Bi wiring with two single cables

I’m considering bi-wiring my Tannoy Kensington GRs to my First Watt J2 amp. (Tannoy seems to encourage it.)

I have two choices it seems: 1) use a bi-wire speaker cable (with four terminals at the speaker end); and 2) use two single-wire cables connected to the same amp +/- terminals to the speaker’s +/- terminals.

Any differences between the two? Thanks

Please don’t tell me why I should or shouldn’t bi-wire. I just want to try it and see what happens.

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No one can tell you that you should, or shouldn’t. I bi-wire my Quad S2s, but the difference is so very subtle, I not even sure it’s real or not. It definitely didn’t hurt the sound, so I left them in place. There are so many upgrades that I find far more beneficial. Fuse or cable upgrades far outweigh any benefit from bi-wiring. Maybe in your system, though, you might hear noticeably better sound, or maybe slightly worse sound. Get cables from a place that allows returns, and try them out. THAT is the only way to determine if YOU should do it. Trust your ears, not someone else’s ears.


So you’re saying I can take either approach?

I permit it.

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Some cable manufacturers design their cables for single biwire, others don’t. In the case of the former, they seem to have different cable gauges and even different metal types. For this reason, a company like AQ went as far as creating bass and zero cable in case you want to go double biwire. Good luck.


I would try both. If you only want to try one variation, I suggest doing the single cable per side, as there are fewer variables in the equation.

You can try both, but if bi-wire truly makes a difference, having two completely separate cables (as long as they are the same or at very least same brand), tend to be the better option.

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Ok thanks everyone. Will try with an extra single wire first, since that’ll be a cheaper first step for experimentation.

I use morrow audio for my correct single wire cables, will have to look for a good used cables deal on agon or audio Matt.

Anyone have recommendations for a decent cheap bi wire for experimentation? Like in the 1-200 range. Thanks

I used a bi-wire cable for many years (my speakers don’t even ship with a bridge, they kind of just expect you bi-wire). When I got the BHK300’s I also upgraded my cable and taped each pair of terminals with a single wire pair to each set of terminals on the speaker.

I’ve never A/B’d so have no idea what sounds better. However, I can and without a doubt confirm having 2 monstrous umbilical cords coming off the back of your amp feeding your speakers looks “bad ass” as the kids would say (well… some kids… maybe not kids from this decade).

If you have a single set of terminals on the amp I’d go with bi-wire cable as the terminal is designed to hold a single something (lug, banana, etc.) But, if you’ve got two terminals go for the “bad ass” look. :wink:


What’s in your range depends on length. As a reference, Audio Advisor would sell a 10’ pair of AQ Type 8 biwire cables, bananas on both ends for $255.

Galen Gareis discuses B-Wire in the Iconoclast cable thread. I had a huge improvement in my system by doing this. There are some cheap Blue Jeans Cable options that are not iconoclast line but still good. I would ask Galen. Separating with distance the LF from MF/HF is key to remove modulation effects. Galen doesn’t upsell you he just offers the data without hard sell. Just let your ears be the judge. When Galen was Bi-wiring his own speakers I knew he wouldn’t do it if data did not support an improvement. It took me a year to try it. I wish I had not waited.

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Bi-wire seems to be pretty popular. My speaker mfg. does not support so I could not if I wanted to but while shopping for cables, I noticed AQ has a Robin Hood ZERO cable and a same name BASS cable for applications like yours. Also TMR often gets the single wire bi cables in. 14 day trial period I believe.

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I think using two cables per speaker is referred to bi-cable. This is different from a bi-wire cable that is designed for bi-wired speakers where each cable has a pair of leads to the amplifier end and two pairs of leads for the speaker end.

Bi-wire speakers usually has the leads to the bass module separate from the leads to the mid-tweeter modules.

Bi-wire cables are designed for bi-wire speakers. Usually the speaker leads are marked so the user knows which leads to connect to the bass module and which leads connect to the mid/highs module.

To compare bi-cable to bi-wire you need the bi-wire design for comparison. I use Transparent Audio bi-wires. They offered bi-cable and bi-wire designs and recommended to consult your sales rep as to which one should work best. When you go up a level in their speaker lines, the higher level will flow more current than the next step below.

When I was on a tighter budget I ran bi-cabled for years and was happy. When I upgraded, the bi-wire cable was recommended. Although apples to oranges (the bi-cable make was much more advance than my earlier bi-cable system) I was very pleased with the bi-wire design.

As everyone has recommended, best to try both and decide which you like.

Happy listening.

Actually you have 3 choices.

Upgrading your single wire cable is the third.

Which one is best is for you to find out.

Here are my experiences.

I changed from bi amping (with 2 x 4 mm2, silver/copper fine stranded flexible) to single wire 3.5 mm2 OCC Atlas Hyper that is double the length, because I needed to reposition my speakers.

Go to the Focal WEB-site, they explain why they don’t put bi-wiring terminals on any of their speakers.

In my case the Atlas Hyper 3.5, repositioning of the speaker and NAD M33 Eigentakt amplifiers provided:

  • a homogeneous sound, meaning gray and precise soundstage and bass fundament
  • better rhythm
  • more detail without being harsh

I changed a lot, and it is impossible to tell of the change from bi-wiring (with bi-amping) to single wiring did all that. But I know for sure that the Atlas Hyper 3.5 (also made in Scotland by the way) are the best cables with which I ever connected my speakers.

For you I recommend that you inform your self about the pro’s and con’s. You can find con’s on the Focal WEB- site and so far, the benefits of singe wiring have been confirmed in my system.

By the way Atlas Hyper is also available in bi-wiring and you can have them interconnected with single spades or bananas at the amplifiers end if you need.

I tried it using homemade cables (Canare 4S11 with banana plugs). The Canare 4S11 is a four wire 14ga cable that uses a STAR QUAD design.

Wired it both ways using the same wires. In my case, I didn’t notice any real difference. Sounded great both ways.

I’ve biwired both ways, depending on amp. When I had a Naim 250 driving ProAc Response 2.5s, I had a biwire set of Naim NAC A5 with “big” Deltron bananas on the amp end (the 250 only had a single pair of banana speaker outputs) and then regular Deltron bananas on the speaker end. The two cables were soldered together at the amp end - hence the use of “big” Deltrons.

I’ve also bi-wired with two separate cables from amp to speaker (several different amps, Linn Helix 2 or Monitor Audio GX300 speakers) and think that using one amp end connector is slightly better (whether with Linn K20, Naim NAC A5, or AQ Rocket 88 cable).

I do find that bi-wiring improves the sound and music, at least in my system.

Short form - I don’t think you can go wrong either way.

My 3-way speakers have separate connectors for each driver and I use different cables for each driver (e.g. the tweeter uses short/thin silver coated copper whereas the bass uses very thick copper). I can certainly hear the difference on the tweeter with different wires (wires which would be totally unsuitable for bass).