By Wilde Becker. Speaker Stands. At Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 19:06:15 PM.
If you visit the various hi–fi forums you’ll find a number of conflicting views on what the best material to use is, but there’s often little to back up people’s claims, and I’d suggest that that way lies madness! Dry playground sand works just fine, and you can even leave it inside plastic bags if you wish to avoid things getting messy.
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.
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.”
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.
We tend to think of a loudspeaker as a fixed box that produces sound directly from the moving cones of the speakers (and, where the speaker is ported, from the port as well). Although that is certainly where most of the sound comes from, the reality is that no matter how rigid the cabinet is there will also be some vibration of the cabinet walls.
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.