NO,at the speed the signal travels you won't hear a difference.
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Of course length matters, but you won't hear a significant differnce with the lengths in question. The speed at which electricity propogates thru the conductors has less to do with what's going on....than does the cumulative insertion losses due to capacitance, resistance, and the various types of inductance and reactance. ALL OF THESE increase with longer runs of ANY cable (interconnect or speaker cable). This cannot be avoided, it's just basic physics. THERE'S NO GETTING AROUND INSERTION LOSSES, but the difference between 8 ft and 12 ft is nothing to worry about. The differences in "sound quality" would be radically less than, say the differences heard going from one manufacturer's cable, to another's.
All speaker cable is bad, the shorter the better. Why would you want the extra cost and sound issues of 12ft cables? Most audiophiles have speakers set in "near field" position forming 6-9ft equilateral triangle with listening position. 8ft should be plenty, even 6ft can work, bi-amp systems can be even shorter. If you want equipment rack on side wall use long run of interconnect to amp which remains on floor centered between speakers....regards Sam
Hi Carl, Sam, Thanks for your thoughts, they helped ease some tension I need to keep my rack on one side of my system for now, forcing me to use longer cables than I would normally use. I hadn't thought of longer interconnects with amp in center, hmmm... Going from an expensive 1 meter to a 3 meter interconnect seems a little impractical financially, and might that not create as many problems as it solves?
Most cable Gurus prefer longer interconnect to amp, as oppossed to long speaker cables. Every system is different cost wise depending on your cables, but for HT 12ft of Pro-9 speaker cable will run you $1180 new, and 12ft of Truthlink interconnect will run $555. Ideally empty space would be between speakers to maximize imaging and soundstage, but I have small equipment rack against rear wall centered between speakers which are pulled out 5ft from rear wall. This keeps all my cables and interconnects short, but I give up a little soundstaging with rack in center....Regards Sam
The other advantage using a long interconnect to amp run as opposed to long speaker cables is that you can use balanced cables for the interconnect. Though I don't think that XLR helps a lot in short lengths, it does in long ones since most interference that the wire picks up along the way (antenna effect, EM inducted currents...) should be cancelled out by the balanced cables. Speaker cables can't do that. Also for most cable questions check out www.cardas.com. They have a great tech section where they explain a lot of the physics involved in cables.