Speaker Jumpers - Bare Wire Improvements

eagle33331

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In the quest for optimising my sound, having addressed just about every area over the last few years and having just run-in a pair of Sonus Faber Serafinos, I wondered what could be achieved by replacing the OE jumper plates - I don't bi-wire.

In my antique office Linn system I have some budget Tellurium Q Black jumper cables; so I dropped them in just to see if I heard any difference. No question about it, the sound became thinner and harsher. (Not the case in the much less resolving Linn system). Ok, so this little element makes an obvious difference to what I hear. Reading-up, sound advice was to use one's speaker cable as jumper or a material as closely related to it as possible. Well, no way was I going to make jumpers from Gryphon VIP, so I had a look around at affordable but reputable silver cables. AQ Dragons are about £650; TQ Statements are £1k. Thinking on about these, I then wondered about the potentially compromising affects of their terminations/connectors. (As well as the price of getting it wrong). Which brought me around to considering bare wire. I did some more research and found a company who could supply 1m of 99.99% pure silver 12 AWG wire for £100. That had to be worth an experiment, so I ordered.

A couple days later, the cable arrived, I chopped it into approx 10cm lengths and set about winding each end around my binding posts. The wire is 2mm thick and required careful bending with pliers. (I could probably make a better job of this with more time and effort). I fired everything up, retired to the listening position and pressed play on the iPad. From cold, the difference was immediate and clear. But, I've given it several hours of listening before writing.

There was an obvious increase in clarity and detail; more presence in the room; more smoothness. On what for me is a downside, I felt there was slightly less weight, body - in my set-up. Also, the highest highs can sometimes be a tiny bit hot; not bright - something I can't tolerate - but noticeable. This may simply reflect the true nature of the recording, now audible with the higher resolution. It altogether reminded me very much of the difference I heard when I tried a pair of TQ Statement interconnects between pre amp and amp. But it cost £100, not £3.5k.

I'm surprised at the degree to which these jumpers influence the sound. It's hard to give up the detail and presence once you've heard it, but for £40 I can get 1m of 99.99% purity copper wire and I'm compelled to do so to hear what that does in relation to the top of the top end. I'll append this when I've done so. But what is clear is that you don't, necessarily, need to spend hundreds of $/£ on fancy jumper cables to get a significant 'jump' in SQ from replacing OE jumper plates.
 

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Another Johnson

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This is part of why Wilson and some others do not include a provision for bi-wiring.
 
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DaveC

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In the quest for optimising my sound, having addressed just about every area over the last few years and having just run-in a pair of Sonus Faber Serafinos, I wondered what could be achieved by replacing the OE jumper plates - I don't bi-wire.

In my antique office Linn system I have some budget Tellurium Q Black jumper cables; so I dropped them in just to see if I heard any difference. No question about it, the sound became thinner and harsher. (Not the case in the much less resolving Linn system). Ok, so this little element makes an obvious difference to what I hear. Reading-up, sound advice was to use one's speaker cable as jumper or a material as closely related to it as possible. Well, no way was I going to make jumpers from Gryphon VIP, so I had a look around at affordable but reputable silver cables. AQ Dragons are about £650; TQ Statements are £1k. Thinking on about these, I then wondered about the potentially compromising affects of their terminations/connectors. (As well as the price of getting it wrong). Which brought me around to considering bare wire. I did some more research and found a company who could supply 1m of 99.99% pure silver 12 AWG wire for £100. That had to be worth an experiment, so I ordered.

A couple days later, the cable arrived, I chopped it into approx 10cm lengths and set about winding each end around my binding posts. The wire is 2mm thick and required careful bending with pliers. (I could probably make a better job of this with more time and effort). I fired everything up, retired to the listening position and pressed play on the iPad. From cold, the difference was immediate and clear. But, I've given it several hours of listening before writing.

There was an obvious increase in clarity and detail; more presence in the room; more smoothness. On what for me is a downside, I felt there was slightly less weight, body - in my set-up. Also, the highest highs can sometimes be a tiny bit hot; not bright - something I can't tolerate - but noticeable. This may simply reflect the true nature of the recording, now audible with the higher resolution. It altogether reminded me very much of the difference I heard when I tried a pair of TQ Statement interconnects between pre amp and amp. But it cost £100, not £3.5k.

