Home made cable lifters.

I was wondering if any of the a`gon members have come up with an inexpensive and effective way to get these things off the deck.
-styrofoam cups
-pieces of wood
Buy a 3 foot piece of 1/8" or 3/16" hard wood dowel about a buck or so.Cut it into say pieces 4-5 inches long.Take 3 pieces make a teepee shape triangle,tie together with a thin strip of tape with about 1-1 1/2" above and 3" below and viola.Spread out so they make a stable tripod.They are sturdy but if something should fall on them they will collapse and will not damage cable.
They look pretty neat and does not get any cheaper,but they are very effective.
Thanks Herman and Peter for your input. Is it true that ceramic devices make the best isolators? I think I read that somewhere. It seems that the sets that I`ve found so far on the market are $100+ for a set of 8. I`d like to put that money toward something else in the system.
Antique shops Porcelon telephone pole insulators . Work and look great. Many sizes and colors. I collect the brown ( with groove ). Paid as little as $2 ( 4" ) and as much as $15 ( 8" high ) .. The look awesome!!!!!!
Get a 4x4 cedar post and set your miter box at about a 70 degree angle and cut off triangles. I leave about 1/4 inch of flat surface at the top of each triangle. Cheap. Easy. They even smell good.
Three shish-ka-bob sticks wrapped with a rubber band and set up like a teepee - stick the pointy ends into the carpet.

9.5 inch bamboo skewers, 100 count, 89 cents.
Rubber bands, seem to just show up in our house.
Cheap-o audio tweak - priceless. :-)

Yes, Insulators! I use the old green and purple glass ones that I bought at flea market for pennies.
For the absolute best cable/floor isolation, take fishing line and suspend them from the ceiling. Space the lines a couple of feet apart and keep the cable a few inches above the floor. You might start with a good clear monofilament or fluorocarbon line at 10lb test.

Then try different line strengths and colors, and heights off the floor to get the best sound. Clear tends to sound the most transparent, and saturated colors sound darker. The stronger the line, the more damped the cable will become, and that may sound heavy. Of course your results will depend on the cable, the floor surface and the type of music you like.

When dialed in, this approach is guaranteed to have the best performance for almost no cost, and provides much experimenting fun between listening sessions. For others who may have tried this already, please give the Capt some helpful advice.

PS, Be very careful, as these lines can be hard to see, and someone might get tangled and cause injury to themselves or damage to your equipment.

PSS, I am not associated with any manufacturer of fishing products.
I have an entire collection of the porcelain insulators. Put it together on ebay for the same kinds of prices Thorman mentioned. I like the glass ones even better. BUT shipping is expensive and a lot of them seem to break even with decent packing. Only problem is that they are a bit lower then I would like.
If you live in New England,theres a shop in Erving,Mass.,that has hundreds of these insulators and are very cheap..I pick up a couple every time I am in the area.. If you need directions I can help.....
Great suggestions all. Thorman, I live in the Akron area and I`ll check local shops for old insulators. If I come up empty, there are other suggestions I`ll try. Thanks everybody!
furniture foam cut in pieces may have a dampening effect.

i also may use larger pieces under components as well.
I had been thinking of building the tripod as suggested above. However, instead of sitting the cable directly on the wood, I had thought of connecting a piece of teflon tape across the top of two of the legs. Sit the cable on the teflon tape.

Teflon generally is considered a great dielectric and in this case the cable will only be in contact with the teflon tape. Should provide an almost perfect isolation from vibration and electrical influences. Of course, this is all theory so YMMV.


>> For the absolute best cable/floor isolation, take fishing line and suspend them from the ceiling...You might start with a good clear monofilament or fluorocarbon line at 10lb test...Then try different line strengths and colors, and heights off the floor to get the best sound. Clear tends to sound the most transparent, and saturated colors sound darker.<<

Boy, I bet that's a very attractive setup. And who would have thought that clear line has a "transparent" sound and colored lines "sound darker"? Talk about LOL!

I appreciate all the laughs you guys provide, but sometimes you need to read the stuff you write - it is ludicrous, at best.

Be careful when you construct your own cable lifters. One of the reasons people use them is to lift cables off the carpet to negate the effect of plastics and other artificial fibers in the carpet. Using plastics and foam in a lifter adds back in what you are trying to remove. If your room is hardwood flooring, or your cable runs travel over natural fiber and vegetable dye carpet, you don't have the problem to start with. Teflon, ceramic, glass, natural wood, carbon fiber -good. Plastic bad.

