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Single cables to biwirable speakers

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Fush, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Fush

    Fush
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    Hi!
    My speakers are biwirable (see picture), but I only use a single cable for each of them. Which terminals should the cables be connected to in order to get the best sound? Here are some of the options:

    1. Both ends to the treble terminals (as in picture).
    2. Both ends to the bass.
    3. Minus to the bass and plus to treble (or vice versa?).
    4. Make the ends longer, and connect each end to both the bass and the treble.

    I think the jumpers (the metal plates between the terminals) that came with the speakers are not the best conductors. So if I go with 1-3 I'll probably replace the jumpers with some quality cable.

    I've tried option 1-3, and so far I think number 3 sounds best. But I'd like to know which option comes closest to biwiring them, electrically speaking. Will number 4 to the trick?

    Thanks for your input!
     

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  2. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    you could make a jumper cable using some spare speaker cable to replace the metal plates...as for what connections you should connect your speaker cables intop, I'm not sure - maybe there might be some info in the speaker manual..? tho, not sure that it makes any difference...
     
  3. Antpink

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    I can't see that it should matter, especially if you replace the jumpers with a very short length of decent cable. If option (3) sounds better, then stick with it - after all, nobody's written opinion should overrule your own preferred experiences.
     
  4. Fush

    Fush
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    Thanks for your replies. But what's the difference between using a small piece of cable as a jumper between two terminals, and just connecting the speaker cable to both of them? If I make the ends long enough, and just pull them through both the bass and the treble terminals, wouldn't that remove the need for separate jumpers?
     
  5. davehk

    davehk
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    For all practical purposes, None.

    And wrt the jumpers - most of them are thicker than any cable you are likely to use. They may be thin, but they are wide which means the CSA is high and the contact area with both the terminals and the incoming cable also high.

    I'll measure the jumpers from my GR20s and work out the CSA and post it (I've got them bi-amped, so the jumpers are in the case).
     
  6. alexs2

    alexs2
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    That will certainly work but does leave a modest length of bare wire exposed,and waiting for something to make contact with it.
    It's safer to use either the supplied jumpers,which aren't flexible,or a short length of your cable,with the insulation intact.

    There are plenty of aftermarket companies making and selling cable based jumpers for this purpose,and very happy to accept large sums for the privilege,but in practice this will make little if any difference,in comparison to the quality/length of cable run to the speaker itself.
     
  7. Fush

    Fush
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    OK, cool. I am quite interested in that result. Some people have told me that the jumpers that came with the speakers (see the picture in my first thread) are not as good as a pair of wires would be. My speakers are System Audio SA1280 MKII, by the way (Danish brand).
     
  8. davehk

    davehk
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    Looking at the pic I can see what they mean - they are not very wide. The GR20 links are 2cm wide all the way along - I'll post a pic too.
     
  9. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    The supplied jumpers are almost exclusively made from gold-plated brass so a length of copper wire would be technically superior and is the arrangement that I use. I would be very surprised if you could hear the difference though.

    Otherwise, option 1 usually looks the smartest with both leads going into the lower terminals. Option 2 looks a bit funny to me when there are a perfectly good set of terminals lower down. I suppose option 3 is technically the best and will no doubt impress your friends; but again, if you could hear a difference then something is seriously wrong somewhere else within the speaker. :)
     
  10. Fush

    Fush
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    Well, the thing is that if I connect both ends to just, say, the treble, and the jumpers don't lead electricity that well, then the bass won't get as much power as the treble will, right? It doesn't have to be anything more wrong with the speakers than just the jumpers. When I moved the cables from the treble terminals to the bass, I was sure that I could hear the bass better than before. But, then again, it's heard to tell if it was just my expectations that lead me to hear the difference, or if there really was one. Therefore I am interested in learning if there really is a technical difference. Will a wire that leads electricity better than the brass plates make a technical difference in how much power the elements will get?
     
  11. davehk

    davehk
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    Well, yes I guess. But let's put this in perspective:

    Assume the jumper is 2cm wide and 0.5mm thick, and that the distance between the terminals is 4cm.

