Different lengths of interconnects ??????

Have you ever tried using a pair of interconnects in different lengths to connect preamp and mono block amps? Can it cause one channel delay or any phase problems?

My Preamp is placed on left side behind my active ATC speakers, but I always use a pair of interconnects in same length between my preamp and the built-in power amp of my speakers.

Now I have a chance to buy pair of Valhalla XLR interconnects in different lengths, one 1.7m and another 3.5m, from another city. They are just about the right length from my preamp to left and right channel of my speakers, and price is good. I am not sure if it is OK to use interconnects in this way. Anyone have this experience?

Many thanks!
If you believe in physics and are not too anal regarding your audio setup, you could be fine. Here are the variables: there will be a timing delay but I challenge whether it would be audible in a perfect world. It is measurable but you are talking nanoseconds here. Also in a perfect world, you would be able to extrapolate that measured difference and move the speaker with the longer cable a millimeter or two closer to your listening position, mitigating the measured delay. Now with all of this used as a disclaimer, the mere fact that you are asking this question means that you will always be wondering whether you have a mismatch, which will drive you crazy. Either you recognize that there will be a measurable but "mechanically" insignificant delay or you recognize that it will likely not materially matter. But if you recognize that it will likely not "materially" matter than you will also then double guess the need for Valhallas....your ATC speakers are not wired with Valhalla's from the electronic crossover to the individual amps in each speaker and oh, by the way, have you opened up your speakers to check the lengths of the wire used inside them to make sure they are the same length?

The above text, while scientifically accurate simply highlights how obsessive we can become. Relax, if you want the cables, buy them. You will be unable to hear any timing differences and whether you hear other differences....well...I don't want to start any wars. Good luck.
No issue. Electrical signals travel very close to the speed of light. You cannot possibly hear the difference. Since these are line level signals then the voltage drop will be negligeable too (your speaker should have very high input impedance something like 10 K Ohms).

Generally XLR cables are made from 22 or 24 AWG wire so you are looking at 16 to 25 Ohms resistance per THOUSAND feet. So on a 100 foot cable you are looking at a voltage drop of 2.5/10,000 = 0.00025 volts on your 2 Volt reference signal hardly worth bothering about... it in fact at extreme lengths it is cable inductance/capacitance that you may worry about.

Remember studios use microphone cable lengths of 50 feet all the time and a concert may involve 100's of feet of XLR cabling across a stage and to the control booth.

There is absolutely no need to be concerned over a few feet.

(BTW There is also no need to spend more then 20 bucks on an XLR microphone cable in my opinion...Mogami for example make nice cables and these may cost you $50 bucks...generally good cables last longer and have better shielding, however shielding is not likely to be an issue for short runs)
The signal is traveling @ approx. the speed of light. Do the math, & figure out how many MILES of cable you'd have to run to hear any difference. Physics 101 pure & simple.
I do agree with Ghasley but although chances of hearing any differences will be extremely low, self-consciousness sometimes do take over. You see a pair of interconnect connecting the left speaker is so much shorter than the other one connecting the right speaker and you think you are hearing a time delay. This sometimes happens with us audio nuts. My advice is if you cannot handle the this, do not buy it. Since you mentioned the price on the Valhalla's is good, you can always try it out for yourself and see.
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The reason the price is right is because he can't sell this odd pair. When you get ready to move on you'll be stuck with them too.

At the speed of light it would take the signal .000000005 seconds longer to travel down the longer cable. Sound travels about .00000045 inches in that time. However, if you believe that cables affect the sound, and evidently you do or you wouldn't buy such expensive cables, then it seems logical that a cable that is twice as long might sound slightly different than a shorter cable.

Since you will sit there wondering about it and you will be stuck with them I say pass.
Thought some of you might be interested in this, as I was curious when several people wrote that electrons move at the speed of light through wire. That did not seem correct to me, so I did a bit of investigaing. Here is what I came up with.

