.....sorry, tried to reference Rlhjazz's "Ringing" thread.
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Hi Craig, my advice is don't do it, I've had long ic's with the components to the side out of the soundfield, and I currently have everything in the middle with the amp in front on an amp stand. I don't notice any difference - if anything I like it better the way it is now, I mean sonically. Call me crazy. As long as your speaks are far enough from the front wall I don't think it matters. I think you have Vandy Sigs so you probably have them in front of your equipment. Give it a test before you commit if possible. I'm a big proponent of short cables all around. Cheers.
Tough decision! I can relate to the high cost of ic's as well, but in my case I have Levinson 33H monos so I placed them near the speakers. Fortunately I found a 35' pair of Transparent Ultra XLR here on Audiogon for the right price.
Having no buyer's remorse and the system is sounding fine, fine, fine!
This is an impossible answer. If you keep the speaker cable runs short then you have all of your gear stacked between the speakers which has its pitfalls. If the amp only sits inbetween for short speaker runs then you generally have long interconnects which in my experience are more degrading than long runs of speaker cable. The amps are putting out a much larger signal level than the preamp. I have not experimented with sonically isolating an amp like in a cabinet or on different stands although I know that in the case of speakers that two stands of equal height but different construction will sound markedly different. My amp currently sits on one side wall on the bottom shelf of a deluxe Room Tunes rack. Double french doors behind the speaker preclude the installation of equipment in that location, so everythings a compromise.
Garfish: This probably won't do you any good, but maybe it will. I am moving my gear (except the speakers:-) to a hallway closet that is just off the living room. The closet runs behind the front speaker wall (just behind the speakers) and I will run my speaker cable through the wall to the speakers. A gentleman emailed me about a Radio Shack signal "relay" device (approx $50.00) that will pick up the signal from my remote control and convirt it to an infrared signal which will then penetrate the closet. I will have to run a power line or two to the closet or just use extension cords perhaps from Kevin Haskell if he will make them (which could be ran through the wall as well). Sounds impractical but the closet is just a couple of steps further than the gears current location. Right now it is 8' away to the side in a cabinet. Every time that I have tried moving the gear (source included) inbetween or close to the side of and behind a speaker the vibration messes up the sound too much in my situation.
I have wondered this too. Expecially since I have such bass heavy speakers now. I read an interesting footnote in one of michael fremer's articles. He said the 8 foot and 20 foot analysis plus oval 9 cables sounded sonically equivalent. I compared my six foot biwire oval 9's to 11 foot OCOS cables. Interestingly, the oval 9 cables played noticably louder than the sumiko cables !
I have a tube amp sitting between to my bass heavy vandersteen 5's. I have to wonder if the massive bass of these things is shaking my tube amp up too much.
Richard Vandersteens advice in the vandersteen setup manual is pretty clear cut: Short everywhere. If you have to go long, go long with interconnects. My local hifi dealer, echohifi, says the same.
I recall an article by Jonathan scull where he remarked that getting all your equipment to an acoustically quiet area will improve your sonics above the loss of clarity from cables. Then again, these are guys who have access to free $10,000 nasa-can't-afford-them interconnect cables.
RhlJazz, I agree with your assumptions but disagree with your conclusions. Since the Amp is putting out much higher signals than the Preamp, it is better to have SHORTER speaker cables and LONGER ICs. Higher signals have more potential to interact with the conductor and cause undesirable effects. The lower signals through the ICs are less likely to be impeded while traveling through the cable. Of course, this is assuming proper cable dressing.