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speaker cables and jumpers vs bi-wiring

post #1 of 261
Thread Starter 
I have read and understand that both have there pros and cons. What I'm wondering is what are people running with there B&W's and other 4 terminal speakers on this forum?
I am looking at the River cable starflex SPX11 Gauge speaker cable to use with my 705's. They sell it in both a single cable and biwire cable. What should I run, single cable or biwire? If single cable what are good jumpers that are under $150?

River Cable:
http://www.rivercable.com/spx.html
post #2 of 261
I am not one who thinks it makes any difference but I bi-wire some of my B&Ws and single-wire the others using the jumpers provided with the speakers.
post #3 of 261
Just to chime in... I use the jumpers on the speakers. I can't see any real improvement with the addition of extra wire.

I use Def tech and Paradigm speakers
post #4 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

Just to chime in... I use the jumpers on the speakers. I can't see any real improvement with the addition of extra wire.

While I see your point I prefer the 'bi-wire' scenario if for no reason other than minimizing the # of mechanical connections (my speakers... Martin Logan Spire's)
post #5 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

While I see your point I prefer the 'bi-wire' scenario if for no reason other than minimizing the # of mechanical connections (my speakers... Martin Logan Spire's)

How so?
post #6 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

How so?

Biwire = 4 speaker connections

jumper config = 6 (4 from the jumpers, two from the amplifier leads)

FWIW, IMO the less number @ speaker the better.
post #7 of 261
Fancy jumpers are just another gimmick. So was bi-wire. Garbage. Sorry. Save your money for better speakers.
post #8 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

Biwire = 4 speaker connections

jumper config = 6 (4 from the jumpers, two from the amplifier leads)

FWIW, IMO the less number @ speaker the better.

I understand your thinking...but it probably makes little difference. Unless the jumpers are wires as well, the connections are fine.
post #9 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

Fancy jumpers are just another gimmick. So was bi-wire. Garbage. Sorry. Save your money for better speakers.


????????? not sure what you mean exactly ?? are you implying that a speaker with four binding posts is not of good quality ?
post #10 of 261
Thread Starter 
I was just messing around while watching the Batman The Dark Knight. I can actually hear a difference between hooking my speaker cables to the top two posts on the speaker vs the bottom posts. Having them connected to the top two posts let much more detail come through. Tiny micro details from glass breaking, guns firing, bullets wizzing, everything is more detailed. I don't find much benifit at all having the speaker cables hooked up to the bottom posts. I notice that even with vocals you can hear the difference between space in an empty room vs a living room in a house. Such as when the Joker and Gordon are speaking in the interrogation room, you can here the room acoustics have an effect on his voice when he moves around and talks. Maybe it's just me but this is a big difference.

If I can hear the difference between this I definately believe that bi-wiring will benifite my listening experience. As there will not be any resistance between the two terminals (jumpers). Both terminals would be getting the same amount of power.
post #11 of 261
I run MIT AVt1 bi-wires to my 602S3's. Just getting rid of that knarly jumper had to improve things if nothing else did.

Your speakers were intended to run bi-wires. Without going into into how it sounds, I'll just say that I prefer it over a single run.

Lots of companies sell jumpers, Audioquest PSC bi-wire jumpers is one that I found with a quick search.
post #12 of 261
post #13 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by legion1capone View Post

I was just messing around while watching the Batman The Dark Knight. I can actually hear a difference between hooking my speaker cables to the top two posts on the speaker vs the bottom posts. Having them connected to the top two posts let much more detail come through. Tiny micro details from glass breaking, guns firing, bullets wizzing, everything is more detailed. I don't find much benifit at all having the speaker cables hooked up to the bottom posts. I notice that even with vocals you can hear the difference between space in an empty room vs a living room in a house. Such as when the Joker and Gordon are speaking in the interrogation room, you can here the room acoustics have an effect on his voice when he moves around and talks. Maybe it's just me but this is a big difference.

If I can hear the difference between this I definately believe that bi-wiring will benifite my listening experience. As there will not be any resistance between the two terminals (jumpers). Both terminals would be getting the same amount of power.

Last time I brought up doing this I was berated and called all sorts of names.
post #14 of 261
Bi-wiring has always struck me me as more "audiophile" nonsense, and I know of no objective (that is, non-anecdotal) evidence that says it does anything other than sell expensive cables.

The conspiratorial part of my brain wonders if cable and speaker manufacturers, when they came up with "bi-wiring," were intentionally trying to introduce some sort of ambiguity with "bi-amping," which is widely used in professional PA systems and requires multiple cable runs (and all for good reason). More likely, though, "bi-wiring" was (still is?) another silly "audiophile" trend that, legitimate or not, gained market momentum to where reputable speaker manufacturers (B&W among them) felt compelled to play along.

