I have the amps and active crossovers (3 pieces each side) in my living room, sitting on 30" high stands and flanking a fireplace that juts out. I try to hide them, as well as the cables, with large potted plants, the type with really big leaves, which works well now that the plants have grown and have the added benefit of acting as sound absorber/diffusers.
Unfortunately I had to improve the WAF by removing it from the living room into the spare bedroom. In the end it worked out well since now I can listen whenever I like and it doesn't compete with the TV. I'd like a bigger room but I wouldn't go back to the living room.
I guess this is what you get for having Spica Angelus 3 feet from the rear wall ! (If you don't know these beauties see the link below)
Most living rooms have @ least one closet attached to them. We have two closets (one a coat closet in the room and one a hallway closet which runs behind the speaker wall). I use the hall closet for my electronics and run the speaker cable through the wall. Just the speakers/stands and three feet of speaker cable (times two) are in the living room. If this is not possible a nice looking furniture cabinet (wardrobe, low boy, etc.) can be gutted to the point that it will house an equipment rack so that the bottom spikes have access to the floor). This ends up being another form of closet/cabinet to hide the gear with no downside as long as ventilation is good (maybe open up the back)? I have used closets over the years to keep pets away from tube gear, plus they offer further isolation for TT's and CD players. We will be converting the coat closet to store LP's and overflow CD's when I am up to it. I also find listening to music more relaxing when the electronics are not in sight (kind of like being in a huge elevator with only the music to move/transport you:-).
I've gotten to the point that most of the cables are wired point to point with just enough slack to be safe. This keeps the installation SOOOO much neater, easier to trace and more organized looking. Rather than having a ton of cables draping across each other, drooping down into a saggy intertwined mess, mixing "stray magnetic fields", etc... you have relatively straight lines. Only drawback is that doing such ( cutting to fit ) plays hell with resale value on used cables and that i have to reterminate all the cables myself, which does take time.
Then again, i've been able to buy some cable in bulk and have saved great amounts to begin with, so it all balances out. My current project for this weekend is to take 40+ feet of Goertz Micropurl, cut to the desired lengths and then then terminate 7 different cables with Neutrik balanced connectors for my HT system. Doing the labor and picking up the necessary parts myself will save me multiple hundreds of dollars AND give me the necessary "cut to length" runs that help keep things looking "neat & orderly" : )
Speaker cables are another matter though. Kind of hard to keep those hidden unless you run a ton of cable, route it behind walls, through floors, etc.... You sometimes have to double or triple the length of the run. I won't do that though, due both to cost and loss of performance. The end result is that one has to deal with the looks.
The one exception to being "uncluttered looking" is my "big" system. There is no way to keep the clutter down on this one. Three racks with cables connecting them is an "artistic nightmare". The first rack, which is centrally located, has the source components, preamp and electronic crossover. These connect to the right and left racks, which house duplicate amps necessary to tri-amp in mono-block fashion.
Each of these two racks contain a stereo amp for the woofers, a stereo amp for the mids and a stereo amp for the tweeters. I am dividing the load of multiple drivers between the two channels on each stereo amp. This increases my dynamic headroom and keeps the impedance at a relatively sane level for each channel of amplification. I am therefore using a total of twelve channels of amplification ( each with their own interconnect needed ) AND twelve sets of speaker cables. Like i said, there is NO way to keep this one "pretty". Sean
Lord, Sean, TWELVE channels of amplification?!? As in 12!?! Wow....
Sol; Good thread, I'll follow it with interest. I do have a rat's nest behind my double wide stereo stand, but don't have a WAF as I have a semi-dedicated listening room. Still, I'd like to neaten up the rat's nest. I have 2 ft. of space behind my stereo stand and the dedicated outlets in the wall behind. The rats nest is mostly camoflaged from all sides except one by the stereo stand itself. I have added wall support for my stiff and heavy Syn Res. Master Couplers. Cheers. Craig
This one is easy. Just buy large enough speakers where the mono amps, interconnect and power cables are hidden behind them.
This of course does NOT work if the wife hates the appearance of the speakers. Luckily not an issue with my better half.
