Speaker Cables and Carpet


I have a situation where I’m covering up my speaker cables with carpet to give a neater, cleaner look. It goes (from bottom to top): carpet, rubber matting, speaker cables, rubber matting, carpet. The rubber matting is there because I wanted to avoid interactions between the wire and carpet and figured that would help, but maybe not?

The issue I seem to be having is a decrease in dynamics. The drum slaps don’t seem to have the same weight and punch, although the system overall sounds pretty good with great instrument separation and soundstage (something I didn’t expect). The treble seems a bit tamed for some reason, but still pretty good sounding.

I’m wondering if the change in sound I’m hearing is from electrical interactions with the carpet and/or rubber. Perhaps one or both are robbing some energy from the signal in the speaker cable. Does that seem to check out?

If so, I’m wondering what my solutions are. One thought is adding more runs of speaker wire between the amp and the speakers. Is this called biwiring or shotgunning? I’m thinking that if the carpet is robbing energy, then I can make up for it by adding more copper and reducing resistance. 

But maybe I just need to get the cables away from the carpet. Are there any good rules of thumb for how far cables need to be kept away from carpet?
mkgus
Just have your carpet cryo-treated or shake a magic chicken’s foot at it. 
I’m out of chicken feet! Doubly so for magic ones. 
You are on the right track, they need to be up off the carpet. Or floor, whatever that happens to be. Doesn't seem to matter. Several inches will do, and you can use just about anything from paper or plastic cups to blocks of wood. Really good electrical insulators seem to work better which is probably why....

Cable Elevators are the best I have tried. https://www.reddragonaudio.com/products/cable-elevators?variant=249017132 After buying mine I noticed they are really just the ceramic insulators used on top of telephone poles all across the country! They slap a sticker on the part, and a zero to the price, and box them up n sets of 8 which it usually takes 3 per speaker leaving 2 to place under a power cord or whatever else might be laying on the floor.

These things work so good I did a demo for Chris Brady one time, kept the music playing the whole time as I removed them from one side then the other then put them back again. He said he could hear the sound stage collapse as I removed them and come back again as they went back in.
Use small to medium size white ceramic ramekins ...$1.99 each at BB&B. Same concept and effect as the cable elevators, but at a fraction of the cost.
I support my cables with Faberge Eggs.

They run in the $12K - $15K range.

DeKay
mkgus I would guess that your carpet and rubber layers create a static charge in the speaker cables that are down there. You need to get them out of there and run them in the wall if you’re overly concerned with cosmetics or else just exposed but supported above the floor with any non conductive material. Your idea of running more speaker wire is not good; and if you did run more wire, you would have more electrical resistance, not less. Magic chickens are a last resort, and only result in defeat.
While anything that raises the cables certainly will improve things, the very best solution is to use something specifically designed to prevent electric charges moving along the surface getting from the floor to your cables. There's a whole industry devoted to this exact subject so its no surprise the best performance by far is to use one of these insulators. Turns out there's a whole cottage industry of collectors so you can if you want hunt around and find some that you like. Or you could hunt around and find the manufacturer, which is what Cable Elevators seems to have done. Either way this is by far the best way to go. https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Vintage-Ceramic-Porcelain-Insulators-Brown-White/183480810613?hash=item2a...

The ones here are exactly the same as mine. Cable Elevators basically slaps a sticker on the side and a rubber foot on the base. Even at their inflated price they are well worth the money.
All of the above is correct but will not exactly give the "cleaner look" you are after. One solution is to run the cables under the floor (assuming we are not talking a concrete slab). You can actually then get a nice drape and few if any points of contact. You will need nice solutions to get in and out of the floor of course -- suppliers to clean rooms and industrial facilities are helpful in this regard. I did something like this in my prior install
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5111
Carpets down, be a PIA to switch wiring now. I almost went with Nordost flat cables for the same reason but changed my mind and stayed analog two channel.
Electric static charge is not the only deleterious thing the floor or carpet can provide. And cable risers can save you from that one. 
Thought the OP said he run the cables under the carpet? Dang it, man. Gonna have to reread his post.
Correct, the cables are under a layer of carpet. I’m pretty sure cable risers would help a lot, but then I would lose the clean look I’m going for. Are there other solutions than cable riser? Or is there a way to incorporate cable risers and keep a clean look.

Running underfloor or in-wall would work but I don’t really want to be making cuts and drilling holes if I don’t have to.
For best sound suspending cables from the ceiling is suggested. Of course you might not like the Plan 9 from Outer Space look, I don’t know.
Another option to look at would be a techflex cord cover. I use it to cover my speaker wires on hardwood floors just to organize the biwire mess and give a clean look. I don't know if that gives you enough separation from the carpet to isolate from... whatever is being isolated from, if it really exists. I suppose you could also use a wire shield inside of techflex to protect from these static fields.
To completely hide my cable, I removed the carpet, ran a 3/8” channel across the plywood flooring with my router, tucked the SC into the channel and reinstalled the carpet. Sounds great and cables have disappeared.
^^^^^ Great idea. 

OP, before going through the trouble and the cost of rearranging the cables, try connecting the speakers with similar cables but above the carpet and see if you hear a difference. I've been down a similar rabbit hole only to find out that I was chasing the wrong proverbial rabbit. 
@kalali Good advice! There is another variable that has changed. The speaker cables have become longer. I need to verify the source of the problem before making changes. 
Other options would be to separate the local area within an inch or two, to the side of the wires.. and at least 1/8" or 3mm from above. The wire would be way better touching wood under pad, than a pad. Get rid of rubber that close, substitute cotton, or even cheap plastic bubble wrap for a trail run.
I would think removing the local to cable rubber, and replacing that near field with cotton could at least make the solution you have, work good enough?
True up in the air is the standard stock answer. But I think your idea CAN work. You just need to get the wire away from the rubber, pad, and carpet bottom ENOUGH to work.
Thanks for your help, elizabeth!
Any way you can go under the floor?
I run my interconnects through my basement ceiling to the opposite end of the room.
Bob
Not easily. It would involve ripping apart drywall or flooring, but it’s an option if I need to call for desperate measures. 
After re-reading.. if the runs are longer.. maybe a bigger wire would also be good. Go up a few gauge. That alone may be all you need!I would go for at least 14 gauge wires. 12 would be better.
I added a second run of 12 gauge to the mids which is effectively like a 9 gauge cable. That seemed to do the trick in getting my midbass back! The highs are still a little rolled off but I’m going to hold off on doing anything. I’m sort of appreciating the tamed highs. 
Wait, what? Are we talking speaker cables? Or lamp cord???
Well in this specific instance, I’m using 12 gauge electrical wire - the same your house is wired with - twisted together. 
15’ of brand name speaker cable, dual runs for each mid and tweeter would get expensive really fast!
Nice ebay link however I went with 4 hockey pucks for $11. Kinda need 2 more.
Slid a wooden end cap under the beginning of the cable run and go figure it sounds wider.