I think that the 2 wiring schemes I provided on my first message are electrically equivalent, and the workload on the amplifier should be the same, but I am not sure of the latter. In my case, I use a Marantz PM 7004 amplifier connected to a pair of Bowers & Wilkins DM 602 S3 loudspeakers.
My question was whether is better to use 2 pairs of single cables or 1 pair of biwired cables. My diagrams show both configurations.
Your choice, the "which speaker cable is best" debate uses up more bandwidth around here alone than the entire internet p*rn industry!
On a practical level, if you use two pairs of 2-channel speaker cables, as opposed to one pair of 4-channel cables, its much easier to hook them up to two separate power amps in the "vertical" mode. Or you can do like I did, use something like Chord Odyssey 4 4-channel speaker cables to start off with (one core each for HF+, HF-, LF+, LF-), then add a second pair of the same cables, re-terminate each with 2 channels per end plug (i.e. 2 to HF+, 2 to HF- in one cable, 2 to LF+, 2 to LF- in the other cable). Expensive, maybe, but audio-wise it worked superbly, especially with the "thin" bass of Cyrus gear.
As for your diagrams, I too am of the opinion that bi-wring alone won't do much one way or the other, but vertical bi-amping (i,.e. one twin mono power amp per channel) is the way to go unless you can afford four full single-channel power amps...
Yes 4 mono's are the way to go!
If you have two different amps eg. 8 power and X power then horzontally bi amp with the X power on the HF as this is where the detail is and you need to use the best amp there to maximise the SQ.
IMHO bi-wiring makes little difference.
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Sold the lot before I moved back to the US, money needed for the move and a concern that although I could buy a 110 volt to 230 volt stepup transformer easily enough, someone here (most likely a teenager) would try and plug the units directly into the US mains. Also concerned about 60 Hz supply would affect the sound and longevity of the 50 Hz transformers (probably not much). Hoping to replace the lot this year with the latest Cyrus incarnations as I really like the Cyrus detailed sound, providing the speakers I use have plenty of "oomph" to compensate for the somewhat lean bass.
Anyway, I had a look at the OP's kit on line and my advice is to forget about bi-wiring unless or until he can chain in a separate power amp. His amp has "A" and "B" speaker outputs but these are intended for separate pairs of speakers, not bi-amping one pair. Trying to bi-amp with this amp will probably blow the amp sooner or later. The speakers can be bi-wired, however. My advice would be to spend the money on better single-wire cables for now and to get a local hifi dealer to make up some jumper cables out of the same speaker cables as the main runs to replace the cheap and nasty brass or copper jumpers that come with the speakers. If / when he gets a power amp, he can add a second run of the same cables to horizontally bi-amp the speakers, using the higher power amp to drive the trebles. If he can add a second power amp later, and assuming these will work as twin monos, he can then vertically bi-amp the speakers.
Connecting his speakers to the A and B outputs will make no difference to bi-wiring. The A+B outputs are simply paralel outputs from the same two amplifier modules (left and right channel)
From a PM7004 you will get no benefit over loosing money by buying double the amount of cable.
Bi-Amping gives no electrical benefit if you are using two of the same seperate amplifiers, unless the amplifier is poorly designed and cant cope with the impedance/phase angles of the speaker. Using two of the same amps wont help this.
In simple terms, If your amp is rated at 50wpc, and you have two in bi-amp, you will still only get a maximum of 50w. You dont get 100w of potential output.
Some people use two different amplifiers (as mentioned) for treble and mid-bass, this may bring a difference but it wont be correct as the amplifiers will have slightly different gain, frequency response, output impedance etc so you will be hearing the difference between two amplifiers rather than anything 'better'.
You would be better off just using one 'better' amplifier or going down the DIY route and making the speakers active to gain any real possible improvement.
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Is there any advantage (sound-wise) in doing a biwired connection like this :
rather than this :
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Is there any advantage (sound-wise) in doing a biwired connection like this :
/quote] if biamping is done on the same amp, it often sounds worse....ideally biamping should involve two amps.
If you don't have two ampos it isn't bi-amping, it's bi-wiring...
Agree on that one.
Not sure about the first part of your post, I'll bow to your knowledge on the subject. I'd just be wary of sonnecting both sets of terminals to one pair of speakers in case the crossovers or whatever somehow shorted the circuit or caused the impedence to halve (or worse) putting too much current drain on the power amp.
I'd stick with my recommendation for the OP to put the money into one pair of better paired (not quad) cables and use the same cable to have his dealer make up some links to replace the horrible little brass links that come with the speakers, or make them himself using spade connectors or "piggy-back" banana plugs easily obtained on line.
As for bi-amping, I can say from mye experience with the Cyrus kit I used it clearly gave the system a HUGE boost, not just in out and out volume, but also in the dynamics (the capacity of the bass amp being mostly reserved for big "oomph" moments, for example) and clarity. I'm sure the higher quality (in the engineering sense) of the components going into higher end stuff like Cyrus means that two X-powers (or the equivalent from other higher-end manufacturers, take your pick) would be pretty darn close to identical electronically. With the Mono-Xs I believe these are made in batches to order, so they should be as close as possible, given budgets, engineering realities, etc. etc. to identical as they can be, and I'm sure even more expensive kit gets even more attention during internal component selection and matching.
Not saying you'd get the same result with something from equipment at the budget end, mind you - rubbsh + rubbish = 2* rubbish after all.
Interesting stuff gents.
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I will say that i agree with this, what you've said here is electrically spot on
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Your two chosen options will electrically make no difference. The same amp is seeing the same load.
I have Bowers & Wilkins DM 601S3 biwired with QED silver anniversary driven by a NAD C350 and now a NAD C326BEE. I originally had the speakers single wired with the same QED cable. The only effect from biwiring was being £80 down in my wallet after adding the second cable run. There was no difference in the sound.
FWIW and my last contribution (unless someone flames me and I feel it necessary to respond),:
Back in the days when the World was black and white, illuminated by whale oil, people walked funny and Jimmy Savile was still thought a nice guy, the idea of bi-wiring was that some cables conduct different parts of the signal better than others. If I remember correctly, and it may seem contrary to logic (which is why I usually remember such things) the idea was a multi-strand cable conducts bass best, whereas a single-strand conducts treble best. Might get flamed on that one, but that's how I remember it.
This lead to to the whole phenomenon of people bi-wiring, even with only two terminals on their amps and two on their speakers, and even some compound speaker cables with both multi-strand and solid core (or asymmetric solid cores). I think I still have the remnants of a pair of Ixos cables of this sort somewhere left over from the 90s - they sound rubbish by comparison to contemporary stuff I'm sure.
Bottom line for the OP, in my opinion spend the money on two runs of better quality 2-core cables, not four two-core cables or two four-core bi-wire cables, and some jumper cables (made from the same cable or better - thicker - than the main speaker cables) to replace the brass brackets on the speakers. Job done.
If / when you add a power amp (or two) that is the time to bi-amp and bi-wire. Use the same cable as before and make sure the lengths are the same, flog the jumpers on EBay.
Thank you all for the feedback received so far.
Finally, I will go for an standard wiring (not bi-wired), probably with a pair of Chord Oddyssey speaker cables . In the future perhaps I will upgrade to Epos Elan 15 speakers. I could not find any user experience or review on the Internet regarding those Epos.
Now the debate will be whether you should connect the main speaker cables to the treble terminals and run the jumpers to the bass terminals or the other way around. You watch
I will follow the recommendations from the Chord Company website :
"What connections on the back of the speaker should I connect my single wire speaker cable to?
As a general rule, the treble connections are usually reckoned to produce better sound quality than the bass connections."
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