Building stands for Harbeth 40.2's

I talked with my builder today. I told them I would reach out for more expert opinions on a final design.

Since the TonTragers are the benchmark for Harbeth stands, I'm trying to match them as much as possible.

Question 1- The TonTragers have a 1 inch riser in each corner of the top of the stand. Is this critical for optimal sound ? Or would it be sufficient for the speaker to sit flat on the top of the stand ?

Question 2- Obviously the top needs to be open except for the exterior frame, but can the base be a solid flat piece of wood...or should that be open also ?

Please chime in with any ideas...also I plan on using some good cone spikes on the bottom.

I've attached a pic of the TonTrager for reference for the above questions.

Thanks in advance.


I have the TonTrager stands for my Harbeth HL5. If you want to do a true clone the bottom should be open with no spikes! The one inch risers should be on the bottom the same as on the top!

TonTraeger stands

I have the 30.2XD’s

Resonance dissipation and decoupling:
Extended tenons -  top AND bottom - allow direct absorption of cabinet resonances and decouple the speaker from the ground.

the extended tenons on top of mine have routered out oval “dimples” in the extended tenons - “tone beds” are explained below ,,,, the tenons are not flat …It matters too,

I know that the 40.2’s have the extended tenons too, and it appears that they also have the routered out “dimpled “ tone beds in their model extended tenons.

Extended Tenons

  • The frames of the audio boards are joined with a mortise and tenon joint.
  • The so-called "extended tenons" are evolved out of the wood connection to form the four contact points for the speaker.
  • The upper tenons absorb cabinet resonances.
  • The lower tenons serve to decouple external influences.
  • The "extended tenons" replace the use of spikes.


  • An oval hollow on top of the tenons ( routered out) reduces the contact surface to achieve maximum form fit.
  • The ToneBeds prevent vibration bridges.


I would not chintz it …if it’s too much for you, then give it up , step down, and chooses a larger mass speaker stand & save the $$

resonant woods (ones i have), skylans and sound anchors are fine too

best for bbc heritage speakers to have an open frame design though, if you adhere to the purists...

Have you considered Sound Anchors stands?  I have seen them used fairly often with Harbeth speakers and they make stands dedicated specifically for the Harbeth Monitor 40 line.  The cost for their Signature Stands is a little less than the cost of the TonTraeger stands, and they may be a good trade-off compared to the time, materials, and skill required to achieve a suitable DIY result.  Just a thought.  Good luck getting exactly what you want.

Post removed 

HARBETH owner experiences with open-frame design TonTrager speaker stands compared to the other options….link posted below.

I had a custom woodworker bespoke clone the TT’s at about 40%of their retail cost. Money well,spent.

The “open frame design” with decoupling extended tenons and Tonebeds are the best extension of the overall HARBETH speaker design. In contrast to many rigid, heavy and thick wall models, HARBETHs are a thin-wall cabinet design that permit the speakers to resonate like the sound board in a Strad violin or Steinway grand piano. Decoupling the speaker from the stand is key.

Flat plate stands are a compromise to their design and performance capabilities.

That’s a key fsctor in best highlighting their best-of-breed overall flat frequency response curve across the spectrum , facilitating their class-leading midrange, and presenting their bespoke “airy”:sonic signature .


choose wisely



" the TonTraegers look hideous"

Did the OP ask about looks? You sound like a real buttinsky with nothing to add to the question that the OP asked!

Funny you should mention. I am in the process of making stands for Harbeth P3ESR XDs. The base of the stand should have 4 adjustable spikes to engage the floor. I am turning a single spindle with a unique shape averaging 6" in diameter. It is hollow and will be filled with lead shot. The top plate is triangular with three 1" tall 1.5" diameter dowels at each corner. I will attach the speaker with 3M carpet tape. The stands are overall 36" tall. They are made out of Walnut matching the speakers. 

TTs explained in their website pic and a sample pic of my cloned stands following.


I used TonTrager with my 30.1, and they were excellent. They also looked very attractive (the photos posted is not a good one to judge by).

But let's be clear about something: the speakers are not decoupled from the stands.


I appreciate your comment …. I guess that NO speaker is decoupled from their speaker stands .

If I highlight below the TT narrative explaining the purpose of extended tenons in my prior post, maybe that is a better synopsis for the readers. (Y/N)?

