Audio Supports

Why is it that the majority of audio equipment comes with four feet rather than just three? It seems that only having three would provide a more solid foundation that would better resist vibration and rocking. Speakers come to mind as a component that might really benefit if it was part of the original design.

Any thoughts? Are there companies that do this that I have not seen?
My Thiels have 3 spikes.
Vandersteen stands have 3 spikes also.
Well, if you (or someone else) bumps a three footer, KABOOM! down it goes. I would guess most manufacturers don't want to have that happen.
Think if you had a couple of items stacked near the top of a rack, and someone slips and uses the equipment for a support KABOOM down they go ripping up your cables, the equipment gets dented, the persons foot is injured and they sue you... I can see this happening way too often with three footers. (I own a Rega TT three feet, and HAVE banged it from pressing down on the 'wrong' edge.)
So if your stuff is in a special room no one else is allowed in...
Then, the most important, who has proved three are better than four? With three you have two corners unsupported, and ready to vibrate even MORE than four feet. Most four foot items have at least a partial cushion to allow compensation for a slightly warped surface. The only problem with four feet I can see is if you use tip toes or other hard cones and do not bother to 'test' the tension on the feet so they are balanced. (I have used slips of paper to adjust the foot tension using tip toes) and adjusted the four spikes on some speaker stands so they are solidly in the floor supported equally on all four spikes.
Then some companies have FIVE feet, four in the corner and one in the center, and I do that myself by using a fifth foot I add when the item is properly located in the rack. And usually stiffen the top of the unit with items too.
So, I could never see buying a heavy chunk of equipment with three feet. (I havve a Sony SCD777ES on the TOP of my tall rack, and would have nightmares of chopping off a (human) foot if it had ony three feet.. (that sucker is HEAVY!! i can barely lift it up there!)
Sure some offer three foot items, but it is as much a 'trick' of marketing as any real purpose. IMO.
But for those who want them, all one usually has to do is unscrew the stock feet and use a threesome aftermarket set.
Added: One feature that would allow three feet (or four) and incur a very minimal expense for maufacturers would be to have the base of units drilled and tapped for BOTH a three foot setup, ANd a four foot setup. arranging the hole for opimum placement.
Then one would only need to unscrew the feet from the four and move them to the three setup. (and save that fourth foot for when one sells the unit..)
Some electronics gear has three feet. I've owned some of it. It always seemed unstable to me - if I leaned on a corner by accident, it would just about tip over. Having said that, if the product in question is the proper shape, three would work just fine. A floor standing speaker that is quite narrow but very deep comes to mind (think audio physic) Two spikes in front, one in back.
My speakers don't have any threaded holes for spikes. I use 3 Herbie's big fat dots under them (two in front and one in the center back.
In response to Elizabeth's thought:

"Added: One feature that would allow three feet (or four) and incur a very minimal expense for maufacturers would be to have the base of units drilled and tapped for BOTH a three foot setup, ANd a four foot setup. arranging the hole for opimum placement.
Then one would only need to unscrew the feet from the four and move them to the three setup. (and save that fourth foot for when one sells the unit..)

Merlin floor standing speakers (VSM's) do exactly that....have a four foot setup but also drilled for a three foot setup which is their recommended way to set up the speakers with the spikes that they provide.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all at A'gon!!

IMHO, the only valid reason for using three feet instead of four is that it makes it a whole lot easier to level the component, something that is very important for TT's and speakers. I agree that it makes things unstable and for that reason I will not use three footers on floor-standing speakers.
Some do, my Star Sound rack has three, as does the factory stands for my Spendor S 100s. The Lead Balloon TT stand I use to have had three also, as does my Russ Andrews stand for the Linn turntable. All of these except the Linn stand are very heavy and work well. Several other very good equipment racks also use 3 as do others that are quite respectable in quality, I have one of these also but the brand escapes me at the moment.
My Thor Cantantus Phono Preamp has three feet. BUT it is a rather large oval and it seems to me three feet work better of a circle or oval than a square.
The pros/cons are rooted in the real world of physics. Four beats three any day. Any working of a model of the physical forces in play will tell you that.
Buconero117- Care to elaborate on that?
Since 3 spikes are better than 4 , would 2 be even better ?
The reason that three is better than four is that three points define a plane. This means that it's virtually impossible to have four points equally support something. This is why a stool with three legs won't rock but ones with four almost always do. If the legs can be adjusted then I'm sure that it's possible to set things up such that it really doesn't make a difference.

Nordost recommends putting three sort kones in specified locations under equipment and then moving the 4th around looking for the "low" point.
4 of a kind beats 3 of a kind,as Buconero says.

Mceljo is correct in theory, but I find 4 easier to level.
In my experiments 3 always sounds substantially better than 4, more grounded. Unless you go round with a stethscope and dial in the spikes precisely then 4 is less stable. It always amazes me when designers claim they make the ultimate product, cost no object, and put 4 feet on their gear shows they dont listen.
I didn't know designers who use four feet on thier products are stupid... Seems all is right in the world of three footers.. As usual, everyone else is wrong. Standard Audiophile ideation.
"I" know the true secret, and you are all wrong.... sort of stuff.
Actually I am laughing at you as much as you are at me.
So we have another audiophool stalemate.
It joins the:
All wires are the same/ wires make a difference ... and all sorts of other audiophool dilemmas which are pretty much the new "How many angles can dance on the head of a pin." quandry.
I guess we can agree to differ.
Angels.. angels can dance... not angles.. LOL
Maybe angles can dance.. Who knows?
It has to do with the center of gravity and the distance to the support points. If you have a speaker with a square foot print with four points of support at the corners, the center of gravity is equidistant to any two points that you tilt against. If you had three points on that speaker (two in the front, one in the center rear) and you tilted against any two points, the center of gravity is still equidistant but closer to those two points than the four point speaker. Meaning, that the three point speaker will topple over sooner than the four point.

A three legged stool is more stable than a four legged stool because a four legged stool only needs three points of support and those three corner points are not equidistant from each other, hence it tilts easier than a three legged stool which has the three legs equidistant from each other. However... it is easier to fall over if you tilt back on a three legged stool because of the center of gravity is closer to the two tilting points. The same tilting distance on a four legged stool will send you safely forward since the center of gravity is further away from the tilting plane.

A long winded way of saying any more than three points of support on a stool makes it easier to tilt back but harder to fall over.