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  1. #1

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    Default Speaker wire length?

    This is probably a simple question to answer. Do pairs of speakers (R and L front, R and L surround) need to have the same length of wire? My equiptment rack is on one side of my HT room. My fronts could have 1 speaker with 5' of wire where the other could have 12' of wire. Should I keep them the same length, or would it hurt to make one shorter than the other? Got too many wires behind my HDTV and looking for a way to get rid of some wire. To shorten up my wires or not to shorten, that is the question??? Can anyone lend assistance please, THANKS!

  2. #2

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    It is sugested you leave them the same link but at the speed the sounds travels at those lil lengths I doubt you will notice a difference if you were to clip a couple wires in length.

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    in my last apartment i was running 10' to my right and center speakers and 15' to my left (other side of the TV) and did not hear any problems...

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    They don't need to be the same length, as long as they're in the ballpark. I wouldn't have a 30 footer and a 3 footer, but 5 and 10 shouldn't make a lick of difference. I suppose the only real noticable thing that could happen is there's a higher probability of a bad section of wire in the longer piece than the shorter piece. But as far as timings go... no difference.
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

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    The main reason to keep them in the same ball park is mainly due to the sound of the signal, not because of .00001 seconds of delay one speaker might have compaired to the other. What you will see (well hear), is that with different length cords, the signal is weaker on the longer wire due to the extra resistance and the signal is a little "muddier" due to the extra capacitance of the longer wire. However, as stated before, you just need to be in the same ball park. Also, the resistance and capacitance values of the wire you use will really determine "how big is the ball park" that you should use. Lower gauge cable will make your "ball park" bigger then high gauge cable.

    That said, please do not coil any excess wire if you do keep them close to the same lengths where you have a big difference in the distance needed for the speakers...

  6. #6
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    Speaker wire length?

    A.S.A.P.

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    The length of the speaker wires makes absolutely NO difference unless you have incredibly long runs. The signal moves a appx. 1ns per foot. The "extra resistance" theory is truly voodoo (and I am a "wire makes a difference" proponent). A 50' and a 5' speaker cable of the same brand, gauge and quality should sound the same with no degradation of the signal strength or quality. However, there will be a 45ns phase delay in one of the speakers. For you measurement guys that is .000000045 of a second.
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    Agreed. The signal moves at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second! That means it can orbit the earth 7 times in a single second. The infinitesimal amount of time it takes to travel the extra 5 feet or so is not only inaudible but the speakers wouldnt even be able to produce it!
    Last edited by MacLeod; 11-15-2005 at 10:46 PM.
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    Shack & Mac - AMEN.

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    shack, I am sorry to disagree with you on this. Phase is easily compensated for in modern electronics. But the differences in the resistance and inductance will cause differences in the high frequency roll-off characteristics of the two speakers. What this means is that the same frequency of sound on one speaker will have a completely different amplitude then the other. The roll-off characteristics themselves will be different, meaning that the higher frequencies will lose power at a faster rate on one speaker then on the other in a non-linear function (in other words, think like the curve of y=x^2 for simplicities sake). This will cause the audio imaging to be completely distorted. Instruments will shift in location depending on what note they are playing. Now THAT IS something that you can't fix with an electronic phase adjustment on the pre-processor, or a shift of 1-5mm of the location of a speaker...

    Again, will you hear it when the different is 14' for one wire and 10' for another? Almost certainly no (depending on wire gauge). But for one wire 5' and another 25', well, you will most likely be able to notice it if you compair against equal length wires.
    Last edited by Fallen Kell; 11-15-2005 at 09:56 PM.

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    Fallen - It's called thinking too much and applying every documented theory, to everything. If I applied my education to this hobby it just wouldn't be plausible, or even fun anymore.

    Do yourself a favor, double blind yourself on that idea...or feel free to stop by here sometime and I'll send you home scratching your head about a few things.

    Ears don't care about science.

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    You caught me in my edits dorokusai... the last paragraph was being added when you posted... And again, read what I said in my first post, it won't make much a difference in similar length cables, its when there are really extreme differences...

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    Fallen - I still respectfully disagree, as you would have to change the length considerably to affect an audible change....not just 20'. I'm aware of what properties you are speaking of and it simply doesn't work here. I went through the same thing a long time ago, and was dumped in the hole when I couldn't prove it....so it's a lesson learned for me.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 11-15-2005 at 10:15 PM.

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    I like my cables to be twice as long as needed, then I coil the extra behind each speaker so I can pickup shortwave from Japan.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

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    Do you wrap them in an iron core? That is the KEY to high quality reception.

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    Really? So far, I've just been defecating in the middle of them. I'll try the iron, maybe the cat will quit sniffing my cables.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN
    Really? So far, I've just been defecating in the middle of them. I'll try the iron, maybe the cat will quit sniffing my cables.
    Nah, the key to that is to eat more broccoli and brussel sprouts.

  18. #18

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    Fallen - You're alright man, lol, you actually get it....welcome to the horde. You should post more often.

  19. #19

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    But for one wire 5' and another 25', well, you will most likely be able to notice it if you compair against equal length wires.
    Mix this with broccoli and brussel sprouts and you get BS.
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  20. #20

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    No Shackdaddy, you get a BM.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

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