long interconnects vs long speaker cables...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by julian2002, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. julian2002

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    hi,
    i've always wondered why people often go for long line level i/c's and short speaker cables. surely a long i/c will pick up interference which will be amplified by the amplifer whereas with a long speaker cable the same interference will be swamped by the larger signal travelling along the cable and therefore be less noticable (it also won;t be amplified).
    OBVIOUSLY i'm not talking about balanced i/c's but normal single ended ones.
    is my reasoning copmpletely wrong here?
    cheers



    julian
     
    julian2002, Nov 28, 2004
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  2. julian2002

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    You're not comparing like with like as even an unbalanced IC is shielded, whereas a speaker cable is not, excluding the odd unshielded thing like DNM.
     
    I-S, Nov 28, 2004
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  3. julian2002

    eisenach

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    I too would be interested in people's experience with this. I've been told, that, if you can, it is far preferable to have long interconnects and short speaker cable, but I've had the same doubts as Julian. As Isaac points out, though, speaker cables are unshielded. I was also told something about the amp interface with the cable/speaker being a problem. The theory's all beyond me, but real-world experiences would be interesting. It would be good to get the power amps off the racks, but thought of the cost of 5 metres of Chord Anthem (what I'm using at the moment in 0.75m lengths together with 5m of Chord Legend ribbon speaker cable) rather fills me with horror. Is the interconnect quality between pre and power amps critical?
     
    eisenach, Nov 28, 2004
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  4. julian2002

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    isaac,
    to be honest i'm not bothered with comparing like with like. the 2 schemes i outlined are used in the real world. intuitively one will have a noise component added and amplified (assuming the shielding is not 100% effective which i doubt) and the other will have the noise in it's 'raw' unamplified state hopefully unnoticable as it will be 'drowned out' by the proper signal.
    this also begs the question 'why aren;t speaker cables shielded'? and what would happen if i wrapped my cables in grounded silver foil?
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Nov 28, 2004
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  5. julian2002

    wadia-miester Mighty Rearranger

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    I would say that they are a few speaker cables which are sheilded, some rather more so than others
    Long I/c's are generally used with mono blox which run very short 1m speaker cables.
    I would say I've tried various incarnations of this, and the equipment being used has a fair old say in the results.
    I prefer shorter I/c's and longer cables, though I've had good results with the former as well.
     
    wadia-miester, Nov 28, 2004
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  6. julian2002

    Mr.C

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    I run longer interconnects and shorter speaker cables, both are shielded, made by Experience Filtration (see www.experiencefiltration.com). This cable length configuration seems to have its benefits for my set-up which consist of monoblocks, which means short I/Cs and longer speaker cable is also more practical. I've found that shorter speaker cable allows a power amp to exert greater control over a speaker, although the difference is not a huge one but one I find to be a worthwhile improvement.

    An interesting point is made about shielding. Look at computer cables - even bog standard ones are adequately shielded, yet many hifi cables are not. Why? We live in a world where shielding is now a necessity in the transfer of electrical signals, and this becomes more and more the case with every passing day. Unshielded cables are, IMO, 20 years out of date, and don't belong anywhere near hi-fidelity music reproduction equipment. With this in mind, all cables should be shielded, and when this is the case, either configuration should be available to you without worrying about significant levels of interference over long cable runs.
     
    Mr.C, Nov 28, 2004
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  7. julian2002

    Croc

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    from pure tech point of view shorter ICs are prefereble as they cary much lower and valnurable signal than speaker cables.
     
    Croc, Nov 29, 2004
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  8. julian2002

    Sir Galahad Harmonia Mundi

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    I use 50-cm interconnects and 12-m long speaker cables. Sound or interference is not my consideration here, only the fact that this way the equipment is out of view, closer to the listening position and where the CDs are. To some, visual interference can be intolerable :)

    Have a good day
     
    Sir Galahad, Nov 29, 2004
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  9. julian2002

    themadhippy seen it done it smokin it

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    l
    but the circuit impedance is much higher so a couple of ohms arnt going to cause too many problems,but add an ohm on an 8 ohm speaker circuit and 1/8 of the power will be lost in the cable,most domestic speaker wiring wont have an cable impedance that high,but try running 100 meters of cable carrying 10kw and the loses get quite signifacent
     
    themadhippy, Nov 29, 2004
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  10. julian2002

    MartinC Trainee tea boy

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    Naively I'd assume it's because there is a much greater risk of appropriate frequency noise being around to affect computer signals than over the audio band. By the time we are considering speaker cables, it would only be interference up to ~20kHz that would have any effect, and I suspect there isn't much of that? Well other than as generated by your own HiFi I guess... Thoughts anyone?
     
