By Wilde Becker. Speaker Stands. At Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 19:06:43 PM.
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!
Their smaller stands are made from a type of plastic and their larger ones from cast metal. All are perfectly valid approaches. Note that some speakers, such as certain Genelec models and Event’s Opals, already come with resilient isolating platforms or feet and so may not need additional treatment.
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.
Even if you already have a loudspeaker stand, you can still use one of these foam–based speaker platforms on top of it to reduce the amount of vibration getting into the stand and subsequently into the floor. Many of the commercially available platforms come with additional foam wedges that may be used to adjust the vertical angle of the speaker if necessary.
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.
Subwoofers can be placed directly onto solid floors, but an isolation platform of some type will help clean up the sound if that floor is made of wood or chipboard. It isn’t a good idea to position subs very far from the floor — up to about 150mm shouldn’t present a problem, but more than that and the reflections can start to cause issues.