in general YES!
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Doesn't hurt. A shorter signal path from your amp to the speaker is thought my some to be a benefit. Those who use mono block amps claim that it is preferable to longer cable runs in addition to having separate power supplies and reduced feedback. Speaker cables can get quite expensive and I suspect you may be able to buy a better cable in a shorter length to maximise the benefits of your chosen amplifier. As with most things in audio there will be a variety of opinions most without any empirical evidence for their claims, so take any and all opinions with a proper amount of skepticism until you try it for yourself in your system. Good Luck!
I would like to make a correction to my recent posting. I meant to say speaker cable should be kept to a minimum length because that is what transfers the power.
OCOS made claims that their wire is ok for long lengths and they even said you can use different lengths. I have a friend using OCOS and we compared both ways. The result was the OCOS sounds better in short equal lengths. OCOS is a very unusual product since it is coax cable rather than speaker cable.
Shorter = less change/influence. Termination types also make for better integrity.
Some cables don't show fully their addition or subtraction (or both) to the presentation until there is a sufficient amount of it in the signal path.
If for ex I only needed one meter spkr cables, I'm not too sure just how picky I'd be. Im thinking if I needed 5 meter spkr cables it would be another story.
I've had more than one cable co tell me (depending on the application) cables need to be at least a certain length to fully realize the potential of their wire. Usually those convos were on power cables.
Shorter = less $$$$ too, so add that into the equation when folks give their input as well. Especially when it comes to speakr cables.
Common sense enters into this... eg., ICs. Some feel a half meter cable will fit into their rig. Fine. Well, if it ain't a keeper... what then? 1/2 ICs aren't nearly as 'fittable' or resellable, into some other person's rig perhaps. Same way for extended lengths.
So sometimes if money matters too, staying closer to standard cable lengths might be best or until you settle on exactly which one you prefer.
In the "Get Better Sound" book which I've just read the highly regarded author (can't recall his name) makes the point that it is much more important to locate your rack on a side wall. The negative effect of putting your rack in between your speakers is much worse than a longer run of speaker cable. If you're serious about soundstaging and having your speakers disappear it is critical to locate nothing on the front wall between them.
Although it is an excellent goal I would bet that most people are like me and don't have such a dedicated space to pull that off. Great book overall.
I use the OCOS cable Rrog speaks of and while I never compared my 5.5m length to a short OCOS run all I can say is that the music sounds darn fine to me. If the cable is doing some thing wrong due to the long run I can't hear it. Same was true when I used 5.5m runs of Supra Ply 3/4 and Morrow Audio SP3.
As Riz1 wrote the biggest improvement in my system was getting everything including the amps from between the speakers. My rack and amps are on the side wall now. So the long speaker cable run was well worth it to me.
Riz1, The preamp to amp IC xtion is at least an order of magnitude lower in voltage and thus more susceptible to EMI/RFI and other anomalies. Therefore keep the ICs short. Shielding is perhaps best left to another thread.
Putting the rack in the corner has worthwhile benefits as noted above [apart from acting as a non-bass trap with attendant resonance problems]. Keep the ICs and spkr cables short and use a low rack, or none at all.
That said, I run a modest 4M balanced pair made by my cable guru with proper attention paid to soldering & termination. Low cost, high rez [riz?] results. The tallish rack is near the corner but pulled out a few feet. The spkrs are well into the room as I am fortunate to have a 25' space to in which to play. Your mileage Will vary. Room treatments anyone?