The function of a speaker cone or other driver is to push against the air, and create waves of compressed/ rarefied air.
Ideally, the speaker enclosure should be bolted or glued to the floor very solidly so that the speaker doesn't vibrate itself rather than the air. This is why floor spikes are used, so that the enclosure's mass is concentrated at points and this couples it solidly to the floor.
Putting the speaker on a stand is a problem unless the stand has enough mass, and floor spikes under the base, to couple the speaker rigidly to the floor. The speaker also needs to be solidly attached to the top of the stand. Spikes or thin double-faced mounting tape can be used under the speaker.
You want to do everything possible to couple the speaker enclosure rigidly to the floor, so it is moving air instead of just vibrating itself. If you do not, power is lost and the effective sensitivity of the speaker can be seriously reduced. This is especially problematical at lower frequencies.
This is why professional reviewers always use heavy metal stands, preferably welded together solidly, and with lead or steel shotgun shot filling the vertical column. You can buy bags of shot online or at gun stores.
That is what it takes to do the job properly and get decent bass (and clear midrange sound) out of speakers on stands.
Many people do not have well-made massive stands, and lose half of their bass. Many mid-sized speakers DO have good bass capability, but NOT if they are on stands that are not a solid foundation for them to operate from. Most people who own smaller speakers will never know how much bass their speakers can produce, because they put them on cheapass stands that seriously impair performance.
If you knock on the side of the speaker with your knuckles, and the speaker moves at all, you are losing a lot of your bass. Knocking on the side of the speaker should be like knocking on a concrete wall; it should be that solidly fixed to the floor via the stand.
It is just simple physics; to generate sound waves effectively, the "motor" (the speaker driver) must be rigidly attached to an immovable object (a solid floor). The only exception to this is where the speaker enclosure is sufficiently massive as to not require much added support (perhaps 50-100 pounds).
P.S.- it is theoretically possible to build a low-mass stand that would be good, BUT it would have to be a very rigid structure of some kind AND be solidly clamped to floor and speaker, which in practice would mean using bolts or epoxy at top and bottom or some other rigid fastening system.
Edited by commsysman - 8/22/12 at 2:19pm
Originally Posted by ShaQBlogs
i have been listening to guys who are like, u need heavy stands for acoustic reasons, prevent vibration, and so on. So a little lost what is right and what is BS