I have read you should use longer interconnects and shorter speaker cables. For my momoblocks I use 5' or 6' cables. I think it depends on your personal room set-up and/or how happy are you with your current cables. When if ever do you see yourself upgrading them?
Go as short as possible. The shorter the distance on speaker cable the better the sound, and you can get higher quality cable for less $. I have frequently seen used cable in the 4 to 5 foot lengths here on Audiogon. It typically sells at the same ratio (new/used) as longer (i.e. standard) 8 foot runs--so I wouldn't concern yourself about the resale issue to much.
The only thing you should think about is whether you always plan on having mono's in your system. I own a 4' biwire run of AQ Sterling and Clear. I'm VERY happy with the cables but am in the market for a new amp/monos. With the cost of the original cables factored in I'm kicking myself for not getting 8' runs for the added flexibility. Good luck with the decision. By the way, what cables do you have?
I went from 7' speaker cables to 18" ones, using monoblocks. Nothing else changed, the cables were both Stealth Ultimate Ribbon. The improvement with 18" was huge! The subjective impression is of having the music MUCH CLOSER. If you can manage it, with monoblocks, I'd make the cables MUCH shorter than 4' or 5'. It might be better, more cost-effective, to sell your present cables and replace them by new short ones.
I have used both 18 inch and 8 foot speaker cables in the past with my monos, but with cables by different manufacturers so I couldn't give you a meaningful sonic comparison. For what it's worth, I replaced the shorter runs with the longer, and the longer ones (Dunlavy) sounded better than the shorter ones (Siltech FT-12), in my system (at the time, Jadis JA80s into Duntech Princesses). I still agree with the thinking that shorter should probably be better, although with my current setup I need 8 foot lengths. I will note that it was VERY difficult to sell the short pair. I think once you get to 3 or 4 foot lengths, the resale factor may go away, but you will still probably be limiting your market to owners of monoblocs unless you go with a longer length. And given your uncertainty about your future listening room requirements, you may be better off waiting until those plans firm up before doing something to your cables. Hope this helps a little.
Thanks for the responses. Sounds like chopping the cables into two sets is ultimately the way to go, although, perhaps not right now.
The cables are Tara "The Ones"
Audioman; I'm facing the same decision, and I've decided to keep my long speaker cables, then buy an 8 ft. pair of the same brand cables-- used, eg from Audiogon, and have them cut and terminated to less than 3 ft. for use in bi-amping. Good Luck. Craig
I,d ask TARA what there cut and termination charge is first.Some cable co. charge huge sums for this.
My mono blocks sit right under my stand-mounted speakers. Because the stands are quite tall, the amps are nowhere near the first reflection point. You cna also put them behind or to the side. Depends on the speakers. You of course do not want to block a reflex port or a low hanging woofer!
WAF issues resulted in my hanging my monos under the speakers' floor joists, then running 8' cables through the floor at the baseboards. Nice result: hidden (and cooler-running!) Class A monos, and only 8' cables. (Long UNinsulated Red Dawn XLR'd ICs are DEAD quiet, too). I had thought about sitting the Alephs right up against the speakers, but was told twice that 1.5m was the magical minimum cable length (!)...and then my spouse weighed in....so I decided to hide 'em. Good Luck!
I think you should have the 5 way binding posts of your amps permanently welded directly to the binding posts on your speakers.
Advantages: Shortest length of wire - 0, and the old saying "The best wire is no wire", also you can sell your speaker cables at their current length.
Disadvantages: lose resale value on amps and speakers. Probably will result in an extremely heavy speaker/amp assempbly and make it hard to move around.
I am using 4' bi-wire cables and this seems to be a comfortable length for my setup. God bless.
I invite you all to take a look to the thread "Silver vs. Copper, Effect of length" started on 3-21-01: there is a very accurate followup that explains why SHORT interconnects are to be preferred to LONG ones.
Now: who's right?
