A cable routing reminder


If you have unshielded interconnects, be sure to keep them clear of any power cords - and power supplies. 

A few days ago, I swapped the power cord on a component. The replacement power cord has a relatively mellow signature. But after installing it, the HF started sounding etched. This made no sense. I had solved that problem long ago. This was a mystery.

It turns out that when I replaced the power cord - one of my unshielded IC’s fell from its support - directly on top of the shielded power cord. Even though the IC was laying at a 90° angle, the negative impact was quite significant. After re-routing the IC, the smoothness returned.

So, if you have unshielded IC’s, be sure to re-visit their positioning. Actually, it can’t hurt to re-visit the routing of shielded IC’s, also.


steakster
Thanks for sharing. I have been using Shunyata’s Dark Field Minis to separate IC’s from PC’s. They also works great to lift your cables off the carpet. 
It turns out that when I replaced the power cord - one of my unshielded IC’s fell from its support - directly on top of the shielded power cord. 

Yes but didn't you know, supporting cables cannot possibly make any difference. 
“supporting cables cannot possibly make any difference.”......what a BS! 
millercarbon....did you forget to take your meds?
Yes but didn't you know, supporting cables cannot possibly make any difference.
But in this case, it sounds like the support was to keep the IC away from the power cord, so it did make a difference.
Most importantly I've found that the ICs between the turntable tonarm cart leads and phono stage/SUT to be the most critical in terms maintaining distance from PCs in order to reduce noise.  There are less noise implications I've seen with ICs related to DACs and linestages and amps....especially when using XLRs.
“supporting cables cannot possibly make any difference.”......what a BS!
millercarbon....did you forget to take your meds?

Yeah forgot the doc said double up on the Xanax before reading audiophool forums. According to him, if audiophools blather blather it works, and also works equally well when they miss obvious sarcasm.

Audiophools are like Drax in the first Guardians movie: "Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it."
“Yeah forgot the doc said double up on the Xanax before reading audiophool forums.”

Well that explains why you can’t help yourself interjecting off topic chatter in almost every thread! No wonder the standards here gone down since you graced us with your presence 😎
you guys mush be really bored or no life... 😂😂😂
Out in the wild , the main lines under the sidewalk have to be a foot apart. And thats separated by a foot of sand. I think there is a lot more at stake in those lines. Anyways , yes keep them apart . Zip ties , whatever. 
@steakster,
Thanks for starting this thread. One can be in this hobby a long time and forget some of the dos and dont’s.

Case in point (no, I’m not Rod Serling), I raised my cables a short while ago and heard the benefits. Then, I sold my beloved Barcelona chairs with matching ottomans for a recliner I could get in and out of easily, and fiddled around some more behind the audio stand.

Listening while trying out my new recliner, I notice the soundstage was lower and the lows were weak and not as focused compared to before. I checked everything with my laser and my head was only about 2-3" higher and just couldn’t settle on that being the answer. I could slump down and nothing improved. It was after reading this thread that I took another look behind the rack and saw that two pairs of ICs were now sitting directly atop two PCs, but at right angles.

I got some of that insulation made for tubing with the slit down the side and fashioned some short pieces to wrap around the PCs, raising and isolating the ICs from them and viola!

The soundstage is now as tall as it used to be and the lows are back and impactful as ever. To quote Billie Eilish, Duh.

All the best,
Nonoise
If one wanted to build their own cable risers and separators. What type of materials work best? What would be something to look out for?
How many inches are required between a shielded power cable and an unshielded interconnect? How about a ballpark figure: 2”, 6”, 1 foot, etc. 
The insulator I use (which is a foam used inside of piping with a slit down the side) provides about <1" of barrier between the cables and it worked for me.

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd set about creating larger distances, but, like I said, I'm lazy.

All the best,
Nonoise
Re: OP When back on its support, the IC is about 4" apart from the PC.

I doubt if there’s a formula for separating cables. As much as possible within the limitations of your rack. Also, if an IC is on top - or underneath - a component, be sure it isn’t laying adjacent to the power supply inside the casing. That’ll affect the SQ, too, (I assume that most know that IC’s should not be run parallel to PC’s. That could cause hum or some other weirdness.)

The rat’s nest behind my rack has a variety of supports for keeping the cables separated. Primarily, I use clothespins. Also, very small C-clamps on the rack shelves and assorted rubber doodads from Home Depot.

For supporting the speaker cables off the floor in front of the rack, I found a pair of decorative props from TJ Maxx/Home Goods.

Thank you NoNoise, I had 4 spots where shielded interconnects crossed power cords due to rack/equipement configuration.

Invested $4.00 in some HomerD pipe foam insullation, cut to fit and nice effect on better sound. Took me all of 10 minutes to install.

@nonoise Thanks for the tip about pipe foam insulation. It works great! I’ve installed it wherever one cable touches another cable - whether it be IC, SC or PC.  Even if a cable is shielded, physical separation from another is still good.
@steakster , and @richmon , you're welcome. I wish I could take credit for it but someone else here turned me onto that simple and cost effective tweek a while ago. That insulation makes it so easy to address the problems that reside behind the rack. 

All the best,
Nonoise