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Author Topic: Bi-wired loudspeakers  (Read 83 times)

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Online whitestrat73

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Bi-wired loudspeakers
« on: September 03, 2017, 11:26:09 AM »
Has anyone tried bi-wired loudspeakers/monitors?

When I first set up my Soundcraft Spirit Absolute 2 close field monitors, I noticed the extra connectors at the rear.... Reading around I found out about 'Bi-wiring'.
Now, I had come across this in the 80s, when I sold hi-fi gear. Although bi-amping and tri-amping was all over the place, most noticeably with Linn/Naim systems, bi-wiring was less known.

Anyways, I recently fell over an article about bi-wiring, which ignited my interest.......  ::)

There are several studies and articles around. Mostly, the consensus of opinion is that, yes, there are improvements, but, usually, they are either very small, or they aren't as great as using a 'good' speaker cable for single wiring. Well, the cable I use is pretty good (not one of those silly price ones)!

How does it work?
Basically, the idea is, that if you feed the treble and bass sides of your crossover with separate cables, albeit from the same source (amplifier output terminals), they will respond better to the audio signal.
This is because, if I understand correctly, the bass or treble circuits are, effectively, calling for their respective frequencies, in such a way that bass signals will not run on the treble cable, and vice versa. So, the frequencies separate themselves out, going only to their respective sides of the crossover circuit and on to the relevant speakers...
The benefits of this are that the higher frequencies aren't hampered by the voltages of bass frequencies and, although less damaging, the same for the bass. This should bring about less 'mush' in the treble and a tighter bass.
There is lots of info about this, here's the relevant Wiki page on the subject.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bi-wiring. The 3rd linked reference article is a little harsh (biased), but check this one out, it's a detailed study, which appears to have been seriously undertaken by University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~jcgl/Scots_Guide/audio/biwire/Page1.html

The upshot of all this is that I decided to bite the bullet!  :-X

After figuring out that I had just enough speaker cable (79 strand copper) with just one, soldered join, I dug out my cutters, sharp knife, soldering iron and solder.

I had to add on a splice, about an inch from the amplifier end, in order to feed out 2 cables, since, like most amps, mine wouldn't accept 2 x 79 strand cables at the speaker terminal. They only just accepted one....  ???

2 hours later and I was good to go. I stress that I thoroughly checked the phasing and connections, since, an error could at best sound bad and at worst cause damage..... (in fact I had made a mistake, which I corrected before switching on  :-[~:)

The results?
Initial impressions were mixed. It sounded somewhat bright, albeit clear. I removed empty wine glasses, just in case....  ;D
I also decided to angle my monitors inwards, slightly, from their direct forward position. I had tried this before to no benefit.
So, today, sitting and listening with fresh ears, I like it!  ;D
Yup, the tops are cleaner and the bass is certainly tighter, resulting in more definition and clarity.  8)
So, for me it has been a beneficial exercise. Though, I should point out that these monitors are designed to be wired this way, having 2 sets of binding posts at the rear, joined by a metal link. It has been commented that changing the link for a good quality cable link will also bring about good results. This I didn't try (didn't sound like so much fuss and fun, LOL).

So, there you have it! I just wondered if anyone else had tried this......

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Offline agradeleous

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Re: Bi-wired loudspeakers
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 12:32:24 PM »
Cool , my tower speakers are bi ampable had them set up that way many years ago .

Online whitestrat73

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Re: Bi-wired loudspeakers
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 12:37:39 PM »
Bi-amping is something else, Ags. You'll need 2 power amps and an active crossover............  ;)
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Offline agradeleous

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Re: Bi-wired loudspeakers
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 06:46:37 PM »
Oops my bad I see now ;)

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Re: Bi-wired loudspeakers
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 12:38:26 PM »
I still don't understand what it is?

Kind of got confused by OPs first message  ;D

Did you mean on this type of Bi Wiring over Hi-Fi system?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bi-wiring

Edit: Now I see what you meant and that you even posted the wiki link. My browser hasn't loaded the entire message of yours lol

Online whitestrat73

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Re: Bi-wired loudspeakers
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 04:33:56 PM »
I know, it's not so easy to understand, at first hearing....  ::)

A week ago I did some more messing around.
First, I put wooden wedges between the table supporting the monitors and the wall. There is no movement of the desk, now, where there was some before. Another improvement..... I remember the old Linn Isobarik speakers used to have a metal bar at the back, to be pushed against the wall. Stops the bass speaker throw from pushing the cabinet backwards and losing bass definition.

Also, since I had been using carpet underlay to stop the monitors from sliding on the desk, I decided to use a better system. They need raising, a little, so I cleaned up some house bricks, to use as risers, then put adhesive felt pads under the speakers, to stop scratches. Wow, another tightening up.....  8)

Rigidity, rigidity, rigidity....  ;)

I also noted that having the studio door closed helps an awful lot to improve sound overall. I guess the sound was getting messed up in the hall....  :-X
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Re: Bi-wired loudspeakers
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 04:05:40 AM »
Does it not rock to do these experiments yourself?! The wiring thing I have not done, but making my surfaces more rigid, along with PROPERLY placed acoustic treatment has done wonder for my listening position. When I mover it was way easier to set everything up since I was not 2nd guessing myself.

I need to try the wiring soon, I have all the toys sitting hear......
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Re: Bi-wired loudspeakers
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 02:15:24 PM »
Rock, it does, Mr S!  :)

To be honest, I have been a little (lot) lazy about setting up. Most of the tweaks I learned from my days in top level hi-fi, 40 years ago, so I should have been paying better attention. Though, in my defense, I was in a bit of a hurry getting stuff placed, when I moved in, having to decorate, lay carpets and set beds, furniture, TV, hi-fi and studio gear up in a week....  ???

Good luck with the wiring thing. I assume your crossovers are split (highs and mids/lows), to accommodate the bi-wiring....? Though, I guess it isn't rocket science to do mods needed.

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