Oh it's silly season again!
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think about how much power is going through your speaker cables. if you have them on carpet that impeeds the electricity from getting to one side to the other and the idea is to have the flow uninterupted. i cant do it in technical terms. it has been explaned to me that way but i can only get the simple explanation. and it does make a difference.
Lifting cables off of synthetic carpets makes a difference here. What I consistently hear when I lift my cables off the synthetic carpet is an improvement in clarity and in leading edge transients. When I've had my system on a hardwood floor, I found no difference lifting the cables off of direct contact with the wood floor. But in a room with a synthetic carpet there is a difference for my system, and I keep my cables lifted 4-6" off the carpet.
As has been explained to me, synthetic materials (such as a nylon carpet) will store energy (picking it up from the flow of current through the cable) and will then release that stored energy randomly. This random release of stored energy back into the cable will muddle the sound to some degree. Same principle as applied by many manufacturers in choosing how to insulate cables: use of teflon not pvc, use of air core, use of cotton and silk wraps, miimizing use of dielectric materials wherever possible, etc.
In any event, this is easy to try for yourself without any cost other than the investment of a little of your time. Use anything that is non-conductive and not made from synthetics to raise your cables 4-6" off the carpet (minimum, some recommend 8") and then listen over a period of a few hours. Then remove the lift and listen again. (Remember that whenever you move your cables, they need some time to settle again before you can tell what you're hearing, so don't do this as quick A/B listening comparison or all you'll hear is the impact of moving the cables.)
My cable elevators are completely home built, using a variety of found household materials: paper towel rolls, corrugated cardboard, thread to hang by in some places, crumpled paper towel between cables where they cross, wood paint stirring sticks... Corrogated cardboard can be used to easily construct some effective and pretty non-obtrusive crossed-towers (being used here to support speaker cables and preamp to amp interconnects).
This is insanity writ large: "... synthetic materials (such as a nylon carpet) will store energy (picking it up from the flow of current through the cable) and will then release that stored energy randomly. This random release of stored energy back into the cable will muddle the sound to some degree."
The question remains the same, even assuming, for sake of argument,this gobbledygook about storing energy is correct: what levels of energy are we talking about and how are they perceived by human hearing?
Elves, leprauchauns, angels, archangels, flying spaghetti monster are those equally as real as the skin efect and carpets gobbling up energy?
As an added simple enough question: what passes through an audio cable?
pbb, another sophomoric arguement...
How about EMI and RFI, the amount of radio siganl is minimal, why would it affect the signal inside an enclosed cable???
Just for the sake of us mere mortals who have not conducted the exhaustive studies which you have in regard to this topic, can you please let us know the cable elevators you used, the kind of flooring involved, the time frame of these experiments, and the quantitaive results you discovered.
Thank you in advance for being the great man of science you obviously are... DA!
It is interesting to me how a topic such as this induces so many rude and discourteous comments from so many people.
What happened to the notion that this was a forum in which people sharing the same enjoyment of this hobby could have some civil conversations sharing experiences? Count me as disappointed in the level of discourse occurring in this thread.
I for one could not abide a cable that is unable to shield itself from the static electricity built up in carpets or rugs.
My prefrence for cables
shield for rfi/emf/microwaves,etc.
once you get the basiscs right I am far more intereted in voodoo claims.
IMO a cable that is picking up static from the carpet should be rejected out of hand.
I have no scientific verification for my experience... what I take exception to is self proclaimed experts who have never used the item in question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have used them, does that give my opinion more validity that some AS# who hasn't? I apologize for piling on pbb, but even his own neighbor hates him for being such a pompous a55!
Everyone's having fun with this topic.
Although the addition of cable lifters in my system gave negative results, I would bet lots of systems here at Audiogon would benefit from them.
Everyone keeps talking about electrons and static but I think one of the biggest reasons cable lifters work (or don't) is isolation from vibration. Almost any system at Audiogon will be negatively effected if after a long listening session you walk over to the speaker cable, pick it up and shake it (gently) and set it back down.
I know it sounds like a silly experiment but in my system, with every cable I've ever owned, the effect is immediate, very negative and if you focus on sound stage, you can actually hear the cable recover. Try this for fun, it's free.
If this works for you, how much of a stretch is it to imagine that micro vibration from moderate to loud SPL's could also negatively effect that same cable? If you don't hear results of this test, it's "different" than mine :^).
