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Speaker Wire length

Wharfedale Speakers

dichkaun

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Sep 9, 2007
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In my setup, the left speaker if closer to the amp than the right speaker by 5ft.
The speaker wires for both are exactly same length.
The one going to left speaker if wound up in a neat coil to reduce clutter.
I was wondering if this tightly wound coil (em induction like motor) has a negative impact on sound?
Would there be an impact if I cut the wire to shorter length?

~dich
 

Asit

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Mar 28, 2007
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Hi dich,

Do not cut the speaker cable. Always keep the cables to the two speakers approximately the same distance. In addition, if you ever move your audio setup, you may be able to place the electronics symmetrically with respect to the two speakers and then you would need the extra length any way.

Also do not make a loop out of it, as much as possible. In simple terms, any current carrying cable has a magnetic field around it. Now if you make a loop of the current carrying cable, you are somehow adding all the magnetic field up so that this will now interact more strongly with its very cause.

Any way, the above is all theory. How much it really affects a particular setup can be experimented with, if you are up to doing these quite expensive (because you will have to cut the cable to do the expt) experiments :D:D:D

My humble suggestion is: Do NOT cut cable, also avoid making loops as much as possible.
 

marsilians

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In my setup, the left speaker if closer to the amp than the right speaker by 5ft.
The speaker wires for both are exactly same length.
The one going to left speaker if wound up in a neat coil to reduce clutter.
I was wondering if this tightly wound coil (em induction like motor) has a negative impact on sound?
Would there be an impact if I cut the wire to shorter length?

~dich

while 5 ft might make a difference in theory, you wont be able to notice any effect in the audio. Till such time the speakers are equidistant from your sitting position, you should be good.
 

gobble

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Sep 23, 2008
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I read somewhere that at less than 50 feet of total cable length, small differences of a few feet in L/R lengths do not cause any measurable timing/delay issues in the signal in a lab environment.

So coiling the cables may be the bigger sin that cutting the length of one side.

Regards
 

dinyaar

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Dec 3, 2007
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Mumbai
Hi

5 ft more or less does not matter in the sound. DONT CUT THE CABLE as has been suggested, just let it lie behind the speaker. There is no need to make a 'tightly wound coil' of the cable.

Terminated speaker cable of a decent quality will last for ages. Cant tell u how many years exactly as there are a few variables to consider. I still have some kimber speaker wires bought 15 yrs ago that sound good!!!!!
Rgds
 

marsilians

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Any idea what the lifespan is for speaker cables? When should they be replaced (if at all)?

If you are using copper cables, the biggest culprit is oxidation. As a yearly routine during a major festival (when you dont play music), you can disconnect the cables and check for the oxidation film, you can trim the cable slightly and reconnect. I clean the RCA connectors as well with a bit of isopropyl alcohol and put it back.
 
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