Uneven speaker cable lengths?

I switched back to Vandersteens a while back and am trying to extract the last bit out of the setup. I have been using Cardas Clear with great success. However Clear can not be biwired, and Clear Beyond is out of my range.

Would I notice a difference if I use a 2m pair on one side and a 3m pair on the other side.

I am currently trying Clear Reflection biwired, and the biwired setup is an improvement in many ways. But the Clear is more to my liking.
I would say it is unlikely that you would notice a difference; however, you might consider going with equal lengths for the high and low inputs rather than left and right. The length of the cable has a direct impact on resistance which has a direct result on volume level. It is unlikely, but theoretically possible that you could detect a level imbalance. I think that would be a more significant potential issue compared to any timing issues from the difference in length.

The real question is what do you believe? Will you every be satisfied knowing you have unequal lengths?

Different lengths will affect the imaging and coherence.

Take a look at the answer for the bi-wire question at Vandersteen FAQ.
Many people will tell you that it won't make any difference. On the other hand if you believe that cables affect sound then most likely this effect will be proportional to the length of the cable. I might not be able to hear the difference but I would never shorten the cable - it will be difficult to sell.
In theory, a longer cable will have higher resistance.
This will influence the damping factor of your amplifier, which will, again in theory influence the ability of your amplifier to have control over your loudspeakers, wihich would be a little diffirent for both loudspeakers.
I think the question can it be heard all depends on the system, the listener and the length the cables differ.

You state you want to extrct every last bit out of your set-up, than I wouldn't use different lengths:)
This question has been discussed here in a number of prior threads, usually involving greater cable lengths and greater cable length differentials than you are considering. As is often the case in cable-related discussions, there has not been a clear consensus.

I almost always agree with my learned A'gon colleague Tony (Tls49), and I am certainly hesitant to disagree with the estimable Mr. Vandersteen, but in this case I see it differently than both of them.

**If** the cables are chosen such that their intrinsic sonic characteristics and the interaction of their technical characteristics with the particular amp and speakers result in the longer cable behaving in an essentially neutral manner (i.e., having insignificant effects on the signal), then the shorter one will too.

**If** on the other hand the cables are chosen such that the longer cable DOES NOT behave in an essentially neutral manner in the particular application, then it seems to me that there is no way to predict which of the following two alternatives will be better/preferable:

(a)Using two 3-meter lengths, thereby avoiding the possibility Mr. Vandersteen mentions of compromising imaging and coherence.

(b)Using one 3-meter length and one 2-meter length, thereby reducing/minimizing the sonic effects of the cable in one channel.

Given that a speaker cable can potentially affect a lot more than just imaging and coherence, with the degree of each kind of effect having little or no predictability, I see no reason to rule out the possibility that (b) might actually sound BETTER than (a).

Personally, though, considering the lengths that are involved in this particular case my suspicion is that it won't make a significant difference, or even a perceivable difference, either way.

-- Al
This will influence the damping factor of your amplifier, which will, again in theory influence the ability of your amplifier to have control over your loudspeakers, wihich would be a little diffirent for both loudspeakers.

Difference of 1m both ways equals roughly to 6ft. Asssuming 14 gauge wire 6ft x 0.004ohm/ft=0.024ohm. Impedance of speaker itself is mostly resistive. Assuming 3ohm for 4ohm speaker, change in overall impedance is 0.8%.

Additional meter of wire will add inductance of 3uH causing about 0.4ohm of additional inductive reactance at 20kHz. Again, it might not be audible since tweeter's impedance increases with frequency.
The audiophile dogma is that listening trumps theory. Has anybody actually heard a difference when using unmatched cable lengths?
Probably won't make a noticeable difference but certainly could so the safe bet is to just keep them equal.
Probably won't make a noticeable difference but certainly could so the safe bet is to just keep them equal.
But as I indicated earlier, if it does make a difference why assume that having equal lengths will be better than making one of them shorter? Isn't it just as conceivable that the supposed advantages of having equal lengths, in terms of coherence and imaging, might be outweighed in a given application by shortening one of the cables and thereby reducing the effects of that cable on the signal?

In all of the threads I have seen here on this question, there are only two positions that seem to be taken: Either it will make no difference, or the equal length condition will be better. I submit that there is a third position which is just as conceivable, that shortening one of the cables but not the other one could produce results that are BETTER than having both of them long but equal.

Best regards,
-- Al
Equal lengths is the safe bet for same performance l and r.

Shorter is always better though. Is more balanced better? It has advantage of being balanced.

You could try both and see or if not possible, just choose and be done.
Imaging and coherence are very important to me. Would you replace just one of the tweeters with the best one you can afford or replace one of the monoblocks with much better one. Should it still bring improvements because "one could produce results that are BETTER than having both of them ... equal"?
You make good points with your analogies, Kijanki. On the other hand, though, I see no reason to assume that in the specific case of effects that may be caused by unequal cable lengths (as opposed to mismatched amplifiers, tweeters, etc.), if in fact perceptible effects were to occur, that those effects would necessarily involve coherence and imaging (to a perceptible degree). As opposed to involving other kinds of cable-related effects, which if minimized in one channel might result (at least subjectively) in a net benefit relative to not minimizing them in any channel.

