Cable management, aka the rat's nest is driving me doolally

With half decent cables, keeping them ship shape will give you that 0.9nth more.

We need to form a Rat’s Nest Club ™. I will take the “second vice president” title. Who’s in???


My wife doesn’t like the cables either, although the ones behind the TV are her worry, rather than the Naim stack which is out of sight in a side room, but I explain it’s just one of those things. We have agreed there are more interesting things to worry about…



Yes count me in Bart! I could be events secretary.


The rats nest club is most welcome to visit…ASAP…inaugural meeting?

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Are you available for hire as a rat’s nest mediator? :grinning:

Great test cd for the Club.

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My other half would love you Mike.

Or shock, horror roll it up!

The trouble with a TV is that by its nature it has to be in full and clear view(!). When I had a TV on a stand with DVR, VCR, satellite receiver and surround amp on the open shelves below, I hung and linked the cables to themselves using cable ties in such a way that the excess was hanging out of sight behind the TV, and the cables ran vertically where there was a central rear support, strapped to it, and horizontally where not behind the equipment as straight as possible along the back edge of the shelves using clips that came with the stand. From behind there was what looked like a veritable tangle of cables everywhere, but invisible from the normal viewing position. It was aided by the stand having castors.

A hifi rack doesn’t have to be in such a prime position, so cable less prominent…

As for tidying them if that is desired, as Mike-B indicated, custom cables only as long as you need them to be can make a big difference - easy if you make your own, eminently possible you can solder, unless you are convinced boutique cables sound better than, say, Mogami. And a bit of excess speaker cable, perhaps necessary if you need some flexibility in placement, can be folded under the bottom shelf (unless you are convinced it must be off the floor). Other than that, cable ties fixing to uprights can help get cables to be as invisible as possible where you can see through gaps in between shelves, though good practice is to not run power cables and speaker cables alongside low level signal cables, or if unavoidable to keep to a minimum.

If you have excess lengths of cable, many ‘black boxes’, and wish all to run without anything touching anything else, but still want it all hidden, from front and sides you either need to be a magician, or have the rack in an oversize cupboard.

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Sadly, a rat’s nest of cables not touching and crossing at 90 degrees sounds better than neat bunches tied in parallel.

I opted for two approaches.

  • For the Naim stuff just live with it. Originally (not now sadly), the racks were located in a place were the only chance of seeing the nest was if you were working on it. i.e. a low traffic area of the room.
  • For the front and centre AV stuff, I paid to have a dedicated false wall panel installed with holes for the TV, centre, left and richt channel speakers all terminating in another hole directly above the mains outlet. Countless cables come out of that hole into the back of an AV amp with all the slack stuff in the false wall.

I did the false wall thing in 2 rooms and it was well worth it.

There used to be an outright orgy going on behind my racks but then the Dr from Leicester came and order has been restored.

You can still have neat bunches in parallel providing signal IC’s, speaker & power are not mixed.

:small_blue_diamond:This above is a picture from a friend’s Rat’s nest.
And you definitely don’t see everything.

I have promised to help him to organise this.
Believe it or not,…to take a few examples. In this rat’s nest,.it is very expensive cables.
:black_small_square:A powercable costs €8400:-
:black_small_square:Another €3400:-
:black_small_square:A third €4000:-
:black_small_square:An HDMI cable €3500:-

Yes you see,.I do not need to continue,it’s completely crazy that it should look like that.
Much effort will go to arrange this rat’s nest.
And,…I have forbidden him to join your…
Rat’s nest club :wink::joy:.



In general I completely agree. But try bunching cables that rely on isolation together like HiLine, SL, Power Lines or Burdies. I,ve bunched anything not in those categories, which still leaves a mess.

My 21u appliance rack in the office/lab however is a thing of cable beauty. Born from years in a data centre with a boss that would not tolerate one cable out of place without a printed tag fixed to both ends.

Well, cabinets between the speakers are good for hiding cables behind. Just saying…

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The worst example I’ve seen was when I visited Max Townshend some years ago.His seismic sink rack backed into a fireplace and a cheap generic power strip was hanging mid air behind it suspended by a tangle of all sorts of cables. His active system sounded impressive with his demo recordings but actual music played on it just didn’t engage.
This was all Townshend components with an autotransformer pre amp with battery powered remote, a universal disc player heavily modified from some Japanese model and Max’s own active crossover and amps, valve on the treble and class D on the bass, speakers had a line of ribbon tweeters and a line of cones.

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It might end up looking a lot better, but will it really sound much better?

I am quite taken with Mike_S’s solution.

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Or this one…

Rattus Norvegicus IV