Suggestions for long Interconnects

radio, tape, stands and accessories
JollyJeweller
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Post by JollyJeweller » 16 Aug 2007 15:51

We don't have radio Shack here in the UK.
However i've been chatting to Origin Live , the makers of my Arm, and they quietly produce a range of highly rated cables, and are happy to make up a set of interconnects on a full refund if not delighted basis !
I may go down that route.

LPspinner
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Post by LPspinner » 17 Aug 2007 03:31

>>There is much to be gained by keeping your speaker cables as short as possible. You’re solid state preamp should have no issues driving long interconnects (up to about 4-5 meters before you need to run a balanced configuration) and you can then stick your Mono-blocks down behind the speakers and you can use as little as 300 mm of speaker cable, and don’t coil up any excess speaker cable. Cut it to the right length and then leave it at that...

The theory behind this reasoning is that the lower impedance of the speakers and the higher voltages involved (and there for higher currents as well) make the system more sensitive to cable resistance and series inductance. The interconnect and the Pre-amp / Pwr-amp interface is a higher impedance and there fore less dependant on cable properties. Just make sure you use a low capacitance shielded cable for long interconnect runs.<<


Yup …. that was me who wrote that….

First of I’m going to come clean on the whole cable thing, In my opinion the effect cables have on the system are greatly over rated, Take into consideration the electrical parameters and leave it at that; - if a cable measures the same it must sound the same… When people start eulogising about cables I usually start to yawn (but I have also been known to get pretty fired up when they start talking mumbo-jumbo pseudo-scientific rubbish): - there, I’ve got that of my chest.

I will underline what I said before in the AVforum post and that is, due to the lower impedance and higher currents involved with the amplifier – speaker interface, shortening the speaker cable length at the expense of the interconnect length is preferable to shortening the interconnect at the expense of speaker cable length. Also, you must never coil up speaker cable, cut it to the right length or run it along the wall and then back along itself, but never coil it up. Due to the series inductance and possible reactive effects of the cable with the amplifier is it also good practice to use similar cable lengths for both L & R channels.

From a practical perspective anything less than 3 meters is pretty good. I would look for a good quality 12 to 10 gauge multi-strand cable, that’s all. To minimise the self inductance I would separate and then lightly twist two the cable cores together, this also makes the cable a little easier to handle. The object is to keep the centre of the two cores close as possible, yes this does increase capacitance but at the low impedances involved this is not an issue - It’s lowering the series inductance that you are chasing for this application. It is also for this reason that mega thick “Jumper lead” type cable should be avoided, yes, its series DC resistance will be very low but the due to its large diameter core it will be difficult to reduce its series inductance.

As for the Interconnect;- bauzace50 mentioned the Radio Shack, cable and that’s cool, I would probably suggest some generic RG58U co-ox cable as the low cost solution, add a set of good quality metal bodied plugs and you are well on your way.
My own preference for interconnects is a twin core twisted pair and shielded braid wired up in “pseudo-balanced” configuration, any good quality microphone cable will do. Go to the electronics store or musical instrument shop for this one, a HiFi dealer will charge you 10 times as much just because it has Kimber or VandenHull printed on the outer cable jacket.

Hope I have sowed a few seeds for thought.

LPSPinner

JollyJeweller
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Post by JollyJeweller » 17 Aug 2007 09:44

Thanks, I do believe there is more than an element of snake oil in the whole interconnect and speaker cable thing...I'm sure half these cable "manufacturers" buy in cable by the drum load from china and just brand it according to what they want to charge : Super, mega, Hyper, Bonkers etc etc....but sadly it gets you in the end.

I've had several quotes for a pair of 3m interconnects, from the likes of VdH, Nordost, True Colours, JPS and Origin Live, from £100 to £600....and you think, surely the £600 one's won't be 6 times better....but my system deserves the best, if I buy the £100 set I *might* be missing out on something ...but then again I might not ????

Speaker cables....last year i was given a long run of Chord Odyssey 2, each cable 9 metres long (!) and I must admit, I've never got round to shortening them, and they are coiled up....they have however just gone onto *bay , or maybe I should just shorten them and sell off the excess?
I only now need 2.75 m per speaker due to the long interconnects and individual monoblocks.

Guest

Post by Guest » 17 Aug 2007 09:49

Bravo LP Sinner!

A man after my own heart and unafraid to stand up amongst the uncorrupted few who aren't afraid to say that "high end" cables are anything but marketing hype (yes, I know there's elements of truth in one way silver core cables etc but the sound differences are minimal).

