Announcement

Collapse

HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
See more
See less

Biwire terminals and sound differences?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Biwire terminals and sound differences?

    I'm going to buy new speaker cable. I left Naim for tubes so I no longer need the dreaded stiff, unwieldy Naca5.

    Since my HL-P3 are bi-wireable, for best sound quality should I bi-wire (external or internal) or simply single-wire with good quality aftermarket jumpers?

  • #2
    Re: Bi-wire or not?

    Originally posted by Greg
    I'm going to buy new speaker cable. I left Naim for tubes so I no longer need the dreaded stiff, unwieldy Naca5.

    Since my HL-P3 are bi-wireable, for best sound quality should I bi-wire (external or internal) or simply single-wire with good quality aftermarket jumpers?
    If you find even one electrical engineer who can explain to you why bi-wiring is a better approcah than single wiring, go ahead and try it (I haven't). Otherwise, save your money and single wire using the jumpers that came with the HL-P3. My view.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bi-wire or not?

      Originally posted by Ned Mast
      If you find even one electrical engineer who can explain to you why bi-wiring is a better approcah than single wiring, go ahead and try it (I haven't). Otherwise, save your money and single wire using the jumpers that came with the HL-P3. My view.
      I agree. I don't believe in bi-wiring. I believe Mr. Shaw himself also once admitted that bi-wiring of Harbeths was a concession to industry trend, nothing more. I forget where I read that now but it stuck in my mind.

      HOWEVER, the bi-wiring terminals must now be dealt with. I probably should have been more specific in my original post. The stock brass jumpers are NOT the best thing sonically. So you are left with either bi-wiring (preferable an internal one lest you double your cabling cost) or aftermarket jumpers. IMO you still have one too many connections in there with jumpers (stock or aftermarket). I went ahead and ordered up some sensible cable with an internal biwire. Done deal.

      If you think the stock jumpers are fine then so be it. But I recommend you compare them to some bare stranded wire between the terminals at the very least. I think you'll be surprised at how bad those brass plates really are. It's a no-brainer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bi-wire or not?

        Greg,

        After jumping in with my two cents about bi-wiring it occured to me that this category might actually be meant to direct questions to Alan, not the users in general. My apologies to Alan - and all - if this is the case. And thanks for the suggestion to replace the brass jumpers with wire, Greg - I'll try that.

        Best, Ned

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bi-wire or not?

          I have Model 30's. I am using Fulton Brown wire through a wall. The dealer who sold me the speakers suggested that replacing the jumper would improve the speaker. I had a 10' pair of Audioquest Midnight which my dealer redressed for bi-wiring. The improvement was pretty amazing for a pair of speakers I admired but the cable's stiffness was unworkable. The problem for me is getting a pair of cables which will go through my wall and then make a sharp right turn and be of reasonable cost and work with my Futterman OTL amp. My current choice is Audioquest Rocket but that is a $1500 solution.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bi-wire or not?

            I would be curious to hear from those trying different speaker cables and different jumpers, what methodology you use for determining differences in sound. Also, would you characterize these differences as frequency related? This could be done through private messages if not of general interest.

            Ned

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bi-wire or not?

              Originally posted by Ned Mast
              I would be curious to hear from those trying different speaker cables and different jumpers, what methodology you use for determining differences in sound. Also, would you characterize these differences as frequency related? This could be done through private messages if not of general interest.

              Ned
              Interesting question but I don't think it's that simple, i.e., effect on frequency response. Personally I think the audiophile wire business is white collar crime, but personal experience in relatively inexpensive cable has shown that there are sonic differences to my ears. Note that I am a metallurgical engineer and natural skeptic so I guess that means you can trust my assessment.

              I say it's not as simple as frequency response because I think there are certain things you can't measure, only hear. Or, we haven't quite found the right way of measuring it yet. The same holds true when the discussion turns to amplification and the effects of high global feedback versus zero global feedback, tubes vs. solid state, and so forth.

              Back to cables, though. With cables, the choice of conductor material, geometry and dialetric all seem to come into play (then there's the quality and manner of termination, too). You can take two cables of identical geometry and conductor and use different dialetric and get a different sound. The Kimber PR and TC lines are an example that I've heard myself to sound different for this reason. The static inductance, resistance and capacitance play a major role, true, but I think there's more to it than that. As far as conductors, they also play a role IMO. For example, I will say that I've never liked silver plated copper as a conductor. It always sounds bright or "hi fi" to me, with a sharp enhancement to the leading edge of notes, like making guitar strings sound way too pronounced. Because the signal travels on the outside of the cable (at least the HF), having it pass through a coating layer of silver is not a good idea in my opinion.

              Before I get too far I guess I'll leave it at that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bi-wire or not?

                Thanks for your thoughtful response, Greg. My reason for asking is that I am finding that I generally don't hear differences between electronics and wire that others do, and wonder if methodology is the issue or simply the way I hear/listen. I would truly like to see more double blind tests conducted, but they are difficult to conduct properly. Leaving that aside, with speaker wire or jumpers, what I do is use one wire or set of jumpers with one speaker and a second with the other. Then I can set my Lavry DAC to mono and set my pre-amp to left or right channel and thus compare A with B. Does this make sense? I then generally start with a single instrument (the cello, since I play it) and then other single instruments with different frequency ranges and timbres - violin, voice, piano, etc., before moving on to larger groups of instruments. If I think I hear a difference with A, I always return to B to verify. Music is very complex, and we tend to hear it differently each time we listen anyway. Using this method I've not yet been able to distinguish differences betweeen the jumpers that came with my M40s and 10 gauge copper wire, but am still in the process of listening.

