A product called Quadraspires, $19.95 for four. Located in Isolation components.
I use them under my spikes on hardwood, I also placed two way removable tape on the bottom and stuck some black felt, so I can easily move them around without scratching the floor.
Tape from Lowes in painting supplies, Various colored felt from Michaels.
Works like a champ.
If the floor is a wood joist suspended type you might want to put the speakers/spikes on a harder, more inert surface like granite or for a cheap fix some concrete flag-stones from home depot at about $5 per. I found the wood floor acted like a resonating board for the bass frequencies and found the concrete helped. (best results though were with the concrete spiked and the speakers on aurios, but that was getting elaborate.) Stay away from rubber based footers as they compounded the bass-boom tremendously. (at least in my case.) Good luck. Oh yeah and don't forget the wool carpet.
Ok here's my two cents,,,,,,,,literally!
I had the same problem a few months ago with my Klipsch speakers. I found the cheapest solution to the problem. I put a penny under each spike. The whole tweak cost 8 cents and it didn't affect the sound at all.
May sound kinda cheesy, but hey it worked!
Cone coasters by Sound Anchor. Nice looking stainless, with a small divot for the spike and stuff on the bottom so you can slide them around easily when you need to.
Depending how heavy your speakers are and how hard and pointy your spikes are they can go through a thin piece of metal like a penny.
Tell ya what you do...
Find the precise location that you want your speakers, make sure you lift them and set them down, you dont want to scuff your floor.
Then once they are in the perfect spot, take out a hammer and wildly start pounding on the top of your speaker(this is especially fun with martin logans) This will gently nudge your spikes into the hardwood floor and make sure that they do not move around and scratch the surface.
Audiogon member "esoler" can make you some beautiful discs of whatever metal you want with a dimple to accomodate those points and protect your floors. Ace Hardware sells thick felt with an adhesive backing which you can cut and stick onto the floor side of the disc if you prefer.
Meech & Herman:
Yes, sharp spikes will go through pennies (often within a matter of a few months).
A friend of mine ended up using the pop out slugs from electrical boxes which were scattered throughout the house following a re-wire (two per spike) and with these the spikes went through the first (top) one within a year's time, but after making a dimple in the second/bottom slug they stopped moving.
He eventually replaced them with little discs purchased @ Audio Advisor (probably the ones mentioned above) as he needed a bunch for a new audio/vidio rack that has eight legs, but the slugs worked fine.
His speakers weight approx. 100 lbs each and the rack/gear @ least 200-300 lbs.
With nice new floors @ stake (even though I'm a cheapskate) I would pop for something designed with the application in mind.
"Audio Points" makes a tiny litle brass footer for spikes to fit into. I use them under my Audio Point Cones, between stacked components. They are available on-line, from Music Direct or Sistrum (the manufacturer).
Depending on the hardness of the wood floor i.e. maple or oak, I would rest the point tips right onto the floor.
If you use Audio Points(TM), simply place your equipment carefully without dragging it. The indentations are so minute, that nobody would probably notice. One drop of polyurethane could take care of that slight indentation.
The coupling discs are the next best thing and yes they preserve the floor surfaces but also compromise performance.
I would stay away from all the other ideas of plexiglas, etc., etc., as these would denegrade performance much more than coupling discs.
I agree about the brass footers. Just make sure they are sized for your speakers (larger diameter for larger speakers) to avoid leaving indentations on the floor. Old hardwood flooring is much harder than newer hardwood flooring made from faster growing trees -- you may not have an issue with size if your house is older. There are many sources for these footers. They are normally 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and about .25 inches high and they should have a dimple in them to accommodate the spike. Good luck. If you need to get some great sources, let me know and I'll look up the folks who sold me mine.
Pennies work well. After time they do require replacement. The first time around I chamfered the pennies with a drill but now I just set the spikes in the center of the Lincoln Memorial. For extra thickness spring for nickels.
I have found the brass Audio Points and Coupling Disks sound great and protect my wooden floor.
I use Nordost power points in titanium.
Not cheap but quite effective and virtually invisible
I just read one members suggestion about using pennies. I did the same thing but I had Hales Concept 3's (180 lbs) with three sharp cones each. They poked right through the pennies and left little impression of Abraham Lincoln on the wood floor. Pennies or nickels are fine for lighter speakers but try the brass coupling discs with felt on the bottom. If the speaker isn't too heavy you can even slide them on the floor without damage.
I always thought the point of spikes WAS to "drive" them into the flooring, in order to anchor the speakers securely. If that's the case, what's the point of putting the spikes on something hard, that the spikes can't penetrate? What am I missing here?
Bomarc, I'll give you my two cents (pun intended) but regardless of the theory, the spikes on top of discs have worked for me. The sound is much more three dimensional and the midrange is tighter.
Here's my theory. First, the weight of the speaker is concentrated on four very small points so the speaker is more stable. Second, the indentations on the discs further help stabalize the speaker. Third, your spouse doesn't kill you for leaving holes in the floor and everything sounds better live ;-)
Lak is on target. AudioPoints coupling discs have been a very worthwhile investment for me.
Bomarc, I believe the reason for having spikes, cones, or points is to provide a focused and expedient exit path for any and all air-borne vibrations and resonance captured by the coponent above them. This would adhere to the mechanical transfer to ground of air-borne vibrations and resonance principles (as opposed to isolation and dampening).
In addition if the spike, cone, or point is designed properly it also prevents any vibration from entering into the component, rack, and/or speaker. In other words, it provides a one-way street to ground(sub-flooring) for exit but not entry.
As for driving the spike hard into the floor, I've never heard that. I do believe that one should desire the points to descend into the flooring system but only as much as the weight above it forces it into the floor.
I know with Star Sound's Audio Points(TM), one simply rests the spiked rack or speaker onto the floor, wait about 7 days while a mechanical break-in occurs, and behold, there is music.