Uneven speaker cable lengths and cable termination


I'm getting new speakers that are single-wire only. This means I can't use my old MIT Terminator 2 cables, and need something new. My budget is limited as I've just spent all of it on the speakers :)

I'm not sure what the stance on cables is here on audiogon, so I hope I'm not starting a war :)
Anyway, I have some questions:

- Are equal lengths for both channels required? Is it possible to hear a difference? (my amp will be positioned to the left of the left side speaker, so I will need about a 4m run to the rightmost speaker. I was thinking of getting 4m and 2m runs)

- If I buy bare cable, is unsoldered termination helpful? The monster quicklock spades and bananas look really nice, but I wonder if they are worth the cost. (http://www.monstercable.com/productdisplay.asp?pin=4584)

My speakers are Audio Physic Scorpio II with Krell KAV-400xi btw. General recommendations are welcome.
For that short of a distance uneven cable lengths will be fine.
I would consider going both the same length,,bare wire Paul Speltz Anti cable..Stiff but very easy to wrk with..Works very well bare wire..At 4 meters it would be a very modest investment..........
I personally would get equal length prs. or lengths alittle closer together. (Say 4m/3m.) Not knowing the cost of the cables you are thinking about, but resale maybe difficult w/unequal lengths. I went to RS one day and they had the banana version of that connector. I thought they were an excellent design and sound just fine. (I got 2 prs. I had to use banana connector w/the spks, because the palastic nut on the bidding post got stripped.) Bare wire connection should be fine and most likely sound the best. Good Luck!
Assuming sufficient AWG, at those distances you cannot hear any difference and equal lengths are not required. If I were purchasing commercial speaker cable I'd probably buy equal lengths 'cause that's how most pairs are sold & re-sold. Otherwise I just might buy some bulk 10 or 12AWD at HD or Lowes, cut to needed length, and either go bare or terminate w/ bananas from places like Parts Express or even Monoprice. Those Monsters sure are purty, ma'am - but it's kinda hard to crawl behind my gear to show 'em off, y'know?
Keep the lengths as even as you can afford, but don't wind any excess into a coil. Doing so will form an inductor, and affect that channel's frequency response. Bare wire is fine- but disturb the connections often, as oxygen will have easier access than with spades. Unsoldered connectors offer another bare metal junction prone to corrosion, unless mechanically pressed(cold welded) into a high integrity bond. If you can fit it into your budget: Walker SST on all connections would serve you well. You'll get a lot of negative opinions in here from those that haven't tried SST(seems they can't help themselves). If you are able to hear the differences that an upgrade in your cables can make; you'll definitely appreciate the Walker products.
go Speltz anticable...it's just what you need, sounds great and easy on the wallet. Uneven lengths are fine.
I built a complete 5 channel rig using the Supra 3.4Ply cables advertised here on the Gon. This is their shielded model, they have others. This is a very impressive company that does all its own R&D and manufacturing in Sweden - highly regarded in the European buff books.

The cables are 1/2" diameter, very flexible, come jacketed and can be installed as is, though I put them in Techflex and used heat shrink to finish them off.

Uneven lengths all around. Contact Lars, lars@sjofnhifi.com, for the bulk rate which is very reasonable.

For convenience I terminated them with Audioquest CF BFA bananas. This is a Z plug as popularized by Nordost, in silver or gold over copper. They use set screws and do not require soldering. Because the Supra cables are tin over copper, you don't need to worry about oxidation. Pay careful attention to the product code (they make a number of different pieces) and shop around.

Much less mass then the Monsters and no brass for the same money.

There are lots of other choices of course - if you can solder, Luminous Audio makes a nice gold over copper spade for even less money.

It's a fun project and doesn't take long especially if you go bare wire...
Thanks for the response. I think I will try the anti-cable as I will then be able to get pre-terminated cables inside my current limited budget.

If I do get an equal length pair, the cable for a left channel will need to be coiled up. Will coiling up about 3 meter of cable very loosely really form an inductor? Wouldn't you need a longer cable runs for that?

Also, are the anti-cable interconnects also well-regarded? I am in need of a pair of unbalanced interconnects as well, and will save on shipping if I go with anti-cable for those as well.
Cable has inductance (0.5uH/ft) even straight one. It is equivalent to 0.375 Ohm of inductive impedance at 20kHz and 6ft. Keep cables always even to preserve imaging. Avoid coiling.

Making cables uneven is a little bit like buying house next to power lines. Very hard to sell later.

As for unterminated wires (bare) - it is the best followed by spades and bananas. Take into consideration that many amps don't accept bananas. My cable is way to complex to use it bare - I crimped spades then soldered them with 4% silver solder (cable originally had bananas).

