Is it better to run long signals pre or post amplification?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joel Walker, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. Joel Walker

    Joel Walker Stunt Coordinator

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    Speaking hypothetically, if one had the means to purchase independent amplification for each channel, or at least a seperate multi-channel amplifier for the rears, which of these approaches should yield the better final result? :

    a) doing the bulk of a longer run (say 15-25+ feet) from the source & pre processor to the speakers with a low level signal, and positioning the amplification close to each speaker itself, or

    b) amplifying close to the signal source, and doing the longer portion of the run with speaker cabling.

    I suppose there is also option c), at least in principle, which would be superior to both (and increasingly costly, assuming technology even permits) -- send a post processed digital signal on something like optical fiber to the physical location of each speaker, where it is converted D/A on site and then powered.

    any thoughts?
     
  2. Christopher Lyn

    Christopher Lyn Stunt Coordinator

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    I am no expert, but most, not all, people that run monoblocks have always said that it was better to keep the speaker cable as short as possible, thus, their monoblocks were placed right near the speaker. Therefore, one would have a longer interconnects than the speaker wires.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Many high-end designers (Dunlavy for one) insist that speaker wires be less than 6 ft in length.

    Running current/power through long runs of wire brings up issues that do not occur with line-level/un-amplified signals.


    So the accepted rule seems to be: Long Interconnect, short speaker wire.


     
  4. Joel Walker

    Joel Walker Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, thanks Christopher, and especially Bob for the good information.

    We have a modest but quite enjoyable system these days. But, it's still fun to research what possibilities might exist for the next go round.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    is it three makes a charm? the theoretical answer is long interconnects and short speaker cables. In fact, theoretically, you just ought to weld the amp outputs to the speaker inputs. With the vast majority of preamps, the frequency response of the interconnect/preamp combo is phenomenally linear. For example, Fred Davis, who has published in the JAES has stated the following.

     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  8. Joel Walker

    Joel Walker Stunt Coordinator

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