"Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."

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Early B.

"Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« on: 17 Oct 2019, 11:58 pm »
I'm in the process of de-cluttering my system. I don't know if there's any truth to this, but I've heard that it's best to separate the power cords from the ICs (or something like that); otherwise, you can get audible interference.

I have an audio rack arriving soon, so I'll eventually re-assemble the entire system. However, due to space constraints, the power cords and ICs will likely become intertwined. I only have a few inches behind my rack to get everything connected, so "cross-contamination" may be inevitable. Plus, I have a few really thick power cords that don't bend easily, so I'll have to wrestle with them.

My question is twofold:

1.  Is there any truth to the need to separate cables?

2. If so, what are some of the ways to achieving cable separation based on very limited space?

Thanks.





 
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2019, 01:34 am by Early B. »

Letitroll98

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Re: "What a tangled mess we weave..."
« Reply #1 on: 18 Oct 2019, 12:15 am »
Yes, it makes a difference, more so if you have unshielded cables.  If you can't avoid mixing them, then cross at right angles.  Running them parallel is the worst.  A jumble like the poor guy in the pic is better than parallel.  I've verified, at least to my ears, that this is true, drops the noIse floor.

Elizabeth

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #2 on: 18 Oct 2019, 11:50 am »
One way is to add a slender 'spine' on the back of the rack. wood stick will do. More sophisticated would have some sort of holes to use zip ties etc.. (A strip of pegboard? with some reinforcements so it will not bend too much. Perhaps a modular shelf vertical wall attaching strip?) or whatever. From top to bottom. Then you can rope the powercords to the back of it. or Velcro ties twist ties. whatever. IT does not need to be locked to the shelving. loosely tied to it is enough
With the powercords 'under control'. you can let the IC go wherever they lay, not problem.
If you have a really heavy powercord, one advantage of the spine idea is you can tie the cord to the spine which supports the weight!! so the cord is not hanging off the IEC plug.
And in general, the wires usually are OK. If you do not hear any humming? or noise from your system, then it is not a problem. In theory yes you want to keep them separate.
My cheap racks have the spine built in. and I DO zip tie all the powercords to it.
I also keep the rack farther out from the wall. It makes it way way easier to move stuff.
And finally do NOT buy a rack with closed sides. PITA for swapping wires etc. With open sides, it is much easier to reach in from the sides to do stuff!!!

JLM

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #3 on: 18 Oct 2019, 01:01 pm »
I've backed down from complex systems and run a NAD M10 "streaming amplifier" to single driver speakers.  About as simple and cable free as one can get.  WiFi (most all sourcing is via Tidal), flash drive for alternate source, and power in, flash drive speaker cables out, done.  Sound quality is excellent, flexibility top notch (even includes Dirac), a thoroughly modern and compact design.  My whole "rack" is a 9" x 12" amp stand (which helps enlarge soundstage while keeping speaker cables short). 

Early B.

Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #4 on: 18 Oct 2019, 01:28 pm »
I've backed down from complex systems and run a NAD M10 "streaming amplifier" to single driver speakers.  About as simple and cable free as one can get.  WiFi (most all sourcing is via Tidal), flash drive for alternate source, and power in, flash drive speaker cables out, done.  Sound quality is excellent, flexibility top notch (even includes Dirac), a thoroughly modern and compact design.  My whole "rack" is a 9" x 12" amp stand (which helps enlarge soundstage while keeping speaker cables short).

I want the best sound quality I can get with my money. That means buying separates. For me, that's monoblocks, a transport, DAC, external power supply for preamp, and dual powered subs. Separates simply sound better, as they should, of course. And with separates comes lots of cables, including 8 power cords, most of which are pretty stout. 

JLM

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #5 on: 18 Oct 2019, 02:22 pm »
After nearly 50 years at this, I've learned that matching components can easily be a total crap shoot and buying separate power supplies and cases for individual components a waste of money.  A decent manufacturer (with long experience and deep resources - like NAD) knows how to blend/balance the parts into an elegant package better than any hobbyist and save money/space doing it.  Frankly for most audiophiles it boils down to satisfying the psychological need for the hunt and to show off trophies. 

Ultimately separates can certainly sound better, but the cost will undoubtedly be higher, the complexity greater, and chance of getting perfect synergy between pieces a real long shot.  But that's pretty well describes big game hunting doesn't it?  And your new big rack full of fancy boxes is bound to impress somebody. 


