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Speaker Cable - Equal length vs Quality of Cable ?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by mwhorley, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. mwhorley

    mwhorley
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    What would people say is the key factor for speaker cable ?

    Is it equal cable lengths for fronts & Centre or High quality cable but not equal length ?

    The reason I ask is I may be able to buy some 2nd hand QED Silver Anniversary but one of the cables lengths will have to be longer that the other two.

    My alternative is to buy a cheaper cable that will allow me to have 3 x 4m runs to each speaker (even though two of the speakers are only 1m from my amp). Will I really notice any difference if I run 2 x 1m and 1 x 4m to the fronts ?

    I've purchased IXOS 607 for the rears.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
     
  2. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Not sure how this relates to the technical side of home cinema but just looking at the phsyics of sound I don't think it matters much about the cable length.

    Sound travels at about 330m/s depending on the temperature. So if you had one cable 10mtrs longer than the other you would have a delay of about 0.03 seconds.

    I don't know if that relates to how it actually works in the home cinema setup.

    I would go for better quality cable.

    Cheers
    Greg
     
  3. mjn

    mjn
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    as already stated sound travels at around 330 metre per second...so the cable length is not vital.

    Why don't you just cut the longer length so that it equals the shorter length? if you're that bothered about it?
     
  4. mwhorley

    mwhorley
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    A nice theory but if I cut the longer length from 4m to 1m it doesn't quite stretch to the speaker that is 4m away from the amp !!
     
  5. magnatom

    magnatom
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    GregHook,

    Slight correction to your physics! :eek:

    The signal in the cable travels close to 300000000m/s! It is about 330m/s in the air!

    Thus 10m difference in the cables would produce a difference in timing of 0.000000033 seconds!

    The positioning of the speakers is much MUCH more important than the length.
    Resistance also increases only very slightly with longer cable, so this is not a problem neither.
     
  6. bob007

    bob007
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    Move the speaker closer to the amp then..........;)
     
  7. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The reasoning behind equal length cable is not to do with time it takes signal to travel down it as folk have already pointed out.

    It's to do with the electrical characteristics of the cable and how the different load may affect the associated channel of each amplifier differently. Some stereo amp manufacturers go to great lengths to match each channel. They believe that the mismatch in lenght will cause degradation in sound quality as a result. I am not an electrical engineer so don't take me to task on this.

    Also there are some amplifier manufacturers who look at the design of their amplifiers and take the speaker cable as part of the circuit. Naim for example. Using different lenghts, or worse the wrong type of cables (ie wrong electrical characteristics), with these amps can cause severe sound problems or in worst case chatastrophic failure. Just try 2 x 2m Linn K400 bi-wire cable in to a Nac92/Nap90.......Nasty!

    I must say that I use, almost exlusively, Ixos 6002 OR 6006 gamma geometry cables for my installations of audio and cinema systems these days. I do not specify that all lengths are the same. Perhaps one day I'll do the dem with a cinema system and see.

    Cheers,

    Gordon
     
  8. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    OOps. Just a slight error then!:eek:
     

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