Pick your poison - Long runs

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Best option?

Unbalanced (RCA) cables from preamp to amp
4
44%
Speaker cables from amp to speakers
5
56%
 
Total votes: 9

idiotec
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Pick your poison - Long runs

Post by idiotec » 10 Feb 2009 06:09

So if you are setting up a stereo and need one long run to get to the speakers, what is the best option? RCA cables from preamp to amp with short speaker cables, or short connection from preamp to amp and long speaker cables? If there is a better option, how much of a difference between the two?

07bloomfieldb
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Post by 07bloomfieldb » 10 Feb 2009 07:10

It depends on your amp. If you use a very high power amp, then it makes sense to put the amp between the speakers. If you use a low to average powered amp, then use short line cables.

Guest

Post by Guest » 10 Feb 2009 14:54

It depends even more on the impedance ratio between the preamp and the amp. With 100 Ohms output impedance at the preamp and 220 kOhms input impedance at the amps, I have no problem running 50-foot RCA cables under the floor to the other side of the room.

OTOH, with long speaker cables the amps may have difficulty controlling the woofers.

Also, in many cases you can get better sound for less money by using long runs of cheap microphone cable (Starquad, etc.) from preamp to amp, then spending the bulk of your budget on a decent pair of short speaker cables.

JollyJeweller
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Post by JollyJeweller » 10 Feb 2009 18:25

Pulled from the Bryston website.

"I highly recommend keeping the speaker wires as short as possible and utilizing XLR balanced lines if available. Given the choice of long interconnects and short speaker leads or short interconnects and long speaker leads - choose long interconnects (preferably Balanced) and short speaker leads. With digital and video cables finding out the sending and termination requirements is very important due to the very short wavelengths relative to cable lengths involved."

I think Bryston should know !

Guest

Post by Guest » 10 Feb 2009 19:37

The shorter the speaker cables the better IMHO.

pivot
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Post by pivot » 11 Feb 2009 14:16

lanny wrote:It depends even more on the impedance ratio between the preamp and the amp. With 100 Ohms output impedance at the preamp and 220 kOhms input impedance at the amps, I have no problem running 50-foot RCA cables under the floor to the other side of the room.
As Lanny sez, varies with the input impedance of the amp verses the output impedance of the pre-amp. Low impedance and well buffered preamp into a high impedance amp can use long cables. Use a passive "pre-amp" however and you need to keep runs short.

ALSO some speaker/amp combos acutally work better with lower damping factor and series resistance in the circuit. See some of the MLTLs made with drivers with low mass cones and big magnet motors, Fostex and that ilk.

There is not one answer. It is equipment dependent.

MonkeyBoy
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Post by MonkeyBoy » 12 Feb 2009 00:33

Jolly, don't forget, the poll question was unbalanced cables. His amp system may not have balanced inputs and outputs. In fact, the30 year old system I replaced a year ago didn't have them and I wasn't even sure what they were until I went shopping for a whole new setup. At least I found out a lot of good information and now I know why women like shopping so much! It was one of the most pleasant months of my life! :D

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