By Wilde Becker. Speaker Stands. At Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 19:03:18 PM.
A speaker platform is designed primarily to provide a degree of mechanical isolation between the speaker and the surface upon which it is placed, while keeping the speaker firmly in place. This is particularly important when siting speakers on lightweight desks or shelves, as these can easily be set into vibration if in direct contact with a speaker cabinet.
And according to Otto Jørgensen, this is where you have the most to gain from acquiring a pair of speaker stands: “The most impactful benefit of getting stands is added distance between your speakers and surfaces. It keeps early reflections to a minimum. And that’s especially important for the speakers’ low-end performance.”
You can make a speaker move less in many different ways, and one of those is by adding more mass to the speaker and the stand; making it harder for the speaker to move. That’s why you’ll find a sand compartment in most stands.
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.
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.