How important is equal speaker wire length? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 16Likes
  • 3 Post By 18Hurts
  • 6 Post By Zorba922
  • 2 Post By gajCA
  • 1 Post By ptatohed
  • 1 Post By Lp85253
  • 1 Post By bluewizard
  • 1 Post By ptatohed
  • 1 Post By ptatohed
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ptatohed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked: 21
How important is equal speaker wire length?

How important is equal speaker wire length? Particularly for the main L / C / R? My equipment rack is on the right. So, I could make my right speaker short, my center medium, and my left long. But, I feel like I should make the speaker wires all the same length? Do you guys agree? Same with the surrounds... should the surrounds all be the same length (i.e. as long as the rear left speakers)? Thanks!
(If it matters, I have a Denon AVR-X6300H)
ptatohed is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 03:25 AM
Advanced Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 943
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 469 Post(s)
Liked: 255
I don't think speaker wire length is a factor at all, I never thought of that and never heard of that. Don't worry about it I'd say.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Hetfieldjames is online now  
post #3 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 04:09 AM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 4
Assuming they are thick enough,no.
2fastgt4 is offline  
 
post #4 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 04:59 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 2,985
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1227 Post(s)
Liked: 701
Delays won't be affected by speaker length unless you get to extremely long lengths, like hundreds of feet difference. The resistance can be affected by differing speaker lengths but for the front speakers where the difference in length is probably under 10 feet it will not be an issue unless using a small gauge cable.
Ellebob is online now  
post #5 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 06:16 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,556
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 986 Post(s)
Liked: 329
More important than oxygen free silver core phase corrected wire
1201 is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 06:28 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 1,999
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 962 Post(s)
Liked: 1133
If you are worried about the delay as in time, this can be calculated

Electricity travels at around 70% the speed of light or 300,000 KM or 186,000 miles per second. This calculates to over 200,000 KM or 130,000 miles per second. Your ears won't notice a delay of 1 mS or 1/1000th of a second so doing the math... keep the difference less than 200 KM or 130 miles and you'll be fine.

Granted, the cables should not be long than 50 feet or so as electrical resistance and other things start to become issues. The shorter the runs, the lower the resistance so you'll save energy by using the shortest cable length you can. It might be slight but at least it is something (0.1% electrical energy savings IS something!) This will help the OCD audio folks as OCD tends to infect some that are drawn to this weird little hobby.

nathan_h, idean and dswierenga like this.
18Hurts is online now  
post #7 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 06:41 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Zorba922's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6,989
Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 4 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3696 Post(s)
Liked: 2649
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptatohed View Post
How important is equal speaker wire length?
Not at all.

As in, zero.

As in, enjoy your gear and never give irrelevant "audiophile" superstitions and snake oil fairy tales another thought until the end of your days.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
Zorba922 is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 12:07 PM
Advanced Member
 
bigguyca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 393 Post(s)
Liked: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptatohed View Post
How important is equal speaker wire length? Particularly for the main L / C / R? My equipment rack is on the right. So, I could make my right speaker short, my center medium, and my left long. But, I feel like I should make the speaker wires all the same length? Do you guys agree? Same with the surrounds... should the surrounds all be the same length (i.e. as long as the rear left speakers)? Thanks!
(If it matters, I have a Denon AVR-X6300H)
It would be best to make each speaker wire the appropriate length for its task. That is, the wires don't all have to be the same length.

There is actually a small (very small) potential problem with having all of the speaker wires the same length because this implies that some of the wires are too long. This in turn means that the extra wire may be coiled to keep it neat and out of the way. Extra wire, especially coiled wire, has a small, but finite chance of picking up interference, such a nearby AM radio station, and transferring the signal to the rest of your system through the feedback network of the amplifiers. This is unlikely to happen, but wires the correct length avoid this potential problem, and also reduce cost and provide a neater installation.
bigguyca is online now  
post #9 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 12:24 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
gajCA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 9,033
Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4140 Post(s)
Liked: 2637
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptatohed View Post
How important is equal speaker wire length? Particularly for the main L / C / R? My equipment rack is on the right. So, I could make my right speaker short, my center medium, and my left long. But, I feel like I should make the speaker wires all the same length? Do you guys agree? Same with the surrounds... should the surrounds all be the same length (i.e. as long as the rear left speakers)? Thanks!
(If it matters, I have a Denon AVR-X6300H)
I think your question has been answered.

Heck, back in the day when I was poor I spliced speaker wire together by simply knotting it and covering it in electrical tape at the connection.

