Vibrating speaker cables


By coincidence I happened onto a major factor in improving bass performance and speaker transparency: vibrations in the speaker cable generated by the speaker itself! I run Duevel Bella Lunas supported by Symposium Svelteshelfs in turn supported by Final Darumas on carpet flooring over wooden floors, into Bybee Golden Goddess Speaker Bullets into Auditorium23 cables. Having by accident noted speaker generated vibrations in the cable, I used Black Ravioli Pads to dampen the cables as near as possible to the speakers’ binding posts and: Kazooks! major tightening in bass performance and depth as well as overall transparency. While this all sounds a bit outlandish, I suggest trying it: the results in my case were nothing short of spectacular.
antigrunge2
Looking at your speakers, nice speakers btw, I wonder if those vibrations aren't caused more be the two corner ports that fire towards the rear? Because if your speakers were vibrating enough to make the cables vibrate you would have larger problems than damping your speaker cables. At least I would think so.
@jond 

the corner containing the binding posts does not act as a port on the Duevels. Any speaker vibrates and at sufficient sound level so do the cables. Do pls. try it out, it’s worth it.
Vibration control has a huge impact on sound. A fascinating subject I have been on for a while now. https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/millercarbon-s-mega-vibration-control-journey

One of the things that makes it so fascinating is the complex relationships and effects. Sometimes you do one thing for one reason and it works (or doesn't) only to learn later on from trying something else that what you thought was the reason probably wasn't after all. The story of Cable Elevators is in there, and the reason I think they work has changed several times over the years.

None of this has changed the bottom line that they do work. Deborah's comments on my System page make that clear. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367 But it does help to know why, because knowing why helps in figuring out how to make it even better.

You say you discovered this by accident. The vibration isn't enough to be visible but you sure can feel it so I am gonna guess your accident involved handling them while playing music with bass. The music with bass part is important because that is where most of the vibration comes from. Only I think if you feel the cables at different points along the run you will find it does not drop off further from the speaker as it should if it was coming from the speaker.

Probably your Ravioli tweak controlled some ringing at the speaker terminal connection. Bottom line, you figured out your own tweak and it made a nice improvement.  Good work! The sound changes you described are exactly what I have heard doing this same kind of stuff. And you shared it with us. Well done! If you never do anything more, well done!  

But I have a feeling you will not be stopping here.

If you like what you're hearing and want even more, check out my system page. Check out mahgister. There's some others but we tend to get hounded off the platform by the most prolific posters who are more in love with meters than music, they have chased some really accomplished ones off. So be prepared. Probably best just ignore them.

But we should end on a happy note. You got excited about this, and you talked about what you heard! You listen real close and want even better sound. In that case I have some really good news - you are on the right track. Just keep doing what you're doing. This is exactly the way to wind up with a truly amazing system.
spring loaded sorbothane dampened cable lifters -- new tweak!!!!

transforms bose 301’s into harbeth p3’s in one fell swoop  😂😂😂😂😂
I use Shunyata Dark field elevators DF-SS they are by far the best at total isolation.I use them on all Speaker and my 21ft run of Purist interconnect cable.
Audio2design, where are you? We can have a lot of fun here!
antigrunge2-
the corner containing the binding posts does not act as a port on the Duevels. Any speaker vibrates and at sufficient sound level so do the cables. Do pls. try it out, it’s worth it.
Try it out is good advice. Do it all the time. Biggest single factor in why my system sounds so good. The little things all add up. Do enough and it is so much better you can't believe.  

Look, you know what you did and how much better it sounds now as a result. Imagine doing that one hundred times. Imagine somehow along the way you discover a few things that are five or ten times as big as what you just did. Imagine you find 50 or so things you can do that with. That is roughly what I have done. Sounds so good, hardly a night goes by any more I am not shaking my head it is so hard to believe.  
@millercarbon,

yes, it is lots of little steps. The biggest is cleaning up the power, second fighting EMI/RFI on any connection in the system (often insiduous) as well as vibration; then there is a lot to be done about improving room acoustics. At the start of it in my experience is to get away from high power/complex crossover systems to maximise phase coherence and integration. My way is based on SET amp (Wavac) with high efficiency speakers (Duevel). This has so far been a 30+year journey and shows so far no sign of getting to its conclusion. i continue to be intrigued by single driver systems ( Shindo, Fostex based et al) but I haven‘t quite gotten there yet.
Thanks for the encouragement.

One other small step that makes a significant impact is to wrap all digital components in RFI shielding paper, heat considerations permitting. It helps the power amp a great deal.
RFI gets into everything. Also digital generates a lot of it. So wrapping it helps keep environmental RFI out of your digital, at the same time it helps keep your digital RFI from getting into everything else. It's a two-fer. 

