I assume you put the stands back in the exact same spot they were in before filling them. Moving a speaker even an inch can sometimes have a dramatic impact on the sound. Barring that, I suspect what's happened is that you are now hearing tighter, less boomy bass since filling the stands. Tighter bass tends to sound less pronounced. I experienced the same thing when I spiked my speakers. I think you'll come to appreciate the improved detail and tightness as your ear adjusts to the higher quality bass.
In addition to filling the stands with sand, I would suggest that you get rid of the marble and put the spikes right throught the carpet and pad to your concrete floor. The marble slab is "floating" on the carpet. Having the spikes go to the concrete will give you the tightest bass and most stable mounting of the speakers. In my experience, the spikes will do no damage to carpeting.
I agree with Metaphysics, I think your over dampened. The spikes to concrete should help this and overall focus. You may end up with too much high frequency energy, but my experience with 805's is with bass problems not treble.
Why didn't the B&W dealer recommend the B&W stands that were made for these speakers? My 805's sound tight and relatively deep with the matching stands. The coupling of the speaker to the stand with screws may be a part of it. Also, you may want to try a combination of shot and sand, it may be over dampened as JD and Metaphysics suggest. Macm makes a good point as well. Let us know how it all turns out. Good luck.
I tried marble over carpet with spiked (sand filled but still very light) speaker stands, resting on the marble and it sounded very thin, though clean, to the point that I kept turning up the volume way to high for my amp. I removed the marble from the equation and things sounded much fuller though a bit rougher. My floors are some type of heavy plaster (kind of like Fix-All) and should be somewhat similar to yours. The stands were by Anaconda with a single round support post which is why they were still relatively light after being filled. Now that I have switched to very heavy/massive stands I was thinking of trying the marble again. I have alway found it necessary to play around with the speaker placement after changing most components (including tubes, stands and IC's) in the equation. Nothing drastic usually just a few inches or a few degrees of angle at the most may end up sounding better to me. My speakers by the way are not optimaly placed by any means, but I will take any improvement that I can get.
Spiking and filling your speaker stands may give you tighter bass, but not the deepest bass your 2 way speakers are capable of. Place vibrapods between speaker and base
and you will experience deeper more extended bass.....only takes a couple minutes to try. Floor standing speakers are a different matter.
which stands are the ones you have BMPNYC?
Soundwatts, the stand made specifically for the 805's model number is FS-N805. Try going to
http://www.bwspeakers.com/products/ and click on product gallery. When you see all of the Nautilus speakers, you will see the stands as well. They are a perfect fit, with the same contours and the same oval shape as the 805's. They are very well made, as well as elegant. Maybe your dealer will allow you to exchange the speaker stands. I have the silver stands with the 805's in the natural cherry finish.
Hi Martin. If your marble tiles are not spiked to the floor, as suggested above, then the additional weight of the sand is probably allowing the speaker to move back and forth at a lower frequency and cancelling bass. Therefore I agree with the above posts on this point. Adding sand to a stand is not necessarily a good thing. With a speaker that lacks bass, there can be a perceived increase in bass due to filling the stand with sand (if the stand is firmly spiked to the floor. But the reason for this is smeering of the bass note, thereby creating a sense of more bass weight - which I admit can be a pleasing effect with some lightweight-sounding speakers. There can be some beneficial effects of filling with sand, such as damping of the stand's resonance (or even the floor's too), and providing a sink for the speaker's energy. But if you do fill your stands with sand, you should ensure you spike the speaker to the stand so that the energy stored in the (now heavier) stand is released quickly at the interface between the speaker and the stand.
Hi Mark, when you say "spiked", do you mean instead of screwing the B&W 805's to the speaker stand, to use the small spikes that also come with the speakers instead? The coupling of the speaker to the stand is exactly why I thought that the B&W stands were probably a better idea than another brand, even if that brand is very well made. When I first purchased my stands I filled them with sand because shot was hard to find. When I finally found a gun shop in upstate N.Y. that sold shot I changed from 100% sand to alternating between sand, and shot. I got less bloom and a more defined pitch in the bass, but now you have me wondering if I should have used the spikes instead of the screws. Good to hear from you.
Martin, I hesitate to be too definitive because I have found that different things work with different speakers, and can depend on the weight of the speaker. When you screw speakers to a heavy stand you ensure that the speaker's energy has a sink and that the excursion of the speaker will be minimised. The downside is that the stand will store and release the energy over a long period, and will be delivered back to the speaker very easily. If you either rest the speakers on up-turned spikes screwed into the stand, or screw the spikes into the bottom of the speaker, the result will be different. Any significant movement of the speaker will be quickly released to the stand, but will be less likely to be returned to the speaker. I certainly found that this latter method was preferable with several small box speakers (such as Totem and Proac). Principally the sound was "faster" and more open. With screwing the speakers to a heavy stand, there was perhaps an improvement in neutrality, and greater bass weight, but a deadening of the music (which I ascribe to smeering of fine detail). Where screwing the speaker to the stand may be better is when the cabinet has a "lively" resonance and the slowing of the release of this energy is perceived to be an improvement. This is just my theory and I suggest you take it as merely a suggestion for trying something else. If you end up prefering the screws oaver the spikes, then there may be a cabinet resonance issue that might be better dealt with using Vibrapods between the stand and the speakers - I only say might because Vibrapods have their pluses and minuses. But all of this is predicated on you spiking your stand securely to the floor first - which really is a must.
Hi Mark, thanks for the tip. When I have the time to experiment and get a bit adventurous I will compare both ways of setting up the 805's. One thing about screwing the speakers to the stands, it is such a secure way of mounting the speakers that it gives me the confidence that it will not topple over if I accidentally bump into it. The spikes that B&W give with the speaker are sort of a "rounded at the edges" spike, and I felt as if it would be precarious to leave them on the stands that way. How do you secure your speakers to their stands? Also, my stands are on the spikes and firmly planted on my wooden floor. I can live with a few holes in the floor, but not mushy sound.