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  1. #1

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    Default Does speaker wire length matter ?

    I am going to order some 12 Gauge speaker wire and have to deterine how much I will need. I read an article that the length of your wire should be all the same for each speaker. The farthest distance to my Back Surrounds will be aprox 35 ft....due to going along a couple of walls at floor level before getting to the speaker etc. My front 3 lets say would only need 7 ft of length. Based on this article I would need 35 ft x 7 for my speaker setup. IS This True ?.... Or can I go say 2 X 35 Ft Rear Surrounds....2 X 25 FT Side Surrounds.......and 3 X 7 Ft for the Front ( L,R & C ). Less speaker wire will save me money especially shipping costs from USA to Canada. The point of the Article was that the Audio Signal would reach all your speakers at the same time if the speaker wire was the same length,and therefor give a better sound overall.

  2. #2

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    Nobody I know does the same length all across the board, thats silly. If someone can argue that the same length speaker wire is required for a 5 channel system, then I would recommend you not read any more of their advice.

  3. #3

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    15 gauge wire is all that is required for the lengths you are running. No all wires don't need to be the same length.
    I'm kinda anal about wiring and I make my front 3 the same length if it makes sense. At least the front left and right. Center channel is less important to me as I like to double duty my system for 2 channel and theater. Rear channel wiring is what length it is to get to them. The speed the signal travels down the wire isn't a factor at those lengths.
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  4. #4

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    A legitimate reason to have your lengths match is resale value when using nicer cables. Just like trying to buy or sell a pair of shoes when you have one size 8 and another 10, this will only fit a small group of people.

    So once you decide to go to nicer cables, it is best to get equal lengths. Because of an entertainment center, I need one meter on the left side and 2.5 meters on the right in front.

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    Just use the length you need for each speaker, don't worry about any of them being the same length, at those lengths, it won't make an audible difference.

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    not to mention if you took that 35' of cable for the front speaker thats 8' away and wound it all up behind your speaker you're basically making an inductor behind your speaker. Which could in theory suck out some frequencies

  7. #7

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    If getting a good deal on speaker cable is an issue, and you need various lengths, then try Monoprice.com
    I dont know if they ship to Canada. One 100ft. roll will suit you. I am with everyone else when they say that the speaker lengths are unimportant. I matched the speaker lengths on my fronts and center because they were pretty much equal distance from my amp. My surrounds are different distances from my amp and therefore I used different lenghts. I think 12 gauge is kinda thick for surrounds ( I used 16) but its your choice. Good luck.

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    From what I've read, use equal lengths for each pair of speakers. e.g. 20 ft to each of your surrounds, 7 to each of your fronts, etc. I switched from crap wire to Monster Cable XP and made sure my surrounds both had the same length and all of my fronts have about 7 ft. If you have extra wire to a speaker, wind it in a figure 8 to avoid making a big coil. It's not perfect, but it's better than looping it in a big circle.

    I agree with angelsfann02 in the fact that 12 gauge is pretty overkill, unless you're running a high powered amplifier. And if you were already up to that level of HT, you probably wouldn't be asking us this :P I'm not sure if there are RadioShacks in Canada, but if there is, stop by your local store and pick up the Monster Cable XP-Ci 100ft spool. Most stores here in the US have it in stock but on clearance for $39.97 USD.
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    Thanks for all the responses. These comments answered all my concerns about speaker wire length. I am looking at 12 Guage wire, as that was the recommendation from another recent post I started. I may add an amp to my system later on as well.

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    I wonder how much of a difference there is in audio quality if a very long wire is used, anybody know?

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    Get 16 guage and saave your money for an amp down the road.

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    Use the 12 gauge, there's no such thing as overkill in this hobby.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Use the 12 gauge, there's no such thing as overkill in this hobby.

    True that is why i run 10ga. even on the short center channel 4' length.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    not to mention if you took that 35' of cable for the front speaker thats 8' away and wound it all up behind your speaker you're basically making an inductor behind your speaker. Which could in theory suck out some frequencies
    Only if you coiled it. Keep in mind the extra capacitance of the longer cable to the shorter cable, and also resale value. Two long runs can be made into 4 runs if you wanted to upgrade again, or move your gear around.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    Only if you coiled it. Keep in mind the extra capacitance of the longer cable to the shorter cable, and also resale value. Two long runs can be made into 4 runs if you wanted to upgrade again, or move your gear around.

    very true Ben but most folks i know do coil it up like a cowboys rope ...you know so it looks neat in case anybody looks behind the speaker ie: the wife

  16. #16

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    It doesn't matter how long your wire is, you just have to set up the delays for the speakers that are closer to most stereos will do it just by setting up the distance of the speakers in the set up menu.

