Published at Monday, July 29th 2019, 02:17:13 AM. Speaker Stands. By Hardtman Fuchs.
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!
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.
If you already have a pair of simple foam speaker platforms, you can improve their performance simply by gluing a heavy floor tile to the top. Ordinary contact adhesive works fine for this. Then you can either glue some kitchen mat to the upper surface, to provide some grip, or use Blu–Tack, as discussed earlier, between the tile and the loudspeaker.
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.
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!
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.”
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.