By Wilde Becker. Speaker Stands. At Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 19:05:14 PM.
We might call them bookshelf speakers, but does that mean it’s a good idea to put them on one? Nothing is stopping you from doing it, but it’s your sound performance that’s at stake – and there’s much to lose – and, if you’ve just shelled out a significant amount for your new speakers, it’s a bad start to what should be a great investment.
The theory is that the mass and spring characteristics are chosen so that the resonant frequency of the combination is well below that of any frequency they’re likely to be asked to isolate. For example, if the lowest note a speaker can reproduce is 30Hz, then the resonant frequency of the supporting platform needs to be well below that — perhaps just a few Hertz or less.
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.
It’s physics: for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
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.
And stands are especially helpful in the low-frequency area, as this part of the frequency spectrum is omnidirectional and therefore more sensitive to surfaces nearby than the high-frequency area.