Speaker Wires on Carpet

I was reading that carpet will interfere with the signal going through speaker wires if the wires are on the carpet. I was wondering if the amount of interference varies depending on whether the positive and negative wires are twisted together versus running straight and parallel to each other. Also, will certain types of wire jackets cut down on interfence?

I ask this because I have wires running next to the base boards on the floor in my (carpeted) dining room since that's the most unobtrusive place for them. I may consider some type of wire elevators if they are reasonably priced and look nice.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
It's hard to imagine what, exactly, a carpet could do to alter the signal traveling thru a wire to your speakers. Just place 'em where you won't trip over 'em and don't run 'em next to any power lines and you'll be fine.
Stop worrying. Carpet doesn't affect the signal.
Wait! Are you guys serious? If you are, then cable elevators and the like are...are...are....worthless. :--))
Cryo your berber or pile. Forget the shag.
Bomarc ... I have not tried to listen with cables on the carpet and with them lifted off the carpet. Your post makes it sound like you have "Carpet doesn't affect the signal" is rather emphatic.

Can you advise how you lifted the cables, what you heard etc during your test(s)?
If the carpet is synthetic, it acts as a huge dielectric that soaks up and stores energy from the cables, and then releases it randomly back into the cables smearing the sound. Thus the frequently observed benefit of lifting the cables off the floor to give air space (a great electrical insulator) between the carpet and the cable. Natural fiber (e.g., wool) is less likely to act this way, wood floors are generally not a problem.
ive seen them little popsicle stick lookin things under speaker wires before & all i could do was laugh.

whats next, listening naked so as not to let clothing interfere with the sound stage or shaving our heads so our. hair dont absorb the bass.

im with rlwainright, keep em away from power lines & all is well.

don't forget to remove your eyeglasses- that smears the sound too. i don't know too much about too much, but the local dealer leaves their $30k opus cables on the floor.
and until recently adding a richard-grey box, i never saw a power conditioner there either. the former owner used to record for harmonia mundi...
Sorry to disappoint you guys that have not heard a difference, but elevating your cables over the carpet makes a notable positive difference and is well worth the investment. I obtained some old glass telephone and power insulators from antique stores to get mine off of the carpet. It works great and is much cheaper than the commercial products on the market.
For you doubters with hi rez systems: Try it, you'll like it!
Good listening,
If you want to try the ceramic elevators, search Ebay, keyword "isolator". You can pick them up pretty cheap there. I use them, but must confess that I have heard no noticable difference. I bought the ones I've got off of Ebay really cheap, so I still have them under my cables.
Rushton is right. Synthetic carpets are a dialectric! They WILL interfere with the electrical signal passing through the speaker cable. The better a speaker cable is shielded the less likely a listener is to notice a big improvement by raising the cables off of the floor, but even with my Purist Museaus, and later Venustus there was improvement.

None of this is idle speculation, it is common knowledge that synthetic fibers has dialectric properties that will affect the transmission of an electrical signal. If you don't believe it, leave your cables on the floor. If you raise them with something as simple as home-made wood tepees you will notice an improvement.
buy some tennis balls and put them underneath your speaker cables and listen then remove them and listen again you should clearly hear a difference
Ceramic cable hangers are available from Farm & Fleet or any other large hardware chain store ( Home Depot ) that has a good sized electrical department. A couple bucks a piece at most. Get the bigger ones, not the little ones. You won't need as many and even if the cables sag between them, which they will, the higher elevation probably won't let them touch the carpet, etc... Buying the same quantity of ceramic "audiophile approved" cable supports would cost hundreds of dollars rather than a few dozen dollars. Only drawback is that you've got to unscrew / remove the lag bolts that are threaded into the ceramic base of these. A little labor can save you hundreds of dollars. Sean

