How To

Single Wire, Bi-Wire, Bi-Amp, what does it all mean?

Now that you have your shiny new speakers and you have figured out how to position them, you will be excited to get them hooked up and jamming to your favourite tunes, right?

So let’s talk about the ways you can do this and get the best from your system. Here is the what, why and “how to” of wiring and connecting your speakers.


Make sure your amplifier is switched off before connecting to your speakers to avoid damage!! 

Single Wire

This is the most straight forward way to connect your speakers. Simply put, you run one cable carrying both High Frequency and Low Frequency or positive and negative from the amplifier to each speaker. Simples.

How To Single Wire

Simply attach the link cable or jumper plate between the HF and LF connectors. Your speaker may already come supplied with a jumper plate or link cable. Now connect the cable from your amplifier to each of the HF binding post (as recommended by Dr Paul).

Single Wire (Amp Setup)
Single Wire (Amp Setup)
Single Wire (Speaker Setup)
Single Wire Speaker Setup

But wait, before you run off and do this, let’s explore the other options and find out which one will work best for you.


What Is It?

Bi-wiring, have you heard about it? Always wondered what it was? Thought it sounded too complicated? Well, its not a scary as you might think.

In a nutshell, it has been around since the 1980s and “it does what it says on the tin”. It is a method of connecting your speakers to your amplifier using two sets of cables instead of one.  It is not available as an option on all speakers however, it is available on all our speakers from our top of the range F1 Series  down to the flagship model of our entry level F300 Series, the F303.

It is important to know that cables have losses, namely electrical resistance loses power, while the effect is also frequency dependent due to the cable inductance. Your ideal amplifier is a perfect voltage source, with zero output resistance and inductance, and this is what your nice new speakers want. The large currents drawn by the bass driver are best isolated from the small detailed signals to the tweeter. Bi-wiring keeps them apart, resulting in better detail and clarity at high frequencies.

It's all in the cable

It is important to consider the cables you are using to bi-wire your speakers as these should ideally be of the same length, brand and quality. Any variation in these can impact the quality of the sound produced. It is imperative that the cables you use are of appropriate quality for the performance of the speaker. From a technical perspective, it should have low electrical resistance to minimise losses and maximise amplifier dampening.

The best cable for your set up is subjective and system dependent but your local dealer should be able to offer guidance on this.  Cables should terminate in high quality connectors either 4mm banana or spade.  You can either use a dedicated bi-wire cable which has the 4 cables running through one cord or have 2 separate sets of cables. Here are some examples so you don’t tie yourself in knots…

Single Cable
Single Cable
Dedicated Bi-Wire Cable
Dedicated Bi-Wire Cable

Can My Speaker Bi-Wire?

To check if your speaker is bi-wire compatible simply turn it around and check how many binding posts there is. To bi-wire you need 4 binding posts (2 positive and 2 negative). One set of binding posts will be used to send the signal to the tweeter (HF) and the other set sends the signal to the mid/bass driver (LF) resulting in a cleaner sound. The difference is shown here from our F300 model featuring a single wire Termination Panel and the F500 model with the upgraded bi-wire Termination Panel.

Single Wire Termination Panel
Single Wire Termination Panel
Bi-Wire Termination Panel
Bi-Wire Termination Panel (link / jumper plates should be removed to operate Bi-Wire mode)

How To Bi-Wire?

Remove the jumper plate or link cable (if you have one already attached). Now attach your cables either using a spade (or bare wire), making good contact directly to the terminal, and tightening the dial or by attaching the cable by banana clip inserting it into the back of the terminal. Remember to make sure polarity is correct by red to red (positive) and black to black (negative). If polarity is reversed it can lead to certain frequencies being cancelled out and result in undesirable effects with sound quality.

Bi-Wire (Amp Setup)
Bi-Wire Amp Setup
Bi-Wire Speaker Setup
Bi-Wire (Speaker Setup)


What is it?

If you want a third option for connecting your system, you may wish to consider bi-amp. Think bi-wiring on steroids. You cannot bi-amp without first bi-wiring. By doubling the current delivery to your speakers, the amplifiers will be less stressed and produce lower harmonic distortion and any distortion at low frequencies will not spill over to the tweeter (called intermodulation distortion). While not making the sound any louder it produces a cleaner sound and more definition of the finer details.  Simply put bi-amping gives you all the benefits of bi-wiring along with extra power delivery, giving each amplifier an easier load and as a result minimising distortion.

How to Bi-Amp

First you will need two identical power amplifiers, so they both have the same voltage gain. You need to wire them so each receives the same input signal. Just like Bi-Wire, you should run 4 cables to each speaker, this time the only difference will be that you should run the HF cables of both speakers to one amplifier and the LF cables of both speakers to the second amplifier. Make sure you remove the link cables before you start, as for bi-wiring to prevent damage to the amplifier. And you’re done.

Bi-Amp Amp Setup
Bi-Amp (Amp Setup)
Bi-Wire Speaker Setup
Bi-Wire (Speaker Setup)

Wrapping Up

There are multiple options for wiring your speakers, none of which are right or wrong and all very much down to your own personal preference, budget and system set up. Don’t forget to have fun experimenting to see which set up works best for you. If it sounds right to you, then it’s right!

If your need more advice on the best cables to use for your system and budget, you can find help at your nearest Fyne distributor or dealer here.

Now you’re all set, sit back and enjoy your jam. Happy listening.

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