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How to connect jumpers and speaker cables

hifi jumpers how to connect them

When we buy a speaker on its back we will have, in most cases, four binding posts, in pairs of two, to which we connect our speaker cable, supported by standard jumpers. But how to connect jumpers and speaker cables?

And what are the double clamps for? To connect our speaker in bi-amplification or bi-wiring.

These alternative ways of connection, almost always for use and consumption by a small circle of enthusiasts, if they are not used, provide that the HF (high frequency) and LF (low frequency) terminals remain jumpered to each other. The goal is to make the crossover work in unison.

Why do loudspeaker manufacturers, given the low use of bi-amping/bi-wiring, produce speakers with double connections? Well, it is difficult to give a precise answer, but you can assume that it is to offer a more versatile and complete product. Or because they make "more scene" and attract more attention from buyers. What is certain is that they are there on almost all the speakers and therefore must be understood and handled properly, to avoid a possible advantage becoming a disadvantage.

Immediately after we have purchased our new crates, we will assemble them and we will be caught in a doubt. The speaker cable that goes from the amplifier to the speakers will it be good to connect it to the pair at the bottom or at the top? You mean the input for bass or high frequencies? And above all, will the jumpers provided by the manufacturer of the loudspeakers be adequate for the task they have to perform or will they blow our efforts to improve the quality of the audio emitted by the system?

How to connect the jumpers. Up or down?

The fundamental importance of jumpers stems from the fact that, over time, speaker manufacturers have decided to make speakers with two pairs of connectors and, therefore, a split crossover. The jumper is necessary to bring the signal to both high and low frequencies. But, in mono-wiring, where is it better to connect your speaker cable? Under or over? This is a question that many people ask and to which we will try to give an answer.

Some people say that the cable starting from the amplifier must reach the tweeter (or better the mid-high ones) terminals and not the bass ones, leaving to the "clips" or jumpers the task of bringing the signal to the woofer terminals. High frequencies are the most delicate and sensitive portion of the audio spectrum, also because of the low voltages involved. Always according to these opinions, for this reason it is better that the signal from the amplifier reaches the tweeter binding posts without any other wire or metal bars in between (in short: the contact resistance is minimized).

hifi jumpers how to connect them
hifi jumpers how to connect them

Others, instead, believe it is better to do the opposite, that is to privilege the woofer, the component that requires more power. In reality the differences are minimal, and only rarely does anything really change. What we recommend is first of all to make sure that the jumper does not act as a bottleneck in your implant (see below how) and then make attempts based on your ear and your implant to see if something changes.

There is nothing qualitatively better than what we like best, even according to our suggestions or habits. You can also refer to the instructions that accompany the product. It is true that it is about ten centimetres of cable and, unless the quality is particularly low, the problem does not arise. Except that, sometimes, the standard jumpers are actually of inferior quality: a small plate of brass.

How to find out if the jumpers are good and at the height of our system

As for the jumpers, to verify their goodness, it will only be possible to try to move the speaker cables from the clamps at the bottom to those at the top, and vice versa, but there will be many deductions that we could draw from them. So let's make all possible assumptions and draw all imaginable conclusions about how to connect the jumpers and speaker cables. Here is the list of possibilities, presented schematically but exhaustively:

  • Let's move the position of the jumpers; if the sound changes, the jumpers probably act as a bottleneck and we recommend changing them for optimal performance;
  • if the sound doesn't change, maybe the jumpers do their job excellently and are suitable for the system.

Careful, though. If the sound does not change, the following aspects should also be considered:

  • if the sound doesn't change, it may be that the speaker cables are so low level that they can't transmit enough detail to make us perceive differences;
  • another hypothesis, if the sound does not change, may be that the system is not sufficiently revealing and the jumper does not act adequately on the sound.

Once the necessary tests have been carried out, you find yourself in the need to replace the jumpers on your loudspeakers. Keep in mind that these should be of equal or better quality than the conductors that make up your cables - Speaker brass is no good.

For an uncompromising choice, Ricable proposes his jumpers Dedalus e Invictuswith the first optimized also for the Magnus series or other less valuable speaker cables. These are available in fork/fork as well as fork/banana version. It is also possible request a custom length. As for the speaker cables, however, the choice is more varied and takes the four, now classic, seriesRicable, namely Primus, Magnus, Dedalus e Invictus.

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