Golden Rules for Cable & Power Cord Arrangement


I would like to know some of the Golden Rules for laying out my audio cable and my power cables.

As much as possible I try to keep my power cables away from my audio cables, but there are times when they run near each other or even cross over each other.

I've also seen photos of systems where the cables are strung between little feet to keep them off the floor. Does that help the sound or is it frivolous?

Thanks for your advice!
rogerstillman
If they must cross, try to keep them at 90 degree angles.
Here are some great tips about cable management from the Mapleshade.com website:

Don't despair: correct wire management can help rather than hinder good sound. The following four simple rules tell you how:

• Don't run wires-speaker cables, ICs or power cords-close and parallel to each other for more than a few inches; they'll "talk" to each other, causing muddy, smeared, edgy sound. To avoid sonic degradation, keep parallel wires separated by at least 6" wherever possible.

• Try not to run any wires near plastic (or ungrounded metal) surfaces, e.g. artificial fiber rugs or curtains, plastic tiles, linoleum, laminate wood floors, plastic moldings/wallpaper, urethane varnished floors, etc. If possible, keep wires at least 8" from plastic (or ungrounded metal) of any significant mass. These plastics are invariably terrible-sounding dielectrics.

• Avoid using plastic cable ties, plastic sheathing, plastic braid, or plastic conduit to hold, support or protect wires. Instead, use good sounding dielectrics like string (cotton or silk), thin polypropylene tape, or thin wood (preferably maple) to hang/support wires.

• Non-parallel wires--that is, those crossing at angles of 45 degrees or more-don't need to be separated: they can even touch at the crossing point without sonic harm.

Regards,

Matt
My opinion: They're largely frivolous. But ymmv.

If worried about cost & not aesthetics, I've heard of people cutting holes paper cups & routing wires through to see if they hear a difference.

But I'm sure experts will have a different opinion.
I cross power cables with interconnects at 90 degrees, plus lift them over each other with small tripods made of wooden dowels cut to 6 inch lengths kept together with rubber bands. Only need 3 tripods.
Others say they all should be elevated off carpeting, but I have mine on the carpet and can't hear any difference.
It depends, you must listen and see if you hear any difference.
In my system almost all cables and cords are very well shielded, and I hear no difference whatever the arrangement. Still, I prefer when they don't touch easch other, just in case.
Great comments! Thank you.
All of the above plus something easy to use to separate cables is the tubed foam pipe wrap that often comes in 3 or 4-foot lengths and maybe in a bag of 8 pieces for a couple of bucks. Get the material that is about 2 inches in outside diameter and has about a one-inch diameter inner hole. These tubes are already split in half but need to be pulled apart.

You can cut pieces as short as a couple of inches and wrap around your cables at crossing points so they do not touch. These tubes also work pretty good at providing separation between dual-run bi-wire speaker cables. I am sure the material itself is not the greatest dielectric but because it is foam it is mostly air.
All of the above plus something easy to use to separate cables is the tubed foam pipe wrap that often comes in 3 or 4-foot lengths and maybe in a bag of 8 pieces for a couple of bucks. Depending on the diameter of your cables, commonly available inside diameters range from about 1/2 to 1-inch. The outside diameter is typically about two inches. These tubes are already split in half but need to be pulled apart.

You can cut pieces as short as a couple of inches and wrap around your cables at crossing points so they do not touch. These tubes also work pretty good at providing separation between dual-run bi-wire speaker cables. I am sure the material itself is not the greatest dielectric but because it is foam it is mostly air.