Like Welfed, I use 4' speaker cables with my monoblocks, and find that a comfortable length as well.
I'd suggest proceeding with caution, and if possible listen and compare before doing something irreversable to your cables.
I'm certainly no expert, but it seems that each model/brand of cables has it's own unique characteristics. Just because Joe Blow's Kimber, AQs, Cardas, whatever sound good in 5 ft. runs doesn't mean your TARAs will. For example: we don't make our Golden Helix cables shorter than 8 ft. because their good sound is greatly degraded in shorter lengths. But, I'm pretty sure this isn't true for all cables. Hope this is helpful input.
Hi Eldon; your input is certainly useful for Mapleshade cables. BUT, if you want to try out other shorter spkr cables, at some point you've got to "pay the price". I have used 14 ft. Syn. Res. cables for years, but I'm going to bi-amps, and could then use about 3 ft. cables.
The cheapest way for me to try them is to buy a 6-8 ft. pair used and have them cut (for bi-wires) and re-terminated. I intend to keep my 14 ft. cables at least ubtil I find out whether or not the 3 ft. ones sound better. There is a "particle" of financial risk in many things audio. No? You suggest "caution" re cutting speaker cables-- well, how would you do this test cheaper? Note: long (read expensive) ICs will be needed also. At some point, one just has to "bite the bullet" and do it, IMO. Cheers. Craig.
Long interconnects and very short loudspeaker cables sound better than short interconnects and long speaker cables in VERY close to 100% of "all cases"! - and it's not too difficult to explain why: interconencts are
voltage-driven" (almost no current) and there is practically no signal quality degradation in properly made interconencts, but loudspeaker cables carry very considerable current, so there is definitely a signal degradation in long speaker cables - which was confirmed by numerous listening tests on many different systems.
Craig. Your point is well taken. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet.
Audiopman's post seemed to be focused on the preferred cable length when used with Monoblocks. From what I've been taught, it's important to ask "What's the optimum length for my brand of cables".
Actually, Eldon's post confirms a similar statement that another cable manufacturer, now no longer actively making cables, told me a few years ago, which I had not noted earlier because I didn't really believe it. He had found that 8 foot minimum lengths of his cable sounded better than shorter ones, and that some cable manufacturers felt likewise, which was why they demoed with cables of that length. I don't recall his explanation, and I don't know if I would have believed him anyway, but I'd be interested if anyone has a scientific or other explanation.
Eldon & RCprince:
Excellent points!! They led me to contacting Tara (I should have done this in the first place).
To clarify, my intent, I was actually simply trying to determine whether or not I would ever need more than 4.5 feet of cable length. This would be the max length I would get after cutting my cables. I didn't want to regret cutting these great cables in a different room application. I think the earlier posts answered this pretty well. It seem that no one with dedicated mono cables felt that any more than 4 feet would be necessary.
On your subject though, and one I had not really considered too carefully, it makes sense that different cables might had varying "optimal" lengths. Based upon this, I contacted Tara and sure enough, they recommended not reducing the length any shorter than 4 feet. Below this length, they felt there was a reduction in performance. They stated that "The Ones" highs would be slightly rolled off and that some "airiness" and extension would be compromised. Just over four feet, they felt ther might still be some losses, however, the traditional benefits of the shorter mono configuration should more than make up for the losses.
The reason for compromised performance (as applicable to Tara's cables) is that they utilize 5-6 inch pigtails at the end of their fully shielded cable. These pigtails are considerably more flexible for manipulation and hookup than the very stiff main cable. They are not RFI sheilded to the extent of the main cable, however. The ratio of the shielded portion to pigtail lengths must be maintained at a minimum point (> 4 feet total length) to realize "The One's" optimal benefits.
Just goes to show you how complex and case by case specific this audio stuff can get. Given the above, I don't even know if I'll cut hese things yet.
Thanks again for the new threads of thought.