I need advice on Dissimilar runs using XLR

I have a tri-amped system where the 2 SS amps are very close to the speakers. I need to make 2 runs to the SS amps from the crossover. One run is 1m the other run is 6m. All my components are balanced XLR in/outs.

My questions are:

1) Will unequal lengths of XLR make a noticeable difference between the L and R channel? and;

2) I’d like to get the best value for the buck for proper interconnects, so what brand do you recommend and why?

3) What are the problems (if any) of using 2 different quality brands with identical metals. (I may buy single cables used)

Anybody can pop off $3000 for a set of nice cables, but I’m searching for value. I’m good with used.

ARC SP15, ARC VT130 amp, Morrow 4 interconnects, Bryston 7Bsst2 monoblocks (for the woofers) Bryston 10B X-over & Model T speakers. Sources vary- Rotel CD, HD with hi res rips, computer, retired the phono- deteriorating vinyl wore me out but I do have a unplayed Slim Whitman album in reserve :)

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I was alway told to keep them equal, and do not coil the longer run. If you ever upgrade selling one long cable and one short (match set)  would be a much tougher sell

The rule is always the same length. I have never broken it.


Cables can be looked at as having hundreds of small capacitors per inch where different electrons are detained by very slightly different amounts. Often why single crystal, or fancy metallurgies are employed in high quality cables. So by shortening a cable you are really compounding differences in arrival times.


Will you hear it? Hard to say.


Whether to do it or not depends on your goals. If it is to have a good sounding system, it may not matter. If you are going for the best possible you can achieve, then no. Really tiny things add up… always degrading the sound. Truly great sounding systems have no compromises on the little stuff as well as the big stuff.

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Could you please relate your experiences that support your supposition. What brands, differential lengths, and components were involved in your testing?

I have always desired to take some shortcuts. Wasting money has never been something I like to do. 

So, you really have no experience. You are just parroting something you read online.


I have googled why smoking is good for you and discovered that doctors and religious people confirm smoking is good for your health. Also, that climate change is not real, despite the conclusion of dozens of peer reviewed scientific papers, dozens of statements issued by scores of scientific communities, as well as overwhelming heat waves and storms well far outside three standard deviations of normal. 

Maybe google is not always the right source for info, especially when you can research it yourself.

The results are in.

I ran 1m Audioquest speaker cables from my solid state woofer amps. This necessitated one XLR from the crossover being 20' and the other 4'. I could not hear any differences between the L & R channel. I reversed the cables- no audible difference. I used some tracks that are very difficult on a woofer- Bozz Skaggs Because Of You. Nothing. Zero zip nada. Looks like Jeffery125 was right. 

I appreciate all the input here. I was probably OCD worried about it way too much. 

I also made a set of XLRs per the writeup Paul McGowan of PS audio


I used the cables and ends he recommended and again was surprised that my Morrow Audio XLR interconnects sounded no different than McGowan's home brew cable formula applied between my Audio Research SP 15 and the ARC VT130 power amp. Just to make sure I used the "McGowan" cable on one channel and the Morrow on the other channel- then reversed them. No audible difference. I'm stunned that my $50 McGowan cable and my $500 Morrow 1m interconnects are indistinguishable. I suspect there is a LOT of BS in the cable seller's claims. If I had no budget I'd probably buy the $6,000 interconnects in the fancy wood box but since I'm not a Billionaire I'll be happy getting max value for my HiFi buck. 

I have tried both equal length and different length XLR cables and I could not tell the difference. However, this was with a preamp with plenty of drive (low output impedance) into a fairly high impedance input. It's possible that a high capacitance cable with a source that has fairly high output impedance would have a more noticeable difference. 

Keep in mind that in a studio environment, or live venue, balanced cables of wildly different lengths are used. 

I have, however, noticed a difference with speaker cables of significantly different lengths and try to avoid this. I've found that shorter speaker cables are always better and given the choice of short speaker cables or short balanced interconnects, the former is the clear winner. 

I have tried a number of different balanced cables (probably close to a dozen types). My favorite is Iconoclast 4x4 UP-OCC, but I've also had good luck with Mogami 2549 cable. The Mogami cable is much less expensive and nearly as good as the Iconoclast (in my system with my ears). Amazon sells a brand called Worlds Best Cables that uses this Mogami  bulk cable with Neutrik connectors. I recently bought four 25ft cables for $140 total. Exceptional value.