Speaker jumpers or bi wire ?

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Anonymous

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it would be nice if somebody could explain just HOW there may be a difference, what happens, how cable A sounds better than cable B, how a jumper may sound better than speaker cable etc, in laymans terms of course
 

datay

New member
Nov 19, 2008
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I direct you to the Audioquest website for just such an explanation (or Atlas for that matter). But then, they make cables, and so are partial. It is a good read though (at least I thought so).
 

Crocodile

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Jan 15, 2009
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Andrew Everard:
It's always highly amusing in these threads to see the difference between those who say 'I've tried it and for me it works' and those offering merely 'It can't work because - well, well, well - just because it can't, and if you think it does you are either stupid or delusional'.

Who's speaking from experience, and who's being dogmatic?

I don't see anyone being called either stupid or delusional.

But as you've stepped in & have no doubt had many conversations with speaker manufacturers, do you propose that they deliberately downgrade their speaker's performance for the sake of a few pence worth of speaker cable or are they being "dogmatic"?
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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Crocodile:I don't see anyone being called either stupid or delusional.

Crocodile:I can only assume that those who profess to hear an improvement after replacing the bars with cables had poor/dirty connections in the first place.

Grottyash:Let me put it quite bluntly: if you hear a difference over a run of cable 2 - 3 cms long, then its in your head.

Crocodile:do you propose that they deliberately downgrade their speaker's
performance for the sake of a few pence worth of speaker cable or are
they being "dogmatic"?

I propose nothing. That was your suggestion: please don't associate me with it.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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Crocodile:hifilover1979:
Yes I'm being seriousDo you seriously believe that having spent thousands on R&D, the very last thing a speaker manufacturer does before launching a product is say "I know, let's deliberately downgrade the sound quality so that we can save 50p on speaker cable"?

If they end up selling 5,000 pairs......
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Andrew Everard:
It's always highly amusing in these threads to see the difference between those who say 'I've tried it and for me it works' and those offering merely 'It can't work because - well, well, well - just because it can't, and if you think it does you are either stupid or delusional'.

Who's speaking from experience, and who's being dogmatic?

So those who say "I've tried it and for me it didn't work" don't count?

No doubt it's less amusing if you include them...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Andrew Everard:
Crocodile:I don't see anyone being called either stupid or delusional.

Crocodile:I can only assume that those who profess to hear an improvement after replacing the bars with cables had poor/dirty connections in the first place.

Grottyash:Let me put it quite bluntly: if you hear a difference over a run of cable 2 - 3 cms long, then its in your head.

Crocodile:do you propose that they deliberately downgrade their speaker'sperformance for the sake of a few pence worth of speaker cable or arethey being "dogmatic"?

I propose nothing. That was your suggestion: please don't associate me with it.

You did introduce the terms "stupid and delusional", however.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
How about I give you some reasons it may?

The Jumper is just different from the cable you are using. If you think the last few cm doesn't matter, why don't you try attach some 4cm of cable from radio shack or something to the end of your cable right before you connect it to your speaker? If a few cm doesn't count that wouldn't have mattered in AB testing?

I am not saying the speaker manufacturer is saving or using cheap cable. I am saying they may have put platinum and uranium in their jumper, but it may just have different characteristics than your speaker cable. They have no way to know what kind of thing you would end up plugging into the sockets, so their jumper maybe generic copper plate so it is up to the user to match their setup?

Science is just a simplification of reality, a math model. If there are unknowns not yet exist in the domain of science, there won't be a model or the existing model won't take into account into the unknowns. It doesn't mean those factors does not exist. It only means it has not yet been studied.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
i recently swapped the standard jumpers on my speakers for custom made chord odyssey 2 jumper cables to match my speaker cables. dont think it made any difference whatsoever
 

Andrew Everard

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Grottyash:You did introduce the terms "stupid and delusional", however.

Indeed: the quotes I provided above were my evidence for the comment I made.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Andrew Everard:
Grottyash:You did introduce the terms "stupid and delusional", however.

Indeed: the quotes I provided above were my evidence for the comment I made.

Just because people disagree on these forums, doesn't mean they are calling each other "stupid and delusional". If someone applies scientific theory to a question of differences that are perceived by others, then I would say that is a very sensible way of looking at things. How many people who apparently notice a difference do so under strict scientific conditions? Does Joe Public make a habit of carrying out "blind" comparisons? You cannot deny the possibility that the perceived difference in sound quality is, in some cases, as a result of the placebo effect. Are people stupid for "hearing" a difference when they are already convinced that they will do so before even carrying out the test?

Whether this is a conscious or a sub-conscious thought process, it will still influence people's opinions. Even doing a blind test and telling a subject that you are changing to a more expensive cable can make them think they have heard a difference. That does not make them stupid, it just makes them human. Does one person disagreeing with another over such a matter make either party stupid? Quite the contrary if you ask me, as the very nature of questioning what we are told rather than just accepting is what has brought us from the stone age into the modern day world of technology. I think everyone on here, as lovers of hi-fi & home cinema etc, should be grateful to those of us that do question what we are told.

Maybe there are differences to be had, maybe some people have more sensitive ears than others. On the other hand maybe some are more perceptible to the placebo effect than others... At the end of the day, people on here should be able to have discussions on here without statements like "stupid and delusional" being thrown around when I for one don't think that is what was meant by the original comments that were quoted.
 

Crocodile

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Jan 15, 2009
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I fail to see how offering an alternative as to why a difference may be heard equates to someone being "delusional"?

How about you offer something constructive Andrew? When the magazine carries out speaker tests, is it done with the manufacturer supplied bridges or speaker cable, & why?

BenLaw, that's two threads I've seen you post in & on neither occasion have you had anything to offer to the OP...

David, if a speaker manufacturer were to sell 5,000 then obviously they would have made a small saving in their costs. But when they are fighting each other tooth & nail be be the "best" do you think it likely they would make such a compromise? Maybe there's an industry-wide agreement between them that stipulates they all do it to maintain parity? Of course if this were true then any dealer worth their salt would be demo-ing speaker both in their compromised out-of-the-box state & with the superior sound available by replacing the bridges. Do you?
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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Crocodile:I fail to see how offering an alternative as to why a difference may be heard equates to someone being "delusional"?

You miss my point. For someone to say

Grottyash:Let me put it quite bluntly: if you hear a
difference over a run of cable 2 - 3 cms long, then its in your
head.

is clearly suggesting that the person who hears such a difference is deluding themselves.

Crocodile:How about you offer something constructive Andrew? When the magazine carries out speaker tests, is it done with the manufacturer supplied bridges or speaker cable, & why?

BenLaw, that's two threads I've seen you post in & on neither occasion have you had anything to offer to the OP...

How about you stop attacking people, Crocodile?

When biwirable speakers are supplied for review, they are tested both with the jumpers supplied by the manufacturer, and with the jumpers removed for biwiring/biamping. Just as our colleagues on What Car? wouldn't test a car only after fitting non-standard tyres or spark plugs or whatever, we test the speakers as the manufacturer chooses to supply them - ie in showroom condition.
 

ID.

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Feb 22, 2010
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I thought my B&W 685s sounded better with jumper cables than with the brass links they came with. Biwiring was with different cable, so not really a meaningful comparison.

My PCM DB1i sound better with the supplied links than with the jumper wires I used.
 

deanhartley

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Dec 18, 2008
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I must admit to not bi-wiring speakers for development or listening. We prefer to include 2 sets of terminals in case customers prefer to bi-amp, which we feel does present a significant increase in performance. However we also configure speakers to take this into account. On all our 2 1/2 way or 3 way speakers (Like Silver RX6 for example), we wire the lower set of terminals to the bottom bass and the top set to the top bass/mid and tweeter. This therefore spreads the load when using two seperate amplifiers. Most speaker manufacturers still tend to just reserve the top set of bi-wire terminals for the tweeter only.

I've tended to stay out of conversations on cables for many years. However, we do try all sorts of test during development and I can say that (when new), the typical gold plated bi-wire links provided with most speakers are just as good as any speaker cable link. Afterall they measure micro Ohms and all we are concerned with is contact resistence over such a short length. After a while, perhaps contact resistence is affected by surface corrosion. We have tried measuring gold plate links over a period of time, but never managed to find a 'measureable' difference. But that is pure physics. As for Psyco-acoustic, or should I say Pscotic-acoustics well that's a different story.
 

Cold Roses

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Sep 23, 2009
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It's interesting reading the varying opinions on this thread, including Dean's comments (as a speaker manufacturer). I do think it's healthy to be sceptical and to take note of the science (measured differences in sound).

That said, my personal experience when switching the standard plates on my B&W 685s to jumper cables (matching my speaker cable) was that it made a noticeable difference. Now this may well be down to a placebo/psychoacoustic effect, but I don't really care as it definitely worked for me and the cost of this particular tweak really was neglible. Pound for pound, it was the most cost-effective upgrade I've ever made.

Interestingly, don't B&W supply some of their higher range models (e.g., the 800 series) with jumper cables rather than plates?
 

noddy1977

New member
Feb 3, 2011
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IMO Keep the single run of your existing wire and use a shortish lenght say 4" of the same cable you use, screw down under the binding posts providing your using banana plugs, you can try this with any other type of spare cable you may have lying around just to test first and if you like the result go with same cable your using in the single run.

