If I were going to do something like that in my system, I would only do it if I could run balanced between the amp and preamp/pre-pro.Long speaker cables act as antennae, so unless the shielding on the speaker cable is subpar, you may be better off leaving things as they are.
Long interconnects are much more desireable verus long speaker cables. Keep you speaker cable as short as possible. Yes, balanced is better if your equipment has that connection or termination. Also, a positive of moving eveything with the exception of your amp away from your speakers is the impoved imaging and sound stage. Ideally you do not want anything in from of you except your speakers.
You may or may not experience hum & noise pickup problems from running a long unbalanced interconnect. I've read of others doing so with no problems at all; it depends upon the impedances at source & load in addition to the particular cable in use. The only way to know for sure is to try it. You may be able to borrow some long interconnects (& speaker cables) of your preference from Cable Company (www.fatwyre.com). For this testing, they need not be exactly the length you need permenently (just move some things around if necessary). Incidentally, Cable Co's nominal cable rental fees are applicable to any future purchases of anything that they sell. Theoretically you're better off with shorter speaker cables & longer interconnects, although as always YMMV. I've always been forced to use longer speaker cables due to room-architecture; frankly I don't worry about it & these speaker runs are even a bit longer than yours are. I much prefer a networked speaker cable design for my longer runs, MIT T2, T3 or T4 would be good for your theater application. At that 4 to 5 meter length I wouldn't expect a great deal of difference one way or the other though. You'd have to try it out yourself to find out, but remember that these are only the surrounds anyway so not worth significant expenditure IMO. In any case be sure to use a decent quality cable; if you have only zip cord etc. then definitely do something about that right away.
As this is just the rear channels I was thinking of using some Audioquest Diamondback or Coral. I'm not too familiar with the MIT line, but I will research them. I don't want to go overboard on cable, but considering that I will be plugging into a Bryston 4B-ST and powering some N805s for the rears I want to make sure I don't choke the signal too much. Thanks for the input.
Based on recent experience I'm convinced that something almost no one seems to address, except perhaps indirectly through mention of specific cable types, is the question of wire gauge. For a more detailed description of my experience, you can check my response in this section under "any experience using better cables?", but essentially I have had very favorable results in a bi-wire configuration using 30' runs of 10 gauge appliance wire purchased at Home Depot for 14 cents/ft., total cost less than $17. On the other hand, as I indicated in that other message, I am convinced that interconnects generally play a much larger role in these matters than does speaker cable. But-and this is perhaps a big BUT-all such discussions must be seen in the overall context of interactions among the various items in the system.
In contrast to much of what appears above, I would like to point out a few things:
1: Music is an AC waveform and is mostly made up of voltage (read amplitude) varriations for volume, and frequency varriations for the obvious.
2: interconnects carry the low voltage ( 0.25mV ~ 2.5V nominal) stuff between components.
3: Speaker cables carry the high voltage (2.0 ~ 40+? how loud do you go @ what power?) stuff.
If you loose X% per meter, the losses will be more noticable in the interconnect than in the speaker wire.
I have yet to see speaker wire act as an antenna, and I live under one of the largest broadcasting towers in the West - Twin Peaks!. [ I did have some problems in my phono section, but some better wire inside the pre-amp and some ferrite made it go away.]
I have tried this kind of comparison with two very good cable types, NBS Monitor 0 and Cardas Golden Reference, and both times I found that there was a noticeable improvement when I used shorter speaker cables and a longer preamp-power amp interconnect instead of a shorter interconnect and longer speaker cables. (The range of lengths ran 1 vs 3 meters on the interconnects, and 4 vs. 10 feet on the speaker cables.) This remained true when I switched preamps, power amps and speakers.
Heres some more food for thought -- I agree with the voltage references in 6bq5's post, BUT part of the analysis could lead one to perceive the wrong solution... Termination at line level is typically 10K-200K ohms; At the speaker, the termination is typically .5 to 20 ohms, depending on the frequency and mostly the speaker. Therefore one could conclude that the resistance of cable created in long lengths has more effect on the lower resistance termination, due to the increase in current in the network. When current is limited by resistance in cable, amplitude will also be limited. In most cases, reducing dynamics and resolution. Personal experience and theoretically speaking tells me that short cable lengths are more important for speakers rather than interconnects.
Balanced vs. SE -- your mileage will vary due to all of the items listed in the previous posts...
Ck your amps specs. If your amp only needs 1 volt or close to reach rated output you will be just fine with a long IC. Use a good ic with a shield. Don't use MIT. MIT is garbage in my opinion in my experience. Kimber makes good cable. Use the best Kimber you can afford. You should be just fine with the longer IC. I use a 20ft ic although its Bal which is better for longer runs. There is other cable besides Kimber that is good. Kimber is a proven cable and a safe choice. MIT chokes the sound.
I cannot emphatically disagree more with Mikec's assessment of MIT. This is my last & final statement regarding the issue & I am not going to participate in any cable arguments (or for that matter any arguments - go to Audio Outcasts.com for plenty of that experience if desired). As previously stated: YMMV. They didn't work well for Mike's situation; they have worked wonderfully for my situation in more than one case. YMMV & then again, YMMV...
I've read, in TAS I think, that the reviewer considered a minimum length of around 8' for speaker cables to be desireable in order to get a good measure of their sonic performance. This seems to fall in line with current thinking about power cords. In many cases we all would love to have these shorter than the 'standard' 6 feet. IMHO, using the typical 8-10 foot speaker cables with "long enough" interconnects might be the best bet soundwise. It certainly won't be the cheapest way, but it will offer the most system flexibility and facilitate buying and resale.
Bob not to get into it with you. We have tested the MIT against many other brands on many different set ups. It rolls the top off and just chokes the sound. Have you ever tried anything else. Anyway to each his own. I'm glad you like MIT. I think its inferior cable. So does everyone in the shop. They won't even carry it. Until you have compared MIT to other brands its not a valid statement. What have you compared MIT too? Really i don't care. I don't recommend it to my friends and customers. It's that simple. I'm glad you like MIT and i wish you all the best.
I'm not going to argue cables, but provide my recent system line-level and speaker recabling exercise..... ALL of my MIT is in the garage waiting to be sold... However, my MIT Spectral speaker cable was as good as AQ Volcano on my system at 8x the price for the same length (for the Volcano vs. used on Audiogon). Wound up with AQ KE-4, which I feel is a bargain for the performance. I had the opposite experience between the Amp and Pre-Amp where a $450 MSRP Cable blew away my MIT Bla, bla, bla proline covered with boxes thing @ $2100 MSRP. I replaced my Kimber with the MIT that I just replaced.... Moral of the story -- You have to get what is right for your current system, your wallet and your ears. As you change components, your cable may no longer be appropriate. A lot of a cable match with a system's synergy has to do with the impediance created by the entire network from the components in the system. I have tested on the order of 15-20 interconnects and 20 speaker cable sets over the course of 6 months, and kept one combination that makes my stereo WORK. I have had people very familiar with my equipment taking close looks at the rack, accusing me of spending $$ on NOS tubes, ect.