I heard of Faraday fabric before but RFI shielding paper is a new one.
Is there any material that can be used to prevent RFI/EMI where power cables come in contact with signal cables? 
My cables are very organised behind my rack, but there are situations where cables are in close proximity and speaker cables must cross over power cables. They cross at perpendicular angles but there's a lot of potential for EMI.


The OP could set up a simple test to determine whether the impression of change has validity. No ABX necessary. 

Many tweaks that are claimed to make a difference do not, at least not when the tweak is isolated and actually compared. Audiophiles typically fool themselves as to what is, or is not, happening with their system. 

I hate it when my electricity vibrates. 
@ebm , I use the same lifters and agree as to their effectiveness.   I suspend PAD 8M XLR 20th anniversary interconnects .

@antigrunge2, thanks for the link.   I'm going to try some. 

Respectfully, 
Jose 
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Ridiculous 
Try vibrating your fuses.
I use cable elevators their ceramic and they're very good.
Ugh more BS....too much time?
I have my wife hold the cables while I’m listening, works well🙋‍♀️...I make sure she is well fed and hydrated..🍝🥮🍺🍩 🤪

I don’t know which is worse....worrying about vibrating speaker cables or seismic earth vibrations....🌎😬

Unless you have circus elephants prancing through your living room, I’d rather not worry...🐘🐘🐘🤡🤡
I didn't try anything audiophile for that. Tried something, don't remember what, and didn't hear a difference.
Purist cables might especially benefit, they are filled with fluid or amorphous paste or mixture of both.
In any case, this is no BS at all.
Ever since I sold my Harley, my girlfriend's been sitting on my speaker cables. Now I know why.
Wow that is stupid.
Don't forget to wear your copper infused fabric hat while listening....

Vibrating cables.....Way too esoteric for me....

I'm out....*poof*
Bravo, Millercarbon 
Your posts and interpretations are very well thought out. I certainly learn something every time I visit this forum, thanks to you in large part. 👍🏼😎🎧

@roadwhorerecords... my wife likes vibrating electricity?
Everything matters!!! Divide everything, determinate and scale parts, concentrate on obvious, decide if future changes worth your attention. 
I give my speaker cables (Q Audio Time Stream) a weekly rubdown with KY! Seems to make the music "flow" better!
MC - You sure your cables aren’t vibrating because of your Schuman resonators? They must be in phase. I know! Move the resonator 14,000 km away and get it out of phase, change the fuse, and flip the power chord. You will hear a difference so it must work.
I see the haters are out again in force.

This definitely works if your system is resolving enough and it doesn’t cost that much. I use black ravioli mk 1 pads that sit between my speaker binding posts just snuggly so as not to stress them , I have been doing this for 2 years with 2 sets of speakers both of which are sealed box design. You can feel the vibration in the speaker cables at the back of the speakers very easily.

Those BR mk1 pads cost me £10 , i might treat myself to the newer ones.


If you want to take things even further look on ebay and get some fo.Q ta 32 damping tape from the Japanese vendors. This 0.3 mm tape is easy to wrap around cables. The ta102 version is 1mm thick and its great for duplex covers around iec inlets , and component chassis. The thin stuff, cables, headshells, along the bottom of your tonearm. 1 pack of each less than $100 the pair. 
Im going to make my own cable lifters from hardwood and the thick tape soon.


Of course if you run zip cord speaker cables you probably wont hear the benefits. 
Good one JasonBourne, AstroGlide works a little better on my stuff.
@mhmeyers +1

I look forward each day to hearing how changes in individual systems potentially make improvements. Often I will try and mimic the tweaks in my system and occasionally discover results. In this case it made a difference to my system.

My speaker wires we’re running along the baseboard and behind the subwoofer. I pulled the speaker wires out into the middle of the room and noticed a positive change in clarity.
@antigrunge2 - thanks for sharing!
Black Ravioli...anything. Hahaha.
Wonder what's inside of them? Flour, eggs, squid ink, and water....
Don't forget the squid ink; that's the key.  But the real key to perfect, undistorted silence is to just unplug everything.  Of course if you've got tinnitus, that's a larger form of distortion and noise than anything fixable with gadgets or magic paper.
I strap a couple of those, err, units you can get from Amazon on each of my speaker cables, kind of like those AQ battery packs.  I find correctly massaged SCs produce a smoother, more orga(s)nic sound.
Interesting discussion.  I don't know how speaker cable vibrations can affect sound?  I have never touched my cables when playing music and I will check this out.  Does speaker cable vibration affect the connections where the speaker wires attach to the speakers?
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Except for those that are so close minded sometimes they cannot hear.
I am constantly astounded at those who try to tell people they aren't hearing what they know damn well they are. Kudos to millercarbon and the OP and now I'm more familiar with RFI shielding than I was prior to this.
Of course vibrations in wires is a disaster, that is why all wires in an MRI machine are secured absolutely motionless.... what a crock of crap boys. Great sales people and idiots is there a difference ?
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Oz, look at my system page. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367 The last picture #47. The speaker cable is suspended on the yellow rubber bands stretched across the Cable Elevator. Exact same thing AQ is doing, except rubber band instead of nylon fishing line. I was here telling people about the improvement last year. Tried it on one, heard it was better, now all my cables, interconnect, power cord are suspended this way. Rubber bands from the kitchen drawer. Total cost $0. 

