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Triwire or better cable?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by daninthemix, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    I know this has been covered before somewhere, to some degree, and not necessarily with a satisfactory conclusion.

    I would like people's opinions, on whether a decent Triwire cable like Kimber Trifocal-X, would be best-ed by a single run of something better, like Kimber Select, for instance - using the gold linkers across the three speaker terminals.

    Any takers?
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Now thats a good question.....at this price level,the best thing to do is to try the Trifocal vs the Select.
    Russ Andrews(www.russandrews.com)may well be willing to let you listen on a try/return basis until you find the one you like best.....I use Kimber 8TC in several runs in my own system and am very happy with the quality.

    The problem at this price level is that both solutions have their own specific advantages,and the only way is to try.
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I settled on 8TC and ditched those jumpers replacing them with dedicated 8TC ones.:blush:
     
  4. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Both cables are, in fact, silly money. But www.stereotimes.com reviewed the top of the line Select cable, and - even though the cable cost more than both the amp and speakers - was an enormous upgrade even over the Bifocal-XL: http://www.stereotimes.com/cables081402.shtm

    But one of only two dealers whose opinions I trust (both in the US BTW) recommended the Select to me for my proposed system.

    Goddamnit! Why do Kef have to put tri-wire terminals on those speakers! It only confuses matters!!

    BTW Beekeeper - I have to thank you again for advice on getting the new Kef Refs - I love em, and can't see myself ever replacing 'em!

    I will maybe go for Chord amplification with them now, but hopefully I'll get a chance to hear the two working together next Sat at the Bristol show.
     
  5. Zig

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    I think Russ himself recommends a better quaility single cable and ditching the plated links for his little jumper leads rather than bi or tri-wiring but as always it is in the ears of the beholder.
    I too settled for 8TC complete with jumpers but got mine at a bargain pre-owned price from his shop :D , another bonus to living in the Lakes. :clap:
     
  6. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Right, I decided to get off my arse and do some tests. All tests done on my Kef Refs which have tri-wire terminals.

    I have been using two runs of 8TC going from the two speaker terminals per speaker on my Marantz KI amp - one to the bass/mid, and one to the treble. I would say the system is not entirely neutral - both the bass and the treble seem emphasised, at the expense of the mid.

    First test - I change it so one run of 8TC is going to the bass only, and the other to the mid/treble. I immediately notice that the excess bass has gone, and the treble also is slightly less prominant. Why this is I have no idea, but also the mid/treble seems to integrate better - it's more seamless, more coherant.

    Next, I use only one run of 8TC and link all three terminals with Kef's linking widget. Bingo - the smooth integration of mid/treble is now extended into the bass also, and for the first time, my system is entirely neutral. Transients are just as good, and if anything imaging is slightly sharper.

    I am officially a convert to the single-cable crew. I have no idea why - perhaps phase shift or uneven impedance or something throws a spanner in the works, but it just sounds more...'right' with the single run bridged across all three terminals. If I do upgrade my cable, it'll be to single runs of Select.

    I am in no way making sweeping statements about bi-wiring here - but these are my findings based on my amp-speaker interaction, and how changing the cabling changed that interaction.
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I will happily post some 8TC 'links' down to try if you want. Not a catalogue number from RA but a special for thiose of us who live in the lakes.
     
  8. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Thankyou for the kind offer Beekeeper, but I'll stick with the Kef things as they seem to work okay.

    BTW I wasn't too bothered about upgrading to Kimber Select until I got the chance to get some Kimber Select interconnects on the cheap - now I feel I should 'match' that quality of cable further down the line.

    It's been a most useful test that I did today though - potentially saved myself loads on extranious cable runs!
     
  9. sinister_stu

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    My opinion of all this: The placebo effect. All of these differences you suggest are probably down to you telling yourself that you hear something different. The only real way for you to test this would be to perform "double-blind" tests using the configurations you suggest.
     
  10. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    OK - even if it is the placebo effect, it still makes sense to save money by using only one run of cable!
     
  11. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    FWIW, bi/tri-wiring definetly makes a difference, but speaking personally, its not a difference that I personally like very much. It seems to give slightly better seperation, and perhaps a touch more air to proceedings, but for sheer groove factor and coherence from top to bottom, single wiring wins it for me as well...

    Indeed, as you say, whether or not its placebo, at least your not wasting money on 3 lengths of cable, which would truly be crap if indeed it made no difference anyway...
     
  12. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    Hmm I just know I shouldn't say this but...... oh well here goes.

    I defy anyone to be able to tell the difference between normal ofc 79 strand copper and any other super cable in a normal setup situation. I have seen pro mixing studeo's that use mains flex to connect their amps the the speakers and they were more than happy with the results. The only time that more esoteric cable has a place is in long runs where the possiblity of induced interference plays a part.

    This is not a point I make from a uneducted standpoint. I have bought very expensive cable in the past and even convinced myself that it was a wise investment but over the years the self delusion has been replaced by a little common sense.

