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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about building myself a set of speaker stands. To give the stereo system a bit of a personal touch. I've noticed that many of the speaker stands you can buy (and even some speakers, themselves) have spikes on the bottom. It seems to me that the spikes will damage floors, carpets, etc. and not provide any benefit in terms of stability. So is there any acoustic reason for the spikes? Or is it structural?


I'll have many more questions on building speaker stands coming up, but let's start with this one now. Well, OK, you talked me into a preview of the other questions. J

-Why add sand or shot to stands? Can red bricks on the base of the stand work for added stability, instead (might be pretty)?

-Is it OK to make stands out of wood? Seems OK to me, but the purchased stands tend to be metal. Any acoustic reason for this?

-How high to make the stands? I guess have the speakers at ear level when seated. But then what about when you're standing and still listening to music?

-How to connect the speaker to the stand? If there are no screw holes in the speaker, some speakers just sit on top of the stands. Dangerous to fall off? How about putting some rubber between the speaker and stand top to prevent sliding off? Like that rubber lining sometimes used for the inside of drawers?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJon
I'm thinking about building myself a set of speaker stands. To give the stereo system a bit of a personal touch. I've noticed that many of the speaker stands you can buy (and even some speakers, themselves) have spikes on the bottom. It seems to me that the spikes will damage floors, carpets, etc. and not provide any benefit in terms of stability. So is there any acoustic reason for the spikes? Or is it structural?


I'll have many more questions on building speaker stands coming up, but let's start with this one now. Well, OK, you talked me into a preview of the other questions. J

-Why add sand or shot to stands? Can red bricks on the base of the stand work for added stability, instead (might be pretty)?

-Is it OK to make stands out of wood? Seems OK to me, but the purchased stands tend to be metal. Any acoustic reason for this?

-How high to make the stands? I guess have the speakers at ear level when seated. But then what about when you're standing and still listening to music?

-How to connect the speaker to the stand? If there are no screw holes in the speaker, some speakers just sit on top of the stands. Dangerous to fall off? How about putting some rubber between the speaker and stand top to prevent sliding off? Like that rubber lining sometimes used for the inside of drawers?
-Spikes? Helps anchor the speaker to a sturdy base. Mine go through the carpet into the subfloor. For wood floors, came with metal disks (like a thick coin with an indentation to accept the spike). Very sturdy. Not sure of the exact acoustic benefit though.

-Sand? For me, stability. Have toddlers. 50 lbs in each stand. Helps minimize vibrations too. FYI, you can fill many of the metal ones with sand too. Can't imagine a pile of bricks with my decor, but could work in others I guess. Sounds a little permanent if you actually mortar the thing to the floor.

-Wood? Mine are. Same high-density pressboard (sorry if incorrect term, but you get the point) as the actual speakers.

-Connect? Mine have matching screw holes for this purpose, connected by a piece of MDF. There's a one-sided adhesive-backed piece about 3/4" diam of high-density foam in each corner of the connected surface, which helps minimize vibrations and protects each surface and maybe provides a little stability. Many mention using Blutak (sp?) and other types of earthquake putty type products. They seem to mention it quite a strong reversible bond.


Seems like it's all to create a nice sturdy base for which the speakers cones can work against. Hopefully someone will chime in regarding more scientific info about the acoustic benefits of all this stuff.
 

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Quote:
Hopefully someone will chime in regarding more scientific info about the acoustic benefits of all this stuff.
No need to. You did a pretty good job of it yourself!
 

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Here's one manufacture’s site that explains a little:

http://www.skylanstands.com/foundation.htm


The way I understand it, the main goal of speaker stands are not to resonate and vibrate at certain frequencies. By mass loading the stands with sand or other materials, you prevent them "ringing" or adding to the output of the speakers. I have read the rule of thumb is the stand should be a minimum of 1.5 x the weight of the speaker, more is better. By having spikes on the bottom, only a small portion of the stand is actually making contact with the floor. People actually have used cinder blocks for stands.


I am in the process of building my own stands, using red oak base and top, with fiberon composite square columns, looking similar to the two column Skylan. Also mounting 1/4" steel plates on the bottom of the oak bases. Bought everything I needed at the "big box" stores, except for the spikes. Ordered them through Parts Express. The spikes come with supplied bottom mount disc, in case you don't want to damage your floor.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=240-715


The Paradigm Studio 20s, which the stands are for, have 1/4" threaded inserts in the bottom, otherwise, use the Blue Tac stuff. I plan on using a couple of vinyl pipe clamps, screwed to the back of the columns, to hold the 12/4 wire going to the Paradigms. The height will be between 23-24”, making the tweeter driver at my ear level. This is standard, but best to check with your speaker manufacturer for the right height. Or you could actually experiment with different heights using some sort of temporary means.
 

