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  1. #1

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    Default What s/b shorter- speaker cables or XLR interconnects

    What is the better trade off - having a good stereo amp close to the pre/pro and having longer speaker cables (~20 ft) or putting monoblocks at the speakers and running long XLR cables (~20 ft) from the pre/pro??

    The center and surrounds and rears will have to do with 12 AWG zip cord. The surrounds and rears will each need about 40 - 50 ft runs (conduit runs buried in the walls so I can change it later) and I won't spend more on cables than amps or speakers!

    If the interconnects are shorter (1m) then does it make a difference between XLR or shielded RCA?

  2. #2

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    longer speaker wire is a better idea, i will be cheaper then buying long interconnects
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  3. #3

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    XLR's would be preferable even for short runs over RCA's

  4. #4

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    from a signal standpoint, longer interconnects should be better than long speaker cables, but if you are using zip cord #1 it will be cheaper #2 i doubt you will notice a diff.

  5. #5

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    I respectfully disagree that XLR's are any different than RCA's when used in 6 foot or less lengths except they cost more.

    I do agree that longer speaker wire would be prefered vs longer IC cables.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Regarding XLR's .vs. RCA's ... I can't speak from personal testing and in an environment that's doesn't have much electrical interferance one would probably not notice much difference but most of the references I've seen state that XLR's are preferable because of the noise and hum reducing properties.

    I can't say I've seen exotic ( costly ) XLR's although I'm sure they exist somewhere. The question I have is has anyone seen Y or 1 to 3 or 1 to 4 XLR splitters or cables ? Got a link ?

  7. #7

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    Originally posted by PolkWannabie
    I can't say I've seen exotic ( costly ) XLR's although I'm sure they exist somewhere. The question I have is has anyone seen Y or 1 to 3 or 1 to 4 XLR splitters or cables ? Got a link ?
    Monster makes some nice, overpriced XLR cables.

    Live Wires makes both M to F and F to M Y splitters. Check Guitar Center or go online to their site or www.zzounds.com

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    I must be blind but I don't seem to be able to find XLR splitters at any of those places on the net.

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    PW,

    Check out this link, http://www.mitcables.com/products/products.asp

    Now, type in Y Connector, then click Go! and it will be at the top of the page labeled as "Balanced Proline." They don't have a pic of it, but I'm sure they would send you one if you asked. MIT makes great cables and has excellent customer service, ask to talk with Pete.

    F1
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    Thanks ... I'll check it out ... I'd like to hear more of your thoughts regarding RCA's .vs. XLR's ... I have all RCA's in play today but once my preamp arrives I'll have the capability of connecting to the amp(s) via XLR ... I'd rather not go through the exercise if it's pointless.

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    I've always thought that if there's not a noise problem, there is really nothing to gain by going with XLRs for such short distances. Other opinions I'm sure will differ, but the major reason for a shield is immunity. The secondary reason is length. Over very long runs, some high frequency loss has been experienced with unbalanced cables but this is generally around 100' and up.

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    I hear that, however it's interesting to note that most of the higher end amps that have been manufactured for the audiophile crowd do have XLR sockets as well as RCA's and the owners manual for several of those recommend the use of XLR's if possible, regardless of length.

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    I think that's mostly the trickle down effect from pro audio and a marketing thing. I'm surprised the consumer amps haven't gone to Speakon for the outs-maybe they have and I just haven't noticed.

  14. #14

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    Yes, there are a number of high end amps that offer both choices and a few that only have RCA's and then a few that only have XLR's. I have yet to read, see or hear any justifiable reason for using XLR's over RCA's when used in short runs. I would have to agree about the trickle down/marketing statement. I asked about the lack of XLR's on my big rig gear before I bought it, they felt very confident that they were not needed and therefore not offered. They do however use Speakon connections between the power supply and the main unit. I never did ask why. If you talk with Pete at MIT, ask him his thoughts on the matter. The guy knows his stuff.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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