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New Quatro CTs: To Bi-wire or Not???


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Hi everyone. I should be getting my new speakers before too long and I am looking for suggestions from those who have been through this question. Does True bi-wiring offer a significant improvement over single wiring using jumpers in a reasonably neutral/revealing system? 

 I know some here like Audioquest speaker wires. I see that they do offer a couple of bi-wires, each  using two different types of cables for bass and mids/tweeter. However, the Quatro manual recommends that "All the speaker cables in a bi-wire set should be the same type."

So, I am a little bit unsure how to proceed. Also, would a switch to bi-wires later necessitate that the speakers would need a new setup? Thanks for any advice you may have.

Bruce

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i biwire both the Treo and the 7’s. I do feel a true external biwire where you can separate the HF wire 3-4” away from the bass wire is the way to go. With some Audioquest you can get a slightly different bass cable called zero, just stay in the same type, for example W. Tell Copper.

You could start with a normal cable use jumpers  ( some as simple as solid silver wire ) and then add 2nd set of cables later. Make sure your amp can support a stacked set of spades or that your dealer or cable company can build a shotgun biwire.

iF this sounds like gibberish, fire away w questions 

Jim

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I am not overly precious with cables. The uniformed (like myself) believe that they are laden with snake oil.
And the converted, understandably, rave about the goodness of them.

So if you want cheap, then get Mogami and make them yourself… or order some BlueJeans, or similar custom-length/custom-ends (should be about $-150-200’ish with nice hardware on the ends).

That would at least provide you with a baseline that could be used in some A/B fashion, where you could change one or both, should a supplier let you demo some high cost ones…

You could even order another single cable, and try the seperation part on a single side to help inform as to what to expect from a costly pair. (I believe those high $ ones also predominantly use copper, just like the plain cables do.)

Personally I would spend the time moving the speakers around the room, or the money on a subwoofer, well before blowing it on cables. And if the cable maker does not  provide capacitiance/inductance and resistance values, then that is a sign to me that I should avoid those cables.

Edited by Holmz
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Richard uses AQ wires and cable. He has a co patent with Bill Lowe for the DBS. I have tried so many brands and it always comes down to AQ being the most neutral in my system. When I went from an internal bi wire to external, I realized what Richard is getting at with true bi wire. Go inexpensive and don’t over spend. I’ve heard a Rocket 44 true bi wire sound incredible.   The more  you go up the better it seems to be. I can’t say that for all manufacturers. 

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When I bought my Treo’s from Don Better last weekend, he also (literally)  ‘threw-in’ a pair of AudioQuest Comet (w/the carbon DBS packs) bi-wire set the previous owner used. So, that only added to the ‘deal’ overall. These cables still go for significant amount used.

Had not mentioned them yet as they had BFA banana on the amp and, and my old Belles 400A binding posts could not accept them. So couldn’t try them out, until today.

Last Friday I purchased a set of AQ spades, and they arrived today, and installed. 

I am pretty impressed with these AQ Comet cables. Really really nice. A fair increase in overall ‘sparkle’ and definition. Was trying out some LP’s and initially thought they may be a tad too forward vs my ‘old’ cables, but put on Szell’s Sibelius No. 2 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam from 1965, and no, not forward at all. So probably more to do with the previous LP’s I spun. The depth and overall soundstage and presentation was very nice on the Concertgebouw recording (one of my favorites).

I have/had been using my 1950’s NOS Western Electric cables I had custom made for the 2CE’s, which are wonderful as well, but warmer in their presentation, so the initial  ‘forward’ presentation impression may had more to do with the difference between the WE and AQ’s.

These are Internal bi-wire (solid wire at that) but they still sounds great with the Treo’s.  Anyway, I don’t question the ‘need’ to bi-wire Vandersteen’s which accepts them. Richard recommends they should be, so I have. 😁

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Thanks everyone I really appreciate it, I feel like I have a good starting point now. Once I get them set up I'll let you know how they compare to my 21 yr old Thiel CS2.3s. The challenging thing will be figuring out what is what as we moved into a different home. So, a different room with different electrical wiring with new Quatros.  

Oh well, at least I'm staying in the time-aligned camp of speakers.  😂

Bruce

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Speaker cables and interconnects make a difference.  And, you can hear the difference.  Whether it's a positive difference is another story.  It's worth trying a few brands in a given price range and see what you prefer.  I am not a fan of Audioquest or Nordost cables.  It doesn't mean they are bad.  I just prefer other cables.  Also, try some that are significantly more expensive than you would plan to spend.  This is something you have to do at home.  It takes time and concentration.   A dealer can help you out.  So can The Cable Company.  I had my old 2CE Signature IIs biwired with Kimber 8TC.  That was an improvement, to me, over a single pair of 8TC with jumpers.  I currently have Quatro Wood CTs with a single run of Wywires Diamond with jumpers.  I haven't had a chance to try biwiring them because I lent a friend the other pair of speaker cables to try!  I'll report out in the future.

