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Why put spikes on speakers ?  

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to know if it made a difference to have spikes on a floor standing speaker..

I never had spikes on each of my 180lb speakers. They'd probably dig a deep hole into my wood floors. :eek:

So what diff. do they make ?

Thanks for the info.

Regards,
Jose
post #2 of 23
Better traction on wet fields.

Kal
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose_L
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to know if it made a difference to have spikes on a floor standing speaker..

I never had spikes on each of my 180lb speakers. They'd probably dig a deep hole into my wood floors. :eek:

So what diff. do they make ?

Thanks for the info.

Regards,
Jose
If you had carpeting instead of wood floors, spikes can sometimes provide a small measure of protection against tipping the speaker over.

If you search this forum, you will also find that some people believe:

a) spikes couple the speaker to the room
or
b) spikes decouple the speaker from the room

Most speakers with spikes also come with rubber feet that will slip over them to prevent them from scratching a floor (my Klipsch did). If you have them, try slipping them on. It the speakers sound better to you then you have another tweak that works.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose_L
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to know if it made a difference to have spikes on a floor standing speaker..

I never had spikes on each of my 180lb speakers. They'd probably dig a deep hole into my wood floors. :eek:

So what diff. do they make ?

Thanks for the info.

Regards,
Jose
How would they play golf? :confused:

Seriously, I was wondering what those thingies were.
post #5 of 23
Well, my front towers are a bit top-heavy and narrow, so they are very prone to tipping if someone bumped into one, the cats went nuts or whatever. The carpet spikes I have on them prevent this by providing a very solid connection to the floor (carpet).
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
Better traction on wet fields.

Kal
:chuckle:


If your speakers are sitting on a flat, firm surface, they should be less prone to exhibit a rocking motion.
If they are sitting on a carpeted surface, this could make the speaker less stable and more prone to rocking.
Some of the oscillating force produced by the speaker's drivers will be transferred to their enclosure and if left unchecked will cause the entire speaker to oscillate.
This could adversely affect imaging. Though I've never, knowingly, experienced this, it seems sensible.

The spikes penetrate the soft carpet/pad to reach the firmer, more stable surface beneath. Also, they can provide a means to vary the tilt to better match each other when placed on an uneven surface. This I have experienced and is a useful adjustment.
post #7 of 23
Spikes will minimize the amount of sound that is transferred from the speaker to the floor, which may improve the sound quality (though I haven't really noticed it). But more importantly for those of us who live in apartments, less sound transferred into the floor means that neighbours living below you are less likely to hear your speakers thumping around.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTimeCRX
Spikes will minimize the amount of sound that is transferred from the speaker to the floor, which may improve the sound quality (though I haven't really noticed it). But more importantly for those of us who live in apartments, less sound transferred into the floor means that neighbours living below you are less likely to hear your speakers thumping around.
Interesting.
My experience has shown me the exact opposite to be true.

It's like Kal said, the spikes have better traction.
post #9 of 23
Spikes go through the carpet for a stable surface.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTimeCRX
Spikes will minimize the amount of sound that is transferred from the speaker to the floor, which may improve the sound quality (though I haven't really noticed it). But more importantly for those of us who live in apartments, less sound transferred into the floor means that neighbours living below you are less likely to hear your speakers thumping around.
According to the Parts Express web site, spikes will couple the speakers to the floor. So they will actually increase the amount of sound that is transferred from the speaker to the floor.
post #11 of 23
For hardwood floors, I've found from my experience that less sound is transferred into the floor when spikes are used. This is especially noticable with bass notes. If you have carpeting, I think that the opposite would be true (that more sound is transferred when using spikes).
post #12 of 23
Not really sure how spikes affect the sound personally as I havent done some testing. However, my ML Vantage came with spikes and I saw Martin Logan selling them for $225 for a set of 8 - so I figured, I might as well use them. They keep the bottom of the speaker away from the carpet and it looks cooler... if that's any consolation. Hehehe...

People tend to say that spikes improve transient bass response - from experience. I should test that theory one day.
post #13 of 23
If I am not mistaken, there is not only one simple answer but instead there should be a guideline depending on the floor:

- Carpet over cement
- Carpet over hard wood
- Hard wood
- cement or Tiles

Could someone (experts) give us the guideline for each floor type, based on scientific data and/or personal experience during control testing with a group?

