I use concrete blocks as a base for my Dunlavy speakers (the blocks are painted for WAF). This raised the speakers 7" -8" off the ground and so I had to raise the sofa to match the height difference. ( with concrete blocks also, not appreciated by the wife, who nonetheless has stopped complaining about it). The results are remarkable. Dampening is excellent, dynamics are improved. Overall an excellent tweak at an extremely modest cost. But it is important that your listening place (sofa, etc) is also increased by the same height as the speaker base. Otherwise, you are listening off-axis and no lateral movement of the speakers can compensate for the difference in sound.
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Mike, Do WHATEVER is necessary to get the sound you want. I had some Hales Revelation II's (with concrete baffle -wish I had them back) that didn't come to life until I put them on bases composed of (from ground up): 12" X 12" X 1" patio slab, two full height cinder blocks, another patio slab, two half height cinder blocks, topped of by, U guessed it, another patio slab. This was in my living room. EVERYTHING snapped into place when I removed the front cone (left rear two in place). So much for short speakers...
why not simply replace your floors with concrete? maybe granite? it'd be much more aesthetically pleasing. my god, who but an 8 footer finds it comfortable to sit on a couch raised half a foot from the floor? com'on guys, this is the sort of stuff that makes 'philes sound even more like freaks 'n geeks.
Seriously, concrete blocks are one of the best methods of dampening your system. It doesn't take much creativity to disguise them, i.e., a wood surround, or paint, etc. In fact, all of my amps (10 of them) are now on concrete blocks approx. 2 feet high with a polished wood base under each amp. As for the sofa, I really don't notice the difference (I'm 5'10"). It seems the sofa designers make the legs as short as possible to accomodate the widest range of height differences. Interesting how we assume that things as they are, are as they should be.
I USE ONE 18X18X2 RED CONCRETE PATIO BLOCK FROM HOME DEPOT @ $4.95 EACH UNDER MY VANDERSTEEN 3A WITH THE SOUND ANCHORS AND CONE POINTS WITH BETTER RESULTS THEN WITHOUT. ALSO READ MY THREAD IN SOUND ADVICE LISTED UNDER SHELF MATERIAL FOR A TURNTABLE STAND.TRY IT YOULL LIKE IT.RECOMMENDED FOR AUDIOPHILES WITHOUT CONCRETE OR GRANITE FLOORS.
Great posts! I used 4" slabs of white marble (broken gravestones used as landfill adjacent a quarry near Rutland, VT!) under stands to lift my older two-ways to proper height. (Didn't "deaden" the sound, either!) The increased rez from the bases was a bonus, but of course getting the vertical listening axis correct was more important. No one mentioned the change in bass response as the vertical distance of the woofer to the floor is altered, as well--so remember: even if you raise your sofa on stilts you'll still have a spectrally-altered upper bass/lower mid right? Currently I appreciate that Verity Audio decouples their two-way satellites from the woofer-module bases of my Parsifal Encores via a 1" granite coupling plate, finished with 4 + 4 thin sorbo spots in between, finished by spikes to the floor. I asked them if I should mount the whole system up on these aforementioned marble bases, and they were adamant about not changing either the floor-to-woofer nor mid-to-woofer distances. So I surmise that you: 1) get the woofer height correct first, then 2) dial in your sofa height to perfect the VLA. Then perhaps 3) tilt the speaker a bit forward or back to fine-tune this "voicing", too, but I was also told (again by Verity) that this latter "rocking" is best done lastly to raise or lower the visually-correlated soundstage. (Interestingly, for a tweeter-above-mid/woofer satellite, tilting the speaker forward raised the soundstage, which I found counterintuitive. Live 'n learn!) Good Luck. Ernie
...reread your original post, and wanted to add that the 4" change in VLA completely swamps any effects of power cord changes (esp the "hardening" of the mids). The "diminished" bass is due to the change in woofer height from the floor creating a shift in the floor-bounce null, as well perhaps a spectral-tilt shift due to the altered VLA. The improved imaging is probably due to a combination of the granite indeed, plus perhaps treble-shift due to changed VLA. These shifts are EASILY several dB at several frequencies! So, again, if you want to perform reasonably-good single-blind comparisons with the granite you'll have to somehow NOT alter speaker height while you swap support structures, or your results will be incorrectly deduced. (In my earlier setup with 2-way satellites I learned to correctly compare 20" stands with 4" marble underneath to 24" stands alone; but again, this was AFTER I determined the appropriateness of the 24" total height vis-a-vis my listening height at my unmovable sofa.) So do one thing at a time.... It's only my limited experience, but I suspect that even one inch of VLA change will affect tonal character more than those cords' ripening. Whereas I was limited somewhat by the 4" increment of the marble (WAF!), it seems that stacking these 1" patio slabs mentioned above may be a great way to establish correct speaker height. Maybe you could use 'em under your sofa feet too if woofer-height and/or your leg-length comfort demands it. Have fun! PS If patio block colors don't match your rug you can try cheap bluestone, which is a more neutral light gray.
I have tried both granite and concrete under speakers and did not like them - I surmise they stored energy and fed back into the speakers - I could hear the effect of the ping that both these materials have. I wonder whether you might get a better result spiking the speakers firmly to the floor through the carpet, I am not particularly keen on Vibrapods under speakers. Perhaps my floor is different from everyone else here as I seem to be the odd one out.
Subarugu-thanks for sharing your experiences on this matter. I supected that shifting the driver further away from a boundry, in this case floor, would affect the bass response. I've noticed it with other speakers as well. Well, I'm listening while the Vipers burn-in and it seems things are improving, bass is better and while there isn't any shrilliness to vocals there is less of a fullness and roundness; stripping of the harmonic structure, that is bad! I did try setting the speaker on the granite (per recommendation from an audio store) w/o Vibrapods but that was no good. I will try with the stock spikes, but that will only raise them higher. Like I said after everything stabilizes I will a/b with and without the stone bases. I've always noticed greater distinctions when I put the original component or configuration back in. Thanks to all how responded. mike [email protected]