Published at Monday, July 29th 2019, 02:17:03 AM. Speaker Stands. By Conradina Scholz.
An isolation platform works in a similar way to a car’s suspension, and comprises three mechanical components: a spring, a mass supported by the spring, and some form of damping to prevent the sprung mass from continuing to bounce around. In a car you have the springs between the axles and the car body: the car body provides the mass and the shock absorbers provide the damping, to stop you having a bouncy ride.
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!
That’s where you need to put the sub. If your sub has a phase adjustment knob, or a polarity–invert switch, adjust this until you hear the loudest result from frequencies around the crossover point, typically 80 to 120 Hz.
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 might call them bookshelf speakers, but does that mean it’s a good idea to put them on one? Nothing is stopping you from doing it, but it’s your sound performance that’s at stake – and there’s much to lose – and, if you’ve just shelled out a significant amount for your new speakers, it’s a bad start to what should be a great investment.
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.
There you have it; the basics of why you should consider stands for your bookshelf speakers. As with much in hi-fi, this is only the introduction to a massive subject, but it serves as a good understanding of stands function and what they can do for your hi-fi system. And they can do a lot for providing your speakers with the optimal condition for top-notch performance.