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Speaker Cables

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by Mike-D, May 11, 2005.

  1. Mike-D

    Mike-D
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    Now I know that this is regarded as a bit of a taboo subject here. There have been some (hopefully) tongue in cheek warnings about resurrecting old arguments, still here goes: -

    1) Bi-Wiring. Is there any real benefit in bi-wiring from a 700:7r? Both sets of wires are going to have to go into a single plug at the amp. Speakers are Monitor Audio Studio 12's and a Gold Centre.

    I have to say that I have never heard a very convincing technical explanation of why bi-wiring should sound better although it seems the majority are satisfied that it does. Doesn't seem to have been TAG's priority though and I note the Calliopes don't have bi-wire connections, and that this was a deliberate decision rather than an omission.

    2) Cable Length. It has always been considered good practice to keep both cables to a pair of speakers the same length. I'm wondering whether this is still quite so important with something like an AV32DP where imbalances can be corrected electronically. What do you think?

    I'm asking here rather than in a more general forum because, well the standard and authority of advice offered by some of the regular contributors is second to none. (Now that I've built you up guys, hope it doesn't deteriorate into a slanging match :devil: )
     
  2. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Once more into the breech....
    Bi-wiring is largely a gimmic and gives questionable benefits in a lot of cases, much depends on what your replacing in the first place and simply fitting better single cable runs might also give better results, if the cross sectional area of the cable is specced so it is more than capable of carrying the maximium current the system can deliver I'd not worry any more....... A lot of speakers don't give two pairs of speaker connections as they don't believe in it either, others might due to market pressure......
    Bi-Amping is entirely different and offers genuine benefits most of the time given suitable worthy components.

    Cable length, well as long as you are using good cable a mismatch won't be any concern for a good design amp as long as you don't get carried away and make them wildly different (several metres or more).... The difference between a 2 metre cable and a five metre one is all but zero for any make worthy of being called decent speaker cable.... If people have massive mismatches they tend to locate the amp with the speaker and use long interconnects instead.....
     
  3. Mike-D

    Mike-D
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    Thanks Graham, that sounds sensible to me.

    Do I take it that everyone agrees?:devil:
     
  4. edward

    edward
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    A related question... what is the minimum number of turns needed to make an audible difference when a lead to a speaker has been coiled up? My leads are the same length but the distance between the amp and the speakers is about 6 metres different - hence the surplus of cable in the amp's current location.
     
  5. Rich W

    Rich W
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    Graham,

    Could the benefits of bi-amping be obtained for stereo by passively splitting the output from the processor using Y configured interconnects and using four of the seven blocks in the 700:7r (e.g. the surround ones, in unbridged mode)?

    regards
    Rich
     
  6. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Shorten the cable??
    Coil it up in a nice large coil will make no difference at all, say a 12" circle? Wrapping around a nice big lump of steel might though but you wouldn't do that would you.... In short worry not....
     
  7. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Splitting the processors output to two amp channels is just about the only way to get the feed to two amps as the AV only has one set of outputs :D What you suggest is perfectly sensible and the 100:7r and the 100:10r design had this in mind when they built the things.. Bi-amping gives you about another 4dB of headroom which depending on what speakers you have should be noticable.. Of course if your already using all 7 channels of the amp you haven't got any spare channels....... Only do this on spare amp channels......Each amp module only goes to one speaker! Oh and you need two sets of terminals on the speaker and you also need to remove the linking straps from them if you are to bi-amp (very important!!!).
     
  8. Rich W

    Rich W
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    Guess I asked for that :) Just wanted to check if you were advocating this straight-forward approach to splitting the signal or the alternative of using active filters and messing about removing speaker crossover circuits :eek: , etc etc.
    I'm waiting for some splitter interconnects from Mark Grant at the moment so its nice to know in advance its not a totally duff idea. On the other hand, not sure the extra 'headroom' will matter - and can't you get this just by bridging? So is there a genuine benefit to bi-amping this way?
    One other thought - Ecosse (amongst others??) do a bi-wire cable that uses solid core for the treble and multistrand for the bass - could this specialisation be a valid reason to bi-wire?
    regards
    Rich
     
  9. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Getting a separate amp to drive each part of the crossover is the idea here. What do you mean by "bridging"?? A "Bridged" amp is one that was stereo and is now mono (but more powerful), you need two to bi-amp still.... I won't tell you what I think about "Ecosse" (amongst others) that use different cables for each bit of the bi-amping connections.... :rotfl:
     
  10. Spen69

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    Well, I know nothing about the rocket science mumbo jumbo, but I can tell you my experiments with monoblocks and active cross-overs left me with two very distint results:

    The first was gob-smacked at the increase in quality. You basically remove something that cost about £2.50 strapped into the back of your beautifully sculptured cabinet housing fantastically engineered drivers, and replacing it with something equally engineered. Like removing a big, woolen blanket off the front :D

    The second was skint as I ended up with 8 monoblocks driving my front stereo floorstanding pair which was very silly. I now have a two-way pair of standmounters that amaze anyone who hears them, powered by a 250x2R and a 100x2R amp. The active cross-overs were built by a friend of mine, so if you bump me a mail, I'll put you in touch with him :smashin:

    If you live anywhere near Sheffield you can come and have a listen. Failing that, anywhere near Oxford and my mate will convince you in seconds to try AXO's as an experiment :thumbsup:

    Spencer
     
  11. Rich W

    Rich W
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    Go on, go on, go on :devil:

    The 700:7r allows four of the seven amp blocks (those marked for surround L/R and back L/R) to be used in bridged mode, so instead of 4 x 100w you get 2 x 150w.

