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Cable elevators (lifters)

69.130.185.159

Posted on May 7, 2020 at 08:40:04
Mike K
Audiophile

Posts: 12913
Joined: September 23, 1999
Some folks believe that cables should not rest on the floor - the floor
apparently can introduce bad stuff into your cables somehow. So to help
ward off this bad stuff, someone(s) devised cable lifters. Here are two
examples:

1. Nordost Sort Life cable lifters (at $599 per pair at Upscale Audio).
2. Cable Tower V2, from Dedicated Audio, $99 for 6.

I am very curious about 2 things:
(1) What bad stuff is the floor going to introduce into your cables,
except perhaps for some static electricity somehow?
(2) How is the aluminum and titanium alloy of the Nordost superior
enough to the plastic of the Cable Tower V2 to justify the $500 price
differential?

Maybe the principle function of both these products is to lighten the
wallet of the average audiophool, er, excuse me, audiophile.

And in any case, wouldn't some heavy cardboard serve quite adequately
to get the cables off the floor?
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein

 

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RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 09:56:19
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 29719
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Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
This is really a Tweaks/DIY topic.

It is all about eliminating static electricity on carpeted surfaces. As for me, I use inexpensive porcelain electrical insulators purchased at flea markets and Tractor Supply.

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 10:11:58
HighEndWire
Audiophile

Posts: 1571
Joined: August 2, 2002
There are plenty of cheaper alternatives - e.g. https://www.circlecsupply.com/dare-small-porcelain-insulator-with-lag-bolt-price-per-each.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9rag45-i6QIViZWzCh29Tg17EAQYAyABEgJIZvD_BwE or https://www.mayerelectric.com/17616/Category/Porcelain-Insulators

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 10:38:46
PAR
Audiophile

Posts: 1261
Location: South London, UK
Joined: June 4, 2019
Contributor
  Since:
June 4, 2019
I did not buy cable lifters but just experimented using a number of glass ramekins from my kitchen. I left them in place for a few weeks but I wasn't too sure that they did anything at all until I removed them.

I was pleased to remove them as they were not exactly the most eye pleasing arrangement. After a day or so I realised that my system just didn't sound as good as before especially in the area of its ability to throw a convincing 3D soundstage and there was a diminution of small dynamics making the music a bit flat or less exciting too. So back they went to be replaced later by some Cardas myrtle woodblocks with a large "V" groove cut to hold the cable, not because they "sounded" better but they just looked better. And they were not expensive.

There are three hypotheses that I am aware that have been advanced to explain the effect:

1. Electrostatic ( especially I guess where carpets with a high artificial fibre content are concerned).

2.As the electric field extends beyond the conductor that having air rather than carpet next to the cable is preferable.

3. That the floor (like walls) is at an acoustic pressure zone and moving the cable away from this provides benefits (I note that some proprietary cable lifters suspend the cable relatively high above the floor though whether or not for this purpose I do not know).

So why not experiment with some thick cardboard? I have seen some D.I.Y lifters made from the cardboard tube from the centre of toilet tissue rolls.

The effect is relatively subtle and presumably inaudible with a system that cannot throw a convincing soundstage in the first place, at least in relation to my my experience.




"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:06:09
Todd Krieger
Audiophile

Posts: 34333
Location: SW United States
Joined: November 2, 2000
I once tried this with paper cups..... Can't say that I heard a difference......

I think the changes are mostly from the speaker vibrations being transferred more readily to the amplifiers/components via the speaker cables..... In some cases, it will be perceived as an improvement.....

 

Read up on the subject here..., posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:08:40
musetap
Audiophile

Posts: 25480
Location: San Francisco
Joined: July 8, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 28, 2004
Well, at the link.

Al Sekela was a long time contributor at AA, an experienced
and open minded, articulate audiophile, and a practical man
that used cable lifters.

Read the attached link, ESPECIALLY #29 and bear in mind this
is the golden age of the cardboard TP tube.

I don't use lifters, don't need them.