  • The upper tenons absorb cabinet resonances.
  • The lower tenons serve to decouple external influences



To your query on how to post pics



Sign up ( it’s free for basic use);

uoload the pics

They now have a unique web hyperlink

copy hyperlink into your post m and voila


Thank you. To be clear, I was happy with the TonTragers, and do believe that they are well-designed to compliment Harbeth speakers. My pedantry stems primarily from my experiences with isolation devices under speakers, which, when properly designed, do decouple the speakers from the floor. And yes, in my view, and more than a few others, the difference is meaningful.

Interestingly, I engaged in a related experiment with my 30.1/TonTrager combo before I moved on to my current system. I was able to purchase a discounted pair of Townsend Podiums, and tried them. The Podiums are considered by some to be the best of the various speaker isolation options, albeit at a steep price.

Well, my experience was not good, but I do not blame the Townsend product at all. In my view, it was the lack of hard coupling between the 30.1 and TonTragers that caused the failed experiment. Also, consider that there can be a perceived lack of bass impact with such decoupling, and given that the bass of the 30.1 is limited to begin with, that was in issue.

For further perspective, I tried – and kept – Isoacoustic Gaias under my FinkTeam KIM speakers, and consider the improvement to be substantial. The Gaias are probably the most widely used speaker isolation devices, and some high-end companies now supply them as standard equipment.

Note that I am not arguing that the Gaias are in some way superior to the Townsend Podiums (except in terms of value). But my KIMs, which are also stand-mounted, are hard-coupled, and as the stands are metal, the Gais can be screwed directly into them, providing further, crucial hard-coupling.

Finally, as you pointed out above, the BBC type speakers are designed to resonate, so even if hard-coupling could be achieved, I am not certain to what extent they would benefit from feet that are designed to both isolate and provide vibration control.


you are right. My apologies. What was I thinking. 

Entering my opinion about looks on an anonymous forum?

Here is a constructive angle: if you are to build stands that you will look at all day, make them pretty.


To each his own.

But if they’re not to your liking, you felt compelled, at least in this instance, to assert that they’re "hideous"?!


I started this thread.

For the record I think the TonTrager stands are beautiful


so I could have added "IMHO" or to my caveman taste or anything like that. But I thought it's implied, if X says: "roses smell terrible" he means "to him", not to the 8 billion residents of the Planet 

And yes, I am compelled to express that many audiophiles on this forum have a very different taste than I do. I am horrified by speaker stand design and the furniture people surround their 50-100K equipment with.


Yes, of course it was implied that it was your opinion. The question that I was attempting to get at is what value you might possibly add to a conversion by calling a design that a high percentage of Harbeth owners happen to find attractive, "hideous"?

I mean, why not either keep your hyperbolic opinion to yourself, or tone it down?


I am not sure there is anything I can add. I said it all, the value (let's not call it value but substance/significance) of my comment was that there is a massive void of aesthetics in audio gear and equipment and furniture. Which is clearly seen with this speaker stand. If you don't see any point in my comment, that's fine. 

Also, my opinion is not hyperbolic. On the one hand design is a matter of taste, on the other hand it's very objective. There are many ways to evaluate if something has aesthetic value and the fact that a lot of members of a group find it attractive is interesting but does not make it a visually good design.

We can move on. 


Gig Harbor Audio makes/sells stands for the Graham Products they sell.

I would call Eric/owner and have a discussion. His run around $1,000.

Beautiful? I will let you decide.


RE Beauty. No discount for ugly is there? 

I bought the Dynaudio 20's for my standpoints.


1. Most stable design I have seen. Tip overs can really ruin your day

 so I prioritized this.

2. Cable Management system reduces odds of day tripping.

3. Designed to hold 15-20 lbs of sand in each stand. Adds to stability and vibration control.

4. Each stand comes with 4 adjustable spikes.

MSRP is $500. My friend Dan Harmon at Dedicated Audio made a special

purchase and sold me mine for $350. Dan gets a  "highly recommended"

from me. 

They may not win any "design" awards but form follows function in my book.


"the TonTraegers look hideous"


Also, my opinion is not hyperbolic.


With all 3 series of the Harbeth SHL5’s that I owned I used Something Solid XF speaker stands. They sounded great with all of the 5’s.

Since these are metal they are not a DIY project but they cost around $500 and they sounded almost as good as the Ton-Trager's. 