Worked fine!

I'm guessing I'm not the only one to have done that!
jfwilliams1 and Lp85253 like this.

Geoff A. J., California
gajCA is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ptatohed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Wow, you guys are shaking up the "wisdom" of equal speaker wire length I have believed in and practiced for 20+ years now. It is tough to shake it but I think I will. I am glad I asked! Of course..... I should have asked before buying enough "equal length" speaker wire for all 11 speakers.

I do like the benefits of a cleaner speaker run without having to coil up the extra wire. And there were lots of other good points made.

Thanks much everyone.
jjackkrash likes this.
ptatohed is offline  
post #11 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 08:45 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bluewizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,909
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1916 Post(s)
Liked: 1211
The answer is - Yes and No.

Speaker wire lengths CAN matter, but it rarely does.

So what lengths are we talking about 10 ft on the Left, 3ft on the Center and 50ft on the Right? That might matter.

If you scroll down to the chart at this Wikipedia Link -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

You will see the impedance per unit length of wire.

14ga is 8.23 milli-ohms per meter (0.00823 ohms) (2.52 milli-ohms per foot, 0.00253 ohms)

Let's use ohm/ft.

1 ft = 0.00253
10ft = 0.0253
100ft = 0.253

So, relative to an 8 ohm speaker, 0.253 ohms (100ft) represents 3.16% signal loss. Generally 5% is still considered acceptable loss.

A 5ft cable would be 0.0127 ohms and a 20ft cable would be 0.0506 ohms. 5ft assuming an 8 ohm speaker represents 0.159% loss and 20ft (assuming an 8 ohm speaker) represents a 0.633% loss. The difference is 0.47%. If we simply look at it in terms of ohms, the difference is 0.038 ohms. Again microscopic. Unhearable.

So, no, assuming reasonable length, and assuming reasonable size wire, it is not really going to matter.

However, you are cutting cable for one specific situation. That cable might not work in other situations.

Can you give us the distances involved so we have some perspective?

If it is 10ft on one side and 5ft on the other side, I say make two 10ft cables so the cables will always be usable in nearly any situation you encounter.

However, if one is 20ft and the other is 5ft, then would be inclined to make one 20ft and one 10ft. Again, so the cables could be used in more situations.

But, assuming reasonable lengths, meaning perhaps under 30ft, the resistance difference is microscopic and inconsequential.

However, you haven't told us the lengths and you haven't told use the wire gauge, leading us to make sweeping generalizations. If you want a specific answer, we need specific details.

There one additional factor, as wire gets longer, approaching 50ft, cable inductance start to trim away at high frequencies. But even at 50ft it is just starting, to really become significant, the length has to be longer to be relevant. Though this is just from memory, with 2.5mm² wire, I think we have about 3% loss at 12,500hz. Not very significant. Keeping in mind that 5% loss is considered acceptable.

So, what lengths, and what gauge wire?

But generally speaking - no, it won't matter.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 08-20-2017 at 07:51 PM.
bluewizard is online now  
post #12 of 19 Old 08-19-2017, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ptatohed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Thanks Steve.

So, I measured the required distances this evening. At least the fronts. It basically works out to be 10LF for the right main, 15LF for the center, and 20LF for the left main.

I did not precisely measure the surrounds, rears, or four Atmos speakers (add-on modules) yet but a quick calc gives:
Left surround, left rear, and left/rear Atmos about 35-40LF each. Right surround, right rear, and right/rear Atmos about 25-30LF each. Left/front Atmos about 25LF and right/front Atmos about 15LF.

Speaker wire for all will be Monoprice 12 gauge (2C). Except the front L/R mains which will be bi-wired with Monoprice 12 gauge (4C).

Speakers are 20+ year old Boston Acoustics VR series.

Thanks!

Last edited by ptatohed; 08-19-2017 at 09:48 PM.
ptatohed is offline  
post #13 of 19 Old 08-20-2017, 04:12 AM
Advanced Member
 
littlefoott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Edmonton,Alberta
Posts: 855
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 344 Post(s)
Liked: 198
the variables are in wire is thickness not length
Tabulated below are the recommended cable distances (+20%) one should use for various speaker cable gauges and speaker loads.