Why can't you use your old MIT cables?
My old MIT 2 Terminator 2 cables are for bi-wiring, new speakers only accepts single wiring.

The MIT cables have a box with some mysterious components in the middle. I think the filter it applies is different for each of the speaker connectors, because each is marked with bass or mid/treble. Besides, they are too short.
>>03-17-09: Kijanki
Keep cables always even to preserve imaging<<

Not necessary. At CES 2008 AJ Conti (Basis Audio) connected one speaker with a 6' length of cable and the other with 75' of cable.

Not a single listener, including other tradespersons and reviewers, could discern a difference. Imaging was unaffected, so pay no attention to that falsehood.

The most important factor in uneven lengths, is resale value.
Audiofeil - I don't know what conditions they had at the show to get perfect imaging and how better it could be with even cables. 70ft of the difference is 4.4 Ohm of inductive impedance at 20kHz.

"Not a single listener, including other tradespersons and reviewers, could discern a difference."

How do you know that? Did they run questioner of every single person. Maybe people did not say anything to be polite to host or assumed that imaging was good enough for location/conditions.
Not necessary. At CES 2008 AJ Conti (Basis Audio) connected one speaker with a 6' length of cable and the other with 75' of cable.

Interesting. I do not find that surprising at all - given signals travel close to the speed of light. Provided the speakers and amp were a good match (speaker high impedance and amp low output impedance then even the very slight change in frequency response would likely be inaudible)

This is certainly worth our time to consider. Perhaps a blind test. Two speaker cables of equal or greater value compared to two of unequal length. Hmm. Is it happy hour. 75 feet is a little long. I don't think I have an out door extension cord that long and I have an electric lawn mower. Sometimes when the extension gets a kink in it the lawn mower stops mowing. I call the repair man.

Now you made me suspicious of this show - why would they need 75 feet of the speaker cable? Only one explanation jumps at me: It wasn't audio show - IT WAS ELECTRIC LAWNMOWER SHOW.
Tradespersons and reviewers heard no difference.

I was there, you weren't kijunky and soundsreally.

Accept the facts and move on to something with which you've had more actual experience. Obviously it's not audio.

Perhaps lawnmowers are your calling.
Ahochan: As far as the length discrepency - won't matter. The difference in electrical properties of the two different lengths is not significant. Sure there will be some difference in all three electrical values because they each depend on the length. But, the effect of these differences is unimportant in your application. The practical difference matters no more than, for example, whether the temperature in your refrigerator is 34 degrees F as opposed to 34.005 degrees F.

As far as connectors at the end of cables - does not really matter either. One can have problems with the connection between the cable and the connector and some banannas can result in poor connection at the male - female connection. You do eliminate these potential problems by going with bare wire. Of course making good crimp or solder connections and unplugging and plugging the banannas every six months also ensures no problems. But, there is no significant advantage to using spade or bananna termination - so no reason to spend the money if you are on a very tight budget.
Well - If we assume that 70' of cable doesn't make any difference than cable itself doesn't make any difference and Home Depot lamp cord as good as Stealth Indra and thousands of dollars saved. Do you really believe that - if you do then why are you posting on the CABLE forum?

Super fine things that differentiate hi-end from mass market hifi-ish products are happening at the level of about -80dB (1 part in 10000) and in case of imaging perhaps even finer. At this point we don't event understand physics behind perfect sound like we don't understand why silver cable sound different (on average) than copper one.

With 75' cable capacitance has probably very little effect because of low source/load impedance but inductance in series does. 4.4 ohm of additional (inductive)impedance at 20kHz (1 Ohm at 4kHz) in series with the tweeter will cause big change. We can discuss if 7.5' vs 6' make audible difference but not 75'.

Sombody posted once that XLR cables can be run at any distance without signal degradation - how about a mile?
People get serious.
"Tradespersons and reviewers heard no difference."

Audiofeil - are you ABSOLUTELY sure that it wasn't lawnmower show?

How about different amp brands for left and right channel? (8 out of 9 dentists wouldn't hear the difference).

Not everyone is blessed with a "GOLDEN EAR". I have no doubt I would have jumped out of my seat, wire cutters and new terminations in hand and protested.

Ahochan....Just get a matched pair.
Sometime in 1986(published Jan '87): your mentors at Stereo Rephew did listening tests with a Pioneer receiver, transformerless tube amp and Levinson monoblocks. Of course- they determined that they were all sonically identical. UH-HUH!! I'll keep the Home Depot cord attached to my hedge trimmer, right where it belongs!