Jumper leads


Do quality jumper leads make a significant difference or is it not worth the cost of replacing my standard flat metal strips with dedicated jumper leads?

I currently have a Nova and Nap250 connected to ATC SCM 11 standmounts. If/when the 272 is updated I will upgrade to the new model streamer/pre (I’ve been waiting well over a year for this). I recently changed my room layout allowing me to reduce the length of my speaker leads from 8m to shorter ones so I took the opportunity to switch from NacA5 to Witch Hat Phantom. I am very pleased with the phantom cables both on sound quality and flexibility and ease of fitting. However, I am thinking of swapping the metal bars for Witch Hat jumper leads. Phantom ones would cost £80 and their cheaper N2 ones are £30. Do you think that there be a significant sound Improvement in swapping out the standard metal strips for Witch Hat jumper leads and is it worth paying £50 more for the Phantom ones that are similar to my speaker leads?

All help appreciated


In my experience, using jumpers definitely changes the sound. The question for me was: is this an improvement? For me, the answer was no. My experience might not be generalisable or even transferable though, as I have five sets of banana socket per speaker… therefore needing eight jumpers per speaker. I concluded that I should not be surprised…the crossover was presumably designed with the linking plates in place.

Thanks for your reply - I wouldn’t want to pay for 8 pairs of jumpers!

I would assume that it all comes down to the question: was the crossover defined and implemented taking into account the contribution made by the linking plates…if this is the case, my assumption would be that they should not be replaced.

That might be difficult. I remember talking to one of the ATC brass at Bristol a few years ago and he didn’t have much time for ‘fancy’ cables and leads. I do rate the speakers though - SCM 11s for under a grand ex-dem seem a bargain to me

Thought about doing and ‘F’ connection with banana plugs? This approach is often taken with NAC5 to do away with jumpers?

I think the question is often as well, what quality are they? If a decent amount of solid copper, I think you’re unlikely to get any improvement. Unfortunately often they’re not.

If that’s the case, and your speaker cables allow it, just cut 10-15cm off and use that. ‘dedicated’ jumpers won’t do anything to top that.

I swapped out supplied jumpers for, first a set of NACA5 jumpers and then a set of Vertere Pulse X Mini jumpers on my Monitor Audio GX 300 Gold speakers. Both changes saw a improvement and the Vertere jumpers at £125 for the set are a great VFM in terms of SQ uplift.

With my B&W 894D3 I changed from the OEM cable to TQ Ultra Silver and the improvement was material. More natural top end and vocals and allowed the bass to shine through.

Yes, certainly more as the speakers are of higher quality and the system is of better quality.

At that level, and more thinking on a future pre and streamer upgrade, it should already be quite noticeable, although, of course, it also depends on the quality of the lead jumpers you opt for.

In the K6, I initially swaped them for jumpers from Chord Epic Reference, with a significant improvement; later I replaced the Epic Reference jumpers with Sarum T jumpers, and the improvement was noticeable, even with the same Epic Reference speaker cables.

1 Like

Jumpers do matter, i use nac5A speaker cable with audioquest Saturn jumper (copper), huge improvment over the standart bare. I have alså trayed qed xt400 jumper, naim nac5A jumper, Linn k400 jumper and kimber 4TC jumper, AQ med the Best jumper in my system.
Naim nd5xs + xp5xs, nac202 + hicap dr + napsc, nap 250 dr and audiovector S1 Avantgarde

PS. Phantom speaker cable is orderet :grinning:

Find out what your speakers are wired with internally and jumper using the same cable? Otherwise if I’m honest I struggle to see how anything else could be an improvement ?

Many thanks for all the interesting and helpful comments. I will speak with ATC first to find out their thoughts and recommendation and then consider whether to purchase jumper leads. Hopefully I will be able to get some on demo or sale and return to see how they perform in my setup

Wilson Benesch speakers come with jumpers rather than plates. I have never felt the need to try other jumpers though!

I remember about 5 or 6 years ago when I inherited a pair of B&W floor standers, I initially found them to be not so great, with a strangely detached and muddy quality to the bass. In an effort to improve things, I removed the metal links to the bi-wire sockets and fitted some RS56 hook-up wire in their place; the improvement was really quite remarkable.


At one stage I had all sorts of short lengths of various speaker cables. I had a pair of speakers that I experimented with different jumpers. It can make a difference in my experience.

I have ATC SCM 40’s, being a three way they use two pairs of jumper plates per speaker, having taken a leading hifi reviewers word that the original links were poor i swapped them out for jumpers made from NAC 5.

I didn’t hear a difference. If it is worth the trouble at all, perhaps a better way would be to remove the terminal plate and move all of the connections on the inside on to one pair of terminals. But as others have said, the speaker manufacturer tested their speakers with their links in place.

1 Like

We should forward some of these thoughts to the speaker manufacturers. I’m sure the millions they invest through massive amounts of R&D will ensure they greatly appreciate the fact that a 8cm ish piece of cable can “noticeably” change a loudspeakers sound. :thinking:

1 Like

I like B&W, but that’s an annoyance of mine as well. I think it’s different for the 800 series, but on every other speaker the links are absolute junk.

On one hand it’s an easy and cheap fix, so it shouldn’t deter buyers, but on the other hand, the fix being so cheap makes it extra annoying that they are such low quality to begin with.

If you like the Phantom speaker cables, that extra bump up to the phantom jumper leads doesn’t seem too bad. Would put your mind at ease that your ducks are starting in a row.