Different length speaker cables

stanleyk

New member
Apr 1, 2009
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I was wondering what the thoughts on differing length speaker cable in a system was? In my new property it is likely that I will need to run a long length around the perimeter of the room to get speakers where I want them, however the other speaker will be very close to the system. Two lengths would be required therefore, however with my lack of knowledge on these things I wasn't sure if it would be detrimental to the sound?
Thanks
 

nopiano

Well-known member
I'd agree that with AV it isn't so critical, and in fact a bit barmy to have 5 or 7 lengths the same. Personally, I've kept the front pair and rear pair with same lengths.

But you mention two lengths. For stereo I'd do my utmost to keep them equal. If your positioing means you aren't trying to get the conventional listening area at the apex of a triangle then it may matter less. For classic stereo imaging and balance, along with ease of purchasing decent cable, a matching pair is still best.
 

stanleyk

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Apr 1, 2009
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Thanks all -

Yes it is for stereo. I am aiming for a more optimal, triangular positioning for listening, but the cable needs to go around the back of furniture etc, rather than across the room.

On looking online it appears the company don't have the same cable as I currently have anyway, so may well end up buying two lengths the same, relatively cheap that it is.
 

Crossie

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Aug 4, 2009
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I use different cable lengths for my stereo set up and agree that it makes no difference to the sound quality.
 

iemslie

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Jan 11, 2010
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Different lengths of cable doesn't make any audible difference in real life, however if you don't mind paying the extra and can accomodate the slack then equal lengths are easier to sell if/when you want a change.

If you're just getting the cable for keeps and never going to 'upgrade' then don't worry about it, save yourself some pennies and have a tidier cable run. :)
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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I have the same problem as you and I use equal lengths of cable. Different lengths=different loads for the amp, while it may or may not be audible....equal lengths will be better for the amp in general. Depending on the thickness of the cables used the difference in cable lengths you might also get one speaker slightly louder than the other in the extreme case. I use the better safe than sorry approach, although it is highly unlikely that it'll damage the amp, a few feet of speaker wire is a lot cheaper than a new amp
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Everyone is saying otherwise :wall: Well just my two cents....please don't attack me :pray:
 

nopiano

Well-known member
shafesk said:
Everyone is saying otherwise :wall: Well just my two cents....please don't attack me :pray:
I agree with you on the equal lengths, but it is stretching things to suggest it might damage the amp - it simply won't! Even the SQ aspect is marginal, but I'm with you - why risk it and always wonder if the balance is off!

As they say, each to his own! :)
 

busb

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Jun 14, 2011
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If you ran wildly different lengths with extremely thin cable, there's a chance that the frequency response could be different from left to right otherwise don't worry at all. I've run with 5m to left & 1m to right with different brands of cable with no appreciable ill effects. Some cable costs £10s per meter so save money, waste and unnecessary untidiness!
 

shafesk

New member
Sep 18, 2010
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nopiano said:
shafesk said:
Everyone is saying otherwise :wall: Well just my two cents....please don't attack me :pray:
I agree with you on the equal lengths, but it is stretching things to suggest it might damage the amp - it simply won't! Even the SQ aspect is marginal, but I'm with you - why risk it and always wonder if the balance is off!

As they say, each to his own! :)
Cheers for the support, I guess I'm just a bit paranoid ;)
 

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