Bi-wiring Kef iQ5 SE speakers with Roksan Kandy Mkiii amp

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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi,

I've currently got a big yamaha 5.1 channel amp, but I'm only using it for straight stereo.

I'm about to get a second hand Kandy Mkiii. Do you think it'd be a worthwhile upgrade?

Also, I don't quite understand how bi-wiring the tweeter down seperate cables to the amp (but to the same terminal on the amp) can improve anything. Can someone explain biwiring a little?

Thanks.
 

busb

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2011
77
3
18,545
i-CONICA said:
Hi,

I've currently got a big yamaha 5.1 channel amp, but I'm only using it for straight stereo.

I'm about to get a second hand Kandy Mkiii. Do you think it'd be a worthwhile upgrade?

Also, I don't quite understand how bi-wiring the tweeter down seperate cables to the amp (but to the same terminal on the amp) can improve anything. Can someone explain biwiring a little?

Thanks.

As for the Candy being a worthwhile upgrade over your Yamaha, all I can say is somewhere between possibly & probably.

As for bi-wiring, the technical reasons why it could sound better are very slim indeed:

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~jcgl/Scots_Guide/audio/biwire/Page1.html

I would add that possibly self-induced eddy currents may also contribute to bi-wiring being worthwhile. It is a very contentious subject. My own experience tells me it does make a subtle but worthwhile difference. Nearly every dealer I've spoken with has advised me not to bother doing it - they suggest spending whatever budget you decide upon on single wiring runs.

Welcome to the forum as well!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi, thanks for the response.

I got the Kandy and it's a vast improvement. My main reason for replacing the Yamaha was that I've had it about 5 years and over that time, it's slowly degraded. It used to impress me, but that's just faded away. The Kandy isn't a new amp, it's got a few years on it too, but even so, it's got that crisp sharp detail that faded from my Yamaha...

I like the sound of bi-wiring, somehow. My dad was a serious hi-fi enthusiast and explained bi-wiring before, but I couldn't remember much of what he said. Electrically, I can't see there being much point, plus it just seems you're effectively doubling the cable length from the amp to the speakers increasing the potential for interferance.

My speaker cable is just simple clear 532 strand copper speaker cable, which I'm sure is thick enough to be adequate in one run...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I read somewhere ages ago that higher frequencies tend to travel along the surface of the cable, whereas the lower frequencies travel more towards the inside. This may explain why silver coated copper wires tend to sound more "sparkly".

All things considered, its probably better to spend all your money on one set of higher quality cables than two sets of cables at half the price each. FWIW, I have biwired my tri-wirable speakers since Max suggested I should not have long tails on the ISOLDA cables which were needed for the ES30 bass connections.
 

busb

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2011
77
3
18,545
Good to hear your new Candy is indeed much better. There are good 5ch amps out there but they cost £1-2k upwards - hardly surprising when you have 5chs instead of just 2 & even more careful design of the power supplies being needed.

Bi-wiring is one of the subjects, along with 24bit/96-192k coding, expensive interconnects, cable lifters etc. etc that have either no or little foundation in physics. I'm beginning to wonder if some "improvements" are so small in everything but cost that they are effectively worthless - even when real rather than imagined. What I'm suggesting is that there's a threshold of improvement below which other aspects of life just mask any effects such as mood, tiredness etc.

If a mischievous friend placed shorting links across my bi-wired terminals, how many months would it take for me to realise? Quite possibly not until I wiped dust off my speakers!

The issue with small improvements whether real or imagined is that they tend to disappear with blind ABX testing. The problem with audio is memory - you can't really compare A with B by feeding A to the left & B to the right channels simultaneously but must switch both in time. Comparing 2 pictures side by side is much easier, for instance. Auditory memory is notoriously unrealiable. Some may maintain that ABX testing is itself unreliable but it gets to a point where people just don't want to let go of cherished beliefs - they effectively turn their hobby into a religion.

As for speaker cable thickness, this is another disputed area. Some maintain that as long as the resistance & inductance are kept under certain maximum levels so as not to effect the frequency response - the thinner the better.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Dr Lodge said:
I read somewhere ages ago that higher frequencies tend to travel along the surface of the cable, whereas the lower frequencies travel more towards the inside. This may explain why silver coated copper wires tend to sound more "sparkly".

Yeah, my dad said the same thing too. Suggesting cables that have fine strands on the outside will carry higher frequencies better and that have a thick solid core will carry low frequencies better. I came across some cable but didn't buy it! :( that was either silver plated with a solid copper core, or copper fibers with a solid silver core. I think it was the former.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
busb said:
Good to hear your new Candy is indeed much better. There are good 5ch amps out there but they cost £1-2k upwards - hardly surprising when you have 5chs instead of just 2 & even more careful design of the power supplies being needed.

Bi-wiring is one of the subjects, along with 24bit/96-192k coding, expensive interconnects, cable lifters etc. etc that have either no or little foundation in physics. I'm beginning to wonder if some "improvements" are so small in everything but cost that they are effectively worthless - even when real rather than imagined. What I'm suggesting is that there's a threshold of improvement below which other aspects of life just mask any effects such as mood, tiredness etc.

If a mischievous friend placed shorting links across my bi-wired terminals, how many months would it take for me to realise? Quite possibly not until I wiped dust off my speakers!

The issue with small improvements whether real or imagined is that they tend to disappear with blind ABX testing. The problem with audio is memory - you can't really compare A with B by feeding A to the left & B to the right channels simultaneously but must switch both in time. Comparing 2 pictures side by side is much easier, for instance. Auditory memory is notoriously unrealiable. Some may maintain that ABX testing is itself unreliable but it gets to a point where people just don't want to let go of cherished beliefs - they effectively turn their hobby into a religion.

As for speaker cable thickness, this is another disputed area. Some maintain that as long as the resistance & inductance are kept under certain maximum levels so as not to effect the frequency response - the thinner the better.

Yeah, I agree. There's one argument that even the slightest improvement, if enough are done, will build to a better overall sound, but you're right if it's cost you twenty grand and is only slightly better... It's diministing returns...

I've even heard (dad again) talking about some research that suggested the colour of the plastic wrapping the cable can affect the sound. I really can't do anything but smerk at that, but then there's other things like directional speaker cable where apparently the metal's molecular structure is slightly different in one direction to the other that helps the flow of electrons. That sounds plausable, I can go with that, but I've never reversed one of these directional cables and I doubt I'd tell the difference if I did.

I think (as you said) that a lot of audiophile tweaks are placebos. But even if they are, the whole point of hifi is to enjoy music, and who listens to music with an ociloscope? If it sounds better in your mind with a certain tweak, even if it is just in your mind, then you've made an upgrade, surely?...
 

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