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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"Matching cable length
Ideally, the lengths of wire running to your three front speakers should be the same. The longer the wire, the greater the resistance. Using the same length of wire for all three front speakers ensures they all get the same amount of power and thus produce sound at the same volume. But don't worry if the wire lengths for your three front speakers vary by a couple of feet or so ? a difference this small probably won't create any noticeable differences in output. It's also a good idea to have the lengths of wire for your surround speakers match each other, though they don't need to match the length of your front speaker wires."

From:

http://wwv.crutchfield.com/learn/learningcenter/home/speakers_wire.html?g=22100

Does this really matter or are the differences insignificant and/or dealt with via receiver EQ (auto-cal)?
 

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Does this really matter
No. For the difference in the lengths of wire used to be so drastically different that it was the slightest bit audible the speaker placement would have to be so poor that the difference made by the wire would be the least of your problems.
 

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"Matching cable length
Ideally, the lengths of wire running to your three front speakers should be t

Does this really matter or are the differences insignificant and/or dealt with via receiver EQ (auto-cal)?
It doesn't matter. AVR Auto Cal is typically dealing with huge response issues, anything caused by wire is so tiny it won't be noticed or corrected.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
That's what I thought but I wanted to confirm, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I recommend against getting audio advice from dealers and reviewers.
Yeah, that was my first reaction when reading this info...

I was only reading it in the first place since I just bought a pair of Cambridge S20s from them and I was exploring links on the product page.
 

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18 AWG is about 6.4 m-ohms/foot (0.0064 ohms/ft). A difference in length of 10 feet is thus about 0.064 ohms per wire, 0.128 ohms for the pair, hardly significant in an audio system. And most of us use larger gauge so the difference would be even less.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I recommend against getting audio advice from dealers and reviewers.
Can you be more specific with regards to reviewers? And where exactly should I get audio advice from?
 

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Can you be more specific with regards to reviewers? And where exactly should I get audio advice from?
Sure. When reviewers talk about features and specs all is well. As soon as they talk about sound quality, things fall into the bottomless pit of hearing bias. In other words what they say may be meaningful or not. You simply can't know without a bias controlled listening test. As an example, I and others have done bias controlled comparisons with cables and have proven that they have no sonic characteristics at all unless they are incompetently designed and made. In other words, if it actually alters sound, you don't want it. Since audiophiles claim that they all alter sound, then you are back to ground zero. Humans suffer from hearing bias. Nothing we can do about it.

Until somebody creates a bias controlled style of reviews, there is no truly meaningful way to get sound quality advice. You can get good advice about set up and use of the equipment right here on AVS forum. But when it comes to sound quality you will need to depend on yourself.
 

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When reviewers talk about features and specs all is well.
A good review covers all the bases, both objective in that they include a full set of measurements, and subjective in that they include the reviewers personal observations. There is some benefit to a totally objective review, if you're an expert in the field you can rely on measurements alone, but most people who read reviews aren't experts, so it's up to the reviewer to provide both objective data and subjective listening impressions. There is no benefit to a totally subjective review where there is no data to support the reviewers opinion. Unfortunately most reviews are totally subjective.
 
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Unfortunately most reviews are totally subjective.
And worse they are prosaic. If a reviewer says a speaker system has thin bass and the specs support that, I would view that as a comment with a good chance of being meaningful. When a speaker wire lifts veils and enhances dynamics, you can bet that the comment is not meaningful. It is prose. The trick is knowing which is which and the industry is not at all helpful in this regard.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Can you be more specific with regards to reviewers? And where exactly should I get audio advice from?
Sure. When reviewers talk about features and specs all is well. As soon as they talk about sound quality, things fall into the bottomless pit of hearing bias. In other words what they say may be meaningful or not. You simply can't know without a bias controlled listening test. As an example, I and others have done bias controlled comparisons with cables and have proven that they have no sonic characteristics at all unless they are incompetently designed and made. In other words, if it actually alters sound, you don't want it. Since audiophiles claim that they all alter sound, then you are back to ground zero. Humans suffer from hearing bias. Nothing we can do about it.

