Vandersteen 5A biwire shotgun absolutely required?

I know this is recommended but is it absolutely necessary to get the best sound from the 5A's? I'm currently using the Synergistic Research Accel. biwire(internal) cables with the builtin jumpers - they work great but I wonder :)

Thanks in advance for any opinions

Your description is confusing. Let's define the possibilities clearly:

1. Full Range pair of speaker cables - This is just a pair of cables with a positive & negative at the amp end and a positive & negative at the speaker end. To connect a biwirable speaker with these requires a set of jumpers.

2. Internally Biwired pair of cables - this is a single pair of speaker cables that has a positive & negative at the amp end but breaks out into two positives and two negatives at the speaker end. These do not require any jumpers.

3. Double Biwired set of cables - this is the ideal way to biwire with two full range pairs of cables.

I suspect that what you have is a full range pair of cables with a set of jumpers. If that is correct, then I would recommend getting a second set of identical (or nearly identical) cables and do a true double biwire.

A second (less ideal, but workable and less expensive) option would be to have your cables reterminated for an internal biwire, assuming that they are of sufficient overall gauge and have the necessary individually insulated internal conductors to be used that way.

The least appealing option is to use your full range cables with the jumpers. But if you have to, I would recommend running the negative speaker connector to the BASS- terminal and the positive speaker connector to the TREBLE+ terminal on your 5A's. Then connect your black jumper between the BASS- & TREBLE- and connect your red jumper between the TREBLE + & BASS +.
I doubt you really need to bi-wire to get best tho I have talked with Richard several times and he advises Bi-wire so I would trust the man who made them. What confuses me most about Bi-wire with my fathers Wood Quatro and the 5A is the fact the woofer is powered which IMO makes Bi-wire less of an issue then with most speakers.
My father runs Audioquest Mont Blac speaker cables on his Vandersteen Quatro's which are Bi-wire but not shotgun and the sound is stunning.
Davemitchell: I have #2.

I think I'll just stay with what I have and save some money. Experimenting always costs me $$ and usually the result isn't worth it ;)

I would guess that if you are going to spend that kind of money, it would be foolish to not follow the manufacturers instructions. I own 5A's and 1c's, and I never tried the 5A's non-biwire. I did own the 3A Signatures for a year+ and they benefited quite a bit with bi-wire, even when I was running two 2wq subs, and the high pass filters in front of the amp.

Cable Company.
Do it right for heavens sake. Presumably, your amps are in between the 2 speakers so that you have short speaker cables and long interconnect. That is what Vandersteen recommends and that is what works best. Bi-wire must have 4 seperate wires to each speaker, otherwise it is compromised. When you spend that much for a speaker, a couple of feet of cable shouldn't be an issue. I tried all brands of speaker and interconnects, and I like Anti-Cables the best. Those high priced spreads only cost more, but do nothing more..many times less than the Anti-cables. These are solid core, and sound the same in all frequency ranges. Try it... cheap and good...something nearly never found.
No, it is not absolutly required .
Yes , you are right - it is recommended (me+).
"Experimenting always costs me $$ and usually the result isn't worth it "
Not necessary. Get some Radio Shack 10 or 12 gauge spk, wire - cost $10-$15. Try it both ways,...pick one.
Vandersteen has been consistent in recommending bi-wiring since before the Model 5 was even introduced. Why would anyone spending what the 5A costs be reluctant to do otherwise?
Does anyone know if the Audioquest Mont Blac single run bi-wire is just split at the speaker end or is it 4 seperate leads tied into the amp end?
all good points, and thanks for the comments. The reason I ask is because Synergistic Research states this:

