Long interconnect cables

Hi All,

I am considering moving my equipment to the side of my listening room and retaining only the amplifiers between the speakers.

If I were to do this it would obviously mean running a longer than normal interconnect from the preamplifier to the monoblocks (maybe around 4 feet). I'd be interested to hear from others who have done this and whether it represents a compromise sound-wise or whether anything can be done to ensure that the sound is not affected.


Don't worry about 4 feed at all.
I would consider 4ft to be short. I would be shocked if you were to hear a difference.
I had a 7m IC between amp/pre for several years. Recently went to 3m IC, could'nt tell the difference.
I am running 15 feet (XLR) with absolutely no problems. Four feet should be no sweat.
Thanks. Is there a certain distance above which it may affect the sound?
Did you mean 4 meters?
If you run XLR there should be no audible difference, if RCA - I don't know, you might hear something. What length do you use now?
Thanks everyone - I think 4 feet was too low. Currently equipment is between speakers so interconnects are the standard 1m to 1.5 m at most. I could see in the future requiring a run of up to 8-10 feet, perhaps more.
I've got an 11' pair between my preamp and monoblocks, but the capacitance is extremely low on these cables. No problem.
The best place for the amp is between the 2 speakers. The best place for the components is far away. I'm running 6 meters with no ill effects.
XLR for long runs over RCA

I do not know the length threshold however

maybe someone else does
I run 25 foot balanced to my front amps, not problem.
The are a variety of factors involved in your question. The single most important question is related to the output impedence of your preamp. In short, the lower the better. Long cables need current from source to drive the signal. The input impedence of your amps are also a factor, and there is a ratio between output Q of preamp to input Q of amp that is ideal. The damping factor of amp can also be a factor. Today, generally, 50 ohms is considered a low output Q. (Personally, I like lower still. There is no substitute for current or horsepower...) You should have no problem driving up to a 10 meter length of single ended (RCA) cable if the output of your preamp is in the 50 ohm range and the input of your amps are in 50 - 125K range. As a final thought, you will also want to keep the capacitance of the cable relatively low.
In this context, I'm driving a 7.5 M S/E cable effortlessly.
Hope this helps.
Is there a certain distance above which it may affect the sound?
A generally applicable threshold can't be defined, because many system dependent variables are involved. IMO, though, 10 feet is unlikely to be a problem in most systems.

Relevant variables include the output impedance of the component driving the cable; the capacitance per unit length of the particular cable; whether the interface is balanced (xlr) or unbalanced (rca); the susceptibility of the particular components to ground loop issues (particularly for unbalanced interconnections); the resistance of the shield or other return conductor in the cable (particularly for unbalanced interconnections); the rfi/emi environment; and the synergy or lack thereof between the sonic effects of the cable and the overall sonic character of the system.

-- Al
I run 35 feet of balance XLR's from preamp to amps, no problem.
No issues at all, especially if you run balanced cables (XLR connectors). I have done it that way for over 10 years and I am very pleased with the result. My room is set up the same way as what you are planning to do, front end audio gear in a cabinet along the side wall, speakers along the front wall with amps next to them, and 35 foot long balanced Interconnects used with no problems. Short speaker cables (4 footers.) Go for it I say. Balanced also lowers the noise floor (in my experience) and alleviates the potential for system hum, which is much more likely if you run long single ended I.C.'s with RCA plugs.
Im running 21FT single ended sounds better than balanced,my amp is Rowland 8T with Thoress preamp which is tubes line and phono.