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This Weekend's Tweaks

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
As I mentioned in a thread a little while ago, I am in search of the perfect ceramic cable holders/insulators to attach to my wall to put some space between my interconnects and my wall (my interconnects have been resting flat against my wall for about 2/3 their one meter lengths). The search for the perfect ceramic wall-mountable cable holders continues, but in the meantime, I found a great interim solution at Home Depot -- 3M/Scotch Command Adhesive Hooks (medium size).

Four of these medium-sized Command Adhesive Hooks (two for each cable) keep my interconnects away from the wall. I've used this brand of hooks for other things before, and they're particularly cool because when you want to remove them they come of perfectly clean (from most surfaces -- read the instructions first). Cost: US$ 2.77 for two medium-sized hooks (for a total of US$ 5.54 for four the hooks).

Due to lack of desk space, I had to place my BPT BP-3 balanced power unit on my carpeted floor, in the footwell of my desk. The brass isolation feet on the BP-3 aren't tall enough to fully elevate the bottom of the BP-3 above the carpet, and I wasn't crazy about the idea of the BP-3 sitting with its entire bottomside resting on carpet. I looked around for some good floor options, but most platforms looked to be designed to sit on a desk or table surface, not carpet. Amplifier stands looked pretty cool for this purpose, but, being in my footwell, the smallest amp stand I could find (18" x 18") was still too big and too high. A trip today to Bed, Bath & Beyond (that's a chain kitchen and house supplies store for those of you not in the U.S.) had me walking away with a 12" x 12" x 1" solid hardwood chopping board with four pretty good feet. I brought it home and, voila, my BP-3 is sitting off the carpet now. The feet on the chopping board are great, as they're thick enough to allow me to stick some spikes in them later. Cost: US$ 19.99, less a 20% discount from a coupon my wife had, for a total of US$ 15.99.

Because my BP-3 is on the floor, I had to use my TriField Broadband Meter and NoRad meter to determine new routing paths for my cables. I was able to find some great routing that kept them all away from component RFI and EMI fields. Additionally, as always, none of my component cables (power or interconnects) touch any other cable from any other audio or non-audio component. Cable fields are also measured, by the way, but usually what comes off the cables themselves is quite neglible. Anyway, the floor location of the BP-3 had me temporarily running my SCD-C333ES's power cord on the carpet, so I bought the small-sized Command Adhesive Hooks from Home Depot, and now the 333's power cord is suspended above the floor. Cost: US$ 2.77 for four hooks.

NOTE: I would highly recommend the use of devices like the TriField Broadband Meter and the NoRad Meter. Though certainly not cheap, optimum placement of components and cables with the help of these devices makes for improvements that can be much more significant than most tweaks. The TriField Broadband Meter goes for US$ 170.00, and the NoRad 8260 (U.S. model) Magnetic Field Meter goes for US$ 199.00. If you can buy only one, I'd recommend the TriField Broadband Meter because it measures RFI, AC magnetic fields, and AC electric fields. The NoRad only measures AC magnetic field, but does so with extremely accurate directionality and resolves to 0.1 milliGauss (much better for determining very precisely the shape of ELM field shapes, and very specific point of emanation).



I also bought a couple of packs of 3M/Scotch Command Adhesive Cord Clips to bunch and route my non-audio component cords even further away from my audio gear. Cost: US$ 2.77 for four clips.


I haven't had a chance to listen to my gear yet with these minor tweaks, as I just finished them now. I don't imagine there'll be much to report with regard to sonic benefits of these minor tweaks.

I did pay an unfortunate price, however, for these tweaks today. While arranging my interconnects, my elbow struck a beautiful lead crystal fish sculpture my wife gave me as a gift some time ago and one of the fins broke. As I treasure all gifts (especially those from my wife), I feel pretty bad about this casualty of my tweaking. Anyway, I'll try to fix it later.

Well, those are my tweaks for this weekend, one injured crystal fish later.
post #2 of 40
Nice one...

My latest tweak will probably to get a pair of small size oak cone feet to place underneath my mission 780 speakers on atacama racks.

I had a pair of these already but decided to put them underneath the glass shelves on my target rack to replace the small crappy useless rubber ones that were already there.....
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by davidcotton
Nice one...

My latest tweak will probably to get a pair of small size oak cone feet to place underneath my mission 780 speakers on atacama racks.

I had a pair of these already but decided to put them underneath the glass shelves on my target rack to replace the small crappy useless rubber ones that were already there.....
Are wood cones mostly for lighter equipment, or can they be used with heavier equipment too? I never considered wood cones for fear of point deformation. Is this an issue? Or my worries unfounded?
post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally posted by jude


Are wood cones mostly for lighter equipment, or can they be used with heavier equipment too? I never considered wood cones for fear of point deformation. Is this an issue? Or my worries unfounded?
They come in four different sizes! small through to Jumbo (ooer)

I just moved the pair I had to the speakers again, so will probably wait a while (considering a new cd player damn) point deformation, as far as I have seen no problems there.

I have a set of three (its on a tripod formation, two at the front one centre back)jumbo underneath my marantz cd 63 KI signature cd player and its affect was to make the sound a bit more relaxed.....

Not bad for £24.95 for a set of three.......
post #5 of 40
You probably can find these in some DIY shops, but it just doesn't have the Russ Andrews name on the box. My office is full of samples of wood, there's a huge solid oak sill sitting behind one of the door. If I am good at carpentary, it'll make at least 30 oak cones.
post #6 of 40
As long as these things aren't the ones with the metal tips...

