Cable Management Tips and Tricks


I’ve never really came across much information on cable management.  Specifically I would like to know how to properly deal with excess cable length. Both with interconnects and power cables. I usually coil my extra length and secure with velcro. I’m not sure if this is proper, but not sure what else to do with it.  Also would love to hear any other tips people have. 
brylandgoodman
Cable art.. It is truly an art form.. Like a sand box and rakes.. I use 1, 2 and 3 meter cables. There are 7 speaker boxes, Two mains, Two MB Columns and 3 double 12" OB servo sub plates.

Preamp, two phono pre amps, streamer, SACD, RtR, active XO, Active EQ and 7 power amps. There is a lot of cabling..

I keep everything at least 1" apart. I only have TWO places where cables cross of all those speaker cables, ICs and PC. I cross at a 90. There is ZERO floor noise because of that simple rule.. They are off the floor with gummy puffer (ear plugs) wood/silicone/wood/silicone M/W cable lifter. 1.5" thick 4" tall with a 3x6x3/4 thick base. Nothing fancy, painted black..

There is HAIR, dust, cob webs, bugs, and everything else in this house in the spring, summer, and fall months.. It is a chore to keep it somewhat clean. I'm the only cleaner here.. Cable lifters are a must..

I have a rabbit and a dog. I think the DOG takes the rabbit hair on purpose into the music rooms.. Like a MOP and drop hair collector with 4 legs and a VET bill.. LOL

Regards..
Do not coil. Route in curves avoiding having them parallel. They should all be spaced apart, and where they must come close try and have them at right angles. Not the end of the world if it happens but avoid whenever possible.
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Thing is that cables carry current. The higher the current, the higher the inductance. The higher the inductance, the more interference with nearby cables and also the more attenuation of high frequencies.

Coiling cables also increases inductance. Bottom line: phono can be together, interconnects can be close together if they have good shielding, speaker cable should be kept well away from both of the above, AC power cords are poison and should intersect everything else at a right angle. 
the basic cable management principle is that your cables are singing along with the music and that resonance will in essence become part of your noise floor, which obscures musical information and also can smear the textures and microdynamics. not all systems are equally affected, but none are immune. another secondary principle is that heavy stiff cables will pull down on your gear and affect the rack, footers, plugs and chassis. it’s good understand what the issue are. the great thing about cable management is that it can cost you almost zero dollars, it’s easy to find tools that are DIY. so it’s mostly just a bit of time and experimentation to find a bit more ’free’ performance. it might not make an audible difference, but it might be a nice boost. so you should go into it with low expectations and see where it takes you.

here is a cable management thread i just started on another forum that might be helpful to understand the issues involved (read both pages to the end to see where i ended up);

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/floating-speaker-cables-on-the-cheap.33707/

my particular system is more affected by cable management since i use active isolation. which means that the isolation uses piezo electric sensors and actuators to isolate gear from resonance. heavy cables hanging off my gear will dampen the ability of the active to react to attenuate resonance.

if you use decoupling footers or racks for your gear then making sure your cables don’t adversely affect your decoupling can be significant.


@ brylandgoodman ...
How much impact one cable on another. depend on the geometry of the cables being used. 

Convectional cable geometries i.e. 2 or 3 wires in parallel, are the worst
and having them run in parallel should be avoided

Advanced cables geometries like those from In-Akustic and Nordost are less prone to cable placement issues

I have held one of my turntable cables next to an active power cable in my clenched fist and experienced very little hum with the system turned up to full volume (but not playing)

The other posters are spot on
- Coils should be avoided
- if anything a figure 8 approach is much better than a coil
- keeping cables apart and crossing at as close to 90 degrees is best

Shielding a cable may have some benefit, but it impacts the sound - I prefer unshielded cables 

Regards - Steve
Here’s another thread. Ideally, no cables should be coiled, running parallel or touching. Signal cables and power cables definitely should be carefully spaced apart. The rats nest behind the rack should look like an intentionally arranged 3-D wireframe
"Cable management"?? That’s that point in time when you got maybe the best system you have ever had. Then manage to read the Cable tab on the Agon site & realize, you probably outta just try one. 30 day return so...what’s the harm? So you go to the site and manage to order. But 1st, you think about it being snake oil and how they made no difference. But then you think......((stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment where we look at WTH???))




Actually I’ve been too lazy and this almost hit a nerve Good thread.
I let the cables fall where they may and when they always do when they meet, try to make sure they cross at right angles. It helps to use some cut down piece of foam insulation that's used in electrical pipe conduits that you can get at any hardware store.

