If I were to biwire again, I would use cables made by the same manufacturer and similar in construction. I could see using a heavier gauge on the bass, but I think the construction should be the same. BTW, I'm back to single wire now. IMHO, your better off buying a more expensive single run, then spliting your money on two runs of less expensive speaker cable. This is a touchy subject and opinions will vary according to system/room interactions and musical tastes. I think there are companies out there now that make quality jumpers. E-mail the maker of the speaker cable you choose, if they don't make jumpers, I'm sure they will have a good recommendation.
Sherod, what do you think of your AZ Satoris? I am currently using biwire Kimber 4TC speaker cables. I am looking to upgrade and the Acoustic Zens are specifically what I've been considering. I am looking at a single run however due to the cost of 2 sets of Satoris.
Sherod: sorry there are no hard & fast answers to your questions. Opinions vary all over the map & many are simply opinions based upon no particular experience, but you'll get them nevertheless. Opinions are like ... well you know.
That said: I have * read* of the experince of many others who far preferred wire-jumpers to those connecting bars. I have no experience with either method. I use single-biwire myself & it worked well for me, but that doesn't mean it will be best for you. Regarding specific combinations of mix & match, that can go either way. The only way to find out what will work best for you in your own system & with regard to your own particular sonic tastes is to experiment. Silver cabling can be a bit "zipppy" & some will prefer that effect. Silver plated copper is different too.
Clingman, I love the Satori's. Very natural sound. I'm a trumpet player, so I listen to a lot of music, especially jazz, with a lot of trumpets, and the Satori give a natural presentation of that unique brass sound. There are a pair on Auction right now. Go for it.
Linn have a technical view on this. Try going to the following site.
But then you could always listen and make you own mind up. This seems to be the best approach.
I am currently bi-wiring after single wiring with brass plates and with jumpers. Jumpers are definitely better than the brass plates, not for the distance, but for the quality of the connection. Think about it -- after buying quality speaker cable, why would you want to complete the connection with crappy brass plates? I've used the Dedicated Audio jumpers and Transparent Reference jumpers, with the Transparents coming out ahead.
As for bi-wiring, I've heard both sides. I think it is probably system and speaker dependent and I would agree that a single cable of superior quality would probably outdo much lesser quality bi-wiring. In my case, bi-wiring improved the sound significantly. I'm using an older top of the line MIT speaker cable for the highs and a much lesser MIT of the same vintage, but similar construction, for the lows.
My amplifier has two pairs of binding posts for both channels and I have used two pairs of both Cardas Neutral Ref and Satori with similar results. The next phase was to a single run of Satori and jumpers. Now I have a single run of Audience Au24 and use their hook up wire in twisted pairs for jumpers, the Au15 (18 ga.).
Unless I went to an active crossover with bi-amplification, I would not go back to bi-wiring. Even though Audience offers bi-wire speaker cables, they do not recommend them in most cases and provide this link on their website:
I don't miss the unnatural airy sound which was the bi-wire signature on all recordings in my system.
I can tell you with my setup, I noticed an improvement with biwiring. While it actually sounded the same as single wiring upon first comparison at moderate to loud volume, both a friend and I noticed that our ears hurt with the single wire but not with the biwire. Only thing I can come up with is that the bass can pull more current from the amp without also feeding that same extra current through the treble (which was what was hurting our ears). Not sure if this theory holds ground (pardon the pun) electrically.
Keep in mind this test was done on my fairly low-fi system. I currently have a Denon AVR1700 receiver powering Joseph Audio RM22si signature speakers with 2 separate runs of Kimber 4TC.
I wouldn't lose any sleep over jumpers. Some of the same people who will give extensive views on such items also use splitters when biamping and never comment on the regular copper wire inside the unit. Worry about something else.
I currently bi-wire and I definitely reap the benefits of a more controlled low-end and a more defined high-end. Just try it.
My previous speakers benefited greatly from using ZERO autoformers. One pair sounded great, two pairs (bi-ZERO) were phenmomenal. I asked a noted cable designer why this would be so and he thought it was probably due to isolation of back-EMF.
Re: Vandersteen Audio's speaker Owner's Manual(s): based on extensive testing, Vandersteen strongly recommends true bi-wiring with their speakers. I now use internal bi-wired cables by Synergistic Research and like them a lot-- the bass wire in these high purity copper cables is of heavier gauge than the mid/treble wire.
In order to achieve the best results in a true bi-wired setup (4 wires to each speaker), the individual wires must be separated by an inch or so over most of the run(s), and in a practical setting, this can be hard to do-- that's why I went to internal bi-wires. Cheers. Craig
All the above pros and cons are valid, but it still comes down to trying it in your system. There are alot of variables to consider.
But some considerations both ways.
The jumper camp:
Consider this. When you connect your spade to a terminator that has a jumper, the signal will have to additionally travel through the jumper to get to the terminating post. You now have multiple paths to the terminating post and an inferior connection. In a high resolution system you can hear this. If you have a binding post that has a metal nut, you may have 3 paths for the signal.
The YES biwire camp:
For best results, run 4 lengths of identical cable and keep them all separated. Real air is the best dielectric. I've always thought that physically separate plus & minus have an advantage over plus & minus in the same jacket. If this is true then having 4 wires in the same jacket must be worse. My listening tests seem to prove this out.
Also if you bi-wire with two sets of wires rather than a biwire set. On the amp side you have the same multiple signal paths to the binding post issue I mentioned in the jumper considerations.
Try separating the spades of each wire with a rubber washer or vinyl gromlet. I've tried plastic, ceramic and paper, they didn't sound as good.
The Audience manufacturer has a very good article on why not to bi-wire. And Robert at Acoustic Zen does not bi-wire his own system which includes the B&W 801 speakers.