Bi Wire/Amp

HBombToo Posts: 5,256
edited November 2002 in Basic Hookup/Wiring Questions
I found a pdf file on a speaker manufactured by Legacy that I thought would be interesting to read. I DID NOT WRITE THE DOCUMENT! Just want to share as information and pulled out a section regarding this topic.


This format is the simplest way to connect your loudspeakers to
your amplifier. A single twin-conductor cable is used to link the
loudspeaker to a single channel of amplification. Jumper wires must
be left in place on the loudspeaker.
Biwiring allows one to minimize the cable losses between the
amplifier and the loudspeaker. This is accomplished with a single
stereo amplifier by running separate sets of cables to the satellite
section and the subwoofer section from the same channel of
This technique allows one to “play” with wire parameters a bit
(such as heavy gauge wire on the sub sections and light gauge solid
core on the satellites).
When biwiring, the use of gold spade lugs or dual banana plugs can
make the task much easier and safer than bare wire connections.
Again, the major reasons for biwiring over conventional wiring are
greater power transfer (improved efficiency) and tighter control over
the drivers (better damping).
This option can yield even better results than biwiring due to
broader distribution of power requirements.
Passive biamplification allows low frequency current demands to
be routed to a separate channel of amplification, thus reducing strain
on the satellite amplifier and preventing subwoofer back-EMF from
modulating with the upper frequencies. There are two types of
passive biamplification;Vertical biamping (which requires two
identical stereo amplifiers or four monoblocs) and Horizontal
biamping (which does not require identical amplifiers).
1. Vertical Biamping
Vertical biamplification requires the dedication of a single stereo
amplifier for the left speaker, and another stereo amplifier for the right
speaker. This configuration improves channel separation and can
improve imaging slightly. If your preamp does not have two sets of
left/right outputs, you will need a pair of Y-adapters or a signal splitter,
such as a dual amp balancer, which will also allow adjustment of
subwoofer/satellite input levels.

2. Horizontal Biamping
Any two stereo amplifiers may be utilized in horizontal
biamplification. Many audiophiles prefer the "sweetness" of tubes on
the satellite portion of the loudspeaker while favoring the "control
and weight" of solid state amplifiers on the subwoofer section.
The biggest drawback of such a marriage of amplification is that
the two amplifiers may have different input sensitivities or output
polarities. Differences in the input sensitivities may be overcome by
using a dual amp balancer. This unit allows independent balancing of
the left subwoofer/satellite ratio and right subwoofer/satellite ratio.
It's also a good idea to check the owner's manuals to establish if
the amplifiers are inverting or non-inverting. If the two amplifiers are
of opposite polarity, then you should reverse the polarity at the inputs
of either the subwoofer or satellite binding posts.
NOTE: The above only applies to loudspeakers that incorporate the
subwoofer and satellite section in a single enclosure. It does not
apply towards the separate powered subwoofer/satellite configuration.
You must always observe the polarity when connecting the speaker
wire to a powered subwoofer.
This option requires the utilization of an electronic (powered)
external crossover. Active biamplification is the most appealing means
of interfacing a subwoofer/satellite system due to the control
possibilities offered, but can also be the most costly.
An active crossover is inserted between the preamplifier outputs
and the inputs of two stereo amplifiers. Vertical or horizontal
biamping considerations are also applicable here.
A well designed active crossover will offer the user independent
high pass / low pass turnover frequencies for optimally blending the
satellites with the subwoofer sections of the speaker system. Other
features usually found are separate level controls for the high pass or
low pass sections and a choice of inverted or non-inverted low
frequency outputs (needed when strapping an amplifier to mono).
Also helpful is bass equalization and subsonic filtering.
When cascading active filters with the existing passive filters
within the speaker system, be sure to allow for adequate frequency
overlap. For instance, if the passive crossover is set at 500 Hz, select a
low pass corner frequency of 600 Hz and a high pass corner
frequency of 450 Hz to prevent a suck-out in the response at 500 Hz.
The controlled distribution of power afforded by the active
crossover results in less amplifier strain (better clarity), greater
dynamics, and lower intermodulation distortion. However, a basic
understanding of crossover slopes and crossover frequencies within
your loudspeaker will be needed to implement the active crossover
Post edited by HBombToo on