In any event, as I said earlier I doubt that in this particular case there would be any difference at all, considering the lengths that are involved.

Best regards,
-- Al
BTW, Kijanki, apart from the fact that there is apparently no inductance specification for Cardas Clear Reflection, all of the Cardas cables the OP mentioned have vastly lower resistance and inductance than the numbers assumed in your calculations. So your conclusion that the differences in resistance and inductance resulting from a 1 meter length difference are unlikely to have audible consequences is even more true.

Best regards,
-- Al
Agree, the difference is very small. Could my love for symmetry come from watching too many episodes of Monk?
Possibly. The capacitance, resistance, inductance will be different. The question is how sensitive is your amp to the changes...my advice is hook up equal lengths and hook them to the mid treble and run a short jumper to the bass...a Cardas Clear silver spade jumper. Pt
Depending on the difference in length, maybe? A few feet difference, probably not. I can almost guarantee the variation in the crossover of the speakers, or even on the amp side will be much bigger than a few feet of cable.

Some people will disagree, but how many people rip their crossover apart to guarantee that each component right to left is within less than 1% difference? Even the coil on driver to driver is probably bigger than that.
Same old dilemma: Length or girth?
The difference, if any, in the sound quality as a results of unequal cable lengths, you know, given the near light speed of the electromagnetic wave down the cable would undoubtedly be overwhelmed by room anomalies, magnetic field interference produced by large transformers and speaker magnets, not to mention the induced magnetic fields in all cables and wires, RFI/EMI effects, incorrect speaker placement, fuses being installed backwards, cables and interconnects being installed backwards and a host of other things. Probably best to chill and let sleeping dogs lie.
Same old dilemma: Length or girth?
Come on Wolf You know she wants both!! LMAO
Bad move cable length should always be the same.
Seems to me the small difference in cable length is likely irrelevant. Given the difference in spead of sound vs speed of electron flow, I would be more concerned if the speaker placement varied by more than 1/4 inch from each other.
Geoff & Zavato, while I agree completely with your bottom line conclusions (as stated in the last sentence of Geoff's post and the first sentence of Zavato's post), and I also agree completely that differences in the amount of time it takes for the signal to propagate from one end of each cable to the other are WAY too small to be relevant, in fairness I would point out that there are other factors which arguably may be involved.

Specifically, nearly all cable parameters and effects whose audible significance is either well established and quantifiable, or not so well established and/or not quantifiable and/or debatable, are or can be expected to be proportional to length. That includes resistance, inductance, capacitance, bandwidth, and the consequences, if any, of dielectric absorption, strand jumping, skin effect, and metal purity.

The only effects I can think of which might not be directly proportional to length are those which might result in the cable injecting spurious energy into the feedback loop of the amplifier, if it has one. Those would include antenna effects, and effects relating to "characteristic impedance." In those cases, as I see it, the relations between length, differences in length, and audible consequences, ***if any,*** would be system dependent, unpredictable, and essentially random.

-- Al
Here is how I look it: Cables are reactive components (inductance, capacitance, resistance, plus dielectric and wire variables). This means a 2m and 3m will measure differently and since many folks claim to hear differences in just a few inches of cables, then the cables must be equal matched lengths. No, yes? YMMV.
"Cables are reactive components (inductance, capacitance, resistance, plus dielectric and wire variables)"

This is true but any change caused by cable length in the above is minor to any variation in crossover components in the speaker.
I asked this question earlier and nobody responded. Has anybody heard a difference when using unmatched cable lengths? If the answer is no, then the whole question is effectively put to rest.
I asked this question earlier and nobody responded. Has anybody heard a difference when using unmatched cable lengths? If the answer is no, then the whole question is effectively put to rest.
About 25 years ago when I was at a dealer listening to some speakers the owner was making speaker cables (from bulk) for a customer (me). After cutting the 1st 10ft and started on the 2nd there was a kink in the cable at 5ft. So he cut out the kink and made the second 10ft cable. For grins and giggles he put 1 10ft cable on 1 speaker and the 5ft on the other. It sounded like someone hit a reverb switch. Like the room just got a little bigger. I thought I liked it until he put the other 10ft cable back on. That said it was minor but I did hear a difference.
George (Xti16), was the system fully warmed up before and during these comparisons? And during any part of the comparisons were either of the cables placed near any other cables or power cords, or digital components for that matter, which might have resulted in EMI/RFI being picked up and injected into the feedback loop of the amplifier, assuming the amp had a feedback loop?

-- Al
When I used uneven lengths of speaker cable some years ago (setup necessitated this, although I don't remember why) I found it did NOT affect the sound one iota (how much IS an iota anyway?)...maybe half an iota...but still...now I keep the lengths even for possible resale of cables, and because I can.