I bought mine at a store that specialized in hunting and shooting gear. There is one of those in every big town in Vermont. I used #7 shot, comes in 25lb. bags for shotgun shell reload. Remember though that lead is a poison and treat it as such. Good luck and don't eat any on the way home......Bob
Snooker, any particular reason for the #7? I should be receiving a Lead Baloon turntable stand this week and plan on "loading" it with lead shot. I've been wondering what size though. Thanks.
Ditto on getting your lead shot from a hunting store -- better yet, a gun shop that carries reloading supplies. There are also several hunting equipment catalogs that sell lead shot. Lead shot is a bit harder to find than it used to be, since the federal hunting laws now require steel shot for hunting water fowl (birds were ingesting lead shot lying on the bottoms of ponds and getting poisoned).
Smaller shot usually works better for dampening -- easier to pour, more surface area, etc. I use either #7 or #9 shot in speaker stands, etc.
As an alternative to lead shot you might want to consider steel shot. Very inexpensive from industrial abrasives suppliers (~$20/50# bag). Available in sizes (grit) from course powder to ~ #6/7.
Much more enviromentally friendly if you dispose of it later and not a poison risk for children and pets.
As long as we're talking alternatives, and assuming you're looking to damp the ringing of metal stands and are not necessarily interested in making the stands heavier, try kitty litter. Real cheap experiment. Go to your local supermarket and pay $1.99 for a bag of Jonny Cat unscented kitty litter. Should be enough for one set of stands. Try it. If it doesn't do the job, you're out $2 plus sales tax.
If you are interested in adding weight to the stands, lead shot or sand would be better.
Try sand instead(you can get it in Home Depot for a few dollars). I try leadshot before and they sound very bad.
Some use Johnny Cat regular cat litter.
Jim, I had only two choices of small shot the day I was at the gun store. I picked the smaller because I felt they would pack closer together and there would be less chance of vibration or ringing. The #6 looked to me like it was big enough to get too many spaces. I am flying by the seat of my pants here when I make choices like that, so don't rely too much on how I do it. Seemed to work though.............Bob
An alternative damping material I would like to mention is Silica sand. The variety I am using is for sand blasting and is distributed by Clemtex of Houston, TX. The damping it provides is greater than playground sand or (clay) kitty litter, and has mass in between the two.
Each Silica crystal is sharp, extra dry and screened for contaminates. These crystals must pass through a sand blast nozzle, and do the job of sandpaper. Their natural shape, plus screening ( for particle size), makes them a natural to pack upon themselves much tighter than the other products mentioned.
The health hazard is low compared to lead, and should lead be desired, silica may be mixed with #7 shot in a ratio that provides the mass to damping ratio you prefer. I like a 75% Silica, 25% lead mix for the hollow upright steel towers of my Soundlab U-1's. In this mix, the lead is more to the bottom, to offset the pendulum effect of too much weight toward the top of this seven foot tall speaker.
For my turntable and equipment stands, I use Silica only, as the mix with lead was not as good sounding for this application. I bought a huge 25 pound bag for less than $12.00 from a local supplier, found in the Yellow Pages under Sandblasting.
Lead shot mixed WITH the sand will give you the best of both worlds.
It depends on what the application is and your personal taste. I prefer silica sand (only) to shot/sand or shot in a pair of Target HR70 speaker stands on a plaster floor. All shot was "bad", sand and shot "better" and all sand the most natural sounding to my taste and setup. Pain in the Wazoo, but this is what it took to find out.
I would suggest that you use pennies instead. when you are done, you won't have to throw away the lead, and all the hassles that goes with that. Pennies will still be worth something! If you want, you can look up the Periodic table for the density of copper vs the lead!
Lotuss4. Copper is not a bad material, but in the size and shape of pennies, they won't do much in the way of packing together, not to mention the difficulty in getting them into the confined spaces allowed for filling (on most stands). I admit it is an ecologically sound idea though, copper is certainly safe to handle.
My Atlantis Reference Rack has provisions for filling with sand/shot. But the weight of my stuff on that rack already exceeds 250lbs, so I thought the benefits would be very minimal if any at all! Would I receive any benefits by the extra 20 - 50 or so pounds that silca or shot would add? One concern is the "pendulumn effect" of a very heavy (65lbs) SCD-1 player on th top shelf (necessary, because it's top loading). Does this pendulumn effect have any negative effects, or should I be more concerned with resonance from the components itself (seems most logical)?
It seems that effective resonance control is a yet undiscovered mix of science, trial and error, black magic, and voodoo!
BB's (for the guns) used to be made out of copper (35-40 years ago, anyway).
Thanks to all. I think I'll go for the silica sand instead. I forgot to consider the environmental impact of lead.
I do business with an industrial supplier that carries lead shot in 9 sizes. Size #9 (.080") through .440". McMaster Carr Supply, New Brunswick NJ, 732-329-3200. Pricing is about $50 per 25 lb bag.
Almost forgot ... same supplier also has oxygen free copper balls, brass balls, aluminum bronze balls and various plastic / nylon balls. If you wanted to explore the world of foundry metals suppliers you could probably come up with many more options. Anyone who broke out in a sweat reading this is a tweaker in need of therapy & drugs.
I, too, am going to follow Albert's suggestion regarding the silica sand for my turntable stand. My local building supply store sells a 100lb bag for $9.00. Anyone in the Los Angeles area who wants some just email me offline. I'm pretty sure I'll have extra ;-) Is there any other use for this stuff other than audio and sandblasting? What the heck am I going to do with all that sand?
The following info was taken from www.audiopoints.com:
Recommended Fill Materials
Good - White Silica--a pulverized dry glass that will add density to the tubes. NO SAND - too absorptive. Glass is a non-conductive material that does not absorb tremendous amounts of energy. Silica has a very consistent grain and texture, as it will increase mass and stability for heavier components.
Better - Steel Shot--the smaller the size of shot, the better. Steel, like our shelving, conducts energy vibration and adds speed to the grounding pathway. NO LEAD, as lead is a primary energy absorbent material and will reduce the rapid transfer of energy through the pathway. Check with your local gun shop.
Best - Crushed Iron Ore--adds incredible conductive power to the main support rods. Both rods react as one, creating a tremendous high-speed pathway to earth's ground. Crushed iron ore is difficult to find; check with mining and steel manufacturing companies.