shotgun vs. bi-wire cables

What is the difference between speaker cables that are configured in a shotgun vs. a bi-wire design?
shotgun is literally two cables joined at the amp end.

the majority of bi-wire cables is when they split the cable, so 1/2 goes to the top and 1/2 to the bottom.
there are some exceptions where there is twice the amount of cable in a internal biwire cable

shotgun is generally better since you get twice the cable, the drawback is the expense

hope that helps,

Normal configuration is one wire for each the positive and negative terminal for the amp and speaker (one cable with two wires per speaker), terminated at the ends.

Shotgun is two wires for each the positive and negative terminal for the amp and speaker (double the normal configuration). The two wires are run in the same jacket and are fused at the spade, banana, etc, and look like the normal configuration with the exception that you may see the twisted wires behind each spade.

Bi-wire is two wires at the amp end (one each for + and -) with four wires at the speaker end (2 + and 2 -)

Shotgun biwire doubles the normal bi-wire configuration (pair of wires for the + and - at the amp and 4 pairs of wires at the speaker).

All based on what I see on my cables - maybe there's something more.
Hi Parrot.

Mike's description is good and correct. I would like to add that compared to the shotgun approach, a bi-wire speaker cable that's one cable split as Mike describes is has virtually no benefit. You would probably be better off using a speaker cable of the single/split variety as one. When the conductors are this intimate in a single jacket, there's too much field interaction. The shotgun approach eliminates this and is in good part why it works. The former, I believe, is a good part of why bi-wire cables get a bad rap on occasion. There are other factors to consider also but, as for the cables themselves, shotgun is the way to go.

Further, the performance hierarchy is as follows:

1.) Bi-amp/bi-wire shotgun (as a side not, all Shotgun is bi-wire but not all bi-wire is shotgun. just another way to look at it.) It's possible to use two stereo amps or four mono blocks to comprise this arrangement. This is the best.

2.) Mono blocks or stereo amp/bi-wire shotgun. Next best and can be substantially less expensive but with the cost of some speaker cables, who knows? Performance can be very close to number one.

3.) Mono Blocks or stereo amp/bi-wire non shotgun. Forget about it. Save your money and buy more music.

Thanks for asking the question. I'll send you a free CD (see “best interconnect you have tried” thread).

Hope this helps a bit.

Kind Regards,
Just to simplify "shotgun" is internal bi-wire where a traditional "bi-wire" requires two runs of cable.
More information here and also in the archives.
btw, i have found that a true shotgun offer much better bass response and improved imaging than a split internal bi-wire.

btw,a shotgun configuration can be used in a single termination setup.

some wires such as the tara reference series and the van den hul revalation hybrid offers 1 individual cable per termination.

so in a single wire setup there is a seperate cable for the + and a seperate cable for the -. and in a bire wire situation there would literally be 4 cables per side.

hope that helps.


I generally agree with Roberts answer although Audience cables have the opposite philisophy. And do not accept any free CD's from Robert as they contain subliminal messages.
Perhaps thats why he refused to allow me to substitute that devilish drug inspiried Jazz CD he is pushing, for Grand Funk Railroad's greatest hits . {all two of them}.