I admit to being competeley outclassed and take back what I said about speaker cable lengths as I was unaware of the inductance issue especially ion larger core cables, but its staring me straight in the face now you've mentioned it. I am one of the culprits who coil my speaker cable up (in this case, 3m coiled up on one channel) and will consider placing the amp between the speakers in the new house so I can keep cable runs symmtrical. Anyhow, this was about helping Jolly. Is what you're saying that all you need are two 10 or 12 guage cables twisted together with sheilding added and some RCA'a soldered on? Sounds like some DIY could save £'sssss :D

JollyJeweller
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Post by JollyJeweller » 17 Aug 2007 12:22

OK...decision made and the process has been actioned.
Origin Live (makers of arms 'n' stuff) are making me up a pair of 3m interconnects, and next year when my extension/music room is built, they will cut hem in half/thirds as required with new connectors ends, and I can sell off the unwanted pair or 2 pairs.

My current 9m pair of Chord Odyssey will be cut down to 2.75m i need per speaker and the remaining 6.25m pair will go back onto *bay.

This will reduce my speaker cable run by 6m per speaker :oops: and each monoblock will go into a cupboard (well ventilated!) approx. 1m behind each speaker to avoid being kicked/touched and away from vibrations.

Thanks for the responses, it's funny how the question polarised us into 2 groups, diametrically opposed but both equally sure that they were right, and equally entitled to their opinions.
HiFi is so subjective.

Guest

Post by Guest » 17 Aug 2007 13:31

oh, how tempting to saysomething like

"oh no its not" :lol:

Instead, I'll agree

Brian75
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Post by Brian75 » 17 Jun 2008 11:39

Hi,
I know in studio's they use 3 conductor cable for mandatory long runs. You could make your own cables and change your connectors to XLR. Just a thought, probably not a good one, but cheaper than buying super expensive interconnects. I have a bunch of stuff running over here using 15 foot XLR cables and they sound fine with no noise or degradation... no speaker wire that long tho.

JollyJeweller
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Post by JollyJeweller » 25 Jun 2008 11:15

Hey Brian75, interesting to see this thread dragged up from "deep storage" !
So much as changed since I started that thread in Aug 07.
Moved house, moved woman, changed almost the entire HiFi !

I am however, still using my 3m Origin Live interconnects to each of the monoblocks ( on the floor by each speaker) , then a 1m speaker run with some great american cables http://www.ultimatecables.com.
I have no issues with the currect sound.
My new partners 15 year old daughter popped over to my place last night and I was listening to the new Duffy on LP, which she has on MP3, she was open mouthed with the sound...didn't want to go home....( don't tempt me!)

bastlnut
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Post by bastlnut » 25 Jun 2008 12:03

hallo JJ,

she just popped by with out her mother?
tempted is not the word i would use..... :roll:
at least you got her open mouthed...... =;

LOL....

i just couldn't resist....

regards,
bastslnut

p.s.
more kids should hear the difference between MP3 and vinyl.
vinyl still leaves my jaw hanging, and i don't even have to put up with MP3!!

JollyJeweller
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Post by JollyJeweller » 25 Jun 2008 14:03

bastlnut wrote:hallo JJ,

she just popped by with out her mother?
tempted is not the word i would use..... :roll:
at least you got her open mouthed...... =;

LOL....

i just couldn't resist....

regards,
bastslnut

p.s.
more kids should hear the difference between MP3 and vinyl.
vinyl still leaves my jaw hanging, and i don't even have to put up with MP3!!
Don't go there...I'm trying not too :wink:
Mum was not too far behind...sadly !
It's when the living room is full of nubile 15/16 year old schoolgirls that i have to keep saying to myself....future stepdaughter...be protective...be cool...always make eye to eye contact not eye to chest...arghhhh !

Er...where were we...Oh yes Vinyl...love it :-)

lini
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Post by lini » 25 Jun 2008 19:30

Brian75: Going XLR only really makes sense, if the gear sports balanced inputs/outputs. Otherwise you'd have to add signal transformers, which are rather costly for excellent hifi quality... I'd usually only consider that for otherwise unsolvable hum issues.

And concerning interconnects in general: In my experience, expensive boutique cables aren't worth the marginal difference in sound quality (especially since it's mostly just a question of taste, what sounds better or worse...). So for myself, I either make ICs myself (usually using the priceworthy Neutrik/Rean NYS373 RCA plugs (or NYS231BG for 1/8 " stereo) and some proper standard coax cable (e.g. RG223, Belden 1505A...) with well documented specs (as low capacity can be relevant for phono use...)) - or when I'm too lazy, I simply buy some proper pro cable (e.g. of Cordial's Fair Line series).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini