Bi-Wiring Worth It? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 62 Old 12-21-2010, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I just recently picked up a set of Mirage OMDs (two OMD-15s, two OMD-5s, and one OMD-C1) and noticed that my OMD-15s have the option to bi-wire (or bi-amp). I noticed that bi-wire cables are insanely expensive, and to me seems like it may be a marketing gimmick more than anything else. Is there any advantage to bi-wiring when the speakers will only be about 6ft max away from the receiver?
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post #2 of 62 Old 12-21-2010, 11:07 PM
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Most speaker cables are just gimmicks. I just use Industrial AWG 12/2 solid core copper wire. cost me 60 cents a foot and i'm pretty sure no one would be able to tell in a blind test with a 500 dollar or 5000 dollar cable. I have my towers Bi amped and my center and sides Bi wired. You could use AWG 12/4 for less wiring.

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Bi-wiring

"There should be more clarity and detail to the midrange and high frequencies. Often the bass becomes less fat in nature, becoming both a bit faster and tighter. Focus and staging should improve nicely as well. You may notice less congestion in dynamic or complex passages. In all, this is a very effective and desirable improvement and only requires the investment in a second set of speaker cables.
Biwiring works by reducing of the tendency for strong bass signals to overwhelm the rest of the audio signal. The larger, more powerful bass signal can greatly affect the integrity of the much lower-energy components of both the midrange and fragile treble information. Running separate wires from the amplifier can have a profound impact on relieving the tweeter circuit from the back flush of EMF (elector-motive force) generated by the woofer. When the audio signal to the woofer ceases, such as when a loud bass note is finished, the woofer tries to stop moving. In trying to stop, it actually goes through a process of "settling" because it is too massive to just stop instantly. As it settles, it moves forward and backward repeatedly until it can completely come to rest. During this movement, as the voice coil is moving through the field of the magnet, it generates its own signal. That generated signal is sent backward up the woofer wires and into the crossover, where it corrupts the rest of the music signal." (from soundstage)

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post #3 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 12:41 AM
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I don't believe it really helps at all and is a total waste of time (passive biwiring or biamping)
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post #4 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 05:11 AM
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Bi-wiring and bi-amping are not the same thing.

Bi-amping is the use of seperate amplifiers for seperate drivers and can be advantageous in allowing adjustment of the output from each with crossovers in the speaker bypassed and external ones used to twiddle the sound.

It takes skilled sound people with good ears to make sound better and not a lot of skill to make sound much worse.
Biamping is popular in car setups and those can be great examples of how bad music can be made to sound using it.

This bi-wiring woofer-cone-as-commutator in 'generating' a backflush of EMF as in "In trying to stop, it actually goes through a process of "settling" because it is too massive to just stop instantly. As it settles, it moves forward and backward repeatedly until it can completely come to rest. During this movement, as the voice coil is moving through the field of the magnet, it generates its own signal. That generated signal is sent backward up the woofer wires and into the crossover, where it corrupts the rest of the music signal.", well, I'd like to see the engineering test support data of this because it makes me giggle to read it. Kind of like an old snake oil pitch.

See those poor little woofer cone operators trying to stop the back and forth, back and forth thrusting-settling of their driver before they are dumped over with the backflush of electromotive force and killed by orgasmic electrocution? Tough job, but somebody's gotta' do it.
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post #5 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProSpud View Post

I just recently picked up a set of Mirage OMDs (two OMD-15s, two OMD-5s, and one OMD-C1) and noticed that my OMD-15s have the option to bi-wire (or bi-amp). I noticed that bi-wire cables are insanely expensive, and to me seems like it may be a marketing gimmick more than anything else. Is there any advantage to bi-wiring when the speakers will only be about 6ft max away from the receiver?

Your gut/common sense is right....bi-wire is a waste of time and money. Not a single measurement has been shown to actually prove there is any improvement in over 20 years of audiophiles claiming they heard something.

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post #6 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Just to be clear, I won't be bi-amping (I honestly think that's overkill for me), but was mainly wondering about bi-wiring. Most people seem to think it isn't worth the trouble. Is it possible to use basic speaker cable for the job - in other words, make my own? Or should I just not worry about it? I definately won't be buying the $300+ cables.
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post #7 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 05:48 AM
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+1

It's not worth the effort.

The physics involved dictates that a settling woofer does generate a CEMF. Is this problematic? In theory, yes,.. however in most designs not likely, however, it is possible and documented. Audibility; Are these distortions audible? If they are, they are best dealt with with passive bi-amping. Thereby, any potential CEMF resulting from driver settling, is damped, dissipated, and entirely isolated by a separate channel of amplification. Additionally, gain matching must be very precise, and introduces additional complexity and room for error.

Thus, it's not worth the expense.

Active bi, tri, or quad amplification, is the ideal. That way the inherent problems with passive crossovers are eliminated.


Good luck

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post #8 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProSpud View Post

Just to be clear, I won't be bi-amping (I honestly think that's overkill for me), but was mainly wondering about bi-wiring. Most people seem to think it isn't worth the trouble. Is it possible to use basic speaker cable for the job - in other words, make my own? Or should I just not worry about it? I definately won't be buying the $300+ cables.


If you are looking to spend $$, then spending $300+ on room treatments will improve the SQ and those $$$ spent are back by science/measurements.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #9 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProSpud View Post

Just to be clear, I won't be bi-amping (I honestly think that's overkill for me), but was mainly wondering about bi-wiring. Most people seem to think it isn't worth the trouble. Is it possible to use basic speaker cable for the job - in other words, make my own? Or should I just not worry about it? I definately won't be buying the $300+ cables.

