I truly believe that in a blind A/B test one could not tell the difference if we are talking shorter distances such as .5/M. 1/M, 1.5/M. Cosmetically, it could look better. Would it be worth the extra expense?
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said above:> "Hardly any current on the interconnects. 1/2m, 1m, 3m... no difference or none to speak of. Speaker cables, that's another story.."
Not sure exactly what that means but it seems to infer that
you do not have to worry about interconnect length because there is so little current. Actually that is precisely why you should be concerned in many instances. Long interconnects can present a lot of capacitance to the signal source which is difficult for them to drive because of the limited current. Power amps (pushing speaker cables) chave higher current capability and it is far easier for them to drive the added capacitance. In addition, you will generally pick up more noise in ICs than speaker cables.
If vinyl isn't involved a few inches probably won't matter.
Actually "less is more". How many times do high-end companies brag that their new series pre, power...whatever component has a shorter signal path...shorter traces on printed circuit boards...shorter wire paths, etc.
I had the chance to speak with the owner/designer of some very high-end cables..and had mentioned that a "salesperson" had advised me to buy 1m. cables because they were the optimum length and that the .5m (which would serve my need then) would not sound as good. This owner/designer said the salesperson was just trying to sell me up (likely because of what they had in stock as well). He said the shorter the better...always...and he used the analogy of making all the wires inside your high-end pre-amp longer...you just wouldn't do it. He asked me not to mention his name/company on the net..and I won't.
However...as mentioned above, the 1m. would be easier to resale and if your storage changes in the future the .5m. could prove to be too short.
I think shorter is better. I have heard the difference. I make my own cables, so I can make long ones and short ones and have spares lying around since they're so cheap. As I understand capacitance is the most importance factor in interconnect sound, and halving the length of cable will substantially reduce the capacitance (not halve it because of the capacitance of the plugs).
I'd get one short cable on sale-or-return and find out if I could hear a difference. Perhaps you won't, but science says you might.
I use 3m + 6m XLRs between pre and monos, and then 2.4m speaker cables. The system is dead quiet, linear, and highly resolving. Changing the ICs resulted in little change. Changing the cables was more noticeable, so I'm glad the cables aren't the longer ones!
I'd be more concerned only if the longer ICs weren't balanced. Good luck.
I have kind of the same scenario as Drubin, maybe a little worse. I have 3 monoblocks behind a screenwall. My current i/c run is 40ft (transparent ref w/xl). my speaker run is 8ft. Now I want to upgrade cables & if I can shorten the i/c run to around 20-25ft would this make much of a difference. on the other hand what would I be looking at if I had a 20ft speaker run along with about a 2-3meter i/c?
all these opinions - many backed up by with NO experience:
I have a source component that consistently sounds better with shorter cabling: it really sounds much better HF-wise with 1/2 meter cabling than longer (& I'm talking about $1000 a pair cables here folks).
As always, it depends, & YMMV. There are NO absolutes in this hobby. Try it for yourself & always see (hear) what YOU prefer in YOUR OWN rig.
Bob's point is well taken. Too many posts are opinions only and not from use/ownership of the product/item in question.
That said, I had used .5m vs. 1m Wireword Gold Eclipse III and Nordost Quatrofil .6m(they do this not .5m?) vs. 1m. and in both cases the shorter cable had better PRAT/timing and ease of listening than the longer.
Just my history with the "long and short of it".
Whatjd: yes, Quattro et alia (Clearaudio) are in 0,6 -- allegedly better length than the 0,5 for some electrical reason. I don't think they charge extra for the 0,1 :).
I had only one experience, with SPM. It was 0,5 -- 0,6 -- 1,0/ used b/ween cdp->active pre. I'm nuts, I know, but the 0,6 was best, 1,0 came second. The highs as noted before...
0.6m is better than 0.5m ? Now I have heard it all. Someone has really got to give me an explanation for that.
Drubin ... I have read that long interconnects are better than long speaker cables, especially if you have the option of balanced interconnects. However with single ended interconnects I guess it would depend on your preamp. Some preamps are designed specifically to be able to handle the capacitance of longer interconnects, others may not be.
Unfortunately I can't give you a scientific explanation of why higher capacitance of long interconnects is better than higher inductance of long speaker cables ... I just read that it was so.
PS..When I noted above that in my experience shorter was not always better, it really was a system related comment. I've played with systems that were already a little too analytical; so a shorter cable that makes the system even more detailed, etc, was the wrong way to go. A longer cable smoothed things out.
I do agree that generally speaking, the shorter the better for unbalanced interconnects.
Sugarbrie ... I think your explanation is good ... an over-bright system might prefer longer cables. I was refering to an electrical/physics reason why a longer cable might pass a signal with less degradation ... that I just can't believe. Not with a baseband signal. RF is a different matter because of transmission line effects.