DIY cable elevators


I know that there is opinion on both sides of the aisle as to whether elevating speaker cable is a worthwhile or pointless thing to do, or a good or a bad thing sonically.

Assuming for the moment that it might be desirable, can anyone tell me why the following DIY solution would not work as well as, or better than, the expensive products out there that The Cable Company is trying to sell me?

Take three chopsticks or similar lengths of narrow gauge dowel, align the three of them, tie a piece of string tightly around them about 2" from one end, splay the three legs out like a tripod, set on floor, and rest the cable in the "cradle" formed by the three short angled lengths of stick above the string. Repeat as necessary. Last I heard, wood is pretty non-conductive. But perhaps I'm missing something.

(Of course, if this works, we can start experimenting with different woods and different shapes and brands of chopstick.) (;
twoleftears
I don't know why it wouldn't work. It's about the same as my Maple Shade elevators.
But perhaps I'm missing something.

You sure are missing something. None of this will have any effect unless you have the right kind of source.

I'd recommend soy sauce.
Another DIY cable elevator. Take several plastic cups or the foam variety. Punch two holes on one side and two holes on the opposite side & run your speaker cables though.

Seems easier to me than messing around with "chopsticks."
I cut moderately thick plexiglass, around 8" long, used a heat gun to heat them up and bend them in an "A" shape, shaped a indentation on the top ... and viola you have your diy cable elevators.
I previously diy'ed elevators utilizing porcelain electric fence separators but Ted (at SR) suggested the glaze negatively effects sound quality.
Since I already owned a heat gun, the plexiglass tweak was pretty cheap. I must admit I have been tempted by the Shunyata Dark Field elevators, but now for the price has scared me off. Maybe down the road ... I see the cable co. has elevators on sale. Good luck!
Twoleftears, what you describe will work just fine. You can experiment with the height off the floor to see if there is a better height, but lifting the cables 6" or more should work well (4" may also work fine, but going taller might make the difference).

Any paper or wood material should work well. I use corrugated cardboard in a crossing "+" arrangement (as seen from the top). Avoid plastics (which can store energy).

Good luck with your experiments. It's certainly inexpensive enough to try.
Ah, but have you considered the dielectric properties of plastic and acrylic versus wood...?
Twoleftears, what you describe will work just fine. You can experiment with the height off the floor to see if there is a better height, but lifting the cables 6" or more should work well (4" may also work fine, but going taller might make the difference).

Any paper or wood material should work well. I use corrugated cardboard in a crossing "+" arrangement (as seen from the top). Avoid plastics (which can store energy).

Good luck with your experiments. It's certainly inexpensive enough to try.
All of the above suggestions ignore one important element, resonance. I am a firm believer in the benefits of elevators, but there are three elements potentially at play: signal bleed and smear through the dielectric insulation of the cable into synthetic carpet, RFI/EMI (which is addressed by careful placement) and resonance from the sound energy in the room. The latter can be passed into the chassis of the components to which they are connected, regardless as to how well they are otherwise isolated, and have detrimental effects.

A simple, cheap solution I learned from dedicated and very knowedgable audiophile friend Al Sekela (an EE) who is a frequent contributor to the Cable Asylum on AA, is to construct paper cylinders (cut a strip of thick construction paper in the color of your choice 3-5"X12" and then bend and tape into cylinders which are 3-5" tall.) Place an appropriate amount of kitty litter or sand in a baggie, and place inside the cylinder, so that it's level is about 1" below the top rim of the cylinder. This provides damping and energy absorption. Make as many as you need to fully support the cable, with careful attention to placement near the components, thus absorbing that last bit of energy before its final connection.

When I first saw these at Al's home (in a very fine sounding system,) I thought it to be way too "tweeky" and unsightly to be acceptable in my own. However, since it costs almost nothing to try, I did. The results were major, and I have never looked back. Need a few more? About $0.25 each!!

A quite reputable maker of highly touted isolation stands once told me the best thing to use for cable elevation are razor blades.

the Hell you say! Razor blades? Well maybe under your speaker wires, but not mine. he was indeed adamandt about this approach however. Mentioning that the edge simply needs to be roughed off some what and to use double edged blades... sinking one sharp edge into ??? and the dull edge to support the cabling. Repeat as needed.

At the least, I'll give him an E for originallity.
I used 3" PVC pipe and cut it in half (miter saw) along the length of it. Cut the half pipe into 3" or 4" lengths then take 2 pieces and stack back to back with a dab of Liquid Nails. When that is solid then spray paint with desired color, I used a spackle paint (gray) and they look awesome IMO. I will never buy them from a manufacturer.
Wow - there are certainly some creative people involved in this thread. If you want some EASY homemade cable risers, just use empty cd cases opened at 45 degrees and placed sideways under your cables. I even went so far as to try this compared to the porcelain elevators and the cd case "towers" actually did have a bigger, more open soundstage for whatever reason. While not perfect, this is certainly easy to try and costs you nothing. Enjoy!
Hang fishing string from the ceiling ........
If you have a basement - drill a hole through the floor and hang the wires across your basement - no ambient noise - large air gap and you can use it to hang your handyman tools - try different tools for different effects - a saw to sharpen the soundstage - a hammer to add more punch - and your old unwashed socks to give everything more "air".
funny!
http://img184.imageshack.us/img184/8809/cableliftej5.jpg

Christmas is coming up soon... don't throw away the fruitcake!

it makes great isolation devices.