Back in ye olde days I had a pair of Mission 760iSE speakers on whatever brand of stands I have (don't remember... no name on them) and they (the stands) had either a flat top (screw in allen key "bolts") or spikes that you put on with a spanner... I went for the spikes, and punctured big dents in the speaker cabinets... the speakers lost loads of value when it came to me trading them in for my Mission 751s...
post #7 of 40
can we see a pic of ur new setup?
post #8 of 40
Jude
You should write a book! I would never have guessed I'd have been so fascinated by how to spend $8 at Home Depot and $16 at BBBY (great company by all accounts). Anyway, not only did I enjoy the read but I actually have a couple of questions
Why the two different types of cable clip/hooks?
What is the benefit of space between the interconnects and wall?
Thanks again for keeping this great site going
crk
who has wires going every which way, completely unhooked or unclamped

post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by crk
Jude
You should write a book! I would never have guessed I'd have been so fascinated by how to spend $8 at Home Depot and $16 at BBBY (great company by all accounts). Anyway, not only did I enjoy the read but I actually have a couple of questions
Why the two different types of cable clip/hooks?
What is the benefit of space between the interconnects and wall?
Thanks again for keeping this great site going
crk
who has wires going every which way, completely unhooked or unclamped

Wow, crk! That was a very nice message -- thank you. I figured at least one person would be able to stay awake all the way through my post!

Regarding the two different types of hooks: The medium-sized ones came in packs of two for $2.77, and these fit my interconnects and power cables (barely fits the BPT power cables). My 333's power cord is quite slim, so the smaller hooks were a better bargain at four per $2.77. The Cord Clips are really designed for smaller cables (like the kind usually on wall warts), and will hold about three of them, whereas hooks weren't too good about holding these really thin cables.

Regarding spacing my cables away from the wall: I read somewhere that one should keep one's cables from resting against a wall, floors, carpet, etc. I can't answer this question scientifically, but if the cable is pressed up flat against the wall for most of its length, it seems to me that the wall sorta becomes like a part of the cable's outer jacket. So rather than have it rest flat against the wall for so much its length, I figure each cable (with two hooks each in place) will only be in contact with the wall at two smaller points per cable. Is this an audible tweak? Not that I can tell on its own, but I see some of the more minor tweaks like this as being potentially effective taken in total -- one day I'll have to remove all minor tweaks at once and see if there's a significant difference.

Of all the things I mentioned in my long post that started this thread, I still think the most important is placement of components and cables. With regard to the cables, placement can have audible differences, particularly if you've currently got cables (especially signal-carrying unshielded ones) running within the EMI fields emitted by electronics.
post #10 of 40
I honestly can't see that the wall would have any effect. Most walls are made of electrically inactive materials like wood, plaster, plasterboard etc. In any case a small gap wouldn't make any difference. But I'm sure you are correct about placement with respect to EMI. One should avoid placing audio cables next to power cables, particularly those where a heavy current switches on and off (like a refridgerator).
crk
post #11 of 40
jude,

I would just like to say that I really enjoy reading about all of your tweaks. Usually it serves as inspiration for my own purchases, but if nothing else I find your reports funny and informative. Even if you possibly go a bit overboard sometimes.

In other words: Keep up the good work!
post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by crk
I honestly can't see that the wall would have any effect. Most walls are made of electrically inactive materials like wood, plaster, plasterboard etc. In any case a small gap wouldn't make any difference.
crk, I'm just ignorant enough on this topic to not argue this point with you. I just read about it somewhere (probably Audio Asylum) and someone was discussing the dielectric constants of various materials that cables rest against. Anyway, I'm digging here...


Quote:
Originally posted by mcbiff
jude,

I would just like to say that I really enjoy reading about all of your tweaks. Usually it serves as inspiration for my own purchases, but if nothing else I find your reports funny and informative. Even if you possibly go a bit overboard sometimes.

In other words: Keep up the good work!
mcbiff, thanks for the nice message. Overboard? Me? See, it has to do with the dielectric constant of the wall material resting directly against.......

post #13 of 40
Jude-

If you are still looking for ceramic insulators , you might try looking in the electrical department of a hardware store. The insulators I will try to describe are used for attaching telephone wire to the side of a building or sometimes for running Romex to an outbuilding.

There are many sizes made but the ones I see the most are about 1.5" X 3" and have a lag screw built into one end, and the other end has a hole molded into it. You would simply lag the porcelin or ceramic insulator into the wall and then run your cable or interconnects through the hole.

Sometimes the thrill of the hunt is as much fun as the tweak itself. Good luck.
post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by timoteus
If you are still looking for ceramic insulators , you might try looking in the electrical department of a hardware store.
timoteus, thanks very much for the tip. I was just at Home Depot and walked up and down the electrical aisle until my wife dragged me outta there.

Maybe I'll try a True Value type hardware store. Anyone else know where I can find these things timoteus is talking about? My 3M/Scotch Command Adhesive hooks are working fine, but the ceramic insulators probably look groovier.
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally posted by jude


timoteus, thanks very much for the tip. I was just at Home Depot and walked up and down the electrical aisle until my wife dragged me outta there.

Maybe I'll try a True Value type hardware store. Anyone else know where I can find these things timoteus is talking about? My 3M/Scotch Command Adhesive hooks are working fine, but the ceramic insulators probably look groovier.
You might want to check out the fencing area. They use them around here a lot for electric fences to keep the horses in and the rif-raf (Hey! That's me!) out. BTW, I bought a couple of the 3M jumbo hooks for my Temporal Continuum speaker cables on the big-rig in the living room. They work like champs. Thanks for the tip.
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