speaker cable

edited April 2014 in Other hi-fi gear
here one for you
have a length of nordost solar wind
where one channel is double the width of the other
so which one is best for pos or neg or does it matter
is pos the signal and neg just earth
i know one of you guys will know:)


  • also should both speaker cable be kept the
    same length 1-10mtr other 5mtr
  • I can answer the second. They should be the same length (at least that's the received wisdom).

    But I've never had any Nordost cables, so I'll leave the first for someone more knowledgeable :-(
    edited April 2014
    RE the Nordost speaker cable, I believe that EACH of the positive and negative strands should have one wide and one narrow band.  Sounds like you have one unterminated length.  You'd be dividing that length into 4 to get two equal pairs therefore.
    RE overall length. Up to say 5m per side, it doesn't matter...usually at all, whether you use equal or unequal lengths providing that the cable is of adequately low loop resistance.  The check is that the cable loop resistance (ie for a 2m length, you have 2m positive and 2m ground return so 4m total for loop resistance in the circuit) should be less than 5% of the speaker's lowest impedance load.  For a 4 Ohm speaker, this means that the cable should not be more than 0.2 Ohms.

    Given that a 1.5mm cable offers around 12 Ohms/Km, it would have to be 16.7m loop or 8m per side to get to 0.2 Ohms (neglecting parasitic load such as reactive capacitance and inductance..include them and it could be say 6 to 7m per side).

    Long story short:  if you have one cable at 2m and the other at 4m it wont make (or shouldn't make) a blind bit of difference to speaker load.

    As with all these things it can be amp dependant as some amps are fussy (unstable) using high capacitance cable, so the capacitance becomes the dominant factor.  Other amps need to operate within a specified inductance range to prevent the output stages going into oscillation (think older Naim nd Exposure amps for example).  For the vast majority of stable amps, it makes little or no difference if your cables are mis matched providing that isn't significant in length (ie one side 2m the other 8m).  A few metres difference wont hurt at all.
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