bi-wiring vs. bi-amping question on B&W's

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by AngeloEug, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. AngeloEug

    AngeloEug Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been thinking to myself whether it's really worth it or not to purchase additional hardware just to "bi-wire" speakers. Most capable B&W's come with the brass or gold jumper if you only have one set of cables going to the speakers.

    What is the difference between having the jumper in place vs. one cable per binding post if it's all coming from the same amplified channel on your AVR?

    My Pio 1014 has the ability to bi-AMP but what is the big deal of "bi-wiring" if the supplied power is coming from the same single channel?

    Isn't this exactly the same thing as leaving the jumper in place between the two pairs of posts?

    If anyone out there can shed some light on this I would really appreciate it!

    TIA!
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Bi-wire is a total gimmick in my opinion. I am still attmepting to evaluate bi-amp on my own. I had bought a Pioneer 1014 to try it. But that dang thing has no real power amp inputs, only Mulit-channel inputs.

    I should be back on this project in mid June. If you try bi-amp before then, post back, I'd love to be in on it for sure.


    Bi-amp is like god sent when running pro-audio for bands and the like. For me to try it, I need 7 additional channels of amplification. The speaker's passive crossver is by-passed so you have to make sure you know what your doing or you'll just plain fry your highs/mid drivers in your speakers.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Biwiring is effectively the same thing as increasing the wire AWG and nothing more. Both drivers receive the same signal, so it isn't buying you anything to have separate wires running to each of them.

    The jumpers that are included are usually not so spectacular (gold plated brass as you already know), so I usually recommend swapping them out for a very short run of the same wire you are using between the receiver and speaker.


    You don't want inputs for an amp, you want outputs, or am I misunderstanding something?
     
  4. AngeloEug

    AngeloEug Stunt Coordinator

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    With the Pio 1014, I thought about the bi-amp option however I'd be losing 2 channels of my surround...I'm currently running in 6.1 rather than 7.1 due to room size and speaker placement however unless I go separates, which won't be any time soon, I think I'm keeping them as it is and not bi-amping.

    John, again you have chimed in on my post [​IMG] I think I'm going to take your suggestion and run a separate jumper from one post to the next, other than that, it sounds like it is just as I figured.

    Anyways, here is an update as to where I'm at with speakers Fronts have changed from M&K 750's LCR to B&W 601 S3 L&R then to B&W CDM2's l&r with B&W CM C...I watched Master and Commander yesterday...CHAPTER 4 ROCKS!!! That's as far as I went because I had the little ones with me and they're much more fun than that movies at the moment...

    thanks for the input folks!
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    To Bi-amp, especially if you want to bi-amp 7 speakers.

    You need 14 separate channels of power amp each with it's one input and one set of pre-outputs, and 7 stereo electronic cross overs in between.
     
  6. AngeloEug

    AngeloEug Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    Ideally, I was thinking of bi-wiring the front pair only and possibly the center. My reasoning for this was for my 2channel listening.

    I actually have a bi-wire cable for the center, came with the "package" but the l & r are still running with the jumper.

    My room, my equipment and most importantly my wallet will not allow for such a "vast" set-up for 7.1 with each channel individually amp'd.

    I really just wanted my front soundstage to benefit from bi-amping but I didn't want to lose my rear surrounds. I know I'll never go 7.1 just because I don't feel that my room can truly exploit it.

    So, here's my new question...bi-amp the fronts and go straight 5.1 or stay 6.1/7.1?

    I don't want to invest in the additional hardware but if the speakers will benefit is it worth the extra $?

    I'll more than likely be making my own cables for the fronts rather than plunking down all that extra but I still don't think that my listening environment is such that I will truly reap the rewards of bi-amping. cost vs. benefit etc.

    Ahh, what the heck, I barely have enough time to enjoy the system now just as it is. Thanks to all for being my sounding board...

    Oooops, got another thought, what if I used the 1014 as a pre/pro for the front channel and added a separate....oh man, I do have access to an Audiosource AMP TWO. I think I'm in for some serious trouble!

    I am not going to listen to any of you with the gears churning in your evil heads...no more spending money on Audio equipment!
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Try them out biamped. If you don't hear an appreciable difference, then I'd go 6.1. Here's the thing, with passive biamping, which is what we are talking about in this case as opposed to active (above), I 'm going to say you probably won't hear a big difference. You will gain a bit more headroom, but since all channels are utilizing the same power supply, you are still limited by the total available current that it can provide...

    6.1 will give you a more seemless surround effect, but I don't miss it really.

    Which brings us to the AMP TWO...because it has a separate power supply, it will do two things: 1) offload some of the work of your 1014 and 2) all current on the TWO is available to the 2 speakers it is driving.

    I run monoblocks for my mains - each speaker gets it's own power supply and 180w @ 4 Ohms (my speakers are 4 Ohm). They also only have one set of terminals - no biamping here.
     
  8. AngeloEug

    AngeloEug Stunt Coordinator

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    John G, (and any others)
    If I have yet to run the system at reference levels will I really "hear" the difference?

    I'm pretty comfortable knowing the capabilities of the Pio...in fact, I had M&C playing this weekend at -20db's and though it's prolly "hot" mixed, I don't think I could go any louder than that without blood spewing from my ears.

