Speaker Cable Length Differences: Do they matter?

ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
I couldn't bring myself to read through this whole thread... sorry. *blushes
I am reminded of the story of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper and a thing she was known for:
Grace Hopper is famous for her nanoseconds visual aid. People (such as generals and admirals) used to ask her why satellite communication took so long. She started handing out pieces of wire that were just under one foot long (11.8 inches (30 cm))—the distance that light travels in one nanosecond. She gave these pieces of wire the metonym "nanoseconds."[29] She was careful to tell her audience that the length of her nanoseconds was actually the maximum speed the signals would travel in a vacuum, and that signals would travel more slowly through the actual wires that were her teaching aids. Later she used the same pieces of wire to illustrate why computers had to be small to be fast. At many of her talks and visits, she handed out "nanoseconds" to everyone in the audience, contrasting them with a coil of wire 984 feet (300 meters) long,[39] representing a microsecond. Later, while giving these lectures while working for DEC, she passed out packets of pepper, calling the individual grains of ground pepper picoseconds.
(from wikipedia)

Thus I ask... if 11.8" is a nanosecond... and 11808" is a microsecond... and a microsecond is 1000th of a millisecond... (you see where I'm going with this?)...
I can't find a great quote, but we likely hear a latency of 2-3 milliseconds as two events. So lets get uber conservative and say that the speed a signal travels through that wire is only a FIFTH of what she claimed... so one microsecond might be only 2361" x 2000 for a conservative latency... that's 4.7 million inches of wire! we are talking about POTENTIALLY causing an audible latency.
Yes, this is a silly example, and my math may very well be wrong. :p But I will say I don't hear anything amiss with my cable lengths cut to size for each speaker run, as opposed to cut to equal lengths for all speaker runs. In fact I'd be willing to bet that a 25' run to your left speaker and a 5' run to your right speaker will sound no different.
:D
Anybody wanna set up a DBT and give this a spin? I'll bring 60" of wire. You bring the 4.7 million inches!

By the way... does Roger Russell tell us what guage we need for a run that long?

:cool:
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
We still have one of those Admiral Grace Hopper nanosecond's up in the attic. It was a handout at a lecture.
 
HTfreak2004

HTfreak2004

Senior Audioholic
Upon connection to my receiver and speakers, it seems the speaker wire is too thick to fit in the tiny hole at the back of my speakers.

Any clue?

Try WD-40 she’ll work every time no exceptions :p
 
E

Edgar Betancourt

Junior Audioholic
I agree in general it doesnt matter however you don't want to want a leg 4 times longer than the other!
 
E

Edgar Betancourt

Junior Audioholic
Why, what difference would that make?
Though small in an absolute sense a cable 4 times longer than the other creates an impedance mismatch to the amp given that one cable has 4 times the resistance of the other. The object is to keep them as close to each other as possible.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Though small in an absolute sense a cable 4 times longer than the other creates an impedance mismatch to the amp given that one cable has 4 times the resistance of the other. The object is to keep them as close to each other as possible.
It's an extremely small difference and not worth worrying about (as long of course as its of proper gauge for the length and impedance at the longer length).
 
E

Edgar Betancourt

Junior Audioholic
Precisely if using 16 guage wire, which everyone seems to think is good enough, you will most definitely have a significant difference :rolleyes:
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Precisely if using 16 guage wire, which everyone seems to think is good enough, you will most definitely have a significant difference :rolleyes:
Depends on the distance needed. If someone doesn't ascertain their needs properly, that's another matter. I don't know that 16g is what "everyone seems to think is good enough" comes from anywhere but your butt.
 
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