Spikes vs "soft feet" under speakers... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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What's the idea behind spikes under speakers?!?

I understand that "layman intuition" may be a factor here, that a spike feels solid and rigid to the touch and would make the speaker "stay absolutely still".

As an engineer, my intuition (and my experiments) indicate that spikes makes no sense whatsoever (edit: and I have Mr Newton and a bunch of other like really old guys hinting that my intuition aligns pretty well with with their work -work that kinda was essential to putting a man on the moon which elegedly worked out pretty OK). A bunch of spikes screwed tightly into a normal sized speaker, in my mind, is pretty much a high-Q resonant coupling to antother unknown, but not seldom resonant object (the floor).

If you want the speakers to stay still in the audible range and also not transfer any dicernible energy to other objects, a soft, "floating" coupling with a resonant frequency outside, preferably below the audible range, would be the best option.

So, why do the majority of speaker manufacturers ship their "high-end" speakers with spikes?!? It makes no sense whatsoever, unless you want the posibility of having both the speaker resonate at say 50-200Hz and also risking to have say, the wooden floor in the listening room chiming in-which the speaker manufacturers have pretty much no influence over whatsoever- they stand on emmit sound!?!

Enlighten me, please!

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post #2 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 01:25 PM
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"carpet" spikes...

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post #3 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 01:26 PM
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I have been intrigued myself. Being an engineer, it makes no basic sense. Separation , isolation using floating suspension makes better sense. Additionally, spikes are a hazard to self and the wood floor.
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post #4 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

"carpet" spikes...

U know me ccotenj. I will ask questions that are taken for granted. So why spikes on carpet? To prevent movement of speaker? That is it?
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post #5 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 01:55 PM
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So why spikes on carpet?

Stability. Nothing more.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #6 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 02:43 PM
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^^^

yup...

when mine were standing on a wood floor, i used sliders... now that they are on carpet, i use spikes...

- chris

 

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post #7 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hevi View Post

What's the idea behind spikes under speakers?!?

I understand that "layman intuition" may be a factor here, that a spike feels solid and rigid to the touch and would make the speaker "stay absolutely still".

As engineers, we know better. A speaker vibrates, and while one might reduce the vibration, it can't be eliminated. On balance, the vibration is usually small, and makes little difference.

Quote:


As an engineer, my intuition (and my experiments) indicate that spikes makes no sense whatsoever (edit: and I have Mr Newton and a bunch of other like really old guys hinting that my intuition aligns pretty well with with their work -work that kinda was essential to putting a man on the moon which allegedly worked out pretty OK). A bunch of spikes screwed tightly into a normal sized speaker, in my mind, is pretty much a high-Q resonant coupling to another unknown, but not seldom resonant object (the floor).

Another way to look at it is to consider the mass of the cone, which varies from a few grams to several hundred for the cone of a 18" subwoofer, and compare that to the mass of the enclosure which is always thousands and often tens of thousands of grams. Any cone motion is divided by the mass of what it acts against, which is generally a whole lot greater.

Quote:


If you want the speakers to stay still in the audible range and also not transfer any dicernible energy to other objects, a soft, "floating" coupling with a resonant frequency outside, preferably below the audible range, would be the best option.

As an experiment, one can compare the sound of a speaker that is hung by thin fishing line to the same speaker sitting on spikes. In the real world there ain't much difference.

Quote:


So, why do the majority of speaker manufacturers ship their "high-end" speakers with spikes?!? It makes no sense whatsoever, unless you want the posibility of having both the speaker resonate at say 50-200Hz and also risking to have say, the wooden floor in the listening room chiming in-which the speaker manufacturers have pretty much no influence over whatsoever- they stand on emmit sound!?!

Same reason why so many speakers have "biamp terminals" or "biwiring terminals". No good technical reason but someone told them that it matters.
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post #8 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 03:51 PM
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Me thinks you's overthinks this.

ÂIt's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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post #9 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

So why spikes on carpet?

The idea is that, provided they go deep enough, they will couple the speaker to the concrete or floor underneath. Which is the same thing they will do when there is no carpet. The corners of the cabinet are the most rigid points, structurally, and this is where you would want to couple them.

But please don't ask why you would want to do that. You can read plenty about spiking speakers online.

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post #10 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Stability. Nothing more.

Frankly speaking it is the stupidest idea ever. Spikes for stability? Seriously?

If you want stability, use the speaker legs supplied by def tech. I got some from Chet for my friends Infinity floor standers that came with stupid spikes. They work best on any kind of floor, be it carpet or wood floor.
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post #11 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 05:57 PM
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I,and many others, have measured the distortion that arises from speakers vibrating when not securely anchored. It is highly dependent upon the speaker, floor covering, base, etc. I am not sure it was ever audible even in the worst cases (that would be 'stats or my beloved Maggies -- those big panels can rock a little, no pun intended. )

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #12 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 06:24 PM
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I second sivadselim's answer. You want the speaker not to move and a spike through carpet as a "brake/resistance" to moving sideways and resting on concrete (no up and down) should do that.
I guess the same reason why some people put them on cinder blocks or heavy stands to solidify them.
You might not be able to eliminate all the vibration of the enclosure, but I would think you can dampen it. The pounds per square foot must be a lot higher on the spikes "surface" than flat on carpet which means more force is necessary to move them, right? The opposite would be to place them on ball bearings. I am no engineer, so correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #13 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 06:56 PM
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I read this speaker spikes and understand why they might be important. I am awaiting these in the mail Bello Speaker Stands and I will use the spikes. Because I have 4 kids under 13 running around, I was thinking of velcro-ing my bookshelfs to the stand to avoid any accidental knocking over thinking that they would really have to crush the stand to knock over everything if the speaker is velcroed to the stand.

