Published at Monday, July 29th 2019, 02:17:03 AM. Speaker Stands. By Conradina Scholz.
Fortunately, we don’t need to balance the speaker on actual springs, as a suitably dense piece of acoustic foam can act as both spring and damper. The speaker cabinet provides mass — so sitting a speaker cabinet directly onto a piece of foam, such as an Auralex MoPad, will bring about an improvement in the amount of vibrational energy getting through to the desk. However, foam isn’t particularly rigid, so the cabinet may still tend to move back and forth slightly as the speaker cones move, especially if the speaker cabinet isn’t particularly heavy.
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.
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 do more than combatting early reflections. They also provide what’s called decoupling between your speakers and the floor (which is also known as mechanical isolation). We will let Otto describe their construction: “Take your typical Dynaudio Stand; you have feet with either spikes for solid floors or rubber for wooden ones at the bottom. Then you have a base plate that manages vibrations. Also, large base plates with feet far apart are more stable, making it harder for the speakers to fall over.
Their smaller stands are made from a type of plastic and their larger ones from cast metal. All are perfectly valid approaches. Note that some speakers, such as certain Genelec models and Event’s Opals, already come with resilient isolating platforms or feet and so may not need additional treatment.
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.
Furthermore, in accordance with Newton’s third law of motion (each action has an equal and opposite reaction), whenever the speaker cone moves in one direction it will try to push the speaker cabinet the other way.