Bi-wire or jumpers?

Hello all…. very much enjoying a new-to-me 5i/2 amp & matching tuner, connected to a pair of Monitor Audio SE20 25th Anniversary speakers.

I’m currently using a set of borrowed cables that suit the bi-wire needs of the Monitors.

I’d like to put together my own cables that follow the parameters defined here for use with Naim equipment.

If anyone else has gone this route I’d like to know.

I do have on hand a set of Naim cables that came with this amp… but not being bi-wired they don’t work.

Might jumpers between the terminals on the speakers do as well.

Thanks in advance all

Naim amps do not perform well with biwiring, you should avoid it. Use jumpers or an F-connection at the speaker end.

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Technically biwiring / tri wiring always provides a better distortion response over single wired connections with other things equal on all systems including Naim. It’s a complex subject and is to do mostly with the Intermodulation Distortion produced from the reactive elements in the amp/cable/crossover/speaker system. If you are interested there are detailed explanations and real world measurement and subjective listening analysis at the Audio Engineering Society.

However in practice to what extent these IMD artefacts detract from your musical enjoyment are dependent on you and also your system given there are many other compromises in a passive speaker setup.

I now run single speaker wire with jumpers, for me is more practical, but accept it’s adding a performance compromise over biwiring.

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Hi Sbcinternational,

a quick reply (if I can) with my 2 €cents.

When I bought my current speakers I was bothered by the double binding posts: I plainly hate bi-wiring. BTW, although S-in-S’s reply is competent and clear as usual, there are equally qualified papers on the disadvantages of bi-wiring.
After years and years of toying around with audio, I am now confident that peace of mind is the best possible upgrade; I tried dedicated jumpers on my speakers, made with the same wire as the rest of the cabling, and I tried the stock metal jumpers in comparison; then I decided that the stock metal jumpers were good enough - after all, it’s two inches of conducting stuff.

If you are looking for speaker wires that match Naim’s electrical requests, I gladly share with you the results of my own research: the Van Den Hul Clearwater is the closest to NAC A5 as far as capacitance and inductance are concerned; and it costs 1/5 of the NAC A, here at least. My speakers are connected with 2 x 5 mt. of it, the double binding posts are tied with the stock metal jumpers and I daily practice peace of mind as the basic condition for proper enjoyment of the audio system. It took me more than 50 years though, and a lot of money. But it was worth it.

Best
Max

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Search the forum, lots of threads on biwiring.
Bottom line is Naim amps need the speaker cable to provide an inductance load on the output stage, that’s why Naim recommend a minimum lengthy of 3.5m with NACA5 & why NACA5 is designed as is is with spaced conductors.
Bi-wiring halves the attached paired cables inductance, it going the wrong way so better without bi-wiring. It also doubles capacitance, which can be problematic with some cable types.

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As you already have the Naim cables, I’d suggest you use them with an F connection at the speaker end. Just get some Naim speaker plugs and use the pins. This picture is of, I believe, Mike B’s one time Spendors.

image

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Not mine Nigel, I’ve never owned Spendors.
But to expand on the examples of F connectors, this is what I have, Chord Odyssey cable with Deltron large solder bucket 4mm plugs.

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I agree with @hungryhalibut, use the Naim cable that came with it, it makes sense.

I was using a decent set of LFD bi-wire and the sound just wasn’t right and after reading the related posts on here the penny dropped. I experimented with an old (approx 40 year old) Ecosse single wire that was in the loft and I was surprised how much better it was over the bi-wire!

I promptly set about ordering new cables. Initially I was going to order Naim cables but due to their stiffness they would be difficult to arrange in my room, so I ordered Witch Hat Phantom leads & jumpers which are due to be here on Monday. Mind you it has been a bit of a wait, I ordered them in June.

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That’s strange, I’m sure they were yours. But it’s a perfect example of how to wire an F connection using NacA5.

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Yes a good schematic example of an F connection.
Could do better with soldering.

Made these recently (Linn K20 in this case) using cold weld termination, quick/consistent result and work on pretty much any speakers.

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I think you mean crimping. Cold weld is actually a fusion of two metals if the same type (e.g copper to copper) whereby they form a contiguous structure at the melecular (or in the case of element metals, the atomic) level.

Crimping for sure is an excellent connection though. Best thought of as metals being “tightly mixed” rather than truly joined.

It’s main drawback is oxidization since some metal remains exposed. I’ve found crimps to be superb for the first 2-3 years. Certainly more consistent that solder joints. After which the oxidised tarnish tends to creap rapidly down inside the cable to need replacement cables. Whereas tinned solder joints were good for 10-15 years.

Pick your poison I suppose.

This is good solution for Naim Amp and BiWiring, with NAC - A5 cables as it have to be …

I’ve yet to have any major issues with the “non-soldered” crimped connectors, as you say, pick your poison! It’s certainly straightforwards to get consistent results and redoing them occasionally isn’t a major chore.
There will be those that are adamant that it has to be soldered and has to be a Naim plug on the amp end but in all systems I’ve had over the decades I’ve used soldered termination the least and not lost any sleep over it :grimacing:
https://www.qed.co.uk/what-is-airloc

My only experience of biwiring was using Linn LK400 cable, more or less a biwire version of NACA4. My Naim power amp ran hot, it didn’t sound good, and the extra cable looked horrible.
My main system no longer has a Naim power amp, but I don’t think I have the enthusiasm to try biwiring again.

I spoke with Proac…and ended up back with the linking bars. I wire direct to the upper terminals.

G

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Mine are similar to yours. Direct to upper terminals but I’m using some naca5 jumpers found in Poland. Works well for me.

Thanks all for the recommendations… I think F-jumpers with the NAC cables it is.

I will say it does work very well with the AQ Rockets I’ve borrowed so far

Sure, it shouldn’t run hot if all things being equal… but yes as I said above the benefit of biwiring in the real world is likely marginal given the other considerations and compromises driving passive speakers. … and that is why I have gone back to single wiring… however I did successfully biwire for many years in a different setup.

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Mine, from long ago.