How does bi-wiring work?

To start, I do bi-wire my main speakers. However, I am somewhat confused about how bi-wiring works given that the speakers have internal crossovers and the signals received by them have the same full frequency range going to both sets of terminals.

I confess that I don't see any difference from single wiring in terms of the speaker's performance. What am I missing?


@rbertalotto …”Biwiring is nonsense.”

Just out of curiosity. What bi-wiring configurations have you tried and what were the system components?

I used to have a Cardas bi-wired Golden Cross cables with my ESS AMT 1D speakers with a Threshold 500s amp and Threshold T2 preamp. The Cardas sounded much better because of the warm nature of the cables. I was not making much money and there was no way I could get a non biwired set to test.

I’ve used doubled up Audioquest Type 8, and then Audioquest Gibraltar where there is “optimization” for high and low frequencies. 

Many people I know who understand far more than I do about electronics and noise (including a physicist who was PM of the first LIGO construction) say that biwiring should not make a difference. But, like so many things in audio, it does, at least to my ears. I have done the experiment enough times that I have convinced myself, and Bill Low certainly agrees.

My formal electronics training was taking and auditing a year of electrical engineering for mechanical engineers at UC Berkeley (I was a grad student in Geology helping to build some lab measurement systems), taking a bunch of BS Physics major courses and labs as an undergrad, and have experience helping design and build laboratory equipment used on the JOIDES Resolution scientific drill ship and in other geology and chemistry labs. I’ve also built and modified audio equipment earlier in my life. Oh yeah, Thevanin equivalent, now I remember!

Biwire looks cool. 😎 I don’t know if it helps. But my 805’s are set up for it, so why not. I’m a believer that quality construction and heavy gauge is what is needed in speaker cables. I’m not one who believes in noticeable sonic differences found in super expensive cables, but neither do I believe I’m being served well by coat hangers  :) 

So I spent $175 for a 3’ pair of WBC ultimate 7 AWG. Very well made, lots of good copper, very sturdy bananas. I’m very happy with them.

@soix  , thanks for the input--very much appreciated, and I'll try those affordable jumpers from Crutchfield (the link you provided).

I never understood bi-wiring myself, but since my B&W 805s were set up for it and I believe B&W was recommending it and I could afford it . . . I was like, "why not."  I actually felt I heard a difference, but then again, I am realistic and I have always known I do not have "a golden ear" and so I also knew that I may have been hearing confirmation bias.

However, after all of this discussion and reading (from a few sources at this point) that the stock strips that the manufacturer uses to connect the terminals (if not biwired) are junk . . . one thing that biwiring DEFINITELY did was to eliminate those strips.

I live in the camp that believes that speaker wire makes a difference, so if that is true, it only stands to reason that the connection between the biwireable terminals would make a difference (if not biwiring).