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Xanderzdad's picture
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10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

Which is likely to give the best sound quality please:

10m speaker cable (budget about £6/m i.e. Chord Carnival Silverscreen) or a 10m RCA stereo cable (in a comparable price range i.e QED Performance Audio 1).  Unfortunately I have to choose between these 2 options due to room aesthetics. 

Anonymous
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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

I would say make the speaker cable longer than the RCA...others may disagree....

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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

i also guess speaker cable will be less prone do diffrerences than a 10 mts rca

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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

...And indeed less prone to interference...

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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

Excellent fast response guys.  Thank you.

On a related note.  I have the Q Acoustics 1010 5.1 surround speaker set.  Would the rather poor sub-woofer be better fed by speaker cables bypassing its built-in amp or stick with an RCA feed from my Denon Amp thereby utilising the sub-woofers own amp.  If using speaker cable I assume the sub-woofer would NOT need plugging into the mains.

I should clarify - this would only be a 1-2m run of cable  - the previous question related to my other system. 

Thanks 

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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

Whether you use a high-level - ie speaker - connection to the QAcou sub or the low-level RCA phono one, the signal is still going through the internal amp.

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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

Thanks Andrew

That probably explains why I couldn't find any info about the pros and cons anywhere else. 

Anonymous
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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA
Xanderzdad:
Which is likely to give the best sound quality please:
10m speaker cable or a 10m RCA stereo cable


I would go with long RCA cable. I have one 10m run from my dac/headphone next to laptop to amp on other side of room, did not notice any problems.


In some others places (few minutes of googling) people suggesting long rca versus long speaker cables. For example:
.............
I don't think there is a simple answer to this (as always!) as I think it depends on the electrical properties of your processor/pre/power amp combination, plus the electrical load of the speakers as 'seen' by the amp. I have a Musical Fidelity Pre/Power driving a pair of Kef Speakers.
To quote from MF's literature.
" MF reccomends that long pre to power interconnects are used to allow the loudspeaker cables to be as short as possible.
The MF pre-amp has a very low output impedance and the power amp has a very high input impedance. This allows long interconnects to be used easily. This in turn allows the ideal of short loudspeaker cables to be achieved"
I suspect the differences between best case/worst case scenario's to be quite minor. I think the practicalities of cable layout and cost would influence me more!
..................
It is based on the physical fact that the output impedance of a good preamplifier is low, the input impedance of a good amplifier is high, and hence the current is minimal. With the current being minimal, and the frequency limited to the audio band, we simply need a well screened analog interconnect. See the recent cable threads for more info on this
The situation is different with a power amplifer to loudspeaker connection. Here we have a very small output impedance of the amplifer and a veritable complex load of a loudspeaker (some much worse than others). The current is high and most amplifiers use feedback to improve their output quality. This requires a cable of low resistance, low capacitance and low inductance as well. This makes cable cooper hungry and (almost) impossible to screen. The lack of screen might affect the feedback circuitry. This combination of L, C and R is why Kimber cables are popular to remove all possible chance of any interactions (rare).
Ideally all speaker lengths should be the same. In practice they never are but I would give some thought to short L, C and R all having speaker cables the same length and short, with the rears allowed to be longer if amps are all in one place. The difference between 1m and 3m is really pretty small especially with good honest well-designed, non-tweako cables.
For really long interconnects there 'may' be benefit for balanced (XLR) connections but that is likely to be rare for our domestic installations.
A well designed amp, say a Tag will have no problem driving 10s of m of interconnect cables. Power amps, even top Brystons etc will not be able to do that with speaker cables without 'problems'. Long interconnects, short speaker cables all the time.

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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

Though of course even cut and paste explanations will depend on the quality of the cable, any potential sources of interference and so on...

Anonymous
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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

Basing from the system in your signature:


If you're driving the Q Acoustics active sub from your Denon receiver with that 10m span (and is just choosing between line level or high level), I'd say RCA. This allows you to set the active crossover on the receiver, and will let you reap the full benefits of the LFE channel.


It will also allow you to do bass management/redirection from the receiver side to ensure that the 1010 monitors don't get the unwanted low freqs.

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Re: 10m speaker cable or 10m RCA

Thanks for all your input.

The original query was (as some had figured out) regarding the output from my Denon pre-amp to the Power-amp section of my MF amp.  Currently I have a short RCA lead and 10m speaker cables (QED 79 equivalent) and I could not figure out whether to upgrade the speaker cable (at a cost of about £200) or move the power amp and CD nearer the speakers and then run a 10m RCA cable from the Denon pre-amp to the MF power amp.

Visually my wife prefers the amp away from the speakers as it is hidden but I still feel the short speaker cable would be better as the RCA cable has no impact on my stereo listening and is only used to power the front 2 speakers when watching movies (when they become part of my 7.1 set up).
This option would also reduce the cost of speaker cable to about £100, and I would not worry about upgrading my 'stringy' 10m RCA cable as it would suffice for movies - for me it is more about the picture! 

Views, pros, cons gratefully received. 

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