I found it seperated the sound of the high frequency instruments and gave a more airy feel but thats my own opinion, would like to hear yours?
 

whiskywheels

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Nov 1, 2009
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I thought I'd give this a try also. On my B&W 685's, my chord carnival silverscreen cables were connected to the lower pair of terminals, and of course, connected by the metal (brass?) plate. It occured to me that improving the connection between the lower (bass) and upper (tweeter) terminals would in theory improve the tweeter sound, as the speaker cables were connected directly to the lower pair of terminals. I didn't try connecting the cables directly to the upper pair with the plate still in place, and remembered the guy in Sevonoaks Hi-Fi telling me it didn't matter if I connected to the upper or lower terminals, as they were joined by the plate. But I did try removing the plate and fitting jumpers. I could immediately hear a subtle improvement in the treble range, smoother and silkier, but also a more prominent and solid bass. I'm sticking with the jumpers.

There's no scientific evidence why this should be so, AFAIK. But this phenomenon is well documented by leading scientists and others who question scientific reductionism, and the old Cartesian/Newtonian paradigm in favour of a model that moves away from the molecular model and towards a bio-psycho-social model of understanding. See here for example, one of many sources. Those more concerned with insults, abuse, who said what etc. see here , or read this , if you so wish.
 

basshead

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Mar 4, 2009
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whiskywheels:
I thought I'd give this a try also. On my B&W 685's, my chord carnival silverscreen cables were connected to the lower pair of terminals, and of course, connected by the metal (brass?) plate. It occured to me that improving the connection between the lower (bass) and upper (tweeter) terminals would in theory improve the tweeter sound, as the speaker cables were connected directly to the lower pair of terminals. I didn't try connecting the cables directly to the upper pair with the plate still in place, and remembered the guy in Sevonoaks Hi-Fi telling me it didn't matter if I connected to the upper or lower terminals, as they were joined by the plate. But I did try removing the plate and fitting jumpers. I could immediately hear a subtle improvement in the treble range, smoother and silkier, but also a more prominent and solid bass. I'm sticking with the jumpers.

i'm not disputing what you heard, but how could there be a difference to the sound of the bass, when only the connection to the tweeters was changed? the lower terminals are still connected to the chord carnival cable as before?

as an experiment i just tried using a jumper made from 6cm lengths of chord carnival speaker cable on my b&w 601's in place of the supplied plate, no difference at all to my ears.
 

noddy1977

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Feb 3, 2011
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Has anyone thought that the jumper links in use may be of an equal quality/properties to the wire used by the consumer, thus not hearing a difference, I'm sure most will agree that they can hear a difference by changing the speaker cable?

My test of using QED silver spiral and replacing the jumpers with silver anniversary made small differences however now I'm using Kimber Monacle XL with Kimber select 9033 jumper wires and has made a noticable improvement to the openess and focus of the higher frequencies, symbols seem to last about 5 seconds before they decay where before maybe about 3 seconds.

I'm not interested in arguing just trying to help a fellow music lover out with some experience!!
 

noddy1977

New member
Feb 3, 2011
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Grottyash:Andrew Everard:

It's always highly amusing in these threads to see the difference between those who say 'I've tried it and for me it works' and those offering merely 'It can't work because - well, well, well - just because it can't, and if you think it does you are either stupid or delusional'.

Who's speaking from experience, and who's being dogmatic?

So those who say "I've tried it and for me it didn't work" don't count?

No doubt it's less amusing if you include them...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Andrew Everard:

You miss my point. For someone to say

Grottyash:Let me put it quite bluntly: if you hear adifference over a run of cable 2 - 3 cms long, then its in yourhead.is clearly suggesting that the person who hears such a difference is deluding themselves. Let's just look at a common definition of delusion: "persistent or dominating false conception regarding matters of fact, and which is resistant to reason." Yes, to this extent, albeit mildy, you could say I was suggesting that the person concerned was deluding themselves in this case, and in this case alone. However, if we take delusional, the term used previously, to mean : "suffering from or characterized by delusions, " then you'll see this was clearly not the case, and that was the original accusation.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
deanhartley:
I must admit to not bi-wiring speakers for development or listening. We prefer to include 2 sets of terminals in case customers prefer to bi-amp, which we feel does present a significant increase in performance. However we also configure speakers to take this into account. On all our 2 1/2 way or 3 way speakers (Like Silver RX6 for example), we wire the lower set of terminals to the bottom bass and the top set to the top bass/mid and tweeter. This therefore spreads the load when using two seperate amplifiers. Most speaker manufacturers still tend to just reserve the top set of bi-wire terminals for the tweeter only.

I've tended to stay out of conversations on cables for many years. However, we do try all sorts of test during development and I can say that (when new), the typical gold plated bi-wire links provided with most speakers are just as good as any speaker cable link. Afterall they measure micro Ohms and all we are concerned with is contact resistence over such a short length. After a while, perhaps contact resistence is affected by surface corrosion. We have tried measuring gold plate links over a period of time, but never managed to find a 'measureable' difference. But that is pure physics. As for Psyco-acoustic, or should I say Pscotic-acoustics well that's a different story.Says it all, really.
 

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