Long ICs versus long speaker cables

I've described my listening room in several previous posts, but basically I'm working with a huge 14x40 space, half of which is my listening area and the other half is an open kitchen dining area. I would like to keep my rack along the long wall and move the speakers back to the short wall (currently I have a nearfield configuration).

My question is: would it be better to purchase 6 meters of speaker cable or a 6 meter IC?

I think I have read here on Audiogon that some amps/preamps, like Shindo, have issues with long interconnects. I currently have Cardas Golden Ref. speaker and IC cables. The Cardas speaker cable is too bulky and inflexible for such a long run. If long speaker wire is the way to go I was thinking of either replacing the Cardas with Audience Au24 or Auditorium 23. I'm open to other suggestions. Thanks!
With the run THAT long, why not meet them halfway, if possible. Do a 3 meter Ic and a 3 meter Speaker cable?
10 feet is NO problem for either one.
(PS I almost once moved to an apt with the main room just as you describe. I would have loved it, I think.)
You will find many opinions as to which is preferable. An optimized setup will outweigh any gains/losses in length of IC vs speaker cable. My main system necessitates the long speaker cable and short IC model and it is the right choice for that room. My secondary system fits that model also but to a lesser extent. From my own perspective, the IC's are conducting very low voltage signals and should be the shortest. Speaker cables have more voltage and current transmitted through them and would be less likely to suffer any signal loss.
I know some folks disagree with you Rhljazz but your logic is also how I see it.
I would go for the longer speaker cable run. A23 cables work well with lengths from 3-8m or so if you decide that direction.
in my home theater I'm using 30 ft ultra-low capacitance IC's from my preamp to the power amps which sit next to my speakers. My speaker cables are 5 ft long.

I'm hardly an authority, but the technical argument I have read says BECAUSE speaker cables carry higher voltage and currents than IC's, they are more subject to capacitive losses, and should therefor be kept short. IC's on the other hand carry lower voltage and current, and also are constructed to minimize capacitive losses.

My experience with my long IC's is I haven't noticed any difference from when I had my pre/pro positioned next to my amps running 2 meter IC's
I would go with the long ICs, I have done so when I was using mono blocks directly behind the speakers. As a matter of practicality I think that you can obtain good quality long ICs much cheaper than long speaker wire. I also have Cardas GR speaker cable and shudder to think of the cost in this length.

I run very long IC's from my pre-amps to my 300b monoblock amps. The IC's are in the walls so they run for 40 feet at least... Bdgregory is right. The professionals that installed my home theater/stereo said it was definitely better to run long IC's than long speaker wire. My system is exceedingly revealing and detailed. The long IC cables have not detracted from those qualities at all.
Mucho gracious all.

I just sent Cardas email with regards to what George Cardas recommends. They said long interconnects and short speaker cables.

As Stanwal pointed out: the cost of long Golden Ref. speaker cables are very expensive; even at a used price, but so are the Golden Ref. ICs. Maybe this long segment will be Golden Cross or something similar instead.

Thanks again!
I feel your pain, my GRs were 1/3 price used and I still paid $850 for 2.5M pair. I don't have GR ICs, I use VDH as they are close but considerably cheaper for me. I would look at some other sources, my long ones are Audio Synthesis Silver Blue with WBT plugs. A version is still in production, you might check on them. See their website, they are a small company but make good things.
As was indicated, opinions on this question will be divided, and there is no unequivocally correct answer. I would add the following to what has been said, though:

1)The higher the output impedance of your preamp, the more important it is to have low total capacitance in the interconnect cable. That means either having shorter length or lower capacitance per unit length, or both. Most preamps will have low enough output impedance that this will not be a concern with typical cables, for a 6 meter run, but that will not always be the case, especially with some tube preamps or with cables that have high capacitance per unit length. If it is a significant effect, the symptom would be upper treble rolloff.

If you wish, let us know what preamp you are using and I can calculate some specific numbers.

2)Assuming the interconnects are unbalanced, longer interconnects can increase the likelihood of ground loop hum and noise problems, due to the increased shield resistance that results from the longer length.

3)Having adequate wire gauge is obviously more critical for the speaker wires if they are longer, or resistance may increase to the point of affecting the bass.

4)Capacitance is, in itself, usually unimportant in speaker cables, because of the very low output impedance of the amplifier. For long cables, inductance may become significant enough to affect the upper treble. Lower speaker impedance at high frequencies increases the likelihood of that effect being significant.

