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  1. #1

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    Question Speaker cable length...

    In a HT set-up, I've heard the speaker cables to the mains and center should idealy be the same length but I've also heard it really doesn't make much difference. Is this a critical issue or if the amp is 4 feet from the left front, 9 feet from the center and 14 feet from the right front, is it ok to have the cables appoximate the length to the speakers? If equal is critical, then it will be necessary to coil up about 10 ft. of fairly expensive cable between the amp and the left front speaker. Is there a REAL time factor delay in the signal if the cables are different lengths?

    This thread over at HTF seems to indicate it is NOT necessary for equal lengths...

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...&postid=694635

    ...however any opinions here are welcome or any actual test data available would be nice too.

    Thanks
    Last edited by shack; 03-21-2005 at 02:22 PM.
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  2. #2

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    At those distances, you would either need rocket science equipment or Superman's ear to tell the differences. You should have no problems with those small differences in length.
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  3. #3

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    I can't remember where, but I do remember reading an article on this. Their conclusions on the subject were that cables would have to be "miles" in length differences to cause any time delay that the human hearing could detect.

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  4. #4

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    Shack:

    Small drafts in the air currents of the room are going to have a greater affect than those differing lengths.
    There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. We not only acquired a vast population of morons, we have inculcated all morons, old or young, with the doctrine that the decent and industrious people of the country are bound to support them for all time.-Menkin

  5. #5

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    Originally posted by jdhdiggs

    Small drafts in the air currents of the room are going to have a greater affect than those differing lengths.
    Like when you pass gas and clear out the room.:D
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Egg Sack Tea
    There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. We not only acquired a vast population of morons, we have inculcated all morons, old or young, with the doctrine that the decent and industrious people of the country are bound to support them for all time.-Menkin

  7. #7

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    Jessie, Thanks for sharing.....
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  8. #8

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    Damn, made it all the way to TN, eh!?! It was Doro's cooking, I tell ya.:p
    '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."

  9. #9

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    equal lenght is ideal, but the signal travels something like 85% of the speed of light, so the time delay is totally impossible to hear. If you do have extra wire, never coil it- that will allow EMI to get into the signal path. It can also minimally change the inductance of the wire, which on a perfect system with perfect ears would make a difference.
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    UNC - That's a much better way to word it ;)

    Yea, what these guys said.....

  11. #11

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    yeah, I didn't want to open THAT can o' worms again.
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  12. #12

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    Shack,

    I feel it's best to have the same speaker wire lengths. I once had a trouble year's ago about some strange feedback trouble I had with a turntable. At that time I with back to Radio Shack (you could find some really help there at that time) he ask if my speaker cable where the same length, which I stated no. Long story short this fixed the trouble I had, and I never had different length cables for a pair of speakers.

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  13. #13

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    Posted from Cobalt Cable's Website
    Heard that your speaker cables need to be the same length?
    Well, here is the whole story...
    With regard to speaker cable lengths (or, any other cable for that matter), none of your speaker cables need to be the same length. Basically speaking, since speaker signals travel down the cable at almost the speed of light, it would literally take length discrepancies miles long to introduce any sort of audible delay. So, simply go with whatever length of cables work best for you, and don't worry about keep anything the same length.

    However, for stereo audio applications, it is vital to keep your loudspeakers the same distance from your listening position. This is simply because this deals with the speed of sound, rather than the speed of light (even a distance discrepancy of 12" between a stereo pair of loudspeakers is audible). For Home Theater, though, this is not as critical since most A/V receivers and processors allow you to adjust for length discrepancies between the loudspeakers.

    For more information regarding speaker positioning, please read the following great article at Audioholics.com: http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/..._placement.php
    And that's coming from a cable company so I rarely doubt you'll have any issues. For my system, I have a 2m wire for my front right and center and a 3m for my front left. No biggie IMO.
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  14. #14

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    None of you "Turntable" guys and or gals had any trouble with different cable lengths. I find that odd as I did, way back when say 1979 or so.


    And if this wasn't a trouble ever then why do "Cable Companies" mainly sale speaker pairs. For marketing reasons or to line their own pockets, just got to think there is something more about this.

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  15. #15

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    personally, I like my speaker cables to be equal in length, so that if I have rewired and/or repositioning the gears, it will always give me an option for placing them equidistance from the speakers. Sonically, I don't think it makes any difference as far as the different cable length.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  16. #16

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    Thanks for all the responses. After reading all of your comments and scouring the net....I have decided that my ears are not really good enough to tell the difference between 3M and 4M with sound moving at the speed of light. I have ordered a pair of 3M cables and a single (they refer to it as a center channel cable) 4M cable. The 3Ms will go to the LF and C speakers and the 4M will go to the RF speaker. With this particular company I could have actually ordered a single 2M, 3M and 4M cable that would have fit my particular application perfectly, but I opted to go ahead and order 1 "matched" pair....just because....

    DJ7FS - I think the matched pair is basically for convenience and packaging. The vast majority of speaker wire is sold as bulk in rolls any where from 25' to 500' that can be cut to the desired length or in pre-packaged pairs. It would be way too much trouble to pre-package speaker pairs in all of the various combinations somebody might want. I'm sure that the specialty guys like Signal Cable would be more than happy to make you a mis-matched pair. At least one company has recognized that in HT applications there is the need for single cables and is selling them in that way, albeit at a price slightly higher than 1/2 the price of a pair of corresponding length.

    In a 2 channel rig I will probably always go with a matched pair....not necessarily because the science says it is necessary but....just because....I want to. (I guess raising two daughters has permanently embedded this phrase in my brain....sorry)
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

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