By Wilde Becker. Speaker Stands. At Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 19:05:16 PM.
If you already have a pair of simple foam speaker platforms, you can improve their performance simply by gluing a heavy floor tile to the top. Ordinary contact adhesive works fine for this. Then you can either glue some kitchen mat to the upper surface, to provide some grip, or use Blu–Tack, as discussed earlier, between the tile and the loudspeaker.
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.
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!
Furthermore, in accordance with Newton’s third law of motion (each action has an equal and opposite reaction), whenever the speaker cone moves in one direction it will try to push the speaker cabinet the other way.
You could just plonk your speaker onto the top of your chosen stand, of course, but it’s best to have the speaker fixed to the stand in some way, because otherwise it can slide around. One popular and effective method is to place blobs of Blu–Tack under each corner; this acts as both a removable adhesive and as a damping medium. Another alternative is to use high–friction rubber matting, of the type sold for workshops and kitchens.