So what is your question?
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I like my equipment rack at my side. Which creates the balanced IC between the pre and amp at (currently) 7 meters. It could be shorter, but with the extra length it can berouted to be unnoticed. My amp is between the speakers behind a chair. And the speaker cables are about 6 ft long.
Speaker cables should be fairly short. With balanced cables to amp the length of the wires from pre to amp do not matter nearly as much.
If i had to use RCa coax cables i would be making the pre to amp wires shorter, and could use 4 meter ones with them no so hidden.
The which os better short speaker cables/ short IC calbes has been discussed a LOT over the years. Used to be short speaker cables, long IC was the standard response. not anymore. Too many do the opposite to say one way is 'better' than the other.
Which basically means you can do what you want that sound better to you.
No one can make the decision for you. No matter what you choose, half will say the other way is better.
Thanks Schubert and Iso. To bring specificity to my question, I am indeed asking opinions on IC vs SC lengths for a run between pre and amp of 3-12 feet vs a run between amp and speakers between 6 and 15 feet. I am currently in position to try 8 and 15 ft SCs with 3, 6 and 12 ft ICs. Just looking for opinions and having fun with audio.
There is no universal answer, as it depends on various technical characteristics of the particular components, as well as on the characteristics of the cables, and the preferences of the listener. Those are among the reasons that opinions and reported experiences on this question tend to diverge.
In your particular case I don't think that the answer is predictable. The 3.8 ohm minimum impedance of your speakers, as reported here, works in the direction of favoring short speaker cables. The very high 1800 ohm or so output impedance of the preamp, as reported here, works in favor of short interconnects. The fact that the interconnects are unbalanced works in favor of short interconnects. Other factors that are sensitive to the length of unbalanced interconnects, such as susceptibility to emi/rfi pickup and susceptibility of the components to ground loop effects, are essentially unpredictable.
And then, of course, there is the question of listener preference, which may or may not favor the most neutral behavior of the cables.
The bottom line: You'll have to try it for yourself, as Elizabeth said.
In trying the long interconnect approach, I would suggest choosing cables having low capacitance per unit length (e.g., 25 pf/foot or less, the lower the better), to minimize upper treble rolloff and slowed transient response that may otherwise result from the interaction between cable capacitance and the high output impedance of the preamp.
Thanks Elizabeth and Almarg. I was aware of the high output impedance of the 3A would beg for shorter ICs. The 4M pair that I was using seemed to diminish dynamics. I must admit that this is my first forum post and the first time that I have been in position to consider and try for myself such options. I for the first time have a dedicated room for my system, so room treatment is another area I am playing with. I think I might just be having to much fun with all this. Mike
Thanks again to all respondees. I also have my equipment rack (sans amp) by my listening chair and am currently running AQ King cobra between sources and pre and pre to amp (6 ft). Am currently using 15 ft Monster Z2 bi-amp cables between Amp and speakers. I intend to explore other speaker cable options. This arrangement proves so far to be superior to the 12ft AQ diamond back and 8 ft kimber kable 8tc combination I was using. IMO the improvement was due to the different ICs. Thoughts on speaker cables?
I didn't realize that cable length affects phase shift. I stumbled into an interesting article by Empirical Audio: Is it better to have short interconnects and long speaker cables or visa-versa? He measured rolloff and phase shift and came to these general conclusions:
- Regardless of the cost of interconnect and speaker cable, it is always better to make the interconnects shorter and the speaker cable longer.
- Inexpensive interconnects should be limited to 1 meter or shorter.
- More optimized interconnects can be as long as 15 meters.
- 11 AWG ZIP used as speaker cable should be limited to 12 feet or shorter.
- More optimized speaker cables can be as long as 40 meters.
It's all about synergies...
I own the AI 3B and before that 3A and have had great success with 20 foot interconnects from the pre to the amps. I should note that the amps (VTL compact 100's) were made with pro market in mind so their sensitivity is somewhat on the high side at 775mV. I use Crimson MusicLink interconnects and speaker cables... FWIW, my speaker cables are 8ft.
Good luck and enjoy.
@ Mesch,I wish you the best of luck!,For the first time,I believe I do not have a recommendation,not for $300.00, for $800.00 and above used,yes I could help,,To tell you the truth,I would invest in some quality cables,they are not out there at that price point!,I sold a Krell 300i not long ago,I put $2,800.00 I/c and $3,600.00 speaker cables on it,talking about wow!that little amp sounded fantastic!,I sold the amp to help me fund a taralabs zero gold i/c that retails for $15,950.00 to go on my main system,yes, Its a krell 700cx,kinda like krell amps!cheers!