Placement of Components

I've read that the ideal placement of components is on a side wall (not between speakers).  I am wondering if this applies to turntable set-ups only or across the board to all components? I am guessing that having a turntable between the speakers will degrade the sound quality due to the vibrations that the turntable cartridge picks up from the speakers?  Would a streamer have the same issue if it was placed between the speakers?  

I am running a Musica Pristina A Cappella III > Denafrips Terminator + > Asthetix Calypso Eclipse Preamp that are are on a side wall on a basic Salamander Archetype rack and are connected using a 25 ft. XLR runs of the World's Greatest Cables ( about $100 on Amazon) to Audio Mirror Reflection 45 SET mono blocks into Cornwall IVs. There is also an Intel NUC running Roon in the next room.  I am wondering if the long run of my modest XLRs are limiting my sound quality and I would be better of placing my components between my speakers and buying higher quality XLRs.  25 ft. runs of high quality XLRs are prohibitively expensive but I could swing one or two meters of higher quality XLRs (i.e. Cardas, Kimber, etc.) if it makes sense to place my components between my speakers.

Or maybe it's just six of one; half a dozen of another?  Any thoughts from those of you that have experimented with both set-ups in a balanced system would be appreciated. 


The turntable is going to pick up vibrations either way. The real reason to keep the space between the speakers clear is to stop acoustic reflections that would break up the formation of the soundstage image.

@bgchz  Placement in the center is acceptable, but generally the more free space you can have between and around the speakers, the better they will image. While there may be some that will say they move their gear away from between their speakers to reduce vibration, that vibration can also be reduced with better racks. IMO the real benefit is to allow the speakers, especially mids and high frequencies, to breathe with minimal reflection. This is also why many people opt for low racks, or simply place their amp(s) in the center with the rest of the gear out of the way. 

But every room is different. Sometimes putting gear on the side wall will result in more vibration to the gear, so it could be a tradeoff!

It is a bit dependent on your system… but in most cases center placement interferes with imaging and therefore is better off to the side… or even better yet completely out of the soundstage.

My Apogee ribbon speakers did not seem to mind my equipment in the center… but when I switched to dynamic speakers, it sure did. My soundstage goes way back into the wall now… with the equipment out of the way (only amps in center… see my UserID). When it was in the center, it destroyed the soundstage completely where it was.

@tablejockey Good advice!!!
Basically, my concern is that using a pair of cheapish long run XLRs in order to have my components placed on a side wall is creating a bottle neck in my system. 


Not true. Placement in the center is fine

Agreed, I’ve heard excellent sounding audio systems set up either way. Now a large bulky cabinet,,furniture or big TV screen could potentially impact the sound.



Try throwing a blanket over your stereo rack and you'll understand why this is true.  :)

I'm forced to do this today but there is no doubt if I could remove the rack from between the speakers it would sound better.  Free standing acoustic panels on either side of the rack can help.

+1 @blisshifi

Basically, my concern is that using a pair of cheapish long run XLRs in order to have my components placed on a side wall is creating a bottle neck in my system.

Doubtful. It will put a bottleneck, instead, in the cash flow from your wallet to the cable dealers.

Try cables made with Neutrik XLRs and Mogami W2549. Easy to find from any pro audio shop (I use ProAudioLA) or from World’s Best Cables online. They sound better (more neutral) to me than the few expensive "boutique" cables I’ve tried -- and they are very cheap by audiophile standards.

I expect that moving the gear from the front wall will improve imaging.



The trouble with getting your question answered is that people will respond to it based on their experience with their equipment in their rooms and not on yours. There are no absolutes and your situation will be unique to your situation. Some speakers insist on being the stars of the room and others prefer, or at least don't mind, a lot of company. The only way to tell for sure is to try various combinations and use your ears to decide what works best for you. 

Hello bgchz!  Is the Intel on the other side of the wall from your equipment? If so, turn it on and off while you are listening and see if it makes a difference. It might. A 25 foot run of balanced cable is no big deal. Pro sound outfits run 100 foot lengths of the stuff commonly. I've put systems in two auditoriums and have used very long runs between mixers and power amps (which are ALWAYS near the speakers with short speaker cables). Happy diagnosing!

bigchz- your choice in gear/present location, by description is proper.