5)Skin effect losses in speaker cables may have marginally significant effects on the upper treble, depending on the cable construction as well as the length. Lower speaker impedance at high frequencies increases the likelihood of that effect being significant.

6)I don't think that there is a clear answer as to whether the fact that larger currents flow through speaker cables, as compared to ic's, means that the various cable effects that fall under the heading of "unexplainable" will be greater or smaller. A case could probably be made either way.

FWIW, assuming your preamp does not have particularly high output impedance, my instinct would be to go with long ic's/short speaker cables.

-- Al
If your ICs runs are very long run balanced. I run 4 meter balanced ICs and 2 foot speaker cables. It gives me the best sound so far.
Hi Al,

Excellent informative post!

I have a Joule LA-150 which has a switchable output impedance of 400 Ohms & 1200 Ohms according to the website. Is that low enough?

This would also explain why several Shindo owners have advised not to use ICs longer than 3 meters for a Shindo preamp. I've been mulling over upgrading the LA-150 or replacing it, that's the only reason why I mention Shindo.

Fortunately most of the Cardas cables have very low capacitance, with the Golden Cross at 25.5 pf/ft, and the Golden Reference at 12 pf/ft in single-ended form (and lower in each case in balanced form, but it looks like the LA-150 only has unbalanced outputs).

25pf/ft x 20 feet (slightly more than 6 meters) = 500 pf.

The capacitive reactance (impedance) of 500 pf at 20kHz is

1/(2 x pi x f x C) = 1/(2 x 3.14 x 20,000 x (500exp-12))
= 15,924 ohms.

That is very comfortably higher than both of the preamp's selectable output impedances. It can be expected that the 400 ohm and 1200 ohm output impedances will vary significantly with frequency, but I suspect that they would only rise significantly above those numbers at deep bass frequencies, where cable capacitance is unimportant.

So I think you will be fine as far as cable capacitance is concerned (with either of those cables), and just go with whichever output impedance sounds better.

Although keep in mind that if your power amp's input impedance is on the low side, meaning in the range of 10K to 30 or 40K or so, the 1200 ohm setting (which probably rises considerably above that number at very low frequencies) could result in some attenuation of the deep bass. That would occur regardless of cable length. If your power amp's input impedance approaches say 75K or 100K, then I'm sure the 1200 ohm setting would be fine in that respect.

As you may be aware, that is sometimes referred to as the 10X rule -- power amp input impedance should be at least ten times greater than the output impedance of the preamp at the frequency for which the output impedance of the preamp is highest, which is usually at 20Hz, especially in the case of a tube preamp.

-- Al
I read a lot about specs on this forum and everytime I assemble a system based on specs I walk away disappointed.

My best sounding systems used either short speaker cable and short interconnects or short speaker cable and long interconnects.

Amplifier manufacturers I have spoke with recommend short speaker wire since it transfers the power to the speakers.
I am faced with the same question in my case and need advice for the following setup:

CD: Nagra CDP
Pre amp: Nagra PLL
Amps: Nagra VPAs
Speakers: Verity Parsifal Ovation

Currently my units are all stacked near each other, leaving a 4m long speaker cable run from the VPAs to the speaker. I am about to order a Purist Proteus Provectus 4m speaker cable but didn't want to make a mistake... Would such a length have a noticeable sound degradation?

Having the amps close to my speakers is highly impractical for me but not impossible. Is it better to get 4m long RCA interconnect cables (XLR is not the best solution for my power amps) in my case and a short speaker cable(considering the specs of the Nagra pre-amp)?

In order for me to go for a long interconnect solution, the sound must be clearly better otherwise the logistics issue that will exist will not be worth the hassle. In any case, I thought that going for a such a high quality speaker cable will minimize or eliminate the negative effect of the long speaker cable run as opposed to the long RCA interconnect...

Opinions appreciated!
Well I can't imagine the price tag on the Purist cable, but maybe you should do yourself a favor and see if you can try some OCOS cable. These are only made for speaker connections and are well known to be suitable for use in long lengths. I use a 5.5m pair in my system. No degradation of sound versus shorter speaker cables I own (including a $2000 pair). If you want, you can double up on the OCOS and use two runs per speaker (not bi-wire, same binding post). This is supposed to yield even better sound. You don't hear much about this brand but it is made by Dynaudio.
Logically I would probably go with what is more cost effective and an eye on the future or heed Elizabeth's suggestion. If you ever change rooms or configurations, it might be hard to get rid of a 6 meter interconnect. Also, at this length, I personally would want to use a balanced interconnect. If my gear did not accept balanced interconnects, I would probably just go with the longer speaker cables.