Floor spikes - how much of a difference do they really make? - AVS Forum
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking at getting some floor spikes for my speakers/subs and I've been reading up on different brands/types. I've noticed A LOT of extremely dramatic tales of speakers sounding 5.7 million times better than they did before they stuck a few spikes underneath.

One thing that struck me as absolutely ridiculous was when I checked out some stories on BDR cones. I checked out 2 different "models" - the mk3 and mk4. Apparently the mk3 gives a warmer sound with greater bass response while the mk4 sounds colder with an emphasis on higher frequencies. What was even more ridiculous was the idea that you can mix and match to get the perfect sound. Say you buy a set of mk3 cones and your speakers sound too warm and bass heavy (hypothetically of course ), well apparently you can stick one mk4 cone on and it will cool it right down and bring the mid and high range back into the mix.

This sounds absurd to me like so much other audio "theory". I was planning on buying a few sets of $20 Dayton spikes (4 in a set) from Parts Express. Am I fine doing this or is it actually worth investing a bit more money into a higher end product?
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:30 PM
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There is a thread on AudioKarma asking this same question, and most of the responses that detail objective data pretty much debunk all of the "de-coupling" myths about floor spikes. One thing they really do help with though, is preventing the speakers from moving. I found this particularly useful with certain subwoofers, like the Sunfire True subs. Those things love to walk across the floor at moderate to high volumes, so for mine, I picked up some PE floor spikes for about $5, and put them into the sub cabinet to keep it planted.
I've also been told the spikes do wonders for preventing the wife from moving the towers around while vacuuming.. but that again, is just rumor.

Personally I could see where they might help in some small way if your cabinet has a lot of resonance perhaps, but my mains are 75 pounds each, and as inert as can be. I can crank them and stand a nickel on it's edge on the top of one and the nickel won't move, so I can't really see the spikes making any audible difference to be honest. I've done this trick with the rubber feet on laminate floors, and on carpet with spikes. Same result. The nickel doesn't fall. Spikes can make speakers look pretty fancy though. Especially if you use the feet under them on a platform like so..


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Old 05-18-2012, 10:51 PM
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I agree with the wolf.

My spikes keep my speakers planted on the carpet and do a darn good job of it.

I'm sure my speakers would kick a** if they had spikes or not.

Stay with the best deal you can find and feel good about it.

Spinning the rear tire at 150mph while at 3/4 lean angle will put wrinkles in your seat
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:04 PM
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My Energy RC-50 towers came with spikes that I could put in or not. I went a while without using them, and had them on their base alone (minus the spikes). Since I had a young toddler I didn't want to risk having them any less stable to where they could be pushed over, so I avoided the spikes.

Once my daughter got a little older and less interested in the towers, I added the spikes. My carpet is pretty thin, but I think it made a difference. 5.7 million times better?.....No. But better?.....Yes. First off being in an apartment, I noticed the resonance from the cabinet itself wasn't felt through the floor (which would be my neighbor's ceiling) so it helped with that, as well as the speaker sounded "lighter". Not sure how else to describe it, but as incremental as it was, it was a positive change.

Like everything speaker-wise, this is one of those things that different people like and don't like. Part of it depends on the floor (carpet, wood, laminate) or the acoustics of the room. You should try it out and see for yourself. Maybe even if it's just a pair of speakers or the sub, to see how it sounds in your room. Then outfit the rest if it helps.

For those looking into getting Energy speakers, or upgrading their current Energy setup, here are some reviews I've written that may help:http://www.tempestaudio.blogspot.com  (haven't updated in a while, but include Energy Take Classic 5.1, RC-10, CF-70, and CC-10)

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Old 05-19-2012, 12:48 AM
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The primary reason for using floor spikes is that the bass quality can be poor when you put a speaker on carpeting.

The speaker is trying to move large amounts of air when it produces bass, and pushes against the air to do this.

Putting the speaker on a soft surface like carpeting actually wastes some of the bass energy. because the speaker will actually dissipate some of the bass energy by vibrating the entire cabinet back and forth rather than holding still and transferring all of the bass energy to the air.

By having spikes that go through the carpet and put the speaker weight directly on the solid floor beneath, the speaker cabinet is on a solid platform and is held solid so power transfer to the air is much more efficient.

