New set of speaker cables. Is it worth bi-wiring? VDH Clearwater

vitalion

Active Member
Hello,

Just moved in a new house and due to the arrangement of the living room and the TV I need to change my setup in terms of gear positioning.
I have a 2 channel setup with a Rotal RA-12 and a pair of B&W DM603 S3. The speaker were connected with a pair 1.5m The Chord Company Clearway (unterminated) cables.

Now due the distance difference i will need approximately 5.5m cable for each speaker I am looking at Van Den Hul Clearwater. Based on my research it has good overall reviews and is decently priced at my local dealer.

Now the question is: Is it worth it to pay the extra cash for bi-wiring ? (double the length of the cable + 4 Audioquest banana plugs. Based on that I am looking at almost doubling my initial cost)

And another "sub-question" is it possible to bi-wire any kind of speaker cable? or are there any criteria that i need to know? quickly searching online I found no info on bi-wiring Van Den Hul Clearwater.

Any thoughts or suggestion welcome.

thanks

V.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi. I've never heard a difference bi-wiring and there's no real reason why it would make much of a difference, so I'd say save your money.
In my opinion, it's just a way for cable manufacturers to shift more product.
 
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Nico72

Active Member
No it is in not worth it.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Agree with the above, if the wire is AWG14 (ideally 13awg) or thicker (c.2.5sq.mm cross section) and oxygen free copper then you are fine up to 10m length. The Van Den Hul Clearwater is AWG 14 and OFC (but silver coated) so all is good (£90ish per pair). However you could get the same results from Kabeldirekt 2.5sq.mm for around £20 From Amazon.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
IMO banana plugs make no difference to sound compared to bare wire, assuming the bare wire is not corroded (blackened colour) and is tightly clamped. Banana plugs provide convenience if swapping cables regularly and also remove the potential for a short caused by a stray strand of wire touching both terminals.
 
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acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
IMO banana plugs make no difference to sound compared to bare wire, assuming the bare wire is not corroded (blackened colour) and is tightly clamped. Banana plugs provide convenience if swapping cables regularly and also remove the potential for a short caused by a stray strand of wire touching both terminals.
I think I'm right in saying that well fitted banana plugs also slow the deterioration of your cable ends.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I think I'm right in saying that well fitted banana plugs also slow the deterioration of your cable ends.

I think if they are the air tight sealed ones (I think there is a tradename Airloc ?) but more aren't. If you are putting the plugs on yourself then covering the joint with heatshrink may help a bit.
 
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acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
I think if they are the air tight sealed ones (I think there is a tradename Airloc ?) but more aren't. If you are putting the plugs on yourself then covering the joint with heatshrink may help a bit.
Mark Grant did mine. Very professional looking and look well sealed.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I'm in agreement with the above, save your money, bi-wiring makes no difference. I use banana plugs simply for convenience.
 
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I'm in agreement with the above, save your money, bi-wiring makes no difference. I use banana plugs simply for convenience.
Try using some contact cleaning spray a couple of times a year. While I usually biwire and think it makes a slight difference. Currently I'm using Kudos X2 speakers and they can't be biwired, so have shotgun connected my cables. Contact cleaning is even better.
 
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Hear Here

Active Member
Now the question is: Is it worth it to pay the extra cash for bi-wiring ? (double the length of the cable + 4 Audioquest banana plugs. Based on that I am looking at almost doubling my initial cost)

Simple answer - NO. You double the cost but add only marginally to sound quality, if any. Better to spend a little more and get a single pair of better cables. You can afford to pay double the price, but that may not be necessary to get a far bigger improvement than bi-wiring.

Unless you want exotic over-priced "audiophile" cables, I’d suggest you look at the brands that recording studios use and buy by the mile! These are hugely better value than audiophile cables. Brands such as Duelund, Van Damme, Canare, Mogami. You can often get these by the meter and add your own (good quality) banana plugs or spades.

