Cable lengths need to be equal?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by AndyMoody, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. AndyMoody

    AndyMoody
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    Might be a silly question.............I've always understood that speaker cables for left and right should be of equal lengths? I've got some Quad Lites on the way to hook up to my Onkyo 605. Front speakers are only 4 and 2 metres from the 605, rears 8-10 metres running around the outside of the room. Should I make both fronts 4 metres or not, what cable for the rears as I need to hide it under the carpet or skirting board. The front cables will be virtually hidden by furniture anyway so doesn't have to be hidden under the carpet.

    Was looking at either some QED or Van Damme stuff, any good?:lease:

    Thanks.
     
  2. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Nope they dont need to be equal at all. 10m or below and you are fine - ie you can have them unequal as much as you want.

    (I use 7m for my left speaker & 3m for my right speaker FYI)
     
  3. nero0410

    nero0410
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    Sorry to come in here, but the questrion is relevent to the topic:

    So what if one of your surrounds requires 15 metres of cable, whilst all other speakers are running off of up to ten?

    tris
     
  4. ben.bayliss

    ben.bayliss
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    It's fine - don't worry about it. Nothing magical happens at 10m that changes anything.

    Cut them to the required length and enjoy the neatness.
     
  5. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    If you run 15m rears or fronts and another at 10m the issue is not about equalling the cable lengths IMHO, but more the extra resistantance you have when you run 15m cables, in that instance it is when you look to see if your cross sectional area of copper is enough – I’d be using 2.5mm2 to 4.0mm2 copper myself. Under 20m, as long as you have sufficient CSA of copper – you can be unequal if you wish, makes not a jot of difference IMHO.
     
  6. nero0410

    nero0410
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    I have the philips 16gauge stuff, is that enough? May help AndyMoodys buying decision as well as it's pretty cheap and seems good quality

    tris
     
  7. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    16AWG comes in at roughly 1.3mm2 IIRC, if it were me chaps I would personally use double runs – ie cables shotgunned together, but you will get away with that CSA of copper (I use 10m x 2x1.5mm2 Van Damme Blue for my rears which are Castle standmounts which are an easy 8ohm load) but the longer the length & skinnier the cable your amp works harder to run the cable. Read the graph here for example :

    http://www.connectronics.uk.com/speakerflex250.htm

    The 150, 250 & 400 equate – 150 = 1.5mm2 (roughly 16 AWG), 250 = 2x2.5mm2 & 400 = 2x4.0mm2 square.

    Remember as well, the type of speaker you are feeding, ie small satellites like KEF Eggs, I’d easily run 1.5mm2 cables 15m, but speakers that are a harder load, ie bigger cabinet standmounts says, well those are going to be a harder load than little Eggs for example. Also your listening levels should be factored in. Ie you like head banging levels it all adds to load on the cable, thus increasing CSA.

    There are no hard and fast rules (hence you will see conflicting advice) and there are a lot of mitigating factors, you simply see what you can get away with and enjoy. Hope that made some sense BTW. FWIW in general hifi stereo terms the “norms” given to speaker cable CSA is usually this on forums I use :

    2x1.5mm2 1m-5m
    2x2.5mm2 1m-5m - 10m
    2x4mm2 1m-10m

    Saying that though I easily run 7m of 2.5mm2 cables.
     
  8. Buckster

    Buckster
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    just about to do this myself - is this definately right ?

    I thought say if you had 1m for right and full 5m for left - you could get phasing issues ?

    probably hifi snakeoil though !
     

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