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Audio Tweaks - Cable Elevators+

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Cable Elevators+

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I have recently visited an audio related discussion group, one that I don't visit regularly but one that I ended up browsing the other day nevertheless. As I was scanning different threads I came across a short commentary from one of the members, basically ridiculing audio tweaks, or "snake oil" products as he called them. There's lots of stuff out there and some of it does qualify as over-hyped marketing spin that can pass as "snake oil" too, but often it's really about how a particular tweak interacts with your audio system and how much of that interaction is perceived by you. The overall effect will vary from system to system and from one listener to the other, whereby better tweaks show more consistency. The key is to keep an open mind and experiment as we've already discussed in our perspective column. The same person ended his commentary by saying something like: "Soon you will be lifting your cables off the floor…" as the ultimate in gullibility in his opinion. My opinion, based on my listening experience, is that he couldn't be more wrong: lifting cables off the floor is by no means snake oil.

The Cable Elevators from Precision Audio Products have been around for some time. The latest version bears the "+" designation, and sports a low dielectric neoprene foot at the bottom of each elevator. Cable Elevators are made out of industrial grade porcelain and are glazed with a non-conductive coating. They are quite large in size, measuring 4 3/4" in diameter and about 4 1/2" in height, they are built to accommodate the biggest loudspeaker cables out there. Their shape provides maximum stability with minimum cable contact and they usually ship in a box of eight. When my set first arrived I was surprised by the size of the box too. There is ample padding inside and all around the elevators ensuring that you end up with, and only with, eight porcelain pieces upon delivery. They can be bought through AudioNut for $20 each or for $159.95 for a set of eight.

The Reasoning
Precision Audio Products provides the following explanation on how and why cable elevators work:

Cables come in contact with a wide variety of flooring surfaces. Each can have a different effect on cable behavior. By elevating cables off the floor you eliminate static charge and you lower capacitance. The net effect is lower noise and increased dynamics. Another factor is the dampening of the natural modulation inherent to all cable. That is an electrical signal passing through a conductor (cabling) produces a desirable mechanical resonance that is dampened when placed on the floor. This also constricts dynamics and low-level detail. Placing cables in free space would be ideal.
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