1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

is matching speaker cable length important?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by meep, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. meep

    meep
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    607
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +48
    Hi people

    I'm currently setting up my 5.1 surround system and have the following question.

    My amplifier will be to the side of the room and, as such, will be a different distance from each set of l/r speaker pairs (front and surround).

    Is it important that I allocate exactly the same length of cable to each pair.

    for example, could i have a 2m and a 6m pair of cables feeding my rear surrounds or should I make them both 6m?

    My amp does not have a facility to set distance/delay to individual speakers, only pairs.

    I hope this is clear. Thanks in advance for advice

    Peter
     
  2. StJonno

    StJonno
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Meep

    It will make no difference if your cables are different lengths, there is no need to match them up
     
  3. mjn

    mjn
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2001
    Messages:
    18,386
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Herts, England
    Ratings:
    +5,471
    Yep, at the speed which signals travel down the cable, you're not going to notice, unless you start having lengths of hundred's of metres.
     
  4. bigmacx

    bigmacx
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    232
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +11
    Agreed, but the resistance of the cable can be a factor. To quote someone a bit more knowledgeable:

    "... the different capacitance and inductances (mostly inductances) of different lengths can cause different frequency-dependent phase shifts in the each speaker. Now, a perfect cable wouldn't give you any extra phase shift no matter what the length, since it would have zero inductance and resistance (and negligible capacitance). But, this isn't the case.

    Even without the phase shifts, different length of cable make your speakers sound different, because of differing losses, damping, etc. You don't want to unbalance one side from the other, or risk messing up your imaging. Shorter is always better -- but keep them the same."

    Hope this helps,

    Mac.
     
  5. mjn

    mjn
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2001
    Messages:
    18,386
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Herts, England
    Ratings:
    +5,471
    i don't think for the matter of 10 metres or so, you're going to see any difference in sound quality!!
     
  6. StJonno

    StJonno
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Average speaker wire will have a resistance of about 1 ohm per Kilometre, so 4 milli ohms difference (the difference in lengths of Meeps cables) presented to the amp will make no difference, there will be a greater difference in the impedances of the speakers introduced during manufacture, the previous quote about phase shifts may be measureable in a lab, but you wont be able to hear the difference. I think this is another 'Home Cinema Myth'. I challenge anyone to tell me the difference in lengths of speaker cables by listening to the explosion in Swordfish ;)
     
  7. meep

    meep
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    607
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +48
    Thnaks all, and sorry for bringing this up again. should have searched the archives before posting - I see it's been covered a lot.

    Now, I've done my final placement measurements and it turns out the the easiest cable routing will give me rear speaker cable lengths of 3m and 18m.

    I'm going to go with that as I'm putting in cable at £2.00 per/m and already need 50m of the stuff!

    Thanks again

    Peter
     
  8. juboy

    juboy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    "I'm putting in cable at £2.00 per/m and already need 50m of the stuff!"

    Buying the amp and speakers is just the start... I spent easily as much on all the necessary interconnects, speaker cable and SCART leads as I did on my Denon 2802.

    Still, it's worth it to get the best from the initial investment.
     
  9. RichardH

    RichardH
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    I'd been intending to put in that flat sticky Ixos stuff for my rears, but while messing to get the positions right, I put in some solid core (twin and earth) mains cable. Afraid it's still there.....
     

Share This Page

Loading...