Published at Monday, July 29th 2019, 02:17:15 AM. Speaker Stands. By Edsel Zimmermann.
The heavier the stand, the less it will move, and with many hi–fi and pro–audio speaker stands (including many of the models made by Atacama, for example), it’s possible to fill the hollow support column with a heavy material to add mass and to damp resonances. This could be sand, shot or any other heavy but well–damped material.
You may have noticed that some speaker stands are fitted with spikes on the base, which help to make a rigid and stable contact with the floor. As long as the stands are both robust and stable, this strategy works well on solid floors, but you may find that it causes problems on wooden floors, due to vibrations from the speaker cabinet being transferred to the floor via the rigid stand and spikes. The floor will then act as the king of soundboards!
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.
Of course, you do still need to attend to room reflections by adding some basic acoustic treatment — but that’s another subject and one that we have covered on numerous occasions in our Studio SOS series.
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.
No, it’s not because we don’t like your bookshelf. It’s probably really good looking. But, bookshelves, sideboards, TV-boards and tables all share a common drawback: surfaces. You don’t want surfaces close to your speakers, as surfaces can cause early reflections that colour and distort the sound image – that’s also why we recommend getting your speakers away from corners and walls.
And, of course, it needs to put the speaker in the correct position relative to the listener, which usually means with the tweeter aimed at an imaginary point just behind the listener’s head. Note, though, that a few speakers are deliberately designed to be aimed directly ahead rather than at the listener, so always check the recommendations in the manual that comes with your particular loudspeaker before directing them inwards.