Is this a major NO-NO? Or will I be ok?
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post #14 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 07:21 PM
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I think the fancy protruding feet of the bello stands makes it prone to get knocked over.
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post #15 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratm View Post

I read this speaker spikes and understand why they might be important. I am awaiting these in the mail Bello Speaker Stands and I will use the spikes. Because I have 4 kids under 13 running around, I was thinking of velcro-ing my bookshelfs to the stand to avoid any accidental knocking over thinking that they would really have to crush the stand to knock over everything if the speaker is velcroed to the stand.

Is this a major NO-NO? Or will I be ok?

use blu tack to hold them to the stands...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

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post #16 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

I think the fancy protruding feet of the bello stands makes it prone to get knocked over.

I haven't gotten them yet, but from the pics, the base looks fairly wide, and the spikes don't looks to be more than a 1/2 inch or so.
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post #17 of 60 Old 04-17-2012, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

use blu tack to hold them to the stands...

Or maybe Super Glue, though with four kids under 13 they can probably take out stands, speakers, walls, doors...

Guess this is not the place to discuss bolting speakers to stands, and stands to the floor, in a bar I worked at in my youth?

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #18 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 01:12 AM
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Blu Tack works great.
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post #19 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jdcrox View Post

Blu Tack works great.

Yes, it actually makes sense, and does something that you can reliably perceive!
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post #20 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Yes, it actually makes sense, and does something that you can reliably perceive!


lol!

another recommendation for blue tack.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #21 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Or maybe Super Glue, though with four kids under 13 they can probably take out stands, speakers, walls, doors...

Guess this is not the place to discuss bolting speakers to stands, and stands to the floor, in a bar I worked at in my youth?

he might want to bolt the stands to the floor...

was that the kind of bar where they also screwed the chairs and tables to the floor to keep them from being used in fights?

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post #22 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 09:23 AM
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ratm, I think the speakers might be safer if you bolt the kids to the floor.
bobkat likes this.
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post #23 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

ratm, I think the speakers might be safer if you bolt the kids to the floor.

Little Johnny: "Mommy, Mommy, why do I keep walking around in circles?"

Mommy: "Shut up, Little Johnny, or I'll nail your other foot to the floor."

/rimshot

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post #24 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 12:44 PM
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^ There be laws against those jokes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

was that the kind of bar where they also screwed the chairs and tables to the floor to keep them from being used in fights?

We gave up on that. It was an interesting place to work.

Curious about Blu Tack as I have never used it: will it actually grip and hold the speaker tight enough to not fall? And if so, what if you need to pull the speaker off the stand (e.g. to replace a driver after the kids threw a ball into it )?

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #25 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratm View Post

I haven't gotten them yet, but from the pics, the base looks fairly wide, and the spikes don't looks to be more than a 1/2 inch or so.

exactly. it is wide, and not in a symmetrical or predictable fashion. Therefore i predict that somebody walking past it will unintentionally hit their foot to the protruding feet.

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post #26 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 12:46 PM
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^^^ If it's a wooden floor, just take a sledge and drive the spikes into the floor...

Alternatively, you could place some decorative plants, pots, bricks, whatever around them to make the extensions more visible.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #27 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

We gave up on that. It was an interesting place to work.

Curious about Blu Tack as I have never used it: will it actually grip and hold the speaker tight enough to not fall? And if so, what if you need to pull the speaker off the stand (e.g. to replace a driver after the kids threw a ball into it )?

i bet it was...

re: blu tack... yup... plenty strong to hold it on there...

yea, they come off easily enough with a little elbow grease... i would caution against using too much though... when i sold my sierras to another user here, it took a considerable amount of elbow grease to get one of them off the stand...

i use blu tack as a defense against the submersives on many things in my house... it's right up there with duct tape in terms of usefulness...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #28 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

exactly. it is wide, and not in a symmetrical or predictable fashion. Therefore i predict that somebody walking past it will unintentionally hit their foot to the protruding feet.


Holy spikes, Batman. Those things scream bad trip and fall + bad injuries = expensive lawsuit for inherently dangerous design against manufacturer.

This is why products need a common sense QA person examining them before final approval. Those things are inherently dangerous for home use.
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post #29 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 01:49 PM
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I like Sorbothane sheets. Sticky and dampening in one product...
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post #30 of 60 Old 04-18-2012, 02:20 PM
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LMAO @ all the comments about my kids. My 7 year old learned the Kimura "from side control" (as he likes to say) and wants to practice on my 5 year old all the time. "But Daddy, he's not tapping"...

sigh...

enough of digressing, so now I have to rethink these stands. DIY is out so not even an option. I could not install the spikes if that would be a "safer" route. I was going to go with these HTD Stands to match the Level 3 Bookshelfs that I just ordered and have on the way. Thoughts?
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