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Thread: Long Phono Cables and Short Speaker Cables or Vice Versa.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

    Posts: 20
    I'm John.

    Default Long Phono Cables and Short Speaker Cables or Vice Versa.

    The new listening room is imminent, wifey has been clearing out the unused bedroom with a sack barrow.
    I will have a freedom to do as I like very soon with the room layout.
    As a provisional set up, I intend on mounting a gallows bracket turntable stand to a wall.
    I have recently bought 6 metre phono cables to allow for most positions.
    I also have 1.8 metre interconnect to allow me to split the rack and have the power amps next to the speakers, that will be 3.6 metre centres..
    If this happens, I can use a 800 - 1200mm speaker cable,
    depending on how close the speakers are to the rear wall.
    I,ve never thought of the different configurations with cables, due to room set up limitations, any thoughts on the methods would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 2,973
    I'm Neil.

    Default

    Don't worry about it, just pick the combination of lengths that suits your room & kit layout the best. If you put your amps near your speakers, then you can save some money, especially considering you've already bought some interconnects.
    Mana Acoustics Racks / Bright Star IsoNodes Decoupling >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 17,863
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    As Neil says, since you already have some long (6m) interconnects use them to place the power amp nearer the speakers. That way you can use shorter speaker leads.

    That is what I do in my system: using monoblock amplifiers placed directly behind each speaker connected using <1 metre of 6mm2 speaker cable, and connected back to the preamp (at my listening position) using 15m of balanced-line cable. (Both my preamp and power amps use true dual-differential balanced inputs and outputs.)
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Cheshire, UK

    Posts: 2,617
    I'm Clive.

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    Whether long i/cs or long speaker cables sound better will depend on the system but in general I find that long i/cs and very short speakers cable to be best and usually costs less too.
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  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 1,419
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    Whether long i/cs or long speaker cables sound better will depend on the system but in general I find that long i/cs and very short speakers cable to be best and usually costs less too.
    Even more so if you can use xlrs as i/c cables!

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 17,863
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherwood View Post
    Even more so if you can use xlrs as i/c cables!
    Agreed, but only if they are truly balanced - otherwise there is no advantage.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,247
    I'm Andrew.

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    "Long" in this context isn't considered particularly long by the wider audio world. 6m may be a lot longer than the 1m interconnects often used in domestic hi-fi setups but it's still very short compared to the 100m mic cables encountered in concert situations.
    Try your setup both ways, but both should be absolutely fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

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    I'm David.

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    Some amp 'systems - pre and power' were designed from the outset to have long interconnects to remote power amps and it was a specific recommendation when I had the AVI pre and power (the preamp especially sounded better to me used this way) and I suspect most 'conventional' pre and power amp setups are fine with short speaker cables. Obviously there are amps (often with passive preamps) that may not be at their best set this way, but these may possibly be an exception.

    Hopefully 'Rothwell' and others can confirm, but the general view is to use low capacitance interconnects over longish domestic runs (I'm thinking single ended coax or mic cables wired for single ended rather than balanced [usually one core hot, t'other return and the screen connected to the return at one end is how I did it]) and still go for a chunky good gauge speaker cable, if only in very short lengths... - heck, even the geriatric Quad 33 preamp could be used to 'drive' a good few yards (!) of cable to the power amp I remember - i don't have the manual to hand and shall need to download it to confirm...
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
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  9. #9
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

    Posts: 20
    I'm John.

    Default

    Thank you for your replies.

    It would seem that I have the options with non balanced I'cs as I have in my possession newly acquired 6 metre Yannis Tome and
    1.8 metre Klotz MC5000. As well as the usual 0.5 and 1 metre types

    I will have to experiment with speaker cables, mine at present are ancient.
    So a good item to use as comparison to other types.
    I am of the thought, "Van Damme Clear Sheathing" is well liked by the affordable cable supporters.
    There has been talk of making the monoblocks balanced,
    " I think 3 Pin XLR ". This was discussed as a resolve to a ground loop issue.
    Will a Pre Amp need to be Balanced as well to work with the Power Amps, or will RCA/XLR Connectors be OK ?
    The Power Amps have their own Pot's built in so can be used to adjust volume, without the Pre Amp Connected.
    The real unforeseen appears to be how a Passive Pre Amp will drive a I'c
    over a 6 metre distance. I would assume it would be placed as close to the turntable as possible next to the Phonostage. As I not aware of Phonostages being encouraged to use long I'cs.
    Out of curiosity how does a CD Player, or DAC function driving long IC's.
    As I said this is a subject, I can't recall discussing in the past.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 17,863
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    CD players and DACs usually have low output impedance, so the 600pF capacitance, or so, of the 6m cable shouldn't be a problem. The same can't be said of passive volume controls (regardless of whether resistor-based or transformer-based); these have a variable output impedance, depending on the volume setting, and interact strongly with the cable, so it is preferable to use short interconnects.

    Ideally long interconnects need to be balanced, but for 6m lengths unbalanced cables will be OK. Regardless of whether the preamp and/or power amp is balanced or not, if you use XLR/RCA adaptors the overall arrangement will be unbalanced.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

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