Cable length dilemma!


Ok, so here's the dilemma: speakers placed on either side of a fireplace, impossible to place the amp between them. Only place to put the amp is just to the left of the left speaker, leaving a 1-foot run to the left speaker, and a 9-foot rum to the right speaker. I have always read that your L/R cables should be the same length, but in my case that would necessitate coiling 8ft of the L cable underneath the rack, which is the lesser of two evils here - mismatched length, or a big coil of cable under the rack?

ilikemiles
This has been discussed ad nauseam on here. Al (almarg) has by far the best comments available. Maybe do a search. (I did the search for you below.)

I can tell you that you should NEVER coil the wire. It will cause inductance. You should, if you have to, use a loose figure eight type configuration.

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/compensating-for-different-speaker-cable-lengths?highlight=di...

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/are-unequal-length-speaker-cables-really-bad/by_member?userna...
I also have the "fireplace between the speakers" situation (albeit a fake gas thing) and both cables are the same length (10 feet or so) with the closer speaker cable only looping once and crossing itself only once…no hum, loss, inductance issues…no problemo…it's an AQ Type 8 solid core pair so it's spiraled internally to reject hum, and sounds great.
I suggst finding a different spot for the speakers.  Anything large placed between them will be greatly detrimental to the sound.  If its a real fire place with a flu...all your lows will go up that flu.  Bad placement.
Move the speakers cable length should always be the same.
Close the flue…and put something on the roof to retrieve the lows that escaped! There's an easy test to see if the fireplace is "detrimental" and that is to put a rug or something that absorbs sound over the fireplace and listen to the system. I should note that I have had cables of differing length in other settings and it makes pretty much ZERO difference (and virtually unmeasurable if you're using good cable)…certainly not an audible difference, and "things between the speakers" is not necessarily an issue as it depends on the system and other factors of speaker placement. In my case anyway, the speakers are out front of the fireplace (you should get most speakers out into the room as much as you can anyway without causing a space issue, or if possible move them out just when listening) enough to obviate any reflection from the front of the thing, and the little corners created by the fireplace load the back ports a little and provide a spot for one of my subs. Besides, I can look at the fireplace gas dancing on the ever disintegrating "logs" while listening…all good.
Back in the early 90's I went to a demonstration for Monster Cable. They had a system set up with one speaker cable that was 7 feet long and the other cable was 70 feet long (and it was coiled up). They played a variety of music, mono and stereo recordings through the system with the different length speaker cables. You could not detect or hear any delay of sound, music was in perfect unison.

I would not worry about a few feet difference in your speaker cable length. It is not as critical as we are told.
same setup here- 2 runs of 13 foot Kimber PR8  one run is bunched not coiled up :)
The increased inductance effect of coiled speaker cable in not audible!

Too small to be of significance.

Do not run speaker cable along side power cords.

Do not run speaker cable along interconnects (only cross at a right angle if necessary).
The worst part is if you ever want to sell the cables.
Inductance of straight wire is about 0.2-0.4uH/ft for gages 10-20. In the speaker cable this inductance is greatly reduced because of return wire (currents in opposite directions) especially when wires are twisted (twisted pair or helical twist). Coiling such cable should not increase inductance since magnetics flux created by wires conducting identical currents in opposite directions should be zero, pretty much like in the common mode choke that has close to zero inductance for normal mode currents.

If you believe that speaker wire has any effect on the sound - it will be proportional to length of the wire.

xti16 +1