    OK how was I converted from the dark side, well in 2002 I took a visit to CES. There was a guy their who had laid down a challenge to all comers. Put simply he was offering anyone a bet $20,000 if they could tell the differnce between standard 79 strand ofc and any other cable they wished to adition against it. All you had to do was pick to correct cable in a double blind setup.
    The whole time I was their no-one would take the callenge even after he reduced to bet to 4-1 odds. Normally I think double blind testing in AV is not possible but as the components remain the same and only the wire changes this is the one area wher it can be done

    I use 168 strand ofc platted into one cable for both my HT and Hi-Fi systems this works out around £8 per meter. the only reason I use 168 over 79 is that my systems are very high power and cable resistance starts to play a part.

    Phil (now prepared to die for my beliefs :rolleyes: )
     
  13. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Fair enough Phil, but what has that got to do with biwiring?
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    How can I miss a challenege like this :devil:

    Phil

    I have to say you are talking loads of truth here. :blush: Damn I wanted an argument as well!

    There are occasional times when a technically better cable 'can' help (RFI / Kimber) but I hold with what you have said. For most cases no one can tell the difference. It is virtually always explained by placebo / level changes etc. When you 'control' the test people can't tell the difference. I and others have made similar challenges but no one wants to take the test....


    Good honest cable and like you I have been through many :blush:
     
  15. sinister_stu

    sinister_stu
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    At last, someone is talking sense on this thread.
    Bi/tri wiring really doesn't make a great deal of difference. I would like it if someone could explain to me, in scientific terms, why it is that bi-wiring creates a different sound. After all, they are both electrically the same.

    Anyone?
     
  16. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    Bi wiring is suposed to allow a cleaner signal path to the tweeter because the cable is not being asked to carry a large current. That fact that the ouput stage of the amp is still supplying the current seems to cloud this "benefit".

    Bi/Tri amping is suposed to help because the output stages of the amp are only been asked to supply a portion of the frequency response. this does have an effect but is not based on the wire. the problem here is that this method can often produce phase variation in the sound due to the high frequencies travelling at a different speed to the low frequencies down the wires.

    Niether approach actually adds anthything to the overall sound and often introduces colouring into the soundfield.

    In the final anaysis wire is wire. The main attribute that effects its performance as a transmission medium is its resistance. I can say that you would be better investing in the accoustics of your listening room, this is wher you can make dramatic improvements to the sound.

    Phil
     
  17. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Phil, are you saying bi-amping has no benefit either? Not a dig BTW, as I havent tried it, but curious... I've always been of the opinion that you are better off getting a better amplifier than adding another of the same type of amplifier to "bi-amp"...
     
  18. sinister_stu

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    Its only the return length of the cable (the black one) which carries a different signal when you bi-wire speakers. Each part of the crossover still gets the same signal from the amplifier. This is where my problem with bi/tri-wiring lies.
     
  19. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    Like most things in the AV world the results of bi/tri amping are subjective. In my own experience the phase distortion introduced into the sound stage can only be removed by adding more processing before the power stage, this is never a good solution. I personally think that a better amp and/or speakers is a better investment.

    Phil
     
  20. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    True but this is post processed signal ie its gone through the drivers. the feed is the same.

    phil
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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  22. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Phil.

    Don't spare the technicals i am fully conversant, i am interested in your "phase distortion into the soundfield" (via i presume bi/tri-amping). I would like to hear your findings, are you saying via A/B comparisons you were able to hear clear audible variations in phase distortion (as opposed to perhaps the more obvious/expected differences )between a single amp driven, crossover bridged speaker and a bi--amped equivalent, just how did these variances manifest themselves in this instance,
    Interest piqued!

    Steve
     
  23. sinister_stu

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    That's what I said. I to would be interested in what you have to say about phase distortion like steve.EX. Make it as technical as you like, I'll try to keep up;) .
     
  24. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    We'll tell you when you go too fast :lesson:
     
  25. uncle eric

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    :rolleyes: :D
     
  26. EvilMudge

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    Oh dear, I crashed my circuit simulator.
    Just trying to get a handle on the bi-wiring theory, using two a circuit consisting of two sine wave generators, a switching transistor (biased, so class A operation) and two seperate links to a low pass and a high pass filter. I then used the scope trace simulation measuring the signal in both links, with a common ground connection. The result - it crashed. Okay, so this was a fairly simple simulation - it didn't take into account varying cable frequency response or anything like that - but the end result was still no result. I'll try an equivalent on a better simulator (not running on my crappy old PC) tomorrow and see if anything comes out of that.
     
  27. daninthemix

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    This is fun isn't it?!! Next up: Balanced vs. Unbalanced connections :devil:
     
  28. EvilMudge

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    We could be here all night!:D

    Oh yeah - Balanced adds additional distortion to the signal because an Op-Amp is necessary to convert back to unbalanced when going to a speaker - Discuss!:devil:
     
  29. daninthemix

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    I don't have enough experience to contribute that much :blush:

    However, 'ultimate' hifi from the likes of Audio Note, with the On-Gaku don't even no what XLR means. Perhaps that tells us something?
     

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