Long speaker cables

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Cerb, Jun 29, 2020 at 7:04 PM.

  1. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Does anyone have experience with longer speaker cables, around 30 ft?
     
  2. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-Talker

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    I regularly use 50ft. speaker cables for my PA. What’s your issue?

    Bill, tgo
     
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  3. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yeah, me too, what's up?
     
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  4. mikej89

    mikej89 Senior Stratmaster

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    Damn, why do you need them so long? :confused:
     
  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    50 feet of cable doesn't go far when it has to be safely routed in a venue.
     
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  6. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Most Honored Senior Member

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    Speakers are very low impedance, so you won't lose any measurable treble due to cable capacitance with a long run. As long as you don't use tiny wires with a lot of resistance, there won't be any problem. Even 20 gauge wire would add only 1 ohm per 100 feet, so a 30 ft run (60 feet of wire) would have a resistance of 0.6 ohms and lose 1/3 of a dB if it's an 8 ohm speaker.
     
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  7. bbarott

    bbarott Most Honored Senior Member

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    Correct. Fifty footers here as well to drive the mains. Rapco Horizon 12 AWG. Got 'em at Sam Ash as I recall, could be wrong though. I've had 'em a good long time.
     
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  8. hornpiper

    hornpiper Senior Stratmaster

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    Couplers in both 1/4” and speakon are easily available too, if you need to connect cables together to make a long run. If I needed to use a 1/4” coupler, I used to wrap a piece of gaffer’s tape around each end of a 1/4” coupler to prevent them from accidently coming unplugged during a performance.
     
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  9. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I used to run about 40 feet of cable from my amp in the control room to speakers in the live room (back when I still had my big studio). Sounded fine.
     
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  10. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-Talker

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    Well I uh....um.... have “some” experience with that. What exactly is your question about that? Guitar cab, p.a. Or hi-if?

    I probably have about a million feet of speaker cable . Size matters. Especially over distance.

    Depending on power levels, 1/4” connectors suck and you have a very tiny contact surface even touching the termination point. Only good for small power levels or musical instrument/musical amp purposes. Pro audio invented the Speakon connector to allow more current to pass. That’s why no (P.A.) amplifier that’s any amplifier of real power comes with 1/4” output jacks anymore because a Speakon Jack is superior (or big binding posts).

    And just so you know, in the p.a. world, going bi-amp or greater can significantly make wire size issues change drastically as high frequencies tend to ride on the outside of the cable so even bi-amping can make your p.a. sound better regardless of the other attributes of doing so. The cables being broken up to just carrying highs or lows makes less need for a bigger gauge.

    In hi-if world, go with great oxygen free cables like at least as big as 13g or 12g Monster cable. Huge sonic difference. Very hearable.

    30’ to your guitar cab? Should be no problem, old thought is to never coil the wire up but probably unhearable difference. All amps are different though in how they push a load and their reaction to long cable lengths and impedance. I had one particular amp that I could not use around high power AM broadcasting antennas. Anything longer than 20’, the AM signal would backfeed into the amplifier and come back out a low distorted mess!

    Oh and your speaker cables should never be shielded unless special cases, just 2 wires of good gauge and running parallel. Using shielded (longer) speaker cables can turn your cable into a capacitor and your amp may not like it. All amps are different so not every rule applies universally.

    30’ feet is good length of cable to have if you have to use it to tow your bass player home. I’d recommend a minimum of 12 gauge for that. Hopefully he’ll tie it to his bumper and not himself.
     
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  11. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm putting the amp on the pedal board and don't want to stand next to the cabinet :D
     
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  12. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Great replies, thank you all!
     
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  13. Stevem

    Stevem Senior Stratmaster

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    If your pumping up to 300'watts rms into a 8 ohm load down 30 ft of cable it needs to be 10 gauge cable .

    If your pumping up to 300 watts rms into a 4 ohm load then the cable needs to be made of 10 gauge wire

    500 watts rpms into a 8 ohm load down a 30 ft cable would need 10 gauge wire.

    You should beable to temper your needs with this info.
     
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  14. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-Talker

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    If you are going to be standing 30 feet in front of your cab, you may have to take the speed of sound into consideration! I know from fooling around with my wireless that the delay from what you play to what you hear does become an issue at some point.

    Bill, tgo
     
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  15. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm not anywhere near 300 watts :D
     
  16. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    More like a birthday cake candle... :p
     
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  17. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yeah, that's around 0.03 seconds delay. My timing is not that great :D
     
  18. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yes, I'd say that the amp is capable of three birthday candles, the speaker can take 1.5 and I make use of 1/4 of said candle :D
     
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