    A brass jumper will have a resistance of 0.00014 Ohms. A copper one will be about half that - 0.0000672 Ohms. I doubt either is significant compared to any other aspec tof the signal path.
     
  12. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Dave, I agree that the difference is purely an academic one which has no real bearing in real-world listening but I think it's still worth pointing out since that was the original posters question.

    Fush, without meaning to be rude I think that you were hearing things. We've all done it! The supplied jumpers will conduct electricity just fine so you needn't worry about it. As myself and Dave have just described - there is a difference but under these circumstances it's purely academic. :)
     
  13. Fush

    Fush
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    I may very well have been hearing things. Nevertheless, the brass plate will lead to a difference in how much power the different elements will get, albeit a very small one. This is true even if the difference is not of a significant magnitude compared to other parts of the system. The question though is if this difference is hearable or not.
     
  14. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Practically speaking,unless the jumpers are of truly awful quality,this shouldn't be a problem,but does lead you back into the realms of various cables sounding better than others,which is a rather larger can of worms overall!
     
  15. GW43

    GW43
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    This issue has got me thinking on more than one occassion. However, I came to the conclusion that why on earth would a respectable speaker manufacturer such as (insert your fave here!) supply a speaker with such a weak link (no pun intended). The jumpers will cost buttons to make - better quality ones (if there is such a thing), two buttons! Still not a lot of money compared to the overall price of the speakers. I would hope no respectable manufacturer would wish to compromise their reputation by trying to save half of sod-all!

    Therefore I would assume the ones supplied will do the job perfectly adequately. I would be interested to see the dimensions from the guy who offered to measure his GR20 jumpers - to see if they are the same as in my MA Silver S1s.

    I would say by all means replace them with an offcut length of speaker cable if you wish, but don't expect anything earth-shattering in terms of performance improvement. And please don't encourage the snake-oil merchants by buying anything ready-made to do the job.
     
  16. Fush

    Fush
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    Well, I just got the reply from a mail I sent to the manufacturers of my speakers. They're of the opinion that there is no difference between the ways you can connect a single wire to a biwirable speaker. So does that mean that the following quote from SoundCity is just bogus:

    "When using a single set of cables to a BiWirable speaker, you might as well do it properly … it costs nothing and makes a difference you can hear. When using jumpers (factory supplied or replacements), be sure to put both red and black connectors to the treble input of a 3-way or panel-hybrid. Bass is less sensitive to having the jumpers in the signal path.

    For 2-way speakers, be sure to put red to treble and black to bass … this is the only way to preserve the tonal voice the speaker designer intended."

    (You can read the whole piece here.)
     
  17. davehk

    davehk
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    OK, I measured the links from my MA GR20s. They are 0.6mm thick, gold plated brass. They are 15.7mm wide. This gives them a CSA of 9.4mm^2 - which is much thicker than most speaker cables. The inter-terminal distance is 20mm.

    So their resistance is about 0.000074 Ohms!

    So, IMO, the statement quoted above is a load of twaddle. Especially since, if you look at the spectral power distribution of a typical music signal, > 60% of the power is in the bass region, so most current flows to the bass drivers.
     
  18. Fush

    Fush
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    Thanks a lot for your insight. I'm quite new to the audiophile community. But I am amazed by how many examples of pseudo-science, unsupported claims, and "the emperors new clothes" I have come across, especially with regards to cables.
     
  19. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Welcome to the wonderful world of cables and interconnects!

    You do have to be very careful about what you read,and to interpret everything with a pinch of salt at hand.

    Sometimes changing or upgrading cables can make a clearly audible difference,and often the reverse is true,which is why when I've done anything like that,I've always tried before buying wherever possible.

    Simply be very careful with your money,and be sure you really can hear any differences.
     
  20. pwood

    pwood
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    Just dont ever leave the jumpers in place and then connect up both set of terminals or it will be terminal!! Apologies if you already know this but I thought it best to mention it.
    Whilst Russ Andrews.com cables may be deemed expensive by some on these forums there is a lot of advice regards bi-wiring or not on their website.
     
  21. davehk

    davehk
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    Only if you are bi-amping. No problem if you are just bi-wiring.
     
  22. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Out of curiosity what would happen, would this fuse the amp and damage the crossovers?
     

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