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There are many speaker manufacturers who produce loudspeakers fitted with bi-wireable terminal blocks. And usually they come supplied with a set of matching links. The idea being that the owner has the choice of running the speakers fully bi-wired, or single-wired using the links to feed the second set of binding posts.
But often customers never go to the trouble of bi-wiring the speakers. They may be using a single run of expensive cable, and a full duplication of this cable set would be a considerable expense, and one that many listeners don't find offers much of a musical improvement in their system anyway. Or, the situation could be that for the same cost, a single set of higher quality cable may out perform 2 lower-quality sets.
So this point is usually the end of the debate and effort for most people. Their expensive, bi-wirable speakers stay single-wired, and because they have not heard any better, the cheap give-away links are left in place, and pretty much ignored (and when we say cheap, we do mean cheap - most links supplied are tacky strips of pressed brass with the merest hint of gold plating).
But this situation actually offers us a surprising opportunity for a significant upgrade. If we look at the physical arrangement from the perspective of vibration, and the paths that vibration will take, the conventional links will allow large quantities of acoustic vibration to feed from one set of binding posts to the other. And as crossover components such as capacitors are microphonic, this results in a significant amount of intermodulation distortion. This distortion is music volume dependent of course, and is particularly noticeable as a hard 'shouty' colouration at upper-mid and treble frequencies, producing a considerable loss of delicacy, transparency and tonal detail.
Each Mini Moncayo is fitted with a module, and inside each module is a mini acoustic absorption labyrinth. In a normal cable (or link) the metal conductor very efficiently carries acoustic vibration from one end to the other - in essence, it behaves like the string-and-paper-cups-telephone we all used to play with as children. But the presence of the labyrinth on the cable breaks all that vibration down, absorbs it, and prevents it getting to the other end.
It might seem very surprising that a conventional speaker setup, using conventional links, can be such a problem - that it can throw away such a lot of performance. But the truth is that conventional links do damage sound quality considerably - and replacing them with a set of Vertex links is a very significant upgrade.
For more information and specs on the Mini Moncayo speaker links, click here.