PS... If synthetic carpets can't store residual energy, why do people get shocked from a build up of static electricity arcing from their hand to a door knob or other metal objects??? As such, isn't it possible that the very high voltage level that is required to arc across non-conductive free air could also affect a conductor that already has voltage??? Wouldn't an equation like this be part of understanding basic principles of induction? Do the math regarding the conductivity of an inch of free air and that of a few millimeters of plastic, pvc, teflon, etc.. and then come back and talk to us. I'll give some of you a hint so that you can pass the test. You need to study a LOT more BEFORE raising your hand to volunteer answers.
Elevating cables is one of those things in audio according to most people's common sense shouldn't make a difference in sound quality but it does.
I would use speaker cable elevator on cable that does use much shielding.If your speaker cable is well shielded, and there are alot that arent, then u shouldnt worry to much about it. Talk to any seasoned guitarist. they dont want cheap cable running from their guitar to their amp. When playing on carpet the cable picks up static an amplifies it in the form a of audible crackle. They avoid this by good shielding cable. The same reasoning can be used with speaker cable. On stereos u wont hear this because the speaker cable isnt being dragged along the floor, like a guitarist would drag his phono cable around. But stationary speaker cable still will pick up some of that static. But if u dont have it laying on carpet, dont worry about it.
I'll also side with Rush here. Although my cables are currently on the carpet, the times I have listened with the cables up, I noticed a definite change in the dynamics. At first, I thought I was crazy, but after reading it a couple of years later, my suspicions were confirmed.
Well, I'd guess that the good news for a question like this is that there should be a measurable and repeatable test for this phenomenon. And, it doesn't even have to be a double blind test, although that sure would be an interesting (well, at least to me) addition.

If your carpet's acting as a dielectric with enough effect for you to hear a difference, then any actual effect would be a difference in the electrical signal being received at your speaker. That is testable. I don't happen to have the issue, and no, I'm not running out to buy carpeting or even a variety of sufficiently long carpet runner samples to perform such a test. But I'm sure that any number of folks with the appropriate technical background and available equipment could nail this one and/or at least help quantify the impact for us all.

From what I remember of any recording studio I've ever been in (no, not that many ;~) I can never remember seeing little cable risers anywhere. Wire strewn all over the place, and lots of carpet too, but no little cable risers. They probably figured that their shielded & balanced connections more than covered any such effect.
This is very simple tweak to test because it can be done real time while music is playing without disconnecting anything, no need to talk in theory. On a couple ocassions with group of people present no one could hear any real difference when any of my speaker cables were lifted off carpet.

There may be some cables that can benefit but none of mine did......I use many other tweaks that do work for me, so I am not anti-tweak.
Looks like I generated a lively discussion. :-)

Let me repeat one of my questions: does it make any difference if the positive and negative runs are twisted together (as they are in many inwall wires) or are running straight and parallel? I thought I remember reading that the twisted configuration was designed to cancel out interference.
No disrepect, to everone that can't believe cable isolaters work. I think you have to consider the cable route and shielding. I have Kimber Bifocal XL's over a berber carpet. When I added glazed ceramic elevators it improved or removed smear from what I thought was a great sounding system. I tried the experiement on my wife who could care less and she felt the elevators improved the sound. I'm in the data communications industry and cable type is critical in data communications for speed and accuracy. Also as everyone knows the cable route can effect sound. Like every thing in this hobby a person should experiement for themselves. Some improvements are real some are imagined(placebo effect). At the end of the day any tweaks that improves your listening pleasure is valid to YOU.

Enjoy your system Tweak reasonably.
Socprof, Rushton is right. Carpets will charge your wires
with static current. Twisting the cable conductor would not help reject static, that would only reject RFI.
Cable elevators will help, you can also check the Nordost Cables webpage. They sell a product that you apply to the cables to minimize this problem. You may also want to the
check the Cardas Cables webpage, this subject is also explained there in "plain english". Hope this hepls.
I've been wondering if ceramic is a good choice for the elevators How does it deal with mechanical vibrations?

