Part 2: Help me choose a new subwoofer cable...

This is a follow up to my recent thread, "Help me choose new speaker cables," which I found very helpful.

I am moving my equipment out of the listening room. The distance between the preamp and the sub will be long, roughly 30 feet. Unfortunately, I cannot run a balanced connection, since my preamp does not have balanced outputs. My two main questions are...

1. How do I minimize noise, other than getting a shielded cable?

2. How should inductance/capacitance/resistance values inform my selection?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, either with answering these questions or with specific cable suggestions. Thanks!


P.S. My budget is $300-$500.
Hi Bryon,

Inductance and capacitance are non-factors for a line-level sub connection, because their effects, if any, would only be on the upper treble.

Unless, that is, the same preamp outputs are being used (via a y-adapter) to drive the main power amp inputs, or the main power amp and the sub are driven from separate rca jacks on the preamp which are not separately buffered within the preamp. In those situations capacitance would become a consideration, and should be kept to a minimum.

Center conductor resistance is also a non-factor, because as with any line-level interconnect it will be insignificant in relation to the input impedance of the sub or other destination component.

Pickup of high frequency noise is not a concern either, of course, because the sub won't reproduce it.

Shield resistance, which isn't typically specified, can be a factor with respect to the possibility of ground-loop hum. However, the rca inputs of your sub are opto-isolated, which reduces the likelihood of that kind of problem arising.

The bottom line, imo, assuming that the sub and main amp are not driven from a common preamp output stage: Go with whatever strikes your fancy!

Best regards,
-- Al
Al - You are a useful man to have around. Like a one man Wikipedia for A'gon. As always, your help is much appreciated.

Having said that, reading your post gives me the impression that whatever differences may exist among subwoofer cables, they are not particularly audible. Is that your view?
Reading your post gives me the impression that whatever differences may exist among subwoofer cables, they are not particularly audible. Is that your view?
Yes it is, with the exceptions I mentioned of the situation where the sub's amp and the main amp are driven by the same output stage within the preamp, and of possible differences in sensitivity to ground loop issues.

Or, at least, those differences among sub cables that are explainable by generally recognized science are not audible, apart from those exceptions. And given the limited frequency range that the sub is reproducing, and the fact that it has its own amplifier and therefore draws very minimal current from the preamp or whatever may be driving it, I would expect differences that are not explainable by generally recognized science to be minimal or non-existent as well.

However, I should qualify all of that with the disclaimer that I have never used a separate sub.

Best regards,
-- Al
I just upgraded to an Audioquest Sub-X 6 meter subwoofer cable (RCA) from an entry level Monster subwoofer cable I had been using. Great. Love it. It has excellent shielding and 1.25% silver plated solid copper core conductor to reduce distortion. Silver plating is best for longer cable runs since it's an excellent conductor. It comes in a 9 meter length which is almost 30'. You mention your budget is $300.00 to $500.00 but you may want to rethink that. The Audioquest Sub-X 9 meter lists for only $135.00 with RCA connections silver soldered on both ends. There is also a Sub-1 and Sub-3 version for more $$ with a higher percentage of silver plating in the core conductor. These cables also have a convenient separate ground wire that sticks out each end with a spade plug for attaching to any screw on your subwoofer and your preamp or receiver at the other end. This helps to eliminate hum if you end up with that.
Pdn - Thanks for the suggestion. I've been using an Audioquest diamondback sub cable for the past couple years with no complaints.

Al - Thanks again for your advice. I have decided to go with a Blue Jeans LC-1. It could not possibly have been more affordable: $49 for 30 feet. This is a change from my usual habit of spending hundreds on cables, the rationality of which I have started to question over the past several months. Your view about subwoofer cables is another nail in the coffin of my expensive cable habit.