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  1. #1

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    Default Bi-Wire yes or no

    Hello,

    I have been searching on the forums but have not really found a clear answer. Is it worth the money to bi-wire my fronts. I just picked up a set of monitor 70s and 40s since they were on sale. I would also like to keep the budget low if I can. On bluejeans i can get 10 feet of bi-wired Canare 4S11 for $40. Is this good cable? Also should I spend the extra money and buy better cables or get non bi-wire cable?

    Iam fine with paying $40 or even more for a cable, but I would like to know if this is good before I go out and waste my money on it.

    Thanks for the input.

  2. #2

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    Are you one who buys into the whole "high end' cable thing? I personally don't; seems gauge matters more than brand or material and stranded over solid core. If you aren't big into "brand" cables, go to Home Depot and buy several feet of their $0.48 per foot 14 gauge speaker wire. Hook up your speakers w/single wire, then bi-wire them and see if it makes a difference to you.
    - Jeremy
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  3. #3

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    Hey ewbuster,

    some of the guys here especially like that canare stuff for DIY speaker cables since it holds up well and performs great for the buck.

    I personally do believe in 'better speaker cable/etc.' gig from first hand experience. My first upgrade was with BJC's Belden5000 wire when I got rid of my old monoprice and Monster XP speaker wire. Bass immediately improved but I wasn't sure about the mids/highs. It was still an upgrade nonetheless and as you can see now I upgraded to some of MITs affordable stuff. That'll change in the future as well I promise ya ;)

    If I were you though, I'd save my money and go with the single wire ends.

    Btw, welcome to CP.
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    Welcome to the Club!

    Go for the Bi-wire.
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  5. #5

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    A quick question about Bi-Wiring. The correct way to bi-wire is to get the cables with 2 connectors for the receiver and 4 connectors for the speakers, correct? This means the two positive ends come out of the same port on the receiver but then split before going into the speaker. I just want to make sure iam understanding this correctly and buying the right cables.

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    You are correct. The BJC 4S11 is a good choice for what you want. I'm a believer and know cables make a difference. Can't comment though on the benefits of bi-wiring. Some claim it makes a difference, while others I've read say not that significant. Let your ears decide. You could consider the AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cable with a traditional wiring configuration. Replace the metal jumpers with some wire. I've read some really good things about this cable. Good luck and welcome to CP.

    http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/greg15.htm

    http://www.musicdirect.com/product/72909
    Last edited by Keiko; 12-24-2009 at 07:25 AM.

  7. #7

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    BiAMPING can make a difference (varies according to each system), but biWIRING is a gimmick made up by wire manufacturers....IMNSHO
    TNRabbit
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  8. #8

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    I saw these AQ type 4 cables for sale. Is this a good price for these cables?

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90449

    Also I know this is all personal preference but is there a big difference in getting the AQ type 4 cable over the BJC 4S11?

  9. #9

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    I don't think you can go wrong, either way. I would avoid the cheap stuff and Monster Cable though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zitro View Post
    Are you one who buys into the whole "high end' cable thing? I personally don't; seems gauge matters more than brand or material and stranded over solid core. If you aren't big into "brand" cables, go to Home Depot and buy several feet of their $0.48 per foot 14 gauge speaker wire. Hook up your speakers w/single wire, then bi-wire them and see if it makes a difference to you.
    So far from the truth it isn't funny.
    A: Good cables can be had at a decent price
    B: Good cables tend to take longer to burn-in.
    C: Gauge is much less important than you think. My AQ Type 4's are around 17ga.
    D: Construction and material are way more important than Ga.
    E: Home depot wire sucks bad. It will most likely turn green, and belongs in the dumpster
    F: You said "seems that gauge matters more than brand or material and stranded over solid core" Sounds like you don't have much experience with better gear.

    Keiko said it best, and I second his post.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
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  11. #11

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    ewbuster, just want to mention also; The most noticeable effect will be with your choice of interconnect cables. Not sure what components you're working with, but some of the better, cost effective brands to look at are Blue Jeans, Signal and AudioQuest.