@whipsaw obviously you can't let this go, not sure how to help you :(

if insulting me does help, please have at it. 

if insulting me does help, please have at it.

If you take at as an insult that I am pointing out the absurdity of your claim, that’s on you.

There are many characterizations of the TonTragers, including negative ones, that would not be hyperbolic. "Boring" would be an example. But "hideous"?



The Gig Harbor Audio stuff has a cool factor for sure.  I suspect I noticed a repurposed bowling alley in some of the furniture.  
Unfortunately, similar to the SA stands I mentioned earlier in this thread, those Gig Harbor stands would probably be too rigid for Harbeths that apparently sound best on thin wooden stands that, according to one Harbeth owner,

“allow the speakers to "float" on the four points of contact, which turns the entire cabinet into a musical instrument…The Tontragers suspend the speakers in the air, allowing them to really sing”


+1 for Resonant Woods - these are what my Harbeth dealer provided with my 30.2s

I took the floor models so got a discount cause they had a bit of dust, but I think they are $1200 new/direct from RW?

So TonTrager has the extended tenon on the top. For lack of a better term "decouples" the speaker from the stand...or something of that nature.

Resonant Woods just has a flat surface where the speaker sits on top of the stand.

I'm trying to determine if the extended tenon is needed for optimum sound ?

Thoughts ?

One non sound advantage is being able to get your fingers under the speaker to lift or place-this is in reference to the TonTrager design.


BTW- Does anyone have the dimension of the extended tenon on the TonTragers ?

Or maybe a link to specific dimensions.

I have the general numbers of height/width/depth. I'm specifically looking for the height/width of the extended tenon on top.



Does anyone have the dimension of the extended tenon on the TonTragers ?

I’ll take a stab from memory alone: ~20mm high and 20mm wide

If I were making a TT clone, I'd lose the extended tenon, keeping the whole surface flat and use some Iso-Pucks in its place.  You'll get some form of isolation from the stand that way.

All the best,

Yogi or Whipsaw- should I use some form of protection on the top of the extended tenon ? I don't want to damage the bottom of the speaker.

Maybe some form of protective coating or thin rubber top ?

I don’t use anything. But I have used these when I had my other speakers on steel stands!


haven’t checked in for a few days on this thread, lotsa new comments

my 2 cents owning or having owned multiple sets 40’s, super 5’s and c7’s over the years ... with pretty much all available makes of stands under one set or another --

1) the tontragers are pretty light gauge (surprisingly light, as i experienced them) wood compared to the resonant woods ones which uses a much denser hardwood, you can pick up a tt stand for the mon 40 with one hand and toss it across the room with minimal effort -- i also didn’t care for the small extended top posts of the tt’s with the massive 40’s as i felt the coupling is somewhat tenuous even with some blue-tack or equivalent, and especially so when moving or initially positioning the speaker...

2) tontragers also do not have threading for spikes or casters in their feet - they are meant to go on solid flooring or onto a ceramic slab if the floor is soft - i did not like that, as my listening room is carpeted... in fact i especially like my resonant woods model as it has properly threaded legs and in them i put threaded locking casters so as to be able to easily move and position the speakers as needed

3) resonant woods offers different styles of stands, some have the ’artful’ curved legs and others are more vertical and less ’styled’ - mine have just plain vertical posts, and in a dark finish under the tiger ebony speakers they are unobtrusive

4) i have also used media filled skylans, there are quite nice, made with medium weight composite wood -- as well as sound anchors (i really like them for their solidity but they are massively heavy to move)... have also used top of line target mr stands which are also metal, slightly lighter than the sound anchors but very well made -- the skylans are the only ones of all i have used that give you a fully solid platform on which the speaker is placed, so does not allow the bottom panel of the speaker to ’resonate’ in some open air as some purists feel is important (in my experience this aspect is insignificant sonically with any of the harbeth models i have had)


Yogi or Whipsaw- should I use some form of protection on the top of the extended tenon ? I don't want to damage the bottom of the speaker.

Maybe some form of protective coating or thin rubber top ?

I used nothing, and there were no marks on the relatively light Maple finish 30/1 when i sold them.

I'm having a pair made...probably ordering tomorrow.

I'm doing the extended tenons on top...but the bottoms we'll be flat with heavy duty spikes. I have a thicker rug that they will sit on.

I'm also going to build them out of Tiger Maple which will match my audio stand.

Thanks for all the input.