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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My current 2-channel system has 15' budget-high-end bi-wired cables to my B&W 803II's. I am building an HT system and plan to reuse the main speakers and cables. I need to buy a speaker cable for a B&W 805 center channel speaker, which I also plan to bi-wire.


My problem is that all cable lengths for the front 3 speakers are supposed to be the same length, but my existing 15' cables are on the long side -- a 15' center cable is long and uncommon, or would need to be custom made. 10' is a common length and easy to buy. I won't need 15' cables for main speakers in my future HT set up -- 10' would be fine. What to do?:


1) Are a 10' center channel and 15' main cable lengths close enough, and I should just get a 10' center cable and don't worry about the 5' difference?

2) Have a 15' center cable made?

3) Switch everything to 10' at this point (sell my 15', buy 10' good main cables - lots on eBay).

4) other?


Input appreciated! Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathiasmingus /forum/post/18304288


My current 2-channel system has 15' budget-high-end bi-wired cables to my B&W 803II's. I am building an HT system and plan to reuse the main speakers and cables. I need to buy a speaker cable for a B&W 805 center channel speaker, which I also plan to bi-wire.


My problem is that all cable lengths for the front 3 speakers are supposed to be the same length, but my existing 15' cables are on the long side -- a 15' center cable is long and uncommon, or would need to be custom made. 10' is a common length and easy to buy. I won't need 15' cables for main speakers in my future HT set up -- 10' would be fine. What to do?:


1) Are a 10' center channel and 15' main cable lengths close enough, and I should just get a 10' center cable and don't worry about the 5' difference?

2) Have a 15' center cable made?

3) Switch everything to 10' at this point (sell my 15', buy 10' good main cables - lots on eBay).

4) other?


Input appreciated! Thanks.

1) yes

2) no

3) no

4) no


Don't worry about the difference in cable lengths. They would have to be astronomical
to make any noticeable difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathiasmingus /forum/post/18304288


My problem is that all cable lengths for the front 3 speakers are supposed to be the same length,.

Not necessary. Since this is a false premise, all the consequent issues are moot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
 http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Z4Ja1RB...kers_wire.html


"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. So 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. "
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathiasmingus /forum/post/18305011

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Z4Ja1RB...kers_wire.html


"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. So 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. "

Ah, I misunderstood your concern. I thought you were concerned about delayed arrival time from different wire length(someone asked this question a while back and I guess it stuck in my head). That's why I jokingly wrote "astronomical" but there still won't be any appreciable difference between a 10' and 15' cable regarding your concern. This table is a helpful guide:
http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm


Also, the Crutchfield link you posted seems to answer your original question with "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."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess I had not thought about it that way -- there are (at least) two issues with different lengths -- arrival delay and power loss. I think the answer is the same as you note. Crutchfield said "a couple" feet (technically 2), so I thought to get some other opinions on whether 5 feet matters. I am shooting for good sound but not cost-is-no-object, so I think I have the message that 5 feet doesn't matter for the front.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmryan821 /forum/post/18305076


Also, the Crutchfield link seems to answer your original question with "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."

I wouldn't start worrying until the lengths vary by a kilometer or so. As long as the cables are of sufficient gauge for the power and length, any increased resistance will be compensated in the level settings and the time differences are inconsequential (and also compensated). In other words, it is not an issue.


And since when did Crutchfield become an authority like Wikipedia?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathiasmingus /forum/post/18305219


I guess I had not thought about it that way -- there are (at least) two issues with different lengths -- arrival delay and power loss. I think the answer is the same as you note. Crutchfield said "a couple" feet (technically 2), so I thought to get some other opinions on whether 5 feet matters. I am shooting for good sound but not cost-is-no-object, so I think I have the message that 5 feet doesn't matter for the front.

I run different cable lengths in all channels in my small system.


Each cable was specified for the distance needed to get to the speaker from the power amp in the rack.

FL = 5feet

CTR = 9feet

FR = 14feet

SL = 20feet

SR = 32feet


Works fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmryan821 /forum/post/18304439


1) yes

2) no

3) no

4) no


Don't worry about the difference in cable lengths. They would have to be astronomical
to make any noticeable difference.

cmryan is absolutely correct; you would need ridicoulous differences in lengths to make a difference.


Having said that, if you would like custom speaker wires in any length, with any connection and with your choice of braided sleeve send me a PM and we'll make them for you. I'm not an advocate of bi-wiring or tri-wiring, but Gathright Applied Research is more than happy to make speaker cables with as many conductors as you think you might need.
 

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I prefer to match L/R runs but wouldn't worry about the center run matching unless the difference is significant (more than several feet). The signal content is different enough that it won't matter, and shorter is better.


The main problem with extra length isn't delay or signal loss, it's the reduced effective damping factor due to the larger wiring resistance (impedance), which can muddy the bass slightly. In my experience, the better the driver in a dynamic system, the more important low wire resistance is, and I think 803's fall into the that category. Heavy (10-gage) wire from Blue Jeans or similar will do a nice job of keeping the impedance low. B&W suggests
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathiasmingus /forum/post/18305219


I guess I had not thought about it that way -- there are (at least) two issues with different lengths -- arrival delay and power loss. I think the answer is the same as you note. Crutchfield said "a couple" feet (technically 2), so I thought to get some other opinions on whether 5 feet matters. I am shooting for good sound but not cost-is-no-object, so I think I have the message that 5 feet doesn't matter for the front.

The only noticable difference in level would be if you were using very small cable and a lot of it (around a 160' difference using 20 ga wire-for a 3 dB difference).


There would also be no noticable difference in arrival time untill you get into MILES of wire. Remember that (give or take) electrical signals travel close to the sound of light (186,000 miles/second).


So a few feet is not gonna make any difference.


Yes I will say it, Crutchfield is wrong in their statement, and untill I see their math to back it up, I will stand by my statement.
 
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