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  1. #1

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    Default Bit of a debate with a friend...

    SO last night I stopped by one of my local audio buddy's house on the way home from work. As we sat around talking audio and drinking a few beers, I noticed that his 2 channel system's speaker cables.

    Normally, this would be no big deal but the thing that caught my eye was the fact that he had these home built (Canare) bi-wire cables that were about 25+feet long. The only problem was, his speakers were only about 4 feet from his amp on each side. The remaining wire was then neatly wire-tied into 2 coils. Each coil was nice and tight and about 4 or so inches in diameter.

    Now, I argued that he was, in essence, creating an inductor with his speaker wire and with it being part of the signal path, he was probably effecting the sound quality of his system and maybe even drastically.

    He argued that the cable "isn't bare so it wouldn't matter".

    I am pretty sure that I am right here.

    So...am I?
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
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  2. #2

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    I would imagine that would depend on the amount of shielding the cable has. Some are better than others in that regard. As long as he likes what he hears and no obvious interference can be heard, not a big deal really.

  3. #3

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    Either way, I bet he'd get better SQ out of it with 6 ft versions instead of 25 ft versions. That's a long run of cable for mains.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  4. #4

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    it should be easy enough to make two short runs of the same wire, then you both can compare over a few beers
    another thing to consider is, if the gauge of the wire he is using is right for that length.
    Last edited by marvda1; 07-19-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Either way, I bet he'd get better SQ out of it with 6 ft versions instead of 25 ft versions. That's a long run of cable for mains.
    Can't argue with this; shortest length of wire the better. My opinion is since it's important to minimize induction in speaker cables, coiling them cannot help.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Can't argue with this; shortest length of wire the better. My opinion is since it's important to minimize induction in speaker cables, coiling them cannot help.
    Pretty much what I was saying to my buddy.

    I have a pair of 8ft AQ Flex series based bi-wire cables I may put up for testing with him.
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
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  7. #7

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    Back to the coil question. Because it's a cable with signal flowing both directions, it doesn't act as an inductor coil.For a coil to work, all the current needs to be going in on direction (clock-wise or counter-clock-wise). Sometimes you hear the urban legend about an AC power extension cord being coiled and then burning-up, well it's not true for the same reason. And even if current was only flowing in one of the extension's wires (making it a real coil) the coil's induction would limit current not encourage it.

  8. #8

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    Hmm. Inductors seem to work pretty well inside the speaker cabinets -- as part of the crossover network, exposed to the same AC signals.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by marvda1 View Post
    it should be easy enough to make two short runs of the same wire, then you both can compare over a few beers
    another thing to consider is, if the gauge of the wire he is using is right for that length.
    Best advice right here, crack open a few and slip some shorter cables in and see for yourselves. Same type of cable obviously.

  10. #10
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    I am from the "shorter is better" camp myself.
    You might have some added resistance at that length (non-issue), and possible added EMI/RFI, but there would be nothing gained by having 25 foot lengths of SC's for a 4 foot run.

    That said you would be lucky to discern a gain in SQ (minor?), without switching to another "brand/design" type.

    I would just bunch the excess wire in a radom pattern, instead of coiling them which is "theoretically" a better idea.

    I had 25 foot runs a couple of years ago, and cut an 8 foot pair off from the same wire, using the exact same system, and could not tell a difference to be honest.
    It was when I went to a different manufacturer, @ 8 foot, that my personal tastes kicked in, and my system sounded better to me.
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 02:24 PM.

  11. #11

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    Short path to anywhere is best...for a induction to work ya need a choke..right? Four inch coils on 25ft seemes tight...how is it shielded and what is the drive?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZLTFUL View Post
    The only problem was, his speakers were only about 4 feet from his amp on each side. The remaining wire was then neatly wire-tied into 2 coils. Each coil was nice and tight and about 4 or so inches in diameter.
    Great AM antennae.

  13. #13
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    There are alot of cancellation effects in speaker wires, moreso than analog source signals ect.
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 02:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmbguy View Post
    Hmm. Inductors seem to work pretty well inside the speaker cabinets -- as part of the crossover network, exposed to the same AC signals.
    Exactly, but the cross-over inductors don't have both speaker wires going through the coil.

    By the way, if you carefully looped some brands of speaker cables you could make a small coil.