I have B&W 703s, and I use conventional, 10-gauge wire with the existing jumpers.
post #15 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by legion1capone View Post

I was just messing around while watching the Batman The Dark Knight. I can actually hear a difference between hooking my speaker cables to the top two posts on the speaker vs the bottom posts. Having them connected to the top two posts let much more detail come through. Tiny micro details from glass breaking, guns firing, bullets wizzing, everything is more detailed. I don't find much benifit at all having the speaker cables hooked up to the bottom posts. I notice that even with vocals you can hear the difference between space in an empty room vs a living room in a house. Such as when the Joker and Gordon are speaking in the interrogation room, you can here the room acoustics have an effect on his voice when he moves around and talks. Maybe it's just me but this is a big difference.

If I can hear the difference between this I believe that bi-wiring will benifite my listening experience. As there will not be any resistance between the two terminals (jumpers). Both terminals would be getting the same amount of power.

With the experience you describe, I would be quite concerned that there was some defect in the speaker termination plates, jumpers or wires causing a less than desired connection quality. That is the only technical reason I can think of. A loose connection can function like a diode. Ugly and unpredictable results, the extreme of hearing an AM radio station through you speaker.

When I build my speakers, I only use two binding posts. That way I don't have to worry about a loose strap or the extra cables inside.
post #16 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by legion1capone
I was just messing around while watching the Batman The Dark Knight. I can actually hear a difference between hooking my speaker cables to the top two posts on the speaker vs the bottom posts. Having them connected to the top two posts let much more detail come through. Tiny micro details from glass breaking, guns firing, bullets wizzing, everything is more detailed. I don't find much benifit at all having the speaker cables hooked up to the bottom posts. I notice that even with vocals you can hear the difference between space in an empty room vs a living room in a house. Such as when the Joker and Gordon are speaking in the interrogation room, you can here the room acoustics have an effect on his voice when he moves around and talks. Maybe it's just me but this is a big difference.

If I can hear the difference between this I definately believe that bi-wiring will benifite my listening experience. As there will not be any resistance between the two terminals (jumpers). Both terminals would be getting the same amount of power.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagorep View Post

Last time I brought up doing this I was berated and called all sorts of names.

What you are hearing is the 'sound' of the jumpers connecting the two sets of terminals, the beginnings of Materials science in audio.

When you connect the speaker cables to the low frequency terminals, the most direct signal is going to the bass driver(s), and the mid/highs must then travel through the jumpers- the only difference.

In connecting the speaker cables to the top mid/high frequency terminals, you're bypassing the jumpers to the highs- the highs receive the most direct signal, yet you are adding the jumpers' 'sound' to the lows.

The crossover of course limits the ability to 'hear' the jumpers full range- the results in either direction are bandwidth limited in as such.

To improve upon a biwired loudspeaker, you can either improve the jumpers between the low and high terminals; or you can biwire.

The cool thing about having biwired loudspeakers is that they allow for such adjustments to suit personal tastes; biamping, etc. Non-biwired are simpler to deal with, but is obviously less able to externally customize- Loudspeaker Manufacturers' discretion...
post #17 of 261
Joe, You are suggesting the jumpers have a "sound"? If the did, then it would be distortion and the best thing to do is not have them in the system. Solder the crossover to one pair of jacks. No jumpers, no extra distortion.

Just take a moment. Go pull a jumper out into daylight. Compare it to a speaker wire. Compare it to the wiring inside your amp, inside your speaker. Might try a magnet to be sure they are not steel. (who knows what parts like this made in China are made from) Then consider if a difference you hear is the sound of the jumper, a defect in connection, or wishful thinking. I would vote for one of the two latter.
post #18 of 261
I have ALWAYS thought that the following, from Totem's website, was pretty interesting/entertaining. Enjoy!

Single-Wiring Advantages

There are some cases where a high quality single wire allows for a better tonal balance for a particular need.

Single Wiring is definitely a very good way to proceed as long as the four terminals are there. The user has the choice of connecting just the lower two terminals and through this obtain a certain "tone". Reconnecting the wire to the upper two terminals gives the user more high frequency emphasis. Connecting the red positive at the bottom and the black at the top (diagonally opposite) or vice versa will give you two more "tone" options.

In conclusion the customer/dealer has four possibilities with a high quality single wire. We recommend the diagonal connection when using the single wire to create a greater balance.

See FAQ#6 http://www.totemacoustic.com/support/faq/


If there IS a difference in the sound you get between using the upper, lower, or mix of binding posts when the jumpers are in place I guess they would contend that it is not the jumpers themselves that are responsible for that difference. If there is a difference, then there are are probably other 'explanations' besides the jumpers, themselves.


I have seen the recommendation to always use the upper binding posts when single-wiring more than once, btw. I use the upper posts. Did I experiment? Hell, no.
post #19 of 261
Seems to suggest that since most jumpers are made from brass, a less conductive material than copper, there is some signal loss / rolloff. Given how little distance the signal must travel through brass, not sure I buy this, but it's possible.