    I'll have to say, I'm enjoying the "B&W" sound more and more each day...in fact, I can listen to them at questionable levels with music without my wife complaining[​IMG] !!!

    I will try bi-amping AND bi-wiring, I'll just use a set of spare zip cord since what I've got isn't the definitive answer to speaker cable.

    I'm worried it's going to take away from my "intimate time" with my movies and system.:b

    Post any thoughts if you have them...oh BTW John G, I've got one of those ubiquitous UFW-10's headed my way...in the color we both drooled over, Bird's Eye Maple!!!!

    I'll let you know how she fairs against "The Kid". I also got hold of an SPL 1000 Series II but that was no comp for the lower freqs of the pb-10. It was a very nice piece and blended extremely well with the B&W's. Fast as well but below 26Hz...left me wanting MORE. I also have an HGS-10 on the way as well.

    I'm losing my mind over audio equipment!!!

    HELP ME?!!??!?!?
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    John Garcia.. Have you ever tried this???

    The Multi-Channel inputs still use the AVR Volume control and is made for constant level line levels. It didn't work for poop from the pre-outs from the 4802. You really do need, real power amp in's for this application. Multi-Channel inputs are not the same as real power amp inputs.


    And no, that is not how you do it....

    You go from the pre-outs into the the 2 way electronic cross over, then the high freq. output of the electronic crossover to a power amp input, the low freq output of the electronic crossover to a different / separate power amp input. Then the power amp outputs connect directly to the correct high end or low end speaker driver(s).
    I tried the 1014 running the low end, and switching it around running the high end. Only the Denon power amp inputs performed as they were supposed to in the attempt.

    It was a mistake on my part, I don't know why I assumed it would of had real power amp inputs. (Seems to be a feature that is somewhat going away on AVR's)
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sorry, x-over before amplification -> active. I see what you are saying, which just means you need separate amps. I still don't quite get what you mean by "power amp inputs"; I've never heard that term. Is that like a tape loop? Like I said before when we discussed this, why not just get two stereo amps and try it out on just the mains?

    Angelo,

    Bird's Eye UFW10 [​IMG] Did you ask Jason about that one? He had one before the SVSs. I know playing with all the gear is fun, but at some point you just have to enjoy it [​IMG]
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmm.. Real power amp inputs.. On many AVR's there are jumpers in place from the Preamp outputs to the power amp inputs.

    These Power Amp inputs completely by pass the preamp section and act just as if you had a real separate power amp with a real power amp input.

    The Mulit-Channel inputs just aren't the same. On a real power amp input there is no volume control, the amp is full out on and volume in controlled only with the pre-amp you are using.

    Not sure how else to describe real power amp inputs though.

    PS: If I am going to do it, I am going to do it for all channels. That way gain staging will remain perfectly consistant across all HT speaker channels.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I normally see those referred to as "main" inputs. Those are quite rare on all but the upper teir units in the last few years. The Marantz 9200/9300v/9600 have this, a couple of H/Ks and a Yamaha that I've seen recently. My integrated amp has them too.
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    yeah.. "Main" inputs... THATS IT!!!!

    I really expected the 1014 to have them, not sure why though. Sort of put a damper on my bi-amp party so to speak. [​IMG]

    I expect around mid June, to get something to try it out with. I really want to try it. I am told we don't run enough power to relize the different in HT. But I am not so sure, I did this with my car audio installs and the difference seemed just as pronounced as when I did for live band sound applications.
     
  14. AngeloEug

    AngeloEug Stunt Coordinator

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    ok NUFF said???

    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa/...ire/Page1.html

    Theoritic POV to substantiate the "bi-wiring" myth. Works for me "in principle".

    I guess I should have read this before...

    John G., I know I know I know...actually, I had no idea that Jason had a UFW-10 prior to the SVS.

    Believe you me...I am enjoying every single experience that I have with my new "toys". Actually, playing with the Velo's and putting them up against the SVS really put a smile on my face knowing that a $429 MSRP 10" sub laid to rest the falacy of paying more gets you more vs th SPL-1000 series II @$1299 msrp!!! Better sub at almost 1/3rd the price WOW is right!

    At any rate, I just like to pick these things up...test them and as one of my previous posts read, I am at the point where the smiles on my face is all the proof I need. I know, sort of a contradiction in itself when I write my thoughts on what has passed through my family room but it's nice to have the knowledge that the SVS pb-10 is hard to beat in many price groups. You went through it yourself with the HSU so I'm just having my fun now...also, if there is a middle ground between WAF and performance the UFW-10 may just be THAT ONE to do it in this particular price range.

    Check out the link above, I found extremely enlightening...now my "custom" cables are purely for ego-aesthetic purposes[​IMG]

    My hats off to you all for puttin gup with my blabber
     
  15. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    As that .. uhm.. elaborate article says in its conclusion already: the whole story (about the difference) is thinkable - if the impedance of the wires is around 1 Ohm (or higher). Unfortunately, for that whole article, that's exactly why bi-wiring hardly makes any difference: the impedance of the wires is much, much lower (unless you have extremely thin and/or long wiring).


    Cees
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    It is not worth it. Nor is biamping unless you're talking studio monitor quality stuff. Relax and enjoy.
     

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