Long or short?

Paul McGowan

As our three new listening rooms take shape in the new building it’s time to meet with the electricians to design our equipment feeds.

Of course we’re going with dedicated lines: 10 gauge wire with separated ground, neutral and hot. I’ve scheduled 6 runs in each of the two main rooms but already there’s a problem of where to place the outlets. I can have all the equipment behind the speakers on the front wall facing the listener as we do at a show. This is the best looking place for the gear, the easiest to control with the remote, the shortest lengths of cables, but closer to the source of sound and the potential for more microphonics.

Or, I can place the equipment along the sidewall: easier access to the kit and placing CDs in the loader tray, improved isolation from the speakers, closer to what many people likely have in their homes, the chance to use a more furniture-like rack, closer to the collection of discs. The downside here is the long speaker cables.

Or, a hybrid between the two.

Because we’re in the open stud phase of building it’s easy enough to run the 6 circuits to a junction box and from there branch off to two sets of 6 dedicated circuits: one set on the front wall, another on the sidewall. Since they are all labeled 1 through 6, I can manage to use any of the three scenarios listed.

The good news is that we have the luxury now of options, something most people don’t when they are retrofitting an existing room.

The bad news is the same as the good news: we have options and I can’t decide.