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Thread: Whats the point of speaker stands?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

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    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    Speaker stands can make or break the performance of a speaker. The idea that all they have to do is raise the speakers to the right hight really is bollocks - the sort of utter bollocks spouted on the Harbeth forum (for example).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Without being too technical, can you tell me how? I used to have a pair of Epos ES11 that came with their own stands, they were very sturdy, as they had 4 protruding feet which provided a larger area to rest on, larger than the top of the stand that is.
    One theory I came across many years ago is that the speakers should be isolated from the structure of the room. This can be done by sitting the speakers on something springy or compliant, or by hanging them with bungee cords or doing something similar. One popular DIY trick is to use as tyre inner tube as a compliant base.
    Anyway, the theory is that vibrations will travel directly from the cabinets through the structure of the room and arrive at the listener's ears before the air-borne sound reaches them. This makes some sense because the speed of sound in wood and concrete is a lot faster than the speed of sound in air. So, if you isolate the speakers from the structure of the room you remove the "fast route" to your ears which smears the sound.
    That's one theory. Feel free to poo-poo it.

    BTW, speaker stands may do more than just raise the speakers to the correct height etc., but that's the job they have to do first.

  2. #22
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

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    I'm Dennis.

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    This is an 'old chestnut' discussed numerously on forums, and (also with equipment coupling/decoupling) needs some resolution.
    I've been reading on this for a long time, and gradually it seems have got to some hard truth.

    Spikes in floors do seem to couple, and in the extreme, (nails in wood, running spikes in the ground), and therefore cannot decouple the floor from vibration IMO, but they will stabilise the speaker's position and stop it moving in reaction to any cone movement, but a heavy floorstander is unlikely to move in reaction to cone excursion.

    A soft and lossy footing or pad will tend to decouple vibration but will allow some movement of a speaker, and there is an art to finding a good compromise between these conflicting factors.

    Presenting a high mechanical impedance to energy which might travel from a lively cabinet through to the floor is IMO the best option; I have used granite plinths with a 10mm EDPM rubber pad between the speaker and the plinth, the density of granite presenting a massive change in mechanical impedance to the energy both leaving the speaker and returning to it, which when travelling through the rubber is to an extent attenuated both towards the floor and when reflected back to the speaker.

    Surely the main and primary role of a stand with standmounts is to get the right height and angler of incidence of the sound waves to the ear. They of course should be dead, (some ring quite badly, sand filled perhaps?), and their weight could be a help, (as with the granite above).

    I'm not keen on spikes into my floor with 77kg speakers, and the fragile and vulnerable nature of standmounts always worries me; they are asking to be knocked off, and a non contacting retaining bolt would be obligatory to me if I had them, but even so the whole thing could easily be tipped over.

    It used to be argued in the 80s that standmounts were visually less imposing, and that may be subjectively so, but the stand is still visually there, and costs money, and the space it occupies is useless whereas a floorstander uses this for greater bass extension. Unless there are acoustic advantages to a standmounter I see no point in them.

  3. #23
    Join Date: Apr 2012

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    I'm Geoff.

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    That sounds about right Dennis.

    I think many of us will have experimented to find agreeable solutions. I don't worry too much these days. As long as stand mounters are steady, I don't use spikes and just rely on the combined speaker/stand mass to keep things stable.

    I think deliberately trying to decouple speakers from whatever they stand on is not the greatest idea, but it may be applicable in some circumstances.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

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    I'm Martin.

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    99% of what a stand does is due to the height of it. This will change the relationship between ears and drive units, and the distance between the bass driver and the floor. Both these things will make a noticeable difference in how the sound is perceived. Pretty much everything else to do with the stand (what it is made of, how many legs etc) is irrelevant, assuming it is solid and stable to begin with.

    However uncontrolled experimentation with speaker supports may lead people to believe that other factors are at work; mystical factors. Especially if the speaker stands were really expensive and come with pages of blurb from the manufacturer.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



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  5. #25
    Join Date: Sep 2017

    Location: Dublin

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    I'm Pavel.

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    There was a nice article about the speaker-stand interface (with useful measurements) in Stereophile, well worth reading IMO: https://www.stereophile.com/content/...terface-page-2

    The stands can indeed affect sound, and Bluetack seems to be the best speaker/stand interface ever

  6. #26
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Thumbs up Following 'good practice', and the benefits of getting the 'infrastructure' right...

