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Thread: Cables: How Important is Equal Length?

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    Default Cables: How Important is Equal Length?

    Some of you have recommended I change the location of my speakers to maximize the performance of my equipment by placing the speakers on the sort wall of a rectangular room. However, that's the wall where I have a pellet stove insert installed, which would necessitate placing my rack with the equipment in front of the stove because my current cables are not long enough to move the rack to one side or the other. That's not acceptable for obvious reasons.

    So, I'm faced with having to get longer speaker cables if I were to move the location. Right now, I've been experimenting with AcousticZen cabling all around - a combination of Matrix I and Matrix II for signal leads between pre and amp, Satori to speakers. I was always led to believe that one needed to have the same length on both cables to balance the signal to avoid disparities in signal loss, interference, and so on. However two lengths of 12' cable would be expensive, and I worry that such a run (12 feet or more) would degrade performance in general.

    Just curious to know if any of you guys had some suggestions on how to handle such a situation. Other than buy a new house, of course.

    Thanks!
     
    Krell KRC-3 / Bryston 4B-ST / ReQuest 2nd Gen / HiFiBerry DAC

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    Super User Gordon Gray's Avatar
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    I recently moved and had to run a 30 and 40 foot length. Purchased Signal Wire's top Silver Resolution from Frank. Awesome guy to work with and am very happy with the results. He makes a very low capacitance cable to mitigate any signal loss for longer runs. Not inexpensive per se but compared to the other "boutique" brands, pretty reasonable.

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    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    Like Gordon I too am a happy 'Signal Cable' owner (speaker and Power Cords)

    As for different lengths, so long as the difference is small nothing to worry about IMO. I feed my Pass monoblocks with DH labs XLR cabling that differs in length by 2 1/2'
    Dave

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    +1 for Signal Cable. Frank is terrific and, IMHO, as good as famous name cables costing 10X as much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Gray View Post
    I recently moved and had to run a 30 and 40 foot length. Purchased Signal Wire's top Silver Resolution from Frank. Awesome guy to work with and am very happy with the results. He makes a very low capacitance cable to mitigate any signal loss for longer runs. Not inexpensive per se but compared to the other "boutique" brands, pretty reasonable.
    Sounds like big money. What sort of chenga are we talking about?

    Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk
    Krell KRC-3 / Bryston 4B-ST / ReQuest 2nd Gen / HiFiBerry DAC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
    Some of you have recommended I change the location of my speakers to maximize the performance of my equipment by placing the speakers on the sort wall of a rectangular room. However, that's the wall where I have a pellet stove insert installed, which would necessitate placing my rack with the equipment in front of the stove because my current cables are not long enough to move the rack to one side or the other. That's not acceptable for obvious reasons.

    So, I'm faced with having to get longer speaker cables if I were to move the location. Right now, I've been experimenting with AcousticZen cabling all around - a combination of Matrix I and Matrix II for signal leads between pre and amp, Satori to speakers. I was always led to believe that one needed to have the same length on both cables to balance the signal to avoid disparities in signal loss, interference, and so on. However two lengths of 12' cable would be expensive, and I worry that such a run (12 feet or more) would degrade performance in general.

    Just curious to know if any of you guys had some suggestions on how to handle such a situation. Other than buy a new house, of course.

    Thanks!
    The short side of a rectangular room is most always the best option sound wise. Obviously if because of certain room physical items like windows, obstructions etc. or just the looks that may not be possible.

    Concerning cable length keep the distance between them reasonable. Purchase quality low impedance well insulated cables and there will be little to no compromise in sound quality. What you will find is laying lengthy cable on the floor for long distances will impact the sound. Short cables have a way of being suspended most if not all the way to a component but long cables the majority will be on the floor. So some type of cable support will be needed to negate that issue. Personally I had at one time a 2M and 6M RCA to subs and it had no impact because of the length at least I thought. I later put cable supports under the long one and heard an improvement.

    Also a new house is also and option
    Last edited by GW1800; 11-21-2017 at 03:10 AM.
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    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    For the distances involved here, there is no real impact due to asymmetric lengths. On principle, most of us try for equal lengths, but a few feet won't matter for speaker runs. The wires to my rears are asymmetrical by 10' or so.

    Also, no need to go overboard on cost, the stuff BlueJeans Cable sells is very good. I have over 200' worth of Belden 5000 running in my HT (each speaker has two runs, as they are bi-amped and active crossover based) and it works very well. Even handles being run through the crawl space below the HT.
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

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    For XLR or RCA interconnects, equal length has no importance. We made concert hall classical music recording with one 100 meter cable and another 20 meter cable (yes there were also other cables).

    For loudspeakers with demanding impedance curves (like some ML speakers) then the speaker cable length ratio might be 2:1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
    Sounds like big money. What sort of chenga are we talking about?
    Hi Hammer,

    You can check Frank's website for prices but compared to other "esoteric" wire, they are far less expensive.

    Best,

    Gordon

    PS: His straight "copper" version is about half or more less expensive than the "silver" version and may work just fine in your system.
    Last edited by Gordon Gray; 11-23-2017 at 07:52 AM. Reason: PS

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    Just to make things a tad easier-

    www.signalcable.com

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    Has anyone tried any of Franks balanced cables or his silver cables ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by timm View Post
    Has anyone tried any of Franks balanced cables or his silver cables ?
    Tim, I have a pair of his silver interconnects on my small second second system , Jolida integrated fed by a Rotel 1052 CD player into a pair of small Totem towers. Thumbs up .......
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by twich54 View Post
    Tim, I have a pair of his silver interconnects on my small second second system , Jolida integrated fed by a Rotel 1052 CD player into a pair of small Totem towers. Thumbs up .......
    Would you consider them on your main system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by timm View Post
    Would you consider them on your main system?
    for sure, but I have no need, my DH Labs I/C's perform superbly !
    Dave

    System #79 - Analog is Alive and Well, if in doubt, click the link below !

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    Quote Originally Posted by timm View Post
    Has anyone tried any of Franks balanced cables or his silver cables ?
    Quote Originally Posted by timm View Post
    Would you consider them on your main system?
    Timm, for years I used Frank’s balanced cables to connect my AR Ref3 preamp to my Sanders monoblocs, and his silver resolution speaker cables from monoblocs to Summits. My CJ equipment doesn’t use balanced, so now I have Frank’s RCA cabling between DSD, pre, and amp. And I’m using his copper speaker cables currently (because the silver ones I have are too short without using monoblocs).

    Pretty soon I’m going to break the monoblocs and balanced cables back out and go straight from the DSD to the amps and compare that to my current setup.
    Rich

    This comment is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as conveying any express or implied warranty of fitness for any other purpose. Said comment constitutes merely the humble opinion of its maker and does not reflect the views of the MLOC or of ML, Ltd. YMMV. Trust your own ears.

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