The use of spikes on speakers and other questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I am in the process to purchase some floorstanding speakers and I have a couple of question regarding the use of the spikes beneath them.

I know spikes will help to prevent reverberation so it is my intention to use them right from the begining. But, since these are floorstanders, I am a bit worried about damaging them while cleaning the house with the vaccum (either my wife or me). So I was searching for an idea to prevent this and I came accross this picture :



As you can see, he had placed some blocks under his 704s and this is what I actually want to do. So that way, there are less chances to damages the cabinets.

Since I don't know what material he used to make those blocks, I plan to use some granit, cut to size (about 2 inches all around). So, the spikes under the speakers would be in contact with the granit surface (all leveled up) but my floor is far from perfectly flat (oak hardwood) so is it better to use some spikes again under the granit or simply use to fabrics to prevent scratching the floor? Will this impact sound?

Thanks for your help,

Serge
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 11:51 AM
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why not just put small pads under each spike..?

furniture moving pads come in all sizes, and should not effect sound at all. double bonus you can move the speaker easily.

my mirage omni 550's came with spikes which i use, but they also came with a small disc to go under each spike tip.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 12:22 PM
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The whole idea of spikes is to couple the speaker to the floor. If you put pads under the spikes, why use spikes at all?

Same with the blocks. The whole idea is to couple the speaker to the floor. By using blocks or pads under the spikes, you are isolating the speaker from the floor rather than coupling it.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

The whole idea of spikes is to couple the speaker to the floor. If you put pads under the spikes, why use spikes at all?

Same with the blocks. The whole idea is to couple the speaker to the floor. By using blocks or pads under the spikes, you are isolating the speaker from the floor rather than coupling it.

Not really. Placing a block beneath the speakers (assuming it is flat and mates well with the floor surface) will certainly not isolate the speaker from the floor.

The idea behind spikes is to help "decouple" the cabinet from the floor surface. While the cabinet isn't truly decoupled, the very small surface area of the spike tips does reduce the amount of vibration transmitted to the floor structure, as compared to a no-spike situation.

Spikes also provide stability for situations when a speaker is placed on a thick carpet and pad. There is nothing wrong with placing furniture pads or metal discs under spikes to prevent them from marring a wood/tile floor.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 12:34 PM
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And all this time I thought that spikes were primarily used to couple speakers, especially subs, to the floor when that floor is carpeted.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 12:52 PM
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. There is nothing wrong with placing furniture pads or metal discs under spikes to prevent them from marring a wood/tile floor.[/quote]






thats what i thought. had to go back to my manual for the mirage 550's they recommend putting the discs under the spikes on wood surfaces.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 12:53 PM
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what the heck happened with the text..????????????????????
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

And all this time I thought that spikes were primarily used to couple speakers, especially subs, to the floor when that floor is carpeted.

spikes are meant to penetrate carpets.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 01:17 PM
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Hmmmm....seems to me that spikes do nothing at all. If you are on a subfloor your going to get vibration no mater what if you play loud music. If you are on a slab, then what vibration will you have?
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post

what the heck happened with the text..????????????????????

What do you mean?










My subs play all the way down to 0 Hz!!! It's so low you can't hear or feel anything.

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post #11 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kchill View Post

Hmmmm....seems to me that spikes do nothing at all. If you are on a subfloor your going to get vibration no mater what if you play loud music. If you are on a slab, then what vibration will you have?

Did you read my post above? If not, read it, if yes, read it again.

Yes a slab will be harder to set into motion because of its greater mass.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkninja67 View Post

spikes are meant to penetrate carpets.

Yup. !!

Ya know, on a thickly carpeted floor, I have tried spikes on full range speakers and tried them without, and I couldn't tell the difference.

But, on my M&K 250thx subs, the spikes made a major improvement. Clearly audible.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

Yup. !!

Ya know, on a thickly carpeted floor, I have tried spikes on full range speakers and tried them without, and I couldn't tell the difference.

But, on my M&K 250thx subs, the spikes made a major improvement. Clearly audible.

tha's because the full range speaker is a completely different array.

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post #14 of 16 Old 03-07-2008, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynberg View Post

The idea behind spikes is to help "decouple" the cabinet from the floor surface. While the cabinet isn't truly decoupled, the very small surface area of the spike tips does reduce the amount of vibration transmitted to the floor structure, as compared to a no-spike situation.

Quote from my M&K 150THX Subs.

"By mounting these spikes into the threaded inserts mounted in the bottom of the subwoofer, you can elevate the sub, and on carpet, COUPLE it more tightly to the floor"
-----M&K

They didn't say "decouple". They said "couple".

The way I understand it is that the issue is not the amount of vibration transmitted to the floor structure, but the amount of wasted energy that the sub cabinet reproduces when spikes are not employed.

Another quote from a review of Mission Speakers

"Now spikes may not sound like much, but they do two very important things. Firstly they couple (not isolate) the subwoofer's cabinet to the ground. They do this efficiently by being sharp, punching through carpet, rugs, small children's feet and 35 years of under-carpet grime and gunge, to get to grips with Mother Earth (or as near as possible). A good spike will actually sink a very short way into the floor, in this case being quarry tiles, and bed itself firmly to prevent lateral movement of the subwoofer. Once effectively attached to Mother Earth, all cabinet resonance is transmitted down the spike..........

Now maybe, there are some other theories at play here, but it has always been my understanding that spikes "couple" the speaker to the floor to eliminate cabinet resonances, thereby eliminating wasted energy........and if that's the case, than anything between the spike and the floor would contradict what they are used for in the first place.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-08-2008, 07:15 PM
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There's some mix of terms here...that is all.

BTW, I'm a professionally licensed acoustical engineer...the people writing advertising and reviewing equipment are probably lucky to have made it past algebra...
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-08-2008, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynberg View Post

There's some mix of terms here...that is all.

BTW, I'm a professionally licensed acoustical engineer...the people writing advertising and reviewing equipment are probably lucky to have made it past algebra...

Sigh.............I read your profile before I quoted the above. While I respect your credentials as a licensed acoustical engineer, I also respect the engineers who designed the M&K speaker line, and I have no doubt that those same engineers had some input into putting together their owners manuals prior to them suggesting, and the reasons that they suggest the use of spikes on their subwoofers. I would think that the engineers at M&K, a speaker line that dominated the dubbing, sound mixing and post production facilities within the movie industry, made it a lot further than just algebra.

But in all due respect to you and to M&K, even professionals within their fields will disagree.

As a matter of fact, when you look at both reasons why spikes are used, yours and M&K's may both be right in that spikes can be used to both eliminate floor vibrations that can cause problems............and also eliminate wasted subwoofer energy due to cabinet resonances.

"Couple" and "decouple" I think is where the confusion is. Also, it just doesn't make logical sense to me to put a coin or some kind of round wafer between the spike and the floor. The whole reason to get a spike in the first place is to minimize the contact area of the cabinet with the floor and direct all of the weight, resonances, and energy down to nothing but 4 small spikes. If you then put something underneath the spike, thereby increasing the contact area, why get spikes in the first place? Just doesn't make logical sense to me, but then, I'm not an acoustical engineer, so what in the hell do I know?
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