Bi-wired vs Single Termination

Recently upgraded speakers to B&W 804s and want to upgrade speaker cables. B&W has ability to be bi-wired or to use their supplied jumper at the speaker terminals. What is the adjantage of a bi-wired cable vs a single termination and use of B&W jumpers. I am looking at a used set of Volcanos with single banana plugs vs a set of Mont Blanc with bi-wiring. I understand volcano is a "better" cable but all things being equal which configuation is "better". Speakers are not being bi-amped and at this time I do not intend to bi-amp them.
I believe that a cable that is a true Biwire design is supposed to split and direct the audio frequency between the two pairs of speaker connectors. One pair is supposed to have the low end frequencies and the other should have the mid and upper frequencies. Some cables have Biwire terminations, but aren't specifically designed to separate the signals and thus they are feeding the entire signal. I think in this case, it is no different than a shotgun cable with jumpers.
if you go with a single run you will need a better jumper to get the best sound. Some would recommend a single run of better wire and others will recommend bi wire of a lesser quality (for the same price) The bi wire config will give better bass (usually IMO) just because of the greater cross section of wire

bottom line is you will get a million different answers it is best to buy used and try for yourself.
The signal sent from amp to speaker by bi-wire is full-range to both pairs of posts. What is split is the feedback from the speaker, particularly the woofer. The woofer's physical movement generates electrical energy that travels back toward the amp. With a single wire that energy goes into the crossover and you can have inter-driver inaction, potentially degrading midrange performance.

Good crossovers are designed to disapate this energy and don't need to be biwired. However, some speakers are designed to be biwired and will generally sound best that way.

I don't have any direct experience with your particular speakers. Maybe someone with that experience will comment.

Hey Smerlas,

Check out my Goertz Bi-wires over on Videogon, great cables at a great price!

Figured I would get different opinions, I am looking at used the two cables mentioned are available here for about 1K used. I was hoping for someone who has similar speakers who might have tried both and what their impression was. Also came across a interesting comment from a Bryston owner about their 9GA speaker cables ... went something like if they are OK for studios then they are good for their set up ........... makes sense .... is 1K for speaker cables a diminished return over say the $250.00 Bryston speaker cable.
What length of speaker cable do you need? There is a pair of Jena Labs Symphony cables on Audiogon, 6ft biwire that are outstanding cables. I am not the seller but really like what these cables offer. What is the rest of your system? Solid state, tubed or a mix? Also, I would agree with Dcstep regarding the general question you posed. If you go shotgun, get better jumpers, otherwise biwire is typically a better solution for most speakers that are designed this way.
When I first bi-wired I was very surprised at the improvement. Go for it.

Speaker run is 6 to 8 feet. System - BW804s powered by Bryston 4BSST & PB25 pre.
I don't think using the jumper will give you the same results as a single or double biwire will.

The biwire Mont Blanc should be sufficient for the 804's, which don't have large enough woofers to need the bigger gauge of Volcano. You could have the Volcano reterminated as a single biwire, which requires just the speaker end to be done. Audioquest will charge perhaps $50-60, but then there is shipping both ways and the wait involved, although you could have the seller ship them directly to Audioquest.

Volcano may sound better than Mont Blanc, but at what price? Probably double. I think Mont Blanc is as far as you need to go in the AQ line.
If you choose to go bi-wire: Use a cable that has two discrete pairs of conductors(full length) or two separate cables. You will gain nothing with regard to sound otherwise. Adding another pair of connectors to a single pair conductor cable is a waste of time. All you're doing is replacing the jumper with more wire that way.
03-23-08: Rodman99999 said:
"If you choose to go bi-wire: Use a cable that has two discrete pairs of conductors(full length) or two separate cables. You will gain nothing with regard to sound otherwise. Adding another pair of connectors to a single pair conductor cable is a waste of time. All you're doing is replacing the jumper with more wire that way."

I've wondered the same thing about this practice. Have you ever seen a study of this? Due to the low impedence at the amp, will the cables shunt the feedback back to the amp, away from the crossover, better than a jumper? (The jumper doesn't shunt anything and actually becomes part of the crossover).

I don't know, I'm just wondering and can't find anything reliable about the subject.

Dcstep- You're correct: the jumper is just a connection between the high and low frequency sections of the crossover. Here's a short treatise on the subject of bi-wiring(as well as active and vertical bi-amping): (
Rodmann thanks for the link and to all for the opinions. I am going to try the biwire. Now I just have to find a used set. During the course of this thread the volcanos and mont blancs both sold.
Expand your horizons and look for either WireWorld Eclipse 5 or Kimber BiFocal XL as well. Both wonderfully transparent cables. Happy listening!!
I recommend the Goertz MI2 Veracity as the best all around 'economy' cable out there.

