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  1. #1

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    Default Speaker Jumper Questions

    I'm running Monitor 75T's as fronts and am considering replacing the standard thin metal plates with speaker wire on the binding posts. Consensus on this forum and others say, for the most part, that it's a good move that could/should pay audio benefits. My first question is why does Polk (and I assume other manufacturers as well) not use wire jumpers on all their bi-amp style binding posts? It appears from the product pics, that from the A9s on down they have the metal strip in place. The LSiMs are using wire, and by looking at the picture, I don't see where this would cost much to make for me, and would certainly be inexpensive for a big manufacturer. I realize the LSiM is the flagship series, but what it's saying to me is that they feel there is a benefit here to using wire. I mean, if someone is paying $500-$1000 a pair for a lesser series, and the wire could help make those speakers sound better, would it not be worth the manufacturers small cost to equip them all that way? I know building processes are all about cost, but the benefit-to-cost ratio here seems out of whack. Or maybe it's just me that's out of whack, entirely possible

    My second question is that I'm considering using 12 gage wire for the jumpers, unless there are better ideas? I've noticed lot of folks are using spade connectors for the hook up, but I was wondering...doesn't that mean I'm replacing a strip of metal with more strips of metal with the spades? Would I get a better connection wrapping the wire straight to the binding post with no other leads? Thanks for your input/help...

    Bill

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    when you manufacture saving one penny per unit equates to millions of dollars in additional revenue.

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    The little metal plate they use also has a cleaner look. Many people buy speakers on looks, not sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pretzelfisch View Post
    when you manufacture saving one penny per unit equates to millions of dollars in additional revenue.
    Let me get out the old abacus here...one penny per unit, that means I only have to sell 100 million speakers to make an extra mil
    My point isn't to ask Polk to take a hit here, rather the customer. If someone came up to you and said for an extra $10 per unit for your $800 a pair speakers, they'll make them sound better, would you not take it?

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    Bill, you seem to sense the absurdity inherent in the speaker jumper fantasy. Speaker builders go to great lengths to design and construct fine-sounding speakers, and then they sabotage their own creation by using "bad-sounding"(according to some sellers of outrageously-priced replacements)connecting strips. A very few makers attempt to appeal to prospective buyers who share this misunderstanding that somehow continues to float around in a few audio circles despite the absence of any supporting technical evidence.

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    Oh looky, John K. is back sharing more of his complete and total ignorance about all things audio.
    Last edited by F1nut; 08-25-2013 at 01:39 AM.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Oh looky, he's back sharing more of his complete and total ignorance about all things audio.
    Which one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K. View Post
    Bill, you seem to sense the absurdity inherent in the speaker jumper fantasy. Speaker builders go to great lengths to design and construct fine-sounding speakers, and then they sabotage their own creation by using "bad-sounding"(according to some sellers of outrageously-priced replacements)connecting strips. A very few makers attempt to appeal to prospective buyers who share this misunderstanding that somehow continues to float around in a few audio circles despite the absence of any supporting technical evidence.


    ...but yet Polk uses them on their flagship speaker line. I've read enough to believe there's something to this, and to that end I'd like to make the best possible choice for replacing the strips with wire. I didn't start this as a debate thread, I've already made up my mind to try a modification here. There are many, like yourself, that believe this to be smoke and mirrors. That's fine, but since you have nothing to add to what I want to accomplish....

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    You could always leave the jumpers in place, add the wire, and see if there is a difference. If there is a difference to you, remove the jumpers, if not leave or remove the wire. Try it on one or 2 speakers. Not being an audiophile, I really didn't notice a difference in sound. Just hang on to the jumpers, in case you decide to sell your speakers in the future. Some people may think you did some kind of weird repair, which would lower the value of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post
    You could always leave the jumpers in place, add the wire, and see if there is a difference. If there is a difference to you, remove the jumpers, if not leave or remove the wire. Try it on one or 2 speakers. Not being an audiophile, I really didn't notice a difference in sound. Just hang on to the jumpers, in case you decide to sell your speakers in the future. Some people may think you did some kind of weird repair, which would lower the value of them.
    Thanks. What did you try for wire (gage, lead or no leads)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by John K. View Post
    Bill, you seem to sense the absurdity inherent in the speaker jumper fantasy. Speaker builders go to great lengths to design and construct fine-sounding speakers, and then they sabotage their own creation by using "bad-sounding"(according to some sellers of outrageously-priced replacements)connecting strips. A very few makers attempt to appeal to prospective buyers who share this misunderstanding that somehow continues to float around in a few audio circles despite the absence of any supporting technical evidence.
    Seriously John ? Sabotage ?

