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unequal speaker cable lengths

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sakhavi

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Hi all - would anyone strenuously recommend avoiding the use of speaker cables that are different lengths for R & L? I'm considering buying a pair of good quality cables, but one of the pair is 2 ft (61cm) longer than the other.
 

risabet

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I keep mine equal, that being said, if these are what you have then go ahead and use them. I doubt you'll notice the difference in length.
 

kach22i

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Equal when possible.

I'm not an engineer, but doesn't elec. move through the wires near the speed of light? Wouldn't it be all to easy to get things out of phase and have the wrong sounds canceling out each other instead of forming a stereo image?
 

Reverb

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I like to keep mine at equal lengths. The longer the cable length the more resistance in the cable, So with that in mind I like to keep my speaker cable as short as possible. I don’t think a 2-foot difference in cable length is going to compromise the sound. It could make one speaker a little more detailed and pronounced then the other, but at two more feet, I would think not.
 
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sakhavi

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Thanks for the advice, all. If I feel motivated enough, I suppose I could shorten and re-terminate the longer one (I don't need much length).
 

SteveInNC

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kach22i said:
Equal when possible.

I'm not an engineer, but doesn't elec. move through the wires near the speed of light? Wouldn't it be all to easy to get things out of phase and have the wrong sounds canceling out each other instead of forming a stereo image?
Even the slightest difference in speaker positioning will outweigh a ridiculously enormous difference in speaker wire length. Electricity on a wire doesn't quite travel at the speed of light through a vacuum, but we will use that as an approximation (roughly 186,000 miles/sec or 300,000,000 meters/sec). Compare this to average speed of sound through air at roughly 774 miles/hour or 0.2 miles/sec or 346 meters/sec.

Using metric because it's easier, 300,000,000 m/s divided by 346 m/s equals 867,052 meters traveled by light for each meter traveled by sound at STP.

One meter is approximately 39.4 inches, so in the time sound travels one inch, light/electricity (as an approximation) travels 22000 inches (1/3 mile).

Somebody check my math... :)
 
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sakhavi

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SteveInNC said:
Even the slightest difference in speaker positioning will outweigh a ridiculously enormous difference in speaker wire length.
That's basically my thinking as well. I'm pretty darned sure that the lengths of even brand new paired cables would differ by at least a few wavelengths of electrical waves. :rolleyes:
 
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