Cable length question - Left/Right Front Speakers

philos2

Standard Member
Does the length of cable going to the Left/Right fronts have to be the same? My amp is going to only 1m away from the left speaker, but approx 5m meters (up & over fireplace) from the right speaker. Are any issues caused by this setup going to be correctable by tuning the setup?
 

Badger0-0

Member
I'd definitely say it's not a problem and anyone who says different can obviously measure the speed of light with their ears :smashin:
 

Coolit

Novice Member
I'd definitely say it's not a problem and anyone who says different can obviously measure the speed of light with their ears :smashin:
lol agreed

I would say it "may" come into play with very long runs of cable but as Badger0-0 said, its not a problem:smashin:
 
A

av-phile

Guest
It would matter when talking about kilometric distances. Not even in the largest rooms.
 

Dom996

Novice Member
Bear in mind some stereo amplifiers will not sound as good with uneven loads and in some very rare cases become unstable. Generally AV amps will be fine with it.
 

Helicon

Banned
Does the length of cable going to the Left/Right fronts have to be the same? My amp is going to only 1m away from the left speaker, but approx 5m meters (up & over fireplace) from the right speaker. Are any issues caused by this setup going to be correctable by tuning the setup?
Yes, i once used a 6m and a 1.5m length (temporarily) and the difference was huge. The shorter one sounded ok, but the longer one lacked dynamics and sounded softer. Try it for yourself, if you don't hear a difference don't worry. But there will be one.

I'm currently perfecting my ability to measure the speed of light with my ears...... :)
 

Dom996

Novice Member
Indeed. It is not the time difference that you necessarily hear, there is a difference in the resistive load between the speakers (the cable makes up part of that load) making the amplifier drive those loads differently.
 

Badger0-0

Member
Hmmm, I knew someone would disagree :D

I don't have the ear to agree with this, but can back up my POV scientifically (I was a radio ham).

As has been said, try it yourself and see if you hear a difference :thumbsup:

The brain and the ear are amazing things though, so I wouldn't rule it out totally, to be fair.

Please don't come back at me tonight lads, I've been on the lash :)
 

Steve Zodiac

Active Member
I think you're very unlikely to hear a difference in the two channels due to using different speaker cable lengths, unless the cable you are using has a particularly small conductor cross sectional area.

There's some interesting info on speaker cable here, although not everyone may agree with it! :)
 

Dom996

Novice Member
I would also like to reiterate that although pretty rare some amplifiers can become damaged driving a 1m and 5m length.
 

mikedmc

Standard Member
Come on then, whats the final answer. Is it best to use the same lengths if you can & don't mind paying the extra for it?
 

Badger0-0

Member
If you have £2000 worth of gear, don't bother.
If you have £20000 worth of gear you might get an improvement.
That's my opinion :rolleyes:

Just don't bother.
Not being funny, but the fact that you're asking the question, tells me no.
 

Dom996

Novice Member
It is not the value of the amplifier that matters, but how its design will react to asymmetric loads.

So my question is, what amplifier are we talking about here?
 

Nonplused

Banned
It is not the value of the amplifier that matters, but how its design will react to asymmetric loads.

So my question is, what amplifier are we talking about here?
What?

Each channel has its own input, VAS(voltage amplification stage) and output stage. The two are totally independent. A shared linear supply is also a mute point.

If the output stage is particularly poorly designed and your using high capacitance cables in tens of meters then you may get oscillation but to be frank that's very rare.

So I say two different lengths of cables will have no effect whatsoever on the stability of the amp. I'm not going to get into the audibility of this but lets just say I find myself agreeing with Badger.
 

Dom996

Novice Member
Try it on a previous series Naim amp.

Can I also say that industry professionals like myself spend our own time offering our experience to people on here trying to improve their setups. I and others like me will most likely gain nothing from our advise and I have found lately that there is always someone out there trying to come up with some better technical explanation.

Most of my responses are based on technical information and observations based on 12 years in this industry. Also much of what I and other retailer/installers on here post is based on shared knowledge with other industry members, be they retailers, installers or manufacturers.

To those that appreciate some industry members input, sorry about the rant.
 

Nonplused

Banned
Try it on a previous series Naim amp.

Can I also say that industry professionals like myself spend our own time offering our experience to people on here trying to improve their setups. I and others like me will most likely gain nothing from our advise and I have found lately that there is always someone out there trying to come up with some better technical explanation.

Most of my responses are based on technical information and observations based on 12 years in this industry. Also much of what I and other retailer/installers on here post is based on shared knowledge with other industry members, be they retailers, installers or manufacturers.

To those that appreciate some industry members input, sorry about the rant.
Sounded more like scare mongering to me rather than advice. I don't profess to be an expert but I have built amplifiers for about 15 years so it qualifies me somewhat. I felt that you had pushed an irrelevant issue to the fore that is absolutely mute when dealing with competent amplification.

The Naim example you gave was exactly through using high capacitance cables on a poorly designed output stage and was channel independent. This was a well known problem and frankly it should never have happened had the amplifier been correctly designed. A Zobel network after the output stage would have prevented the oscillation and been a quick fix, however if it was done correctly from the start then even that is not needed.
 

philos2

Standard Member
It is not the value of the amplifier that matters, but how its design will react to asymmetric loads.

So my question is, what amplifier are we talking about here?
Ahem...

The amp will be an Arcam AVR350, powering MA RS6s.
 
R

recruit

Guest
Sounded more like scare mongering to me rather than advice. I don't profess to be an expert but I have built amplifiers for about 15 years so it qualifies me somewhat. I felt that you had pushed an irrelevant issue to the fore that is absolutely mute when dealing with competent amplification.
You seem to be very familiar with this forum although you only registered a few days ago...also i don't think Dom is scare mongering but just giveing an honest opinion as best to his knowledge.
 

miceri

Novice Member
Badger is right. Electrons are far too busy to notice 1m...

However, YOU might notice that extra 1m if it were coiled up in some way.

i.e. Dont. When you have the right lengths, -snip-
 

Cheekster

Well-known Member
My previous a/v set-up wasn't worth £20k+ yet after being advised by my local dealer and reading up a little on the subject in magazines etc, I decided to go for equal lengths of speaker cable (Van Den Hul Clearwater) for my front three speakers (B & W P6 front pair and B & W CDM CNT centre). Didn't cost me the earth and I was happy with the sound. If you ever looked round the back of the speakers/equipment it did look slightly daft the amount of excess speaker cable especially for the right speaker which was 0.5m from my Denon 3802 receiver.

Cheekster.
 

RugbyAl

Well-known Member
Interesting to hear a Naim amplifier as being poorly designed. The older models were designed to be used with naim cable to give the correct loading for stability and performance (and possibly to ensure you buy Naim cable!).

Classic models such as the Naim NAP250 have been rightly praised for their tight involving musical performance, one that will keep you listening for hours on end. Try listening to music on virtually any modern AV amplifier with their stable, technically profficient output stages and you'll be bored very quickly!

Not wanting to get into that whole subjective/measurement debate on hi/fi or AV component assessment, I suggest the cable length issue depends on the type of amplifier you have and what use you will put it too (music/AV).

By the way, yes I do have a Naim pre/power amp with equal lengths of speaker cable.
 

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