As far as extreme price variances in the audiophile world, well,
everyone makes a better widget... what's it worth to you?

"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:41:37
stereo5
Audiophile

Posts: 1272
Location: New England
Joined: June 22, 2008
Since my speaker wires go under the floor to the other side of the room, it would be pointless to use cable risers. I did try Shunyata's Dark Field Elevators in my secondary system for a week, heard no difference and promptly sent them back to MD. I haven't missed them.


"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the
most of us...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."


 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:50:25
Aspheric
Audiophile

Posts: 128
Joined: March 12, 2001
For an idea here's a lifter I made from from some scrap cherry wood. To the side there are silicone glued porcelain insulators supporting ac lines.


 

Well, they have their ups and downs, posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:52:37
BillH
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January 31, 2000
But in general, the cheaper the better and the fewer the better. If you don't have carpet, you probably don't have a problem.

 

RE: Cable elevators (hangers), posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:55:23
Byrd69
Audiophile

Posts: 2430
Location: East Syracuse, New York
Joined: August 23, 2004
I hang my speaker cables (lamp cord) from the ceiling with specially treated (spray painted) string from the Dollar Store. The string is attached to the ceiling with faux brass tacks coated with some sort of silver toothpaste an audio snake oil salesman gave me to sample too many years ago. It tastes like sheet, but my tacks shined, for a while.

It all really looks like sheet, but it sounds the same, and I don't have ugly speaker cables running across the floor.



Your interest may vary but the results are the same (Byrd 2020)

I can't compete with the dead. (Buck W. 2010)

Cowards can't be heroes. (Byrd 2017)

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 13:52:19
Sondek
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Posts: 5900
Location: Fort Worth
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Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
I too have heard the explanation (your #2) that being in contact with carpet in particular affects the dielectric properties of the cable.

Not saying I buy any of these explanations, although the dielectric one seems plausible to me.

 

question Par, posted on May 7, 2020 at 15:27:02
Story
Audiophile

Posts: 3634
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
February 21, 2019
which is better to elevate speaker cables or interconnects?

I have some of both on carpeting on a basement slab.


"Bass is the place..the rest is filigree and lace" Doug Sax


 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 14:13:45
Don Reid
Audiophile

Posts: 537
Location: Rural NW Georgia
Joined: February 2, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
April 1, 2010
The music my system plays sounds so good I don't bother with tweaks of this sort. I do however still use two VPI magic bloks.
I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having it's motives questioned.

 

For the Best Fidelity ......................., posted on May 7, 2020 at 16:20:17
Cut-Throat
Audiophile

Posts: 14486
Location: Minneapolis - St.Paul Area
Joined: September 2, 2000



There should be nothing at all.






 

Somebody start the clock again...., posted on May 7, 2020 at 17:52:22
dogwan
Audiophile

Posts: 846
Joined: December 16, 2004
where's my dead horse emoji?

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 7, 2020 at 20:36:15
hahax@verizon.net
Audiophile

Posts: 3657
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
A friend in the New Jersey club made lifters that were simply blocks of foam big enough to support any cables. They of course lifted wires but also had some vibration damping. And he sold them for a couple of bucks each(it's been a while so I don't recall the exact amount). It should be easy to do something similar cheaply and if you don't hear a difference you didn't lose much.

I believe in significant microphonic affects and the foam should improve things.

 

RE: question Par, posted on May 8, 2020 at 01:21:23
PAR
Audiophile

Posts: 1261
Location: South London, UK
Joined: June 4, 2019
Contributor
  Since:
June 4, 2019
Thanks for your question as it brings something to my attention that I really should have mentioned.

I do not use speaker cables! The wires that are elevated in my system are 5m long balanced interconnects from my pre-amp to my active speakers (where the power amps are built into the speaker cabinets). As the rest of my equipment is on a 5 level rack no other interconnects touch the carpet except for a couple of wordclock cables as the system clock is sited on the bottom level of the rack. However space there is too limited to consider any form of elevation (though whether or not that would have any audible effect on a cable that just caries a regular pulse is open to question). Some power cables from the wall outlets also touch the carpet behind the rack.


