Any new ideas on an old theme?

Use a platform, root 'em in, decouple 'em, or just spike 'em into the flooring materials.

What's the latest greatest approach on speaker setup?

I've replaced the old carpeting with new plush er, thick er, pad and pile. Now my OEM spikes for my floorstanders are barely (if at all) getting to the plywood underneath it all... So I'm wondering how best to overcome this obstacle?

I see some systems online here which use platforms or some sort of material under the speakes...

Any & all experiences here are most welcome... as I do need a new plan now... or just bigger spikes.

Any vibration from the waffling of the cabinet is unwanted, IMHO, but that reflects a design philosophy where the cabinet is not intended to color the sound.

Speakers that are built like tanks (heavy damped walls and heavily braced) are less dependent on this aspect - blu tack seems to be the optimum stuff to avoid wobbles and deaden any induced vibration.

If you use a lightweight cabinet such as a Harbeth and many consumer designs then of course you do need to worry as the cabinet itself is an integral part of the sound - so any modifcation as to how it "breathes" or "waffles" will alter the sound...this is why stereophile measures cabint responses with an accelerometer to see what unwanted resonances the structure exhibits.

Personally, I use multiple layers of MDF and rubber pads below my speakers as my goal is to dampen and remove all unwanted sources of sound (distortion) other than from the speaker drivers themselves.

Obviously speaker weight from heavy bracing and thick walls becomes impractical after a while - making the speakers so heavy that they are impossible to practice this means all speakers have some unwanted cabinet coloration however slight that may be on the heaviest models. This is why folks like Pink Floyd work with speaker manufacturers to build their own super massively braced custom cabinets - construction overkill that would be impractical for most of us...
The biggest favour you could do to your speakers is to get rid of the spikes and change them to the resonator type feet,like the finite elemente cerabase.

Every speaker needs them. I kid you not....You could also use the references platform meant for the amplifiers to great effects.
Thanks, always your opinion is valued..

So… You prefer the platform + soft footers approach? You just laying the MDF onto the carpeting? No coupling of it to the floor?

I was thinking to go that way by getting someone to make me a 13 x 13 pair of ?? wood pieces, and then spike into them.

The Book says my sonata IIIs are 110 lbs. I figure they’re a mite short of that mark, and are closer to 85-90 lb. or I’m getting stronger as I get older.

I’ve a sub too… and all of the flooring is like an upstairs flooring would be… a main and a sub floor… no slab is directly under it.

Well, OK… Why? What happened in your opinion with what speakers?

Are these footers something severely funds restricted folks can afford? Whenever I see that word 'elemente' in the title I start thinking the elemente being used is 'can'taffordium', and lots of it.

Believe it or not ,they works on every speakers that i have listened to{From PSB alpha,To Kharma Grand Ceramique.}In fact,I think every body should try them again

Yes,the initial price seems quite steep,but have a listen,you would never listen to any loud speakers without them.

now what do they do? They open up the soundstage,making sound very 3 dimensional.The instruments seems to hold a place of their own,and ah.....the female vocals;magical!!!

Ans lastly ,you will be grinning from ear to ear till your friends think you have gone......mad....

Hope that help and good luck.
Ever grateful... thanks. I sorrt of figured that tag was gonna be up there.

I sure do appreciate the follow up insights as to the nature of their performance too.

Well, for close to $1800 I'm pretty sure I'd be grining like a possum prior to throwing that amount under my speakers! I'd likely have to be a card carrying certifiable nut, or have just hit my local lottery.

I'll just have to miss that magic show altogether.

Of course, if you would like to bequeath your's to me... well, you'd have my undying respect and gratitude.

$1800, for footers. Whoa! WalMart probably doesn't carry them either, huh?

There has to be a cheaper route.
I am closer to Shadorne on this one - in part because I haven't tried the spend-ier route prescribed by Fafafion.

I have had great luck using bamboo (very dense) boards between the floor and the speakers, and four dots of blutack between the the speakers and the bamboo boards. Very thick maple chopping blocks or solid boards may work equally well or better. I would try comparing blutack to you speaker's spikes between the speakers and the boards to see what sounds best to you. The thicker and heavier the block(s) of wood, the better they will be at dampening and absorbing vibrations coming from the speaker cabinets. These "isolation" boards can also serve to buffer vibration getting to the structure of you house, reducing possible effects on your other audio components.