    Who eluded to that ? Speaker builders must meet a price point, to target a certain consumer base. There's a difference between good enough and better, then best, in anything mass produced. Your logic also assumes a car dealer must purposely sabotage his chevy because it doesn't perform like a Ferrari. You assume everyone must use top notch parts when building a speaker thus no upgrades could ever improve on that design. Same with cables, as you have pretty much stated your position on that too.

    While voodoo certainly exists in audio, the voodoo that you do may be poo-poo or yahoo.

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    I don't care for the strip of metal because they are very easy to get a poor connection if you loosen the binding post nut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pretzelfisch View Post
    I don't care for the strip of metal because they are very easy to get a poor connection if you loosen the binding post nut.
    Why would you loosen the binding post nut ?

    Those metal straps are usually nothing more than coated brass. Which as we know, is one of the worst conductors for signal transfer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Why would you loosen the binding post nut ?

    Those metal straps are usually nothing more than coated brass. Which as we know, is one of the worst conductors for signal transfer.
    Tony, sounds like you've changed yours out. May I ask what you replaced it with for wire, leads?

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    I use a bi-wire cable, so no jumpers at all.

    Red,
    I have some jumpers I think laying around, you want to give them a whirl ? I'll send them to ya, no charge. Pretty good ones too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Why would you loosen the binding post nut ?

    Those metal straps are usually nothing more than coated brass. Which as we know, is one of the worst conductors for signal transfer.
    Oh, wrong term. "post cap"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    I use a bi-wire cable, so no jumpers at all.

    Red,
    I have some jumpers I think laying around, you want to give them a whirl ? I'll send them to ya, no charge. Pretty good ones too.
    You sure? I'm in Canada you know

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    I use jumpers made from MIT cable. On one pair of speakers I terminated them with bananas while a different pair use spades. I don't like bare wire connections.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    You sure? I'm in Canada you know

    Jumpers are pretty small and can fit in a padded envelope, how much can it be to send them up north ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I use jumpers made from MIT cable. On one pair of speakers I terminated them with bananas while a different pair use spades. I don't like bare wire connections.
    I see. Jesse, what are your thoughts on the spades since you use them, with reference to my opening statement? Do you feel they're a much higher quality metal than the strips?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Jumpers are pretty small and can fit in a padded envelope, how much can it be to send them up north ?
    That's very generous of you Tony, I'd appreciate trying them. Should be cheap to send them north, but if the shipping makes you go I'll most certainly reimburse you, just let me know. Send you a pm...

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    I forgot to include a pic....

    http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/...1/DSC01763.jpg

    what are your thoughts on the spades since you use them, with reference to my opening statement? Do you feel they're a much higher quality metal than the strips?
    Yes because as Tony pointed out the straps are brass.


    Edit: That's a very nice offer Tony, kudos!
    Last edited by F1nut; 08-25-2013 at 01:55 PM.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I forgot to include a pic....

    http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/...1/DSC01763.jpg



    Yes because as Tony pointed out the straps are brass.


    Edit: That's a very nice offer Tony, kudos!
    Very nice indeed, thanks for that, I think I remember that post when you shared those pics earlier in the year. Brass straps, geez it's almost like they're begging you to modify it, eh?

