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(speaker cable) Bi-wire vs Jumpers

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm sure the question has been asked before, but could not find it.

by bi-wire I mean a single wire terminated by four connectors at the speakers end and two at the amps end.
if you had to choose, regardless of cost, which would you prefer, or which do you think would be more optimal in terms of signals reaching the speaker.
 
is there a difference? what are your thoughts on this?
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

I'm sure the question has been asked before, but could not find it.

by bi-wire I mean a single wire terminated by four connectors at the speakers end and two at the amps end.
if you had to choose, regardless of cost, which would you prefer, or which do you think would be more optimal in terms of signals reaching the speaker.
 
is there a difference? what are your thoughts on this?

The websites AVSforum and AVforum might be better at answering this question.

 

I think the question your asking about is for a normal hook up and not really a "bi-wired" connection.

I'm assuming your taking about is for the speaker connection is splitting the red wire into two ends and the black wire into two end

Speakers that come with 4 posts for bi-wiring usually have two metal strips connecting the two red post together and the two black posts together.

Might be easier just to put the strips back in place instead of trying to split wires.

That's if I'm following your question correctly.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

thanks for the tips. I'll have to register with those forums.

 

you got it. a single wire gets split into two at the speaker end.

 

 

700 700

 

in the case of Crystal Cable "splitters" are used to change terminations, so one would only need a set of those and not the entire cable.

don't know if there are advantages/disadvantages in splitting the cable in two vs using jumpers.

subjective and objective views welcome.

post #4 of 18
I've tried both ways and I prefer a good quality jumper over bi-wiring or over the metal straps that come with your speakers.
To me, bi-wiring has a strange, phasey sound to it.
post #5 of 18
The 2-to-4 cable thing is not true bi-wiring; it looks silly to be honest. redface.gif The issue is that you probably just have a single lead up until the "split" - so any additional current carrying capacity is fantasy. In other words, if I take 16AWG, and run 100' of it out, and then add 6" of 13AWG to the end, it doesn't do me any good (if my load will exceed what the 16AWG can do that is). If they've got heavier wire from the amp side to the terminals, I'd rather see four taps for the amplifier or heavier lugs (I understand that hooking up four bananas is impossible on some amps, but you could certainly stack two lugs).

Personally I like jumpers or actual bi-wiring, but none of the "half way" solutions - cable straps, 2-to-4, etc because jumpers are usually included with the speakers and won't catch on anything like a strap can, and actual bi-wiring at least gets you to wherever the box claims it should get you (I personally think bi-wiring is a waste of time though). In terms of signals reaching the speaker, two pairs of 16AWG will not beat a single 12AWG lead, and I'd rather have one lead than two. Length also has to be taken as a factor.

If cost was truly no object though, active multi-amplification.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

thanks all for the input, much appreciated. it just reinforces my own opinion on bi-wiring this way. it seems sort of cheating. when I bought the Heimdall's I had the choice of single or bi-wire termination, as they cost the same, and I chose single because I didn't like the idea of splitting one cable into two. I was getting a pair of Diamond Piccolo's and the question about bi-wire arose again, so I thought I might ask for opinions on it.

 

unfortunately, when it comes to audio - half way solutions, or cutting corners just doesn't work, imo,  no matter how it's cut.

 

if I was to get a pair of speaker cables for each speaker post I would probably have to get a separate amp for each one too, so I think I'll stick with jumpers for the time being.ksc75smile.gif

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

thanks all for the input, much appreciated. it just reinforces my own opinion on bi-wiring this way. it seems sort of cheating. when I bought the Heimdall's I had the choice of single or bi-wire termination, as they cost the same, and I chose single because I didn't like the idea of splitting one cable into two. I was getting a pair of Diamond Piccolo's and the question about bi-wire arose again, so I thought I might ask for opinions on it.

unfortunately, when it comes to audio - half way solutions, or cutting corners just doesn't work, imo,  no matter how it's cut.

if I was to get a pair of speaker cables for each speaker post I would probably have to get a separate amp for each one too, so I think I'll stick with jumpers for the time being.ksc75smile.gif

The separate amp thing is a waste of money if you aren't employing a new crossover. Generally only salesman will disagree. redface.gif
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

thanks all for the input, much appreciated. it just reinforces my own opinion on bi-wiring this way. it seems sort of cheating. when I bought the Heimdall's I had the choice of single or bi-wire termination, as they cost the same, and I chose single because I didn't like the idea of splitting one cable into two. I was getting a pair of Diamond Piccolo's and the question about bi-wire arose again, so I thought I might ask for opinions on it.

unfortunately, when it comes to audio - half way solutions, or cutting corners just doesn't work, imo,  no matter how it's cut.

if I was to get a pair of speaker cables for each speaker post I would probably have to get a separate amp for each one too, so I think I'll stick with jumpers for the time being.ksc75smile.gif

I treid Red Dawns with bi-wiring and jumpers, I preferred the sound of jumpers.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Chris J, what's your experience with Nordost cables?

 

my experience with Nordost has not been very good. I liked the cable for some things, but disliked it for others. when I wired my system with it the first thing I noticed was the increase in dynamics - it was striking, and really nice. however, after a while I started to notice a major roll-off in the bass. I guess with full-size speakers this roll-off might be less noticeable - but with small speakers were the bass is not as huge, nevertheless, well defined, tuneful, extended, any roll-off is easily noticed. basically it ruined the bass definition. also there was an element of fatigue that I didn't feel before. I knew that this was not a cable I could live with. Nordost - never again.