Duelund are particularly good and come in a range of thicknesses. For long runs with low efficiency speakers or low impedance ones, go for thicker cables. They come in 20, 16 and 12 gauge, the 12 being the thickest. They are tinned copper cores with cotton and oil sleeve – and not very flexible. Tricky to strip off the covering and both inner sleeves are black so a meter may be needed to add the right coloured plugs. Available from HiFiCollective in the UK. Here's the 16 guage version - Duelund Dual DCA16GA tinned copper multistrand wire in cotton and oil | HIFICollective

Peter
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Simple answer - NO. You double the cost but add only marginally to sound quality, if any. Better to spend a little more and get a single pair of better cables. You can afford to pay double the price, but that may not be necessary to get a far bigger improvement than bi-wiring.

Unless you want exotic over-priced "audiophile" cables, I’d suggest you look at the brands that recording studios use and buy by the mile! These are hugely better value than audiophile cables. Brands such as Duelund, Van Damme, Canare, Mogami. You can often get these by the meter and add your own (good quality) banana plugs or spades.

Duelund are particularly good and come in a range of thicknesses. For long runs with low efficiency speakers or low impedance ones, go for thicker cables. They come in 20, 16 and 12 gauge, the 12 being the thickest. They are tinned copper cores with cotton and oil sleeve – and not very flexible. Tricky to strip off the covering and both inner sleeves are black so a meter may be needed to add the right coloured plugs. Available from HiFiCollective in the UK. Here's the 16 guage version - Duelund Dual DCA16GA tinned copper multistrand wire in cotton and oil | HIFICollective

Peter
That duelund looks interested but 16awg is only 1.5sq.mm cross section (but still good for 7.5m runs at 4ohm load) but at £20 per meter is looks expensive for what it is compared to the Van Damme blue 2.5sq.mm and especially the Kabeldirekt.
 
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3rdignis

Active Member
I removed the jumper bars on my speakers and ran each single cable through two terminals. Sounds different to me, I also don't like silver cable.
 
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Hear Here

Active Member
That duelund looks interested but 16awg is only 1.5sq.mm cross section (but still good for 7.5m runs at 4ohm load) but at £20 per meter is looks expensive for what it is compared to the Van Damme blue 2.5sq.mm and especially the Kabeldirekt.
I think you've fallen into the old trap of confusing wire gauge with mm diameter and sq mm.

The 12 gauge wire offered by Duelund is 4 sq mm according to this conversion chart - Cross Reference AWG to MM2 | Multi/Cable Corporation - so should be more accurately compared with Van Damme 4.0 sq mm cable. However the Duelund is supposedly a superior cable. It uses a better dielectric and the copper is tin coated. It is more costly (I think the 12 gauge is £27 pm + VAT) compared with Van Damme Blue 4 sq mm (about £7 + VAT), but that's still a fraction the cost of "hi-fi" cables.
 
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acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Van Damme Blue 4 sq mm (about £7 + VAT)
All you'd ever need to spend. I'm pretty confident that in double blind testing this would sound identical to any "hifi" cable you cared to compare it to. A cable needs to be fit for purpose. Not a hard thing.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I think you've fallen into the old trap of confusing wire gauge with mm diameter and sq mm.

The 12 gauge wire offered by Duelund is 4 sq mm according to this conversion chart - Cross Reference AWG to MM2 | Multi/Cable Corporation - so should be more accurately compared with Van Damme 4.0 sq mm cable. However the Duelund is supposedly a superior cable. It uses a better dielectric and the copper is tin coated. It is more costly (I think the 12 gauge is £27 pm + VAT) compared with Van Damme Blue 4 sq mm (about £7 + VAT), but that's still a fraction the cost of "hi-fi" cables.
No problems, I was going by the link you put in your answer which was for the 16awg version not the 12awg version.
 
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spinaltap

Distinguished Member
VDH produce excellent cables: I used VDH TeaTrack to bi-amp a previous system.