Tyson

Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #6 on: 18 Oct 2019, 03:01 pm »
I have 2 systems - the upstairs in the living room is based around wireless streaming and is quite simple, the other is downstairs in the dedicated garden level basement is all separates and monoblocks.  No reason you can have both!  :)

Elizabeth

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #7 on: 18 Oct 2019, 03:14 pm »
I use three racks...  :thumb:

rollo

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #8 on: 18 Oct 2019, 03:29 pm »
  Cable management makes a difference. Try not to let power cords touch each other or ICs. If they have to cross each other try to get a 90 degree cross.
  I use three racks as well. Mono block amps near speakers on stands. If you use a power conditioner keep away from gear. Use a longer PC for conditioner to wall outlet.
  Remember after setting all up again on rack it will take approx three days to sound right again. While your at it clean all connections. It is a project so perform when in a good mood. Have fun.

charles

charmerci

Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #9 on: 18 Oct 2019, 03:36 pm »
It kind of drives me nuts that each manufacturer places the power cords on different sides.

Mark Korda

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #10 on: 18 Oct 2019, 03:57 pm »
JLM,
       Your paragraph was perfect! It might make more people appreciate more music rather than adding more horns to their man/woman cave rooms. I don't think Absolute Sound would ever publish some things you said here because it's so true. Nice job JLM...Mark.

nickd

Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #11 on: 18 Oct 2019, 05:27 pm »
No worries JLM,
Early B has serious well matched gear.

Early B.,
 Cable management is the bane of my existence. In my audio rig, no problem. In my theater rig. I have a serious tangled mess. 7.1 with a bunch of sources is a recipe for lots of ugly wires. It all works and sounds great. But honestly I’m embarrassed when someone looks close.

Good luck in your endeavors!

Early B.

Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #12 on: 18 Oct 2019, 05:29 pm »
After nearly 50 years at this, I've learned that matching components can easily be a total crap shoot...

It's not a total crap shoot if you know what you're doing.

One thing I learned early in this hobby is that many audiophiles don't have a plan. They buy stuff to try it out and keep doing that forever. Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with constantly swapping out gear, but if you want to maximize your investment, you need a plan.

For instance, my plan includes focusing primarily on power and sticking with great designers. For speakers, I deal with Danny. For amps and preamps, I deal with Peter. For cables, I go old school. For power conditioning, it's PI Audio Group and Zenwave. This purchasing approach has served me well for many years. Much of my gear comes from designers who are very active on Audiocircle. Because of that, I benefit from the collective wisdom of other audiophiles who own the same gear, plus the expertise of the designer directly.

rollo

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #13 on: 18 Oct 2019, 05:41 pm »
After nearly 50 years at this, I've learned that matching components can easily be a total crap shoot and buying separate power supplies and cases for individual components a waste of money.  A decent manufacturer (with long experience and deep resources - like NAD) knows how to blend/balance the parts into an elegant package better than any hobbyist and save money/space doing it.  Frankly for most audiophiles it boils down to satisfying the psychological need for the hunt and to show off trophies. 

Ultimately separates can certainly sound better, but the cost will undoubtedly be higher, the complexity greater, and chance of getting perfect synergy between pieces a real long shot.  But that's pretty well describes big game hunting doesn't it?  And your new big rack full of fancy boxes is bound to impress somebody.

  Agree to a point. If one knows what they are doing OR working with an honest dealer who does a painless adventure. One learns over the years if exposed to numerous brands and systems. If one is not lucky enough to have that experience they need assistance. Hopefully one finds an honest helper.

charles


Speedskater

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #14 on: 18 Oct 2019, 05:48 pm »
Bill Whitlock writes that about 3 inches of separation between power cords and interconnects is more than enough.

Elizabeth

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #15 on: 18 Oct 2019, 07:54 pm »
Any problem with multiple powercords being piled up side by side?
I keep about eight parallel for about six seven feet. I do try to separate them a little with wood pegs. but they are all just together..
From Furman on far side of video rack, behind it way over past video to main rack.

Early B.

Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #16 on: 18 Oct 2019, 08:24 pm »
The extra slack in each power cord is my main issue. The distance between the power conditioner and the components is only about 2 feet, so my 5 and 6 foot cords will be dangling behind the audio rack and dragging on the floor. They're too thick to zip tie. There's no way I can think of to separate them from each other and from the ICs.

Speedskater

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #17 on: 18 Oct 2019, 10:50 pm »
In a hi-fi situation, it would be good for all the power cords & cables to be in close proximity to each other.
However in an industrial situation, with all the cords carrying lots of current, there might be heat dissipation problems.

WGH

Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #18 on: 18 Oct 2019, 11:31 pm »
I guess I subscribe to the random wire hypothesis because there is no way to make sense of this maze of wires from the music server, DAC, FM tuner, preamp, amps, and 7.1.4 surround sound processor. Amazingly the system is 100% silent, with no music playing I can turn the volume up past halfway with no hum or hiss. Music emerges from a black background.



Saturn94

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Re: "Oh, what a tangled cord we weave..."
« Reply #19 on: 19 Oct 2019, 01:05 am »
I use the “rat’s nest” approach as well.  :thumb:

No noise issues.