does length of speaker cable matter?

Purbs

Standard Member
Hi,

I've got two 4m lengths of Gale XL160 (biwire) connecting my MS 914s to my CA 640C. I could probably get away with 2m each side.

Does having a couple of loops of excess cable make a difference, particularly if it's around the pile of power leads etc?

Cheers,

RP.
 

ijd

Active Member
the only time speaker cable length is a problem is when your speaker placement is farther away from your amplifier, than the cable can reach.in this instance it is very important as you will not be able to connect to either your amp if you connect the speakers first, or your speakers if you connect the amp up first.
 
S

skinnyfat

Guest
the only time speaker cable length is a problem is when your speaker placement is farther away from your amplifier, than the cable can reach.in this instance it is very important as you will not be able to connect to either your amp if you connect the speakers first, or your speakers if you connect the amp up first.

ROFLMAO:):rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
 

Rich Marshall

Well-known Member
the only time speaker cable length is a problem is when your speaker placement is farther away from your amplifier, than the cable can reach.in this instance it is very important as you will not be able to connect to either your amp if you connect the speakers first, or your speakers if you connect the amp up first.



A good answer, very well explained.
 

yetanotherbob

Active Member
the only time speaker cable length is a problem is when your speaker placement is farther away from your amplifier, than the cable can reach.in this instance it is very important as you will not be able to connect to either your amp if you connect the speakers first, or your speakers if you connect the amp up first.

I find the silence much more cohesive in this situation to connect alternate ends

As a bonus the gaps between the speaker cable and amp or speakers also have a high WAF ;)

Bob
 

jensK

Active Member
Hi,

I've got two 4m lengths of Gale XL160 (biwire) connecting my MS 914s to my CA 640C. I could probably get away with 2m each side.

Does having a couple of loops of excess cable make a difference, particularly if it's around the pile of power leads etc?

Cheers,

RP.

According to a QED webpage it is best to cut the speaker cable to the required length to avoid signal interference between cables. Cables produce magnetic fields and if you put them in coil that is not going to improve your audio signal. Avoid also to put your speaker cable close to power leads. For the same reason as above.

Reference that can explain things

Reference from the cable forum: It covers the basics of cables (maybe a little bit detailed) http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106899
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Four Meter cables are about 13 feet. That's relatively short, so I don't see a problem. Though a reasonable effort should be made to keep them away from power cables.

Input cables must be shielded because the signal level is very small, so any microscopic signal induced from power cables will produce hum that will be then amplified by the amps. However, speaker cables are high signal level and the hum picked up by the cables will not be amplified, so it is generally not a problem.

If you do cut your speaker cables, it is best to cut them the same length. Though for short distances, again, this is not much of a problem.

I really don't consider cables of the length you have to be much of a problem. As far as closeness to power cables, if you can't hear a problem, then you probably don't have one.

Also, consider this, this wire is moderately expensive (£2.99/M) and you may not always have your speaker placed where they are now, so it might be wise to leave a little extra cable in case you move them. It's better to have wire and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

In general, unless you are experiencing a specific problem, I don't think you need to do anything except enjoy the music.

Steve/BlueWizard
 
S

skinnyfat

Guest
If you do cut your speaker cables, it is best to cut them the same length.

non-sensical

Not everyone's speakers are equi-distant from the amp and besides different lengths will have absoulutely no effect
 

Patch04

Member
non-sensical

Not everyone's speakers are equi-distant from the amp and besides different lengths will have absoulutely no effect


Is that right? I've just been persuaded by Sevenoaks to get equal length cables for each speaker despite one being 1m from the amp and the other 4m. Reasoning being different length cables will affect over time. Have I been diddled or is that a fair recommendation by them?
 

Patch04

Member
What is Sevenoaks?

Does it make any difference to how you would respond to the question?

Sevenoaks is one or both of the following:

1 A market town in Kent countryside
2 A national chain of hi-fi shops stocking very nice goodies with an employee in one of their shops potentially spotting tripe about speaker cable length - or not.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Is that right? I've just been persuaded by Sevenoaks to get equal length cables for each speaker despite one being 1m from the amp and the other 4m. 1) Reasoning being different length cables will affect over time. 2) Have I been diddled or is that a fair recommendation by them?

1) Complete balderdash (read up on "velocity of propogation" on the net. re. timing issues. Electrical current runs along speaker cables at the speed of light. Now think of timing issues :smashin:

2) You have been diddled (IMHO). You have been sold 3m of speaker cable you dont really require - either for "timing issues" or "balance issues".

(I use 7m for the left speaker and 3m for the right speaker FYI)
 

Patch04

Member
1) Complete balderdash (read up on "velocity of propogation" on the net. re. timing issues. Electrical current runs along speaker cables at the speed of light. Now think of timing issues :smashin:

2) You have been diddled (IMHO). You have been sold 3m of speaker cable you dont really require - either for "timing issues" or "balance issues".

(I use 7m for the left speaker and 3m for the right speaker FYI)

Thanks CJROSS, I did wonder in the shop but he managed to keep a straight face for long enough to believe him!

We'll be fitting a full home cinema in the loft in a few months, shame he's cost their custom install team a tasty job for 3m of cable.......
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
Thanks CJROSS, I did wonder in the shop but he managed to keep a straight face for long enough to believe him!

We'll be fitting a full home cinema in the loft in a few months, shame he's cost their custom install team a tasty job for 3m of cable.......
and just think, the speed of sound is miles slower than light, so any issue with timings etc. will only be with speaker placement within your listening arena. Cable sizes dont really matter, speaker placement does and this is the only time distances really matter.
 

Alan Mac

Well-known Member
Electrical current runs along speaker cables at the speed of light.

Electrical currents (electrons) in loudspeaker cable wires travel very slowly (a few mm / s at most). However the electrical signal representing the audio information does travel (in the dielectric between the wires) at a substantial fraction of the speed of light in a vacuum. It is this latter speed, known as the “group velocity”, which is relevant here.


Alan
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Electrical currents (electrons) in loudspeaker cable wires travel very slowly (a few mm / s at most). However the electrical signal representing the audio information does travel (in the dielectric between the wires) at a substantial fraction of the speed of light in a vacuum. It is this latter speed, known as the “group velocity”, which is relevant here.


Alan

Alan my terminology may be a little skee-wiff but I think were saying the same thing :smashin:, anyone interested in this should search the forum here for "Velocity of Propogation" some really interesting threads, including hokus pokus of how 2 different cable lengths will change speed and output of each stereo speaker. In other words wild conjecture.
 

kahunaav

Active Member
I was always taught to coil excess cable in a 'figure 8' rather than loops, its supposed to help to cancel out any interference pickup, having loops actually increases the chances of picking up interference.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Electrical currents (electrons) in loudspeaker cable wires travel very slowly (a few mm / s at most). However the electrical signal representing the audio information does travel (in the dielectric between the wires) at a substantial fraction of the speed of light in a vacuum. It is this latter speed, known as the “group velocity”, which is relevant here.


Alan

http://www.avforums.com/forums/search.php?searchid=10655849

For anyone interested.
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
I was thinking about this today and remembered a conversation about this with my local dealer not long ago. He basically said wires should be of equal length within a general tolerance of 2 meters max per set (based on some guidlines or other). So the front 3 should be with 2 meters of the same length of each other and same for the rear sets with the delay timings on the amp setup to match the length of the surround cables.
His explanation was, that although the signal moves pretty much instantly, longer wires offer more resistance to the amps outbound signal and therefore affect the results, as such, keeping wires equal lengths will generally offer best results, even if you dont really notice.

Make what you will of that.
 

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