Oh, and I keep by cables up off the floor using cheap measures. Nothing fancy is needed.

All the best,
Nonoise
Command hooks or something similar that you create yourself are a great way to separate interconnects and speaker cables laterally along the back of your rack. Velcro strips work great in combination with this as well for keeping everything tidy and crossing at 90*.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Command-Hook-Large-Clear-3-Pack/289279730
I use light weight styrofoam to separate my interconnects from my power chords.  
Call me crazy but I did some cable management work last night based on suggestions in this post.  Basic stuff...got the speaker wires off the floor and separated them from power cords and interconnects.  Re-routed some of the interconnects so they didn't touch and didn't run as parallel as before.  Took maybe 10 minutes, a couple pieces of string and a handful of rubber bands.  What I can say for sure is that immediately following the cleanup my system sounded the best it's sounded in a while...if not ever.  I guess some could convincingly argue that there could be multiple reasons for the perceived improvement, but my favorite is that cable management actually does make a difference.  I'm headed to Home Depot today to pick up some of that foam based pipe insulation to compete the task.  

One question I still have is this....I get how running a speaker wire next to a power cord could create a problem...but what I'm wondering is whether a pair of interconnects...say R/L channel to a single source...will also benefit from the advice (don't run parallel).  I look at the back of my DAC and the output jacks are in parallel.  I look at my fancy pre-amp and not only are the input jacks in parallel but they are all stacked very closely together.  So I'm thinking maybe interconnects, because of the low signal voltage/current/whatever...don't have the same problem?  Or do they?
@bh123 good question that’s never crossed my mind, but interested in the answer as well!

I’ve found the practice of cable management to be very zen-like at times. 
I think as long as they're not touching, running ICs in parallel won't present a problem. If they do come close to touching, use this like I mentioned earlier.

You can cut it to any length you need.

All the best,
Nonoise
bh123-
Call me crazy but I did some cable management work last night based on suggestions in this post. Basic stuff...got the speaker wires off the floor and separated them from power cords and interconnects. Re-routed some of the interconnects so they didn't touch and didn't run as parallel as before. Took maybe 10 minutes, a couple pieces of string and a handful of rubber bands. What I can say for sure is that immediately following the cleanup my system sounded the best it's sounded in a while...if not ever. I guess some could convincingly argue that there could be multiple reasons for the perceived improvement, but my favorite is that cable management actually does make a difference. I'm headed to Home Depot today to pick up some of that foam based pipe insulation to compete the task.  

One question I still have is this....I get how running a speaker wire next to a power cord could create a problem...but what I'm wondering is whether a pair of interconnects...say R/L channel to a single source...will also benefit from the advice (don't run parallel). I look at the back of my DAC and the output jacks are in parallel. I look at my fancy pre-amp and not only are the input jacks in parallel but they are all stacked very closely together. So I'm thinking maybe interconnects, because of the low signal voltage/current/whatever...don't have the same problem? Or do they?

You're not crazy. I'll call you a guy who wants better sound and is willing to try a few ideas if it will help. Admittedly doesn't quite roll off the tongue but it has the virtue of being true and I have an established record at taking true over expedient, so there.

There's several reasons careful cable routing works, not just one. Until you try and compare like you've done it is hard to appreciate. Like, when I first tried cable elevators it was under speaker cables. Took a good long time to try under interconnects and power cords. By the time I got around to inventing the rubber band isolation trick everything was already suspended and routed pretty good. The only thing being changed was using rubber bands for isolation.

Speaker cables, big improvement. We did another demo yesterday, only removed 2 of the 4 on each side, that was enough to be obvious. Real obvious. Like shaking your head how can this be so obvious obvious. Okay what about power cords? Tried them next, another big improvement. Not as massive as speaker cables but still pretty good. Finally did the interconnects. About the same as power cords.

What I'm getting at, there is more than one thing going on. Rubber bands are pure isolation. The cable is already up in the air, it isn't moving relative to other fields, the improvement is all vibration. So everything you do there are multiple influences to consider.