Think of trying to push a car when your feet are in soft mud. You could do better if your feet were on solid ground, right? Having the speaker sit on soft carpet is the same kind of problem. Your speaker needs a solid foundation to push against when it moves air. Carpeting doesn't cut it.

Most spikes are aluminum or steel. It doesn't really matter much what they are, as long as they have sharp points to poke through the carpet and pad and contact the concrete or wood below, and are rigidly attached to the speaker cabinet.

Many speaker cabinets have threaded inserts screwed or glued into the base of the cabinet, and the spikes screw into them and are locked tight with a lock nut.

If you don't have threaded holes for them, they can be attached to the speaker base by using epoxy glue.




Quote:
Originally Posted by RTSW View Post

I'm looking at getting some floor spikes for my speakers/subs and I've been reading up on different brands/types. I've noticed A LOT of extremely dramatic tales of speakers sounding 5.7 million times better than they did before they stuck a few spikes underneath.


This sounds absurd to me like so much other audio "theory". I was planning on buying a few sets of $25 Dayton spikes from Parts Express. Am I fine doing this or is it actually worth investing a bit more money into a higher end product?

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Old 05-19-2012, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Cheers for the replies.

GlassWolf - I have pretty much the exact same situation, my mains are 70lbs each. Was that $5 per spike? If it was that works out about the same as the Dayton spikes I'm looking at ($22 per set of 4 if you buy 4+ sets).

Macstatic - That's what I'm expecting; reduced resonance and an improvement in clarity, plus the tweeters will be raised to ear level. I was just wondering if there is any reason to spend the extra $$$ on the more "exotic" spikes out there, obviously there isn't!

commsysman - Thanks for the info, I'd definitely like improved bass response (as I'm sure we all do)! My mains do have threads for spikes however my subs don't.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTSW View Post

Am I fine doing this or is it actually worth investing a bit more money into a higher end product?

You get as much benefit from spikes as you do from these:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

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Old 05-19-2012, 07:12 AM
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If your speakers are moving (on their own). I'd say it's time to replace them.

Are there any measurable improvements in bass with or without spikes? I'm skeptical.

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Old 05-19-2012, 07:14 AM
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LOL! Nevermind, I just opened the link Bill provided. I think I have my answer.

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Old 05-19-2012, 07:43 AM
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Speakers moving while producing bass. Lol. Must be cheap ass speakers.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

You get as much benefit from spikes as you do from these:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

Do you think attaching the pebbles to the spikes that are attached to the speakers would give a flat frequency response from 1hz to over 100khz?

Thanks for the responses all, I'll be grabbing the cheapest spikes I can. I'm only getting them to raise the speakers to a better listening position and prevent the bases from making contact with the floor. Oh and they look pretty good too.

Nethawk - I should have mentioned in my first post; the cabinets don't move in the slightest, nor do they vibrate even at extreme volumes.

Also apologies for a somewhat stupid thread. I'm still a neophyte to a lot of this so I'm trying to get straight answers on everything, and this forum is by far the best for that.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:51 AM
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There's no such thing as a stupid question my friend. It's all in how you apply the knowledge gained.

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Old 05-19-2012, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTSW View Post

Cheers for the replies.

GlassWolf - I have pretty much the exact same situation, my mains are 70lbs each. Was that $5 per spike? If it was that works out about the same as the Dayton spikes I'm looking at ($22 per set of 4 if you buy 4+ sets).

I used these fancy gold dayton spikes for my KEF Reference 104/2 mains because they had the exact same thread pattern as the originals, and made a nice match to the rosewood veneers
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=240-718

For the Sunfire sub, I used these less expensive ones, since the cabinet is small, black, and they'd be unseen. $3.50 for 4, 3/8" base. PE has a 1/2 base version for about $5, too.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=240-725

The thread isn't stupid. We all learned the differences between audiophilia myth and fact by either researching, testing, or asking, or in some cases, spending years in college studying Engineering or a related field.. haha We all started somewhere. We're all still learning.

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Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

Speakers moving while producing bass. Lol. Must be cheap ass speakers.

