Quick Question About Speaker Wire

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Tejpal

Guest
Do you have to use identical size speaker cable for bother your speakers ?

For example, my left speaker are lest than a metre away from my Hi-Fi. And my right speaker is about 3 metres away. can i just buy 4 metres of wire. or do i need to buy 6, and give each speaker the same amount of cable ?

If i do, Why ??
 
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bob007

Guest
This has been covered many times, a search will bring up more posts than you will care to read on this subject.
 

buns

Banned
do what you think is right, reading the posts will turn your mind to very runny jelly

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Zone

Moderator
Guys give the bloke a straight answer :p
Bit of a strange set up you have with one speaker less than a metre and one at 3, however most people say speaker wire should be equal lengths, to be honest at the speed the signal travels down the line you will never tell the difference except in your pocket :) IMO
 

Reiner

Active Member
The audiophile would argue they need to be exactly of the same lenght but I tend to agree that given the short distance and type of signal that is not necessary, so 1+3 would be fine.

(That's 4 in total in case you don't have a calculator at hand ... ;) )
 
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Tejpal

Guest
Thanks for you help people, I will just get 4 metres to save me money, and i could upgrade the cable that i buy because i wont have to buy too much..
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Back in my student days I found out the hard way that using violently differing lengths of very cheap speaker cable actually creates balance problems - one speaker ends up quieter than the other because of the impedance of the cable. But this was under pretty extreme circumstances....
 

buns

Banned
i didnt mean to be inconclusive! sorry!

i wouldnt worry too much. The difference in my set up is small and mine i quitre revealing. unless you are really picky (like me) dont worry!

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MartinImber

Active Member
I'd get the same - just incase you want to move something!

2.5m each side for me 1 speaker is 1/2m from amp - but I can move it!
 

buns

Banned
Originally posted by MartinImber
I'd get the same - just incase you want to move something!

2.5m each side for me 1 speaker is 1/2m from amp - but I can move it!

this is also true......i tend to keep at least a meter extra.......i know that eventually the set up will have to move because somone will give off about how obtruive it is!

as
 

lynx

Moderator
Originally posted by NicolasB
But this was under pretty extreme circumstances....
1x3km + 1X3m :p .

Given the speed at which signals travel, what length are we talking here ?
 

buns

Banned
if you use something with horrible resistive properties you could have a difference in length of a few cm and you will notice it.

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NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Lynx - in my case the problem was nothing to do with timing, it was an impedance issue. Cheap cable can have an unhealthily high impedance. Using long lengths of it limits the amount of current that the amp can drive through the cable and the speaker. So unequal lengths make one speaker quieter than the other one.

I'm not really persuaded that cable length will have a significant effect on timing. An electrical signal passes through metal wire at a significant fraction of the speed of light (in air), so you're talking hundreds of thousands of times faster than sound travels though the air from the speaker to the listener. It would take rather less than a microsecond for a signal to travel through a cable 100 metres long. By contrast sound would take nearly a third of a second to travel that far.

What might also be an issue (I'd have to think about this some more to be sure) is that cable is not perfectly "transparent" to an electrical signal: the impedance will vary, depending on signal frequency (the capacitive and inductive properties of the wire) and perhaps also amplitude. For example, some cable might transmit higher frequencies better than lower ones, or vice versa. If you have a longer cable then the influence of the sound on the signal may be more significant than it would be for a shorter one, which means the two signals coming out of the speakers will end up with subtly different tonal properties.
 
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sinister_stu

Guest
The answer to this question is simple:

As long as there is not a large difference in the lengths of the two cables then it really doesn't matter. Speaker cables typically have a resistance of about 20 ohms/100m (not a significant figure). So a difference of a couple of meters will not be significant in terms of the resistance.

The speed at which the signal travels down the cable is so fast that timing is not an issue. (As has already been mentioned)
 

buns

Banned
you could easily design a cable to be requiring the same lengths, but i really dont think that this is the case for normal cables. Unless you are picky as hell, you most likely will never notice

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