Symmetry Obsession

Stereophonic thoughts: since the entire hobby we love is based on the illusion related to an image projected IN the perfect center of two sources (loudspeakers) I’m afraid I’m going to become obsessed from this concept in some different ways.
The sweet spot, the side walls treatments, the front wall and how it looks when I’m watching the imaginary soundstage, etc etc

Why not considering also the location of gear?

Two subs for instance, two monoblocks and the route the speaker cables are going in front of my listening position. There might be also the importance to avoid a noisy crossing between interconnects and power or speaker cables. The positioning of gear on a rack can contribute a lot to create a mess of cables, sometimes because the IEC inlet is on the “wrong” side respect your needs in the back panel.

Here my question: I would like if manufacturers gave us the opportunity to choose left or right model of each gear, why not? I would like to purchase a PRE or a DAC that sports two different perfectly symmetrical ways all the inputs on the rear panel. It could improve the order behind the rack and consequently the sound quality, reducing pollution EMI RF and so on.

Think about two mono amplifiers like the M1200s

they are usually put one on the left and one on the right, as their natural location.

Look at IEC inlets and XLR inputs, how better would be for us connecting interconnects and speaker cables to avoid crossing the power cords, if the left amp had been designed exactly in the opposite configuration vs the right one?!

I know I know this would create more costs… and stocking shipment distribution difficulties, I know and understand well. But we are spending a fortune for this hobby, we take care of contamination and tweaks and moddings at a very insane degree… why we have to accept two monos that don’t mirror each other left/right the back panel?

Symmetric audiophiles of the world, unit!


I am a symmetry geek too. I dont know if it helps the music as all but it helps me feel better!


Count me in on that obsession.

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I suffer from the same disease.

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Me too.
But I can just see some knucklehead thinking: Hmmm. If it’s 100 watts with one power cord, what if I plug in two?!?!?


Got it!

I was thinking more about a “left model” with only one type of configuration and a “right model” with the opposite. Cause the internal parts would need to mirror each other, not doubling at all.

Especially for monos that are usually sold as a pair.

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That really does seem like a nice idea. But since every manufacturer must reduce or eliminate costs not valued by their customers, that would be a tough call for the decision maker.


Although it’s not perfect the Pass gear comes close.


This is the real challenge a skilled designer could accept to fight!

As for sonic improvements and marketing promotion, it would be an argument to bring on the table too!

I would take into account a higher cost for a M1200 or BHK 300/600 pair with that kind of configuration, it could solve my troubles in cables management.

Speaker cables right/left side could run in a more clean route, also the length of XLR cables from a PRE could be better equivalent: I’m scheduling to move the rack on the side wall, so I’ll need soon 28’ long interconnects. From the right wall (where will be seated the Pre) to the center of the front wall is an equal distance, then from that center point to my left/right amplifiers I have to face to different lengths because of the location of the inputs on the two rear panels.

And anyhow one or the other is needed to crossing the power cord, no chances to avoid it!


A few example where I think symmetry might be improved…


The rear of one of my integrated amps. Perfect symmetry. Even symmetric warning labels, ha!


Yep +1! And monos? And Pre, DAC, Regens… the future of design projects in this industry might take this aspect more into account in my opinion.

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I also wish power inlets (the prongs) were consistently oriented and located as far away (horizontally and vertically) from signal cable inlets and outlets as practically possible,


Left and right version causes lots of confusion with supply base mismarked parts to start and endlessly different variations with incorrect assembly manufacturing wherever people are inserted in the process. I have spent endless time forcing error proofing solutions but few subtiers understand the concept or unwilling to recognize the costs of eating scrap when they build it wrong. It not only costs them but us with late deliveries and customer disappointment.

I always thought i had seen it all until the next mistake always introduces another twist. Even just one configuration of a part has front to back issues mixed up. But I do hate buying one monoblock amp cord or speaker wires having excess length not to mention interconnects. I have had the same thoughts but construction complexity and more product variation is the other evil.

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My speaker cables are different lengths - 3m and 5m. I suppose that counts me out?

I am listening now through a phono stage with boards for each channel stacked one on the other, and those blue things at the front are also symmetrical pairs. Nice OCD back panel.


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I need to admit you are right, the risk would be higher.

Still convinced though that almost for monos there is a major need to find out a better design and clever people in Boulder and on this forum are not a rarity, this encourages me to have faith.

Each time I see a system pic with beautiful monos left/right and/or a rack on the side wall I wonder to myself: how long are the interconnects from the Pre? How the speaker cables are crossing the rear side of both the amplifiers? How the two power cords are running from left and right amps (subs) to the wall or to a centered P20 (so to speak) maintaining the same length.

I think that after having spent 5k dollars for a cable (and an eye of the head for an amp or regenerator), or after having done a hard work to recabling a circuit with dedicated lines an audiophile could have title to “wish” for a better disposition of inputs and outlets.

… to whom it may concerns…

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Half the time the cables are not connected or photoshopped out. I am convinced of that much. Even the OS audio FR30s get shown cable free in front of huge glass windows picture perfect photo ready scenery. I am glad my speakers were designed and voiced to be close to the front wall. Few have luxury of routing cables under floor.

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Coda #8 Amp…symmetry… front,back and inside!


This reminds me another comment, related to the design of outputs vs inputs.

Some back panel sports them vertically, one (left channel) over the other (right channel), some other sports them horizontally, one (left channel) side by side to the other (right channel).

For instance a BHK Pre and SPP or DS DAC like these:

It’s really difficult to manage XLR cable to connect one unit to another in this way, avoiding to buy expensive cables longer than necessary or avoiding to cross other PCs or HDMI cables. Not to mention if you have 2 units on the same hight of the rack!

We stress several times the importance of interferences, especially with sensitive signals (phono stage), designers usually take maximum care about internal design of parts and wires to keep them separated… why on the external side don’t be more accurate too?

I could understand it is impossible if units are from different brands but an entire system created by a unique manufacturer (like PS Audio) I hope one day will offer a better solution to their customer.

You know how I love PSA gear (and the amount of money I spent for their products is the proof), just want to stimulate sensitive brains not criticize without a goal!

My aim is also to understand if what I desire is one of my personal limits (symmetry obsession is the title of this thread) or I can have the comfort to find other members here in a similar insane and frustrating position.

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Liked +2! And monos?