Cones vs. factory spikes?

Has anyone done any A-B testing for various speaker cones? Currently, my KEF REF 4s (120 lbs each, ported base) have the factory spikes. Before spending big bucks on Orchard Bay cones (used on Talon Khorus and recommended by my dealer) or Black Diamond Racing (why is their web site is abysmal?), I would like to know what others have used on the bottom of their speakers and if they make an "audible" differnce. Rest of system (for 2 channel) is: Aranov tubemonos, firstline pre, Sony SCD-1 (on order).
There was a thread from 2-6-01 entitled, "Talon Khorus owners, please read" that you might find interesting. The poster said the Sistrum SP-1 platforms were even better than the Orchard Bay cones with his Talon Khorus'. I've not used them, but their website is Good luck.
symposium ultra
Try the BDR or Polycrystal speaker cones, thread them almost, but not completely, against the speaker bottom face. These two work the best for me on carpeting. If you're lucky enough to have hardwood floors, or VERY low pile carpet, try the Audios MIBs under the speakers. Wow. Like you, I despise the simple spikes even the most expensive speakers seem to provide as factory equipment. Awful sounding, and don't inspire structural confidence, at least to me. I always fear the damn things will shear right off with heavy speakers, you know?
Most factory spikes are just threaded rod ground to a point on one end with locking nut, almost an afterthought. I use "collossial" Polycrystal cones which are 2" tall brass coated with polycrystal material. Does clearly provide better sound all around over factory spikes and cost $160 for a set of eight threaded cones. I was told by dealer to tighten cones against speaker bottom to completely couple for best sound. You can loosen one cone as needed to level.

Also as Evans said don't be afraid to experiment with other speaker mounting methods such as Aurios MIB, RollerBlocks, Vibrapods etc. All produce different sound. Sistrum, mentioned by Macm, and others make speaker platforms with spikes built in, can get expensive though (as can Aurios MIB for speakers)
I think you guys are CRAZY! "Cones or spikes....hmmm what sounds better?" Nothing wrong with being nuts, eh?
OK. That does it. Now I'm totally confused. Here is what I knew up to now : On speakers, when the voice coil moves, it generates an equal (assuming no loss) force in the opposite direction (ie towards the back). If not dampened, this causes colorations and reduction of power towards the front. Therefore, it is necessary to anchor the speakers to the floor firmly to stop the backward motion of the cabinet. The best way to do this via spikes and cones. There are even suggestions that the cone and/or spike 'cups' reduces the 'firmness' of the anchoring and should be avoided. There was even a thread in A'gon which suggested marble to be bolted to the speaker ! Now, in this thread, I read about 'Aurios' and 'Roller Blocks' under the speakers. Again, to my understanding, these are designed to 'sway', -possibly- causing the speakers to move. What am I missing here ? Can someone please explain...
Ikarus; you're right, it is complicated. I recently called Dunlavy Labs and ended up talking to John Dunlavy himself. I asked him why he did not put spikes/cones on Dunlavy speakers and he said "because they don't measure as well as without" (he was referring to flat frequency response).

It's true, Dunlavy does not use any coupling devices between speakers and floor. J. Dunlavy also said the best thing to do is to just let the speakers "float on carpet". Dunlavy speakers are mostly pretty heavy, and he did not specify conditions under which measurements were made.

All that said, my Vandersteen 3Asigs have Tiptoes, which I like, and my 2Ces have good quality spikes threaded into the steel basees. While I am considering spikeless Dunlavy speakers, I do prefer spiked speakers, based on my experience with the Vandys. Craig
Hey Craig, Just because John Dunlavy said, doesn't mean it's what you'll like best. John Atkinson at Stereophile seems to have a real problem with Dunlavy's measurements, and rated the speakers down because of it. I think the Dunlavy's are the best for the money, and mine just float, but you may like them better spiked. It's ok to go against the "experts" and the "measurements", it's your ears, not John's.
On alot of equipment spiked sound better, and then you must find the right material to use for spiking. The best thing to do is try everything you can, borrow from a friend, ask your local dealer for a loaner set, buy used, but they can make a big difference under the right equipment. J.D.
My Meadowlark Kestrels have the all time worst factory spikes, an obvious afterthought, especially in view of the otherwise wonderfully crafted cabinets. That said, I simply put 25 lb. bags of lead shot on top of each speaker and Newton's third law on a leash. Big improvement in image and bass clarity.
JD; you are correct. I just mentioned J. Dunlavys's comments because he is a well respected speaker manufacturer, and I found his position regarding spikes "interesting".

Until a few weeks ago, I didn't even know Dunlavys weren't spiked. I personally think that conditions would dictate whether or not the speakers (Dunlavys) sound better with spikes or not-- regardless of how they measure-- or who they are made by. BTW, which model Dunlavy's do you have? Cheers. Craig
I have the IVa. I started with the III and loved them, but always wanted the IV, it was an ego thing I think. The IVa has much better bass definition, the III's have a midrange to die for. I never tried spiking just because of the weight and not wanting to lose the perfect speaker location it took so long to find. I would love to here if anyone has tried spiking on there Dunlavy speakers. GREAT SPEAKERS CRAIG! J.D.
Ikarus, the sound being produced inward on a speaker is a concern that relates to interior dampening. If your speaker is physically moving in the opposite direction either it is too light or the volume is too loud. This movement problem is best solved by speaker weight which in term reduces cabinet vibration. If any one disagrees please respond. This is simply my common sense approach.
Marsh, be assured that my speakers do not move (except when I want them to :)). I'm expressing my surprise to the suggestion of Aurios and/or Roller Blocks under the speakers - which, in my opinion, will cause the speakers to move. I'll stay with spikes.
My common sense tells me that a speaker cabinet being "pushed" in the opposite direction by the excursion of a driver isn't a big deal - a tiny loss of amplitude. But when a speaker that is wobbly or mounted on an insufficiently stiff support recovers its "neutral" position following this push, that's probably when a mess is created, since that recovery motion is independent of and out of phase with driver motion. Roller bearings might be good under speakers if they keep the small, reactive motion of the cabinet in time with the driver motion. And, a speaker cabinet that is free to move as a unit on bearings in reaction to driver motion may not be prone to flex and resonate as much as a cabinet that is being held in place by just one of its surfaces. Also, spiking a cabinet to the floor means the behavior of the floor has a chance to affect the sound of the loudspeaker, another factor that bearing supports may alleviate. I don't have any first-hand experience with bearing supports, but I speculate on some possible advantages just to illustrate why simple, general rules (always spike to the floor, always mass load, etc.), though appealing, may not offer the best guidance for any particular situation.
I have not found any universal rules in this area, and it seems to depend on a number of factors. For example, with the hybrid Logans, rigid coupling to the floor is critical or the bass unit does not integrate at all well with the panel. But with very hard floors, or where you need metal cups under your spikes, then spikes can sound horrid - BDR cones being much better.