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spikes are for isolation from the floor
 

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These are home made by me with heavy density fiberboard and I built them inside of 2 hours with the total project costing around 10 bucks , and I took the masurements from www.woodtechnology.com .


 

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im building mine with mdf board from home depot. using screws and gonna put bricks on the base to stabalize, since i have a fire place it won't be so bad. mine was about 10 bucks in materials but i have to buy a gallon of black paint to paint that stands and a subwoofer box in my car. but it is a pain in the butt especially in the fl heat. its like 92 and im in my garage painting and screwing and sawing. but compared to the 100 dollar metal ones out there its not big deal
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by louthewiz
These are home made by me with heavy density fiberboard and I built them inside of 2 hours with the total project costing around 10 bucks , and I took the masurements from www.woodtechnology.com .
Lou-


Maybe with all the cash you saved on the stands, you could buy a decent camera. :p No idea what you made from your photos or that link. Care to provide any details? Thanks.
 

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" spikes are for isolation from the floor"


This is a common myth, as you are still transferring the same amount of energy to the floor just on smaller points of contact. The only way to isolate any speaker from the floor is with a material that actually absorbs and doesn't transfer the energy. Since it is not possible for spikes to do that they can not act as an isolation device.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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Originally Posted by gohd
-Spikes? Helps anchor the speaker to a sturdy base. Mine go through the carpet into the subfloor. For wood floors, came with metal disks (like a thick coin with an indentation to accept the spike). Very sturdy. Not sure of the exact acoustic benefit though.

-Sand? For me, stability. Have toddlers. 50 lbs in each stand. Helps minimize vibrations too. FYI, you can fill many of the metal ones with sand too. Can't imagine a pile of bricks with my decor, but could work in others I guess. Sounds a little permanent if you actually mortar the thing to the floor.

-Wood? Mine are. Same high-density pressboard (sorry if incorrect term, but you get the point) as the actual speakers.

-Connect? Mine have matching screw holes for this purpose, connected by a piece of MDF. There's a one-sided adhesive-backed piece about 3/4" diam of high-density foam in each corner of the connected surface, which helps minimize vibrations and protects each surface and maybe provides a little stability. Many mention using Blutak (sp?) and other types of earthquake putty type products. They seem to mention it quite a strong reversible bond.


Seems like it's all to create a nice sturdy base for which the speakers cones can work against. Hopefully someone will chime in regarding more scientific info about the acoustic benefits of all this stuff.
I would think I could build stands that are plenty stable and anchored to the floor without spikes and sand. Not that I have anything against spikes and sand- the design I made that I like just doesn't have them. For the bricks, I was thinking about stacking some pretty red bricks around the base perimeter- no mortar! :) Just to add stability to prevent some tipping over.


So from your reply it doesn't sound as though sand, spikes, etc. have any acoustic benefit, correct? So I'll just make up a design that is stable to the practical aspects of life, without worrying about the acoustic impacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkhome
Here's one manufacture’s site that explains a little:

http://www.skylanstands.com/foundation.htm


The way I understand it, the main goal of speaker stands are not to resonate and vibrate at certain frequencies. By mass loading the stands with sand or other materials, you prevent them "ringing" or adding to the output of the speakers. I have read the rule of thumb is the stand should be a minimum of 1.5 x the weight of the speaker, more is better. By having spikes on the bottom, only a small portion of the stand is actually making contact with the floor. People actually have used cinder blocks for stands.
OK, that all makes sense. Have a heavy, dense stand to prevent any extra vibrations. Except for the spike part which I didn't follow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkhome
I am in the process of building my own stands, using red oak base and top, with fiberon composite square columns, looking similar to the two column Skylan. Also mounting 1/4" steel plates on the bottom of the oak bases. Bought everything I needed at the "big box" stores, except for the spikes. Ordered them through Parts Express. The spikes come with supplied bottom mount disc, in case you don't want to damage your floor.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=240-715


The Paradigm Studio 20s, which the stands are for, have 1/4" threaded inserts in the bottom, otherwise, use the Blue Tac stuff. I plan on using a couple of vinyl pipe clamps, screwed to the back of the columns, to hold the 12/4 wire going to the Paradigms. The height will be between 23-24â€, making the tweeter driver at my ear level. This is standard, but best to check with your speaker manufacturer for the right height. Or you could actually experiment with different heights using some sort of temporary means.
Good link for the spikes- thanks. How are you attaching your wood to your metal to your composite parts? And what, extacly, are the pipe clamps you're using?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by timfrommass
" spikes are for isolation from the floor"


