By Wilde Becker. Speaker Stands. At Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 19:02:19 PM.
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.
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.
Fortunately, we don’t need to balance the speaker on actual springs, as a suitably dense piece of acoustic foam can act as both spring and damper. The speaker cabinet provides mass — so sitting a speaker cabinet directly onto a piece of foam, such as an Auralex MoPad, will bring about an improvement in the amount of vibrational energy getting through to the desk. However, foam isn’t particularly rigid, so the cabinet may still tend to move back and forth slightly as the speaker cones move, especially if the speaker cabinet isn’t particularly heavy.
A cheap DIY option is to build a couple of towers by stacking concrete blocks or bricks. This low–cost approach really works — we’ve used it successfully on more than one Studio SOS visit — and because of the high mass, very little vibrational energy makes it through to the floor. Some people like the rugged appearance of bricks, but if it’s not to your taste you can always disguise them with cloth drapes, or even spray them gold if you like that kind of thing!
An isolation platform works in a similar way to a car’s suspension, and comprises three mechanical components: a spring, a mass supported by the spring, and some form of damping to prevent the sprung mass from continuing to bounce around. In a car you have the springs between the axles and the car body: the car body provides the mass and the shock absorbers provide the damping, to stop you having a bouncy ride.