The art of cable dressing

I’m happy to report that I’ve reached a new milestone in audio nirvana :grinning:

It’s been a few steps of first going full SL loom (sorry Witchhat, your cables are great but still not reaching SL level) then getting the EE8 switch (not a huge impact but good), adding AQ Vodka on the last 1.5m to ND555 (big impact but had to wear off that brightness harshness that lasted 100 hours or so) and finally working the cable dressing.

That last step of making sure cables do not touch each other and not in contact with the floor except for speaker cables by adding sort of foam neoprene separators had a big impact ! I knew it mattered but I had some half way done type of job. After a systematic review and tweaking and adding foam spacers wherever needed made a really significant difference. Great soundstage, imaging, very crisp, musical !

Most of you probably already know about this but just in case… And it can probably be improved further. It still looks pretty messy. Any tip is welcome


Looks great mate.

The only thing I personally have picked up on and don’t know how easy this would be for you to try is, getting the SL interconnect to hang free without touching anything at all!



And if you use NACA5 the speaker cable does not need to touch the floor either! But hey you have SL! :wink:

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Been meaning to ask this for a while, what is it about a cable that cannot touch the floor - is the insulation around the conductor made of marshmallow?


Very well,done. Similar experience here; I can confirm using the foam to keep cables separated, works well


It’s a vibration/microphonics thing I believe, and impact will differ

Ah OK, so to may be OK on a solid concrete floor possibly, unless some reflections are involved. You would think by now there would be a friendlier cable design solution

It’s a bit of faff. I came close but even with brains/brawns racks it did not quite work out. Though not Fraim but 20 cm less wide, and same vertical spacing as small Fraim levels. Arguably it would have worked out with a Fraim, so from Naim’s POV it makes sense I guess.
I am not bothered because I expect concrete floor and some pipe lagging for the small touch area is surely fine

With a bit of cable distressing and some patience it is possible to have all cable hang free and neither touch the wall, Fraim, floor or themselves.

The only cable that touches the floor is my SL din to xlr because it is a 1.8m version. I use foam pipe insulation around the cable to keep it off the floor.

My dressing still needs a bit of attention as I have only just finished moving the system to a new listening room, but here it is. Apologies for the crappy iPad photos. BTW, the Burnley and Snaic closest to the camera in the first shot coming from the 552 on top are supposed to run close together, the only ones that are. Although it is hard to tell, none of the other cables are touching anything.

I really need to get out more!


Thanks Popeye.

The SL interconnect is kept off the floor and not touching other cables thanks to the foam. However it’s not really ‘hanging free’ and the 1.5m length doesn’t help. If Naim had a 1m version (provided it doesn’t affect the sound to shorten it) then it would work better here. I suppose i could also achieve that with taller Fraim or I would need to shift one the brain units to the other stack (probably not a good idea).

That’s a lot of cables !

I’m tempted to add some foam to get the speaker cables off the floor as well. Did it make a difference for you ?

As for the 552 SNAIC and Burndy, is it correct to say they should be close to each other but not touching one another ?

Finally, when you mention cable distressing as a way to achieve the spacing/not touching, is it ok to twist the cable on itself a couple of times to make it move in a certain direction ?

Some of the cables you see there are the three PowerLines curled up near to the corner of the room.

I can’t definitively say raising the speaker cables off the floor makes a difference to SQ. I noticed on a Naim factory tour that they had their SL speaker cables raised off the floor behind the Fraim stacks so one day I decided to try to get all cables off the floor as an experiment (too much time on my hands that day!) and it seemed to improve things so I just left it that way.

Regarding the 552 SNAIC/Burndy, some say they should run close to each other without touching, others say you should even have them spiralled around each other once. I find it difficult to get both cables to run close without touching so I get as close to this as possible. Mine do touch each other in a couple of places.

Making sure all other Burndies hang free and don’t touch anything does make a difference IMV.

All you can do is your best without OCD kicking in. It is a slippery slope!


Thanks for your reply, Nigel.

For speaker cables, I’ll give it a try once i get more insulation foam.

And indeed, OCD is looming, always …

@NigelB out of interest, do you use the SL din-xlr for the 250?
If so, any comments on its benefits?


Yes, I do and it replaced the Witch Hat DIN to XLR. The SL DIN to XLR was the last SL to go in to complete the SL loom, and as such I heard the benefit of a complete SL loom. Corny I know, but it delivered that full loom delivered that synergy. This last step was a subtle but worthwhile improvement.

I’ve always been quite OCD about cable dressing it kind of stems from building my track car years ago and paying a specialist to do the wiring, he basically turned it into a piece of art that I would never have thought possible, since then i’ve tried to do similar on my Hifi cabling. It’s tricky with power cables as most seem to be manufactured of an annoying bendy plastic sheath and they just don’t lay well, but speaker cable and some others can be laid up nicely. I have some pics which I will upload later. It’s just a case of building the system methodically and installing the cables so they aren’t a tangled mess and interact with the others efficiently i.e. they are routed around each other where they have to cross paths etc.

That is a nice job above given the number of boxes and cables present, it has the potential to be a snakes wedding but it look good!

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Where cables need to cross each other, it should be preferably at right angles, avoiding cables running close and parallel to each other. This, unfortunately, can lead to a messy looking arrangement, but it is the optimum for SQ. Additionally, spacing cables apart often increases their visual impact.

Messy looking is often the best!

Nigel whilst I agree with your technical comment I beg to differ on the messy bit, it can still be done neatly! :smiley:

When can you come round mine and show me how it is done? :grinning:


Ha, it’s painful enough managing my own mess! :slight_smile: