It’s usually not a slap you down improvement but it’s a improvement. All small improvements add up. It’s another veil being lifted from the music.
I had a friend build my risers. Made out of ceramic with a special coating on them. I paid $3 each. Many years ago. Had about 100 made.I heard the improvement when installed in my system. One of the better tweets
All the really great systems I have heard use cable lifters. I put mine in thirty years ago. They are ceramic, like or are for high voltage power lines. They cost maybe $20 each. I had read articles about the magnetic fields around cables and the why it matters and realized that neat clean cabling does make a little difference… as do lifters and that little differences add up.
I am having another direct line put in to my amp to help get all my cables into shape. I also realized that when you talked about systems over a hundred thousand it includes mine… Makes me feel good. I remember when I was in college and I was irresponsible and bought a $250 Marantz integrated amp. What a long continuous and rewarding journey it has been over the last 50 years to get here.
Not at all. Just the right amount. Good work. Just one thing- the leap from your cardboard ones to thinking that is all there is.
Cable risers like all components are not created equal. I've been using different versions since my first crude experiments like yours more than 30 years ago. You are right, they do not make that big a difference in lower end systems - or even in quite good systems when not done very well. Yours were not done very well.
When done really well, I have now had several different people hear clear difference- not subtle, clear - when just one cable elevator is removed and put back in. There are 4 per side so to hear just one, and to have them say even just the one was not subtle, well you do the math.
Even your simple ones can be improved a lot and for cheap. You stumbled across the usual reasons but haven't thought them through very far. If vibration is a factor (it is) then you want the cables to lay on something like a spring that will isolate them from the floor. The easiest cheapest solution is a rubber band. Get some rubber bands, cut some notches into your cardboard, situate the cable so it stretches the rubber band. The band should be strong enough to hold the cable up but still have some bounce when jiggled.
Much better than cardboard are ceramic insulators. Found on eBay search ceramic insulators and look for ones similar to Cable Elevators brand shape. Should be around $20ea or less. Do the rubber band trick on those it will look like this and be a lot better than what you are doing now. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
Good work trying stuff out. Too many think they already have it all figured out. Sadly they give advice aplenty even on stuff like this they haven't ever tried. At least you tried. Now keep at it. Remember I started 30 years ago. Yet I invented the rubber band trick only last year. However much you think you know there is always more.
This is not just me saying this by the way. Read the comments on my system page. More than one has mentioned the above cable riser demo.
I actually started off with extremely crude versions that I cut out using a pair of scissors. I had to use packing tape to maintain the stability of the legs as the weight of my power cables were bending them over. The more I worked at them, the more I began to think in terms of engineering and busted out my drafting supplies. I drew out the design in terms of actual lengths 4" x 5" with notches one inch in on either side and continued the "V" cut on top. The notches are tapered so that when I insert the feet, the tension tightens as it continues up, removing the need for packing tape, which causes static. :) Then, weirdly, I realized that triangular feet were better than rectangular. Didn't see that coming, but it makes sense in how it offloads weight.
Then I got more creative. Based on the setup of my particular system, I needed risers that didn't just hold cable. I had power bricks that needed to come off the floor. So I created risers that are flat-bed, but with teeth on either end. I also created longer feet so that two to three risers could be fastened. This holds up the brick and the large plug and then finally the beginning of the cable. I also had to create a special one for the Kimber Palladian, since it has a massive foot long contraption attached to it.
My experiments aren't done, for sure :). I am actually thinking about getting a 3D printer and make them that way. Experiment with other weight bearing designs and heights. Maybe even ways to deal with cables that hang down and touch cabinets or desks.
Several experienced reliable listeners have told me fishing line from the ceiling is awesome. But that is a bridge too far even for me. But it got me thinking, why? The cables wind up the same height from the floor. Fishing line stretches, and from the ceiling would effectively isolate like a long thin spring. Springs are excellent by the way. A rubber band is functionally a spring. That was my reasoning and it totally works. All my cables are isolated this way now and it is much better even than the ceramic insulators. One future project is a jig to hold phono leads with rubber bands so they don't touch anything thus isolating them from the environment and at least as important, from transmitting vibration into the tone arm.
Speaker cables have at least four different sources of noise and distortion to control- vibration, static electricity, dielectric bleed, and RFI. That is a tall order but if you study my system you will see I address all of them in one way or another. Each individual one makes a difference I can hear- and not just me others do as well.
Agreed. That's sort of what I get by saving money buying their 0.65M lengths. :)
In my previous house it wasn't a problem because the computer was on the other side of the desk I was using. In this new house with a new desk, the computer is on the opposite end and created some tension issues.
This was part of the reason I changed out the cable for a longer one. Except this time, I went with Synergistic's Foundation cable. It's still burning in but it sounds as though it will surpass the Yosemite's performance. :)
If you look at my system page, I show a picture of some cable risers that I made myself. I used ceramic electric fence insulators with 3/4" hardwood dowels and number 33 rubber bands for the suspension. The 4x4" wood platforms sit on rubber feet. I glued the dowels into the wood platforms. Having a table saw and drill press I was able to make 24 of these in a couple of days.
I doubled up the insulators for my interconnect cables running from the preamp to amps so that the cables run neatly side by side. I also use them for the speaker and power cords to the amps.
I started with just the insulators directly on the floor and I could hear an improvement. So I came up with this idea to look a little more finished.
Thank you. No, I have always run the cables in parallel. The risers space the two signal cables 1/2” apart whereas before the risers the cables lay side by side. I try to keep power cables distanced and at right angles to the signal cables. I am using Purist Audio Design cables. They are very heavy so I needed the risers spaced close together. They are spaced 14” apart. I did not want the catenaries to grow too large. The lamps create a nice mood. Last spring I showed a picture of my system to Alan at Hifi Buys in Atlanta and he asked me about those lamps. In August I went there to pick up the Niagara power conditioner and saw that he now has our lamps in one of his showrooms. He has a great store by the way.
I am always late to the party on these forums! Anyway, I've made myself a set of cable risers just to see if I noticed a difference. I made them out of Maple wood, 5.5 inches by 1.5 inches. I cut a "v" groove on one side and a "w" groove on the other. I've made 12. It cost $13. The soundstage is indeed noticeably wide and open. Is it better because if the risers? Not sure. I noticed it more after the risers. It's a bit of a niggle to take them off and put them on (as you get some to stand up others can fall.) For such a cheap tweak, it was worth it. They kind of clean up your cables from looking like a snake nest. I have some recently acquired bits (a new cartridge) and am expecting a new power cable. Once those have settled in, I may take the risers off and see if the difference is in my head or real.
Here is a really simple hack: use sellotape to bridge the gap of simple U shaped cable lifters and you get perfect vibration control. Changing the electrical properties of cables through cable lifters a al Furutech NFT seems to me way less efficient than using Stein Music Speaker Match or Bybee Golden Goddess bullets….
I needed so many lifters/risers, never bothered to buy them because it was too expensive to outfit my whole system. That was until the Audioquest fog lifters came along. 2 packs (16 lifters) for reasonable money.
It makes a difference. Audioquest claim there is two improvements with risers, the resonance control, and the height off the ground. Their product only does the later, which is why its so cheap compared to other audiophile lifters, who go for the former.
Audioquest claim you need 15cm height to properly eliminate the ground interference effect.
I guess folks ran out of folks to berate, so started digging around for more victims.
Bingo. Having a bit of OCD, I like things organized and looking a certain way. I spent next to nothing on them and they accomplish what I want them to do. Do they change the sound? I have no idea and don't really care enough to test it.
^^^^ Also: the very definition of ’Cargo Cult’. ^^^^