Can anyone explain cable risers?

Can anyone explain why cable risers do or dont work to improve the sound. Thanks.
Are you talking about those little stands you put you speaker cables on so they're not on the floor?
Yes i am certain the op is asking about the little stands to place speaker wire, or interconnects so they do not touch the floor.
The electrical field in the wires extends out of the cable for a distance, (in most cable designs).
If you have a special meter which can measure such fields, you can 'see' them around cheap powercords, and cheaper speaker cables (even plenty of expensive ones)
So the idea is you do not want that field to be interacting with something just on one side.
((It will mess it up... in theory of course))
Air is a GREAT insulator, and a great place to run a cable so the field is not messed with.
The idea is the cable riser can lift the cable into all air surrounding it, and cause the least damage too the field.
The very best idea for cable risers is to suspend the cable via thin threads from above.
That was first proposed by Enid Lumley, who should be given credit for the idea for cables.

Anyway, that is the theory. Whether YOU can hear a difference???
It may depend on your stuff, and your hearing.
Cable risers are for those are seeking "street cred" from their audiophool friends. You can bet your bottom dollar that NONE of the various recording/mixing/mastering facilities are suspending their cables during the making of a recording.

Nor do they place bags of rocks or crystals on their interconnects, speakers and such.

If folks would spend more time and effort acquiring the very best source materials to playback and fixing the response anomalies found in their listening room, they would be rewarded handosmely with a much better sounding system...

Not something i worry about but some carpets are prone to static electricity which can only be bad.
Also, running wires parallel to each other and in close proximity over a distance is generally not a good idea due to em field interaction and risers are one way to avoid that.
YES but the best explanation will come from your friendly neighborhood voodoo doctor.
They do nothing except seperate you from your money. It's called wealth transfer.
The interaction that occurs is when something like a synthetic carpet has cables laying on them. The synthetic carpets properties are similar to those used in cable jackets and thus, compete with and interfere with those fields mentioned that travel with the cables signal. They simply smear the signal.

Yes, they can be measured so it stands to reason that if something is nearby, let alone parallel with and touchung a cable, can interact with it, then it can mess with it.

To what extent is debatable but if you have synthetic carpets, then go the extra mile to get them away from the carpet but you need not pay through the nose to do so.

I'm lucky in that my Mapleshade Double Helix speaker cables are so taut that they are easily suspended with nothing more than themselves and whatever nearby is handy.

If you have wool carpets or wood flooring, I wouldn't give it any consideration.

All the best,
""They do nothing except seperate you from your money. It's called wealth transfer""

Funny MY cable risers are empty toilet paper rolls.
Cut in half, then a "V" on both sides. Work great.
They cost me nothing. Since they are trash once the paper is used. And i actually am recycling them.
For the hoity toity, they can cut up paper towel rolls and cover then with white paper to look really fancy.. Though that would cost money for a few sheets of paper and some glue or tape.
"Funny MY cable risers are empty toilet paper rolls."

Elizabeth, you are a Paragon of practicality. You can even make nonsense sound sensible.
"You can bet your bottom dollar that NONE of the various recording/mixing/mastering facilities are suspending their cables during the making of a recording."

I like that answer. All the recording studios I've worked in had the cables bundled together running across the floor or up inside a drop-ceiling. (We did keep power cables away from audio).
But I would agree with the theory to keep cables off the carpet.
Use gold coins below your cables and you will hear the improvement
immediately. Gold gets in reaction with the electrical field of the cables
and improves the molecular flow (more shiny). Some say, the best are
Krugerrands from South Africa ... but after long research I finally settled
with white-gold Rolexes below my cables. There is a swiss precision
added to details which is unique ...
I agree with your statement concerning the effect of synthetic carpet. When my cables are lifted off that surface there`s an improvement in clarity,or as you say less smearing. The change is subtle but consistent.I can`t comment on other flooring materials.
Cable risers reduce structural vibration including seismic vibration. They also look cool.
There is a firm, scientific basis for raising cables off of the carpet changing the way that electrons flow through them. The carpet actually acts as part of the dielectric covering the conductors:

Taking the cables out of contact with the dielectric of the carpet will hence change the electron flow and fields within the cable.

