Are there potentially harmful effects from biwiring speakers?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Carlo Medina, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Hi All,

    I'm trying out biwiring for the first time and just wanted to know if there are any potentially harmful things that biwiring can do (assuming it's hooked up correctly that is)?

    I know the merits of biwiring can, and have been, debated endlessly as to whether it provides any real sound benefit. I'd rather not turn this thread into one of those. I'm simply interested in if there is any potential harm, or negative effects on the sound, that can occur when biwiring.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    nahhhh, you're safe....just pay attention to your pluses and minuses.
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Thanks Chu, definitely doing that for sure!
     
  4. Albert Damico

    Albert Damico Stunt Coordinator

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    One negative effect is that you will have less money in your wallet!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Nice! Luckily my experiment involves just adding a pair of AR cables so that's only $9.99 out of pocket (no I'm not one of those who will bust down $$$ for mega-speaker wires.
     
  6. Albert Damico

    Albert Damico Stunt Coordinator

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    I was just joking!! I have some speakers in my home that are bi-wired and others that aren't. Can't say I can tell a difference, but then again, I'm no expert either!!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Totally, I got it. But seriously, my second pair of wires is $9.99. I'm just trying it out (I have a pair of TaraLabs Klara bananas as the primary). I'm not sure I'm sensing an improvement (could be psychological in nature) and it's too hard to unscrew the second pair of wires, replace the connector, and then listen again. I definitely don't think it's any worse than non-biwired, and I'm thinking the bass might have tightened up a bit (again, could be in my head) but for $9.99 I think I'll leave them there...
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well that's not the way you determine if biwiring made a difference. Scroll down to the bottom of this thread where I explain a fairly simple method for you to determine, with your own ears nonetheless, whether you can tell the difference.

    $10 isn't much but it's $10 and the world is filled with people who make their living out of duping others out of nickels, dollars, and millions. I certainly urge you to take the time and try it. Maybe it'll make you sit back and go hmmmmmm? Maybe you'll start to wonder just why is it that many companies can't provide proof but can present the most cock-eyed explanations and theories.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Well if we get a chance while doing the shootout at my place (comparing my old Energy C6 vs. my new MB Quart QLS-1030s), I'll try your test (though I'm not going as far as a blindfold - I'll just promise not to look and that's good enough for me![​IMG] ).

    As far as $10, well I needed to buy another set of speaker cables for the audition (and to move my C6s to the bedroom) so until this shootout happens I thought I'd use them in biwiring configuration to test it out, so it's not really a waste as I'll end up using the ARs as speaker cables for the bedroom...

    I'm going to simplify your test quite a lot, just have the assistant move the jumpers and I'll say "better" "worse" or "can't tell" while he moves the jumpers - and it won't be sequential on/off/on/off, but he'll randomize it, maybe make a motion in the back of the speakers while not actually moving the jumpers, and I'll totally leave that up to him, and see what results come up (if I consistently say "better" or "worse" w/ jumpers on/off, or if there is no correlation at all, or I can't tell a difference).

    Oh, I'll also try the test on my assistants, with me moving the jumpers.

    Thanks for the idea, Chu!
     
  10. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Oh, so to make sure - there are no ill effects of leaving both sets of wires in while connecting the jumpers, right? I just got a new NAD receiver along with these speakers and I'd really hate to damage them. I'm not an engineer so I don't know the principals behind biwiring and any potentially ill effects that could occur, I just know that the manual says if you're biwiring to take off the jumpers.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    No you're not going to damage the receiver, nor the speakers. If you're doing the hookups with bare wire, prudency suggest that you be careful and avoid wires touching to not short anything out.
    The test should definitely not be sequential. Randomization, such a by flipping a coin 10x and arbitrarily assigning H & T to biwire/non-biwire is important. The blindfold only lends more credence to your results as it eliminates any subtle visual cues. Don't worry about feeling silly or foolish. After all, it's a get together with friends over some food and refreshments where you get a chance to easily do some science. Who knows, somewhere down the road it might save you some money?
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Cool Chu. The test will be random, but I'll just have the assistants decide and write it down (the listener will be about 9' away and the apartment is usually pretty dark so they won't see what's being written). I'll take the listener's word that they aren't trying to look - you can't see behind the speakers anyway so to "throw off" the listener I'll tell the assistant to jingle the jumpers even when they aren't switching them. The blindfold is just...I don't know...a little demeaning in my view, and I don't want to subject any of my friends to that. If that means it isn't "scientifically accurate" I'll live with that. They are my friends who like to come over and watch movies, not fellow HT nuts who would do this in the name of science.
     
  13. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    For heavens sake, Please don't advise someone to not follow the WARNING instructions on equipment. if anything goes wrong the manufacturer will not assume liability if you didn't use the product as they specified. Remove the jumpers when bi-wiring as indicated. Plus I think you guys are being a little dismissive about the phase and impedance vairances that occur over a biwired speaker. they may not be on the same magnitue as a biamped system but they're there. And I wouldn't short the binding post while bi-wiring no more than I would do it while bi-amping.
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    the plate or whatever closes the circuit and connects the two terminals, + to + and - to -. it makes no difference, once the terminals are connected. electrically, biwiring is like moving the shorting straps all the way back to the receiver.
     
  15. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    You're simplifying and not taking the entire system into consideration. The crossover of any regular speaker not setup for bi-wiring or bi-amping does not have the high and low pass wired in parallel and in series at the same time which is what you're doing when you don't remove the shorting straps when bi-wiring. I'm not an expert at this (cop out) but your challenging a major tenet of speaker wiring. I would tread carefully, that's all.
    Thanks
     
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Well I'm going to compensate a bit. I will just terminate the second set of speaker wire in pins (currently the second set was just bare wire) to make it easier for the person doing the switching to slide the connecting straps over while removing the pin connectors from the second set of wires. I just don't like the thought of monkeying with $3K worth of my equipment (someone else's maybe [​IMG] ).

    Thanks - oh and I can't guarantee that I'll get to do this tonight. We are getting together to do a comparison of these new speakers because I primarily want to do a write up on the MB Quarts and how they compare with the Energy C6s (which may take a while, depending). If my friends are willing to stay a while longer to do this test, cool, if not, it may have to happen some other day.
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Heck get to it whenever.
    So what speaker do you know of Matt, where attaching jumper plates or straps would cause such a dangerous problem? The theories are really irrelevent until one can demonstrate an audible difference, that is unless you like reading Risch's stuff.
     
  18. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    None, and you're absolutely right Chu about theory and practice. Its just the warning signs that have me bugged. They're there for the manufactures benefit to cover their arse when sh*t hits the fan. They're not there for our benefit. Which is why I take them so seriously.
     

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