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Author Topic: Long cable runs from powered mixer to unbalanced passive speaker inputs  (Read 1672 times)

Ivan Beaver

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Hmm, I was called in to a local casino where the speaker runs were 200 odd feet. Measuring, you could clearly see the resonance from such a long cable. The subs sounded like they were full of molasses. Moving the amps right on top of the subs made a HUGE difference. Suddenly the kick drum sounded like a kick drum.
Please people, long speaker runs in almost any gauge are a BAD idea, dont act like its OK. Its not.
I have never seen resonance in a speaker cable.

The size of the wire DOES MATTER A LOT, along with the impedance of the load.  With a larger gauge wire and higher impedance, the losses are not as great as with smaller wire and lower impedances

Agreed that long runs should be avoided, but in many cases that is simply not possible.

I have done plenty of jobs with 100' runs and longer on subs and had plenty of punch and impact.

As usual-it depends.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Steve M Smith

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Have you tried it?  It might not be the problem you envisage.


Steve.
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Dennis Wiggins

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To minimize loss, I always buy 12ga speaker cables because 12ga is the largest easily  manageable size.  This means it will fit in most 1/4" TS connectors (and Neutrik's) and can easily be soldered to the 1/4" TS connectors you will using.  14ga is OK.  16ga? No.

50-footers are the longest I have used.  They work fine. 

-Dennis
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 07:35:52 am by Dennis Wiggins »
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Doug Jane

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I have never seen resonance in a speaker cable.

The size of the wire DOES MATTER A LOT, along with the impedance of the load.  With a larger gauge wire and higher impedance, the losses are not as great as with smaller wire and lower impedances

Agreed that long runs should be avoided, but in many cases that is simply not possible.

I have done plenty of jobs with 100' runs and longer on subs and had plenty of punch and impact.

As usual-it depends.
Well Ivan, I wouldn't have beleived it if I hadn't measured with my trusty HP334. And then heard the results. We did one side, and ran a comparison with the unmodified other side.
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Geert Friedhof

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I have never seen resonance in a speaker cable.

The size of the wire DOES MATTER A LOT, along with the impedance of the load.  With a larger gauge wire and higher impedance, the losses are not as great as with smaller wire and lower impedances

Agreed that long runs should be avoided, but in many cases that is simply not possible.

I have done plenty of jobs with 100' runs and longer on subs and had plenty of punch and impact.

As usual-it depends.

I always thought that long and/or thin cables kill the damping factor of the amp/circuit, and thus can't control the reactive forces of the speaker as well as it should, resulting in uncontrolled movements of the conus. Might be wrong though.
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Ivan Beaver

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I always thought that long and/or thin cables kill the damping factor of the amp/circuit, and thus can't control the reactive forces of the speaker as well as it should, resulting in uncontrolled movements of the conus. Might be wrong though.
This is true

But if you are not doing side by side comparisons it is harder to hear than you would think
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Stephen Swaffer

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I always thought that long and/or thin cables kill the damping factor of the amp/circuit, and thus can't control the reactive forces of the speaker as well as it should, resulting in uncontrolled movements of the conus. Might be wrong though.

And this is not "resonance"-unless we are shifting the meaning of the term.It is due to the resistance (impedance) of the cables which is affected by both length and gauge.

As I read Doug's post, it sounds like he is implying the length of the cable is affecting the time it takes for the signal to get to the speakers.  This time is, of course, too small to affect anything-and in fact is the same for both a speaker signal and the line level to the amp when it sits next to the speaker.
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Steve Swaffer
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