I think what's important is to try it in your own system. You can used Herbies feet, cable lifters, a piece of 2X4 or whatever amuses you.
If you learn something from the test, or better yet, that it works in your system, this thread has been of value. If it all fails, you had an excuse to listen to your favorite music.
In the end, its about putting in the work, and that's something you have to do yourself. If you're not willing to experiment, then why bother posting results (or claiming there are no results) at Audiogon?
alberporter is correct we are in this to get the best sound we can with what we have meaning not only equipment but also the surrondings or room we listen in. experimenting is part of this hobby and to say something does not work without trying it is absurd. especially if it something that does not cost very much to try like getting your speaker cables off of the carpet. sometimes it is the combination of a lot of little things that make a difference and sometimes one thing will make a difference but you will never know until you try. if it does not work so what and if it does then you are all thebetter. so enjoy the experiment you are listening too. and try some new things
To all interested in this.
You don't need to spend 100$ and up for audiophile approved cable lifters to find out if they work or not,
I noticed recently a plastic product for the construction industry that can be used as a cable lifter for pennies or in my case for free.The "thingies" I am reffering to are basically steel rod lifters.When you pour concrete slabs you need reinforcing steel rods embeded (spelling?) in the slab.So they make these plastic little towers with half moon cut out on the top to support the steel rods and keep them half way into the depth of the poured concrete as per building code..They are cheap ,look good ,are super stable and will hold any cable to about 2 and half inches off the floor..Any lumber yard or construction supply store should have them I would think.For the artistic ,you could hot glue them in oak or maple wood squares(3"x3") for better esthetics like I am planning to do!
That's the spirit of experimenting that we should be sharing, a great idea that allows the user to test at little or no cost.
If you like what it does, add the wood base as Yioryos suggests or buy one of the attractive commercial versions offered on the web.
If the cheap version does not work, no big loss, at least you learned something from trying.
Maybe the act of testing reminded you to clean your RCA jacks and speaker terminals. That can certainly make a difference and it too is FREE.
Agreed Gregadd. Purist is especially sensitive to being shaken up, yet it appears resistant to vibration (I guess) because elevating it in my system was negative.
Then again, perhaps elevating it increased it's exposure to vibration since it's very large diameter and super heavy?
That's the problem with this hobby. We know things work or don't but it's not always easy to understand why.
finally a very solid discussion without a lot of negativity --agree with albert --for my system lifting the cables made an improvement--every system is different as its resolving power-that is what is so much fun about this hobby --just do what makes you happy and don't forget to enjoy the music --rich
I'm all for keeping the discussion open. But that sword cuts both ways; the zealots who really believe in some of these "tweaks", which can reasonably be characterized as esoteric at best, should not be surprised when they're asked to advocate their position nor should they get so defensive.
Let's face it, it's hard to believe that the results of some tweaks are that noticeable. Especially when the science behind said tweak is nebulous.
In my system, lifting big and heavy speaker cables (AQ Everest) from the hardwood floor made a noticable difference. Since the is no carpet/fabric involved, my guess is that it has sth to do with vibrations.
Currently I'm using Finite Elemente Ceraballs, but I have a set of proper Cable Elevators on order.
Sorry, there is no conspiracy or black magic going on this time. There's actually a logical explanation for this, which Rush (Rushton) put forth...
The floor covering acts as a dieletric. Nylon and polyester carpets being bad, wool carpet not quite as bad, and wood and ceramic are more neutral. Many folks have come to the conclusion that cable dielectric is quite audible. When you consider that up to half of your cable is sitting in this dielectric, and that many would believe that if the cable manufacturer used an additional dielectric layer on the cable, it would potentially sound different, it actually makes sense.
As for my second system, the effects of raising the cable up off the nylon carpet are quite noticeable and significant. And, apart from spending time on loudspeaker positioning (which is tremendously underrated), the cost of doing so is probably lower than anything else in audio.
Old thread but -- elevating my cables off the ground with pillows dramatically reduces induced RFI (local radio station) that I can otherwise hear through the speakers at a close listening distance. Elevate them, and I need to hold my ear up to the panel to hear a (now very faint) radio station. So there are electrical differences that affect cables when they lie on the ground, at least for some systems. In my case, the "floor" is concrete. I imagine the boundary may have a positive effect on the EM field that expands around the cable as well.