    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    BTW, speaker stands may do more than just raise the speakers to the correct height etc., but that's the job they have to do first.
    Absolutely. It's simply 'good practice' to use stands designed to properly support the speakers you're using, and as you say, raise them to the correct height, in order for them to perform as intended and be heard correctly by the listener.

    In the same way that it's also 'good practice' to use decent cables, level your turntable, or do what's necessary in order for the components in your system to perform optimally.

    For me, you're either in this game to do the job right, as a genuine enthusiast, or simply 'play at it', by doing the minimum possible in order for things to work to some sort of 'adequate standard' - and that's not the behaviour of a genuine enthusiast, who strives to have the best...

    I was always brought up with the mantra of 'If you're going to do a job, then do it right', to the BEST of your ability - and that applies to how I set up a hi-fi system as much as when I'm painting a room, putting up a shelf or anything else.

    Therefore, 'adequate', for me, is never enough! Especially when it comes to hi-fi....

    I need to know that what I'm using is, as far as possible, performing at its *maximum potential*, which is why I'm a great believer in investing properly in the 'infrastructure' of a system: mains, stands, cables, supports, etc - all the 'unsexy' stuff, which experience tells me is vital to get right, in order for a system to perform optimally, and thus be truly musically rewarding.

    However, you can go on about this stuff until you're blue in the face, because unfortunately some folks simply don't want to know, and would rather believe that all that matters are the boxes and speakers used, so that's where their money is spent, whilst virtually all else is ignored

    It's no wonder, therefore, that so many of them are never happy with their systems, continually box-swapping and constantly chasing a 'sound in their heads' that they may never achieve, when much of that angst could be avoided (and money saved) if they concentrated instead on getting the basics right first, and with it, the system's infrastructure, thus allowing the boxes and speakers they've chosen to realise their FULL potential, before moving onto pastures new, continually making the same mistakes and getting nowhere...

    <Rant over>

    Marco.
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  7. #27
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

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    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovel_Knight View Post
    There was a nice article about the speaker-stand interface (with useful measurements) in Stereophile, well worth reading IMO: https://www.stereophile.com/content/...terface-page-2

    The stands can indeed affect sound, and Bluetack seems to be the best speaker/stand interface ever
    If a typical 10" woofer cone/voice-coil assembly with a moving mass of 50 grams moves 25mm peak-peak, a cabinet with a mass of 5kg sitting on a friction-free surface will move 250m: a quarter of a millimeter! Any friction from the support will reduce the cabinet motion, but even if it does by a factor of 100, the resultant 2.5m cabinet motion is still of the order of that of the tweeter diaphragm's and will frequency-modulate its output. Spiking the speaker or its stand to the floor beneath the rug gives the system a much better mechanical "ground," reducing its reactive motion to the benefit of its sound.

    Yes, because you quite often see speakers with 10 inch woofers in cabs that weigh 5 kilos. When they have to bend the facts that much to fit the bollocks agenda then alarm bells ring immediately. How much is the cab moving if it weighs a more realistic 20 kilos? Answer is: none at all. What a crock of shit.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    'The best I advice I ever received was to always remember that no-one else has any idea what they are doing either.'

  8. #28
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    I'm Grant.

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    sometimes a slight tilt back works better than a short stand imv. you still retain the floor reinforcement .it doesnt need much if you are a reasonable distance away
    Regards,
    Grant ....

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  9. #29
    Join Date: Sep 2017

    Location: Dublin

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    I'm Pavel.

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    I also find this explanation to be dubious at best, but the fact is that coupling the speakers to the surface they sit on or decoupling them from it indeed does make a difference. I find the text useful because they provide some numerical data. I also sincerely doubt they had any commercial interest in mind because they ended recommending Blu-Tack and styrofoam sheets over audiophile products.

  10. #30
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

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    I'm Josie.

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    Marco, I'm currently looking to lift my Lockwoods as my room is now smaller. Need to get the sweet spot back

    I am guessing that because they have a downward firing reflex that the platforms (or stands) shouldn't be of an open frame design but rather a shelf like design?
    Last edited by The Black Adder; 27-02-2018 at 13:06.

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