    I have a BJC digital coax and sub cable in my system that I've been real pleased with. Also an AudioQuest, Sidewinder between my source and a tube buffer that's very good.
    All the rest are MIT, AVt2 interconnects.

    http://signalcable.com/analog_interconnects.html

    http://www.musicdirect.com/product/72892

    If you mention you're a member of Club Polk to the folks at Signal Cable, you'll get a little bit of a discount.

    FYI



    And to Ben, Merry Christmas! Hope all is well with you, bro.

  12. #12

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    EW, welcome to Club Polk. Your understanding of bi-wiring, as detailed in your second post, isn't entirely correct. Any two-way speaker has to have the wiring split to feed the high and low frequency sections separately. With normal single external wiring the split occurs inside the speaker enclosure to allow the high and low frequency sections of the crossover to each receive a feed. Bi-wiring simply moves this split point back to the output terminal on the receiver/amplifier. This is of no significant difference electrically.

    As to your broader question about speaker wiring, an often-cited explanation of this by a veteran audio professional is found here . This has been of enormous help to many beginning listeners over the past few years in avoiding the wire charlatans who abound in our hobby. Ordinary wire(regardless of whether it's called lamp cord, power cord, zip cord, speaker wire, or whatever)of adequate gauge and costing maybe 20 or 30 cents a foot does this very simple electrical job as well as it can be done. Local electrical suppliers such as Home Depot and Lowes are a good source and low-cost suppliers such as MonoPrice are available online.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by John K. View Post
    As to your broader question about speaker wiring, an often-cited explanation of this by a veteran audio professional is found here . This has been of enormous help to many beginning listeners over the past few years in avoiding the wire charlatans who abound in our hobby. Ordinary wire(regardless of whether it's called lamp cord, power cord, zip cord, speaker wire, or whatever)of adequate gauge and costing maybe 20 or 30 cents a foot does this very simple electrical job as well as it can be done. Local electrical suppliers such as Home Depot and Lowes are a good source and low-cost suppliers such as MonoPrice are available online.


    Whatever you say, Johnny.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by John K. View Post
    Bi-wiring simply moves this split point back to the output terminal on the receiver/amplifier. This is of no significant difference electrically.
    Wrong! The impedance of the wire from the amp output terminals to the input of the crossover comes into play. It can, depending on several key variables, be audible or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by John K. View Post
    As to your broader question about speaker wiring, an often-cited explanation of this by a veteran audio professional is found here . This has been of enormous help to many beginning listeners over the past few years in avoiding the wire charlatans who abound in our hobby. Ordinary wire(regardless of whether it's called lamp cord, power cord, zip cord, speaker wire, or whatever)of adequate gauge and costing maybe 20 or 30 cents a foot does this very simple electrical job as well as it can be done. Local electrical suppliers such as Home Depot and Lowes are a good source and low-cost suppliers such as MonoPrice are available online.
    ...And it has deluded many more and caused an unbelievable number of people to miss untold better quality enjoyment from their systems. Sorry you've allowed yourself to be equally fooled John K!

    CoolJazz

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    Default Nordost

    I added Nordost Blue heaven rev2 bi-wire to lsi 25's and Center and it really seemed to wake them up.
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  16. #16

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    Special K strikes again now calling us charlatans. He and woger wussell are fools to think that they can tell us what we can or can not hear. Everyone is different. Again I can't tell the difference between good and cheap wine. Bottom line if you can't hear a difference sell the cable for what you put into them and move on.
    Ben
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  17. #17

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    Bi-wiring my M30's didn't do much, except calm down the tweeter a bit. Replacing the stock jumpers seemed to have more of a benefit.
    Last edited by Zitro; 12-25-2009 at 02:52 PM.
    - Jeremy
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    So far from the truth it isn't funny.
    A: Good cables can be had at a decent price
    B: Good cables tend to take longer to burn-in.
    C: Gauge is much less important than you think. My AQ Type 4's are around 17ga.
    D: Construction and material are way more important than Ga.
    E: Home depot wire sucks bad. It will most likely turn green, and belongs in the dumpster
    F: You said "seems that gauge matters more than brand or material and stranded over solid core" Sounds like you don't have much experience with better gear.

