Bi-wiring. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Herrod, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. James Herrod

    James Herrod Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 1999
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the B&W 600 S1 array (602 mains, 601 surrounds and CC-6 center, soon to be replaced by the LCR6 S2 center) They will all accomodate bi-wiring and I'm just wondering if there will be noticable benefits by doing this. I'd like to avoid doing my surrounds just because of the hassle, but I may do my front soundstage, especially my new center when I get it. I've read that the LCR6 S2 will not see it's true potential without bi-wiring. Any opinions would be great. Thanks Jim
     
  2. BrentPollard

    BrentPollard Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you would have to have a great set of ears, IMO bi-wiring is probably not worth it. Even passive Bi-amping (which I have done) will probably make a very subtle if any noticeable difference. Do a google search or a thread search here and you will find lots of info.
     
  3. TerryHenson

    TerryHenson Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Neighbor, I'm on the Whittier/La Mirada border here,
    My mains are bi-wired only because I saw the 4 posts. I can't say no one could hear a difference, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't tell the difference. [​IMG]
    Terry
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you're considering biwiring, which should not hurt at least (other than your wallet), consider the end of the following thread where I suggest a rather simple way, with the aid of friends, for you to determine if you can hear the difference. Good luck.
     
  5. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,187
    Likes Received:
    0
    I biwired my Klipsch RF-3II with 16AWG Monster XP and couldn't tell a difference. However I disagree Brent on passive biamping, I've done it with two sets of Klipsch and the difference was much more than subtle.
     
  6. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jim,

    I biwired my speakers, and I can't say for sure I noticed a difference (I did notice a difference, but it was subtle enough that it was quite possibly in my head). Regardless, I had fun searching for the wire I wanted, the banana plugs, etc., and having an excuse to play with the system without spending tons of cash. And as Chu pointed out, it can't hurt.

    -Robb
     
  7. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have my fronts & center Bi-wired & didn't notice any difference at all compared to the jumpers. I done mine just out of curiosity as I had the spare wire laying around. To me its just one of those if you got the extra money & your bored try it kinda things.
     
  8. Shannon W

    Shannon W Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I hate to tell you guys but I and my Wife Could Tell the Differnce when I Bi-Wired my LSi9's. Much fuller Sould Range and Sound Stage!!!!!!!!!!
    Shannon
     
  9. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many well respected companies and people in the audio industry do not bi-wire (or even support it on their speakers) because it has never been proven to make a difference.

    This is sort of like a cable debate. Both sides aren't going to budge and this will be a 30 page long thread.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Oh hell, wives always say those things so they can get us to go holiday shopping with them and take care of things around the house instead of watching football!
     
  11. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1


    I don't think you're experiencing the placebo effect here. Polk is the one company that I've heard quite a few times that biwiring works with. I don't know why, nor do I know how, but other company's don't seem to have as consistent results...at least in the posts I've read.
     
  12. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to have my AR9's Bi Wired and I honesty did not
    notice anything over having the gold straps in place and
    single runs of wire. Granted I was not using a super exotic
    wire with Quasi Q- Factors and constant loops of magical
    Oxygen Free Unobtanium wire coated with liberal amounts
    of Pixie Dust.
    Just tonight I started making a new set of Bi Amp cables
    from Cat 5e and I have heard others say they have heard
    a difference. Welp, I hear nothing! Not more transparent
    not more detailed nadda nuttin...
    This was going from 2 pairs of 12Awg SoundKing 99.999% OFC
    to 2 Pairs of Belden Cat 5e Solid Conductor 99.999% OFC.
    Perhaps after they break in? [​IMG]
     
  13. James Herrod

    James Herrod Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 1999
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Got it! I will gladly forgo the biwiring. Thanks for saving me the time and money. I'll put the $ toward a new sub this summer. Happy Holidays! Jim
     
  14. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brett,
    Cat5 cables aren't really worth it unless you do it right... that means using Teflon-insulated wires and braiding at least 9 pairs, from what I have heard. Replacing 16-awg copper with a 9-pair braided Cat5 (~15awg) for my tweeter wire has made the sound a bit clearer with what seems to be less upper midrange distortion. A while ago, I had used non-Teflon Cat5 and the result was really nothing special, also the sound was a little "tizzy" compared to plain copper wires.
    I can't vouch for whether bi-wiring makes any difference or not, because my speakers have dual binding posts and I lost the jumpers. [​IMG]
     
  15. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brett, thanks for your comments. With my (nothing special) system I'm finding the difference big enough that if I (or my other friends who care about sound) listened to a song with the plain copper then the same song again with the Cat5, they would notice the difference. (About the same magnitude of difference, I guess, as if I change my speakers' toe-in a few degrees or move them a few inches.)
    Cables shouldn't be ignored, but you shouldn't spend your money on them without first trying them out - borrow a set from a friend or a dealer and see what happens. The difference with Cat5 is that it's cheap enough that you might as well try it out anyway if you have a few hours spare time to braid and terminate it. I bought 220 ft of surplus Belden 1701A (this and 1585A, I believe, are the two varieties recommended for audio) for $16 (see www.meci.com).
     
  16. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike,
    I think if your willing to sit and spend the time braiding
    then you probably will see (or hear as the case may be)
    the difference. From what I read up on, the way I did mine
    isn't technicaly the way to go because I think by using
    one whole section of Cat5 per polarity doesn't take into
    effect the Noise Cancelation effect of the twist.. Or something
    like that.
    But I don't have the patience to sit there and braid all
    night either [​IMG]
     
  17. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    It really depends on the amplifier and speaker combination as to how much benefit can be had bi-wiring.

    Basically, in my experience, the higher the amount of current there is in the amplifier's/receiver's power supply, the more audible the benefit will be. There are other influences, like strength of the woofer magnet, complexity of the crossover, damping factor of the amplifier and resolution of the speaker of course too.

    The theory behind bi-wiring is that when the amplifier sends the woofer out on an 'excursion', the woofer will then springs back to it's original position. The woofer coil moves across the magnet which generates a minute amount of electricity. That power travels back through the crossover network to the tweeter. Tweeters are easily influenced by small amounts of electricity. Adding the extra length of speaker wire can help dampen that power generated by the woofer and help isolate the tweeter from it.
     
  18. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marc, to add to your comments, since the tweeter crossover has higher impedance at low frequencies and vice versa for the woofer, bi-wiring causes the LF and HF cables to carry the signal currents required only for the driver they are each connected to. I think this is a contributor to the improvement in clarity some experience when bi-wiring.
    Brett, do you mean the braiding makes an improvement in sound or makes me want to like the sound better? [​IMG] Seriously though, if I believe something will sound better and it does to my brain (even if the actual sound is exactly the same), I'm all for it. Especially at 8 cents a foot.
     

Share This Page