                What you say about listening for the attack of an instrument is interesting, and something I'll listen for more carefully - especially with guitar and perhaps piano. For me, the main difficulty with objectve comparative listening is the complexity of music and also the fact that it evokes an emotional response. And, of course, that it occurs in time. With, photographs, for example, we can compare almost simultaneously. Again, I think what we hear and our emotional response to it is going to naturally differ each time we listen to a piece of music. For this reason, I wonder too if we shouldn't try to use music to which we don't have a strong emotional response; perhaps something contemporary, even atonal. (Might one conclude that because he dislikes an atonal piece of music more with A than with B that A is actually "better" than B??!!).

                Best, Ned

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bi-wire or not?

                  Ned,

                  A lot of these minutae depend on the listener and how much he or she wants to "major on the minors". I have a tendency to do that. Perhaps I'm obsessive (or a typical audiophile, lol). Seriously, the emotional part is the key. But getting it depends on the listener -- I'm most involved when I'm hearing all that's on the recording. This resolution is what generally leads people to spend good money on speakers and so forth. However, with that resolution often comes thin or incorrect tonality and an "edgy" or "shiny" quality to the sound (the leading edge enhancement?). I think many "audiophile" speakers (especially American ones) have this quality. This also bothers me, which is why I am currently switching from Naim to tubes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bi-wire or not?

                    Ned,

                    Here's an interesting report on cables you might be interested in:

                    http://www.soundstage.com/pf02.htm

                    Interestingly, if you surf some online audio review websites like Soundstage and Positive Feedback, you'll notice how the cable game has exploded in the last several years. Back 5 -10 years ago cables being reviewed were inexpensive and the reviews were honest. Now it seems like cables are only good if they cost big money -- and the reviewers make it sound like they'll solve all your problems.

                    An audiophile friend of mine just emailed me about some Walmart cable he found that sounds better than the $1000 cable he was using. Walmart is a chain store. This Walmart cable is like $1 per foot.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bi-wire or not?

                      Greg,

                      "Edgy" or "shiny" qualities I also find intolerable in speakers and fortunately are not a characteristic of current Harbeth speakers. Recordings are another matter. Unfortunately, for example, too many of the recordings produced by John McClure for Columbia (many of the Bernstein recordings) evince this quality, though perhaps ameliorated somewhat in remastering for CD.

                      Ned

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bi-wire or not?

                        I just saw that you're from USA. Sorry about that -- of couse you know about Walmart. I was assuming you were from England for some reason.

                        A lot of audiophiles like that edgy or shiny quality. I grew tired of it. Everyone hears different, though. I found Naim to have that quality but many don't. Those who do often migrate to tubes (as I've just done).

                        Often it's the recordings that dictate the electronics as I'm discovering. Then cables come into play as "tone controls". I listen to a lot of rock so Naim, for its virtues, grew tiresome given the poor quality of most rock recordings ...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bi-wire or not?

                          Greg,

                          Nope, not from England though many of my favorite writers are; Anthony Trollop for one, and many of the writers of the mysteries I love to read. And, of course, now my favorite speakers.

                          We have an on-line cable supplier here that has all manner of wire at reasonable prices (Blue Jeans Cable). I paid 79 cents a foot for my 10 gauge coppper speaker cable. They sell it in any length you require.

                          For me, it's quite the other way around. My electronics/system determine what recordings I listen to. Transparency - lack of coloration - is what I seek in electronics. If a recording sounds bad through that, I look for a better recording. I don't, by the way, listen to rock and so don't know what the general quality of recording is in that genre; almost exclusively classical and some jazz. (I have a wonderful London blue-back recording of Ted Heath with band recorded at Kingsway Hall - and now I'm giving my age away).

                          I think we're straying from the topic of Harbeth speakers now, so l'll just close by saying what I've said here before: getting Harbeth's in my system has greatly expanded the repertoire of recorded music I really enjoy. The late Romantic composers (Mahler, Bruckner, R. Strauss, etc.) really depend on subtle tone colors in effectively presenting their music. I never could truly appreciate this music until I got my first pair of Harbeths.

                          Ned

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Bi-wire or not?

                            I tried bi-wire my M30 with Analysis Plus Oval 9, and tried Audio Note Lexus jumpers with both of M30 and P3, nothing gave better sound than the stock brass, for me both of them gave quite strange sound and unnatural sound.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Bi-wire or not?

                              Originally posted by Hu
                              I tried bi-wire my M30 with Analysis Plus Oval 9, and tried Audio Note Lexus jumpers with both of M30 and P3, nothing gave better sound than the stock brass, for me both of them gave quite strange sound and unnatural sound.

                              First I have to admit that i could not afford Harbeth C7 so I have to live iwth a pair of spendor Sp3/1p, i agree, best sound is with the stock brass. with different amp, even different spendors, different source, anythign other than the stock just make it sounds 'funny' 'not right' 'werid' .

                              I guess it could be due to the fact that the brass jumper being part of the cross over which is deisgned for. (my wild guess) so i will only tick with stock.

                              but there is an other things to consider, do u plug in the LF or the HF?

                              I like it direct in LF more. how about u guys?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X