Size doesn't matter! Seriously. Not at audio frequencies.
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Intuitively, I'd say that's ridiculous, as the more cable length there is, the more capaciotance, inductance and resistance there is, along with all the other magical things that no one understands in cables. This is gennerally accepted to be true for speaker cables. In reality, though, I don't have nay first hand experience with trying different lengths of the same type of interconnect. They may be right. On the other hand, they may be trying to sell you more stuff. Are the cables in question significant $$$? Is there much difference in the .5M vs. 1M cables' cost? Do they have the .5M lengths in stock? Are the cables they are pushing available in .5M length? Could be they are just afraid you will buy something from someone else, or are too lazy to order the cable you want.
Did a weekend shootout once between my Kimber Silver Streak .5m vs. 1m vs. 2m. Tried them all between my Shanling T-100 and Audible Illusions pre, then between the pre and Nuforce Ref 9s. Darned if I could hear any difference at all.
When I brought this up one time, the pro at my local shop (AZ Tube Audio) told me they're just trying to sell you more expensive cables, as .5m are always cheaper. I think he was right. Thanks Dan!
0.5M of analog interconnect would in no way "hinder" the sound at all verses the 1.0 or 1.5M lengths.
You may save a bit of money with that length over the 1.0/1.5M sizes, but it may effect your resale of the cable as it limits placement and component configuration. Many like the flexibility of the 1M length..just a thought.
Only digital cable such as 75ohm S/PDIF coax type or toslink is recommended to use as a standard 0.75M length connect( speed/velocity propagation theory)
The only reason interconnect that short could harm sound is if it caused stress or loading (feedback) between two components that should not be mechanically connected.
Perfect example is turntable to phono stage or phono stage to preamp. This is not always an issue, depends on design of equipment, if tube or transistor and lots of other things.
Many cables have a minimum charge that covers up to 1 meter. Buying .5 meter may save ZERO money and harm resale if you should decide later to sell to upgrade.
Too, most cables have a basic charge and the .5 meter increments are a tiny fraction of the cost, meaning little money is saved, even if there is a discount for the shorter length.
An example is the Purist Museaus, 1 meter is $300.00. .5 meter is $260.00 (these are retail prices but you get the idea).
Agree with all above.
The only reason to go with 1 meter instead of 1/2 meter is resale value and moving the stuff around.
I have in the past made wires that were 'just enough' and they are usually never enough a year later.
Go with the 1/2 if you are certain that is what you want.
The one meter is better for folks who:
Change cables, and move the stuff around.
The only cable that 1/2 meter is not good is for a digital connection. The research on this shows a too short digital cable creates jitter or something due to reflections. So for connecting Transports to D/As with SPDIF use a longer cable. At least 1 meter.
For analog I have never heard any difference in the audio sound for interconnect lengths less than 3m (which is all I've experienced in a controlled setting). It is conceivable that there are circumstances where 60Hz or RF pickup is a problem and you get a "lucky break" by using the shorter 0.5m length. (I use single-ended.)
I have used 0.5m lengths in the past but changed them all out for 1m...The 0.5m lengths are just too inflexible when it comes to positioning even adjacent components. Also, this short length puts more pressure on the connectors and can transfer vibrations (although I can't say I have actually noticed problems from this).
One advantage of 0.5m is that they are cheap second hand...But I think everyone responding on this thread knows why that is.
Elizabeth talks about length effecting digital signals. There is a long thread about this here:
Basically, the issue raised in that link with digital (where the (fourier) frequencies are much higher than audio) is that reflections can add to the main signal just at the time the dac is deciding to accept the next digit. This leads to jitter which is a bane for digital music. The article says that the exact optimal length for digital interconnects is very system dependent on just how a particular dac accepts the incoming waveform.
For the most part I agree with all the posts above. One could argue that greater lengths of interconnects might allow for more seperation between components, which might allow for greater heat and vibration dissapation as well as less opportunity for things like RFI and EMI to be shared between components.
Following up on my original Thread, I contacted my local audio dealer (who I consider very reputable). He went on to explain that the shorter Interconnect applies to "Silver Cables Only".
With Silver Cables, when using a longer length...it allows the higher frequency to catch up with the lower frequency, thus presenting a more balanced sound.
This conversation initiated due to my interest in the Nordost Red Dawn Line
My Bryston B-60 has Pre-Outs & Main Ins that were originally connected by a little brass U-bar. I read lots of recommendations from people that suggested upgrading to Tara Labs RSC link...basically...about a 2-3 INCH interconnect.
If too short was not good for an analogue link...then I would assume that there would be fewer recommendations for this and more for upgrading the U-bars to full size (0.5m+) interconnects.
I have tried both the links and a pair of .5m ICs and have found no apparent difference. There was however a difference when upgrading from the stock Ubars.
just my 2c.
With Silver Cables, when using a longer length...it allows the higher frequency to catch up with the lower frequency, thus presenting a more balanced sound.As this dealer has wealth of knowledge and real insight, you need to ask him how the high frequencies got behind the lows. Also ask him what type of high frequency accelerator the silver cables use.
Good grief, how is it that you've found "several" dealers willing to feed you this kind of crap in order to help nothing but their bottom lines? Is it really that bad out there these days? Forget the wacky explanations you've been offered by these either cynical or ignorant dealers (no matter what the conductor material), however most everything stated in this thread is right on. You'll be best off sonically -- at least in theory if not always detectably -- and in your pocketbook, if you buy the shortest interconnect length that will COMFORTABLY make the connection (the caveat about resaleability for lengths under 1m notwithstanding). That means no sharp bends in the cables. As has been said above, consider the flexibility to place your new cables between various components, not all of which may be adjacent to one another, before making the committment to a shorter length, unless you have a very simple system like one source plus an integrated. Most often there isn't a significant advantage (sonic or budgetary) to investing in a length under 1m, unless excess length would actually create a routing problem.