Yes there are advantages, but it is not consistent and will vary by the type of speakers you have. I personally found the effect was noticeable but slight and paled in comparison with biamping the same speakers.
If you look at the X-overs in bi-wirable speakers, most take advantage of the higher and lower input signals. So it is a practical difference, and highly audible. Most DIYers consistantly design their speakers with bi-wiring in mind, thier benefits are easy to understand. Since i've build my own X-overs I can tell you it's basically like having a discrete signal for different sets of drivers, and each set of drivers has a different set of coils, capacitors and resistors in its path.
What's Hi-Fi seems to rave about the benefits of bi-wiring. So much so, that I went out of my way to bi-wire my speakers. The result? A very mild change in the sound. Note that I use the word "change" b/c I can't quite say for sure that it sounds better. For one thing, the speakers are louder at a given volume setting. I suppose bi-wiring might lower (raise?) the impedence of the speakers.
Other than that, I can't quite say if perceived sonic changes are all in my mind.
Now, that this is brought up. I think I'll spend some time tomorrow A/B-ing my speakers between bi-wire and single wire. I'll let you know what I think.
What type of speakers your testing on Ticky? The reason that its louder at the same volume setting is that you've effectively increased the gauge so more current can travel to your speakers. Running two 10 gauge cables is the equivalent of running one 7 gauge cable.
Originally Posted by SPtrader Are there any advantages to Bi-Wiring?
Yes, especially if your speakers are designed to support it (separate bass and treble driver hook-ups). I've used bi-wiring for years. As I understand it, you get a free passive crossover improvement that improves clarity both low and high. You more fully utilize the available speaker conductor. You improve the load your amp is looking at. All without the cost and complexity of bi-amping. Search Google under "bi-wire"; there are some decent explanatory articles there.
I’ve listened briefly – ½ hour – on my speakers, switching between bi-wire and single wire mode. Because of the brevity, I only used one CD (see below for CD title) and listened to the first 2 tracks on this CD repeatedly. The first track is purely instrumental with cello, percussions, guitar, piano, bass and clarinet. The second track features the same instruments, but has a lovely boss nova vocal in the forefront.
Yes, there is some sonic improvement. The improvement is akin to listening to your speakers with the grille on (single wire) versus taking the grilles off (bi-wire). Most of the improvement appears to be in the treble region. Treble seems to breath better and have that slight extra “sparkle” on the top end. I couldn’t hear much of a difference in the mid-range and vocal quality seems to be the same.
Music separation is slightly better in bi-wire mode. On single wire, instruments sometimes sounded a touch muddy or “blended.” This flaw reveals itself on passages where there are many instruments playing at the same time. It is difficult to separate the competing instruments from one another. On bi-wire, instruments better defined; it is easier to tell that a note is coming from the cello as oppose to the accompanying piano or guitar.
Keep in mind that the listening period is brief and the music used is limited. Also, I must add that on bi-wire mode, my speakers are slightly louder than one single wire mode. Although I try to factor this into my review, part of the sonic improvement I perceived might very well come from this increase in volume. Finally, some part of the improvement might also be placebo. My speakers came these annoyingly shaped pins (for single-wire connection) that require the user to unscrew all the wire terminals before inserting the pins. As such, it takes me a couple of minutes to switch between bi-wire and single wire mode. All the while, my sub-conscious could be hard to work trying to justify my spending more money on the more expensive bi-wire version of the speaker cables.
I think that bi-wiring yields sonic improvements. Being an audio-nut, I would find the improvements to be somewhat more than marginal. Nevertheless, I admit that I wouldn’t bet on this should someone subject me to a double blind A/B test on this issue. Does the improvement justified my spending an extra $70 on the bi-wire version of the QED Silver Anniversary cable? I’m really not sure.
Yo Yo Ma, Obrigado Brazil - Live in Concert.
Track 1 – Libertango;
Track 2 – Chega De Saudade.