Earthquakes, speaker stands, and Snell E

Here's a different sort of question for you. I have a pair of Snell EIII speakers, and they sit on stands custom-made for the speakers. The stands are triangularly-shaped; the speaker sits on two points in front, and one in back. This means that the speaker is unstable if moved in the direction of 10 or 2 o'clock. I relocated to LA, and I'm trying to decide how to keep my speakers from falling over during an earthquake. I've at least two options. First, there are 2 holes in each stand through which I could put a screw into the bottom of the speaker (the speakers have a base and the screw wouldn't enter the cabinet) and screw the speakers to the stands. My worry here is that it would change the dampening effect of the stands--cabinet vibrations would transfer through the screw to the stand.

The other option is the unconventional one. I can place unopened tennis ball cans under the rear two corners. Tennis ball containers, when unopened (they're vacuum sealed) are quite resiliant. They give, but not very much. So these would be "airbags" for my speakers, deflecting the speaker back away from 10 or 2 o'clock if they moved that way.

I've also noticed that the stands on 4 spikes dampen vibrations from quakes--the dampening works from the ground-up, as well. So this might be a consideration.

I've just discovered the community here, and I'm glad that I found you. I purchased my system in 1991 with my high school summer job money, and it is 15 years later that I finally have a bit of money that I can spend on audio gear (10 years of college and graduate school and then finding employment as a teacher will do this sort of thing). So, I really appreciate how much information is here, and how helpful people are.


You might consider using rollerbearing devices (Aurios, Darumas, etc.) under your speakers. From my years spent in L.A., spikes and blutac didn't keep my speakers from being knocked over during the Pico Rivera and Northridge earthquakes. It may be better to allow horizontal movement to dissipate the quake's energy. The buildings designed as "earthquake-proof" have roller systems and stacked floors that allow lateral movement.
Screw the spkrs onto the stands, add weight (if possible) at the bottom of the stands (make them nottom heavy) and, if you wish, change 2 spikes with rollers to allow freedom of movement.
I hadn't thought of rollers. I may try messing around with some serious roller action--a bunch of pieces of dowel under a 4" piece of wood under the speaker. Maybe under my main rack, as well...
I decided to go with straps from

They stick to the speaker (and don't damage the finish--I hope) and screw into a stud in the wall. It became pretty clear that any solution with bluetak or the like wasn't going to hold them if there were any sort of shaking.

I decided rollers weren't the way to go, either--I'd have to put at least two sets under the speakers.

(NPR right now is running a story about hospitals coming down during an earthquake. Great.)