Yes, IMO, altho the differences are subtle, mostly in tonality. Try it with CD jewelboxes before spending money on anything. I made some from plastic-pipe couplers, 2" I believe; see my system.
Get your ICs, too, off the carpet if any are on.
I'm sure that you will get some positive responses, but speaking solely for myself, I was unable to detect any difference in sound quality when the cables were placed on "lifters". Maybe my Alpha-Core Goertz cables are less susceptible to "carpet" problems than other brands...
Maybe they make a difference, I don't know. However, I'll ask you to look at the pictures from various audio shows (CES). How many of the mfgr's are using cable lifters when showcasing their equipment? All, some, none, few? I don't know if Dave Wilson uses them at shows, but if he thought it would make his speakers sound better, don't you think he would use them and recommend them for use when you purchased a pair of his speakers? Think of the rooms at CES, can you have more static-inducing foot traffic? Just some questions I have regarding cable lifters.
Please!!!!!!!!! Lifting cables is %$#@!@ and has no effect on "tonality" or any other facet of sound. I mean, really folks.
While I have heard a slight but audible improvement when isolating interconnects from floor-induced vibrations, I have found no really noticeable improvement from lifting the speaker cables, at least with my current cables. If you're going to try any isolators, make sure they will isolate the cables from vibrations and try it on ICs.
Yes, lifting the speaker cables off the floor often times make a very audible improvement. But it's also like bi-wiring a speaker.
It has everything to do with the type of cable, the resolution of the system, the ears of the listener, the height of the lift, and perhaps the type of carpet.
Just because somebody does not hear a difference does not necessarily mean there are any shortcomings. But then again not hearing any audible improvements may have everything to do with one or more shortcomings.
Used "Hi-Ball Rocks" glasses sound best especially after a drink! :)
I got rid of a hum when I lifted my Harmonic Tech Pro 9s off the carpet using ceramic cable isolators. I got no difference at all when I used the same lifters with signal cable brand products. Go figure!
FWIW since MT brought it up, many of the demo rooms at last weeks Stereophile show had their mondo cables neatly arranged on a variety of lifts. Of course this could just be the cable rep making sure his babies got in the spotlight...
Then of course there were the rooms that looked worse then my rack and the surrounding area...
I do it - had some fun on ebay collecting old ceramic isolators - but honestly I can't say I hear a difference. On the other hand I believe that a lot of this stuff is synergistic, and that lots of tiny details add up to a greater whole. Besides it puzzles the maid (who has learned to put the cables back on after she knocks them over) and the dog, who has not.
I agree lifting any cables makes a huge difference particularly in imaging and smoothness. My experience tells me not to lift cables more than about 1/4" to 1/2" off the ground otherwise you lose body. Also avoid contact with solid materials such as metal or wood; e.g. corners of cabinets, etc. as this can add hardness to the sound. Plastics are one of the best materials to use under cables. Styrofoam cups and plastic drink glasses are a cheap way to go. Ceramic materials tend to add a bit of hardness to the sound.
I have found that floating the cables in water has a greater effect that lifting them. Various dyes may be added to the water to make the sound "darker". Ideally, one should experiment with a combination of isolators and dyes to optimize the sound. Thickeners may be added to tame those darn transient excursions and cologne to improve music that truly stinks. Filling your mouth with water and spitting it on the system also helps. Just my two cents.
Maybe nothing for sound quality improvement, but the cables look neater and cooler sitting on top of the porcelin holders.
Unquestionably, the answer is yes. I wrote a review of the Goertz cables months ago, and, unfortunately, the editor cut out my comments about keeping the cables off the floor. Even the goertz sound better off the floor, SD.
Trust me. I've elevated my cable ever since 1988 and they ALL sound better, comments that say otherwise notwithstanding. I've elevated the MITs, Transparent Reference, Nordost VAlhallas (the ones I've heard the LEAST change from), The Goertz, the Shunyatas (Andromeda and Gemini), and they all sound smoother, with more focus, and better low-level detail. If it can't be heard in your system, then perhaps the polarity is reversed, or there's not enough low-level details coming from the equipment.
When I was the Acquisitions Editor at Fi Magazine in 1996, I went over to Larry Kay's house. He had Wilson Grand Slamms. Dick Brown (Bel) was there, Tom Miiller, Sallie Reynolds and a few others. We were listening to Larry's Bel/Grand Slamm/Jadis/Rockport system, and the upper midrang was great, but a bit shrill. I went over and elevated the speaker cable on top of a book or something and it was easily heard by all present (as I recall, Tom Miiller looked at me and said "Show off!").
It really does make a difference, but the rest of the system has to be "dressed" equally well: no power cords near interconnects, everything at right angles (if possible), as much isolation as possible, damped first reflections (and second). Otherwise, you can easily miss this. I was fortunate enough to have WATTs at the time, a Versa, Convergent and other good equipment that made the speaker cable lifting obvious.
Erider, have you ever experimented with fondue? I'd like to hear the sonic differences in varying the ratio between Ementhaler and Gruyere. And, for dessert, chocolate, of course.
Personally, I am as far as a tweaker as they come...
Still, I happened to give this a try, and I am flat out amazed at the differences it yields in one of my systems. This system is in a room with wall to wall, synthetic (nylon) carpet. The improvements are obvious. I once had to convince my wife I wasn't goosing up the volume every time I lifted the cables.
My other system is in a room with a hardwood floor and wool rug, and it's not so important there. As far as anything goes audiowise, I am a big believer in things being system dependent.
By the way, there's no need to spend a lot of money on doing this. Using can uses drinking glasses, shoes, or whatever else that looks like you can improvise into doing it. The Mapleshade units are nice, but can be made using 3 chopsticks or wooden dowels, and a wooden ring like a napkin holder. Basically, you splay the 3 wooden sticks, using the wooden ring to hold the entire works up, and lay your cable on top.
Well thanks all of you for responding. And while no consensus emerged (does one ever?), it does seem to be worth a try. I've been saving the cardboard from inside toilet paper rolls. My wife's gonna love this. Also, I think it's going to have to wait for some nasty Winter day. Thanks, Matt.......
I have used, at CES, RMAF, in the lab, and in my personnel system for the past six-eight years. In most cases found it to be a sonic upgrade, in some rare cases, I did not experience a positive improvement, or negative. It did noting sonically, but did nothing wrong, and allowed for better cable management and organization. I have in some cases experience a large improvement, in clarity, and focus, tonally was better and a overall better transparent sound. This of course was again on the rare side for such a large improvement, but overall I have on most occasions, would say a small to medium improvement sonically, never bad though.
When you consider the cost vs. risk, I find them a easy to recommend addition, at the least you will have a better organized cable system, at the best another level of musical enjoyment. The cable towers from Dedicated Audio are the best I have used, both sonically and functional, I have also used Cardas blocks.
Yes9, I think you'll find the TP tubes to be a bit unstable as they're small in diameter and too light in weight. As I wrote earlier, I made some from less-than-a-dollar plastic-pipe couplers. To make them more stable, I cut 2 discs from masonite and added abotu an inch of lead shot to the bottoms. Now they're stable.
See Heavy Lifters 2 in this http://gallery.audioasylum.com/cgi/upload.mpl album.
I suggest you test whether you can hear a difference by using CD jewelboxes; after all, they're free.