Bridge Plates vs Speaker Wire

I've seen a couple discussions recently where people were announcing improved audio quality from just replacing the bridge clips on the 5 way binding posts with 12 AWG speaker wire. This is not regarding bi-wiring, just short jumpers between posts.

I was a little confused by this as the cross sectional area of the clips seemed larger than 12 AWG wire so I measured it out.

Bridge Clips: Thickness = 0.63mm, Width=14mm A=TxW=8.8mm^2

12AWG: Diameter = 2.05mm A= Pi x r^2 = 3.14mm^2

As the clips are almost 3x more area, would that not mean the clips could handle more current by providing less resistance?
Could it have something to do with the quality of the clips as I don't know what they're made of. Solid something, or a less ideal metal that's been plated?

Just wanted to get some input from here in case someone has done it, or maybe I'm missing something, or maybe other brand speakers come with bad clips?


  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,510
    The plate jumpers are gold plated brass. Jumpers made from speaker cable will be copper or silver. Both have better conductivity than brass. That said, generic 12 gauge leaves a lot of the table compared to high end speaker cable.

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  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 2,127
    The usual advice is “replace stock jumpers with good quality wire”.

    Speaker wire is a topic that will get passionate arguments. One will be it makes no difference, wire is wire. The other just the opposite is that wire can make a huge difference.

    It isn’t just the AWG of wire, it’s the materials and the manufacturing process also.

    I personally removed the jumper plates from all of my RTI A speakers and heard a difference, but again that’s me.
  • MarkardiMarkardi Posts: 10
    Knowing that the bridge clips are made of gold plated brass is a significant factor. Brass, despite being a copper alloy, is a lot less conductive than copper so I'm glad I asked.

    It can even be shown with calculations that 12AWG or better has less resistance than the stock clips.

    Resistivity of Brass is usually between 6 ~ 9x10^-8 where as Copper is 1.7x10^-8. This is a material property with units of Ohm Meters.

    Resistance of a wire can be calculated as R=Resistivity x (Length of wire/Cross sectional area).

    Resistance of the clips at the low end (6x10^-8) = 0.000341 and at the high end (9x10^-8) = 0.000511. The gold plating is essentially insignificant.

    Resistance of a 12AWG copper wire with 50mm length = 0.000258
    Even if you increase the length of wire to 60mm, R=0.000309.

    So yes, those of you who claim to have improved audio quality, I believe you, you've even got some math to back it up.

    For reference, I use the Monoprice 12AWG oxygen-free copper speaker wire for all the runs to my RTi A speakers. I will certainly try replacing the clips with wire.
  • gyosagyosa Posts: 395
    edited May 13
    What about these ?
    Came standard on my Salks ....
    Bare copper , Cardas....


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  • mantismantis Posts: 15,903
    As cheap as speaker wire is especially bulk I don't know why they would even use those brass jumpers anymore. Higher end speakers even polk has been using speaker wire jumper over the brass ones.
    It's a super cheap easy upgrade that will yield very small but noticeable gains.
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 2,291
    We I changed the brass jumpers on my S60's I did one and didn't tell the kids who use my system as much as I do. My oldest came to me the next day asking what I changed. So I did the other.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

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