Speaker cable length

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Posey, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. Robert Posey

    Robert Posey Agent

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    I have 12 ga. monster cable going to my front main speakers. The left cable is approx. 7 ft. long and the right is 13 ft. I have noticed that when listening to 2 channel music the soundstage seems to be shifted to the left somewhat. I didn't think that cable lengths made that much difference.

    Has anyone experienced a similar situation?
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I think it may be a physcoacoustic thing. The 6 foot difference would make the delay between the left and right pair extremely minimal.

    I have heard of people noticing the diff, but it's rare.

    Easy enough to check .... cut a 13 footer for the left too.

    tell us what you hear.

    Brent L
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Insofar as the cable lengths you're describing, it's your mind playing tricks on you as to that being the reason. That is not to say that the soundstage 'might' not be shifted to the left. Your ears may be slightly different, speakers might be a bit off on alignment, room acoustics are favoring one side...for examples. Myself, I'm a symmetry kind of person so I cut my cables to be the same length but that's for preference not for any acoustical reasons. The way I see it you've got 2 choices:

    1) If its possible for you to do be able switch the wires, have someone arbitrarily do that without your knowing which is which and see if you can now place the soundstage. Do it a few times. Record the results and then think about what you've learned

    2) Look up at #1 and say, "I really don't have the time for this. I'm gonna buy more Monster cable and equalize the length and next time I'll realize that hey, I'm a symmetry kind of guy too. I'll stick the extra cable in the trunk in case I need to tie the trunk down some day."
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    That much difference in speaker wire can have no effect. (I could throw the resistance numbers at you, or quote time-delay studies, but thats boring.)

    I had a similar problem, but I was using a sound meter and found the longer-wire was LOUDER than the other. Turns out it was a side-wall reflection that made one speaker louder than the other.

    Try this: get a Radio Shack sound meter and use test-tones to see if one speaker is really louder than the other. (Your ears tend to be poor at this).

    In general, your speakers should be pulled into the room away from rear-reflecting surfaces, and toed in a bit to reduce side-wall reflections.

    Also, check the balance knob on your receiver. When the kids play with things, you never know what can happen.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have to agree, it is probably speaker placement or configuration, not wire length that is causing this.
     
  6. Robert Posey

    Robert Posey Agent

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    I have my equipment rack right next to the left speaker and I suspect I am getting some reflection from the face of it. Wish I could move it over, but 2 speakers, a sub and a RPTV takes up all the room on my wall.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    we certainly have to deal with less than ideal situations. just think, in order to maintain symmetry, you'd always have to buy two of everything, or one and place it midway behind you. enjoy your system!
     

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