Longer Speaker Cable or Longer run to amp?

I want to move my components from in between the speakers. However, here’s my dilemma: I’m trying to decide if I should purchase longer speaker cables or longer RCA interconnects to run between my amp and pre? My amp has balanced inputs, but my pre does not.

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2-channel
Belles 22A Pre, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2, Marantz SA8005, Pro-Ject RPM-10 Turntable, Schiit Mani Phono Pre, Moon LP 3 Phono Pre, Polk Audio Legend L800's, AudioQuest Cable throughout.

Comments

  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,257
    Good question! I’d like to see where people land on this. I would go with short speaker cables and long interconnects. If you can use balanced interconnects, even better.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 4,491
    edited October 2021
    I've always been told, higher the voltage the lower the resistance. If that's true you want to keep your interconnects short.
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • monepolk
    monepolk Posts: 1,130
    I'm in the longer interconnect, short speaker wire camp.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 21,765
    I'm in the long camp. My RCA to the amp is 3 meters long and my speaker cables are 20' long. The rest of my RCA's are 1 meter.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,740
    I don't think it really matters much either way for most home audio systems and that's true whether it's XLR or RCA connectors running between components.

    My preference is to have longer speaker cables if I don't want to have an audio rack between the speakers. Not because it's better to have longer speaker cables than interconnects but because of the logistics of powering an amp and connecting it to the preamp if it's located away from the rest of the components. There's a chance of picking up a ground loop hum if an amp is plugged into a different household circuit than the rest of the system.

    Long speaker cables also tend to be way cheaper than long interconnects if they're of equivalent quality.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 4,491
    There you have it! Clear as mud. Got any other questions we can confuse you with?
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 866
    I'm running a 5 meter rca cable from my tube preamp to my solid state amp without any problems.
  • Mike Reeter
    Mike Reeter Posts: 4,259
    invalid wrote: »
    I'm running a 5 meter rca cable from my tube preamp to my solid state amp without any problems.

    I'm in the process of building a new rack and moving all my gear to the side of the room, less Ampifiers (Monoblocks) which will remain next to the speakers.

    I also have a five meter pair of I/C's (single ended) between the Preamp and Amps. I have noticed zero loss of fidelity in the 'trial' set-up, in fact moving the rack out from between the SDA's has given me a bit of a deeper stage than what I had previously, and vocals are even more pronounced B)

    Looking forward to getting everything done and in it's place ;)

    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 15,253
    It depends on what 'long' means. The signal going to the speaker is much larger/stronger than the signal on interconnects. So, the speaker signal will have less loss over longer speaker cables than the loss over longer interconnect cables.
    Lumin X1 file player, Westminster Labs interconnect cable
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 866
    I'm running a pair of sda2a's right now, and I was using the apogee duetta 2's both speakers sound great in my dedicated room. They didn't sound nearly as good in my living room with shorter interconnects and a TV and rack in-between.
  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 1,832
    In addition to the prior points made, the lower voltage of an interconnect run makes it more susceptible to interference. The speaker wires carry a much higher voltage signal, and are far less likely to suffer from any interference.
    "Conservative Libertarians love the country, progressive leftists love the government." - Andrew Wilkow


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    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 47,708
    The traditional preference is long balanced interconnects and short speaker cables.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 30,580
    If you believe in (i.e., care about) "damping factor", you'll want to keep the loudspeaker cables short.
    If you care about noise rejection, you'll want to keep the "interconnect" (line-level signal) cables short.
    In the perfect world, they'll all be short and hard-wired between components (i.e., no plugs, spades, pins, etc.)
    In the real world -- well, we do the best we can.
    For long "interconnects" -- consider moving to balanced (XLR) line-level inputs and outputs; balanced cables are used in pro applications, largely (not exclusively) so that long cable runs aren't "noisy" (subject to induced noise).
  • xsmi
    xsmi Posts: 1,734
    Does anyone know of a tube pre with balanced outputs?
    2-channel
    Belles 22A Pre, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2, Marantz SA8005, Pro-Ject RPM-10 Turntable, Schiit Mani Phono Pre, Moon LP 3 Phono Pre, Polk Audio Legend L800's, AudioQuest Cable throughout.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,257
    Almost all of those by Balanced Audio Technology (BAT). Also some by Audio Research.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 30,580
    maxward wrote: »
    Almost all of those by Balanced Audio Technology (BAT)...