  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,384
    edited August 2002
    Thats a cool write.........
    Maybe some people can get some good use out of it.
    Thanks HbombToo,
    I enjoyed the read....
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Audioreality
    Audioreality Posts: 23
    edited August 2002
    It would seem I learned something new today.
    Thanks for the info.
    Nice post.
    You should of heard just what i've seen.
  • gidrah
    gidrah Posts: 3,046
    edited August 2002
    Great post. I need an active x-over big time.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • Liquidrage
    Liquidrage Posts: 2
    edited August 2002
    Can someone tell me where I fit in in regards to these definitions.
    And also am I wasting my time doing this or even worse, hurting my speakers.

    I have a Yamaha HTR-5440 HTR reciever
    The specs can be seen here:

    Yes, it was a home theater in a box. But we all gotta start somewhere.

    Just recently I finally finished upgrading all my speakers.

    I have 2 wall mounted RT15i's for surrounds, a CSi30 for a center channel and 2 RT800i's for front mains. I also have a Velodyne CHT-80 for a sub. All my speaker wire is 16 gauge. And DVD/CD player is hooked to the reciever via a 3 foot fiber optic cable.

    So where this post comes relevant is my reciever has an "A" and a "B" output for front mains. Both sets can be run at the same time (I realize I'm probably loosing some max power here but I don't play them THAT loud anyways).

    I undid the jumpers on my RT800i's and put my "A" set to the top input on the speakers and my "B" set to the bottom inputs.
    Am I getting any benefit for doing this (I does seem to sound better but my ear isn't the best and I could be tricking myself)? Or am I potentially causing harm by this?

    My niave calculations told me my reciever should have enough juice to not harm my speakers (unless I really crank them) even if my juice to the front is halved.

    Sorry, for being so lengthy.
  • Aaron
    Aaron Posts: 1,853
    edited August 2002
    Can someone tell me where I fit in in regards to these definitions......I undid the jumpers on my RT800i's and put my "A" set to the top input on the speakers and my "B" set to the bottom inputs.
    We call this "ghetto bi-amping" around here.

  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,384
    edited August 2002
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • gidrah
    gidrah Posts: 3,046
    edited August 2002
    It's only ghetto if it's hot. I would consider that to be bi-wiring. It's coming from the same amp(s). Then again I'm just starting to get into this whole bi-amping/'wiring thing.

    Liquidrage: It sounds to me like you're doing it right. I wouldn't worry about damage at reasonable levels and if you like the sound, then by all means.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • HBombToo
    HBombToo Posts: 5,256
    edited August 2002
    I can't see the value in this configuration. but that the hell do I know anyway???? If your sharing the same amp across A and B are you not just raising the impedance of the overall circuit which then equates to a loss in power.

    I'll bet a Beer that the improvement was due to 2 pair of wire instead of a single................ or Bi-Wire
  • RuSsMaN
    RuSsMaN Posts: 17,988
    edited August 2002

    My advice from here on out, is just get as many wires to as many posts as possible in any configuration .....guaranteed improvement, esp on a receiver.....
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • HBombToo
    HBombToo Posts: 5,256
    edited August 2002
    Russman, how does 26 pair of 28Gauge sound? I think I saw a spool in our warehouse.

  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,384
    edited August 2002
    lol..............your all wired out
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Liquidrage
    Liquidrage Posts: 2
    edited August 2002
    The logic behind it was the mechanism inside the reciever for replicating signals was superior to the the jumper used on the RT800i to pass the signal.

    I wouldn't bet a beer on it because it makes sense. I was worried about the loss of power but since it shouldn't hurt it and I think it sounds better I'll leave it.
    Thanks to those that answered.
  • HBombToo
    HBombToo Posts: 5,256
    edited August 2002
    Thank God Monday's over!

    Good luck with your settup Liquidrage and your welcome... we are not experts but try real hard to help.
  • Ron-P
    Ron-P Spaceman Spiff Posts: 8,504
    edited August 2002
    Thank God Monday's over!
    Amen bro, amen.

    Peace Out~:D
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.
  • TroyD
    TroyD Posts: 12,950
    edited August 2002
    2 days until vacation.......

    man, I can't WAIT!

    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • HBombToo
    HBombToo Posts: 5,256
    edited November 2002

    Any1 remember this?