Speaker Cable Recommendation (Long Run)?

Briefly, my system consists of:
Monitor Audio Silver 300 Speakers
Gain Cell DAC
S300 amp
SOtM SMS-200 streamer with Matrix (running Audirvana)
PS Audio Duet, AC 5 power cables, Bettercables XLR, Sbooster 9v, iFi 9v

Finally, I’m currently using Blue Jeans Cables 5T00UP (10AWG), bare wire.

My speaker cable lengths are approx. 20ft and 30ft, and I cannot avoid having long speaker cable runs. I’m looking to upgrade my speaker cables, and given my situation I understand I should consider a cable that will provide as low of a resistance as possible.

Does anyone have any suggestions given my situation? I’d like to keep my budget less than $1,000 if I can, and I know this will be somewhat of a challenge since a lot of what I’ll be paying for is simply a lot of cable needed even though I’d like to make a significant upgrade. Thanks!

@BobBJC will have a suggestion that fits your budget.

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Dueland 12 gauge from Parts Connexion. You can leave bare ends as they recommend or terminate it yourself on one end or both.

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Good Morning. 5T00UP is a good cable. Belden makes another (1313A) that would be an improvement. 5T00UP is recommended for large high current applications such as speaker arrays at stadiums, NASCAR, etc where the amperage from the amps is quite high. 1313A moves into OF copper and is used in theaters, sports bars, hotel lobbies, board rooms and other commercial AV projects. It sounds great and is an ideal choice to be mated to our BAV interconnects (Belden 2468.) Belden has been doing this for 117+ years and your cable is produced in Richmond, IN. You can also order your 1313A at BJC with ultrasonically welded terminations or terminate at home with something else.

Kimber kable 12VS

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Check your maximum capacitance and inductive load your amplifier manufacturer recommends. Capacitance and inductance is a per foot spec, so it is addative the longer you go. Many amps do not like too high a reactive load. Doesn’t matter the cable you choose, make sure the total reactive load is proper for your amplifier. I wish amps were sold with this information, but they are not. If you ask, usually an answer is available.

Galen Gareis

Hi Galen,

Thanks for chiming in. Here’s what PS Audio has listed for my S300 amp:

#### Stellar S300 Stereo Amplifier
Unit Weight 13 lbs [5.9 kg]
Unit Dimensions 17”W x 3”H x 12”D (13"D w/connectors)
Shipping Weight 16.5 lbs [7.5 kg]
Shipping Dimensions 22”W x 8”H x 17”D
Color Options Black
Voltage Options
(Factory set only) Japan 100V

North America 120V
Europe/Asia/Australia/New Zealand 230V|
|Mains Power Inputs|IEC C14|
|Idle Power Consumption|13W|
|Accessories Included|US (NEMA 5-15P) (all versions)
Schuko (CEE7/7) (230V version)
UK (BS 1363) (230V version)|
|Audio Inputs|RCA (Unbalanced)
XLR (Balanced)|
|Speaker Outputs|Copper base nickel plated binding posts (2 pair per channel)|
|DC Trigger Input|3.5mm 5-15VDC|
|Warranty|3 years parts and labor|
|#### Signal||
|Gain|30.5dB +/-0.5dB|
|Sensitivity for rated output power|1.01V|
|Noise|1kHz@300 Watts < -100dB|
|Input impedance|Unbalanced 50KΩ
Balanced 100KΩ|
|Output Impedance|50Hz, 2.8VRMS <0.007Ω|
|Damping factor|50Hz. 2.8VRMS
8Ω >1100
4Ω >550|
|Frequency Response|2.8VRMS into 4Ω
10Hz – 20KHz +/- 0.5dB
10Hz – 50KHz +0.1/-3.0dB|
|#### THD&IM||
|1KHz, 1W/4Ω|<0.02%|
|10-20KHz, 1W/4Ω|<0.02%|
|10-50KHz, 1W/4Ω|< 0.05% (90kHz BW)|
|1KHz, 37.5W/4Ω|< 0.01%|
|#### Output Power|Both channels driven 120vac mains, 1kHz, 1% THD|
|8Ω|140W minimum|
|4Ω|300W minimum|
|2Ω|Stable for musical transients|

Thanks for the recommendation. Though I think I’d like to go with something a little more on the high-end. That being said, the 1313a would certainly be an affordable option. I’ll definitely keep it in mind! Thank you.

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The amplifier output power specs are into a standard reference load of 8-ohms, a load an amplifier NEVER sees 20-20Hz.

Depending on the amps design, L or C will begin to be a problem for the output stage at some level. You want to stay below that reactive load number. Ressistance is easy, make it low. 10-11 AWG is recommended over 20 feet.

Most speaker cables below 100 pF/foot and 2 uH/foot are OK for 20 feet or so. I design for less than half that amount on speaker cables to make guessing OK most of the time. People will indeed swag it. The should not have to. Amplifiers should spec a max capacitive and inductive load

Galen Gareis

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Galen, thanks for the helpful info. Thanks for the straight-up recommendation on needing 10-11 AWG on anything over 20 ft (my situation unfortunately).

I agree, it would be nice to have this information available from the manufacturer (amp) for the consumer. I imagine I’m in the minority (speaker cable run over 20ft), but nonetheless we’re out there.

Thanks again! I appreciate you taking the time to explain this.

Yes, look at a speaker impedance trace in Stereophile or another tech site. Notice that the IMPEDANCE trace is far from flat, it goes all over and calling it a resistor is not close to right. The SECOND trace is a REACTIVE trace that describes how the signal is taken out of phase in voltage or current, and amps hate this reactive load. LONGER speaker cables ADD to the problem as it is all addative. Twenty feet with ICONOCLAST isn’t a problem, or up to 30 feet. Longer than that and I suggest a call to the amps manufacturer. Cable is still cable and it will do what it will do. I design for low reactance, but nothing is zero.

The amps performance is way, way different into real cables and a speakers even if they claim to use a “simulated” cable load but that’s about all they can do for such a varied (that’s the problem we face with the amp/cable/speaker network) set of variables.

Tests use a resistive load and a “simulated” average speaker cable load. They tell you this straight-up, so it isn’t a conspiracy or anything. But, the amplifer designers need to suggest a maximum capacitive or inductive load for best linearity and stability. This would help you pick better cables for your tougher applications. Amplifier tests should offer more than just saying the average impedance an amplifier would like, as the rectance is more important than the resistive load most of the time.



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Again, thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. Myself and others will no doubt benefit from this valuable information going forward. I’m familiar with the speaker impedance trace graphs you’re speaking of. I didn’t realize longer speaker cable runs added to the reactive problem! Very interesting.

If I could only spring for 50ft of iconoclast :blush: Again, thanks so much.