I've always used interconnects with conductors that do not run parallel, they already are twisted around, and so twisting L around R wouldn't seem to add much benefit. But I never tried. So go for it. While you are at it there is nothing magical about twisting, fields follow the inverse square law so separating them even a little greatly diminishes field interactions. That is why I never bothered, mine are generally spaced an inch or so apart for most of the run anyway. Heck maybe I will try this tonight and see. But why wait for me? DIY. Go for it.
Really good stuff here and I made my own lifters copied the Cardas wood blocks. 
I also had seen these when I was down in Mexico when they poured the concrete floors for our new plant several years ago. Bet they would work.

https://www.amazon.com/MARSHALLTOWN-Rebar-Support-Chair-Snap/dp/B0984GVXXL/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1ZYATRR2D...
Yup. I've been using it for years now and it works great when the cables touch at right angles giving them enough separation and not contributing to any skin effect.

All the best,
Nonoise
Just tried it with some heavy wall heat shrink tube and it worked.

Thanks for the tip @nonoise. @nonoise. 
My pleasure. I wish I can take all the credit for it but it was passed down by some member quite awhile ago so I'm just paying it forward. 👍

All the best,
Nonoise
they?One question I still have is this....I get how running a speaker wire next to a power cord could create a problem...but what I'm wondering is whether a pair of interconnects...say R/L channel to a single source...will also benefit from the advice (don't run parallel). I look at the back of my DAC and the output jacks are in parallel. I look at my fancy pre-amp and not only are the input jacks in parallel but they are all stacked very closely together. So I'm thinking maybe interconnects, because of the low signal voltage/current/whatever...don't have the same problem? Or do they?
I suppose if it was a significant issue the engineers would have a design where the rca or balanced connectors were on opposite sides of the equipment. But would anyone buy it? Aesthetically that would be really weird. 
Great thread, lots of useful info here. Whenever I have cables crossing, and sometimes it can’t be avoided, inserting a piece of EFI/RFI cancelling material can be quite useful, too. Especially in the digital domain it’s preferable to use short cables over avoiding them crossing

Cable management can be a challenge, especially if you have a lot of electronic devices. Here are some tips and tricks to help you keep your cables organized and tidy:
1. Use zip ties or velcro straps to bundle together groups of cables. This will make it easier to keep track of them and prevent them from getting tangled.
2. Use cable ties or labels to keep track of what each cable is for. This will help you quickly and easily identify the right cable when you need it.
3. Keep your cables organized by storing them in a cable organizer or box. This will help you keep them dust-free and protected.
4. When setting up new electronic devices, take the time to properly route and secure the cables. This will save you time and frustration in the long run.
 

lukkajon

. . . to bundle together groups of cables

- Aesthetically pleasing.

- Aurally displeasing.

Bundling can cause inductance issues which harm the delicate audio signal.

When I have to cross different cables, I use pipe insulation wrap cut in about 2-3" pieces. This will wrap around the cables nicely and provides a gap between cables.

ozzy

ozzy

 

I can hardly await to read about Cabling headed your way in 2023!

You are my Go-To Audiophile regarding cables/cords.

 

Happy Listening!

Thanks, jafant for the kind words. I have been through many cables.

My main objective is to get the best sound with my system that I can afford. Most times that means hitting the used market.

I do favor the manufacturers who think outside the norm in their design.

BTW, tomorrow I will be ...gulp...70 years old! My wife still thinks I'm sexy though, yesterday when I walked by her, I heard her comment on what an a--.

ozzy

Cable management can be challenging, but it's important for a clean and organized look. Here are some tips and tricks: use cable ties, organize cables by grouping and labeling, hide cables behind furniture, utilize cable management sleeves and boxes, and mount devices on walls to reduce clutter. With these simple tricks, you can keep your cables organized and your space looking neat.
You can also check here.

Make the cables yourself at the exact length. I have made all my power cables, dc cables, rca, ethernet cables myself. (HDMI and Toslink  are standard) Short, separated &  neat. It is not difficult at all.

Have you ever thought about how cluttered and ugly all the cords and surge protectors in your room look? It's like a total eyesore, right? But, there's a super easy way to fix it - cable management boxes. You just pop your surge protector and all the cords into the box and boom! Your room looks way cleaner and put together. Plus, it protects your surge protector from dust and all that junk. There are different sizes and styles to choose from, so you can pick one that fits your room and personal style. Trust me, it's a simple way to upgrade your space.

Two basic rules: 1.power cords and signal carrying cords as far apart as possible. 

                           2. Whenever neede, only cross at 90 degree angles

 

And if you feel randy: use RFI/EMI paper when you feel the need to separate.


 

"nonoise"...."It helps to use some cut down piece of foam insulation that’s used in electrical pipe conduits that you can get at any hardware store"

These work great...3" piece’s cut off and i take fillet knife and cut a v...Boom.