I was also absolutely astounded at what placing a large hardwood cutting board under my CD player did to tame digital nasties. I assume this was due to the ability of the wood to "drain" high frequency internal vibrations away from the player, since the effect was equally startling listening through headphones. Twice as thick = >4x as good! I experimented with different ways to suspend the player above the wooden block (blutack - slightly dull, sorbothane - dull, small hardwood blocks - too much resolution) and decided that the stock feet had the best balance between resolution and smooth presentation.
just get longer spikes. I was able to get replacement spikes for a REL sub (really long) through musical surroundings in Berkeley.
Decouple, because the floor boards are a big, flexible, poorly braced structure which will radiate sound.

If you have nice speakers where even the sub-woofer enclosures are braced every 7-8" to keep panel resonances out of the pass-band, why would you put them on top of a wooden structure that isn't even braced every 10'?

If the bass drivers aren't mounted in a bipole configuration you'll get more rocking of the speakers when they're not anchored to the floor although the speakers are so massive compared to the drivers' moving components (even a heavy sub woofer isn't half a pound, when a light weight speaker cabinet is 50+ pounds) that the lost driver motion is inconsequential.
ALL interesting and thoughtful comments . . . there is a long thread on this very topic at the steve hoffman site that was recently led by commercial sound engineer barry diament . . . he's a big fan of "floating" spkrs w/rollerballs and disks (symposium rollerball, jr., finite elemente cerabase--barry has similar devices of his own making) . . .

I have some disks from ANOTHER well-known maker (name escapes me) being used under various components, and I plan to try 3 of them under one of my harbeths. (Barry's rec'd also involves a very flat, smooth slab of tile or plexi under each spkr w/the disks between slab and spkr).

Very interesting discussion here. If you use the wood pedestal under the speakers is it best to simply lay it on the carpet or would it be better to spike the wood block to the floor? I think I may try it this weekend.
Fafafion>With reference to the Cerebases beneath floor standing speakers
Are they placed directly on the carpet(even thick carpet)
Do you use three of four under each speaker ???
Timrhu said:

"Very interesting discussion here. If you use the wood pedestal under the speakers is it best to simply lay it on the carpet or would it be better to spike the wood block to the floor? I think I may try it this weekend."

I have a rather interesting arrangement where I have a few magazines under the block of wood to raise the level of the speakers off the hardwood floor a bit... so I guess I would suggest trying the wood "pedestal" directly on the carpet, and then with spikes under the pedestal to see if that is an improvement. I am not sure what advantage is gained by coupling the speaker-pedestal system to a wood sub floor if that just adds the chance of exciting the floor and transferring vibration to your equipment rack, but some proponents claim that it increases the bass response in a good way. Try it without spikes first and if that sounds good, you may have saved some money. If you have some extra spikes around the house, try that too.

For an (expensive) commercial solution and some hype about wood platforms, check this site;

Thanks so far to all… and especially for the link too.


I too have, after some dedicated time, spent trying out different footers under components, found differing wooden types of either boards or blocks, do impact the sound.

My rack is atop a Beech plywood base which just rests onto the top of the carpet… the rack is spiked into Mahogany Squares which reside in between Beech & spike.

I’m not too sure just how much decoupling is going on if I use spikes anywhere in the chain. Rather the thicker 7/16 pad, and ½ pile may afford some detatchment, onto that why not place a board of sorts, and use pods, pads, or roller blocks there for the speakers to rest upon?

My concern that way would be stability, and number of supportive/dampening devices that would be needed for the job.

My speakers are right at <100 lbs each.

I’m liking this notion as it’ll raise up the speakers’ overall height, which for me, would be a good thing. … and prevent further holes being punched into the wood underlayment.

In fact doing away 100% with spikes seems a plus to me in general.

Apart from what and how many, I’ve seen some notes that reflect a tipped up tonal quality when roller blocks are used, as well as lessend bass depth and impact… is that a general but accurate, consensus?

