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Problems coiling speaker cables?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Ambienz, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. Ambienz

    Ambienz
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    Hi,

    I have a large room (about 50ft x 25ft) in which I have some B&W ceiling speakers for background noise, and some proper speakers in the 2 corner when I want to listen to music.

    The amps etc are set up quite a distant away from the 2 corners where the main speakers are - one obviously a lot closer than the other.

    Now given the size, in order to maintain equal lengths of speaker cable from amp to speakers one of the speakers has quite a lot of excess cable.

    Is it OK to coil this cable around in order to hide it away?

    Remembering back to my physics days one shouldn't do this with 240v electric cable due to the forces exerted relative to the flow of the current. Is there any similar result or interference if one coils speaker wire when in use?

    any thougths or feedback greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    David.
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    tbh I have never read anything to convince me that different lengths of cable really make an audible difference to the sound. Just make them the length they need to be and see how you get on.
     
  3. Slimchandi

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    I would suggest that coiling is a bad idea. Coiling will create a magnetic field inside the coil, which would affect the signals being carried in a negative way. If you have to, wind them backwards and forwards (like a concertina, do you see?), and the cumulative magnetic effect should be reduced.
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Ambienz

    If you do keep the cables the same length its usual practice to 'coil' the cable in a figure of eight pattern - I think Slimchandi is suggesting the same thing :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  5. Slimchandi

    Slimchandi
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    As long as you avoid placing cable on top of itself with the current going in the same direction.

    The magnetic field from a wire is circular around the wire (picture an archery board, the wire runs through the middle, the field lines are the circles surrounding it. Now if you loop this wire around into a circle, inside that circle the two fields from each loop will point in the same direction, giving a cumulative effect. If, instead, you wrap the wire so the currents are travelling in the opposite direction, such as a figure these fields will cancel to some extent. What you do not want is lots of coils as these small fields soon add up, and the low voltage signals in speaker wire will be adversly affected.
     
  6. Docta teef

    Docta teef
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    Cable/wires should never be coiled except in an electric fire
     
  7. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Cut them down to length, or at least tell me a good reason not to. :)
     
  8. Slimchandi

    Slimchandi
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    So when there's an electric fire, I can coil my speaker cable then?
     
  9. Docta teef

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  10. Docta teef

    Docta teef
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  11. baldrick

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    I tend to 'double back' excess cable so you end up with what is effectivley an 'S' shape.

    'Coiling' in a figure of 8 is the proper (neat) way to use up excess cable alternatively just 'spaghetti' it!!!
     
  12. DeeeKaaY

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    When running (very large) speaker cables at concerts I was always told to coil the excess (health/safety & tidy). We _always_ coiled one loop each way, alternately (referred to as french coiling at my work). Except where the excess was very long (like at sports matches) when we used figure of eight coiling.

    When packing for a gig we would plan for the amps at one side of the stage; all the speaker cables on one side were short (3m) and all the speaker cables for the other side were long (25-35m).

    Personally I buy extra cable, french coil the excess and hide it out of site.
    dk
     
  13. stebbo

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    If you refer to "Kirchoffs Law" in your Physics text books you will realise that coiling a cable that transmits AC signals is of no issue.

    Secondly. There will be no difference in speaker cable length as long as you are not talking differences in excess of many metres.
     
  14. Will Scarlet

    Will Scarlet
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    I must say that I find the coiling theory a little strange. I have no argument regards the idea that a single wire/conductor when coiled will have an increased inductance. But speaker cable consists of two wires/conductors, one negative, one positive, both of which conduct current. These currents run in opposite directions, and as a result you get two induced fields which should, in theory, simply cancel each other out.
    As I pointed out in a previous post, I read of an experiment that was carried out where a length of speaker cable was coiled tightly around a 2" diameter steel bar with no appreciable effect on the its performance. Unfortunately I can't remember the link to this web page but if I find it again I'll post it for you to study the findings. I am no expert, but given the above, I find it hard to believe that loosely coiling excess speaker cable will have any noticable effect on the average persons system. More speaker cable snake-oil methinks, akin to the speaker cables of equal length theory, which unless you are wiring the Albert Hall seems rather dubious too.
    I stand to be corrected of course, but for now I'll coil.
     
  15. stebbo

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    Did I not refer you to Mr Kirchoff? :)

    Do it my good man, it wont make any difference.
    Enjoy the music in the knowledge that nothing untoward is going on.
     

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