Subwoofer Cables

Robst

Active Member
I am about to purchase a new sub cable to replace the 5m bell wire (well almost) provided with my Ruark sub (part of Vita 100 package).

My question is whether I need to ensure that the new cable is the same length as the other speaker cables. If I use a short length foe the sub will there be a detrimental affect on the overall sound of the system?

Oh and whilst on the subject, any recommendations for a descent cable?

Cheers
Rob:)
 
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bob007

Guest
On the issue of length, it doesn't have to be the same length as the speaker cable, what is more important is to purchase a cable that is just long enough to do the job, don't buy a 5m cable when a 2m one will do.

Ixos do a few decent dedecated sub cables, they won't break the bank either. I use an Ixos 1081, does it's job and is less than £20.
 
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juboy

Guest
Ideally speaking, all of your speaker cables should be roughly the same length.

In actuality it makes little odds... I'm sure most people's center speaker cable is way, way shorter than their rear surround speaker cable for example. In the average home cinema, the lengths are so relatively short that it's not an issue.

If it helps, I use an Ecosse Conductor 4m sub cable which is a massive improvement over the free stuff. It's a solid, decent sized cable with good quality plugs. It's also a fairly neutral brown colour which went with my wood floors.

I ordered direct from Ecosse and they'll do you any length you want. Once you pay for the 1m version at about £30 adding extra metres of the cable itself is suspiciously inexpensive.
 
D

DaveP

Guest
bob007

I need one too, can you tell me the cheapest place to get one? I found one but it costs £6 P&P which is a large % of the price!

Thanks

DaveP
 
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bob007

Guest
I got mine from Home Cinema Heaven because they are local, they do mail order but have no idea of the delivery charge for cables, give them a call, but they are not open till Monday, due to a re-fit.



Also hificables do the Ixos range, plus free delivery.
 
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Inukjuak

Guest
Originally posted by juboy
Ideally speaking, all of your speaker cables should be roughly the same length.

My speaker cable for the fronts were all the same length but the rears were longer, all I did was tie a couple of knots in each cable for the rear speakers thus slowing the sound down, this gave the affect that all cables were the same length.

Now having got a posh amp I use the Delay Times, as long as you have just the right amount (length) of cable connected to each speaker, (not 10yrds coiled up under the carpet) the Delay Time feature makes sure that the sound is heard at the right moment at the listening position regardless of the different lentghs of cable. :D
 

Apocalypse

Standard Member
Originally posted by DaveP
bob007

I need one too, can you tell me the cheapest place to get one? I found one but it costs £6 P&P which is a large % of the price!

Thanks

DaveP

I get all my cables from www.hificables.co.uk

They have 2 diff Ixos subwoofer cables in their range.
 

chips

Active Member
My speaker cable for the fronts were all the same length but the rears were longer, all I did was tie a couple of knots in each cable for the rear speakers thus slowing the sound down, this gave the affect that all cables were the same length.

What nonsense this is..........you should have tied the knots in the front cables.:devil:

You must have cloth ears.:D
 

chips

Active Member
Now having got a posh amp I use the Delay Times, as long as you have just the right amount (length) of cable connected to each speaker, (not 10yrds coiled up under the carpet) the Delay Time feature makes sure that the sound is heard at the right moment at the listening position regardless of the different lentghs of cable.

Modern amps make this really easy. You set the delay in feet, just measure your cables and away you go.:clown:
 

lungfish

Standard Member
Originally posted by Inukjuak
My speaker cable for the fronts were all the same length but the rears were longer, all I did was tie a couple of knots in each cable for the rear speakers thus slowing the sound down, this gave the affect that all cables were the same length.

Now having got a posh amp I use the Delay Times, as long as you have just the right amount (length) of cable connected to each speaker, (not 10yrds coiled up under the carpet) the Delay Time feature makes sure that the sound is heard at the right moment at the listening position regardless of the different lentghs of cable. :D

Hmm, not sure how serious you're being here, but I've always been a bit sceptical that the length of speaker cables makes any meaningful difference...

The distance from the speaker to your ear is going to be the dominant factor in determining when the sound reaches you, what with the speed of sound in air being five orders of magnitude less than the speed of electrons through your average bit of copper.

So surely you'd need tens of kilometres of speaker cable before it would start making any noticeable difference to the timing? Not that you'd have much signal left by that point anyway :)

My amp (Marantz 5200) lets you adjust the listener-speaker distance for each speaker, and uses this to set the delay time. That seems more intuitive than tweaking the delays directly, but it gets you to the same place in the end.
 
J

juboy

Guest
Originally posted by lungfish
Hmm, not sure how serious you're being here, but I've always been a bit sceptical that the length of speaker cables makes any meaningful difference...

I'm sure he was joking about my intitial assertion that in THEORY all cable lengths should be the same.

Neglecting to include my follow up remark that in reality, and in your average front room, it makes little to no difference whatsoever (even with 10ft of cable rolled up under the carpet!).
 
J

john87

Guest
My speaker cable for the fronts were all the same length but the rears were longer, all I did was tie a couple of knots in each cable for the rear speakers thus slowing the sound down, this gave the affect that all cables were the same length.
You're having a laugh there!
 