That being said, there are other reasons than those stated above that people use lifters, including aesthetics.
Slipknot, yes I`ll be dealing with, I assume, artificial fibered carpet over concrete. I think the best set up would be porcelain insulators boosted on 4" blocks for height. Now then, if I can only find some old insulators....
I have tried red monofilament...but I kept hearing pink noise.
Good One Fishboat! LMAO
Sorry, I forgot to mention a very important aspect of implementing the fishing line to cable interface.

Do not under any circumstances tie the lines too tightly around the cable, as it tends to constrict both frequency response and soundstage size. Leave just a little room for the signal to breath.

Also never use a metallic line, since it could act as an antenna to capture RFI and add it to the signal.
Stoneware coffee cups - supplemented with a pint or two of your favorite microbrew. As Slipknot1 said - plastics are bad. You want something that doesn't generate static electricity easily and is non-conductive.

Relax, have a New Glarus Fat Squirrel and listen to some Grateful Dead.........
Do not under any circumstances tie the lines too tightly around the cable, as it tends to constrict both frequency response and soundstage size. Leave just a little room for the signal to breath.
. . . , he said with a straight face.
I use styrofoam cups from Dollar Tree. 3 stacked together almost equal the recommended 8 inches. Total cost=one dollar.
Mmakshak, stacking styrofoam cups three high and spray painted flat black would look pretty cool as well. I think I`ll try that.
I use tube shaped styrofoam pipe insulation found at home depot for a couple of dollars and cut off what I need. Cheap and effective. You can wrap your cables in them and/or cut off enough to make a base to lift the cables off the floor as much as you want. Great for Power cords and speaker cables.
55dok, interesting, I`ll check it out.
Better to use paper cups than styrofoam. The paper is totally non-conducting (depending on whatever coating may be on it) whereas the styrofoam is a plastic so your reintroducing yet another dialectric in contact with your cables.
For what its worth, paper and styrofoam are both dielectrics.

The definition of dielectric is a non-conducting material. Styrofoam doesn't conduct electricity any more than paper but the dielectric constant is different. However, relatively speaking they are very close.

Since in either case (styrofoam or paper cups) the overwhelming majority of material between the cable and the floor will be air, there is no way you could hear the difference.

Once again a case of audiophile nervosa taken to the extreme.
So porcelain insulators still remain the best choice.
Think about it.

No matter what you choose, since there will be large gaps between the spacers, the vast majority of space between the cable and the floor will be air. Even if getting the cable off the floor does make a difference, what you use to do it can't be significant. Pick something that is pleasing to the eye since the ear won't be able to tell the difference.

I challenge you to try it with different materials and report back what you find.
Interesting challenge Herman. I`ll do it. I`ll report back in a week or so.
Well, we sell these but look - with a bit of time on your part, it wouldn't be too hard to make these yourself. These are visually appealing and, lifting the cables off the floor makes a meaningful improvement to the playback.


Hope this helps.

Kind Regards,
Use an old broom / mop wood handle and cut proper length pieces for teepee construction. Chances are up to this point you can set them up without leaving home or buying anything!!!!!!!!
You can cut slots in the outside part of the teepee and instead of using a rubber band for cable suspension (they age and sag, if you want to limit floor vibration ) get proper sized "O" rings and set them between each post.
If you want to finish it properly get left over paint from your walls or get a matching color for furniture / carpet to help WAF.

If you still want to improve the looks you can saw the bottom of poles to flat seat on the surface.
It all depends on how much detail and finished look you want.

You can even "spike 'em" if you like.

Plenty of options. Happy tweaking and listening!!!

Thanks for your input Robert and I`d like to wish all a`gon members and their families a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Use plastic rebar chairs! All colors and sizes available. These are the devices that hold up the steel reinforcement "rebar" on concrete slabs. Go to any development in progress and ask a foreman for a few. Tell him you are pouring a small slab to avoid any funny looks. You might also find them in hardware stores, but in large quantities. Do a search for "concrete chairs". Here is one manufacturer.


Steve (and everyone else) please re-read slipknot1's 11-16 post above. He says plastic is a no-no and I agree with him on this point.