"Shotgun Bi-Wire vs. TESLA IFT Bi-Wire:
One option that does not take advantage of IFT Bi-Wire is a shotgun termination of two parallel speaker wires terminated to a common set of spade or bananas at the amplifier end. Obviously this option would deliver double the cost of bi-wiring your system when compared to IFT Bi-Wire but would it carry higher performance? The simple answer is "no." First by separating the high(er) frequencies from low frequencies the amplifier sees very different loads and transfers your music as a mis-matched signal with significant phase distortion to your speakers. It is as if you are "focusing" on the upper frequencies with a "wide-angle" lens and a the low frequencies with a "telephoto" lens. This presents high frequencies and low frequencies in different aspect ratios for a sound stage that sounds "bigger" in the upper registers then it does in the lower registers and this introduces sound staging problems. A far better option would be to spend the extra money on a higher end speaker wire with IFT Bi-Wire thereby elevating your systems presentation in an equal and balanced way.

If the manufacturer of your speakers insists on running separate speaker wires to the high and low frequency of your speakers binding posts we can arrange for you to audition two speaker cables in shot gun vs. the equivalent higher end speaker wire of approximately the same value with IFT Bi-Wire and allow you to make the final call as to which bi-wire option delivers higher performance."

I have the SR Tesla Accelerator biwire.
Like I said: Try it for yourself. It will cost you close to nothing. Use any cheap cables you like. Run a single connection with jumpers and listen for few days. Get accustom to the sound. Now, run your 5A in true bi-wire mode (4 identical lines each spk.). Let them run in for few days. You should be able to hear the difference (whatever it might be). Decide on the method that sounds MOST NATURAL. If you can't hear the difference - do not worry, you just saved yourself a big chunk of money.
And do yourself a favor and don't listen to manufacturer's mambo-jumbo. If they offer a FREE audition, use it but it would be wise to compare apples to apples rather then $5 apple to $5 orange (as it is suggested). And remember that it is YOU who will have to live with the choices made, not me, "Joe Blow" or anyone else from Audiogon community. So choose what sounds best & makes most sense to YOU.

I will give you an example (my own with Quatros) that may or may not surprise you (and others).

While setting up my new listening room I had an opportunity to play around with different cables, preamps, tubes etc. My goal was to get the sound that is as transparent, uncolored as possible.... but musical and involving in the same time. I knew what I wanted,.....that was easy, finding the right combination of components was a different story.
After deciding on the new preamp(Supratek,$1700used over Jas $2400 new) and CDP (Droplet 5.0 $3200new over Prima Luna8 $2500new), I run everything for two weeks and let it settle down. Interesting is the fact that all my evaluation was done using cheap Radio Shack cable in bi-wire configuration. Interconnects were of similar quality.
I can almost picture you shaking your head....but wait, there is a reason behind all this. Just think about it............if you can build a successful, musical and transparent system based "only" on speakers/components synergy, careful speaker placement and some room treatment. Without use of expensive tweaks, cables etc., just imagine what can be achieved later.
After initial setup and burn-in period it was time for final touches with right cables and some tube rolling.
After a few experiments I settle on Morrow interconnects, power cables, Granite power, Signal Cable, H-Tech ITC, K-Kable power and A-Research ITC.
Speaker cables on hand were AQ type 8 with 36V DBS (bi-wire $1800 8-runs) and Vampire Wire CCS/S bi-wire(Continuous Cast Silver Speaker Cable, about $200 per foot for single +- pair).
I got both cables for at least 70% off retail, so it didn't matter which cable represented a better value.
I pick silver since it sounded more transparent in my system. big or small was the difference between Vampire and Radio Shack cable??? Well....premium cable improved bass resolution, speed and transparency. However, Radio Shack gave me about 70% performance of the much more expensive cable. Considering its price, it is no brainer. The overall improvements that Vampire Wire made on the whole system were small....but noticeable. Justification of value of such small improvement is a very personal decision and usually depends on the size of your valet. Similar improvements can be gain with some vibration control and power management/conditioning. But unquestionable the biggest improvements per dollar are in proper setup and room treatments. So if I was given the choice of cheap cables or apropriate room acoustic treatments and systen setup, I would choose later option every time.
I am sure there are more then few who might disagree but at the end what matters the most is, that it sounds right to you.