    Keiko said it best, and I second his post.
    In my experience, I disagree, and gauge DOES make a big difference (unless the run in short enough to make the difference negligible). You can't argue the physics of electrical signal transfer. There is plenty of debate as to the importance of speaker wire, what makes a "good" wire, and there is no set "truth". Many things in audiophilia are subjective anyways. I'll be dumping money into good source material before I buy "exotic" speaker wire.
    Last edited by Zitro; 12-25-2009 at 02:58 PM.
    - Jeremy
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    Edit: Let me say that I'm not saying that I don't believe speaker wire makes a difference, because it does. What I disagree with is peoples assumption that more expensive wire is automatically better. My dad is an electrical engineer and one of his work friends actually used to work for Audioquest and we all have discussed this, and even he said a lot of the hoopla over cables is junk. There are great cheap cable and ****ty costly cable. Producing a cable that transmits a clean signal is not expensive.
    - Jeremy
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zitro View Post
    Edit: Let me say that I'm not saying that I don't believe speaker wire makes a difference, because it does. What I disagree with is peoples assumption that more expensive wire is automatically better. My dad is an electrical engineer and one of his work friends actually used to work for Audioquest and we all have discussed this, and even he said a lot of the hoopla over cables is junk. There are great cheap cable and ****ty costly cable. Producing a cable that transmits a clean signal is not expensive.
    A: Nobody here thinks that the price dictates how good the wire is. Yes you usually get what you pay for, but there are some great deals out there.
    B: My AQ wire is very small guage and it sounds better than most heavier wires.
    C: My dad is a TV repair man. He has a bitchen set of tools.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    A: Nobody here thinks that the price dictates how good the wire is. Yes you usually get what you pay for, but there are some great deals out there.
    B: My AQ wire is very small guage and it sounds better than most heavier wires.
    C: My dad is a TV repair man. He has a bitchen set of tools.
    I'm not sure you can ever have too many good tools...

    I actually noticed MUCH more of a sonic difference when I switched from cheapo interconnect to Audioquest Viper I/C then I did switching from cheapo speaker wire to Audioquest speaker wire. Maybe my NAD equipment is more sensitive to good cables then my speakers are?
    - Jeremy
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNRabbit View Post
    BiAMPING can make a difference (varies according to each system), but biWIRING is a gimmick made up by wire manufacturers....IMNSHO
    +1 this is true !

  23. #23

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    IC's make more of a difference than speaker cables. My buddy and I used some AR IC's and we thought something was very wrong. I put my cables in the loop and the SDA came back, and the highs returned.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    IC's make more of a difference than speaker cables. My buddy and I used some AR IC's and we thought something was very wrong. I put my cables in the loop and the SDA came back, and the highs returned.
    +1
    Been told this plenty of times as well. IC's provide an even bigger difference than speaker cables do and I've learned that firsthand.
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    bi-wiring/amping is worth it IMHO.

    If you want to get a boost without spending much cash get a decent/good set of cable's, prefferably in bulk to save $$, and run those but yank the stock brass jumper plate's and replace them with a small section of speaker wire ;)
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    thanks for the input guys. I think iam just going to get some cable from bluejeans and do single ends with jumpers on the speakers. I may upgrade cables later when I have more money to spend.

    Should I use the 4S11 to jump on the speakers or should I use smaller cable, like 14-16awg?
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewbuster View Post
    Should I use the 4S11 to jump on the speakers or should I use smaller cable, like 14-16awg?
    Go with the Belden 5000UE 12AWG (.52/ft.) for this type of configuration. Replace the jumpers with a short piece of this wire. I ran with this cable for over a year on my front stage and still use it on my surround channels. It performs very well and I think you'll be quite happy with it. BJC can terminate it for you or diy to save some coin.

    Cheers

    Edit: I recommend you tin the ends of the wire and also treat with a squirt of Caigs, Deoxit. This will protect from oxidation and ensure a good connection.
    Last edited by Keiko; 12-26-2009 at 06:38 AM.

