Coiling cables?


#1

An interesting question for those with more facility than I with Maxwell’s equations :slight_smile:

I have a 10 foot, externally bi-wired (double run) of Audioquest speaker cables. Am changing my configuration and the power amp will now be much closer to one of the speakers, so for one cable I really only need, say, 5-6 feet at most to one speaker. Do not really want to shorten the cables; I could shorten them to 7 feet or so but eventually I’ll be going with monoblocks and at that time will buy something shorter and better. Is coiling 5 feet or so of cable a bad idea sonically? Would extending the cable in another direction and then doubling it back be preferable for any reason? (As far as I can figure any magnetic fields would cancel each other out with an AC signal in either case, but maybe I am wrong.) And would any of this matter for that length and at audio frequencies? This would all be a temporary solution, anyway, but might as well do it right if I can!


Speaker Cable Length Question
#2

Theoretically coiling the cable will have some impact on frequencies, but I sincerely doubt we would hear anything in coiling such a short bit of wire. Of course, you can also experiment with large loops, etc.

I would be more concerned with keeping the speaker cables away from AC power cables.


#3

Elk,

Yeah - that I can do. Actually I think I should be able to just run a few feet up one of my rack legs or along the rear somewhere and then back … should be do-able. The stuff is fairly stiff, being multiple solid cores; not insanely so, but you don’t want to bend it with a diameter of much less than a foot anyway.

Thanks!


#4

In my experience, short speaker cables is one of the best upgrades possible. Having been to a cable manufacturer and spent an afternoon listening to all their speaker cables it became clear that short and thick is good. I have now swopped my kit around to to enable 1m speaker cables to monobloc power amps. I already had the amps but hadn’t realised what was possible just by getting out my wire clippers and soldering iron.


#5

Fourlegs, that’s the direction I am moving in - I just figure that since I’ll be there soon enough, I don’t want to hack up this set of cables as I’ll get more $$ for them if I sell them whole. Of course I may possibly change my mind, but that’s where I am at at the moment.


#6

Hi marod-2, very interesting your discussion. Have you ever tried CAT7 twisted-pair network cable for your speaker. IMO their double shielding makes it most resistant against any induction or capacity trouble. Of course the challenge is the small diameter of a single wire. I used a flexible CAT7 cable and make a plait out of three cables. Due to the still small diameter I prepared for each speaker cable three plaits and braided them to an XXL braid. In fact I finally combined 9! twisted pairs for plus or minus. The shield was connected either to the minus speaker output of the amp or an unused RCA output. Hearing the result I was stunned about details and precision. But most impressive one was the bass and whole low range. Exceptionally good. I must say my speaker are the famous (old) Dynaudio Confidence C5 that is called very lazy of bass. Give it a try, I’m convinced this cable design beats much more expensive alternatives and due to the perfect shield of the CAT7 the length is no more trouble.


#8

I have one cable length that could be 4 feet and the other speaker requires 18 feet. Both speakers are bi-amped (NOT BI-WIRED). so that doubles the amount of wire needed in either case. Any reason I should make both 18 feet long and coil 14 feet of one? Isn’t that just a waste of 28 feet of cable? I am not interested in spending a ton for coiled cable that does not help anything. Any opinions on equal length cables for speakers?


#9

Completely satisfied running 20 feet left channel / 7 feet right channel Siltech cables to feed my Martin Logan Spires with Audio Research ref 6 / 75SE combo. In theory there could be a minor (timing) issue, in practice I can’t hear any difference. Coiling 14 feet speaker cable wan’t do any good for sure…


#10

Given the speed of electricity in a 12 gauge wire is 637,756,413 MPH, I think you are fine.


#11

Ha!!! You made perfectly good wine come out my nose.


#12

One time I was using the anti-cable speaker cables. I was in the same situation as you with my BHK250 close to one speaker. Anti-cable tech support actually told me to coil the cable instead of stretching it out.


#13

Elk, not sure what Shenefelt had in mind as the potential issue, but I think we can all agree that the arrival time of the signal will be affected less than moving one’s ear by a millimeter and thus doesn’t need to be considered. :slight_smile: However, you are adding or subtracting series resistance and capacitance and inductance. Depending on the specifics, this could affect things; whether it would be audible I don’t know, having never tried it with a revealing system. Also… if you ever move or re-arrange your setup, you’d be left with a set of cables of different lengths that may not work for you. hence my original question about coiling; I can do the basic L-C-R calculations but the potential effects of coiling are way beyond my ability to assess theoretically. In any case I didn’t end up doing it, though it may become relevant again at some point. EDIT: Actually I can probably figure out a way to not have to coil, but it would be interesting to really test how much it would be audible.