JBL E80 - why are there two sets of wire jacks?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Taggraptor, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Taggraptor

    Taggraptor Auditioning

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    Hi all, I am somewhat new to speaker wiring and I have a set of JBL Northridge E80 floorstanders. I noticed when I bought them that they have two sets of wire jacks, two positives and two negatives. I realize this is a really rookie question, but does this mean that to get the speaker's full potential I need to jumper them or run a parallel wire to both +'s and both -'s? Is the E80 a DVC speaker, or does it just have a separate power source for the high tweeters and the mid/low speakers? I've been only hooking up one of the power sets, and i'm wondering if i've been only using half of my E80. Anyone have any advice about this?

    Taggart
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Welcome to the Forum, Taggart!

    Those wire jacks are called “binding posts” – thought you might like to know that. [​IMG] You don’t need to jump between them; there is probably already a metal strap that connects the two red and black posts. If so, just run a single speaker wire, like you’re used to doing. Don’t worry, if you were using “only half” of your E80s, you’d know it. Either it would sound all thin and “tinny” (that would be only the tweeter operating) or it would sound muffled (only the woofer operating).

    The reason for the two binding posts is to enable a couple of optional connection schemes called “bi-amping” or “bi-wiring.” If you remove the straps between the posts, then indeed only half the speaker operates, and you have to run separate wires to each pair of binding posts. If both wires are connected to the same amp, it’s “bi-wiring.” If the wires are fed to two separate amps, it’s called “bi-amping.”

    Some of the more experienced audiophiles claim to hear improvements with bi-wiring or –amping. Others say they can’t tell any difference. For us regular Joes, a single wire works just fine. [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    I would agree bi-wiring serves no significant advantage. Bi-amping is another story. I have bi-amped my PSB century 600i's with a Carver av-505 multichannel amp and the speakers opened right up, largely because they were getting twice the power.

    Seth=L
     
  4. Taggraptor

    Taggraptor Auditioning

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    Thanks to both of you for the input. Now you've got me thinking... I currently run those E80s as the mains in my HT setup with JBL's little SCS160 (cheaper but sound alright) speakers as the center and the three rears. the E80s call for 100/400 W (continuous/peak) and a 200W max amp. I have a Yamaha HTR-5660 that is rated for 85W to 6 channels. I can crank the volume like crazy and it sounds good (ie, no distortion) but I get the sense it could be fuller, considering the E80s are involved. It almost no different from when I had the SCS160s as the mains as well, which baffles me.

    Maybe my receiver doesn't have enough juice? If not, can I simply buy another one and bi-amp them? if so, how do I do this? I get that I can run wiring from each amp to each set of binding posts and the amps will split the load, but are there other setup requirements for this? how do I get the identical signal from, say a DVD player, to both amps? or is this even necessary? As you can see, I know enough to know that I'm still quite ignorant of a lot of this stuff [​IMG]

    any help would be appreciated. have a good one,

    Tagg
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    It can be tricky if you’re trying to use two receivers, since the second one has its own volume control. You’d have to adjust it separately from the main receiver to get the right tweeter/woofer blend. However, once it’s set the main receiver’s volume control would be controlling both.

    But before going through all that, I’d first try just getting a more powerful amp, one that has at least double the power of your receiver. If your receiver is running out of steam with the 80s, that would make a difference.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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