    So, assuming you have all four of these blocks free to use just for the stereo left and right channels, e.g. with a 5.1 speaker system, you have a choice of either bi-amp or bridge (or, I guess, just don't use the spare blocks at all :eek: ).

    I don't know the maths, but guess you would get the same headroom advantage in either case? (should've paid more attention at school :suicide: )

    If so, the question then is whether it is still worthwhile bi-amping (which requires splitter interconnects and 4-4 terminated biwire speaker cable) or whether there is no advantage to be gained from this over simply using the same amp blocks in bridged mode?
     
  12. Rich W

    Rich W
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    Hi Spencer,
    Didn't want to even think about going there! And I'm skint already :(
    (But I'll PM you anyway ;) )
    Did you try passive bi-amping before going the whole hog? I don't really fancy unhooking the insides of my speakers (Proac Hexas, for the record).
    I live near Coventry, but if I'm heading near Sheffield... thanks for the offer :smashin:
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    In answer to that,if the power output in bridged mode is 150Wx2 as compared to 100W x 4 otherwise,the actual gain in volume terms from going to 150W would amount to 1.5dB,assuming all else remains unchanged....the gain would be minimal and probably inaudible.

    Having said that,most amps that are capable of being bridged show much greater power gains when run in that manner,usually doubling the unbridged output,but at the expense of being unable to run 4 ohm loads in most cases.....I don't know the 700x7R,but wonder if the figures are correct.
     
  14. Rich W

    Rich W
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    Hi Alexs2,

    Thanks for clarifying. Strange as they are, the figures do come from the manual: "The 700:7r provides seven channels of 100W into 8 Ohm (7.1 set-up), or can be instantly switched to give five channels of 100W and one channel of 150W (6.1 set-up), or three channels of 100W and two channels of 150W"

    I came across this link which describes merits of bi-amping vs bridging: http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/general/messages/57210.html
    ...and in particular this summary: "In almost all situations therefore, biamping with similar amps will result in better sound quality than bridging. Bridging is best left to professional sound-reinforcement applications, where sound quality is secondary."

    (Its not entirely clear whether this applies to passive as well as active bi-amping).

    regards
    Rich
     
  15. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi there...that is an odd set of figures,but obviously correct as you've said.

    My own feelings about bridging are that in some instances it can be very useful(e.g. if you have a stereo amp that can be bridged to give one fairly high powered channel for a single speaker),but otherwise what you get on one hand you may lose on another,especially in terms of load tolerance.

    I've used both passive and active systems previously,in both bi,and multiamped configs,and would come down very strongly in favour of single,high-powered amps for each drive unit where possible,rather than bridged...my previous system consisted of Linn Keltiks triamped with Krells(mixture of KMA's and KSA's),and the dynamic range and headroom was superb(leaving aside the fact that when we moved no amount of adjusting the crossovers could match the speakers to a timber-framed house!)...so as Spen69 says,the benefits of active crossovers can be huge,but it's also true that properly designed passives can do just as well,and a good example is the Wilson range.....passive XO's,single wired,and some of the best speakers anywhere in the world.
     
  16. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Nothing much to add to this last flurry, I'd also say that bridging a good amp yields quite a bit extra power normally, the 100x7r sounds (sorry) a bit more of a gimmic or more fairly flexibility.... Proper bi-amping means lots of amps, on eper speaker cone in fact...... Oh and 1.5dB increase should be audiable, less than a dB probably won't be unless blessed with "golden ears"... Proper bi-amping might yield 4dB more than a single amp setup, which is very noticable......
     
  17. roversd1

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    Udo always teased me on this but for years I have always used a single connection with the best power amp I could afford.

    Bi-wiring plays with the impedence, hence 'ooohh a better/ different/ etc' sound, whereas bi-amping seems to make a difference. But as tweeters need buggerall to get them going, it seems a shame to waste all that hardware?
     
  18. Rich W

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    Two, surely ;)

    Won't be investing more in amps will not be an option until the twins are through college :( But, I'm definitely going to try out using the split interconnects (when Mark gets his new cable stock in) with the speaker XOs in place. Sounds like this is more likely to provide a benefit than bridging the amps.

    Spencer's comments on AXOs were very pursuasive (and alexs2 and graham) so might try this route as a future, er, tweak. Does seem like this could provide much bigger benefits, as I can't imagine (in my naivity) that proac hexa satellites are really that challenging for the amp (particularly with music, and at moderate levels). I don't know how the XOs in the hexas stack up, but the speakers are ~£600 a pair, so they're not going to be the best.

    Just want to thank everyone for the great feedback.
    Rich.
     
  19. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    You need four amp mono outputs for bi-amping a stereo pair of speakers (those that only have a bass/mid and tweeter), this can be two stereo amps or better still a 100x4r or even better still 4 off 250MR monoblocks....
     

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