Published at Wednesday, July 31st 2019, 07:41:41 AM. Speaker Stands. By Hardtman Fuchs.
Whether you use stands or platforms depends on what else you have in your system: usually you’ll pick whichever makes it easiest to get your speakers into the right physical position without them being occluded by other equipment, such as computer screens.
To sum up, the platforms with a heavy plate of some type on top are the most effective, though you can add mass very easily to any type of support by using floor tiles. Similarly, the more massive and better damped a speaker stand, the less vibrational energy is likely to make it through to the floor and less the stand itself will vibrate. Compared with the cost of speakers, adding suitable stands or platforms is relatively inexpensive, yet it can make a very worthwhile improvement to the overall sound quality!
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!
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.
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.
Thus, the sand provides dampening, but it also prevents the stand from ringing when it’s excited by the right frequencies – another handy little add-on.
If the output from the sub seems uneven, you need to try and find a location where it produces a less lumpy response. A good tip for doing this is to temporarily place the sub where you normally sit to mix, and then listen at different places around the edges of the room while playing back a same level chromatic (semitone) scale of sine waves from a sampler until you find the spot that produce the most consistent level across all notes.