    MartinC, Nov 29, 2004
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  11. julian2002

    Thom PC

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    <Quote>
    What is the optimum cable length between products?
    Essentially, the shorter the better.
    Longer cables tend to mean increased loss of quality and greater susceptibility to noise/interference, so if you can rearrange your system to allow short cable runs, this will usually provide the optimum setup and the best sound.
    In a domestic situation, the above is not always feasible so at least try to make the speaker cables as short as possible as there is greater potential for loss in that area - even if it means making the signal cables longer. I.e. a better sound is normally achieved by moving the power-amplifier close to the speakers, using shorter cables to the speakers and longer cables to the rest of the system.
    <Unquote>

    The above copy/pasted from Linn's FAQ (www.linn.co.uk). Personally I know nothing :)

    Thom
     
    Thom PC, Nov 29, 2004
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  12. julian2002

    Croc

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    this is nonsense - we're not talking about hundreds of meters and/or about 10Kw.

    one of VDH's cables quote 0.101 Ohm/100 m which means difference of 0.00101 Ohm for each meter of the cable.
    from pure tech point of view it's neglectible - just 0.01262% of 8 Ohm.
     
    Croc, Nov 29, 2004
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  13. julian2002

    Paul Ranson

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    You have to double it to actually get any power transferred. And then if you use 10m you've got a total of 0.02 Ohms which is way more than the output impedance of most amps.

    Whereas the resistance of an interconnect is completely irrelevant in home usage.

    Paul
     
    Paul Ranson, Nov 29, 2004
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  14. julian2002

    Croc

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    home many people did you see with 10m cables?
    i gues that there are some guys like this but i haven't see even one - which leads me to conslusion that such cases are quite rare and not relevant to general discussion.

    regarding output impedance - i'm not sure that it will affect performance becuase it's still remains very small.
     
    Croc, Nov 29, 2004
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  15. julian2002

    Bob McC living the life of Riley

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    Err.....
    I'm running active with 4X15 metres of speaker cable from amps in one room to speakers in another.

    Bob
     
    Bob McC, Nov 29, 2004
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  16. julian2002

    Mr.C

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    You're assuming that most hifi cable manufacturers know what they're doing when it comes to interference :rolleyes: As I understand it any interference frequency can distort a signal. I've listened to so many cables over the last several years that I've had to come to the conclusion that unshielded cables simply have no place anywhere there is a need to have minimum signal deterioration, be it hifi, A/V, your PC or wherever else.

    My opinion on the whole cable issue is that the vast majority of hifi cable manufacturers haven't got a clue and are making cables which, as I've written before, are simply behind the times by a couple of decades. Other industries are many years ahead in their understanding of the whole issue. The hifi world can seem at times to be archaic by comparison, both in practise and in outlook.

    Better stop here before this gets too far off topic :)
     
    Mr.C, Nov 29, 2004
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  17. julian2002

    MartinC Trainee tea boy

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    What I was of course rather glibly ignoring (forgetting!) before is the presence of a fair amount of 50Hz mains noise...

    The other issue of shielding speaker cables is the capacitance this presumably introduces; is this the issue?
     
    MartinC, Nov 29, 2004
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  18. julian2002

    Mr.C

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    I'm going to have to profess ignorance about the technicalities of cables - capacitance, inductance etc. All I go on is my listening experience, and I've had the good (or bad ;) ) luck to have listened to a vast number of cables, all sorts of conductors, configurations, insulation, connectors, shielding etc etc, and any negative effects which a shield may introduce (and I wouldn't try to deny this aspect) has always been outweighed, to my ears, by the benefits which, depending on shield type, quality and construction, range from 'not bad' to 'bloody hell!!'.
     
    Mr.C, Nov 29, 2004
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  19. julian2002

    wadia-miester Mighty Rearranger

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    I do believe some cables (speaker) even come with a seperate drain wire for the sheilding to be earthed, and that its sealed independantly from the main signal transmission lines
     
    wadia-miester, Nov 29, 2004
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  20. julian2002

    MartinC Trainee tea boy

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    Now I think about it the Atlas speaker cables I demoed at one point do this:

    http://www.mountainsnow.co.uk/snow.asp?main=cables
     
    MartinC, Nov 29, 2004
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