Line-Out length restriction?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ed Isenberg, Sep 12, 2001.

  1. Ed Isenberg

    Ed Isenberg Auditioning

    Sep 10, 2001
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    I am in the planning stage for installing a new HT, and have a question/problem. My HT will be on one end of the house, while the bedrooms and balcony is on the other side, separated by a high-ceiling Great Room w/o attic. Installing remote speakers in the Great Room for background music (second input channel) isn't hard because there is attic access to one wall.
    However, there is no easy way to get to the other side of the Great Room to wire the rest of the house for background music. My thought is that I already own two sets of RCA wireless speakers, so all I need to do is get the Line Out to the far side of the house. Then I can plug the dual RCA plugs into the wireless transmitter and place the speakers where I want them. (location will change depending on the season and whether I want a balcony vs. another guest bedroom wired).
    My question is, how far can I run the Line Out leads between the receiver and the RCA transmitter? I'd have to go outside and it would probably take 100 feet of cable. If I remember correctly the line-out plug is designed for high-impedance short distances, the opposite of speaker wire which is low-impedance and great for long distances.
    Does anyone have an idea? I would really like to make this solution work since it would be much more flexible and save me a ton of money over buying two pair of new speakers that then must be permanently wired.
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
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    You won’t have any problems doing this. I’ve successfully run unbalanced signals this distance with no problems. The only downside to long unbalanced signal runs is a slight reduction at the highest frequencies, as well as some signal loss (i.e., reduction in signal level). However, both of these situations can be corrected at the end of the line, if need be. You can increase the amp’s gain to compensate for the signal loss, and the high frequency loss can be negated with the treble control. If not, it still shouldn’t be a problem, since most people don’t use reference quality speakers for secondary locations.
    For this distance, however, cable quality is paramount, primarily the shield. Use only high-quality cable with a tightly-braided shield (as opposed to a less-effective spiral-wrapped shield). Alternately, cable designed specifically for installations, with a light-duty jacket and a foil shield, would be a low-cost alternative. A foil shield gives 100% interference rejection properties. Install cabling designed for professional installations using balanced signals, with twin center conductors, might offer an additional advantage in that tying theo two center conductors together at both ends may reduce signal loss, due to the effective increase in gauge size.
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
    My Equipment List

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