Now take a closer look at the usual hifi system and its spaghetti salad of cabling. With a rack or stand, cables of all sorts dangle happily off an RCA, XLR or power connector to be prone to rogue vibrations induced by the surrounding air, be that a passerby, open window or speakers moving air. Just consider what a subwoofer does. Other vibrations are induced by the floor. Foot fall, the jackhammer effect of mechanically active loudspeakers, neighbours, waching machines, dryers – they all send vibrations through the floor which the poor system rack can't completely isolate unless it is an active anti-resonance platform at a very serious price like a Minus K or air-suspension Stacore model.

Most systems run at least some cables across such a mechanically reactive floor. Even though manufacturers of better cables put a lot of effort into stabilizing their geometries to avoid internal micro movements between conductors, shields and sheaths, these things do move relative to each other. And that creates an electrical current—triboelectric effect—which interacts with the actual music signal. Also, whenever signal transitions from one contact to another, there's a high chance of distortion or loss. Think oxidation, dissimilar metal junctions, physical play for high contact resistance and possible micro arcing and other issues between male and female hifi plugs. Many of those fits are poor. Power cords may wobble, their plugs be loose inside their wall or gear socket. Bananas or RCA can suffer play. Wherever there is a poor fit made worse by freely dangling cables, the connection itself is prone to rogue vibrations. To investigate potential improvements for such scenarios, Dutch Furutech distributor X-Fi sent us six boxes of the NCF Booster. In true Japanese fashion, the packaging was well thought out. Each box contained an H-shaped base unit, two connecting shafts, a support unit with matching fixer screws and a top clamp. There were also a hex driver, two silicone damper rings and two extension bars. For our review we even received additional extension shafts. The hex key is used to add an extender for increased height. Without an extender, the Booster weighs 595 grams. The H-shaped base is good for 213 grams, the bottom clamp 80 grams, the top clamp of metal with an NCF plastic inlay 303 grams. For extra stability, the metallic base with NCF plastic-coated bottom is fitted with non-skid silicone rubber. The silicone rubber rings fix the top clamp to the bottom supports.

We assessed the efficacy of the Boosters two ways. First we listened to the most current incarnation of the main system with its loudspeaker cables laid out across the wooden floor. That system were the Bastanis Sagarmatha Duo open baffle speakers with 2x18" subwoofer towers and Bastanis Epilog MkIII ribbon speaker cables. We then elevated the cables off the floor with the Boosters. Next we assessed the Boosters while supporting the power inlet of the Trafomatic Reference One preamp [see below]; and with extra elevators, on our Audio Note Meishu.

Installing the cable elevators was simple and straightforward. Just make sure that the distance between consecutive Boosters avoids cables sagging and touching the floor. Once you have laid out a satisfactory placement, the silicone rings can be applied to fix the two clamp halves together.