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Speaker Cable Lengths

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by MDPlatts, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. MDPlatts

    MDPlatts
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    Got a set of Tannoy FX5.1 speakers for new home cinema setup - and it comes with a single length of cut-your-own cable.

    Question is how to cut it.

    1. Should all cables have the same length - i.e. same for front/rear/centre and sub ?
    2. Should each pair have same lengths - i.e. front l/r the same and rear l/r the same - and whatever for the sub/centre
    3. Doesnt matter - i.e. cable snakes round the room and comes to rear left before rear right - can I cut the cables to length or leave some slack as in #2 on the rear left.

    I'm worried signals will get out of step (maybe not by much), but less than perfect (I know I should probably also replace the basic cable too - but it will do for now).

    As I'll probably be connecting this to the panasonic sa-xr70 amp (it has hdmi) which is 6.1, can anyone recommend a centre/rear surround speaker (single).

    Martin
     
  2. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    best to have the stereo pair same length.......likewise the rear surrounds the same as each other.....if you can manage it without coiling stuff up then have them all the same length, wont hurt....but i wouldnt worry too much.....

    for rear centre, try phoning up Tannoy or get your dealer too and ask if they can sell you a single speaker, it cant hurt to try, and i wouldnt mind betting they say yeah why not.....hardly a problem for them, good publicity for them too...
     
  3. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    If you do the mathematics you'll find that different cable lengths only become an issue when the differences are 10s of metres so I would definitely suggest cutting each cable to length so that it isn't necessary to leave any surplus wire coiled or in a pile somewhere. The increased inductance in such a case would most likely have more of an effect than differences in length. :)
     
  4. Knightshade

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    The length of time it takes for a signal to travel down a cable means you could have huge differences (5ms) in cable and not hear any difference whatsoever. Far better to have different lengths than coil the cable (Doing so will alter the properties of the cable) If you must coil it, do so in a figure 8.
     
  5. MDPlatts

    MDPlatts
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    cheers guys - also forgot to ask, the tannoy fx5.1 sub is a big sucker (I omitted to check the size before buying) - and the only place it will go inconspicuously is behind the setee - i.e. near the rear surrounds (probably below the 1st speaker it comes to).

    Is this ok or is it best if its near the fronts - its meant to be "non-directional" - so I have thought it was ok.

    Also just thought of another one - which is is it ok to lay all the cables parallel to each other (going to be a problem if not) - for the same inductance reasons you mentioned - or is it another too small to mention.

    My lounge for an idea is rectangular, but there are doors (kitchen (left end) & hall (right end)) at each end of one of the long walls - with another to a cupboard in the middle of the same wall - on the other wall is a french window - and the tv & cable come into the corner directly the other end of the short wall from the hall door - and setee is to the left of the door to the hallway. So the TV and AV kit is all in that corner - so cables have to come down the right hand side of the room, under the door to the hall and up wall at the back of the setee.

    Cheers for your patience with a noob.

    M.
     
  6. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    If the sub can only go in one place then that's exactly where you ought to put it! There's no specific rule as to which set of speakers it should be near, just that it's worth experimenting with position once you have it at home.

    Laying cables parallel isn't a big problem - ideally you want to try and seperate mains cables from signal cables and if they must cross try to keep it at a 90° angle.

    Whilst getting these details right can make a difference, you're far better off concentrating on getting your speaker position and amplifier settings the best that you can rather than worrying too much about science which most people don't even consider. :)
     
  7. MDPlatts

    MDPlatts
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    Ok cheers - I'll be feeding power separately from the back of the room anyway - so thats 5 long cables to feed to the back now - and 3 short ones to the front.

    Changed to the 7.1 SA-XR55 amp as the HDMI doesnt really contribute or do proper switching - thats still expensive/years away - so just connecting samsung hd850 directly and get extra component video input for pc/xbox360/whatever - and knock almost £100 off the price. Time to get some more speaker cable methinks.
     
  8. Will Scarlet

    Will Scarlet
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    Whilst I totally agree that differing lengths of cable produce no real effect on performance, unless the differences in length are great. By great I mean a great deal more than 5m. I do have to disagree on this "urban myth" about coiling. There have been experiments done regards this particular claim. One, I can't off the top of my head remember by whom, but a search on the net would find it, showed that even when coiled tightly around a 2" diameter steel bar there was no significant effect on the cable. So either way is perfectly reasonable. You'll find as many people telling you of the adverse effects of coiling as you will telling you that cables should be equal in length. Fact is that in the lengths of cable most people are talking about in home cinema neither is correct. More snake-oil methinks.
     
  9. MDPlatts

    MDPlatts
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    rear cables are all in now - shortest (i.e. nearst the door) is approx 20ft, next - single rear surround is approx 6ft longer, last just past end of the setee is another 6ft longer - so thats about 12ft/2.5m difference between left/right rears - also put the phono/rca cable in for the sub to go behind the setee next to the first/nearest speaker.

    Cables are down under the edge of the carpet - took ages to get the 3 speaker cables straight and tie them nicely together with masking tape every 4 or 5 inches - pulling them tight so there was no bowing - and the 3 run parallel/straight.

    SA-XR55 arrives wednesday - and then its time to get it wired - hope this cold goes as my ears are all stuffed up and everything sounds muffled/echo-ing.

    M.
     
  10. stridley

    stridley
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    My sub is in the corner of the room-seems to sound best there.

    P.S. I have an extra Tannoy FX 5.1 surround speaker-unused and about to got on Ebay. If you're interested MDPlatts let me know

    Cheers
     
  11. MDPlatts

    MDPlatts
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    how much/good condition?? - maybe £25 inc postage? (full set was £200, so 1/6th of that is £33 - counting sub as a speaker, which its obviously not, so £33 is on the high side). I can pay by bank transfer (fastest) or paypal (have to put some funds in there first though - unless my auction finishes soon)?

    I've ticked the box which says "let people download a vcard with my contact details (e-mail address)" in it if you want to deal. I can transfer funds whenever you want and let you know an address to post to.

    So you're running the speakers in 4.1 mode or what ??

    M.
     
  12. stridley

    stridley
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    Hi,
    Running a 5.1 system but changed one of the surround speakers to a shorter slimline centre speaker as the Tannoy would'nt fit between my dvd player and the top of the TV stand so now have a spare FX speaker

    send me a PM and we can discuss payment/arrangements

    Cheers
     
  13. MDPlatts

    MDPlatts
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    deal done - so its a Tannoy FX6.1 system (or soon to be) :D
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    MDPlatts and stridley - we have a very active classified trading forums for the sale and purchase of equipment subject to a fairly strict set of rules for the benefit of both vedor and purchaser. Any trading or soliciting for trades within the general forum is frowned upon and the posts generally deleted.

    In view of the fact that the deal has been struck it seems pointless to delete the offending posts now so I will leave them this time.
     
  15. MDPlatts

    MDPlatts
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    sorry.
     
  16. stridley

    stridley
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    apologies
     
  17. stridley

    stridley
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    Yep, Sorry
     

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