“Cable risers are not exactly news, nor are they universally used, accepted or even recommended. In fact, even those who advocate them have trouble agreeing on what they do or how they do it,” writes reviewer Roy Gregory in The Audio Beat. “None of this is, of course, any reason to ignore them,” he adds, having recently been provided with a set of Furutech’s NCF Boosters and Booster-Signals to review. “They have become utterly indispensable,” he concludes.
First off, it’s worth noting that the NCF Booster & Booster Signal aren’t your average cable supports. Here, Furutech aims to tackle the effect of cables and connectors on the performance of a hi-fi system on a whole different level, by addressing their interaction with the immediate environment. Not only do the Booster & Booster Signal lift audio cables off the floor and enable optimum alignment between connectors and sockets, they also provide highly targeted damping for both. That damping is specifically designed to reduce environmental interference, thus enabling a more pure and clear signal transmission.
They’re “possibly the most extravagantly engineered and ambitious risers I’ve ever used,” writes Gregory, and “not just a product but a modular system.” What’s more, he has no doubts about the significant difference that each of these remarkable accessories makes: “I can demonstrate it with utter repeatability and reliability: same results each time, every time.”
“The effect they have on the sound… is not small.” “Their sonic and musical impacts are as fascinating as they are smack-you-in-the-face obvious. You may or may not use cable risers. You may or may not believe that they work. But, believe me, if you don’t hear what the NCF Boosters do, then it’s definitely time to stop spending money on audio equipment.”
“[They] didn’t alter the nature of the system; they just made it work better – considerably better… The sheer scale and musical importance of the difference were hard to credit, and the results were utterly consistent across genre and format.”
Almost as if to check himself, Gregory has since demonstrated them to every visitor he’s had through the house, and “not a single one has failed to not just hear but be astonished by the results, including the painters and decorators who wanted to know what it was I did. With no hi-fi experience or sonic preconceptions to cloud their judgment, those guys got the musical impact immediately.”
That said, “Furutech’s NCF Boosters are neither fit and forget nor one size fits all. They require a degree of experimentation and will be system-specific in their application.” So in practice, much will depend on your particular hi-fi set-up, its individual components, your specific cables and connectors, and your flooring materials. Consider the NCF Booster and Booster-Signal as a duo of tuning devices. Multiple units of each placed at various points along cables will deliver clear results and the more units placed, the more changes will be heard in playback. Hitting the real ‘sweet spot’ is all about discovering the various units’ optimum placement. Electrical and mechanical resonance can be focused at certain points (connectors, points where cables contact flooring or racks, points where cables are under stress – tight bends, sagging cables, etc) and so the placement of NCF Boosters and Booster Signals at such key points will tend to deliver optimal results.
For Gregory, “they have become utterly indispensable… I wouldn’t want to be without them.”
Discover more about Furtech’s NCF Boosters and Booster-Signals as Gregory experiments and tests them out with a range of different hi-fi set-ups and musical genres: read his review in full online at www.theaudiobeat.com