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(speaker cable) Bi-wire vs Jumpers - Page 2

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

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.

Yeah, 2-to-4 is true bi-wiring... You're thinking of either bi-amping or paired cables. Not to say it doesn't look silly, though.

 

In my experience most people experience slightly better sound bi-wiring their speakers. This is not because bi-wiring has any sonic advantages, however... It's because modern higher-quality speakers generally have four terminals and come equipped with cheap brass or steel jumper tabs. Replacing those with any configuration of copper is going to clean things up a little. Bear in mind, when I say a little, I mean a little. None of these changes are much beyond negligible, but when you get into the world of speaker cables, that's the bar. People pay as much as $40,000 for ultra exotic high-end cables, just to see negligible differences. 

 

At any rate, replacing the generally poor stock jumpers on your speakers with nice copper jumpers and single cables will give you the same benefits as bi-wiring.

 

If you want to get really negligible, then you can argue that fewer connections equals a purer connection, and therefore a better sound. In as much, bi-wiring which is four connections at the speaker would be "purer" than jumpers and single cable, which would be six. This argument makes sense to some. Most electrical engineers will tell you it's a bit like running 10 gauge wire for a three foot run. Technically it's better, but human ears are incapable of hearing the difference between that and 18 gauge for such a short distance. 

 

Long story short, price things out. Just because bi-wiring isn't any better than single cables with aftermarket jumpers doesn't mean it's any worse. If you're looking at the same money for a set of bi-wire cables as for a pair of singles and some jumpers, then why not? Four less connections to fuss with in a two speaker set-up...


Edited by Earbones - 3/1/14 at 4:20am
post #17 of 18

The idea of biwiring is to star the drivers/crossover back to the amplifier terminals so that back emf or reactance of the woofer doesn't effect the the other ranges. Similar to the benefits of star grounding. It's not a bad idea but very hit and miss in practice. More often than not, any perceived benefit comes from the fact that you've replaced the crappy jumpers. It can also sound less together as ChrisJ mentioned though in theory, there's no good reason for it. Try stripping a single wire setup back far enough to replace the jumper with the woofer terminals closes to the amp. Through the woofer terminal up to the others.


Edited by goodvibes - 3/1/14 at 6:19am
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earbones View Post

In my experience most people experience slightly better sound bi-wiring their speakers. This is not because bi-wiring has any sonic advantages, however... It's because modern higher-quality speakers generally have four terminals and come equipped with cheap brass or steel jumper tabs. Replacing those with any configuration of copper is going to clean things up a little. Bear in mind, when I say a little, I mean a little. None of these changes are much beyond negligible, but when you get into the world of speaker cables, that's the bar. People pay as much as $40,000 for ultra exotic high-end cables, just to see negligible differences. 

At any rate, replacing the generally poor stock jumpers on your speakers with nice copper jumpers and single cables will give you the same benefits as bi-wiring.

This is the first time I've seen someone offer a reasonable explanation of why biwiring might make an SQ difference, and of course your solution doesn't even require biwiring. Thanks!!! smily_headphones1.gif
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