bi-wire vs jumpers

I'm sure the question has been asked before, but could not find it.
by bi-wire I mean a single wire terminated by four connectors at the speakers end.
if you had to choose, regardless of cost, which would you prefer, or which do you think would be more optimal in terms of signals reaching the speaker.

I was considering ordering the Crystal Cable's speaker cable bi-wire splitter instead of using jumpers.

what are your thoughts on this?
My speakers are tri-wire. Initially I used the stock jumpers with JW Audio Cryo Nova speaker cables, then replaced the stock jumpers with JW Audio jumpers. I'm happy with the results.
My choice is to bi-wire instead of using jumpers. I'm sure others will feel the opposite.
Depends. My system benefited more with bi-wires than jumpers. I heard much more "openness" and resolution with bi-wires, compared to jumpers. YMMV.
My system has always sounded better with two separate cables per speaker rather than with jumpers or internal biwire. If cost is irrelevant, that is my choice.
See this thread. My comment in that thread, while obviously somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I think pretty much says it all:
02-07-12: Almarg
Having followed many prior threads that have addressed this question, I can say unequivocally that a clear consensus has emerged. That consensus can be stated as follows:

It may or may not make a difference. If it makes a difference, it may or may not be for the better.
-- Al
bi-wire vs jumpers

if you had to choose, regardless of cost, which would you prefer

Regardless of cost I'd choose bi-wire. Generally, cost is a consideration, but if not a consideration, I'd externally bi-wire from monoblock amplifiers, each amplifier with a seperate box for it's own power supply.
Neither, I use 2 separate runs and it makes a HUGE difference in MY system.
Bi or Tri wire would be my preference. I don't like termintated cables so I use bare wire connected to terminals. In case of bi-wired speaker and single-wired cable, I'd strip the wire longer and thread it between all binding speaker terminals.
I have also heard that this depends on the speakers. Some may have been designed to be biwired, others less so (even though the option is available on the back of the speakers).
Depends on the internal X-over ... each is different from the manufacturers...internal part quality ... roll the dice :-)
Adding to my previous post, in this thread and this one you will find three different people reporting adverse sonic effects resulting from biwiring, specifically an objectionable reduction in bass.

Obviously though, as you can see above and in the thread I linked to earlier, it has produced excellent results for many others, while making no difference for some. As Syntax said above, "roll the dice." :-)

-- Al
What speakers are you using? As pointed out above, some speakers, even though they have dual binding posts, are not really designed to be bi-wired. I recall reading somewhere, for example, that John Dunlavy did not recommend bi-wiring, but he supplied dual sets of binding posts to satisfy the market.

My speakers require tri-wiring; I do that with a bi-wire speaker cable and jumpers from the manufacturer of the speaker cable. Haven't done much experimenting, as I either had a single speaker cable with two jumpers or the biwire with one jumper, and the change to biwiring involved a different cable manufacturer's product. So I can't say for sure that one way is better than the other. I think Al's posts are probably the best summary of what you're going to find in these forums. If you can afford to bi-wire and your speakers will take it, I'd suggest rolling the dice with a biwire in order to relieve any angst you might have. You could then compare the speakers fully bi-wired vs. using one part of the biwiring plus a jumper and report your findings to us!
Neither - shotgun is the absolute best way to go. It's not cheap, which is why it's not talked about alot but, if you have a system worthy - it will pay it's dividends.

Talk is cheap - I actually have done this on several systems, including my current one.
thank you all for your inputs, and the additional links to more opinions. I wasn't expecting a definite answer to it, but it's all good info. Al's comment, agreed

@Jmcgrogan2, I can only wish.

@Rcprince, the speakers are Paradigm S1v3(pbt) -(I live in a small apartment). I ordered a pair of CC Diamond Piccolo's single ended. I'll stick with jumpers for the time being, but I'm very curious about bi-wiring, and should get a set of bi-wire splitters eventually. if I do, I'll duly report my personal preference.


depends on various things and mainly on:

(1) the effect on your speakers (one size does NOT fit all)
(2) how far up the food chain are the speaker cables selected. The better the cable, the less favouritism toward bi-wiring. For example, on the CHORD website, CHORD is migrating away from 2 to 4 bi-wiring in favour of single runs with jumpers:

Bye Bye Bi-wire?