I'm surprised at the degree to which these jumpers influence the sound. It's hard to give up the detail and presence once you've heard it, but for £40 I can get 1m of 99.99% purity copper wire and I'm compelled to do so to hear what that does in relation to the top of the top end. I'll append this when I've done so. But what is clear is that you don't, necessarily, need to spend hundreds of $/£ on fancy jumper cables to get a significant 'jump' in SQ from replacing OE jumper plates.

Nice!

I'm not sure if the WBT Powerbridge jumpers will fit your binding posts, but if they do they are what I recommend. There's some dimensions to check in the link below. The WBTs are platinum plated silver. Your solution is good but subject to corrosion, you should clean them regularly and maybe try putting something like Furutech nano-fluid on the wire to prevent corrosion.


Another thing to try is diagonal hookup, which doesn't make sense looking at your binding posts, but what it means is putting one speaker cable lead on the highs and the other on the lows. This is sometimes better than putting both on the highs or lows.

This is part of why Wilson and some others do not include a provision for bi-wiring.

I like it when the speaker manufacturers handle this in the way they feel is best, jumpers and biwiring are just more PITA. :)
 
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eagle33331

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Nice!

I'm not sure if the WBT Powerbridge jumpers will fit your binding posts, but if they do they are what I recommend. There's some dimensions to check in the link below. The WBTs are platinum plated silver. Your solution is good but subject to corrosion, you should clean them regularly and maybe try putting something like Furutech nano-fluid on the wire to prevent corrosion.


Another thing to try is diagonal hookup, which doesn't make sense looking at your binding posts, but what it means is putting one speaker cable lead on the highs and the other on the lows. This is sometimes better than putting both on the highs or lows.



I like it when the speaker manufacturers handle this in the way they feel is best, jumpers and biwiring are just more PITA. :)
Thanks Dave, I will investigate WBT's for sure and corrosion element noted. My effort isn't elegant, though it's not in view and was primarily experimental to see what silver jumpers did. If I conclude to keep it over the solid copper version, I'll seek to make it a more refined fit.

ADD:

8x WBT's would cost £500, which would put the cost into same realm as AQ Dragons. It would be very interesting to compare the Dragons with my simple effort..
 
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Agent86

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I have Verity Amadis S speakers and although they're not technically. a biwire design, the speaker's top module (midrange/treble) is connected to the bass unit with jumper cables. The Verity speakers come with terminated jumpers using Cardas wire, but I've had excellent results experimenting with high quality solid-core hookup wire and I can attest to the rather dramatic improvement when swapping them out.

Say hello to my little friend, Bag-'o-Wire.

Here are some of my favorite jumpers thus far.

- Duelund DCA 3.0 AGS Silver Foil Silk/Oil

- UniCrystal OCC Copper Hookup Wire from VH Audio - 3 twisted runs of 18awg

- ConneX Wire 16awg OCC5N Silver Solid-Core Hookup Wire from PartsConnexion


bad9hxlh.jpeg

 
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Salectric

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Jan 15, 2012
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One of the challenges with jumpers is they can introduce a discontinuity resulting in a less coherent blend between the drivers. The way @eagle33331 has the jumpers connected the midrange/tweeter is seeing just the main speaker cables and the woofer is seeing the main speaker cables plus two jumpers. If you move the white speaker cable from the Mid binding post to the Low binding post, each driver will see one jumper. In my experience this will give a more coherent blending of the drivers.
 

eagle33331

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Nov 18, 2022
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I have Verity Amadis S speakers and although they're not technically. a biwire design, the speaker's top module (midrange/treble) is connected to the bass unit with jumper cables. The Verity speakers come with terminated jumpers using Cardas wire, but I've had excellent results experimenting with high quality solid-core hookup wire and I can attest to the rather dramatic improvement when swapping them out.

Say hello to my little friend, Bag-'o-Wire.

Here are some of my favorite jumpers thus far.

