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Thread: Bi-wire (or tri-wire) to single wire policy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    South of England, UK
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    3,810

    Default Bi-wire (or tri-wire) to single wire policy

    We have fitted bi-wire (or tri-wire) terminals to Harbeth speakers since about 1988. According to our research, about 3% have been confused by the choice that bi-wiring presents and decided to remain with standard wiring. This means that 97% of users are paying for a feature that only 3% use, which seems unfair.

    Starting with the Compact 7ES3 in 2006 we reverted to a single terminal pair and we will also make the Monitor 40.1 single terminal pair. As the cabinets remain (largely) the same, we will neatly blank-off the unused terminals which allows us to start production of the new model as soon as possible and to minimise the selling price.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
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    1

    Default Single-wired SHL5?

    Hi Alan, I am considering purchasing a 2nd pair of new HL5 Super speakers but as I have never liked the double terminals on my present pair I enquired via the factory whether I could order the new ones with just a single pair of terminals. I received a reply that said no and explained the difficulties involved, so I thought I would go to the source of all things Harbeth to see if my wishes could be accommodated.

    I see that some other Harbeth models now come with single pair terminals so maybe it is time that the HL5 Super was changed also. Regards, Stuart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    England
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    781

    Default Why worry?

    I think something similar has been asked previously.

    The crossover is designed for and built onto the four terminals, so it's not possible to undertake any 'tweaking' as you desire but the speakers sound so good as they are, so why worry ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    United Kingdom
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    59

    Default Anxiety about biwires

    Hello - It's my first post here!

    I own some Monitor 30 Anniversary Edition speakers. I have two pairs of terminals on each speaker, and my Naim Supernait is single wire.

    Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

    Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links? I have just changed from Naim NacA5 cable to Tellurium Q Black cable and appreciate the extra touch of brightness and detail I am getting. I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Malaysia/Singapore
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    418

    Default Stock (as supplied) biwire jumpers are more than good enough

    Hi Novak,
    I do not have the 30 but I have 5 and old 7 both featuring bi-wire ports as your 30. For so many yrs with them since 2004, I tried bi-wire them with two pair of same model cables, changed the original jumpers to pure copper and silver, single wire direct to upper port, single wire direct to lower port, single wire (-) to upper port and (+) to lower port , vise vase etc. Now I am using stock brass jumpers with speaker cable direct to lower ports. Over the years I realised this way give me the right sound. You can experience yourself but what i can say is stock jumpers is more than enough and not to worry too much and enjoy the music.
    "Bath in Music"
    Harbeth owner since 2004

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    India
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    421

    Default Good enough for Harbeth to supply

    Quote Originally Posted by Novak View Post
    Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

    Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links? I have just changed from Naim NacA5 cable to Tellurium Q Black cable and appreciate the extra touch of brightness and detail I am getting. I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?

    Thanks
    The bottom pair is the one to use.

    I too am curious to hear about the brass links from someone who knows. It seems to me that as long as the conductivity of the links is as good as that of decent gauge copper wire, it doesn't matter what is used. Brass isn't as conductive, but there is a lot more of it in the link than copper in a wire, so it should work just as well. And if Harbeth has supplied brass terminal links, I am sure they have done this with some thought.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Canada
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    759

    Default Enjoy your speakers - forget about biwire links!

    Quote Originally Posted by Novak View Post
    Hello - It's my first post here!

    I own some Monitor 30 Anniversary Edition speakers. I have two pairs of terminals on each speaker, and my Naim Supernait is single wire.

    Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

    Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links? I have just changed from Naim NacA5 cable to Tellurium Q Black cable and appreciate the extra touch of brightness and detail I am getting. I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?

    Thanks
    Oh boy. Much ink has been spilled on this subject here.

    I think I can represent the official view as follows:

    1. It will make no difference what terminals you use.

    2. Replacing the standard links will make no difference whatsoever to the sound. Save your money.

    The biwire terminals are the legacy of a time when it was a commercial necessity to offer them. Harbeth has never thought it offered any performance advantage. Eventually the terminals will go, but only when the models that still have them are otherwise redesigned and updated (and that doesn't happen very often).

    Enjoy your speakers and forget about the connections.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    162

    Default What does the designer know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Novak View Post
    Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

    Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links?
    I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?
    It really doesn't matter which terminals you use. I've chosen to use the bottom ones, some prefer the top and some have wired on the diagonal. But in reality it shouldn't matter at all.

    The designer [A.S.] does not feel swapping out the brass links will do anything, but that hasn't stopped a few from trying.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Malaysia
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    508

    Default Ever thought of Bi-amping?

    IMO, bi-wiring terminals offer you the option to bi-amp. I did play with it for sometime before coming back to my senses.

    ST

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Netherlands
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    49

    Default Single wire causes less confusion

    The Bi-wire terminals that Harbeth uses are of high quality and internally connected directly to the crossover-PCB. Connecting a single-wire cable with the red connector into HF+ and the black into LF- can in some cases give optimal results but this is a matter of taste, to some degree. The bi-wire option is fine in itself as some may wish to bi-amp but single-wire inputs do cause less confusion.

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