Speaker Impedance 8 Ohm Load 6 Ohm Load 4 Ohm Load
Wire Gauge Distance (ft) Distance (ft) Distance (ft)

18 AWG 10 8 5
16 AWG 20 15 10
14 AWG 35 30 20
12 AWG 60 45 30
10 AWG 100 75 50

source:
http://www.audioholics.com/audio-video-cables/speaker-cable-gauge

Audyssey is a great start, but not always a great finish.
Receiver:Marantz SR-5010, Speakers:Def Tech ST-8060 towers, CS-8040 center, SR-8040 surrounds, Pro Monitor 1000 heights
Subwoofer: SVS PB-2000
TV: 65" LG UG8700 remote: Harmony 1000
littlefoott is online now  
post #14 of 19 Old 08-20-2017, 09:11 AM
Advanced Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 680
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 331 Post(s)
Liked: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Not at all.

As in, zero.

As in, enjoy your gear and never give irrelevant "audiophile" superstitions and snake oil fairy tales another thought until the end of your days.
this 100%... speaker wire is irrelevant .. at least imo.. i have 18 gauge going to the left front.. 12 gauge to the right ..and 16 gauge to the center..at the lengths i have them deployed the perceived sound difference is ZERO...now if you are running 60 -80- 100 ft lengths this might not be applicable you may need 14 gauge or so over that type length but that is the vast minority of application ... if gauge doesn't matter.. length is even less important..
Lp85253 is offline  
post #15 of 19 Old 08-20-2017, 09:27 AM
Advanced Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 680
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 331 Post(s)
Liked: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I think your question has been answered.

Heck, back in the day when I was poor I spliced speaker wire together by simply knotting it and covering it in electrical tape at the connection.

Worked fine!

I'm guessing I'm not the only one to have done that!
i'm doin' that now.. lol... it works .. no need to worry..
gajCA likes this.
Lp85253 is offline  
post #16 of 19 Old 08-20-2017, 09:48 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jonas2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 2,553
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1319 Post(s)
Liked: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptatohed View Post
Wow, you guys are shaking up the "wisdom" of equal speaker wire length I have believed in and practiced for 20+ years now. It is tough to shake it but I think I will. I am glad I asked! Of course..... I should have asked before buying enough "equal length" speaker wire for all 11 speakers.
Just curious, but what made you think this was an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigguyca View Post
It would be best to make each speaker wire the appropriate length for its task. That is, the wires don't all have to be the same length.
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1201 View Post
More important than oxygen free silver core phase corrected wire
Ha, ha....

5.2.4 System....Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60; Power Distribution: Panamax M5400-PM;
Mains:
Paradigm 85F and 55C (Piano Black); Side Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III (Dusk); Amplification: D-Sonic M3-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w);
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Sony BDP S-470, Pioneer CLD-59
Jonas2 is offline  
post #17 of 19 Old 08-20-2017, 07:55 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bluewizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,909
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1916 Post(s)
Liked: 1211
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptatohed View Post
Thanks Steve. ....

Speaker wire for all will be Monoprice 12 gauge (2C). Except the front L/R mains which will be bi-wired with Monoprice 12 gauge (4C).

Speakers are 20+ year old Boston Acoustics VR series.

Thanks!
For reference, using this link -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

12ga wire is -

5.21 milli-ohms per meter (0.00521)

1.59 milli-ohms per foot (0.00159)









Steve/bluewizard
ptatohed likes this.

Last edited by bluewizard; 08-21-2017 at 08:07 AM.
bluewizard is online now  
post #18 of 19 Old 08-21-2017, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ptatohed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
i'm doin' that now.. lol... it works .. no need to worry..
Me too, actually! When I moved from my last house to my current house, my previous Main Left speaker wire (20+ year old Monster THX 16 gauge) was about 6 feet shy...... so, I wrapped a new wire extension around the existing banana plug, taped it up, and put a new banana on the extension end. It's been 8 years. :/ I figured it's time to update. When I couldn't find any modern day THX wire, I figured Monoprice wire will suffice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas2 View Post
Just curious, but what made you think this was an issue?
It must have been something I read 20+ years ago. That "like speakers" should all have the same speaker wire length. So, the fronts (L/C/R) would all have, say, 20' lengths; and the rears would all have, say, 40' lengths. I think it had something to do with the time delays? Or ensuring equal resistance? But the reason I even started questioning this logic and started this thread was because of the advancements in processor room correction.

I cut my new Monoprice speaker wire last night, and though it hurt a little to ditch my 20 year old thinking, I cut the wire length for each speaker only as needed, resulting in 10' R, 18' C, 20' L. Exactly what each speaker run needed plus a little contingency.

Thanks all.
Lp85253 likes this.
ptatohed is offline  
post #19 of 19 Old 08-21-2017, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ptatohed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked: 21
ptatohed is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Speakers

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off