Until somebody creates a bias controlled style of reviews, there is no truly meaningful way to get sound quality advice. You can get good advice about set up and use of the equipment right here on AVS forum. But when it comes to sound quality you will need to depend on yourself.
Ok, thanks that helps.
 

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When a speaker wire lifts veils and enhances dynamics, you can bet that the comment is not meaningful. It is prose.
+1, and not only is it prose, it's fiction of the fantasy genre. :rolleyes:
 

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Ok, thanks that helps.
May also be helpful to know that I have asked FMW to give us details of those tests and he has always refused. I suspect he is concerned they would not stand to scrutiny. In that sense I put no more weight on his assessments than any reviewer.

Back to your original question, what they say is good hygiene. You are supposed to wash your hands when you go to bathroom. Do you get sick if you don't? You may or may not depending on what you did in said bathroom and your body :). Same is here. With enough speaker wire differential and speakers with certain impedance, we can show objectively that it can be audible.

And no, contrary to what was said, room EQ does not necessarily correct for such differences or else you would have ruler flat frequency response after they are activated and this is never the case.

The thicker the wire you use and the shorter that it is, the less you need to be concerned about this. Down to no worry at all. Or, use roughly equal length wires and you are assured there is no issue. Same as washing your hands everytime you go to the bathroom. You eliminate any reason to worry or investigate what is going on.
 

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LOL!
Enough with the anecdotes.:eek:

I'm surprised you didn't provide a link to your investigative report regarding speaker wire.
 

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Concur. The OP asked if Crutchfield's advice about cable length was reliable or "mythic." Think it's been answered.


// Posted from Tapatalk 3.2.1 for iOS - later versions are pfft. //
 

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No. For the difference in the lengths of wire used to be so drastically different that it was the slightest bit audible the speaker placement would have to be so poor that the difference made by the wire would be the least of your problems.
If you really want to be picky, you can place your speakers in the optimum position, which would likely mean that they are not all the same distance from the amp(s) driving them, but still cut all of your speaker cables to the same length. A little extra slack in the ones that could have been shorter won't hurt anything.

I cut the speaker wire for my LCR speakers all the same length, even though I could have cut the center and right cables a couple feet shorter. I did the same with my surround speakers (though they are a good 20 feet longer than the ones going to my LCR's). Even though I doubt there is an audible difference, it's nice to have them the same length for a few other reasons...

1) Once you have determined what the longest length you need for your LCR's is, you can simply cut the others the same length rather than measure each one out separately. This saves time and, unless you're longest run is significantly longer than your shortest run could have been and this extra length makes the difference between having to buy another spool of wire or not, I wouldn't sweat it.

2) Less chance of making a mistake and connecting a shorter cable to the speaker where you would need the longer cable. If they're all the same length then you can't get that part wrong, at least. Of coarse, you still need to make sure that the wire connected to your left speaker is the one that you are connecting to the Left terminals on your amp, etc. And you still need to make sure you haven't reversed the polarity (though I believe some AVR's are capable of detecting when you have your speakers wired out of phase and can correct this internally).

3) Most importantly, having them all the same length gives you the flexibility to move your amp from one side of the room to the other without having to swap speaker cables around or cut new ones. When you originally set your room up, you might have your amp on the left side of the room. Inevitably, a year later, your spouse will want to rearrange furniture and move it to the right side of the room. As long as they don't want it moved from the front of the room to the back or vice versa, you'll be ok.
 

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...
Back to your original question, what they say is good hygiene. You are supposed to wash your hands when you go to bathroom. Do you get sick if you don't? You may or may not depending on what you did in said bathroom and your body :). Same is here. With enough speaker wire differential and speakers with certain impedance, we can show objectively that it can be audible.
...
Once again, washing your hands after using the bathroom is as much (if not more) for other people, not for yourself. It prevents the spread of infections to others.
 

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No. For the difference in the lengths of wire used to be so drastically different that it was the slightest bit audible the speaker placement would have to be so poor that the difference made by the wire would be the least of your problems.
No one has really mentioned length so I will put in my upcoming project. Lcr will be a passive soundbar so let's say all three are at 4 feet. One surround runs straight around the wall, say 18 feet of wire. The other surround has a very long wall to go by and back around, almost 40 feet.

If I understand correctly I should use thicker wire. 12 gauge? Just in case.
 
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