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    Good to know this stuff, what a wonder the search button does.

    Im gonna need all different lengths so its good to know I wont be screwing myself.
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  18. #18

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    I'm using different lengths, but each rear and surround pair has wires of about the same length. My mains are 6', and the center is 3'.
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  19. #19

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    I always adhered to the theory of using the same length for each pair (plus it pacified my OCD) ...but that habit formed before AVR's had the sophisticated setup programs that they do now.

    That's what I have stuck to with good results in both my family room and HT.
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  20. #20

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    Yea im torn, because potentially my rears would be almost 50 feet for one, and 26 feet for the other. Dont know if I want an extra 24 feet of wire just sitting there
    Home Theater Setup
    • Receiver - Pioneer SC-37
    • Mains - Polk TSI500's
    • Center - Polk CS20
    • Surrounds - Infinity Flush In-Ceiling Mounted
    • Sub - Polk PSW505
    • T.V. - Insignia 47" LCD
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  21. #21

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    There's no need for the wire lengths to be equal, and the automatic calibration for delays which most receivers have these days has nothing to do with it. The electromagnetic wave carrying the voltage and sound signals travels down the outside surface of the wire at about 3/4ths the speed of light(say about 700,000,000 feet per second). The "delay" involved at home distances is under a millionth of a second.

  22. #22

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    I wasn't referring to the speed of electricity.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry777 View Post
    I am going to order some 12 Gauge speaker wire and have to deterine how much I will need. I read an article that the length of your wire should be all the same for each speaker. The farthest distance to my Back Surrounds will be aprox 35 ft....due to going along a couple of walls at floor level before getting to the speaker etc. My front 3 lets say would only need 7 ft of length. Based on this article I would need 35 ft x 7 for my speaker setup. IS This True ?.... Or can I go say 2 X 35 Ft Rear Surrounds....2 X 25 FT Side Surrounds.......and 3 X 7 Ft for the Front ( L,R & C ). Less speaker wire will save me money especially shipping costs from USA to Canada. The point of the Article was that the Audio Signal would reach all your speakers at the same time if the speaker wire was the same length,and therefor give a better sound overall.

    Can you please point me to that article? Thanks.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry777 View Post
    I am going to order some 12 Gauge speaker wire and have to deterine how much I will need. I read an article that the length of your wire should be all the same for each speaker. The farthest distance to my Back Surrounds will be aprox 35 ft....due to going along a couple of walls at floor level before getting to the speaker etc. My front 3 lets say would only need 7 ft of length. Based on this article I would need 35 ft x 7 for my speaker setup. IS This True ?.... Or can I go say 2 X 35 Ft Rear Surrounds....2 X 25 FT Side Surrounds.......and 3 X 7 Ft for the Front ( L,R & C ). Less speaker wire will save me money especially shipping costs from USA to Canada. The point of the Article was that the Audio Signal would reach all your speakers at the same time if the speaker wire was the same length,and therefor give a better sound overall.
    The following guide by Roger Russell is one of the best to steer you in the right direction regarding speaker cables. It has served me and others in this hobby very well. Not everyone agrees with it, but everyone can't always agree on everything.

    You will note that the length and gauge used is dependent on speaker impedance.

    http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
    Last edited by xcapri79; 03-16-2011 at 08:28 PM.

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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcapri79 View Post
    The following guide by Roger Russell is one of the best to steer you in the right direction regarding speaker cables. It has served me and others in this hobby very well. Not everyone agrees with it, but everyone can't always agree on everything.

    You will note that the length and gauge used is dependent on speaker impedance.

    http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
    Oh Jesus, here we go....
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  26. #26

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    The next person that posts the miss information presented by RR is going to get a virtual slap.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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  27. #27

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    I always enjoyed the Roger Russel articles. He certainly has some great credentials. It's always nice to get all sides of an issue.

  28. #28

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    So camp please tell all the fine folks here at Club Polk your vast experiences with different gear and cables. Use your ears.
    *SLAP*
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcapri79 View Post
    Not everyone agrees with it, but everyone can't always agree on everything.
    Funny, nobody agrees with YOU about ANYTHING.

    Have a nice day. I know I am.

  30. #30

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    I'm very new to all this. I stumbled across the roger russel arcticles recently. To my novice mind it seemed to make sense. Maybe I just wanted it to since it would mean I could spend more on speakers and less on wiring. What is wrong with what he's saying? Where can I find more accurate info. Not trying to start an argument, just genuinely want to learn. Thanks guys.

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