sorts so when you have two in parallel ( a bi-wire implementation as at the amp end there is a common source regardless of whether there are two outputs or one) the total resistance is cut in half thus allowing for greater current flow from the amp at a given voltage. This will usually lead to a beneficial change in the sound if the amp is up to the task.

A single thicker wire would do the same thing with less tangle.

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1 minute ago, mansr said:

A single thicker wire would do the same thing with less tangle.

 

True, but I had a very heavy gauge single wire speaker cable before going to bi-wire and the bi-wire still sounds better to me plus a heavy gauge wire is going to be more difficult to handle. This stuff can get pretty bizarre very quickly so I just trust my ears.

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Just now, bobflood said:

True, but I had a very heavy gauge single wire speaker cable before going to bi-wire and the bi-wire still sounds better to me plus a heavy gauge wire is going to be more difficult to handle. This stuff can get pretty bizarre very quickly so I just trust my ears.

12 AWG is plenty for a home system. Handling is not a problem.

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Any benefit may depend on the quality of the cables used and the actual path. Since we're dealing with AC, apart from plain resistance you have to consider also capacitance and inductance, and the latter two don't obey the Ohm's law. 

 

Worth a shot, but don't invest too much in the cables unless you know what to expect.

 

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My old Linn Kabers responded very well to tri-wiring as recommended by the speaker designer.

 

Simple explanations (based on Ohm's Law and similar) don't address the complications that I discussed with the Linn designer--a PhD in material science from Oxford Uni.

 

I do understand that separate output terminals on the amp may not be better (or as good) as the two wires on a single amp terminal. Of course, on the speaker, one pair of cables (+ and -) go to the tweeters and the other pair to the woofers.

 

My current speakers (hi Ralf11) are active with 4 amps for each channel to a total output around 650 watts/channel, and are current drive rather than voltage.

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Lets see... buy the same wire twice = twice the cost.  In my book you will get better bang upgrading to a better speaker wire instead. But its probably the last place I'd spend money if  one made a good choice to begin with. Dollars give more return when spent closer to the source.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I just added a second run to my speakers to biwire them. I was surprised to get as much of an increase in "air" and separation of instruments as I did. Being an electrical engineer, I must admit I don't understand why . . . .

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Eric at Tekton builds his higher end speakers with two sets of internally jumpered terminals. I asked him why he did that instead of setting the speakers up for Bi-Amping like my B&W 804s and many other speakers are. He said under no circumstances would he think of bi-amping speakers. But he highly recommends bi-wiring them. I haven't done that yet, but intend to getting around to it soon.

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On 1/22/2018 at 2:26 PM, DancingSea said:

Aloha,

 

Any experience on the merits of bi wire vs double runs?  My speakers are bi wire, and my power amp has 4 sets of terminals (see photo).

 

I'm considering new speaker wire trying to decide if double runs is worth the extra money.

 

Thanks.

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 6.39.29 PM.png

What is the current method you are using at the speaker end to tie the four binding posts to each other while using a standard run of wire to the speaker?

 

One could argue that a single run of wire of adequate gauge to the speaker while using an equally adequate super short jumper to the other pair of binding posts has less signal/power loss simply due to the amp having  less copper to energize.

 

Though, I have read about the theory that Bi-Wiring enables the differing loads presented by the Highs and Lows to travel more freely down there own "Pipe" so that one doesn't rob the other of the power to produce the signals its responsible for.

 

Its probably a toss up either way and easy enough to experiment to see what you find most enjoyable.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/22/2018 at 6:19 PM, bobflood said:

 

A true bi-wire is a double run. There are lots of myths about bi-wiring but the real reason that it works is a simple interpretation of Ohm's Law. Each run is really a resister of sorts so when you have two in parallel ( a bi-wire implementation as at the amp end there is a common source regardless of whether there are two outputs or one) the total resistance is cut in half thus allowing for greater current flow from the amp at a given voltage. This will usually lead to a beneficial change in the sound if the amp is up to the task.

 

I use it on my system and it did make a difference over my prior single run set-up.

 

Try it with modestly priced speaker wire first and upgrade later if you like it.

 

No, see below.

 

On 1/23/2018 at 9:32 AM, jcn3 said:

I just added a second run to my speakers to biwire them. I was surprised to get as much of an increase in "air" and separation of instruments as I did. Being an electrical engineer, I must admit I don't understand why . . . .

 

Construct an equivalent circuit taking into account the impedance of the single vs. separate speaker cable runs, the output impedance of the amp, and treat the back-emf distortion of the drivers as signal sources with their own source impedances, using the crossover slopes and whatever stated driver distortion vs. frequency data you can find.  You can then calculate the energy of the distortion difference between single- vs. bi-wiring.  Use SPICE!

 

On 1/26/2018 at 10:39 PM, cjf said:

What is the current method you are using at the speaker end to tie the four binding posts to each other while using a standard run of wire to the speaker?

 

One could argue that a single run of wire of adequate gauge to the speaker while using an equally adequate super short jumper to the other pair of binding posts has less signal/power loss simply due to the amp having  less copper to energize.

 

Though, I have read about the theory that Bi-Wiring enables the differing loads presented by the Highs and Lows to travel more freely down there own "Pipe" so that one doesn't rob the other of the power to produce the signals its responsible for.

 

Its probably a toss up either way and easy enough to experiment to see what you find most enjoyable.

 

Biwiring advantages increase as 1) crossover slopes decrease; 2) amp output impedance decreases; and 3) speaker wire impedance increases.  Note, these things do not add in linear fashion.  Therefore, one can expect the greatest bi-amping improvement would appear in a system with a super-stiff class D amp, long speaker wire runs, and speakers with first-order crossovers.

 

Biamping beats biwiring any day, though it is not always a better bargain.  Bruno Putzeys advises most customers to biwire to get most of the benefits of multi-amping, given the extreme damping (low output impedance) his amps provide.

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