FWIW, I don't have any spikes anywhere in my system. My problem had to do with muddy bass that affected the overall sound. The bamboo boards under the speakers with a little blutack between them made a huge positive difference with that problem and cleanup the midrange and the treble too. I don't know if that was an artifact - I.E. cleaner bass affects the whole spectrum by allowing the information in the upper registers to come forward and no longer be obscured by low frequency resonance? So for me, the bass may be tipped up a bit as a result of isolating them from the floor, but certainly not in a bad way for sure.

Speaking of tipping, my speakers aren't that tall and I have wooden shims under the bamboo boards tilting the speakers up about 10 degrees which helps with the imaging a lot, and maybe improves the phase between the tweeter and mid/woofer??? In any case, tipping 100lb speakers without substantial and well secured spikes dedicated for that purpose might be ill advised!

Finally, putting a large beechwood block under my CDP made a huge and silly good difference in the sound of CDs. Much more balanced and analog with no more sibilance or digital nasties. I fooled around with different methods to support the CDP on the wood platform including small hardwood blocks directly under the case and found that I liked the stock feet the best. The hardwood blocks increased the resolution but reduced the bass too much for my taste, "tipping" the overall sound up as you say.

You will just have to try different configurations to see what you like best. I am definitely sold on the value of big blocks of wood for various application in hifi systems. One of the cheapest and most effective tweaks I have found by far.

I place mine on the teak wood floor,and lay a carpet in front of the speakers.

My fried has wall to wall carpet and use the cerabase directly on the carpet,and the results are just as astounding.

3 or 4? I use 4 under each speaker,using the speaker screws to thread in the cerabase ,but you could experiment.the important thing is to make sure the cerabases are in contact with the speakers body....
Ultimately, the least expensive gizmo I found which worked best under CDP & non spinning junk were those iso cups herbie's Audio Labs sold with the Ebony balls. Steve no longer has the Ebony balls and the cups are now of a different material... clear... not black... and softer.

Do keep in touch... and let us know when these gizmos go on sale! I am now, both astounded and curious... but not wealthy.
Fafaflon>Thank you for this information.If the speakers come with a fitted base plate and the Cerebase cannot touch the speaker body directly only the plate,would this negate the effect that the Cerebase would have on the speaker ??
well, I've decided on simply making some DIY platforms to place under each unit. Sub too.

3 reasons... I can't justify $1800 for speaker footers what so ever. Two, I couldn't even justify spending $200 for another set of larger (longer) spikes from Silverline! And, three, a substantial platform set under each unit should suffice as sufficient isolation/decoupling... well, if not it'll cost me about $12 - $20 to find out.

Sometimes, some aspects of this hobby and the prices associated with them astound me. Alas, I'll never know about the items containing too much 'unobtainium' or 'can'taffordium', and I'll simply have to continue my residence in the halss of ignorant bliss.

The rent in that mneighborhood is far less, and it's a very nice area, close to shopping and not far from the beach.
Agree 100% with the DIY first. But this guy seems reasonable compared to Mapleshade. Also, searching speaker spikes on ebay can get you some pretty inexpensive but very nice spikes.
I haven't tried the platforms yet but am seriously considering Timbernation. My equipment rack a is DIY rack made from slate and I'm thinking of getting some more slate to rest the speakers on. Spking the slate may be a trick though. Good luck.

Curious to here how this works for you.
Got everything cut up today for all the speakers and sub. I'll be shuffling about the mains this week and set them by this weekend hopefully. 3/4 inch Birch about a inch greater all around than the unit's native dims.

I wondered too about using stone. So, yes, I'd care to know the results of adding slate slabs too.
The other day I checked at a granite seller to ask about soap stone. They will sell it for $58 sq ft. For my speakers I need 2 pieces 12x10 in. Like you Blindjim, I'm not sure about spending $120 for an experiment. I will look at slate this week. the problem with slate is it isn't perfectly flat on both sides.
yeah. There's the rub. Around here marble, granite, and one other I forget the name of now, aren't real expensive per precut piece. The problem is and I suspect they know it too, is their idea of precuts ain't my idea. Hence ya gotta have 'em slice and dice up whatever dims you need/want. Black marble, runs around 180 - 200 cut to 14x14 last time I checked, and that was a couple years ago now. I shudder to think what it could be now....

