Shotgun Biwire-Definition please

Can someone please define in simple terms what the difference between Bi-wire and Shotgun Bi Wire, advantages vs Disadvantages...?

Rather than give you a long explanation of a topic that has been discussed many times here on the forum, you will glean more and better info by doing a quick search of the Audiogon archives. Simply use the archive's search engine, using the phrase "shotgun bi-wire", or something similar.

Best regards.

Bi-wire cables(speaker) are cables that have a pair of connectors(be it spade, bananas, pins, bare wire etc.) at the amp end and two pairs of connectors at the speaker end in a single cable run (L or R channel for example). The latter is for connecting it to a two way (2 separate binding post; normally configured as mid and hi on top and woofer at the bottom)speaker.
Bi-wire shotguns(can also be identified as external bi-wire) are cables with two separate runs for each channel joined at the amp ends. You still have four connectors at the speaker end but instead of being encase in a single cable housing or insulation, you have two. The amp ends which are joined together and the same as a bi-wire config.

Internal bi-wire, on the other hand, is also the same as bi-wire except two complete runs of wires are encased in a single cable body per channel.

There are no concrete evidence as far as the superiority of one config to the other. In fact some people claim that single run with better jumpers works well than bi-wire. Also, there are papers that contest the advantage of bi-wiring and explains its disadvantages especially on speakers with passive cross overs. Do your research before you decide. In the end, what sounds great to you matters. Also, bi-wire cables are expensive compared to their single run counterparts. Some speaker manufacturers recommends bi-wiring. Conversely, some cautions their customers that there is no difference in performance. inform, and not to convince...
I can see there's a difference of opinion as to what's what & it all depends on who you learned it from.

My take on bi-wire is this:

Single bi-wire: Two terminations at the amp & four at the speaker per side. Two separate cables needed for a stereo hook-up.

Bi-wire or true bi-wire: Two terminations at the amp & two at the speaker. You need two runs per side for one speaker. Total of four separate cables for one stereo hook-up. With this configuration, you either have to stack at the amp end or have two sets of binding posts on the amp.

Shotgun bi-wire: This doubles the cable (wire) for each leg.

As for the differences, it really all depends on what you like. Out of all the possible configurations, the only one I didn't care for was a shotgun single bi-wire set-up. I now use a true bi-wire configuration, mostly because the binding posts on my VR4's are 3' apart.

Here's a link to more info if you're interested:

If you decide to experiment just remember to trust your ears.
Shotgun biwiring utilizes four separate cables runs for each speaker. I used this configuration in two different speaker cable brands for a couple years. Now I have a new brand which utilizes standard internal biwiring so I only have a single fat cable for each speaker. That is, until it reaches the back of the speaker where there are still four separate connectors.
your question is a good question. there are many different ways to bi-wire a speaker. here is a quick explanationon of my opinion of bi-wire cables:

before i attempt to explain this, the main take away is a true biwire set up is at least 4 pairs of cables - utilizing 2 pair per side.

types of biwire:

single biwire- is when the cable that is seperated into 4 terminations at the speaker end and 2 at the amp end. depending on the original design this may not be optimal since the able was designed as a single +/- cable, now it is a +/- to a ++/-- ( ie you literally spilt the cable in half)you'll see alot of cardas cables this way.

true internal bi-wire or internal shotgun - imagaine if you had two pair of cables and all you did is connect the amp ends together so you have 2 spades vs. 4 spades and you put the 2 pairs of cable in one sheath so it looks like a single cable ( harmonic pro 9's are like this and can be used this way, they are 2 pair of pro 11's in one sheath)

it is two +/- cables sheathed in one housing(2 per speaker) so you have one + and one - at the amp end coming down to +/-,+/- at the speaker end. this is a true biwire can also be a called a "internal shotgun" since the speaker cable is doubled up or two pairs of cables.

shotgun or external bi-wire- same as above,imagaine if you had two pair of cables and all you did is connect the amp ends together so you have 2 spades vs. 4 spades and you DONT have the housing) this is a true biwire can also be a called a "external shotgun" since the speaker cable is doubled up and it is visable ( yea it looks cool because it is big)

there are different types of shotguns biwires- some manufactures ( like tara) use 1 cable per termination - so you have 2 positive wires coming coming to one at the amp end and 2 negative wire coming to one at the amp end PER SPEAKER ( so you now have 4 wires externally - 2 plus and 2 negative PER SPEAKER) vs. 2 ( you have two plus combined and 2 minuses combined( - all they did was seperate the positive from the negative..really not that big of deal - it does look cool though). I am selling a pait of tara master gen 1's if you want to see a picture, it is here on audiogon)

i hope that helps out, you should listen to your speakers with a tue bi wired cable. most speakers designed that way do sound thier best when they are bi-wired.

the drawback to the whole true bi-wiring gig is you are paying for a extra set of cables.

best regards,