Of course, the audibility of all this is up for discussion. Personally, my life is too short. But I would never dismiss the idea.
I use plastic-pipe couplers.
Tried some home-made ones. Couldn't tell the difference with or without. Try it yourself. You'll never know...
I think everybody has mentioned why they don't or do use them. I think the op needs us to explain(see the OP)what they do. So here is and explanation. Cables risers raise the cable off the floor. Got it so far? In doing so they dignify the lowly cable to audiophile status. It becomes not like a lowly beast of burden but something for the eye to behold and cause you to say 'you are my cables aren't you?'. Then it makes the cable feel important and in turn the it makes the owner feel proud. So to choose your 'raisers of the cable' whether it is toilet paper rolls or gold bars my recommendation is ask yourself how important do you want to feel. It is all in how you treat your cables I tell ya. So raise yourself up you noise lover and getcha some pretty cables rasiers.
" something for the eye to behold and cause you to say 'you are my cables aren't you?'. Then it makes the cable feel important and in turn the it makes the owner feel proud"

Does this apply to Elizabeth and her cables? Remember, they be on toilet paper thingys. :)
I use cabe risers for one reason only. They dress up the wires running across the floor. I have wood floors so the only reason mentioned would not even apply in my case. I use antique glass power line insulators that I got on Ebay for about $2 EACH. So, in my case, for only $16 I dressed my cabless to my SO's satisfaction. I bi-wire (let's not get started on the effectiveness of that...) so it actually looks like mini power lines running just above the floor!

So, for me, the only reason is aesthetics.
Use cable elevators and mostly helps to keep dust bunnies from cables ( wood floors). Found them when helping a buddy tear down a wood shed after he bought resale home. No real sound improvement but less cleaning.
I couldn't hear any difference but they did dress up the wires, kept dust bunnies off the cables and because I used inexpensive foam elevators that stacked keep wires separated/organized around the racks.
When you guys say 'dress' the cables, I use that term to mean a way of routing the wires so they don't cross or run parallel to each other, and keep the power cables away from the low level signal cables. That's what I use these things for. Syntax, you are such a cynic, I find that my cars perform better if they are freshly washed. Go figure.... :)
People talk about flow of electrons like water through a pipe but folks, there is zero net displacement of electrons in speaker cables. Stop the voodoo please.
Whow i didn't know that!!
My goodness Geoff!, the Scarlet Pimpernel of valid technical explanations. It took a while but you finally did appear.
Appears I musta picked up a bogey.
Better late than never:)
Yes, purely cosmetic.
The idea that synthetic carpeting can act as a dielectric is valid. However, the thought that an Audiophile would have bottom of the barrel plastic builder grade wall to wall carpeting in his listening room makes no sense at all. It's just a few $hundred bucks to hardwood floor a room. Throw a nice wool rug down, and you've got a cozy comfortable living space. With out the filthy allergen filled wall to wall garbage carpet.
Is there ANY phenomenon, man-made or natural, that DOES NOT affect high end audio systems? Is there any phenomenon in nature or man-made that an audiophile CANNOT hear? This includes anything occurring in the Milky Way.
Ok now. Man I love this country and this web site because now I know all about cable risers. Now lets discuss what might be the best kind of dog for a listening room because everything makes a difference. Or maybe for those of us aspiring to be a champion audio-philies what is the breakfast of champions. Or do some shampoos have a positive or negative effect on your-should I say it?-ears and thus your ability to go to tranquil musicland. Or maybe riding home from work in what kind of car puts you in the best frame of mind for listening to 'uriah heep'. Or maybe do any of you think greenpeace can save anything so we don't loose the natural sounds of things to all artificial sounds. I don't want to get everybody atwitter but the dna of many things has been modified making things unnatural. Anyway lets move on to something way more intersting now we know all about cable risers.
I once had a flood of water in my basement listening room. This was in the middle of winter and a freak warm front melted about a foot of snow in a few hours. My speaker cables at the time got soaked. So since that time I use cable elevators. Now I've just presented to the forum a 'Valid' reason to use them.! Additionally, I also think getting the cables off the vinyl floor tiles certainly can't be a bad thing in regards to eliminating dielectric absorbtion via the cable jacket touching the vinyl. Is it audible?- never really did the A/B comparison but it wouldn't surprise me one way or the other.
Apartment life dictates what kind of flooring one gets.

Oh, the agony.

All the best,