Even so, I strongly advise borrowing demonstration cables from your dealer to try on your own system at home.
 
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vitalion

Active Member
hello again,

wow very helpful. thank you all for the info and the in detail explanation of the tech stuff. appreciated.

Anyhow. After spending some time online and doining some more digging, I am thinking of ordering a pair of Blue Jeans Cable Ten White, with Welded Terminations. (15 foot = aprox. 6m each)

Express delivery all the way from US to my country costs less than any other option from brands like QED, Chord Company etc. (let alone bi-wiring)

As i have found on-line is a good balance of quality / price so i am thinking of pulling the trigger sometime tomorrow.

any thoughts on that?

cheers
 
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Hear Here

Active Member
hello again,

wow very helpful. thank you all for the info and the in detail explanation of the tech stuff. appreciated.

Anyhow. After spending some time online and doining some more digging, I am thinking of ordering a pair of Blue Jeans Cable Ten White, with Welded Terminations. (15 foot = aprox. 6m each)

Express delivery all the way from US to my country costs less than any other option from brands like QED, Chord Company etc. (let alone bi-wiring)

As i have found on-line is a good balance of quality / price so i am thinking of pulling the trigger sometime tomorrow.

any thoughts on that?

cheers
I've bought direct from the US in the past some quite good cables. Unless you get clobbered for VAT, duty and maybe a handling charge by the courier, they are generally very good value. Blue Jeans cables seem good value though I have no first-hand experience. Good luck.

Another place to look is at the used market at sites such as HiFiForSale.com I've bought stuff through that site (including a truly bargain pair of speakers) or you can go to HiFiShark.com to look at what's available world-wide. You can ask for alerts if a particular item comes up with filters such as Europe only. This is a meta-data site so just offers links to adverts in hifi outlats around the world - including HiFiForSale, Ebay, etc. But beware there are plenty of scammers that use this site. Best to buy in person if possible unless it diverts you to a known outlet such as Ebay. Peter
 
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daddy999

Active Member
I use Van Den Hul Clearwater speaker cable, I don’t use banana plugs, never had a problem. I’ve never heard any difference when Bi-wiring, but then I’m getting old!

The VDH is really good quality cable at a reasonable price and would say worth the investment.
 
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vitalion

Active Member
I've bought direct from the US in the past some quite good cables. Unless you get clobbered for VAT, duty and maybe a handling charge by the courier, they are generally very good value. Blue Jeans cables seem good value though I have no first-hand experience. Good luck.

Another place to look is at the used market at sites such as HiFiForSale.com I've bought stuff through that site (including a truly bargain pair of speakers) or you can go to HiFiShark.com to look at what's available world-wide. You can ask for alerts if a particular item comes up with filters such as Europe only. This is a meta-data site so just offers links to adverts in hifi outlats around the world - including HiFiForSale, Ebay, etc. But beware there are plenty of scammers that use this site. Best to buy in person if possible unless it diverts you to a known outlet such as Ebay. Peter
Thanks for that. i might have a look there.
Have you ever tried or do you know Analogue Seduction ? They deliver in my country with reasonable delivery rates. to be honest i shop online mainly from amazon and computer universe so i ma not very familiar with other online shops for electronics etc
 
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acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
This is the way forwards. They'll do terminated for not a huge amount more.

 
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Hear Here

Active Member
Have you ever tried or do you know Analogue Seduction ?
Not that particular company. I've found US suppliers very honest and reliable. Try to find reviews of the cables you have in mind. The last cables I bought from US were solid silver ones that I thought would suit my speakers. I'm torn between these and standard copper ones, but also considering a change to Duelund ones as I mentioned above. Since Jim Smith (probably the ultimate guy in equipment optimising and former US distributor for expensive brands) has recently down-costed his own system and uses Duelund speaker and interconnect cables, I'm inclined to follow his choice. Peter
 
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