We have taken the decision to discontinue our range of dedicated bi-wire cables. The reason being, that in the vast majority of cases we believe that the best, and more importantly the most musical performance is obtained by using the best quality single wire speaker cable that falls within your budget, rather than a bi-wire cable of the same cost.

see website at
It depends on the system, I have heard it sound better bi-wired on one system and worse on another. One of those things you need to try yourself and assess.
Forget the jumpers. If your spkr has 4 posts & U don't want to bi-wire, just strip another inch off of the spkr wire and run the whole thing through Both terminals.
Links to a couple of sites that had some discussion of the topic. I found both helpful. Do that copy & paste thing.
What is shotgun?
Generally, shotgun refers to a scenerio where two runs of cables are used when one run will do the trick. I'm curious to how it came up on a bi-wire thread too. I guess they are implying that instead of using two runs of cable per speaker one should be using four runs of cables per speaker. Or maybe Jgwilson is simply describing external bi-wiring, as opposed to internal bi-wiring, who knows.

Maybe Jgwilson will be kind enough to come back and enlighten us.
How does stripping an extra inch off the cable and running the same wire to both terminals differ from a jumper?
Henrly - functionally, it doesn't. I thought that was the point of Roscoe's post. Or at least, that's how I read it.
Add my vote to the "it depends" camp. You just have to try it and hear if it sounds better. To eliminate the cable variable, you can try the bi-wire cables in both single and bi-wire configuration. (For single, connect both leads at the speaker end to one set of posts and use your jumpers.)

If you want to get really finicky, you could run a three-way test: single-wired with supplied jumpers, single-wired with aftermarket jumpers, bi-wired. Not to mention testing to see if your old speaker cables are better or worse than your new bi-wired cables. Hours of fun to be had, if you're really dedicated.

I got better results bi-wiring with one pair of speakers, but better results single-wiring with another.
I am still not sure I understand the point of Roscoe's post. Is cable considered better than a jumper?
I've been giving this some thought also. I wonder if it matters if they are going through the same crossover anyways. Also, if you do bi-wire, do you want half the power going to your tweeter when it uses so little power? Wouldn't you in theory be robbing your midbass drivver (in a two way speaker) of power that it could actually use in order to give it to your tweeter that doesn't need as much power? Also, isn't a fat gold plated jumper bar (?) that is supplied with your speaker, and is only one inch long with all kinds of surface area, going to be as good if not better than any speaker cable manufacturers jumper cables?
All very good questions B_limo, and you will get many varied responses I think. From my personal experience, I always felt that running a single run of the best cable I could afford was a better way to go than to split my cable budget in half to bi-wire.

That being said, I am currently bi-wiring again right now, mostly because my current speaker manufacturer recommends bi-wiring. To be honest, I can't really say that it is an improvement. To be fair, I haven't directly compared my bi-wire run of speaker cable to the same manufacturer/model single wire run. So while I have heard differences with the newer cables, my guess is that is more due to the different cable materials and design than it is to the bi-wiring methodology. The differences I have heard have been split into positive and negative differences.
B_limo, in response to your questions above I would just add to Jmcgrogan2's always reliable comments that biwiring does not split the power in half. The total amount of power supplied by the amplifier, and the fraction of that power which goes to the low frequency part of the speaker, and the fraction of that power which goes to the high frequency part of the speaker, will all be virtually the same in a biwired configuration as in a single wired configuration.

The reasons biwiring may make a difference are much more subtle, and explanations tend to be speculative to some degree. The one certainty, though, seems to be that the only way to tell what kind of difference it will make in a given system, if any, is to try it in that system.

Best regards,
-- Al
IMHO bi-wire, or shotgun is pointless. I cannot see how running multiple speaker cables from the same amp can improve the sound.

I have heard from more then 1 speaker designer that they think it is BS but they do provide the option since it is what the market wants.

The only way I can see the multi amping/multi wiring will work is in an active system.
Mordante, if the current for all frequencies flows in a common cable, magnetic fields are generated by the current for all frequencies. As a result, the relatively large current in the bass can modulate the higher frequencies.

Typically, the high-pass crossover has high impedance at low frequencies. In a biwire connection, the cable to those drivers will have little to no current flow of bass frequencies and with that, there will be little or no modulation of the higher frequencies.

Of course, if the speaker designer doesn't implement high-pass crossovers with high impedance in the excluded low frequencies, this benefit won't be realized.