Star wiring

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Yesterday I wrote about bi-wiring and shotgun wiring to your loudspeakers. Bi-wire uses a separate high and low loudspeaker cable feeding two separate inputs on your speakers. Shotgun uses two speaker cables in parallel feeding one set of terminals on your speakers.

Today let's touch on bi-wire specifics. If you take two identical speaker cables, tie both of them together at the amplifier output binding posts and feed the separated high and low binding posts on the loudspeaker, that's a pure example of bi-wiring. Advantages are the current for the midrange and treble are isolated in one cable and the bass power isolated in the second cable. But why should that matter? I have never heard an engineering example of why this is better that I believe. Lots of theories shrouded in the mists of Audiophelia, but none I would ever present to our engineering group without fear of a few smiles and smirks.

The closest I have come to getting a reasonable explanation is making use of a classic wiring technique known as star wiring. In this technique, one we routinely use for our grounds in the equipment we design, all major pathways for ground currents return to one common point, making a pattern similar to a multi faceted star, as each separated branch fans out from the center of the star. The advantage to this is in keeping the impedance constant for all branches, the noise on the grounds separated. The technique is similar to that of running dedicated lines in your AC system. The power amplifier's terminals, in this case, would be the star reference point. Thin reason for sounding better, but at least it has some merit.

Tomorrow I'll tell you the real advantage of a bi-wire situation. One that's easy to understand.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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