which is the lesser of two evils long speaker cables or long interconnects

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by joel jocson, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. joel jocson

    joel jocson Extra

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    I am in the planning stages of my HT. For runs longer than 15 ft (maybe even 20ft). which is better long speaker cable runs or long interconnect runs. I am trying to figure out if moving an amp closer to the rear speakers is beneficial.
     
  2. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    Long speaker wire. Make sure you get thick gauge wire. You can get wires at www.partexpress.com Leave the interconnects short.
     
  3. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Keep your interconnects as short as possible. This is where most noise is induced, that's why all the good ones are so well shielded now days. Just make sure you get large enough speaker wire for long runs.
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    For virtually all cases, practically speaking, long speaker cables. Cheaper, less problematical, more robust. A more complete answer would say it depends. If you've got hard to drive speakers, shorter lengths of speaker cable are advisable. If you're pretty much mainstream, the first answer is the right one. Some of us choose components for various reasons and may find ourselves with these wonderfully sounding, but hard to drive speakers. For whatever reason, then we may find ourselves having to put the amps next to the speakers to keep the cable distances short. Then suddenly we find that our preamp just can't drive a long interconnect distance...oops!
    However, I suspect in your case, this is not the issue.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    As an exception: a long coaxial cable to a subwoofer is prefered over a short jump to an amp + a long speaker wire run to the sub.

    This came from a long thread in the Speakers & Subwoofers section when SVS subs offered an external amp.

    It took several days of "well this is better because..." before we seemed to come to that conclusion. (I wish I had bookmarked the thread because it was very interesting.)

    But it WAS limited to subwoofer frequencies. For the sounds we are more sensitive to - long speaker wires are the norm with only a few exceptions.
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    In theory (i.e. if you were using very high quality components), long interconnects are better. Here's why - using an interconnect, you're usually driving impedances in the tens of thousands of ohms. A longer interconnect will add a fraction of an ohm to that, so the difference will be very tiny. In contrast, an amp driving a speaker is usually driving around 8 ohms, maybe 4, maybe as low as 2 at certain frequencies. In this situation, the fraction of an ohm added by the speaker cable becomes a much larger percentage of the overall impedance, which means you end up with greater losses in the cable, which is undesirable.
    Basically, to describe it very loosely - the speaker cable is a much more integral part of the amp/speaker interface, than the interconnect is of the pre/power interface. If you can afford it, keep the speaker cables short.
    But, like I said, that's in a perfect world. In reality, many preamps lack the drive capability to handle long interconnects. Or, EMI/RFI problems turn long interconnects into radio antennas. If that's the case, go with short interconnects and long speaker cable, the advantages far outweight the disadvantages. And interconnects are more expensive than speaker cable.
    Short answer - what Chu said [​IMG]
     
  7. Richie-C

    Richie-C Agent

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    Please explain when you say that a Preamp can't drive a long interconnect. I am having to have 18 ft interconnects with a new Amp that I purchased and I am using the 49tx as the preamp what type of problem will I see if any?
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    you could also consider contacting the manufacturer who may be able to provide you with any caveats. regretfully many interconnects don't provide capacitance or inductance values and i don't know if the 49 has any particular peculiarities in that regard. my guess is no, but guessing isn't much good. if i happen to run across anything i'll post it.
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I thought the higher-frequency rolloff was a larger issue for speaker wires than for an interconnect. Impedence resists the flow of current. How much current flows in an interconnect compared to a speaker wire?
    Capacitance issues also fall off for a interconnect.
    These both support the idea that a long-interconnect has less issues than a long run of speaker wire.
    I know Arthur Dunluvey designed a room with mono-block amps for each speaker. This was so the speaker wires could be kept under 8.5 feet - some magic number he believed was the limit for a speaker wire. (But then one of his speakers cost more than my entire system [​IMG] )
     
  11. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    and it gets just a mite pricey running long interconnects.
     

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