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When it came to cable lengths I had an arsenal of reasons why I preferred long speaker cables to long interconnects.

For one thing, short speaker cables means half of the electronics sits nearest the loudspeakers. Amps and preamps are prone to sonic damage when vibrated by the very speakers that we so want to make perfect. The closer a power amplifier or preamplifier are to the source of sound, the more chance for damage from internal components echoing delayed sounds traveling through air.

In fact, one of the worst set ups I can imagine is the entire hi fi system positioned on a rack between the speakers. I see this setup often, sometimes vinyl based too. A turntable is not happy too close to a loudspeaker.

Long speaker cables permit the electronics to be as far from the speakers as possible, and that's good.

For many years I kept my electronics as far away from the source of sound as humanly possible. If I could, I would have placed them in the other room—though that didn't seem too practical. Instead, I used a variety of isolation and anti vibration tools to mitigate the damage.

For me, the logic of the power amp's superior drive capabilities coupled with the idea of isolating equipment from the speakers made the most sense and that's what I did.

But things were soon to come into question.

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Paul McGowan

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