"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams

 

RE: question Par, posted on May 8, 2020 at 04:14:44
Story
Audiophile

Posts: 3634
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
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February 21, 2019
I would guess that your having active speakers you are not concerned with micro-phonics within the speaker cabinets? At one time there was a bit of concern with some makers, maybe even today with caps and such.

I too have long interconnects and will give it a shot to elevate the cables and hear what happens. Thanks!


"Bass is the place..the rest is filigree and lace" Doug Sax


 

RE: question Par, posted on May 8, 2020 at 04:58:09
PAR
Audiophile

Posts: 1261
Location: South London, UK
Joined: June 4, 2019
Contributor
  Since:
June 4, 2019
Yes, I am aware of the concern. However the amps are not housed within the part of the speaker cabinet that houses the drivers but in its own compartment. However I appreciate that this does not remove the consideration in its entirety.

The reason that the speaker was designed in this way is that the brief for its original conception from , I think, the Danish national broadcaster was for a 50 litre enclosure including all electronics so that it was easily transportable from studio to studio.

It is now considered a classic design with around 40+ years of production and hundreds of users in in both professional and amateur settings. I suspect that if there is a vibration problem of any magnitude it would be common knowledge by now. However its larger siblings of 150 or 300 litre capacity do indeed have an external electronic crossover and tri-amplifier linked to the speaker cabinet via a complex umbilical cord, I guess itself yet another cause for possible concern.

"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 8, 2020 at 08:29:59
House13
Audiophile

Posts: 303
Location: SE TN
Joined: February 17, 2008






I have Tara Labs 0.3 Loudspeaker Cables, Zero Evolution XLR Interconnects and Analysis Plus Bi-Wire Black Mesh Oval 9 loudpeaker Cables all threaded through Taymor Fingertip Towel Rings.

They were only $8.00 each at Tuesday Mornings. I have seen them in different colors including chrome and black. The color I chose matches the Tara outer jackets. They are very stable with a weighted non-slip base. The thick and stiff Tara cables are divided through the rings left and right, positive and negative runs. The weight of the cables also helps to keep the rings from tipping over.

I did this for ease of cleaning not sound. The floor is porcelain tile over concrete. It is much easier and faster to clean the floor not having to raise a bunch of cables off the floor. They also stablize the cables keeping them from twisting or pulling from their connections.

A note to all you comedians, the tags have since been removed after I was satisfied the rings worked.

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 8, 2020 at 09:24:10
Mick Wolfe
Audiophile

Posts: 2500
Joined: October 10, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
September 4, 2000
I can't believe that Nordost product actually exists at that ridiculous price point. And what good is a set of 2 unless your cable run is 3'or 4'? Many set ups would require at least 8.( $2400 :( ) There's a lot of great speaker or component options at that price point that might actually have a positive impact. Dozens of DIY options that cost pennies to fab up if one is curious. I have wood cable risers in one of my systems. To be honest, I've never been able to determine if they really do anything essential.

 

RE: Cable lifters, posted on May 8, 2020 at 12:12:05
hifitommy
Audiophile

Posts: 15034
Location: canyon country califiornia, orig from buffalo ny
Joined: June 9, 2000
although i don't use them, i will opine that they should be non-metallic, visually pleasing, and VERY affordable. i have heard some knowledgeable opinions, some from notable and respectable audio designer/philes that are pro cable lifters with feasible scientific explanations.

enough from me.
...regards...tr

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 8, 2020 at 13:53:02
DDzStereo
Audiophile

Posts: 51
Location: North of Toronto, Ontario
Joined: July 1, 2009
I use ESD foam similar to that found in this link. Cut the foam in pieces 2 'cones' by 2 'cones', cable or wire lies between the cones so it doesn't slide off. The material was free as it was used in packaging from work.

https://www.matedex.be/en/products/prod-2226/hkm-coated-product-esd-foam-for-cvs-tvs.html