 "Bottleneck" is only in your head from reading  too much audio forum suggestions/advice.




I agree with you. I definitely depends on the speakers and their pattern of dispersion. I had a running battle with georgehifi when he was still on this site. He said that it was a no-no under any circumstances to have the rack between the speakers, and I said that in my particular case, I was using horn speakers whose dispersion pattern could not even interact with the rack that is between them. 

I think that in some cases it is a problem, although I never noticed a problem even with ordinary direct radiating speakers, but I think that the reason that some people imagine it to be a problem is because they think that the gear is getting in the way of the sound waves that are creating the "image" when in fact the image is not being created where the physical rack is, but at your ears, even though you perceive it to be at the rack location.

My belief is that individuals should try it before they just believe out of hand that it won't work for them.

One of the benefits of the Klipsch Heritage speaker line is that they are generally forgiving to these types of issues. Those Cornwalls will sound good whatever you do, so just enjoy the hell out of them.


My belief is that individuals should try it before they just believe out of hand that it won't work for them.


This advice is applicable for many situations with regard to audio matters.



Placement away from the speakers is good for imaging, but this can be mitigated by moving the equipment towards the front wall - assuming the speakers are some distance forward of it. Placement between the speakers does allow for shorter (cheaper) cable runs, freeing up budget for, for example, better racks.

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. If nothing else, this is a good audio therapy session 😊


Thank you for explaining in a much clearer fashion the points I was trying to make. We often get hung up on audio rules that are little more than rumors. The fun part of this hobby is assembling a sound system that is pleasing to our personal tastes. I have a friend who just put together an entire system for less than $1000. He brought over a very expensive LP he had just purchased and wanted me to hear it on my system. After about 30 seconds he declared that it sounded much better at his place. And he did this while leaning on the outside of my left speaker while facing the wrong direction. The bottom line is he is fully satisfied with his system which puts him miles ahead of most of us.

I learned many years ago height is most important aspect of placement regardless where located, keep it low!

Best advise is do some A/B comparisons to see what YOU like best.  Take some time and do it right.

@bgchz , it depends.

Amplifiers should be located as close to the speaker inputs as possible keeping the speaker wires as short as possible.

Turntables are best in the next room or as far away from the speakers as you can get it. You could make that argument for mechanical devices like disc drives and tape machines but everything else, particularly if it is all balanced makes no difference where you put it as long as it is safe from flying alcoholic beverages, children and the housekeeper.


I love the idea of the tt being closer so I don’t have to go up to the front to change or flip the record. I think you are still going to get vibration on the tt either way unless you address that with a wall mount or special isolation. 
the next issue is the cost of cables. I have always heard longer interconnects and shorter speaker cables except your phono cable beyond 2m. 
If you are going to do this then put your amp on an amp stand in between your speakers so you can keep the speaker wire short. Run balanced for noise canceling and the length but more about the noise. 
I agree about the Klipsch speakers in the upper line that you probably do not have to worry about that as much.
before you go to buy expensive cables and racks you should see if you can upgrade your base equipment first. It usually has a much bigger impact over the cables. I hope this helps. 

Rule from Vandersteen is shortest speaker wire as possible and all long runs will be component connections. I run mono blocks so each amp is right next to the speakers and long xlr from pre amp to each mono.

@aewarren , there certainly are absolutes but there are issues that may only pertain to certain situations. A good example is you do not want to place a turntable on anything that sits on a bouncy floor unless it's chassis design is well isolated.

Amplifiers should always be placed as close to the speaker as possible. This is more important for lower impedance loudspeakers but it does pertain to all loudspeakers. 

Turntables are always a touchy issue because they are vibration measuring devices and they do not care where the vibration comes from. The more isolated they are the better. The volume of point source speaker drops off at the cube of the distance so keeping the turntable as far away from the speakers as possible is a good idea. The caveated is that there are locations where the bass can be amplified do to acoustic considerations and you certainly do not want to place the turntable in one of these locations.

Everything else could care less.