Unequal length speaker cables

Hi I have always always kept my speaker cables at equal lengths… has anyone had experience of unequal lengths…just interested…

I know from reading reviews of Tellurium Q cables, that they (TQ) don’t consider unequal lengths an issue - in fact they almost recommend buying they exact lengths you need in order to keep things tidy & economical, though it’s hardly practical (I guess) for complex multi-channel setups. Having said that, I have equal lengths…

Will depend on the amp and how different the lengths are, I suppose. With Naim amps expecting the cables to provide certain parameters on the amp outputs, I wouldn’t want to load the 2 channels very differently.

I really cannot see the point of doing this. Why - would you compromise - like this…? :thinking:

With some speaker cables it could save thousands, and it simplifies cable management, so I do understand why some would prefer it, but I wouldn’t

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I use unequal lengths, 5M/3M, of Tellurium Q Black II, spoke to Tellurium about it no problem, also run unequal lengths of TQ Black II XLR cables to active ATC’s, again no issues.

My only experience of doing so was many years ago (early to mid-1970s), with Naim speakers (602 IIRC) and a NAP 120. It sounded really bad - there was obviously something wrong. Changed them to be the same length and all was well. I have never experimented with different lengths since then, so whether it was something to do with the amplifier or not I don’t know.

With the Cables I use, the cost saving would be minimal… :astonished:

Naim recommend you use equal lengths for left and right channels. Having heard the difference between different lengths on Naim amps, I can fully understand the recommendation.


I was thinking about doing unequal lengths of SL as I need only 2/4m L/R but backed off and doing 4/4, it would also be much easier to sell on at equal lengths

If loudspeaker cables make a difference, the length does matter.

Yes, but it might be a point for other people. You’d think differently if you had Chord Music :wink:

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It seems odd to be having a debate on this.
The two channels would differ in their electrical properties.
But it would be cheaper.
Nothing more ro say.

No I wouldn’t - even before I checked the price… Out of my Budget - and (IMO) beyond sane.

The tolerances of the inductors and capacitors in the loudspeakers will dwarf the differences in these factors in slightly different length cables. Hence as long as you meet the basic requirements for your Naim amp (e.g 3.5m or more of NACA5 or equivalent), then don’t worry. Life’s too short.

Does this also apply to a Unitilite, or is it just the Naim power amplfiers

Whether unequal cable lengths would sound different would depend on several factors, in particular their electrical characteristics (capacitance, inductance and resistance), which will vary from cable to cable, and on how and to what extent the amplifier’s output is affected by those characteristics, which will vary between different amp output stage designs. The cable’s overall capacitance, inductance and resistance are directly affected by cable length, so if any of these affect the signal in an audible way, perhaps most notably by modifying the load on the amplifier, then any difference in length is likely to make an audible difference. Also, if there is any interaction with other things (e.g. as discussed in the current thread on cable lifters), then again there is likely to be a difference if cables are an unequal length. Any difference in sound arising from unequal cable length would be expected to be ralated to the degree of difference in length, a small difference percentage wise having less effect than a large difference.

However, if the listening room layout is not symmetrical, that almost certainly will make an audible difference to the sound between the two channels – very possibly of greater magnitude than any difference arising from unequal cable lengths.

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When I had my experience with unequal-length cables, I got the distinct impression that it affected the way that the NAP120 behaved. It was quite distorted, not simply a matter of changes in some part of the frequency range.

I have run unequal lengths of chord epic for years and all seems OK. Before doing so I asked the ‘cable doctor’ at Chord for his advice and he felt it would be no problem provided the difference was within limits.
Sadly, I cannot quote his reply as I have deleted the email. Neither can I remember the lengths of cables in my system.

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