How to keep all the connect & power cables from touching each other?

Hi, I’ve been reading several posts about preventing all my component cable connects & power cables from touching each other. I would greatly like to try this out, however, there hasn’t been any hints on how to actually do this? My system is definitely lower caliber than most who have spoke of their success in doing this. Nait XS 2, HiCap DR, Rega Planar 8, Lehmann Black Cube Pre, Roksan Caspian CD, Vandersteen C2e’s. The only thing I’ve done is zip tied my NACA5 speaker cable in a manner suggested by my “Guru” dealer. Thanks, if you care to ring in.

I don’t know if this helps, but I like to start with speaker cables and power cords, because they tend to be the bulkiest and low lying.

If you search the forum for cable dressing, you should find lots of posts (and whole threads) about it with photos. It is easier with all-Naim systems because the socket locations follow a consistent logic.

One ingredient is the order of boxes on the rack. With a mixed system like yours there are no fixed rules, you have to try.
Many people use pieces of pipe insulation in strategic places to keep cables apart.
It’s important to distinguish “visually tidy” from “neatly dressed”. Having nice separation may look like a mess.

People laugh at me but I recommend drawing the rack and equipment (with socket locations on the units) to scale on a piece of paper, and cutting off pieces of string to represent the cables, also to scale. Then you can play around with the order so that it works out as best as possible with the cable lengths (they should hang freely and ideally not touch the floor, rack, or wall, either). I think that’s an easier way to develop a plan before changing the rack for real

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It is a great and difficult question and if you allow yourself to (overly) worry about it could impact your enjoyment of music. I’ve generally avoided worrying by being lucky enough to have has the one dealer for over 25 years and he’s usually put my stuff back together. On the odd occasion I’ve had reconnect I follow his advise and the manual, set and forget.

I’m interested now as I’m a couple of hundred miles from him, I have more boxes and I can’t expect him to drive that far.

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Where possible hoosing (or making) cables of lengths appropriate to the distances between sockets, clearly would assist. And with any degree of complexity of system it seems to me that what is needed to facilitate separation of cables (and equipment) is a tall and wide rack, or alternatively a pair of tall narrow racks. It might also help if racks were to be fitted with castors to allow access (retractable to place the stand firmly on spikes when in playing position), but I’m unaware of any made like this.

Personally all I have ever bothered doing is categorise by low level signal cables, high level signal cables, speaker cables and mains cables, and kept the categories separated from each other, but not worried about cables within the same category. And if they do have to pass close, I try to arrange that to be near to right angles and not parallel. But then my kit is not Naim.

For most systems with 2 or 3 boxes, this shouldn’t be a problem. Once you have many boxes (and in particular if you follow the Naim obsession with power supplies), the back of just about any rack looks a mess. How many of those fat Burndy cables really hang free?

Am I right in thinking that shanking a power lead with a cable-tie so that it does not sit in a ring is generally a good idea? Ditto spare speaker cable?

Also, won’t some cables be less sensitive than others? I am waiting for a trial of Witch Hat cables to replace my (essentially unshielded) ordinary Naim cables - mostly 25+ years old.

I have not found cable dressing to be a huge issue (if it is wrong, you get a bad noise and when you have solved it the noise goes away), but i am aware that I could be suffering a bit without knowing. It will be interesting to hear how the new cables sound.

I have a proper Naim system with lots of boxes and even a non-Fraim rack, 2 stacks, and it can be done and it’s not rocket science either. None of my cables touch each other or anything else. What it does need is some planning regarding rack level heights and widths - hence my recommendation to draw it up in advance, and my hint that it may look a mess :slight_smile:

With a mix of brands (where sometimes the IEC is on the left, sometimes on the right, and interconnects are all over the place) and without pre-planning, I agree that it’s going to be difficult. Like IB wrote above, changing cable lengths may be necessary

Thanks for that @Suedkiez - can you hear a difference from getting it right?

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Sometimes because of space, access to that space, the type of floor you have (hard floor worse than carpet) and the shear number of cables, it becomes close to impossible to dress them 100%, but remember you can generally cross cables at 90 degrees to each other, plus you can use that black foam tube you get from DIY shops used to insulate pipes.

I don’t know because I researched it all on the invaluable forum, followed the hive mind, and set it up as recommended from the start :slight_smile:

This was my approach with basically everything, including the EE 8switch. I figured it’s useless to waste time (and better to waste some money rather than time, the latter is in even shorter supply), and I simply did everything as recommended, even things that I find questionable, whether I believed it would make a difference or not, on the basis that it surely wouldn’t hurt.

The end result is that it sounds fabulous to me but I can’t say generally how much any optimization contributed. (Some I tried with and without, like the 8switch and the Chord cables, but I know better than to fully trust my ears, and if the result was not worse (8switch) or probably a bit better although not night and day (Chord cables) it stayed)

Thanks @Suedkiez - that sounds very pragmatic.

I will be interested to see if different wires (arriving soon on 30-day trial) will be less sensitive to this issue, given their radically different approach to screening.

Mind you, the only time I noticed a material issue with cable dressing in my hi-fi was when I plugged the LP12 back in with power and signal leads wrapped around each other - not recommended.

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This is the exact approach I take Suedkiez. I never bother to A/B the changes, but it sounds great after I’ve made all the improvements.

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Bubble wrap.