- Duelund DCA 3.0 AGS Silver Foil Silk/Oil

- UniCrystal OCC Copper Hookup Wire from VH Audio - 3 twisted runs of 18awg

- ConneX Wire 16awg OCC5N Silver Solid-Core Hookup Wire from PartsConnexion


View attachment 117100

Thanks for the excellent info' Agent86.
 

eagle33331

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One of the challenges with jumpers is they can introduce a discontinuity resulting in a less coherent blend between the drivers. The way @eagle33331 has the jumpers connected the midrange/tweeter is seeing just the main speaker cables and the woofer is seeing the main speaker cables plus two jumpers. If you move the white speaker cable from the Mid binding post to the Low binding post, each driver will see one jumper. In my experience this will give a more coherent blending of the drivers.
Thanks Scalectric. I've connected the jumpers in the same configuration as Sonus faber connected its plates, but yes, I'll definitely experiment with moving the white cable to Low
One of the challenges with jumpers is they can introduce a discontinuity resulting in a less coherent blend between the drivers. The way @eagle33331 has the jumpers connected the midrange/tweeter is seeing just the main speaker cables and the woofer is seeing the main speaker cables plus two jumpers. If you move the white speaker cable from the Mid binding post to the Low binding post, each driver will see one jumper. In my experience this will give a more coherent blending of the drivers.
 

eagle33331

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After more listening I find I won't keep the silver wire in place. In my set-up, whilst there's undeniably more presence in the room and more detail, the price of a slight loss in body in the mid bass region and the occasional slightly hot leading edge is enough to send me in a different direction. I'll try the solid copper wire option next. If that doesn't bring exclusively positive gains, at least I can be confident that an investment in the right set of commercial cables will be worth the effort/cost of finding them. It does feel reasonable to believe that the combinations of metals which some of these cables employ, may bring the best of all worlds in a way silver or copper alone, can't.
 
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eagle33331

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Have you try the red and white speaker cable in the low binding post ??
I haven't. But I have, this morning, dropped the white cable onto the Low post per advice from Scalectric above. Very pleased to experience more air and dimensionality - or it might be the change back to OE plates. Should have tried the configuration while the silver cable was still in. When my appalling vertigo has gone I'll put the cable back and compare.
I'm uncertain about your suggestion as it would mean connecting both the positive and negative speaker wire terminations to both negative speaker poles..?
 
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DaveC

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Thanks Dave, I will investigate WBT's for sure and corrosion element noted. My effort isn't elegant, though it's not in view and was primarily experimental to see what silver jumpers did. If I conclude to keep it over the solid copper version, I'll seek to make it a more refined fit.

ADD:

8x WBT's would cost £500, which would put the cost into same realm as AQ Dragons. It would be very interesting to compare the Dragons with my simple effort..


Luckily you only need 4 of them. ;)

On hot leading edges, the WBT silver jumpers or UPOCC silver won't have these issues. On body, if you use a large enough gauge UPOCC silver can have decent body but it'll definitely have less warmth. Warmth generally smears fine detail is something people acclimate to. As people gain more experience and improve their systems, the preference for warmth generally diminishes as better resolution leads to a more immersive, 3-D soundstage and a "you are there" presentation. Personally, I couldn't care less about warmth if the "you are there" aspect of system performance isn't also present, but that's my own preference.

Also, if you haven't given the new silver jumpers enough time to burn-in then you may just be hearing burn-in effects. It takes some time for best results and you may notice these issues diminishing over time.
 

eagle33331

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Luckily you only need 4 of them. ;)

On hot leading edges, the WBT silver jumpers or UPOCC silver won't have these issues. On body, if you use a large enough gauge UPOCC silver can have decent body but it'll definitely have less warmth. Warmth generally smears fine detail is something people acclimate to. As people gain more experience and improve their systems, the preference for warmth generally diminishes as better resolution leads to a more immersive, 3-D soundstage and a "you are there" presentation. Personally, I couldn't care less about warmth if the "you are there" aspect of system performance isn't also present, but that's my own preference.

Also, if you haven't given the new silver jumpers enough time to burn-in then you may just be hearing burn-in effects. It takes some time for best results and you may notice these issues diminishing over time.
Indeed

Thanks for the notes, Dave. Yes, the 'body' I refer to likely is actually detail-smearing 'warmth' because the detail and presence drops off; but I find the soundstage is more 3D with the OE plates. I prefer the presence and detail but don't like the perceived slight reduction in bass energy and dimensionality.

Burn-in - yes, the wire only had about 2 hours on it; though I'm not sure the difference after many hours would be big enough.
 
