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Thread: The Long & the Short: Speaker Cables vs. Interconnects

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2011

    Location: Wiltshire

    Posts: 88
    I'm Alastair.

    Default The Long & the Short: Speaker Cables vs. Interconnects

    Is there any benefit having long interconnects and (very) short speaker cables rather than the "conventional" short interconnects feeding an amp and longer speaker cables?

    I have 4 monoblock amplifiers each connected to my passive pre-amp with 1m Van Damme interconnects, the monoblocks are each in-turn connected to the speakers by 3m Van Damme speaker cables. If I were to locate the monoblocks right by the speakers with a very short (e.g. 30cm) cable to the terminals and then 3m interconnects is this likely to be better or worse.

    I recently read that the Kii 3 speakers go the extra step and are fed with Digital (AES/EBU) cables and internally have individual DACs feeding a D-class amplifier for each of the drivers.
    This it got me wondering if there is a poor man's version of this based on a S/PDIF or optical to a DAC feeding the monoblocs for each speaker... may be I am just hallucinating.
    Regards

    Alastair

    RPi3 & piCorePlayer, Ankaka Battery -> Beresford Caiman II DAC (with Venom & Gator Mod) -> Beresford Capella as Pre-Amp -> 4x Temple Audio Monoblocks ->Van Damme Black Bi-Wired to B&W 804 Nautilus and Van Damme Interconnects (everything battery powered)

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 33,090
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    probably very little in it at those lengths tbh in my opinion.
    Regards,
    Grant ....
    Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

    Posts: 5,026
    I'm Dave.

    Default

    I'm with Grant. Not worth bothering with.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 15,295
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    There won't be much in it to be honest - and if you were to position the power amps near each speaker, then you would have extra effort to switch them on and off.

    If, however your preamp and power amps support a true differential balanced-line connection, then there could well be a small improvement. This is the arrangement I use: 10m balanced-line interconnect with <1m speaker cable. But I still have to walk over to eack speaker to switch the power amps!
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2011

    Location: Wiltshire

    Posts: 88
    I'm Alastair.

    Default

    Thanks guys for the advice. The point about turning the amps on (and off) is also a good one. It would not go down well with my better half!
    Regards

    Alastair

    RPi3 & piCorePlayer, Ankaka Battery -> Beresford Caiman II DAC (with Venom & Gator Mod) -> Beresford Capella as Pre-Amp -> 4x Temple Audio Monoblocks ->Van Damme Black Bi-Wired to B&W 804 Nautilus and Van Damme Interconnects (everything battery powered)

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 435
    I'm Russell.

    Default

    It takes a lot of floor space to locate your amps behind the speakers, some expensive amp stands, you really need a large listening room to make this look good. And to make it worth your while. Your speaker wires aren't that long now. But, I don't suppose it would be hard to test the idea.

    If you did hear a difference it would probably be sharper, more solid bass, but it would not be any order of magnitude. A lot of trouble for a small benefit.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: vancouver

    Posts: 642
    I'm danilo.

    Default

    yeahh I keep reading about that 'saw' : Long interconnects short speaker wires.
    Never could make it work well, let alone better... with MY stuff at least.
    Speaker wires have only ONE important/significant criteria: Low Resistance all else is tertiary .. at best, as speaker wires carried signals with some voltage/backbone drive.. not so easily interfered with.
    Interconnects on the other hand are Fragile things in terms of their V low signal strengths. Fairly easy to mess a low volt signal.
    That said; MILES of High resistance speaker wires have been sold on because in 'some' mismatched situations the higher resistance wire effects bass.
    But all this is a circular discussion decades old .. seemingly never attaining deserved oblivion.

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 546
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    My experience has been different but with XLR interconnects.

    I use Magneplanar speakers and was not happy with stability of standard feet. I made a plinth, 50cm * 55cm to provide a more stable platform for the speakers. This allowed me to locate the monoblocks under the speakers and use very short speaker cables.

    I feel that the combination of XLRs, short speaker cables and more stable plinth worked for me though I could not estimate the contribution of the various elements.

    geoff

  9. #9
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Sussex

    Posts: 324
    I'm Simon.

    Default

    If you do want to try to understand yourself you could get some loan pairs from a cable company. I know chord let you have loan pairs to demo, totally free. But I doubt it will make a difference. I've borrowed longer lengths and then bought short, and it's the same sound. So I'm totally with Grant, Dave and Barry.
    If you want to do something cable wise, id try different cables which will make a difference.

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