What do you do with different speaker distance?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard_S, Dec 29, 2001.

  1. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    If one is like 3ft away and one is like 9ft what would you do in terms of buying speaker cables? Would you buy 3/9, 6/9 or 9/9?
     
  2. John Stegman

    John Stegman Auditioning

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    It is always recommended that you use equal length speaker wire.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It is a good rule of thumb to have them the same length, but within a few feet, it won't matter much. 3 vs 9 ft though, I would keep them closer in length than that. DO NOT COIL EXCESS WIRE. Try to lay it flat in an "S" if possible.
     
  4. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    If you use 12 gauge speaker wire the distances for short lengths really doesn't matter that much. Yes, in theory, equal lengths should produce equal sound (everything else being equal) but in reality, the difference in resistance of the wires for different lengths like you are talking about is so small that the human ear cannot distinguish between them.

    I don't have the reference handy, but a long time back somebody gave a very good argument regarding this and showed, through calculations and other logic that unequal lengths for large gauge wire will not produce unequal sound (assuming for course that we are talking about 3-4 feet versus 8-10 feet, and not 3-4 feet versus 300-400 feet).
     
  5. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I have heard that having different speaker lengths is okay. But even those who advocate it have fears when the discrepancy gets too long so I'm just wondering how much difference would start to be too much.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    no audible difference Howard but you might consider planning ahead in the eventuality that you rearrange things
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Uhhhh... I must disagree that having equal length speaker wires is recommended. This is an audio myth.

    If you want to look at the physics:

    Impedence: Impedence does not depend upon the length of the wire so it's a non-issue.

    Resistance: Well, the WORST number for ohms per foot for 18 ga wire I have found was something like 0.018 ohms/ft. If you do the math you will find the difference of 6 feet is trivial and can be ignored. (And you are going to adjust the levels to each speaker individually anyway which would compensate for this issue anyway.)

    Timing: Another fourm spent a few weeks to do the math and determined that it would take a DIFFERENCE of over 80 feet of speaker wire to produce a 1% phase-shift (fancy phrase for time-delay). You might only approach this for long runs to the rear speakers, but your receiver allows you to set a time-delay for the rears that swamps this value.

    Slant: Ok, here is where there IS an issue with a long speaker wire. Short answer: 6 feet will likely not have an issue.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    This is an active topic at the “Building a Home Theater” section.
    Here’s an excerpt from a post I made there earlier today:
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Wayne- That doesn't sound right. Do any swaps between the 2 lines to make sure it wasn't anything else? (The lines themselves, speakers, amps, channels, etc...)
     
  10. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Kevin,

    I was surprised, it does seem pretty strange. It was getting late by the time I got around to tweaking the system, so I didn’t have a chance to take it any further. I won’t be back there until next weekend. The mids were on separate channels of a stereo amp. I’ll check the highs next time – they are both on the same amp channel – and maybe swapping the channels of the mids. We’ll see what happens.

    Happy Holidays,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  11. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    So you think I should try to have the same length of speaker wire even though I'll have aobut 5ft extra wire on one side?
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    wayne, a 3db loss from those speaker cable length differences suggests something else is going on. attributing it to length is in error. there is no theoretical reason to support it suggesting other factors are at play here.
     

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