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 8, 2020 at 21:05:23
stator_99@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 467
Location: ohio
Joined: August 24, 2003
Vpi magic brick

 

+1 (nt), posted on May 9, 2020 at 05:43:09
Vinyl Valet
Dealer

Posts: 1148
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Joined: November 13, 2003
nt

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 9, 2020 at 19:50:56
WntrMute2
Audiophile

Posts: 703
Location: Detroit
Joined: September 16, 2002

One word: Rebar Chair

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 10, 2020 at 21:33:40
Jon Risch
Bored Member

Posts: 6629
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
March 1, 1999
See:
Why elevating cables off the floor may have an effect.
http://www.AudioAsylum.com/audio/cables/messages/60272.html

I have personally heard improvements with some very basic spacers made from highly aerated foam blocks, or from substantial cardboard tubes with foam damping plugs at the bottom end of the tube, the portion on the floor. A notch cut out of the top portion to hold the cable.

Here, tubes used for rolling up artwork or something larger and more substantial than a toilet paper tube would be preferred.


Jon Risch

 

Than you, Jon. Very informative. *, posted on May 11, 2020 at 07:13:46
Mike K
Audiophile

Posts: 12913
Joined: September 23, 1999

Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein

 

+1 -t, posted on May 13, 2020 at 10:32:58
Sordidman
Audiophile

Posts: 13660
Location: San Francisco
Joined: May 14, 2001
,


"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

This is a typical anti-audiophile argument, posted on May 13, 2020 at 10:36:40
Sordidman
Audiophile

Posts: 13660
Location: San Francisco
Joined: May 14, 2001
In that if it is expensive it can't be any good....

Plenty of people have cited evidence of taking a few sets of 3 chopsticks bound together with rubber-bands and supporting/lifting their speaker cables that way.....




"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

RE: This is a typical anti-audiophile argument, posted on May 13, 2020 at 11:05:08
Mick Wolfe
Audiophile

Posts: 2500
Joined: October 10, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
September 4, 2000
Yes, old news. I did the chopstix/rubber band cable riser trick a few years back. Didn't hear any difference then either. I'm not saying others can't hear a difference, but I can't....sorry. I have no beef with overpriced audiophile gear. It's up to the individual to decide for themselves as to what falls in overpriced category. If you like what the Nordost cable risers do, be my guest. Buy 3 or 4 sets.

 

Not about me...., posted on May 13, 2020 at 17:10:01
Sordidman
Audiophile

Posts: 13660
Location: San Francisco
Joined: May 14, 2001
"I have no beef with over-priced audio gear."

overpriced is "your" opinion, and label.. that is unique to you.

"if you like what the Nordost cable risers do."

Not me, - I don't have 'em. But I'm sure that someone does. And, - no one knows what they do for ANY system, - until they are tried in that system....

Fortunately, - audiophiles are smart, and can be trusted to use them in locations where they "could" make a difference. (I know that my cable elevators made enough of a difference to justify their very cheap cost).



"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

How high?, posted on May 18, 2020 at 11:00:13
Lew
Audiophile

Posts: 10316
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Joined: December 11, 2000
Maybe I have not had a cable lifter epiphany because the cheap solutions I have tried do not raise the cables high enough away from the floor. Have you ever read anything to suggest how high the cables should run vs the floor level?

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 19, 2020 at 06:42:37
Tre'
Industry Professional

Posts: 14368
Location: So. Cal.
Joined: February 9, 2002
I'm having a hard time squaring these two statements,

"Anything that distorts either the e-field or the magnetic field of the cable as it carries an audio signal will be reflected in a distortion of the signal itself, one can not be affected without that effect being shown in the other."

"Even though the cable might have some magnetic field cancellation (and the more esoteric geometries are much better at this than zip cords), there is still some radiated magnetic field from the cable."

If the first statement is true then wouldn't you want a cable with no field cancellation?

