AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, i'm almost done with my HT, finally! I have a question about speaker wires. My longest speaker wire is 23 feet long( left speaker). Would the sound quality be different than say a 6 foot wire? I'm using 12 gauge wires. I have my equipment next to the couch, which is the reason for the long wires.


regards,

trent
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
The length of the wire that is 23 feet long would not require any special type of wire. Your 12 guage should be more than plenty. But, it will throw things out of wack if say your left-front is 23 feet long, and your right front is 6 feet long.


Always keep the sets of speakers on identical types, lengths of wire. You also shouldn't have one speaker at a different listening distance than your other front speaker.....I may have misunderstood you, but it sounded like that was the case..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i'm just comparing the two lengths together. so, if i understand correctly the 6 foot wire should sound better than the 23 foot wire? i'm asking this because i have the option to move the equipment much closer to the front speakers to make the wires about 6 feet. if there isn't any audible difference, i'll keep it as is.


thanks,

trent
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
I do not think you will hear a difference because sound travels fast ,I ran speakers wires 50 feet in walls to get where I had to get to but (I could have made one much shoter but a good rule is keep the fronts the same length).I guess shorter is better caues its cheaper,if you can go shoter it can not hurt as long as your happy with speaker position.Where I wanted then I had to travel far.It would be a good idea to use 12 gauge oxygen free.I used 14 and doubled up.There are guys here that can help more than I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,665 Posts
 Here is a table to determine what gauge wire is needed for a given lengths and impedance. I would err on the conservative side and use at least one-step thicker gauge than the table indicates. It is an interesting and informative read as well...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
There are two types of delay that are being confused here. The first is delay caused by physical distances between speakers and the listener. Sound travels fast through air, but our ears are sensitive enough to time delay to notice relatively small distances. We evolved this way because if a tiger is chasing you, it makes a big difference if it is 100' away or 20'. So, if in the "sweet spot" one front speaker is 4' from the listener and the other is 12', this will create noticeable changes in the sound. However, most receivers these days have delay circuits to correct for this.


Differences in speaker wire length are a completely different issue. This is because while sound travels fast, an electrical signal in a good conductor travels much, much faster, approaching the speed of light. The difference in 6' vs. 23' is quite irrelevant. Decide where to put your equipment based on convenience, but the speaker placement matters.


Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,665 Posts
The difference in speaker wire length is completely irrelevant, period, unless you want to run them interstate. The delay is in the order of 1 nanosecond per foot, as compared with the acoustic delay which is about 1 millisecond per foot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
But there will be different impedance response curve for a 6ft length of wire versus a 50ft length of wire.


I don't think he's worried about time delay, but different quality sound from the two speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,665 Posts
Nope. The characteristic impedance of the speaker wire has zero palatable effects at audio frequencies, unless you want to run miles of wire. And even in that case, the bottleneck would be the simple DC resistance of the wire and other interference. Remember, the characteristic impedance of a wire starts to take an effect when the wire length approaches a half wave length of the signal being transmitted. The wave length of electrical signal in copper at 20kHz is approximately 10 miles.


The interwire capacitance (in the order of nanofarrad) and inductance (microhenry) are also completely negligible at any "in-house" lengths.


Bottom line: All you need is a thick enough lamp-cord-style speaker cable to minimize the wire resistance (see the Table above). The length difference does not matter at all.



[edited some inaccuracies]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
Good point sushi. It's easy to forget that we're actually talking about extremely low frequencies when it comes to speaker wire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,947 Posts
Sushi, that link was an excellent read, and what I have been telling those who asked; if the wire is adequately heavy, there's no reason to match lengths. There are so many factors that affect sound balance; even the sensitivity difference between your own two ears will exceed any audible differences caused by six feet of wire to one speaker and thirty to the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,049 Posts
Math whiz challenge? How much closer to the listener will the speaker with the 23 foot wire need to be than the one with the 6 foot wire?


If we use a conservative estimate of 200,000,000 meters per second for the signal to travel down the wire, and 344 meters per second for the sound to travel from the speakers to the listener, and lets assume the listener's ears start at 3 meters from the left and right speaker respectively...this is where my head exploded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,062 Posts
I love threads like this that bring Science and Mathematics into the world of HT. So often we get oppinoin (which makes this site great) and not enough fact.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top