Published at Wednesday, July 31st 2019, 07:41:41 AM. Speaker Stands. By Serilda Schulte.
There you have it; the basics of why you should consider stands for your bookshelf speakers. As with much in hi-fi, this is only the introduction to a massive subject, but it serves as a good understanding of stands function and what they can do for your hi-fi system. And they can do a lot for providing your speakers with the optimal condition for top-notch performance.
Of course, you do still need to attend to room reflections by adding some basic acoustic treatment — but that’s another subject and one that we have covered on numerous occasions in our Studio SOS series.
That’s where you need to put the sub. If your sub has a phase adjustment knob, or a polarity–invert switch, adjust this until you hear the loudest result from frequencies around the crossover point, typically 80 to 120 Hz.
All that unwanted movement can colour and distort the sound. We do our best to prevent vibrations by adding bracing to the cabinet, but that doesn’t really help with the movement.
And, of course, it needs to put the speaker in the correct position relative to the listener, which usually means with the tweeter aimed at an imaginary point just behind the listener’s head. Note, though, that a few speakers are deliberately designed to be aimed directly ahead rather than at the listener, so always check the recommendations in the manual that comes with your particular loudspeaker before directing them inwards.
And stands do more than combatting early reflections. They also provide what’s called decoupling between your speakers and the floor (which is also known as mechanical isolation). We will let Otto describe their construction: “Take your typical Dynaudio Stand; you have feet with either spikes for solid floors or rubber for wooden ones at the bottom. Then you have a base plate that manages vibrations. Also, large base plates with feet far apart are more stable, making it harder for the speakers to fall over.
Many stands come with a compartment dedicated to sand and similarly heavy and well-damped materials. And there’s method in the madness. You see, the speaker plays music by moving its drive unit in and out to create sound pressure: when the drive unit pushes outwards, it creates sound pressure, but when it moves inwards it pushes the entire speaker backwards.