Bookshelf Speaker Stand Difference?

When I think book shelf speakers, I have thought that the designated speaker stand from the same brand performs the best for a speaker.

For example, Focal Utopia Bookshelf - Focal Speaker Stand for this model.

Today I happened to have a conversation about this, and heard that as long as you use reasonably high quality/heavy stand (for example, Solid Steel Speaker Stand about 30lbs), there would be NO sound quality difference compared to using the designated speaker stand.

For speaker stands, benefits of designated speaker stands are

1) Aesthetic
2) Can be connected to the speaker

And... reasonably there is no sound quality advantage.It’s just matter of taste and convenience.
(A bit of secure connection too.)

How’s your experience?

And do you know any top quality speaker stand that I can use universally?

Thank you.
I've always thought of it as a good way for these speaker mfgs to make another nice chunk of change. If the tweeters are at the right height and the build is solid then I shouldn't think it matters.
I've often thought the same thing. I have a pair of Dynaudio Special 40s with Dynaudio stands. However, I've thought about trying the Focal Kanta 1's and wondered if the Dynaudio stands would be ok with the Kantas. But, get this, the Focal stands are about $2900!! So chances are I will not be getting Focal stands! The Dyns will have to do.
You just want got sturdy solid stands.  If metal, fill them with sand.  Make them heavy.  
The main thing is a solid, low resonant stand that puts the tweeters at ear level.

Level your speakers / stands, put tweeters at ear level, speaker placement within the room and listening position all play much larger roles in sound
You can use museum putty to get a secure connection between speaker and stand.

I'm finishing up the crossover for an expensive speaker stand today. 


I'm finishing up the crossover for an expensive speaker stand today.
speaker stands need crossovers? Didnt know that
 But, get this, the Focal stands are about $2900!!
Which is a bargain considering how much the speakers cost. What's the problem?
" speaker stands need crossovers? Didnt know that " 

To the best of my knowledge mine is the only one that does.  It's a bit unorthodox. 

I had a totally different experience with stands and my Harbeth C7's and then HL5 Plus. I had stands for my C7's that are quite popular amongst Harbeth owners. I had them filled with sand. They came with small rubber dots stuck to the top of them. I started to play around with different devices on top of the stands like different Herbie's Dots, a solution that the stand manufacturer came up with and sold separately etc. Each one of them produced a completely different result, the absolute worse was the device provided by the stand manufacturer. I then traded up to the HL5 Plus speakers and put them on the same stands. After about a month I had saved up some money to buy stands made for the larger speaker. My dealer told me to check out some stands he thought looked nice. I agreed that they did look nice, my wife liked them so I ordered them. When I got the stands and first played music, these speakers totally opened up. They sounded so much better. The difference was night and day and it was immediate.

Here's what I think made the difference. The first stands had a solid top and the top of the new stands is open, meaning if my speakers are not on them and I look down at them from above, I can see the floor. The stands are more like a frame. I'm not sure if the result was similar to pulling your speakers away from the wall? I'd be curious to hear what others think about it.  I'm not saying this would be the case with other speakers but with the Harbeth it was the difference between liking and loving these speakers for me. 
To the best of my knowledge mine is the only one that does. It's a bit unorthodox.

Please, can you tell us why you want to do this?
Now, I'm really interested.
Gdnrbob asked, " Please, can you tell us why you want to do this? "

We make a stand which includes a subwoofer and an up-and-back firing driver. The purpose of the subwoofer is self-evident, and the purpose of the up-and-back firing driver is to manipulate the reverberant field.

It’s called the Super Stand. We picked that name because there just isn’t enough hyperbole in high-end audio any more.

At this link you can see photos of the original version, scroll down a bit. The subwoofer is in the top of the notch, and that’s a coaxial in the bottom of the notch:

@audiokinesis Those look pretty spectacular! Are you going to be able to produce enough of them to make them attainable to the average Joe or will they remain the domain of the ultra blessed? 
@dadork, thank you very much.

We’ll certainly try not to overprice them, but they are considerably more parts-and-labor-intensive than either a comparable subwoofer or a comparable speaker stand would be.

The new version's footprint won't be as deep, and it will be a bit taller, so that it's closer to normal speaker stand height for most stand-mount speakers.  There will be a few other refinements as well.

It’s called the Super Stand. We picked that name because there just isn’t enough hyperbole in high-end audio any more. 

@audiokinesis ,
Thanks Duke. That looks very interesting.
May I ask:
Isn't there a need to isolate the upper speaker from the sub?
Have you considered adding an isolation base to the entire unit?
I only ask as I put some Townshend Isolation Bars under my Vandy subs and noticed a considerable 'tightening up' of the bass.
To the OP - I have found that quality speaker stands make a significant difference - generally, the heavier and more inert the better.  A good stand can allow you to get the most out of your speaker.  In many cases, the manufacturer's stands aren't the best choice.  They are built to a price point and to match the appearance of the speakers (and to make some extra money).

You also should experiment with the following:

--different footers/spikes/etc. under the stands.  You can find a lot of discussions on Audiogon about different ways of coupling/decoupling the stands.  

--the interface between the speaker and stand.  I've tried Stillpoints, Herbies, Goldensoud cones, Rollerblock Jrs. Blu Tak, etc.  Each one influences the sound.

Best of luck, and enjoy the journey!

@gdnrbob, the junction between stand and speaker will not be wood-on-wood.

We have no plans to include a dedicated isolation base like the Townshend Isolation bars.  Nothing against them!  But we'd rather people make their own choices in that area.  I think that would be more cost-effective for everyone.  

In the revised, production version of the Super Stand the woofer will be down-firing so the vibrations will be in the vertical plane, where they will have the least effect.  

Results will be dependent on the type and design of speakers. One size doesn't fit all although most speakers will benefit or sound great with conventional stands ie. Heavy, inert and comes with a top plate. For instance, Harbeth speakers sound best on lightweight open frame stands without any top plate. Place them on a pair of heavy mass loaded stands with top plate, they will sound pretty much dead.