  28. #28

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    This is Polk Audio's recommendation for speaker wire.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/education/s...uestion_num=80
    http://www.polkaudio.com/education/article.php?id=51

    We recommend that you get stranded cable that is specifically designed for use with speakers, not just lamp cord or (heaven forbid) telephone wire. Your choice of wire can effect the sound quality of your system and we recommend better-quality branded wire such as Monster Cable, Kimber Kable, AudioQuest or the like. For connecting lengths less than 25 ft. use either #18 or #16 gauge, for connection lengths greater than 25 ft. but less than 50 ft. use either #16 or #14 and greater than 50 ft. use #14 or #12.
    This is Polk Audio's recommendation regarding bi-wiring and bi-amping.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/education/s...uestion_num=53

    Bi-wiring:
    In bi-wiring, one cable pair delivers high frequency information to the tweeter and a separate wire pair delivers low-frequency signal to the driver from the same amplifier. According to one theory, by providing each "half" of the signal a separate wire path, interference effects within the wire are reduced producing better sound. We're not in a position to explain in-depth, or for that matter prove or disprove this or any other theory. What we can do is tell you that in many systems, bi-wiring does indeed make an audible and worthwhile difference. The better the speakers and electronics you have and the more discerning a listener you are, the more likely bi-wiring will make a difference you will appreciate. I was shocked by the difference bi-wiring made with LSi9s in my listening room. The midrange "opened up," becoming clearer and more detailed with improved three-dimensional imaging. Voices and other midrange sounds were more "out-of-the-box" than with the single wire hookup. To bi-wire you need four lengths of speaker wire. For convenience and economy, most cable manufacturers offer bi-wire cable wherein two sets of cable are combined into one jacket. If you want to use the speaker cables you have now, just add a second set of the same cable. Be sure to remove the flat metal jumper cable between the terminal sets. Most receiver and amplifier speaker terminals allow you to connect two sets of wires as illustrated here. If that isn't possible with your equipment, you can use the "A" and "B" terminals and set the receiver's output to "A+B." It is all the same electrically but it is better to leave the "B" set of terminals free for connecting remote speakers. If you have lots of time on your hands and love to experiment, try mixing different types of wire for high and low frequency duties. Always use heavy gauge cable for the low frequency path. Try smaller gauge esoteric cable for the high frequency path. With a little experimentation you'll find a combination of wires that works best for your system.
    There is a lot of good information provided by Polk Audio, I hope this helps.

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    Here's my opinion on Bi-wiring: the slightly added bass presence and slightly increased high end presence is small.

    If one is going to Bi-wire from the very start, sure, go ahead and do it--don't forget to remove the metal jumpers from the speakers.

    If one is going to retroactively Bi-wire, having to turn the AVR around and then deal with all the other wires just to Bi-wire (and hopefully not accidentally disconnecting other wires or having them pull out of the twist-on banana plugs)--forget it, it's not worth the extra effort.
    Main room speakers setup, 5.1 surround sound setup: Pioneer VSX-517K AV receiver, Polk Audio Monitor 40 Front speakers, Polk Audio CSM Center speaker, Polk Audio M10 Surround speakers, Polk Audio PSW110 Subwoofer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewbuster View Post
    Iam fine with paying $40 or even more for a cable, but I would like to know if this is good before I go out and waste my money on it.
    Generally speaking, $40 worth of speaker wire goes with $300 electronics and speakers. Of course, with that level of equipment the wire is basically irrelevent.

    You didn't mention your electronics, but if they are capable of extracting the nuances in the recording you will want to upgrade your speakers, and the cable. Believe it or not, every link in a system is a component, and each link can have a dramatic effect, good or bad, on the sound quality.

    Of course you will also need to acousticaly treat your listening room, and isolate vibrations from the electronics in order to get the best results from your system.

    Aren't you glad you asked a simple question. ;)
    Last edited by BlueFox; 12-27-2009 at 01:40 AM.

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