Also, the signal has to pass through the binding post anyway, which might be made of brass, so it's just a matter of how much brass.
post #20 of 261
Good to see the Canucks have a sense of humor, miles
post #21 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

What you are hearing is the 'sound' of the jumpers connecting the two sets of terminals, the beginnings of Materials science in audio.

When you connect the speaker cables to the low frequency terminals, the most direct signal is going to the bass driver(s), and the mid/highs must then travel through the jumpers- the only difference.

If the jumpers cause such degradation to the sound, what about the traces on the PCB of the crossover? Or the speaker terminals, which are usually made of the same material as the jumpers? Or worse yet, the connectors on the speakers themselves, which are usually just plain steel spades?

We're doomed.
post #22 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 View Post

If the jumpers cause such degradation to the sound, what about the traces on the PCB of the crossover? Or the speaker terminals, which are usually made of the same material as the jumpers? Or worse yet, the connectors on the speakers themselves, which are usually just plain steel spades?

We're doomed.

You may be, but that's irrelevant to the discussion. Most users do not have control over such things, jumpers and speaker cables they do.

We've used this difference at shows. Since we don't have total control over the final sound of the system within the room at a trade show, you have to know a few tricks, and swapping low and high freq terminals is one of them.

BTW, my loudspeaker terminals are made of copper, as are the spades on my jumpers.
post #23 of 261
Quote:


BTW, my loudspeaker terminals are made of copper, as are the spades on my jumpers.

I was referring to the connectors on the drivers, on the speaker basket.
post #24 of 261
This is true. If every part manufacturer would pay attention to detail we would have some seriously good sound out there, albeit most likely at higher prices.

Some specialty loudspeaker manufacturers wire their crossovers point to point rather than use a PC board, but typically they also use very expensive drivers which require minimal crossover components.
post #25 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

You may be, but that's irrelevant to the discussion. Most users do not have control over such things, jumpers and speaker cables they do.

We've used this difference at shows. Since we don't have total control over the final sound of the system within the room at a trade show, you have to know a few tricks, and swapping low and high freq terminals is one of them.

BTW, my loudspeaker terminals are made of copper, as are the spades on my jumpers.

No kidding?! So are the bottom of my Emeril pots and pans!
post #26 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

Quote:
What you are hearing is the 'sound' of the jumpers connecting the two sets of terminals, the beginnings of Materials science in audio.

Sorry that's not gonna fly! If you want to use the word "science" then your gonna have to provide some quantified data for study.
post #27 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

...from Totem's website...
Single-Wiring Advantages
...
Single Wiring is definitely a very good way to proceed as long as the four terminals are there. The user has the choice of connecting just the lower two terminals and through this obtain a certain "tone". Reconnecting the wire to the upper two terminals gives the user more high frequency emphasis. Connecting the red positive at the bottom and the black at the top (diagonally opposite) or vice versa will give you two more "tone" options.

In conclusion the customer/dealer has four possibilities with a high quality single wire. We recommend the diagonal connection when using the single wire to create a greater balance.

Considering the assertion that the two diagonals give two distinct results: unless there are tremendous QC issues in the manufacture of the jumpers, causing them to be noticeably different from each other electrically, how can this be?

If the RLC (resistance, inductance, capacitance) characteristics of the jumpers are particularly bad, then putting them both in series with the HF side (by connecting the wires to the LF connector set) could be expected to give different results than putting them in series with the LF side (connecting wires to the HF set). Connecting the wires diagonally puts one in series with the HF side and one in series with LF. Unless they are significantly different from each other, the result is the same for either diagonal.

Has anyone actually measured the characteristics of any of these jumpers? R and L (resistance and inductance) should be straightforward to measure with the right equipment, and most likely tiny. C depends in part on what's behind the panel, but surely must be extremely small, too. Unless the connections are bad, what else is there?
post #28 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasterfarian View Post

Considering the assertion that the two diagonals give two distinct results: unless there are tremendous QC issues in the manufacture of the jumpers, causing them to be noticeably different from each other electrically, how can this be?

If the RLC (resistance, inductance, capacitance) characteristics of the jumpers are particularly bad, then putting them both in series with the HF side (by connecting the wires to the LF connector set) could be expected to give different results than putting them in series with the LF side (connecting wires to the HF set). Connecting the wires diagonally puts one in series with the HF side and one in series with LF. Unless they are significantly different from each other, the result is the same for either diagonal.

Has anyone actually measured the characteristics of any of these jumpers? R and L (resistance and inductance) should be straightforward to measure with the right equipment, and most likely tiny. C depends in part on what's behind the panel, but surely must be extremely small, too. Unless the connections are bad, what else is there?

I wouldn't over-analyze it. Although I would be open to hearing () what someone had to say about it, I posted that mostly for its entertainment value.
post #29 of 261
Thread Starter 
I bucked up and ordered a pair of Canare 4S11 bi wire cables. If nothing else at least I'll have another set of cables that equal to 12awg.
post #30 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

No kidding?! So are the bottom of my Emeril pots and pans!

Nice pots man!
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