I know that some wire makers like to use a shear cotton insulator for there wire instead of plastic or teflon. Would a fluffy Disneyland type cotton monorail running under the speaker cable be as good?
Socprof yes it also works for cables configured with the positive and negative twist had XLO TYPE 5 previously which are twisted this is where I first tried this experiment which definitely works
Ceramic isolators in electric fence dept. of farm supply are comparatively cheap and include a molded in lag bolt you can fasten into wood block and saw flush.Home Depot and Lowes may have them in electrical aisle.
Well I was skeptical of cable risers also! I was sent 8 green edge acrylic risers by a friend about a year ago to review. I had a bad tube in my pre-amp on the left channel which would hum. I was awaiting new tubes, but trying out the risers lowered the floor noise to the point that you couldn't hear the hum! When the Risers where removed the Hum was back. So that alone convinced me, as this is not one of the snake oil type tweaks for twits.

I today use about 14 of these risers, through-out my system, also under powercords & lengthy ic's.

Frank at Signal Cable is now selling this riser at a very affordable price. They are more attractive than any of the other types on the market as at a 7-8 foot distance your cables seem to be levitating in mid air.

Try some styrofoam, or ceramic coffee cups to come up with your own verdict prior to commiting. Good luck!
I had static problems in Colorado in the winter with my carpet there. I saw a tweak suggestion of spraying anti-static spray on the interconnects/speaker cables and it made a noise reduction in my system.

I bought the cable isolators but never did a before/after comparison, I just wanted them off the ground.
For those intending to do before and after testing, be aware that, with some cables, the simple act of moving the cables requires some further break-in time before the cables are again performing optimally. This is clearly apparent to me me with the Goertz AG-3 speakers cables, but not as much so with the Omega Mikro Planar speaker cables. With the Goertz, the re-settling time was only 2-3 hours or so, but it was very audible. Just be cautious of this in judging the outcome of your experiments.
The easiest and least exspensive way to find out if you need elevaters is to go to your dollar store and buy some anti-static spray.Spray the carpet where the cables will rest and see if you can hear a difference.If you hear a positive diffence either get some non conductive risers or more spray for $1.
You guys got me curious, so I tried it this afternoon with upside down ceramic coffee cups (Thanks Audiobugged). I'm actually a little surprised at how easy it is to hear the effect. Transients, like acoustic guitar plucks, are more dynamic. The overall tonality is very slightly brighter. One not entirely positive effect is the soundstage got shallower. I suspect if I toed out my speakers a little bit more I could make the soundstage as deep as it was before. I found I could vary the soundstage depth slightly by only lifting part of the speaker cable off the carpet.
In my system, the effect of lifting the cable off the floor is no where near as strong as changing ICs, for example, but it is audible.

If I had to guess as to the technical reason for this, it is the poor quality of the dielectric of the carpet that causes the degradation of sound. In particular, its dielectric absorption characteristic. It has been known for many years that capacitors with low DA are required for high fidelity audio, e.g. polystyrene, polypropylene, and teflon. Teflon is also widely used in cables. I think Rushton got it right - the signal, as it passes through the speaker cable, charges the dielectric, then the dielectric discharges somewhat lagging the electrical signal which muddies the sound. Air is the best dielectric possible, so this is why the cables sound better in the air than lying on the carpet.
I think you and I heard the same things, Nighthawk.
Would glass also work as an isolator? I was browsing in Pier 1 and saw some glass knickknacks that were about the right size and shape (and price) for running cables over.

"I was browsing in Pier 1 and saw some glass knickknacks..."

I was watching an episode of Wild Boyz in Kenya and saw a little dung beetle rolling a perfectly round turd while doing a handstand, and I thought the exact same thing as Tony!

Brilliant minds think alike.
It's called thinking outside the box. The relevant issue is the isolation properties of glass. (And that glass won't stain the carpet, like the substance you propose.)

So...back to the original question. How is glass as an isolator?
Get them off the carpet. Period. One way is to buy those little Rubber door jams in a hardware store. Another way is to but elecrical Tape and turn it on its side. You dont want the static nasties of carpeting spreading their venom on your cables .
Hockey Pucks work Too!
Socprof - I've used glass blocks from Home Depot, and they worked fine. I have berber carpet, and they made a noticeable difference.

BTW, someone mentioned Opus cables on the carpet at a dealer. The Opus networks are spiked, so they won't sit directly on the carpet. It makes a big difference if the spikes are removed.