I can understand lifting a cable from a concrete slab (which is what I have). After all, there is steel reinforcement underneath. A solid chunk of steel has exponentially more effect on the impedance properties of a cable that "artificial fibers". I'm not even going to comment about the artificial fibers vs natural fibers debate. Good grief. I made this recommendation because these lifters look a lot more "professional" with expensive cables than wooden teepes or styro cups. Just a suggestion, nothing more.
If you have a gas high temperature kiln, shape or mold the shape you need and apply a salt glaze and fire. If not forget about anything other than high fire ceramics.

Wood, glass, plastic, and even paper in my experience do not do the job. Even unglazed ceramics like bricks are no good.

I have found that discarded ceramic electrical insulators such as you might find outside your utility company can be very good, although they might not have WAF.
We do agree that lifting cables off the floor(especially carpets) make a(good) difference. I can't lift my cables the 8-inch recommendation of Mapleshade(I'de also note that Mapleshade recommends power cable lifting, also.) I also appreciate the two manufacturers responses here. Tgb, can you purchase what you suggest, without doing anything to it(for us nimrods).
I have all wood planked floors with Pine slat walls, it is a wood framed house very rustic.
The speaker wires are generic west penn copper electric wire awg 14 gage pair teflon coated about 10 ' each channel.

Is it as critical to get it up off the floor when its a wood plank floor with forced water radient heat tubes underneath. I also have metal base board heating foils about 6 inches up the wall. If I run it under the couch there are the springs .

What about ceramic wall hooks like you would use in the Bathroom 8" high above the base board heaters but hanging with epoxy from the wall ? Or should I leave them well spread on the floor away from the base board heaters and under the couch. My system is pictured in budget under the title Modest System.

Thanks all you tweakers

best regards


Listening to Stevie Wonder - Fulfillingness' First Finale
Motown 2-47075 Spanish Pressing
Mmakshak, Elusive Disc and others have utilities insulators for sale. They look like what you see on most telephone and electric poles. All I can say is that I have some of what RightWay Audio used to sell and they sound better than those I found outside my local utility in the discard pile.

I used to have access to a gas high fire kiln and have found pots that I made then to be good under cables, but my wife objects to their use on the floor.

Groovey, I have wood plank floors and have no radient heat. I find it imperative to raise the cables. I don't know about the ceramic hooks. All I can suggest is to try them. The cables would still be very close to the wall surface, however.
Just a couple of more observations about the fishing line to cable interface I described above (11/16).

All other approaches recommended so far have some dense material between the cable and floor, and this can restrict the formulation of the lower portion of the sound image between the speakers. The line to the ceiling gives the maximum clear space for the image to form.

Even more important, the fishing lines work especially well for classical music since the cables are suspended on strings.
Shunyata's reference systems cable placemnt can be seen at the bottom of this page

Interview with Mr. Gabriel

One picture is worth a thousand posts

Best regards
Groovey Records

Listening to The Who Live at Leeds Decca Track Records American Vinyl
Maximum R&B
I recently noticed that my cables were laying side by side with my cable TV cable running on the floor behind my entertainment system. To life the speaker cables off the floor I used plastic cable ties which I stapled to the back of my cabinet. They are suspended in midair by just one tie in the middle of each cable.

Made a big difference in the quality of the cable TV signal - reduced noice and artifacting. Not much difference in sound system!!
I lost my thread. To keep it short, listen to Zargon's last post. In fact, I'de like to ask Zargon if he has had any experience in lifting power cables?
I placed cardboard under all cables raising all cables in minimum of about 2 inches. That and seperating all cables including power had a dramatic difference on top end extension and seperation of instruments.
I wholeheartedly agree with clipsal. Just bend small pieces of cardboard into v-shapes. Notch them if you want to for greater cable holding stability, set them on the rug or floor, with v-shape pointing toward the floor, and place the speaker cables on the tops of the inverted vees or in their notches. The difference in sound quality can be heard easily. I tried the same with interconnects, but detected no differences in sound quality; however, system experiences may vary. In any event, costs nothing.
Are Audioquest DBS speaker cables immune to negative interactions with carpet contact?
Chadnliz, why would that be so? I have never heard any cables that are immune to any contact whatsoever with surfaces other than ceramic.
I did not know how the Dielectric Bias System may potentially shield the cable making it immune, just curious as my dad has the Mont Bloc cables coming Tuesday.
The best support for cables is across the bosom of 16 year old virgins. Don't skimp out here. Use as many as you can to keep them as close as possible to prevent sag. As mentioned above, avoid plastic fillers such as silicone. I doubt you could find a better way to keep the music more arousing.