A 12 foot run of interconnect from preamp to power amp should not present a problem, even if single-ended rather than balanced. As a general rule, short speaker cables and longer preamp-to-power amp connections are usually preferable to the other way around.
Last fall I went from 4 ft. ICs to the same brand and Model of ICs that were 15 ft. long. At the same time I decreased speaker cable runs from 14 ft. to 6 ft. It was my experience that music quality actually improved by doing this-- it sounds more live, more realistic, and very nice. Good Luck. Craig
I agree with SDcampbell. If the interconnect runs need to be long, you are most likely better served if you are using opportunity for signal loss.
I too agree with SD, I am using interconnects that are near forty feet, combined with short speaker cable.
I too, agree with SD, although I have heard both arguments. Recently, someone stated that because interconnects transmit lower-level signals than speaker cable, the potential for signal loss is greater with longer IC's than with longer speaker cables. While this may be true, I have found that shorter speaker cables control a speaker better than longer cables. I believe that the signal loss issue is not as important as is the control over the speaker.
Designers like De Pavaricini favor long interconnect runs, some like Van Alstine say long speaker cable run. Who the hell knows?
I am of the belief that you are better off with short interconnects and longer speaker cables. That is, so long as the speaker cables are of a low impedance design.
Since most speaker cables are not designed correctly and don't offer this "feature", using shorter speaker cables can help alleviate some of the distortion and colouration that the speaker cables themselves are introducing into the system. Using such a set-up also takes into account that you would be using interconnects of high quality materials and design.
By high quality, i am talking about something with reasonable impedances and a design that lends itself to natural RFI and EMI rejection i.e. heavy shielding, braiding, twisting, star-quad, etc... and other similar geometries. Since it is easier to achieve such designs with smaller, less expensive conductors like those found in interconnects, i would not doubt that going the long interconnect / short speaker cable length is an improvement in many systems.
HOWEVER, If one were to simply change to speaker cables that were properly designed in terms of having a nominally low characteristic impedance, one would be able to achieve improved power transfer and coupling between amp and speaker. In doing so, the results of shortened speaker cables would be far less drastic. Then one could go back to using shorter interconnects, which will ALWAYS minimize signal loss and signal degradation.
If you want to find out how "good" or "knowledgable" a cable manufacturer is, ask them what the nominal impedance of one of their cables is within the AF ( audio frequency ) range ( HA HA HA ). If they do supply what seems to be a legit answer ( even bigger joke ) , ask them if you can get a copy of the electrical measurements that they've done on their cables. Since most "cable manufacturers" have never done anything like this nor have the phenomenally expensive test equipment to do this type of testing, this is a very easy way to narrow down who the REAL "wire / cable designers & engineers" are and who are "snake oil salesmen" that have simply jumped on a very profitable bandwagon.
Bare in mind that this does not mean that one can't come up with a "good" design working in ones' basement, but the chances that it is actually "superior" to what is already being manufactured are quite low. The main benefit to DIY'ing cables is the phenomenal amount of money that one might be able to save. The "fun" & "experimantation" factors are also quite high, making projects of this nature even more attractive. Sean
George Tice told me to go the long speaker cable way. Shielded if the run was longer than 12 ft, since 60Hz hum can be picked up by the cable. Also to use 8 ga. size in order to keep low impedance.
I figure good amps can drive long speaker runs, good preamps ca drive long interconnect runs, too...
Do you know of any low-impedance cables that you have tried and can recommend? I'm currently using a 16 ft run of Kimber 8TC, and always wondered how they might be coloring the sound. My system consists of Electrocompaniet EMC-1, Berning Zh-270 amp & Aerial 7B speakers. I'm running the EMC directly to the Berning using Quattro Fils.
I have done extensive study on this subject, including thousands of SPICE simulations. The conclusion of this study is that optimized systems will have 2-3X longer speaker cables than interconnects. This is independent of price-point and performance. The study results can be found at the Audio FAQ page of:
I know, one of you is going to ask "why is -1dB at 20kHz a fail criteria"? Well, this was arbitrary and is subtracted-out when the IC and speaker cable lengths are compared, so it does not change the conclusion.
Kenl, cables of any type are a pretty subjective matter. As such, the results that one achieves ( or should i say perceives ??? ) are due to personal tastes and system synergy. Having said that, i think that Kimber 8TC's are pretty solid cables. This does not mean that i think that they are the "best" ( as if one could quantify such a thing ). Nor are they anywhere near the "worst". Personally, i would rank them as being one of the more desirable cables that i have run across. Obviously, others may agree or disagree.
The results that you get with them ( or any other cable for that matter ) in your system will depend on several different factors. Since speaker cables account for only a small portion of the complex impedance that your amplifier sees and tries to load into, the results of changing cables will vary from system to system and combo to combo. Some systems will show drastic differences from cable to cable whereas others might not even "flinch". The only way to find out if you really like the Kimber's in your system or if your amp / speaker interface is susceptible to sonic variations with speaker cable changes is to try a couple of different designs out and see. As you probably know, i always encourage people to find out for themselves what they think works best. The education and experience that one gains along the way can be a lot of fun and help save you money in the long run.
Having said all of that, try taking a look at the A-gon thread entitled "Cables 101" as it may pertain to your question also. Sean
Thanks Sean. Per your suggestion, I read your post on Cables 101 and found it very informative. Comforting to know that you consider my current cables pretty good. I'll try to audition some others soon.
Depends on brand/design of cable. My experience; better to run long interconnects.
Thanks for the responses. I have been out of town.
It sounds like long I/C runs can't hurt. I would stay away from shielding speaker cable and have heard the higher capacitance can ruin a power amp.
For other good speaker cables, Nordost and Analysis Plus oval 12's are other options I've been considering.