I've experimented a great deal with bi-wiring. One can easily be fooled psycho-acoustically into feeling as if an improvement exists. Best case scenario, whatever gains are achievable, are infinitesimal to what can be gained by tending to the single most important system aspect; the speaker/room interface. Optimization of mains placement, application of absorption and diffusion, sub-woofer system integration. These items, when properly executed, offer gains an order of magnitude better than any other system tweak.

Wire your speakers with amply sized cables, however you want, and forget about them. Focus on the room, and optimizing what you already have.



Good luck

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post #10 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 06:08 AM
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To the op.

Except for a slight increase in effective gauge, bi wiring has no effect.

I bi wire on a single set of speaker at home because o don't have the jumpers needed to uniwire anattaching a short piece of wire as a bridge has been inconvenient given my tendancy to move things.
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post #11 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 07:35 AM
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I tried measuring the full frequency response (using XTZ...not sure how accurate it is) of conventional wiring versus biwiring and didn't notice any change audibly or on the graph. Didn't see any difference using an outboard amp compared to the receiver, either. But, like I said, I'm not sure how accurate the software is at high frequencies. Not using any type of room correction.

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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post #12 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the answers. I won't bi-wire as it doesn't seem worth it and everyone here pretty much confirms that. Now I get to break these beauties in, and after that can concentrate on tweaking the speaker placement.
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post #13 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 09:11 AM
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Wouldn't Bi-wiring be beneficial if the cables are not big enough? It would effectively double the wire size, no?

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post #14 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 09:22 AM
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I generally agree that biwiring is a waste of $$. However I've found an exception to that with the new Q series from KEF..they're using a dial instead of a jumper and it degrades the sound,biwiring or biamping bypasses it and improves the sound very noticably..
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post #15 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malagant View Post

Wouldn't Bi-wiring be beneficial if the cables are not big enough? It would effectively double the wire size, no?

Yes, running two wires of a then gauge in parallel does increase the functional wire size. No it does not double the effective gauge. Given that it's the percentage of resistance that is important, it not clear there is even that small benefit.
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post #16 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 09:27 AM
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wouldn't just buying the proper size speaker wire be easier?

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post #17 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 09:28 AM
 
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I currently biwire with Audioquest GR8 cables and I notice no sonic differences whatsoever. My speakers do not come with jumpers so it's more of a convenience thing for me.
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post #18 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 10:00 AM
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I have all but four speakers in my theatre room bi-wired but in truth can't really notice any difference at all. On a couple of occasions with certain songs i guess i have noticed a small change but almost nothing and if i could choose again and save some £££ i wouldn't have bothered because it really wasn't worth it. A small improvement seems possible but small is an understatement in my experince and as already mentioned by another member the real gains are to be found in how your system is setup. I would guess when you bi-wire serious hardware you might notice an improvement but by then you'll no doubt be bi-amping anyway. Unfortunatley the latter is just conjecture as i cannot afford serious equipment to test ths theory
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post #19 of 62 Old 12-22-2010, 01:33 PM
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I would put any money that would be spent on a second cable run into acoustic treatment for the room. A few properly placed DIY or commercial panels will make a real difference instead of the one you think you might possibly sometimes be hearing with bi-wiring.
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post #20 of 62 Old 12-23-2010, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all - will not do biwiring. Offtopic question, but does anyone know if they make a flat CL3 rated wire?
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post #21 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 04:41 AM
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I just picked up a used system . The techincs SA-AX6 AMP has a biwire outputs . I biwred my Monitor 9s to the amp and I can definetly hear the difference. When the amp is set to biwire mode I can use the biamp adjsutment to direct more lows or highs to each fronts biwire input , very noticable .
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post #22 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 07:01 AM
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I have multiple sets of cable.. biwire and non.. been going back and forth and cannot notice and significant difference. Biwire is in there now and I'm just leaving it because I like spades better then banana plugs.

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post #23 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 07:03 AM
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Dose your amp have a biamp adjsutment?
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post #24 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avet22 View Post

Dose your amp have a biamp adjsutment?

I do have the option to bi-amp the front channels only..it's a sunfire tga-7400. Then I would be down to 5 channels. What I have not tried yet..is I have current and voltage outputs for the front channels and I could wire the voltage source to the low and current to the high. It's already cable mania behind my AV system

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post #25 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 12:10 PM
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My Paradigm Monitor 11's are bi-wired and I honestly can't say I notice a difference. I've left them bi-wired because I am too lazy to move the credenza out to remove the wiring and change the set up on the receiver.
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post #26 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 01:15 PM
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do you have a biamp control on your receiver?
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post #27 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 01:44 PM
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Bi-wire: one amp channel per speaker with separate wires connecting the hf and lf to the amp

Bi-amp: separate amp channels connected to the hf and lf for a single speaker

-Max
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post #28 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 01:55 PM
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my amp has 2 outputs per speaker one output says biwire when i select biwire on my amp the "biamp" adjustment knob is enabled and i can direct more highs or low to channels
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post #29 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxcooper View Post

Bi-wire: one amp channel per speaker with separate wires connecting the hf and lf to the amp

Bi-amp: separate amp channels connected to the hf and lf for a single speaker

-Max

we all know that!
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post #30 of 62 Old 01-15-2011, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProSpud View Post

I just recently picked up a set of Mirage OMDs (two OMD-15s, two OMD-5s, and one OMD-C1) and noticed that my OMD-15s have the option to bi-wire (or bi-amp). I noticed that bi-wire cables are insanely expensive, and to me seems like it may be a marketing gimmick more than anything else. Is there any advantage to bi-wiring when the speakers will only be about 6ft max away from the receiver?

Just get the 12 gauge speaker wire from monoprice and be done with it. No biwiring or biamping. case closed :-)
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