Originally Posted by mtbdudex
...I'd like the definitive, engineering, objective fact based response to bring closure to this Q once and for all.
It shows up every few months.
I'm not a subject matter expert, so defer to others who are on this.
In this question there are two properties of the wiring system which must be considered - Resistance
As many others have pointed out, resistance
only becomes a concern if it inhibits the required current, or becomes so imbalanced that symmetry [L-R or F-B] is effected.
In general, wire diameter [resistance] is more important
as expected power increases
, and as speaker impedance decreases
. A 4 ohm speaker system is more effected by wire choices than an 8 ohm one. Modern amplifiers can compensate a great deal more than pervious ones, but the more integrity in your delivery - the better the results.
With Reactance, the effects are more prevelant as speaker impedence increases.
So there are two opposite effects in play. The results are kept most neglidgeable by increased wire diameter [minimizing resistance] and keeping the runs as short as practicable.
Active crossovers (biamping) are more immune to wire issues than passive crossovers, which tend to interact with wiring more.
This is not intended as criticism, as you did what you interpreted others to instruct. However, it is likely that you introduced more detriment by coiling wire
than any benifit you gained by making wire lengths symmetrical. With that said, it is best to achieve matching lengths by routing choices, but under no circumstances
should excess wire be coiled. Smaller diameter coils are worse than large ones, but either should be taken as forbidden. Never, ever
wrap a wire around a metallic object like a pipe.
A word about "Twist" and "Balance". (not to be confused with "symmetry imbalance" mentioned earlier)
Todays power amplifiers are "Balanced" - designed to drive both positive and negative leads of each speaker, unlike some previous generations which ground one lead and drive only the other (called "Unbalanced").
Balanced systems tend to be less prone to EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) and make better use of an amplifier's power supply, reducing cost, complexity and weight.
Modern UTP computer cable is another example of "Balanced" wiring. In this environment, Reactance is an extremely difficult adversary. To compensate, we "twist" the pairs. This optimizes the bandwidth carrying ability of the cable and maximizes it's ability to resist "crosstalk".
Will any of this matter to you?
It's not so easy to be certain. But in a speaker system, at audio frequencies, it is very unlikely that wire reactance effects would be perceptible. (over 1 db amplitude) However it should be stated that if one were to stack up all these effects by bad practice, we could conceivably create a problem that would be audible. It's most probable such an impairment would manifest as "phase" issues in high frequency sound content. If it did, this would be most damaging to "spacial imaging" effects.
Perhaps that's not a black / white enough answer to be of use to you?
A note for others to follow: If I were undecided about HT speaker wiring, and at the point of building construction or major remodeling, I would consider plastic conduit in the walls and ceiling. This would make it a simple matter to replace / upgrade wire later on, at minimal cost and effort. Indeed, I'd provide several opportunities for speaker placements.