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Inukjuak

Guest
Originally posted by john87
You're having a laugh there!
Not me - but this guy is.
Originally posted by chips
What nonsense this is..........you should have tied the knots in the front cables.:devil:
If you tied knots in the front cables it would have an adverse affect on the sound making a echoey sound, a bit like those DSP modes. :D
 

chips

Active Member
If you tied knots in the front cables it would have an adverse affect on the sound making a echoey sound, a bit like those DSP modes.

Not if you use really fast cable. The best are linear crystal, slippery little suckers these.......sound goes down them slick as a greased weazle.

For the very fastest you want oxygen free copper, the weazle finds it hard to breathe and scurries down the cable as fast as his little legs will carry him so he gets out the other end before he suffocates.:eek:
 

chips

Active Member
Okay here we go..............in serious mode.

Although I am reasonably new to home cinema, I have run my own electronics company for many years and believe me good quality cables and connectors are important.

When choosing a proprietary interconnect cable, it is important to buy from a source that uses good quality cable correctly terminated to good quality connectors. If you are handy with a soldering iron, or have the correct crimp tools, there is no reason why you should not make your own interconnects using good quality professional cable, from a reputable manufacturer such as Van Damme as mentioned on another current thread, which is designed for the application. There are cables specifically designed for video, analogue audio, digital audio, speaker etc. Mate these cables with good quality professional grade connectors and you will have top quality interconnects as used by professional studios, BBC et al.

With regard to cable length, I agree with Bob007 that the best length of cable is one that reaches between the two components to be joined. If interconnects are longer than necessary, there is more risk of picking up any interference that may be around. With speaker cables I agree with Juboy that IN THEORY all cables should be the same length i.e. the same resistance but in a domestic situation it is irrelevant. The difference in resistance of various speaker cable lengths in the average room is a bit like standing on your roof to get a better look at the moon.

To summarise, yes, good quality cables are important but you don’t need to spend a fortune to get them.

This is my personal opinion, other may disagree.
 

buns

Banned
Originally posted by chips
To summarise, yes, good quality cables are important but you don’t need to spend a fortune to get them.

This is my personal opinion, other may disagree.

that comment i agree with totally.

I dont agree about the cable lengths. I can clearly hear which cables in my set up are shorter, there seems to be a slight level imbalance. Or of course the imbalance could be totally unrelated to the lenght, in which case im wrong. :D

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chips

Active Member
I dont agree about the cable lengths. I can clearly hear which cables in my set up are shorter, there seems to be a slight level imbalance. Or of course the imbalance could be totally unrelated to the lenght, in which case im wrong.

Room acoustics?

Different sensitivity between you left and right ear?

I doubt that it's the cable length but I could be wrong.:)
 

buns

Banned
Originally posted by chips
Room acoustics?

Different sensitivity between you left and right ear?

I doubt that it's the cable length but I could be wrong.:)

I can physically measure a different level...... with spl...... i'll just stick with cables of equal length, if nothing else im satisfied and that will mean i wont worry about it!

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lungfish

Standard Member
Originally posted by buns
that comment i agree with totally.

I dont agree about the cable lengths. I can clearly hear which cables in my set up are shorter, there seems to be a slight level imbalance. Or of course the imbalance could be totally unrelated to the lenght, in which case im wrong. :D

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Well, as chips said, all other things being equal, longer cable does mean more impedance and more interference, so there will be a defference. I'm surprised you can hear it (and measure it) though -- the difference in impedance between a 1m and 10m cable should be insignificant relative to that of the speaker itself. Have you tried swapping the speakers over -- maybe one is slightly more sensitive than the other? Heck, maybe one channel of your amp is louder than the other :)
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
I would look to C not R to solve this one. It might roll off the treble

but it is irrelevant for a sub cable!;)
 

buns

Banned
The effect is only minor, and mainly only audible at high levels. But little things all add up so its best to avoid them where possible

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chips

Active Member
I would look to C not R to solve this one. It might roll off the treble

Hmmm....could be. Would probably need a spectrum analyser to confirm though.

Maybe Nic Rhodes knows the answer.
 

gmt steve

Active Member
Buns, I agree with Lungfish about the amp channels. A while back I had a Yammy DSP-A1 and noticed the same thing, left channel louder than right channel. Swapped the speakers (Kef Reference series, matched to 0.5db a pair), no change. Finally had to accept it was the amps themselves. Spoke to Yamaha and they said they were aware of the problem, and all A1's had it!
 

buns

Banned
Originally posted by gmt steve
Buns, I agree with Lungfish about the amp channels. A while back I had a Yammy DSP-A1 and noticed the same thing, left channel louder than right channel. Swapped the speakers (Kef Reference series, matched to 0.5db a pair), no change. Finally had to accept it was the amps themselves. Spoke to Yamaha and they said they were aware of the problem, and all A1's had it!

I know it not to be the amps because it is dependent on cable, NOT the amp. It doesnt worry me....i just use equal cable lengths and have no problem! As i say, if yu allow a host of minor errors, eventually they sum and become a problem.

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