Published at Wednesday, July 31st 2019, 07:41:29 AM. Speaker Stands. By Emestina Krause.
Where vibrations are allowed to leak into any studio furniture or wooden floors, the audible result is often a blurring of the bass and lower mid range, as well as a deterioration in the stereo image. By using an appropriate stand or platform, the bass end should tighten up to a very noticeable degree, leaving the mids sounding clearer and the imaging better defined.
If you already have a speaker stand with spikes and your floor is made of wood, then you should consider putting some form of isolation platform between the speaker and the stand, to prevent the cabinet vibrations reaching the stand and, through it, the floor. Avoid flimsy stands that move or rock when you touch them. If the final assembly doesn’t feel completely solid, avoid it.
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.
One way to improve the situation is to add mass by means of a platform fixed to the top surface of the foam. Primacoustic do this in their Recoil Stabilizer by using a very thick steel slab with rubber matting on top, while Auralex and other companies use MDF topped with dense rubber on their more up–market platforms. IsoAcoustics take yet a different approach, by using a frame made from rigid components joined by resilient isolators.
One of the roles of an effective speaker support is to prevent such vibrations from being transferred into other structures, such as wooden floors, desktops, shelves or mixer meterbridges. It should also hold the speaker as firmly as possible, to reduce movement due to the action/reaction effect.
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.
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.