Longer Speaker Wire or RCA's

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by theoman, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It's just general engineering philosophy / practice to keep the higher impedance stuff short. But it probably doesn't matter. It doesn't in my case. Not everything in audio is a corner case. Enjoy.
     
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  2. chef free

    chef free AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I chose short ICs, 1 meter, and long wires, 10 meters. I have no hum or other interference.
     
  3. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    "Does no one here have a wired whole house audio system (multiple 100' wire runs)? Works."
     
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  4. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    You obviously have no experience with distributed wifi audio. Hello waiting for the inevitable (and unfixable) dropouts, goodbye listening to music.
     
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  5. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    I have experience providing audio for 3 children and a wife, none of whom want to watch or hear the same thing. That's why I favor a modest system with Wi-Fi for every location. IME there is rarely if ever any need to be able to hear exactly the same source everywhere in a house.

    BTW: Since I find it necessary to have a PC in every location I favor CAT-7 cable for all PC connections. A USB DAC connects each PC to each "modest" system.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  6. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Agreed, but I also think it's an interesting question from a theoretical standpoint. And one I hadn't seen before, being relatively new here.
     
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  7. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Glad to have you aboard. My setup requires long RCA's cuz there's only one antenna downlead and the receiver it's connected to feeds several other receivers throughout the house.
     
  8. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    Given a whole-house hard-wired setup, it's pretty easy to configure things for multiple sources to multiple rooms (matrixing) or, as in your case, separate single sources to separate single rooms (zones). You place a network switch close to a matrix amp (see Niles or SpeakerCraft 12 or 16 zone units) then tie in networkable DACs (such as Apple AirPorts, AppleTVs, or the like) from the network switch whence the digital datastream to the amps RCA inputs. Each kid/wife "owns" their own DAC which appears everywhere on your wifi/wired network. Kid/wife simply throws music from whatever source to the DAC via AirPlay, the matrix switches it, amplifies it, and outputs it over those LONG, LONG speaker wires. You also net the matrix map directly to the switch so you can configure everything, set volume limits, password protect the setup, etc. And all (mostly, except from kid/wife gizmo to nearest hardwired WAP) hardwired.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  9. theoman

    theoman Confused Member Subscriber

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    Why does Audio Research suggest I plug my Amps directly in the wall and no power conditioner?
     
  10. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    My preference is short RCA's and longer speaker wire. One of my systems runs Dueland wire where the other three are running 11ga Western Electric tinned copper wire.
     
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  11. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This has come up a few times.

    Most, myself included, feel that longer speaker cable and shorter rca is best.
     
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  12. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    My considered opinion is that it's because they're insane.
     
  13. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    Every amplifier has a "power conditioner" -- it's the power supply. A good external power conditioner is fine -- and might even limit incoming noise, if the amplifier's power supply is poorly shielded -- but poor-quality power conditioners make things worse: they can limit the current to the amplifier and cause noise and electrical interference rather than reducing it.

    Therefore, I'd bet Audio Research consider their power supply designs good enough not to require good external power conditioners, and beneficial to avoid the bad ones by avoiding them entirely.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  14. bowtie427ss

    bowtie427ss arigato gozaimashita Subscriber

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    I would totally agree in the case of phono cartridge to phono pre. Signal pressure can be an important factor when discussing wire length.

    Line level signals are higher pressure(read voltage) and can tolerate much longer interconnect lengths than most folks are aware.

    Consider this:

    a tuner, CD, deck, media server, or preamp with output impedances running between 600 and 6000 ohms or more, feeding preamp/amplifier input impedance of 30k ohms to over 100k ohms.

    VS.

    amplifiers with maybe 1/100 ohm output impedance feeding a speaker load of 3 or 4 ohms.

    In which scenario do you think an ohm of impedance imposed by wire length will have the less audible effect?

    FWIW, my engineer's philosophy had better keep the cost of copper high on the list of design considerations.
     
  15. techguy0192

    techguy0192 Well-Known Member

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    To your original question, you'll be fine with the longer ICs. If you have any concerns, you could switch to balanced cables. A quality RCA cable with quality termination shouldbn't be a problem. I have about a 15' run of RCA terminated cables snaking around my room to feed my amp.

    The concern is that the power conditioner might be current limiting. If that were my amp, I personally would still use a power condition. It will draw some watts...but not that much.
     
  16. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    I don't know about "most prefer" this or that, but it's been my experience shorter speaker cables longer interconnects.

    As for "who has a whole house WIRED system", I used to but I prefer the flexibility and superior SQ of having individual systems in each location.

    I base this on the experience of installing hundreds, if not thousands of whole house systems, many of which are on Jupiter and Palm Beach Islands. If at all familiar with this area you know these people don't kid around when it comes to spending money and can afford the best.

    The "whole house system" is their party music, for dedicated music and HT listening they have dedicated systems, they can afford both. Most regular folks have to either or, and why many compromise with just inexpensive wall/ceiling speakers for outlying rooms. When these people go in wall with Martin Logan and consider this a compromise due to space limitations you can get the picture of just what kind of money we're talking here.
     
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  17. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    Everyone still has to have their own PC (client server setup). That's why it's simpler to hard wire the PC's and give everyone their own DAC and access to only the sources I decide they need. I'm a retired IT person so I was able to consider several different schemes. FWIW: I don't use Apple products.

    Plus as I stated earlier, I prefer long IC's and short speaker cables.

    Many conditioners are current limited.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  18. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    This is a common sense view, and I assumed it to be true.

    However, two high-end dealers, and a friend who designs cost-no-object screening theaters for the major film studios in Hollywood, told me the opposite it true — short speaker wires and long ICs are better. They all knew it defied common sense, but their opinions were based on experience and measurements.

    The IC's must be very well shielded of course — I use double-shielded (braid + foil). I once did 25ft runs of Mogami single shield IC cable (braid) to connect a pair of powered subs, and the hum was deafening.
     
  19. motorstereo

    motorstereo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    MIT cables recommends short interconnects and longer speaker wire. That's good enough for me and I'll take their recommendations since it's what I use for my rigs.
     
  20. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    Please, let's hear some more about these "measurements" which "defy common sense." I'm all, um, ears...
     

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