Tre'
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"

 

I can only guess, posted on May 25, 2020 at 11:20:19
Sordidman
Audiophile

Posts: 13660
Location: San Francisco
Joined: May 14, 2001
Sorry for the late response, - i limit my time here at AA these days with the homogenization + intolerance of this site.

I never tried the Mapleshade 1ft long, (what looked like), pick up sticks. But I did have some curiosity about them verses what I have.

I bought my ceramic, "elephant feet" on audiogon years ago for next to nothing, - so I said "hey, WTF" They seem to make a difference, but, -it's not huge. Plus they are enough to keep my cats from messing with my speaker cables. They are only about 5 inches above the ground.

All wiring in my system is Cardas based on my speaker manufacturer's recommendation.So I can't tell you how much "leakage field" is present in Cardas compared to say the flat Nordost Valhalla, - or even some of the "almost" unshielded stuff made by Mapleshade. The Mapleshade take the cables more than a foot off the flooring. (Maybe it's due to the fact that these cables use an "air-dialectic" and would be larger, - and therefore higher and away from the floor and other items....

So that is my (wild or not) speculation.


I agree with the other posters, (the great Barry Diamonte), is to go with FREE first, - and see if you hear a change, - then spend money on something "better" if they do prove to be effective.

As far as above, - as a re-inforcement from my perspective only. I've tried 4 different versions of DIY rollerblocks and precisely ZERO performed as well as the ones made by Symposium. However, - most of the 4 that I've tried I still have in play somewhere in the system, as they are more effective than nothing at all.

Cheers,



"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on May 25, 2020 at 16:06:15
Jon Risch
Bored Member

Posts: 6629
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
March 1, 1999
The field cancellation that two opposite polarity signals can accomplish with respect to each other is a linear process, one that does not engender any significant distortion.

The field alterations caused by external materials distortion of the field is usually a non-linear alteration, and one not counterbalanced by the exact opposite polarity field as in the case of the self-inductance partially cancelling due to two nearby conductors.

Jon Risch

 

RE: I can only guess, posted on June 1, 2020 at 07:34:30
Lew
Audiophile

Posts: 10316
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Joined: December 11, 2000
Thx for your response.

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on June 7, 2020 at 20:01:53
jrlaudio
Industry Professional

Posts: 73
Location: New York
Joined: November 2, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
It's all nonsense. The jacket of any cable is non-conductive, a dialectic. Static voltage impulses are not going to pass through it and effect the signal on the wire inside, especially if it's a shielded interconnect. The shield itself would carry any static to ground. In speaker cables the signals are so high as to have static be so marginalized to be virtually non-existent.

Additionally, static fields of this type cannot produce any magnetic field with sufficient intensity over any time domain since the fields collapse literally instantly, so the theory about magnetic field effects is moot or simple bluster.

If a cable is effected by static, it's a badly designed cable. Period. Propaganda to get you to buy more stuff.

I have spoken.

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on July 21, 2020 at 20:35:58
demetane
Audiophile

Posts: 50
Location: Canada, QC
Joined: February 3, 2004
I have Shunyata Dark Field V2 and I tried coffe cup, complete suspend my cable and over shunyata is far better.

Sometimes the cable is not charged at all... on darkfield or not it's same but must of time, it's quite apparent.

 

RE: Cable elevators (lifters), posted on July 22, 2020 at 08:15:48
tweaker456
Audiophile

Posts: 632
Location: SF Bay Area
Joined: June 20, 2020
Well jr, you have spoken, but have you listened? Horse blankets I say, horse blankets.




"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Alfred E. Neuman

 

J.River Mac Version Sonic Comparison, posted on July 22, 2020 at 22:16:48
MRMB
Audiophile

Posts: 114
Location: Midwest
Joined: August 16, 2001
The Taymor Fingertip Towel Rings are a good idea to simply get the cables off the floor for cleaning.

I've been using glass blocks to take the strain off the connection points and to raise cables off the floor. You can get them in various sizes and designs. Whether they provide any sonic positive or negative, I haven't a clue. But they are sized well to support cables & look rather good doing it...
-Mike

 

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