In addition, would we need to consider the application, HT vs Stereo vs multi-channels audio?

Thanks,
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTimeCRX
Spikes will minimize the amount of sound that is transferred from the speaker to the floor, which may improve the sound quality (though I haven't really noticed it). But more importantly for those of us who live in apartments, less sound transferred into the floor means that neighbours living below you are less likely to hear your speakers thumping around.
Ideally there shouldn't *be* any sound coming from the speaker cabinet. So if a manufacturer provide spikes and recommends using them, he is telling you he's done a bad job designing his product.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraCL
Ideally there shouldn't *be* any sound coming from the speaker cabinet. So if a manufacturer provide spikes and recommends using them, he is telling you he's done a bad job designing his product.
Huh? How is the quality of the design related to the way the product is coupled to the floor?

Is a car chassis poorly designed if the owner sticks bad tires on the car?
post #16 of 23
Your speaker isn't intended to go zooming around at 60 mph. It is stationary.

What the hell is "coupled to the floor"? Why do speakers need to be coupled any more than, say, the futon?
post #17 of 23
Guys!

you're getting really carried away with this.

Look, a speaker should produce sound only from the drivers, basically (and the ports and things like that). The cabinet should be designed well and sturdy enough to resist resonating and emitting sounds, and sturdy enough to hold the drivers in place well and rigidly. IF you put a speaker on something like a hanging platform, the Newton's laws of motion can cause the speaker box itself (the whole thing) to start to move around to counteract the force of motion of the drivers. This basically happens with the bass drivers, which move slower and with more mass. A poor support (like hanging a speaker with strings) will allow the enclosure to kind of wiggle around to counteract the bass driver's motion, and can lead to sloppy bass performance, basically.

Putting speakers on carpet isn't best because it's not the sturdiest surface, and it's also (depending on the fluffiness of the carpet) not too flat, your speakers could be leaning in funny directions slightly which could impact imaging without you realizing it. Spikes make contact through the carpet for a better more sturdy placement of the speakers to counteract this.

On a flat surface still, even with hardwoods, spikes can help because with two flat surfaces, it's inevitable that there could be some resonance between them. Have you ever heard things vibrating due to loud bass, like picture frames and things like that? Same idea, basically. If there is resonance in the bottom of the speaker enclosure, even if the resonance itself would not to audible, it could resonate along with the floor and cause clearly audible buzzing sounds. Spikes will help avoid this quite well.

Hope that helps explain some of their uses.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey_V
However, my ML Vantage came with spikes and I saw Martin Logan selling them for $225 for a set of 8 - so I figured, I might as well use them.
Holy crap, I just ordered 4 spikes for my Klipsch RF-7 speakers for 37 cents each!

I experienced tighter sounding bass & mid-bass with the spikes. Not a huge difference, but I think it was there.
post #19 of 23
My Mission speakers have spikes built into them - they can be adjusted in height (great for uneven flooring) and can be used with a blunt end (for hardwood flooring) or pointy spikes for carpet. As a previous poster mentioned, it de-couples the cabinet from the floor reducing any vibrations and resonances - logically, as the speaker is then resting on less surface.
post #20 of 23
Coupled with Monster cables and a $500 power cord you should hear ....... absolutely no difference at all.
post #21 of 23
People talk about the force from the driver moving the cabinet, you know, like when I push against the John Hancock Building.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTimeCRX
For hardwood floors, I've found from my experience that less sound is transferred into the floor when spikes are used. This is especially noticable with bass notes. If you have carpeting, I think that the opposite would be true (that more sound is transferred when using spikes).
I noticed slightly tighter bass w/ spikes (on metal discs, so the spikes wouldn't dig into the floor) on a hardwood floor, too. However, I have no idea if it was preventing the transfer of vibrations to the floor, or if changing the angle of reflection off the floor in front of the speakers changed the sound that reached my ears.

Unfortunately, the speakers were less stable (imagine women walking on spike heels), and during Xmas when there was even more junk and less room for walking in the room, they were each actually knocked over in separate incidents. Fortunately, no functional or cosmetic damage ensued, but you can bet I removed the spikes ASAP.

Doug
post #23 of 23
they help to raise the soundstage. after I aimed mine and got best imaging the soundstage was low. a single turn in the front got the soundstage to the correct height.
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