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    I coiled the power cord on a vintage wall clock I have. It ran slow, so I uncoiled the cord and it now keeps the right time.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I coiled the power cord on a vintage wall clock I have. It ran slow, so I uncoiled the cord and it now keeps the right time.
    That is directly related to the amount of crystals you have on your pc Jesse.
    Next time order less "crust" and I think you will be shocked at the time it will keep!

  17. #17

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    Are these alien crystals or the earthly variety?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambiophonics View Post
    Are these alien crystals or the earthly variety?
    Alien.

  19. #19
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    Personally I have just not found the "Huge" difference in SC's as I have in source cables.
    Maybe just me and my system/synergy?

    I use Nordost speaker cables and love them, but SC's do not offer the substantial returns IC's do.

    JMHO.
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 07:38 PM.

  20. #20

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    I think taking your shorter cables and a few beers to your buddy's house and a beer side bet could make for an enjoyable evening. Personally I think shorter is better.
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  21. #21
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    If you start pushing the "50 foot" point you might want to reconsider some design perimeters, but doubt you will hear much difference (if it is less than 50ft) between a 5 foot or 25 foot pair for that matter, if it is the same wire.

    A quick easy tweak you might try is "Uncoil" that wire behind his speakers, and just "wad" it up in a "random lay" as opposed to "coiled" or a "solenoid" type situation.

    You may actually hear a difference there.
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 10:01 PM.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by zane77 View Post
    Personally I think shorter is better.
    That's what women say when they are trying to be nice.

  23. #23

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    In our MRI and CT systems they come with pre-terminated cables and if they are too long we lay them in the floor troughs in a figure 8 pattern to help eliminate noise problems caused by coiling the wires
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  24. #24

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    Would making both speaker wires the same length be a good thing vs different. Ive always made the same lengths no matter what. Maybe im odd ? Some room placements differ
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by boston1450 View Post
    Would making both speaker wires the same length be a good thing vs different. Ive always made the same lengths no matter what. Maybe im odd ? Some room placements differ
    Not a big deal, again, I doubt you could ever hear a difference, that said, I always make mine the same length also.

    But I doubt you could ever tell the difference in speaker cables, unless you are talking about "Long Lengths".

    I keep everything equal, IC's, speaker cables, power cables..ect.

    But as far as speaker cables go, it is not as important.
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 10:19 PM.

  26. #26

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    Wasnt sure the speed of signal if it would effect it. Probably not to the human ear--thanks
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by boston1450 View Post
    Wasnt sure the speed of signal if it would effect it. Probably not to the human ear--thanks
    Its just not something you would actually hear as far as speaker cables go.

    However, there is a VERY good chance you could hear a "difference in length" with analog IC's.
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 10:44 PM.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepster View Post
    Its just not something you would actually hear as far as speaker cables go.

    There is a VERY good chance you could hear a "difference in length" with analog IC's, but that is a whole different ballgame.
    You guys are pushing reality bounds here. What is a difference in length? 1", 10'? Back to the original issue, 25' of cable when 4' will do is just sloppy. If someone doesn't really care about that then it is unlikely they really pay that much attention to the sound. After all, critical listening is in the details.

    In regard to the coil making a difference if the wire were bare, well that's true, but if the wire were bare then there would be no sound since the +/- are shorted together. As was mentioned earlier, the shielding is what matters here.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    You guys are pushing reality bounds here. What is a difference in length? 1", 10'? Back to the original issue, 25' of cable when 4' will do is just sloppy. If someone doesn't really care about that then it is unlikely they really pay that much attention to the sound. After all, critical listening is in the details.

    In regard to the coil making a difference if the wire were bare, well that's true, but if the wire were bare then there would be no sound since the +/- are shorted together. As was mentioned earlier, the shielding is what matters here.
    The wires don't even have to be bare to make a decent "inductor", they only have to be "separate" wires.
    Otherwise, in this instance, you have alot of cancellation with power applied at least, as speaker cable.

    Take the separate wires, and wrap them around a "core", air, plastic, iron core, equally spaced, and you have an inductor.
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 11:08 PM.

  30. #30
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    Personally, I have never seen an "uninsulated" inductor.

    Most have enamel insulation IE:"magnet wire".

    "magnet wire" which makes for a damn fine interconnect I might add!
    Last edited by pepster; 07-19-2013 at 11:29 PM.

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