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Moose, I think you bring up a good point.  Whether it lands under the "bias confirmation" umbrella, I'm not qualified to say.  But, I do believe that when our brains hear a difference, we tend to interpret that as an improvement.  Maybe not always the case.  Time and concentration  .................  well worth the effort.  

Play on

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At Vandersteen Audio we have to choose wire as neutral as possible for the internal wire in our speakers and for the pig-tails on our M5 and M7 high-pass boxes.  For this evaluation a high-quality 3 way switch is used for a by-pass test.  It has an input and output and is inserted between the amp and preamp, crossover and driver or amplifier and speaker.  The switch is a three-position high quality rotary switch.   Input position 1 is connect to an appropriate connector for test, position 2 is shorted directly to the bypass output and position 3 is connected to an appropriate connector.  I install this test switch between the mono amp and the speaker with short lengths of any quality wire.  Two different types of 8 ft speaker wire are tested with one in loop 1 and the other in loop 2.   Play different music and compare wire 1 to the direct shorted position 2 and compare position 3 to the direct shorted position 2 or compare position 1 to position 3.  With this test one can hear what the impact of the wire under test is adding or subtracting from the music signal and how the 2 different wires compare.  I have been amazed (I guess I should not be because this is how people personize their systems) at how colored some wires are and I chose the one with the least color for internal wiring and the pigtails on the high-passes.  By selecting the wire with the least color our products allow the customers personal preference to be passed on with as little color change as possible.  This test can be used to test capacitors, resistors and even circuits when they are set to unity gain.  This is an important exercise because I may have a preference for a particular "color" but never have I found one that served all music so I leave that up to you.

RV

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Hi Bruce,

I want to be sure you know the spade requirements to hook up your Quatros. Many spades are too large to fit, and bananas are not an option. It appears you purchased them new, so why not ask your dealer to loan some cables that will serve to get you hooked up?

 

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I see there have been some new posts this week. Thank you all for all this great feedback. This is really the crux of the whole cable/wire/PC debate. Everything makes a difference - some hear it and some don't. And that's OK.  And from that, our own personal takeaway will be the component we choose. And yes, it does take time and concentration. We have to be willing to put in the work required to come to our own conclusion. Richard's post about keeping his internal wiring as neutral as possible is good  business practice.  Thank you Richard for allowing us to do the work necessary to optimize your speakers for our existing  music preferences/system/room/incoming power.....

This is really good stuff. Thanks again everyone!

Bruce

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@Bruskie,

For the longest time, I never considered cabling to be a 'high priority', until I heard the new AQ cables. I was with Peter (@ctsooner), when we demoed the Thunder Power Cords and the William Tell speaker cables. It was quite a transformation sound-wise.

I ended up putting my money into AQ cables. Yes, I probably should try other manufacturers, but, I don't have unlimited time nor money, so took the path of least resistance.

B

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3 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

@Bruskie,

For the longest time, I never considered cabling to be a 'high priority', until I heard the new AQ cables. I was with Peter (@ctsooner), when we demoed the Thunder Power Cords and the William Tell speaker cables. It was quite a transformation sound-wise.

I ended up putting my money into AQ cables. Yes, I probably should try other manufacturers, but, I don't have unlimited time nor money, so took the path of least resistance.

B

Congrats! After ‘falling into’ my AQ Comet pair, I must say, I’m a bit smitten with them. I’m one to always look for the ‘oddball’ but good bargain/performance choice instead of one of the ‘big boys’, particularly when it comes to cable companies, but I must say I’m very impressed with the AQ’s. Enjoy.

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i now have three sets of loaner biwire cables, one pair still in Michigan to help get a new 5a owner up and running.  1 set of Kimber external bi-wire has Vandy ring terminals on both ends, another set of external Audioquest Type 6 are Vandy size spades, another oddly great sounding wire is a pair of LFD silver wires from the UK in an internal biwire w Vandy spades. All i ask is eventual return or forward to another Vandy owner in “ need “. Send me a PM all are between 7-8’, sadly no DBS.

Note - I fully support the excellent Vandy dealers, this is something i do to help.

Jim

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree Pete. For example Ray and Bruce at Stereo Unlimited carry Audioquest, Kimber and Nordost and can also professionally terminate and dress cables. Victor at advanced Audio in Tacoma did such a lovely job on this pair of Shotgun biwire AQ Type 6.  Gas tight solid connections are all about enabling reliable high sound quality !

C696724A-CDA9-4156-B238-DC41BA9C3A6E.jpeg

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Nice and clean. Lol  that’s a great set of choices as kimber can be a bit brighter overall. Nordost is outstanding, but tips up on top a spec. Lively maybe?  I also like transparent with most Vandy systems I’ve heard them in. Karen has really built a great company. Brad was there for years. That said I feel for me, it’s Audioquest that Garth has designed. He’s a genius. 

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8 hours ago, Steve Edwards said:

Interesting ............ my friend in Boston borrowed Nordost and Transparent (not sure which models) with his McIntosh electronics and Revel 206 speakers.  He wound up purchasing a pair of AQ Robin Hoods.

Are these the ones?

 

4ECF130F-2344-48CD-AEFC-E4B52AB43DDA.jpeg

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