Speaker Cable Length

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MostlyBass, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    What your thoughts on the length of cable from amp head to cabinet? Not for sound but just for the issue of extra cable length.

    I have a 3' foot cable but the distance probably needs a foot or less. I'm thinking issues of accidentally catching the cable on something or the head falling... Should I use the shortest possible?

    Any logistical / accident experience?

    Thank you!
  2. If you have a shorter one on hand, use it. If you dont, I dont think you are going to see any difference with a shorter cable.
  3. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Not for sound... Just being OCD about what something trips on it.
  4. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    +1 And I don't think he'll hear any differences either! :D
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    I use 2-3 foot speakon cables for my head and 2 cabs. I have used 25" cables as they were just lying around, but I tend to use 3-5".

    If I bougt new cables they would be 5" as my 2" cables are JUST big enough.
  6. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    I use whatever's left over after wiring the sound system. Sometimes that means having ten foot cables tucked behind my bass cabinets. There's usually a wall behind them, so very little chance that anyone would ever trip over them.
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  7. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Thanks for the input everyone!
  8. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    You can shorten the cable with a zip tie.
  9. bassgod76

    bassgod76 bass turd burglar

    Mar 13, 2003
    South Florida
    Is it wrong to assume that cable gage trumps length as far as sound goes?
  10. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    A zip tie! Brilliant!!
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    You have to balance length, gauge, impedance, and wattage. Wikipedia's chart omits wattage, but gives a rough idea:

    Despite what audiophiles say, sound isn't a concern, but you do want a cable that can handle the wattage. For us bassists, 14 ga. is plenty for all but the most extreme applications (long cable run, humongous wattage).

    There are charts that include wattage. I couldn't find one but maybe someone else will.

    P.S. Props to the Wikipedia article for debunking some audio myths (e.g. skin effect).
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.


    May 19, 2023
    When using the TC bam 200 watt amp and two separate speaker cabinets that have 8 ohm peavy BW speakers, do the speaker cables need to be of the same length ?
  13. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    No, assuming neither is unreasonably long, like 20 feet.

    I used to have a rule that the cable had to be long enough that it wouldn't get yanked if the head fell off the speaker. That was back when heads weighed something. It seemed preferable to let the head hit the ground than for the cable to catch the fall.

    What I still don't know is if that was a smart idea, or a dumb one. ;)
    Pulverizor and beans-on-toast like this.
  14. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    Same length? No but within reason. Three feet and six feet won’t matter. Keep them as short as necessary. This keeps them neat and minimizes strain on the connectors.


    May 19, 2023
    I have a 6 ft cable and a 12 ft cable ?????


    May 19, 2023
    Just started using two cabinets.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    That's fine, they can be 25' difference and no problem.


    May 19, 2023
    Thanks for the info
    agedhorse likes this.