While you're on my system page scroll down and read Deborah's comment. When I removed these cable elevators her eyes were closed, she heard it immediately. Actually only removed the first one or two on one side and she heard it. So it totally works.
Whether you believe the OP or not, I believe your opinion should be based on your own evidence, not just a dismissal out of hand based on some preconceived notion. How many of the dissenters use vibration suppression platforms or feet on their equipment? To dismiss one form of vibration control over another, just seems a bit hypocritical to me.
If you deny realities that yourself or your system can not render out, then read no further.

 This thread intrigued me enough to look and try something with whatever I had around... I use Triode Wire Labs SCs (so nothing to fancy) on Harbeth 40.2 Anniversaries. Like most SCs, the TWL’s have 6 or 7 inches of separated pos/neg leads at the ends. I have some Herbie's Audio Labs Tenderfoot footers sitting around unused, so at the speaker end, I gently pushed one of these between the two leads as far ‘down’ as I could tightly get it to where the two leads converge into the sheathing; the tapered shape of the rubber footer was good for this fit... It worked! I hear more clearly, quite a bit less bass distortion and better speed/timing. 
 There are two specific/different placement approaches with the 40’s and I’m in the middle of trying to hone in on the other positioning I haven’t been using, and this just helped quite a bit, showing me I am not as far off as I thought I was. Hearing less bass distortion, which is allowing every bass note to be presented evenly and with much better clarity and decay is very nice. 

I could probably uses something better than the temporary footer but I don’t what that would be yet.

I have the same cable lifters as you, @millercarbon, and am definitely going to hunt down the right size rubber bands. Do you have any idea what size around your yellow bands are??

Id also like to maybe find or make some heavy beanbags (lead shot or sand or what??) to rest on top of  the speaker cables at the lifters to see if that does anything further...but so far, ‘stiffening’ them near the binding posts is indeed working.


I found inverted Yahrzeit glass candle holders worked as well at 1/100 the cost. 

@ jriggy  ..  your led shot bags are sold in dive shops in drain-able mesh bags by the pound.  I use quite a few on many components with soft sorbathane feet under them for vibration damping.  Also Pearly tube coolers with a copper RFI drain soldered to them to chassis ground to eliminate vibration and RFI and EMI there..
Thank you to all who try with an open mind. It never ceases to amaze me how much is still subject to trial and error in a hobby as old as hifi. I consider @millercarbon and @mahgister as rolemodels in that regard. One can only hope that the manufacturers follow these fora.
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You learn something everyday’ speaker cables do vibrate and rubber bands across the cable footers do improve the clarity.

Good one guys.
After reading this thread I decided to go ahead and see if the speaker cables  in my 2 systems had any vibration at/near the binding posts. In my main system I have floorstanders with single speaker binding posts. I have LessLoss Firewall for Speakers attached to those speaker binding posts and then the speaker cables attached to those. At neither point was there any vibration. In my second system I have monitors on stands, the speakers have two sets on binding posts. I noticed vibrations on both the jumpers and speaker cables. Tomorrow I am going to cut a few pieces of rubber copper tube insulation, insert them in place and listen to the same tracks with and without them in place to determine if I can hear any difference. I have some unused Herbies Tenderfoots and may try them like jriggy , but think that the rubber copper tube insulation will sit in place easier. Will post what my experience is tomorrow.
ozzy nice system and cute dog
I tried both the rubber copper pipe insulation and the Herbies Tenderfoots and can say that at best they only very slightly reduced the vibration, and to the extent that they did they didn't audibly impact the sound. I may try something else.

When I previously inserted cable lifters there was a beneficial audible impact in both of my systems.
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@facten i wondered if the pipe insulation would be dense or tight enough on the binding posts to do any dampening. Maybe tightly wrapped in electrical tape or something? Still might need something more dense. 
This is clearly dependent on speaker design/construction. My harbeths are made to resonate; its part of the design and worked into the frequency response. And turns out, with the Herbie’s footers snugged tightly between the two speaker cable leads was to much and after posting I noticed a new hardness to the sound, so I back them off a bit (a less pressure)... Definitely a weird and sensitive thing with these speakers.