This is a common myth, as you are still transferring the same amount of energy to the floor just on smaller points of contact. The only way to isolate any speaker from the floor is with a material that actually absorbs and doesn't transfer the energy. Since it is not possible for spikes to do that they can not act as an isolation device.
Right. That's why I asked my first question. I didn't see how there is any benefit to the spikes, in terms of things transfered to the floor (or not).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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Originally Posted by sayanythingrock
im building mine with mdf board from home depot. using screws and gonna put bricks on the base to stabalize, since i have a fire place it won't be so bad. mine was about 10 bucks in materials but i have to buy a gallon of black paint to paint that stands and a subwoofer box in my car. but it is a pain in the butt especially in the fl heat. its like 92 and im in my garage painting and screwing and sawing. but compared to the 100 dollar metal ones out there its not big deal
Care to explain the design you are using?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJon
Right. That's why I asked my first question. I didn't see how there is any benefit to the spikes, in terms of things transfered to the floor (or not).
The issue is not about energy transfer to the floor. In many high end speakers spikes or claws act to dampen resonances inside the speaker which can effect the vibration of driver cones. At a minimum they can make the woofers sound less boomy or muddy. Alternatively removing the spikes and standing the speaker cabinet on the floor can often accentuate the bass response if that is desirable. Best to experiment and see what works best.
 

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I put a couple together for my secondary system in the basement. I am happy with the results.


They are basically a 4x4 solid post between two pieces of 1" solid maple. I did some routing on the edges of the post and top and bottom plates just for design purposes. I also ran a groove deep and wide enough for 12 ga cable up the backside of the post with a hole in the bottom plate to hide the cable. I finished it off with spikes from parts express. I made a couple other pairs for other people and switched to Madisound spikes. I personally think they have a much nicer design and finish.


I mount my speakers to the stands with the generic sticky tac you can get at Home Depot for $2 a pack. Hopefully this link works....

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/drjone...06.jpg&.src=ph
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJon
Good link for the spikes- thanks. How are you attaching your wood to your metal to your composite parts? And what, extacly, are the pipe clamps you're using?
I am building the stands similar to this article, with variations in the material:

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/stubby_e.html


Where he uses just all-thread rods and hex nuts to tie everything together, I am using a combination of a 1/2" carriage bolt > 1/2" threaded coupling > 1/2" all-thread rod > 1/2" lock nut w/washer. The carriage bolt is sunk into the top plate, the bottom nut/washer is on the outside of the steel plate, under the oak base (this can extend out because the spikes will lift the base 1 1/2" off the floor.


Here's a link to the square post I got from Home Depot, for the columns:

http://www.horizonrailing.com/CVrail_install.asp


They come in a 42" length, (so if you are good with a saw,) cut in half, only need one. I also cut squares of pine to be tightly inserted and sealed in each end of the square post, drilling center holes in each square for the all-thread rod. This will help keep the columns in line and along with the cord weather-strip ( the above author calls it rope caulk) http://wattbusters.com/store/custome...roductid=19571

will keep the sand in.


The clamps I refer to are similar to these: http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=...ff&oi=froogler

but are clear. You could use other types; this is what I had lying around.


BTW, if you need drill bits and can get a good deal on a set of forstner bits, they are worth it, cuts a much cleaner hole than a paddle or metal bit.


And if you don't feel like messing with any of that, this looks like a quick and easy idea:

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/akropolise.html
 

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You always want to keep speakers isolated from what they rest on. Resonate frequencies can play havoc. I'm not a believer in the tweak-of-the-week, but isolation is a must. The less contact speakers have with what they rest on, the better.


For example, I've got my speakers (Hales Revelation 3) on cinder blocks, with 4 tiptoes between the each block and each speaker. The bass is much cleaner. Look on EBAY for spikes under consumer electronics. No need to thread them into the speaker, just put the pointy sides down
 

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Bookshelf speakers on metal stands should have sorbothane pads between spkr/stand to absorb any resonances from the spkr cabinet. Many metal stands come with them. Metal stands are filled with sand or, by some folks lead shot (eek), to prevent the stands themselves from resonating.


I know real wood looks pretty but it usually resonates more than MDF. That's why it is often preferred in racks, stands, etc.


I have no idea why there are spikes ... my sub came with them but I have no desire to punch little holes in the carpet/padding.
 

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Spikes also help save the carpet. Ever seen the carpet when you move a piece of furniture? Its smashed quite well. The spikes help keep the carpet under the stand from getting smashed as well.
 
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