Newbie cable length question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard_S, Dec 15, 2001.

  1. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Do you guys generally try to buy the shortest cable possible or do you generally like to have some headroom. I mean sometimes buying a 1m cable is possible but 2m will probably give you a lot more headroom and so on. Do you guys generally try to be exact in your cable length or do you generally buy longer than you need perhaps so it can be transferred to other systems more easily or something?
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    You always want a little bit of slack so you can move things around. But you dont want several feet of coax coiled up behind your equipment. Coils of wire, even shielded coax or speaker wire, cause problems.

    So the answer is that you should try and buy the shortest length possible to avoid coils/loops of excess wire.

    And yes, this means that when you get a new rack or re-arrange stuff, you sometimes have to go buy a few new cables. And yes, I have a box of odds-and-end cables in the garage.

    The same goes for speaker wire: Cut it with about 1 foot of slack to avoid coils of extra wire. And dont worry about making the right/left wires be the same length. That is a myth.

    And as long as we are on the topic of "cable management":

    I like to put the receiver/amp on the bottom of my rack. This allows all that heavy 12 ga speaker wire to just flow out onto the ground. (Put the receiver on top and now you have to fight through the waterfall of speaker wire to do anything.)

    All the power-cords are draped to one side of the rack, away from the interconnects & speaker wires.

    The interconnects are allowed to hang loose down the middle or loosly pulled to the side opposite the power cords.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Would sub cable be something you want at least 2m of headroom in?

    Between 0.5m-5m Is there an optimum length? Or would all be the same?
     
  4. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Another consideration is whether the cable uses a solid core condutor. You should allow a generous bend radius (2-3 inches)if they do or you will compromise the performance and longevity of the cable. At least with longer you have the option of coiling the cable. If too short.....

    Wouldnt think 2m will be a problem performance wise although that is a lot of headroom IMO.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    No, there is no magic number for the length of a subwoofer cable.

    If you are still playing with the sub position, I'd recommend a long audio/video cable be used to hook it up and moving things around. When I was trying to decide "behind the TV" vs "across the room", I bought a 25 foot section of CATV coax and added "F to RCA" adaptors to give me a very long cable for about $12. This allowed me to play with sub positions. Then after I determined behind the rack was the best place, a 3 meter video cable seemed to fit nicely.
     
  6. ScottieW

    ScottieW Auditioning

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    I have a friend who used coax cable for his sub but put BNC connectors on it then converted to RCA to connect it to the amp on the sub and his receiver alike.
    At anyrate, would using coax CATV cable with RCA converters hurt quality? I plan on having my sub like 15ft away from my receiver. Sub sounds great in the corner but too close to the TV, don't want any magnet problems.
    Sony 36" XBR400
    Denon 2801
    Paradigm Monitor 11s
    Paradigm CC-370
    Paradigm Titan (rear)
    Paradigm PW2200 Sub
    Thanks -- this is my first post [​IMG] ,
    Scottie
     
  7. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Would it work? Yes

    Would it be cheap option? Yes

    Would it be the best sounding option? NO

    IMO if you are going to use RG6 coax cable then at least use a good quality cable from Belden, Canare, Gepco etc.. because they are not all built with the same material.This way you will save a little money over a custom or retail cable but at least you will get similar performance.
     

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