    Imagine that? ;)
  • xsmi
    xsmi Posts: 1,734
    maxward wrote: »
    Almost all of those by Balanced Audio Technology (BAT). Also some by Audio Research.

    BAT is out of my price range.
    2-channel
    Belles 22A Pre, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2, Marantz SA8005, Pro-Ject RPM-10 Turntable, Schiit Mani Phono Pre, Moon LP 3 Phono Pre, Polk Audio Legend L800's, AudioQuest Cable throughout.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,257
    Well, that wasn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list. There’s a later model of my beloved Joule Electra with balanced outputs and the Canary above. You might find something on the used market that could fit the budget.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,257
    There’s the Schiit Freya+ for $949. The “S” version is $599, but solid state.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,740
    edited October 2021
    A fully balanced tube preamp new is likely to cost at least several thousand dollars. But there are also tube preamps costing more than $10K that don't have XLR connections at all because they don't need them.

    Rogue, Sonic Frontiers (old), PrimaLuna come to mind as offering balanced connections on higher models. Sonic Frontiers products have a habit of breaking and needing to be rebuilt after 20 years or so. Rogue seems to be a solid choice these days for new product.
  • xsmi
    xsmi Posts: 1,734
    maxward wrote: »
    There’s the Schiit Freya+ for $949. The “S” version is $599, but solid state.

    How would this one compare to my Belles 22a?
    2-channel
    Belles 22A Pre, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2, Marantz SA8005, Pro-Ject RPM-10 Turntable, Schiit Mani Phono Pre, Moon LP 3 Phono Pre, Polk Audio Legend L800's, AudioQuest Cable throughout.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 21,765
    xsmi wrote: »
    maxward wrote: »
    There’s the Schiit Freya+ for $949. The “S” version is $599, but solid state.

    How would this one compare to my Belles 22a?

    MHO it don't you have a better pre in the Belles. To better the Belles and it could be a sideways move but the Canary is a VERY nice Pre-amp
    @treitz3 chime in here brother.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,257
    Yeah, keep your Belles.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 30,580
    edited October 2021
    Try it (the Belles preamp) with long RCA (unbalanced) "interconnects".
    Make a pair with good cable (Mogami has some nice options) and RCA plugs and see if it's satisfactory.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 866
    I would just give it a try with your Belles preamp, before you look for a balanced preamp. If you have problems, then look for a balanced preamp.
  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,690
    xsmi wrote: »
    Does anyone know of a tube pre with balanced outputs?

    The Cary tubed pres have them....SLC03 may be in your price range.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,992
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    xsmi wrote: »
    maxward wrote: »
    There’s the Schiit Freya+ for $949. The “S” version is $599, but solid state.

    How would this one compare to my Belles 22a?

    MHO it don't you have a better pre in the Belles. To better the Belles and it could be a sideways move but the Canary is a VERY nice Pre-amp
    @treitz3 chime in here brother.

    Keep the Belles pre if you can. I would try that first (with a shielded IC) and with the shortest run possible.

    The Canary does not have balanced outs, so it would be the same thing to the OP as having the Belles.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~~ I had found excellence until I heard an ANK DAC ~ ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 30,580
    sugrivsur wrote: »
    My RCA to the amp is 3 meters long and my speaker cables are 20' long. The rest of my RCA's are 1 meter.

    So, wait -- you mix metric and Imperial units in your system?!

    Oh, that's bad ju-ju. Like crossing the streams...

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    B)