Yeah Mezmo, 12 channels of amplification just to do 2 channel stereo. They are all "SET" amps though, so you're looking at a total of about 30 watts per speaker. JUST KIDDING : )
I do know guys that are doing stuff like that ( multiple set amps actively crossed over ) and they absolutely love it. Just have to start off with far more efficient speakers than what i have in this specific system. Actually, my horn based system does run about 30 wpc courtesy of an old original Marantz model 8. With 104 dB speakers though, you don't need much juice at all but it can sometimes "help". This is currently my only system that runs a single amp :(
For my "big and sloppy" system discussed here, i've got two Forte' 3's driving the array of RTR E-stat tweeters ( 350 wpc x all 4 channels ) with Goertz MI-2's as speaker cable and high capacitance power cords of my own design. I also have two Forte' 6's driving the stacked E-stat mid panels ( 350 wpc x all 4 channels ) with Goertz MI-2's as speaker cable and high capacitance power cords of my own design. Two Perreaux PMF-3150B's ( 500 wpc X all 4 channels ) driving the subs with Fulton Gold ( 4 gauge ) as speaker cable and Audience powerChord's. These PC's seem to work very well on Mosfet based power amps, especially in terms of bottom end. I have inspected their internals though and they are a very simple design that i could EASILY duplicate.
Each amp was selected for specific traits within the frequency range that they are being used in. Parts have been added, changed, replaced, etc.. as needed on the various components, but i still want to play around with changing the bridge rectifiers out for "fast recovery" types. One of my friends insists that this "tweak" will make more of a difference than any mod that i've ever tried to any component.
This arrangement gives me 2400 wpc on command. Keep in mind that this rating is based on factory 4 ohm output ratings even though the impedances that the amps see are probably somewhat lower. The woofer amps will easily do WAY more power than they are rated for, probably closer to 700-750 wpc rms at the low impedances that i'm using them at. I think that they were rated for an additional 2.2 dB's of dynamic power above the rms levels too.
Due to the sheer amount of driver area, driver speed and reserve in terms of the amplifiers never being pushed, this results in utter clarity, liquidity and slam at any volume level. The versatility added by the crossover, which allows for a large variance in "driver blending" or "overlap" at the hinge frequencies, made things much simpler than i had thought possible. I switched to this crossover at the suggestion of a friend for this very reason. For the record, the active crossover is a Marchand XM-9 Deluxe. The three racks in this system are all modified Premier's as discussed on a previous rack related thread.
Most all of this stuff has been purchased courtesy of the good folks here on Audiogon and / or other audio related websites. Some of the folks that i bought merchandise from may recognize some of their "old junk" listed here. Believe me, if it wasn't for sites like this and great people to deal with, i could never begin to think about affording this or any of my other systems.
I'm currently working on tri-amping my bedroom system. Right now it's only bi-amped. My girlfriend is the primary user of this system, so she probably feels "deprived" : ) Sean
Seantaylor99: You removed your spouse to the spare bedroom?
Good going !!!
I guess I got lucky, my fiance is fine with my HT, which runs six dual mono amps, all with active crossovers, plus the integral sub amp, so 13 channels for 5.1.... I personally like having the one wall entirely made up of stereo components. It saves me money by not having to buy art to decorate the walls, and sounds incredible in my little condo on the beach!!
....we'll see how she feels after the wedding...I may be putting it into another room!
We discussed buying a house with a dedicated HT room, but she says she'd rather it be in the living room!! Can you believe it! She WANTS all 15+ components, speakers, cables, software, etc in the living room!!!! Then again, she's pretty easy, she let me buy an AMG Benz this week, just meant I had to buy the engagement ring too.....
The wedding is planned for October...we'll see what happens after that!
I put a hat on.
Sincerely, I remain
HAHAHAH.... Thanks for the laugh Clueless. I could use one after the day that i've had : ) Sean
Sugarbrie ... indeed, and with attention to room treatment I can now hardly hear her fists thumping the door. I slide meals under the door at regular intervals. You should try it.
Thanks to you all for the contributions.
After reading I see that many systems might be kind of a six flags park for a lilliput Tarzan to play in or even live....... from interconnect to interconnect .....
Well forgive the mind game above.....
anyways, I have thought about making something like a screen made of any suitable material and use it to stretch an open weave fabric maybe in a combining color with the equipment or furniture or roomÂ´s wall color to place over the area where the problem is worst.
The idea is to have a fabric that allows the equipment to breathe properly but providing at the same time the aesthetic improvement IÂ´m looking for.
I must say that something close to a cover tied to a frame (maybe resembling a "tent") specially for the pre-source-amp area is the best just tall enough to cover (remember that I donÂ´t currently use a rack)the back of each where most cables are might do the trick...
12 amplification channels Sean and I thought I have problems... well you're really lucky for your girlfriendÂ´s position about this
I hope time will come when I can build my dedicated room as I please!!!!!!
The idea of a closet as Dekay is using is interesting in spite of me not currently having that now..., but hey I can build a Fake one or combine a diffusor on the higher parts and use the lower parts for the equipment separated with a division.... what do you think too carried away?
Have a couple of ideas more but would like to have your comments.....
You paid a kings ransom for the wiring loom so leave it on show. Oops , you mean she doesn't know how much a decent interconnect costs?