Essential tips for system setup

With the wealth experiance here on the Gon, we all know you do not just plug it in and expect bliss from our systems. Irregardless of brand, price, tube or SS, vinyl or CD etc there are basic setup techniques that will maximize the quality of sound that can be extracted from any gear. What are the top 5 setup techniques that has brought the best out of your system? I sweated through two years wanting to upgrade but found each setup technique when implement constitued a "component upgrade" it itself. Here are my "Essentials" for proper system setup:

1. Power. Run a dedicated line - especially for your source and preamp. The more dedicated lines the better. Use a good recepticle, minimun orange hospital grade but try to go for hi end audiofile recepticle. If power in area is poor then get a line conditioner. Do not use power bars!

2. Room. Get rid of the clutter between the speakers. Some room treatment - at least some bass traps in the corners. This can get very involving but take a look at the room and see what can be moved around and listen for the best sonics. Seating position is a critical factor here also.

3. Speaker Placement. I suffered for over a year because my Wilson Sophia's were incorrectly placed by an "Expent" Finally I played around with it myself and after 3 hours of experimenting it is right. Trust your ears!

4. Isolation Platforms. Make sure you have good isolation platforms for your components. I placed my CDP and amp on ebony blocks and then elevated my CDP off the blocks with rubber balls. Either buy or make good platforms for your components. My CDP sounds analogue now.

5. Cables. Have decent cables but I believe having a good power cord on the front end will make the most improvement.

My components have not changed but they have definitely taken 5 big jumps up in terms of musical quality. It took me 2 years to "tune" my system to this point, what other "Essential" setup may I be missing?
I think I have found a great way to at least get your speakers positioned from a side to side perspective. My method is based on prime numbers and there is nothing really unique to this. But it seems to work quite well and from a physics perspective makes sense; try it.

Take the width of your room in inches and divide this number by a variety of prime numbers like 5, 7, 11, 13. These numbers can then be used calculate quotients that can then be used for multiples of distances from the side walls to place the center of the drivers (in a vertical arrayed speaker system) from the side walls. The premise is that prime numbers don't have resonant frequency multiples except for themselves and 1 and shouldn't promote side to side to side resonant frequencies at such distance intervals. The best thing about this method is that you don't have to have the speakers equidistant from the side walls, just as long as they themselves are centered at one of the distance-divided by prime number quotient points. Multiples of these quotients are also acceptable.

Example: say your room is 148.5 inches wide like mine is. 148.5/5=29.7
148.5/11=13.5 and 13.5 x 2= 27.0
148.5/13=11.42 and 11.42 X 2 =22.84 and 11.42 X 3 34.26

Thus you could place either speaker at any of the these quotient distances, 11.42, 13.5, 21.21, 22.84, 27.0, 29.7 or 34.26 inches from either side wall are all available.

My Thiels are now (for the left speaker) 27.0 inches from the left side wall and (for the right speaker) 29.7 inches from the right side wall. Again the distances are to the center of the drivers (in my case I used the center back of the cabinet because the drivers are centered vertically in the cabinet) and the reason I chose these distances is to visually align them to a fireplace insert not quite centered in my living space due to an architectural constraint.

The results are that the speakers acoustically disappeared and the soundstage is even, high and wide without any one frequency appearing to be dominant. With my meter and warble tones this is the best evenness of frequency respone I have seen yet. Also, once these distances are in place it is easy to adjust the distance front to back relative to the front wall. I use masking tape on the floor to mark various positions etc.

I guarantee this will work and at the very least provides a great starting point!
Stevecham , Interesting.I just purchased a new sofa and chair for my listening/living room.The sofa is both longer and wider then the one it replaced.It also altered and not in a good way the exceptional sound I was previously experiencing.
I will try your suggestion and let you know the outcome
Steve, I still think that all other things equal(!) having the speakers equidistant from the sidewalls helps in areas outside of the considerations at hand. Just a hint with your Thiels, the tweeters are almost exactly inline with the center of the woofers and the woofers centers are a bit aways from the cabinet backs. Take the grills off and use the tweeters to measure.
Steve , Sorry to say it didn't work in my room.That's not to say it doesn't work.I think my new sofa and chair are the culprits.Re-arranging the room is now in order.
Unsound, you are correct but it is the midline of the back of the cabinet that is congruent with the midline of the tweeter and the woofer. I could also use the front of the cabinet. Also, I have the speakers as perfectly leveled as possible so that at least they are midline parallel to one another, even if the floor is not perfectly level.