Does the length of the Cable matter?

I've got to rig a 15 ft cable to my turntable.

A Mistake?

The sales person says no.



Yes it matters. Do to the low output of the TT. Phono cables are constructed differently than standard interconnects. The shorter the better. 1.5 meter length would be the max length to use and that length would be based on a very high quality cable. I’m not sure you can even buy a phono cable at 15 feet.

‘You will get sound out of the TT at 15 feet but the sound quality will be diminished.

‘Give it a try. If your happy with the results that’s all that matters.

Joe Nies

Out to your IA or Pre? 

Then it is just RCA out? 

DO you have a balanced option? 

What is your set-up? 

Is it an RCA to RCA cable, or a DIN from tonearm to RCA? easy to find and use long RCA to RCA. A bit harder to get a long DIN to RCA

Lots of people believe keeping phono cables short is important.

I ordered a custom 8 ft DIN/RCA cable for my 3rd arm from Pine Tree. Compared it to it’s OEM short cable, heard zero difference.

I would try your TT temporarily placed to use a short cable, then use an inexpensive long rca cable, hear any difference? Don’t forget some slack to turn equipment to have access to the rear jacks.

Then, buy a higher quality cable? Based on the Tonearm maker’s recommendation, I bought a high end Ortofon phono cable, didn’t hear any improvement than inexpensive cable I was using while awaiting delivery.

btw, if you have no choice, you have no choice!

Thanks guys!

I"m running a mid 80s Denon Reciver to a Technics 1500 turntable which has a built in Preamp.

More opinions would be greatly appreciated.  Need to make a decision.

The owner of accusound cable said he thinks you could go up to 100' without a degradation in quality. I find that surprising, but that's what he said.

Since your TT has a phono preamp built in, there is no problem going with a 15 foot cable. It’s a line level output from the phono preamp to your preamp line level input.  If cable was coming from TT (no phono preamp built in) to your preamp phono input then a short phono cable should be used for best results.
‘Joe Nies

For line level gear and speakers no.

Turntables are far below line level gear! The biggest potential issue is noise pick up at that distance.  If it's a mistake you will hear it quickly.

Unless I’m mistaken, the input impedance of your phono preamp is 47,000 Ohms. This means an increase in impedance from a long length makes no difference.

Shielding is the next thing. I have a 1.5m length phono cable. If that shielded phono cable crosses a power cord, I get a slight hum. Therefore make sure your long phono cable doesn’t get too close to a power cable.

The 15’ of cable would definitely be a mistake if your turnable is 16’ feet away from the phono stage.  Otherwise, you should be fine.

At 15 feet you may be entering balanced connection territory to eliminate hum and provide a stronger signal. Just my thought. I’d be most worried about hum. 

IF hum is a problem, adapters exist to convert from rca to Balanced, simply to use a better noise resistant balanced cable for the run.

convert TT preamp out RCA to Balanced, then at the amp convert back from balanced to RCA.

female and male versions exist


various options


As a general rule, as I have been told by repeated 'experts', keep the interconnects as short as possible, ~1 meter.  Amp to speakers can be much longer, but use high quality speaker cable, not lamp cord....


IF hum is a problem, adapters exist to convert from rca to Balanced, simply to use a better noise resistant balanced cable for the run.

Using an RCA to XLR adapter does not convert the signal to balanced; the signal will remain unbalanced. As for a noise resistant cable, that’s actually more likely to be an RCA cable. Balanced interconnects usually start with an assumption that they’ll be used in a true balanced circuit, where they’ll benefit from common mode noise rejection.

A phono cartridge is technically a balanced (floating) source. It only becomes unbalanced when you use it with a single ended preamp.

All cables are tone control by nature, longer cables will have more effect. Maybe the first cable you will try will not be satisfactory. A shielded cable may affect the top end from its capacitance and at this length an unshielded cable may pickup hum. Also the dielectric of the cable degrades the low level texture of the music, accumulating over the length of the cable.

To maximize the SQ at that length, a DIY approached would be to build and experiment with RCAs  assembled from a pair of spaced cotton covered bare wire, or with a central the cotton wire with layers of further cotton dielectric sleeve to get a diameter of 3/8 and fish the assembly in a 3/8 tin copper braid to get a shielded RCA of lowed capacitance.


thanks for the clarification. Is the construction of a balanced cable more resistant to interference than a typically shielded rca cable, that was my assumption to suggest the conversion.

Over the years, I've used long and inexpensive rca cables, even 25lf to reach a sub, with no hum or problems, so I think OP should be ok.