Depending on your desk, room, speaker placement issues, etc. etc., have you considered a wall mount?
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I assume you've considered the Mapleshade Bedrocks(?), but that's what immediately comes to my mind. Spikey and chunky, to be sure. I've got one for a center channel speaker, and it is a lot more secure that I would have originally thought (solid as a rock, actually), but that could likely change a bit were it standing tall rather than lying lengthwise. They've even got spikier and chunkier options, if called for.
Thanks - have been using Vipropods in the 2 rear corners but only just for a few weeks. So no slimy mess yet, but will take them away tonight.
I also bought an inexpensive set of "Isopods" which feel more like sorbathane than vinyl. But I was a little afraid to use those, unless I kept the paper sticker on them as a barrier, in which case the whole thing would be unstable.
Yes, the Maplesshade set up is close to what I had in mind, albeit more expensive and a bit more elaborate.
Is there a good way to get a chunky spike like the one in the pictures underneath the leading edge of the speaker without damaging the cabinet or finish?
I would think you could fashion something, right? Even if it's just getting a relatively cheap cutting board(s), drilling a couple of dowels into it to serve as backstops for the rear corners of the speaker, and then shoving the chunky cone of your choice under the front end to raise it up to the desired level. (As for what I'm calling the "backstops", I guess you could use just about anything that you could anchor into, affix to or otherwise stick on a piece of wood -- either so that the back edge of the speaker is resting on the cutting board or held above it). If you're not interested in sticking the spike point up into the speaker, just point it down and anchor it in the cutting board (hey, that's what they're for, right) and put the more friendly end up against the speaker. The Mapleshade heavyfeet, or whatever they're called, have a really aggressive point on the buisness end and three relatively gentle "tripple-point" nubbins on the broad end. I've found that the tripple end is pretty forgiving on speaker finish, but, after my vibrapod misadventure (below) I've become a lot less finnicky about the bottom of that particular speaker.... If you're really looking to baby them and have a flat ended chunk, no reason why you couldn't glue some felt to it or something. I could easily imagine that a less rigid connection would sacrifice some of the sonic benefit of coupling the speaker enclosure to the cutting board (or whatever else you're coupleing to), but, hey, life's about compromise. Once you get the back edge (or the two back corners) stuck to something that isn't going anywhere, you have a whole lot more leeway with the front point of the "tripod."
The basic idea of the Mapleshade stuff is real simple, both in concept and to replicate (I'd think). I'm sure they'll tell you that their superior materials lead to a superior sound -- and I'm willing to take that on faith to some extent -- but it'd be cool to find out, no?
As for the vibrapods, not at all sure what their half-life is. Had three under the center channel (prior to the mapelshade) for a number of years and forgot about them. Boy was I dissapointed when it came time to remove them, had to pry them off and then scrape off what they left behind with a series of impliments which made me really unhappy to be scraping up against a speaker. And there's no getting the discoloration off. I'd guess that anything short term is perfectly fine, but definitely not a long-term solution. Best of luck.