How Fast do Electrons move through wire

(By the way, I am not saying that what the others wrote was wrong, it was just not as correct as it could have been.)
Do a blind test. Have someone change them when you are not looking. My bet is that no one would ever be able to tell. Much better than casino odds here!

I wonder if there is anyone who has compared the unequal length of interconnects personally and can hear or feel the differences? On the other hand, one might not be able to tell the difference at the beginning, but feel uncomfortable after long listening?

The differences caused by unequal length of interconnects may not only be the speed of Electrical signals travel. The unbalance of capacitance, inductance and phase may cause more problems, but those differences may be too subtle to tell.

It is very interesting that most member in Audioasylum believe the cables must in equal length for both channel, but I do not know if they can tell the differences when the cables are in unequal length.
>>It is very interesting that most member in Audioasylum believe the cables<<

Right. That's where all the "experts" hang out.

All you need is a keyboard to play.

Inductance, capacitance, & phase should be non issues in any properly designed IC found in typical system lengths. As far as "what most people believe", this is how the myths & urban legends begin that leave the unknowing needlessly chasing their tails.
It is very interesting that most member in Audioasylum believe the cables must in equal length for both channel, but I do not know if they can tell the differences when the cables are in unequal length.

Not surprised at that. It is a good rule of thumb especially if one side is very much longer. I would not use unequal lengths but then again I would not spend so much on cables so it does not matter to me as the cost to get equal lengths is a negligible issue.

My suggestion would be to buy some less expensive highly respected Mogami XLR from a music shop or something with Canare wire or whatever floats you boat. Spend only $100 bucks or less and get equal lengths.

The draw back is that that these XLR cables are not called "Valhalla" and few audiophiles will go "ooo", "ahh" and "wow" when they peruse your virtual system one day to ask you about cable synergy. You might even get the opposite...questions like how in your right mind can you connect those great speakers with ordinary wires...no gold no silver ? If these comments make you feel insecure then by all means spend the extra money (like the ladies who only wear Prada) but then as the man from ING says in the adds you could also be smart and "Save your Money".
I ended up with two different lengths of interconnects. Absolutely no difference at all.
Something does not make sense. If extra length of cable does not make a difference then why Valhalla - very expensive IC.

You probably believe that cable makes difference and it is proportional to distance and your question is "how much of a difference". I would still not use uneven cables because small errors like that will acummulate and will become audible. In addition you might get more revealing gear in future - why to risk.

It is more complicated than capacitance or speed of signal - there is also inductance, ratio of inductance to capacitance, dielectric constant etc.

In addition - what if you decide to change cables - who is going to buy it from you? (most of people believe in the same lengths).
It will work perfectly if you place the speaker using the shorter IC 18" further out and toe it in three degrees more. ;) Seriously, buy equal length IC's; if you ever rearrange your gear and are short on one IC, you'll kick yourself. Think long term, which for gearheads is six months.

There does not need to be an actual audible difference to be bothersome. If you're asking about it, it's quite possible that it will play on your mind. If you weren't worried, you would likely have purchased them already. As it is, you may obsess over perceived differences. If so, then it's not that much of a bargain when you're ruminating over it all the time. Only you know if it would bother you or not.

FYI, in my office, one run of speaker cable is approx. 6-7' longer than the other. I am absolutely unable to perceive any effects from it. But, I found I had to put the balance control at 9 O'clock. hahahahaha
Kurk_tank, you are confusing the movement of electrons in the wire with the signal (electromagnetic field) traveling down the wire. They are not the same thing. It is the signal that we are concerned about. The movement of electrons is a side effect caused by the field that is following the wire.

Electromagnetic waves travel fastest in a vacuum, slower in any other medium. Since light is an electromagenetic wave this speed is usually called the speed of light. In a wire it depends on how the wire is constructed and is expressed as the velocity facor.

Keep the same lengths