 

having said that, I'm using on an old Chord copper speaker cable atm, and I miss the dynamic, clarity, and overall sound the Nordost offered over the Chord. but the sound it's slightly warmer, and the bass is fuller. I hope the Diamond Piccolo will be a more balanced cable than the Nordost, with the same clarity and dynamics. fingers cross.


Edited by Lenni - 11/27/12 at 10:24am
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

Chris J, what's your experience with Nordost cables?

my experience with Nordost has not been very good. I liked the cable for some things, but disliked it for others. when I wired my system with it the first thing I noticed was the increase in dynamics - it was striking, and really nice. however, after a while I started to notice a major roll-off in the bass. I guess with full-size speakers this roll-off might be less noticeable - but with small speakers were the bass is not as huge, nevertheless, well defined, tuneful, extended, any roll-off is easily noticed. basically it ruined the bass definition. also there was an element of fatigue that I didn't feel before. I knew that this was not a cable I could live with. Nordost - never again.

having said that, I'm using on an old Chord copper speaker cable atm, and I miss the dynamic, clarity, and overall sound the Nordost offered over the Chord. but the sound it's slightly warmer, and the bass is fuller. I hope the Diamond Piccolo will be a more balanced cable than the Nordost, with the same clarity and dynamics. fingers cross.

Lenni,
I'm a big fan of the Nordost cables.
I like the dynamics and detail and articulation I hear from them.
I have a mix of new Leif Red Dawn speaker cables and 5 year old series interconnects such as Baldur and Heimdahl.
I've owned and tried a few Cardas cables, I thought the cheaper ones were a bit too fulsome and syrupy for me. The Cardas reference was quite good but I thought it had a very slight bluntness to the attack.
Basically I like the Nordost dynamics, life and snap. Not too sure if this is a sound effect or if it just exposes the transients inherent to a good recording. I did try some older Blue Heaven speaker cable and I did find that it did something to "lighten" the bass which I didn't like. This the same cable I used in a bi-wire mode...... I thought bi-wiring had this weird phasy midrange sound to it. I preferred jumpers, they sounded more natural.
I also had some Kimber 8TC speaker cable for a few years, while they sounded very good, they sounded muddy compared to the Red Dawn Lief speaker cables.
I suspect I must be some kind of treble head or something.............I prefer a very clear midrange and a nice sense of space plus great dynamics over all else.
Supposedly the newer Nordost, like the Lief series are less zippy and are warmer than the older series Nordost. Like I said earlier, I found the older Blue Heaven speaker cables to be somewhat bass light or bass shy.

Just for the record, I haven't tried any Nordost Power Cables.
One reviewer said the Nordost power cables can add that missing bass.

Cables are weird, they really shouldn't have a sound! But they do anyway.redface.gif

Chris
post #11 of 18

NOTHING CHANGES, period.  If you do a true bi-wire with 2 sets of wires, you will have the same effect as increasing the wire gauge of a single wire.  Having more connectors soldered onto the same gauge wire doesn't change anything meaningful at all

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

NOTHING CHANGES, period.  If you do a true bi-wire with 2 sets of wires, you will have the same effect as increasing the wire gauge of a single wire.  Having more connectors soldered onto the same gauge wire doesn't change anything meaningful at all

http://www.sonicdesign.se/biwire.html
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

the Piccolo's arrived today. it was sent from Oregon, US, with DHL International (3/5 days) on Monday - that's pretty good considering it's go through customs and all.

 

I took some photos in case someone was interested:

 

 

400 400 400

 

400 400 400

 

I'm very, very pleased with the Diamond Piccolo's. this is as far as I can go with cables. it took a few tries but we got there in the end. I have no reason try any other cable.

 

@Chris - I'm not that comfortable recommending cables, especially expensive ones, but if you ever get the chance to try the Diamond Piccolo's, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

 

peace.

  

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

the Piccolo's arrived today. it was sent from Oregon, US, with DHL International (3/5 days) on Monday - that's pretty good considering it's go through customs and all.

 

I took some photos in case someone was interested:

 

 

400 400 400

 

400 400 400

 

I'm very, very pleased with the Diamond Piccolo's. this is as far as I can go with cables. it took a few tries but we got there in the end. I have no reason try any other cable.

 

@Chris - I'm not that comfortable recommending cables, especially expensive ones, but if you ever get the chance to try the Diamond Piccolo's, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

 

peace.

  

 

recommending expensive cables...............I know what you mean!

You really have to try them yourself!

 

Let me know how the Cables work out for you!  PM me if you wish!

Chris

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

the Piccolo's arrived today. it was sent from Oregon, US, with DHL International (3/5 days) on Monday - that's pretty good considering it's go through customs and all.

 

I took some photos in case someone was interested:

 

 

400 400 400

 

400 400 400

 

I'm very, very pleased with the Diamond Piccolo's. this is as far as I can go with cables. it took a few tries but we got there in the end. I have no reason try any other cable.

 

@Chris - I'm not that comfortable recommending cables, especially expensive ones, but if you ever get the chance to try the Diamond Piccolo's, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

 

peace.

  

I verticaly bi-amped my vandersteen's with two identical (stereo amps), what a difference in sound, much more richer, fuller, sound, so each speaker now has it's own amplifier, well worth it. Nice cable's good luck!

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