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PierreB

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I mean for the right speaker the R+ in the Low+ and the R- in the Low-.
Same thing for the left speaker.
The opposite of the photo.

IMG_4377.jpeg
 

eagle33331

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DaveC

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Indeed

Thanks for the notes, Dave. Yes, the 'body' I refer to likely is actually detail-smearing 'warmth' because the detail and presence drops off; but I find the soundstage is more 3D with the OE plates. I prefer the presence and detail but don't like the perceived slight reduction in bass energy and dimensionality.

Burn-in - yes, the wire only had about 2 hours on it; though I'm not sure the difference after many hours would be big enough.

Let it go for 100+ hours and see, the result should be more dimensional and resolving with silver vs copper, but burn-in noise will smear detail too, silver sounds pretty bad at first and improves for hundreds of hours. OTOH you could go for the WBT solution if they fit, or UPOCC silver now and not deal with burning in jumpers for so long. You can parallel UPOCC silver solid core wire, the more the better! I'd go for ~12g and use Furutech nano-fluid or Caig gold brush-on oil to protect the ends.

The diagonal hookup I recommend is the same as Salectric and PierreB, and you can do it 2 different ways, + on low and - on highs or vice versa. Optimizing this is not trivial, and there's no right answer for every system. I deal with this all the time and I think buying one really good cable and WBT silver jumpers is the best solution, but many binding posts aren't spaced correctly so you have to make much longer and more expensive jumpers instead. So much better to just have one set of binding posts, lol.
 

eagle33331

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Nov 18, 2022
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Let it go for 100+ hours and see, the result should be more dimensional and resolving with silver vs copper, but burn-in noise will smear detail too, silver sounds pretty bad at first and improves for hundreds of hours. OTOH you could go for the WBT solution if they fit, or UPOCC silver now and not deal with burning in jumpers for so long. You can parallel UPOCC silver solid core wire, the more the better! I'd go for ~12g and use Furutech nano-fluid or Caig gold brush-on oil to protect the ends.

The diagonal hookup I recommend is the same as Salectric and PierreB, and you can do it 2 different ways, + on low and - on highs or vice versa. Optimizing this is not trivial, and there's no right answer for every system. I deal with this all the time and I think buying one really good cable and WBT silver jumpers is the best solution, but many binding posts aren't spaced correctly so you have to make much longer and more expensive jumpers instead. So much better to just have one set of binding posts, lol.
Thanks for the effort, Dave. Much appreciated. I am experimenting diagonals :) Yep, one pair of binding posts would be a joy!
 

DLS

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Eleven years ago I took my AudioNote UK Sogon 80 speaker cables - 80 strands of pure silver - and doubled them up, meaning shortening them by half. In the process I had Nick Gowan, who did the work, create jumpers terminated in bananas out of some of the original Sogon 80 - the result was stunning, though the newly crafted bi-wire Sogon eliminated the need for the jumpers. At the time I thought, what the hell, I may need them someday. I was wrong and they sit in alone in the dark for over a decade now. I could be persuaded to part with them for a reasonable price if you're interested. I take it you are not in the US, which makes it harder, but I'd be happy to let you try them out.
 
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eagle33331

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Eleven years ago I took my AudioNote UK Sogon 80 speaker cables - 80 strands of pure silver - and doubled them up, meaning shortening them by half. In the process I had Nick Gowan, who did the work, create jumpers terminated in bananas out of some of the original Sogon 80 - the result was stunning, though the newly crafted bi-wire Sogon eliminated the need for the jumpers. At the time I thought, what the hell, I may need them someday. I was wrong and they sit in alone in the dark for over a decade now. I could be persuaded to part with them for a reasonable price if you're interested. I take it you are not in the US, which makes it harder, but I'd be happy to let you try them out.
Hi DLS, superb cables, I'm sure. Thank you for the offer. Yes, being on Mud Island, with you Stateside, is a bit of a drag but let me send you a message; assuming I can work out how..

EDIT: Gryphon advise against Litz and co-ax' style speaker cables on their amps. By extension, I'd assume that includes jumpers; so better pass!
 
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hongkongfoufou

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I use Furutech Jumper B-Flux.
Better than the orignal jumper for my Magnepan.
 

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