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Thread: Does having equal length cable make a difference or not?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: vancouver

    Posts: 642
    I'm danilo.

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    This is actually a very interesting thread imo..
    IF one accepts the Engineering theory (fact?) that ONLY resistance is of import in an Speaker (power) cable.
    Then Slight variations of Resistance should make differences.
    In real Life they clearly do not.. OR more plausibly are below the Hearing/awareness threshold of us Audiphools.

    That said... It does cause head scratching as to the often excited conversations re the attributed Goodness of some speaker wires over others
    My audio bits: Thorens / diy phono, CD/dvd player(s), diy pre, F6, Tannoy Golds in my boxes / my xovers, and of course all strung together with basic diy Wires
    Lots of Cd's, yet more audio files, a couple of hundred semi worn Lps.

  2. #22
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: Melton Mowbray, Leics, UK

    Posts: 19
    I'm Steve.

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    Hi everyone,

    As a cable manufacturer and supplier, this one is of interest to me! I suspect that many of us worry too much about getting speaker cable lengths exactly matching (myself included!) but some attention to cable lengths can be productive. The golden rule in my view is to keep both speaker cables fairly close in length and as short as reasonably possible, particularly when low impedance speakers are connected.

    Traditional "entry-level" 49 strand OFC speaker cable varies in spec, but these cables can have a typical DC resistance of around 1 Ohm for every 10 loop metres (ie. 5m of cable length) so if you have a low impedance speaker of 4 Ohms connected to a 10m long cable, then the cable could be adding 50% (2 Ohms) to the impedance of the speaker as seen by the amplifier. This means that around 33% of the power output of the amplifier could be lost to heat in the cable.

    This change in the connected load could affect the linearity of some amplifiers, which could potentially affect bass or treble response in some systems. Good cable and amplifier choice should minimise any impact, but it can be helpful to keep one eye on resistance when planning longer cable runs.

    Hope this helps?

    Kind regards, Steve.
    My day job: Making bespoke audio cables
    My current kit: B&O Beosystem 3500, Royd Minstrels, Beolab 8000, Beolab 6000, Kef Ci50R, B&O Beotime, B&O Beolab Penta III, B&O Beolab 3000, Behringer Xenyx 302USB, Acer H6510BD projector, GrandView 75" screen, Dell media PC.
    My website: www.soundsheavenly.com
    My email: steve@soundsheavenly.com

  3. #23
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 16,452
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    The cables I used to use (QED 79 strand) had a quoted loop resistance of 16mOhm/metre. Since as a general rule of thumb, the loop resistance of the speaker cable ought to be no more than 5% of the nominal speaker impedance, then for say a speaker impedance of 8Ohm, the cable length should be no more than 25 metres.

    The speaker cables will thus introduce a power loss of 5% (0.21dB).
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  4. #24
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: Melton Mowbray, Leics, UK

    Posts: 19
    I'm Steve.

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    Thanks Barry,

    It is good to see a more positive calculation to contrast against my rather pessimistic approach! Looking at the combination of our workings-out, I suppose we could say very broadly that in a typical system with reasonably long cable lengths, the speaker cables could contribute to the system loading (and hence potentially influence the sound) by somewhere between 5% to 50%, depending on the quality of the cables and equipment. Admittedly that is a wide range, but I would suggest that speaker cables DO make a difference and in some systems this can be quite a large difference.

    By the way, I also use QED 79 strand cable in my main system now, primarily to minimise the cable resistance issues highlighted in my previous post.

    Kind regards, Steve.
    My day job: Making bespoke audio cables
    My current kit: B&O Beosystem 3500, Royd Minstrels, Beolab 8000, Beolab 6000, Kef Ci50R, B&O Beotime, B&O Beolab Penta III, B&O Beolab 3000, Behringer Xenyx 302USB, Acer H6510BD projector, GrandView 75" screen, Dell media PC.
    My website: www.soundsheavenly.com
    My email: steve@soundsheavenly.com

  5. #25
    Join Date: Jul 2015

    Location: Manchester UK

    Posts: 68
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundsheavenly View Post
    Thanks Barry,

    It is good to see a more positive calculation to contrast against my rather pessimistic approach! Looking at the combination of our workings-out, I suppose we could say very broadly that in a typical system with reasonably long cable lengths, the speaker cables could contribute to the system loading (and hence potentially influence the sound) by somewhere between 5% to 50%, depending on the quality of the cables and equipment. Admittedly that is a wide range, but I would suggest that speaker cables DO make a difference and in some systems this can be quite a large difference.

    By the way, I also use QED 79 strand cable in my main system now, primarily to minimise the cable resistance issues highlighted in my previous post.

    Kind regards, Steve.
    I had completely forgotten about this thread so sorry for the late reply!

    Going on what you have said Steve, I have just ordered 10 metres of QED 79 strand and some banana plugs and spades(my old Kef's are pre-banana!). One speaker needs about 4.5 metres and the other about 3 so will will just make up 2 , 5 metre lengths and be done with it and never give my speaker cable another though.

    Now I've been looking at the power lead to my NAD C352.............. No I must stop!! lol

  6. #26
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 16,452
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Good idea! To 'loose' the 2m length of the cable for one of your speakers, try not to coil it up. It is better to lay it out it as a loose serpentine arrangement.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  7. #27
    Join Date: Jul 2015

    Location: Manchester UK

    Posts: 68
    I'm Andrew.

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    Good point, will do that!

    Thanks

  8. #28
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: Melton Mowbray, Leics, UK

    Posts: 19
    I'm Steve.

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    Hi Andrew,

    Another approach (if you like a tidy room, like I do!) is to coil the excess cable in a figure-of-8 instead of a circular coil. This way, the radiated signals from each loop cancel each other out (If I have remembered my EMI theory from my Electronics degree correctly!)

    Kind regards, Steve.
    My day job: Making bespoke audio cables
    My current kit: B&O Beosystem 3500, Royd Minstrels, Beolab 8000, Beolab 6000, Kef Ci50R, B&O Beotime, B&O Beolab Penta III, B&O Beolab 3000, Behringer Xenyx 302USB, Acer H6510BD projector, GrandView 75" screen, Dell media PC.
    My website: www.soundsheavenly.com
    My email: steve@soundsheavenly.com

  9. #29
    Join Date: Jul 2015

    Location: Manchester UK

    Posts: 68
    I'm Andrew.

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    Thanks again Steve, I shall see how much of a pain that will be to do!
    My music room system - Kef C60's, Arcam rDAC, NAD C352 fed by an old Mini ITX PC

    My AV system - Dali Zensor 1 5.1 system, Onkyo TNXR636 with Onkyo Dolby Atmos speakers fed by an Nvidia Shield TV

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