Apparently you haven't seen a Sunfire True Subwoofer. I have a Mk II which uses a 10" driver and 10" passive radiator, in an 11" cubed enclosure, with a 2700 watt plate amplifier. The sub weighs 50 lbs, only has rubber feet suited to hard flooring, and even with those rubber feet, will walk acrss the floor as shown in the below video found on YT. The sub retailed for $1250 about ten years ago. Now the new version sells for $1600. It's anything but a cheapass sub. That thing can shake the entire house.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zPjXIHDD4c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_mp-Lenl8Y

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Old 05-19-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post


Are there any measurable improvements in bass with or without spikes? I'm skeptical.

No. I've measured with and without them on various cabs, there's no difference. If there was I'd use and recommend them. I didn't measure Magic Pebbles, though, so maybe I missed the boat there.

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Old 05-19-2012, 11:28 AM
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Glasswolf, i was referring to speakers, ie bookshelves and floorstanders, and not powered subwoofers. Even then, to me it means that the sunfire is not an optimal design. Room for improvement for the sunfire folks
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:02 PM
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Spikes are for stabilizing not sound improvement. My RTi A9 speakers are heavy and tall at 48" and wobble considerably on carpet without the spikes installed in the feet. Subs can actually dance across the floor if powerful enough. Spikes would keep them in place on carpet.

Onkyo TX-NR3009 - Emotiva XPA-2 300 WPC - Polk Audio RTiA9 Mains - CSiA6 Center - F/XiA6 Surrounds - Dual PSA XV-15se Subwoofers - Epson 5030UB Projector - Monoprice Multi-format 106" HD Gray screen - Samsung BD-F5900 3D Bluray - WDTV Live HD Media Player with 6TB External Storage - Nintendo Wii - XBox 360 - Logitech Harmony One, and custom DIY media console...
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

You get as much benefit from spikes as you do from these:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

You must have visited Sedona, AZ!! My one Paradigm Monitor 9 is sitting 12" from my Rythmik FV15 and it hasn't moved as yet. And I took my spikes off after I ran the sub. Also, I have my crossover at 80hz for the mains so not expecting speaker to move anyway.

Jeff
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:48 PM
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Good selection of spikes at reasonable cost:
http://www.oregondv.com/spikes.htm

I use the $4.75/set of four spikes to keep my towers stable on the carpet. Not fancy but they do the trick.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

You get as much benefit from spikes as you do from these:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

Which are NOT to be confused with these

Brilliant Pebbles was a non-nuclear system of satellite-based interceptors designed to use high-velocity, watermelon-sized, teardrop-shaped projectiles made of tungsten as kinetic warheads. It was designed to operate in conjunction with the Brilliant Eyes sensor system and would have detected and destroyed missiles without any external guidance. The project was conceived in November 1986.

John H. Nuckolls, director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1988 to 1994, described the system as The crowning achievement of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Some of the technologies developed for SDI were used in numerous later projects. For example, the sensors and cameras that were developed for Brilliant Pebbles became components of the Clementine mission and SDI technologies may also have a role in future missile defense efforts.

Though regarded as one of the most capable SDI systems, the Brilliant Pebbles program was canceled in 1994 by the BMDO.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:41 AM
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I need to get access to a metal lathe now so I can make some cable elevators! hahaha I mean I have such sexy cables I've made, I may as well elevate them, right? Yum.

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Old 05-21-2012, 09:28 AM
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I use spikes to keep my speakers form "being moved" during house cleaning, party's and such. Sound improvement? I don't know...
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:49 AM
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Can I come to one of your parties? I'm guessing if subs are moving around they're pretty wild

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Old 05-21-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

I need to get access to a metal lathe now so I can make some cable elevators! hahaha I mean I have such sexy cables I've made, I may as well elevate them, right? Yum.

You really should try cable escalators! The constant upward motion really makes a huge difference throughout the audible spectrum.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vraxoin View Post

You really should try cable escalators! The constant upward motion really makes a huge difference throughout the audible spectrum.

I'm guessing this would really help make highs from my tweeters stand out, no?

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Old 11-25-2012, 11:40 PM
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Glass Wolf: Where did you get those platforms? They look like a good solution. I just moved into a new home, with new carpet (previous home had hardwood floors). I have tall heavy floordstanders and I'm worried about them tipping over because of the soft carpet as they are not very stabl;e right now. I don't want to spike through the new carpet and risk a divorce.
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