RWs deal above looks like a great one as long as it is the Veracity and not the Python which is newer but less well thought of.

sorry to hi jack your thread
I got into this Bi-wire thing when I got my Vandersteen 5A's. Richard Vandersteen says and I have become a believer that to bi-wire you must have 2 totally seperate pair of cables - 8 wires for a bi-wired stereo pair. Go to the Vandersteen website where you will see an explanation, however, my ears tell me that he's correct. Jumpers are a total waste of time.
This is a very interesting subject. I was always one to say two separate runs, biwired and combined at the amp end, was the best way to go. Jumpers seemed to be a band-aid solution. But then I became enamored with Synergistic Research cables (namely their Tesla active line). Ted And the folks at SR are actively (no pun intended) pushing for an integrated jumper architecture, not two wires. Read their explanation here:
>SR biwire theory
For some reason that link got corrupted
I had N804, and did bi-wire for a while and went with a better cable not bi-wired, Granted I went to a much better cable, I never noticed a difference when bi wire was used on the 804N. I did bi amp and yes big difference, how ever, I sold one of my amps and used it to start the upgrade of power cords and interconnects and power cords to all Shunyata. When I was done the less powerful amp is the one I kept since it was better quality. The system had suprisingly more power and much better sound with one amp and not bi-wired. I really don't get it but this made me a believer in cables and Shunyata. The sound overall was much better and warmer for sure. The bass was much better as well, wierd but this was my experience. Spend as much as you can to get a good speaker cable not bi wire and upgrade the jumpers to match you speaker cable if you can. Don't forget though, its more important in my experience to have good power cords and interconnects first before the speaker wire is worried about. I started with the power cord for the cdp and i-conn, then worked my way to the speaker. I added one at a time and listened for a while to make sure what I was getting from each addition.

I read the Synergistic Research explanation which makes sense ...... especially the part about the physical properties of most jumpers.... with that said it seams that one could simply make or have made a jumper from the same material as their cable ...... so now we come full circle to AQ Volcano with jumper, Mont blance, someone else ..... or Anticables ...... Tedmbrady are you running the SR cables ...
Off to the local dealer to pickup some wires to demo ... and I am sure to recieve some biased info based on the brands they carry.
Let us know how it goes.
I demo'd and loved the Tesla Accelerator (both IC's and SC's but not at the same time). A set of biwired Tesla sc's are in my near future. I'd likely biwire as per SR. In the meantime I use the incredibly hi-value Reality Cables (Gregg Straley's design) and just today received a used set of his jumpers.

I do believe that if using jumpers one should use the same cable model, if possible. The cables I replaced are AZ Satori shotgun and they use separate runs, combined at the amp end. Robert Lee designs them to have an ever so shorter low pass end than the high pass.
B&Ws are better with biwire speaker cables. Try to get a true biwire cable, like Acoustic Zen Satori Shotgun or Kimber Bi-Focal XL. Why are you limited to only Audioquest cables?
I am not necessarily limited to AQ - local dealer sells AQ which is where exposure has been. During this whole process I have ended up looking down other roads. Most recent distraction has been the AntiCables.
stick with a well known and reputable brands.
OK Big distraction, I ended up with a Musical Fidelity A5 CD player and integrated amp to demo instead of cables.

I stopped by today and returned CD player and integrated and will be refocusing on the cables. I am currenlty watching for used Mont Blanc with bi-wire. I am leaning toward biwired option.
Update on speaker cable project. Yes it has now become a project.

Based on a review I found which appeared in "The Absolute Sound" in April/May 2004 in which a number of cables were compared in one review I decided to perform my own test based on a review of a 14ga exterior extension cord reterminated as a speaker cable.

Interesting review for those interested ......... salient points were .......... "some of the most depth of any cable - with tuneful bass, notably good height, and a quite lifelike projection" and of equal importance that you can spend a heck of a lot more for certain brands but with little increase in return.

Ten Brands were compared. I found this while researching the AQ-CV6.

So I headed off to Home Depot and purchased 16-feet of 10ga 4 conductor power cord to make a pair of 8-foot biwired speaker cables. Holy cow (or any other holy object you want to insert) incredible increase in base and clarity over a set of homemade biwire cables made with "Monster" speaker wire.

At this point I am going to let the cables burn in for a while and just enjoy.
I've read the same article a number of times. In fact: It inspired me to go with WireWorld Atlantis 5's for awhile. I now have the Eclipse 5's on my mains(I'm actively bi-amping with a TacT RCS 2.2XP). As inexpensive as the Home Depot extension cord((HD-14G as Paul Seydor dubbed it)is: why not go ahead and try it in the the bi-wire configuration? There's no doubt you will find an audible improvement.