I wonder if they would or even have, a couple pieces which I could rent to try out... hmmmm. I never thought about that part. I think I will ask. Sure, if it is a good move, I'd go off for two pieces... cut and polished.

I wonder too, just how thick ya need to go with rock platforms for speakers anyhow?
If you don't need more than a 12" x 12" footprint, there's another much cheaper way. Head to your local Lowe's/Home Despot and pick up 6 flor tiles in your stone of choice: marble, black granite, etc. Epoxy three together to get desired thickness of plinth, with the added bonus of "constrained layer" technology. Heck, you could even mix and match granite and marble for the "zebrastone" look. Under $40 per side, including glue and tax.

There have to be bigger tiles out there too--e.g. 16" x 16"--but they're not sitting on the shelf at my local Lowe's. FWIW.
I agree with those above that if you have a suspended floor, you may well benefit from some isolation between the speakers and the floor. I had that problem in a previous room in spades as the floor had a natural resonant frequency around 32hz. After many trials, I found that a combination of slate under the speakers and a post under the center of the floor (in the garage) worked best.

I obtained 2 - 7/8" thick pieces of black slate 18"x24". The slate was heavy and relatively smooth (much more so that the slate typically used in a yard environment), however, as long as you have 3 spikes the smoothness is not critical. These pieces cut and polished on one side with finished edges were about $300. I also obtained an oil which when wipped on turned the slate a rich and shiny black which really looks great. To finish these off, I put some 12"x12" self adhesive vinyl tiles from HD on the bottom of the slate cut to fit. This allows me to move the speakers around on the carpet much more easily than with the relatively course unpolished bottom side of the slate.

The heavy slate on carpet/pad gave the needed isolation while still providing stability. The floor resonance was dramatically reduced and the bass tightened up considerably. This same result may be possible with slabs of heavy wood or butcher block as well, and I will be curious to learn what you find out.
I just placed a buy it now on ebay for two pieces of granite, 12x12x1.25 in. I'll be sticking them under my speakers and probably use blu tac between speakers and stone. Will get back on the results.


Better. Lots better!

I had some pieces cut to fit all my speakers, sub, and speakers on stands, by an added half inch or so all around.

Put them under each unit and placed them back into their orig positions. Waited a few days for them to settle down into the pile a bit more and turned on the sounds.

Using the same default tune box of late, the Onkyo HT Receiver, Odyssey Stratos SE amp, Bel Canto DAC3, and Sonata IIIs, things were instantly improved. Well, minus the couple days waiting period. lol

I found the sound stage to have now, better depth, become broader and it had slightly closer to the LP a tad. The boomyness of the bass was quite attenuated... but still had good impact. Tones weren't skewed or spotlit, and the bandwidth seemed quite evenly fulfilled. Overall, a clearer cleaner presentation yet all the while, retaining luster and involvement.

A note on 'tightening' of the bass and losing the boom... I believe more listening is required here but it seems to me the tightening of the bass so many refer to is actually due to some attenuation... or loss. mostly in the prominence region or presence... the impact was sure there given my moderate listening level session, but I feel certain that along with the tightening up of the bass, came some bass db loss, as odd as that might sound

I hear and read this salutation wehn it comes to reckoning with the bass area very often, and feel it’s this way... "Yep, less boominess no doubt, but with that came less perceived bass being there". Which to me indidcates some attenuation... turning down of the bass area's SPL".

Overall, though, and this is likely a perceptive item anyhow, I think bass was improved by both addition and subtraction. I'll spend some time concentrating on the CD's which have fine bass and get back here with that... so for now, all I can say in truth is the bass is currently different. The rest of the sonic realm as I said is improved by more than a fair amount.

So it sure does seem as though there is something to this idea of platforms under floorstanding speakers residing upon hollow floors... or at least non solid foundatios... 'foundatios'? That must be Italian for foundations.

...and for less than $10, it was a step in the right direction!
You could try turning the speakers around and facing the wall.
You maybe surprised at the sound.

Cutting edge idea!! Although i'm a mite predisposed to place them as the designers intended... usually.

On the other hand... what do they know anyways?