Fun With Cable Risers

Well, since I blew up the forum with one controversial topic, let’s do a Chuck Woolery and go two for two! (Ugh, showing my age there!) :D

What are your thoughts on cable risers? *ducks*

I do admit to having a sensible chuckle when I first saw Audioquest’s “Fog Lifters.” A small, plastic, rack with a string to hold up your speaker cable. I was thinking, “This doesn’t help your image, Audioquest.” I upgraded my chuckle to an outright guffaw when I saw the price tag on these “Fog Lifters.” I thought there was no way any sensible person pays hundreds of dollars for something that lifts a cable off the floor. Highway robbery.

Then, when I branched out into other brands, I saw that they too made “cable risers.” Shunyata has their DF-SS (Dark Field) supports and Synergistic has their UEF Performance Elevators. Each more expensive than the next. It’s one thing to market cables, but it is quite another to market a thing that doesn’t really do anything to your cables, your system or your music; right? I mean, who is their target audience? So…I did some digging. I wanted to see who is investing in this form of tech and why.

I discovered that the phenomenon ranged all over the audiophile spectrum. Mostly from folks with $100,000+ systems. They tend to be very neat and clean setups with multiple power amps a strewn the floor. I thought, “Why? What do they know that I don’t? How much hokum could there be for someone who invests that kind of money?”

Turns out, there is some science behind this. Ground noise, power signals from the cables and vibrations as well as static electricity. On a carpeted floor, there is massive static electricity, and it can act similar to a ferrite choke on your cable. Yes, it’s true. That static can impact a cable’s impedance or standing wave ratio, even if it is only slightly. Also, vibrations can also cause interference and there is no way to filter out or shield vibrations. On carpet this isn’t much of a problem, but wood, tile or concrete floors? That’s a different matter. You switch static electricity issues for vibration issues.

Despite my desire to buy premium cables, I am *NOT* going to pay money for a thing that lifts cables off the floor, but I did want to find out what the deal is. So…I made my own. We had just moved and I had a ton of strong, multi-ply cardboard. I borrowed Synergistic’s design, as it was the easiest to make. I started lifting my cables off the floor. I have wood floors and the subwoofer does a darn fine job of creating plenty of floor vibration. I couldn’t find any data to support whether certain materials make any difference. Best I could find was that the material shouldn’t be conductive. Cardboard isn’t very conductive; it also isn’t very pretty. However, I am not going for looks. :)

My conclusions are thus.

Does it make a difference? Yes, but there are some provisos, a few addendums, a couple of quid pro quos.

First off, all it does is expand your soundstage a little bit. It doesn’t increase or change any frequencies or alter your sound’s clarity or reduce noise.  

Second, it’s most effective if you lift *ALL* your cables off the floor and not allow any part of a cable to touch the floor.

Third, this includes power cables, and interconnects. I suspect that if you have massive 10 and 8+ gauge power cables, those would benefit the most.

As a side note, one riser fixed a problem I hadn’t realized I had. The DBS battery pack on one of my Audioquest cables was weighing down on the RCA connection. When I was able to straighten the cable out, the RCA connector straightened, and I got a bit of a fidelity increase. I hadn’t considered that the weight of anything hanging off a cable could pull the cable out of the socket enough to alter sound quality. Go fig O_O

Anyway, there you go. Go forth and discuss or in some cases troll, because hey, it’s the internet! :D


I guess folks ran out of folks to berate, so started digging around for more victims.

I have always found it hilarious that people theorize something can't work, so just assume they have to be right. They've never tried it and they're too afraid to spend any money or any effort to try it.  They just stick with excuses.

The second hilarious thing is how using risers simply doesn't hurt anything. Worst case scenario, your cables are better organized. Oh noes!!!

I mean, I made risers out of cardboard.  It cost me a grand total of NOTHING!

So, I don't care if it's rubbish or not.  It's not your system.  You don't have to listen to it.  I do.

 using risers simply doesn't hurt anything. Worst case scenario, your cables are better organized. 

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. 

OP “I have always found it hilarious that people theorize something can't work, so just assume they have to be right…”


Well put. 👍



                          ^^^^ Also: the very definition of ’Cargo Cult’. ^^^^,disprove%20or%20delimit%20the%20hypothesis.

                                                     Happy listening!