or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Listening to mono on a single speaker
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Listening to mono on a single speaker

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm quite enamored of old mono recordings, and I decided to set up my office audio system with a single speaker, together with stereo. I have a Cambridge Audio 651A amp, and it has two speaker outputs. So, for now, I've set up a single speaker in the center of my two stereo speakers - one on each speaker output - with a single cable running from one channel of the amp to the speaker. The speaker in question is a Cambridge Audio bookshelf speaker, that has two sets of connections. Is there any advantage to bi-wiring the speaker in this way? I assume that both channels are delivering exactly the same sound, but I do notice that, when I switch from the stereo speakers to the single speaker, that the volume is a bit lower. Would bi-wiring increase the volume at all? Or is just another one of those things that won't make much of a difference?

An aside: there's no better way to compare speakers than two connect them to a dual-zone amp; I can hear how much more high frequencies there are in the stereo speakers (Focal Chorus 705V) compared to the smaller Cambridge Audio speaker. Now, if only I could buy a single speaker that's better than the Cambridge Audio...
post #2 of 13
I'm not clear on your wiring setup here. You have a third speaker that you are wiring in, but not as a center channel?
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post

I'm quite enamored of old mono recordings, and I decided to set up my office audio system with a single speaker, together with stereo. I have a Cambridge Audio 651A amp, and it has two speaker outputs. So, for now, I've set up a single speaker in the center of my two stereo speakers - one on each speaker output - with a single cable running from one channel of the amp to the speaker. The speaker in question is a Cambridge Audio bookshelf speaker, that has two sets of connections. Is there any advantage to bi-wiring the speaker in this way? I assume that both channels are delivering exactly the same sound, but I do notice that, when I switch from the stereo speakers to the single speaker, that the volume is a bit lower. Would bi-wiring increase the volume at all? Or is just another one of those things that won't make much of a difference?

An aside: there's no better way to compare speakers than two connect them to a dual-zone amp; I can hear how much more high frequencies there are in the stereo speakers (Focal Chorus 705V) compared to the smaller Cambridge Audio speaker. Now, if only I could buy a single speaker that's better than the Cambridge Audio...

 

You mean bi-wiring the mono speaker? Absolutely no advantage. There can be a lot of smoke though unless that's a bridgeable amp. (cue in cartoon brass tune for sinking Navy ships)

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Why smoke, if the speaker has two sets of terminals?


(Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post

Why smoke, if the speaker has two sets of terminals?


(Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)

 

OK so it won't smoke (I thought the speaker only had one) if you make sure to remove the metal bits that connect one set to the other. But if I understand it correctly you'll connect one channel off the amp to one terminal on the speaker, right? If your source input is still a conventional stereo input, what will happen then is you will get the right channel signal on the tweeter and the left channel signal on the midwoofer (or vice versa). If you really want mono it has to be wired so at the source, otherwise you're listening to one channel or a composite of both. In which case the best way to do this is use a laptop plus a media player software that can downmix both channels into a single mono signal.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm planning to use this only to listen to mono recordings.


(Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)
post #7 of 13
I don't understand how you would bi-wire this if you are already running another set of stereo speakers off the A set of speaker terminals. Nor do I really understand the benefit of running a single speaker over the pair, as mono recordings typically make two speakers sound as one.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post

I'm planning to use this only to listen to mono recordings.


(Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)

 

If the recordings are already in mono then make sure you disconnect the metal bits on the bi-wire terminals, and still run cables to both RCA inputs on the amp. You will still get a bi-amped signal into the speaker. Or heck just use one channel on the amp.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
So back to my original question: will it make any difference? I notice the volume of the single speaker is lower than two speakers; if I bi-wire, will it be louder?


(Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post

So back to my original question: will it make any difference? I notice the volume of the single speaker is lower than two speakers; if I bi-wire, will it be louder?


(Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)

It will send one channel to the tweet (usually the top wiring) and one to the woof, which in the case of mono may not sound bad since they are getting the same signal. Bi-wiring on its own does not technically increase volume, but since you now have two amps running the speaker it actually might.

Just try it, nothing will get hurt....but For goodness sake don't forget to take out the bridges between the terminals!
post #11 of 13
And back to my question which has been in both of my posts. How are you planning on wiring it up? You have yet to be very clear about that.
post #12 of 13
My stats are bi-wired. You will get slightly more db but the subtle details will be more apparent. Adding more power won't be able to make more db than the driver can provide.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post

So back to my original question: will it make any difference? I notice the volume of the single speaker is lower than two speakers; if I bi-wire, will it be louder?


(Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)

 

Not necessarily. What's more likely to happen is you'll have an imbalance between the tweeter output and the midwoofer compared to just having one amplified input and totally controlled by its passive crossover. In any case you can tweak this with the balance control.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Listening to mono on a single speaker