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    Got your PM Red, I'll get those out to you asap. Try them out, if you like them, keep 'em, no charge. If not, Kindly pass on to another member who may need some. You cool with that ? Btw, they are banana's at each end, so piece of cake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Got your PM Red, I'll get those out to you asap. Try them out, if you like them, keep 'em, no charge. If not, Kindly pass on to another member who may need some. You cool with that ? Btw, they are banana's at each end, so piece of cake.
    Tony, I'm presently running bananas to my AVR...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    My first question is why does Polk (and I assume other manufacturers as well) not use wire jumpers on all their bi-amp style binding posts? It appears from the product pics, that from the A9s on down they have the metal strip in place. The LSiMs are using wire, and by looking at the picture, I don't see where this would cost much to make for me, and would certainly be inexpensive for a big manufacturer. I realize the LSiM is the flagship series, but what it's saying to me is that they feel there is a benefit here to using wire. I mean, if someone is paying $500-$1000 a pair for a lesser series, and the wire could help make those speakers sound better, would it not be worth the manufacturers small cost to equip them all that way? I know building processes are all about cost, but the benefit-to-cost ratio here seems out of whack. Or maybe it's just me that's out of whack, entirely possible
    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    If someone came up to you and said for an extra $10 per unit for your $800 a pair speakers, they'll make them sound better, would you not take it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    ...but yet Polk uses them on their flagship speaker line. I've read enough to believe there's something to this, and to that end I'd like to make the best possible choice for replacing the strips with wire.
    Speaker models are marketed to a particular consumer group who are expected to use the speaker with a certain level of electronics and source equipment. The average, non-audiophile consumer of lower level speaker models is not expected to perceive, or appreciate, the difference that wire jumpers would make over straps. If including a higher quality, higher cost part is not going to provide a competitive advantage, why do it?

    Using higher quality parts is not just a matter of cost. Higher quality parts are made in smaller quantities and supply issues often come into play. A supplier may be able to supply enough high quality wire jumpers for smaller runs of an audiophile speaker line, but may not be able to keep up with very large runs of consumer speaker lines.

    Some audiophiles have preferences in wire. Even when high quality wire jumpers are included with an audiophile speaker model, some audiophile purchasers will replace them with their favorite wire jumpers. Therefore, a manufacturer does not want to spend a lot of money on a part that most people will replace.

    It is the same with audiophile electronics manufacturers including a cheap power cord with their products. They know power cords make a difference, but they also know that most consumers of their products have a favorite audiophile power cord that they will use, so why include an expensive one that will most likely be replaced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    My second question is that I'm considering using 12 gage wire for the jumpers, unless there are better ideas? I've noticed lot of folks are using spade connectors for the hook up, but I was wondering...doesn't that mean I'm replacing a strip of metal with more strips of metal with the spades? Would I get a better connection wrapping the wire straight to the binding post with no other leads?
    Bare copper will oxidize over time and degrade the connection. A high quality, air tight termination with spades or bananas is preferable to bare wire. Using spades is more comparable to having a small "tab" of metal at the ends of the jumpers rather than a "strip" of metal. Bare wire can become contaminated from handling. Solid metal terminations are easier to clean than stranded wire.

    12 gauge wire is fine. The AudioQuest jumpers I use with my SDA 1.2TLs are 15 gauge terminated with silver plated copper bananas. The jumpers I use with my SDA SRSs are 15 gauge AudioQuest GO-4 speaker wire terminated with silver plated copper bananas.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Thanks for the reply DK, I do understand the analogy with the power cord, but I see quite a cost jump to a quality cord compared to OEM. I was thinking speaker jumpers would not incur that great a cost to include them on all product lines, but perhaps that's where I'm mistaken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    Thanks for the reply DK, I do understand the analogy with the power cord, but I see quite a cost jump to a quality cord compared to OEM. I was thinking speaker jumpers would not incur that great a cost to include them on all product lines, but perhaps that's where I'm mistaken.
    Quality costs money, whether it's a resistor, capacitor or a piece of wire. Making terminated wire jumpers is more labor intensive than stamping and plating a piece of metal. Metal jumpers can be fabricated, plated and packaged by a fully automated process. Wire jumpers have to be terminated by hand.

    The picture below is the jumpers I made from sections of AudioQuest GO-4 speaker wire and terminated with AudioQuest gold plated copper bananas. The cost of the wire was $33. The cost of the bananas was $60. I spent two hours carefully stripping insulation and assembling.

    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    ^Point well illustrated^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    ^Point well illustrated^
    His posts usually do that. There are a lot of cost-saving parts of a speaker that most do not think about. One of the other major ones is crossover work. This is where a lot of companies will skimp. Since it can't be seen unless you pull it apart, you never know how bad the parts really are..
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