Novel approach to tackle Speaker Vibrations?


So I was over a friends house listening to some music.and noticed that his Monitor style speakers (+ stands) wobbled due to the fact that they were sitting on Carpet.

I also noticed vibrations in the enclosure of the speaker, but thought that was due to poor enclosure material selection.

I happened to notice a couple of pairs of workout hand weights in an adjoining room and thought placing them on the base of the stand might provide some stability. Alas, there was no real improvement in stability or sound quality

Now, I had previously had some success with increasing speaker mass by placing a granite slab on the subwoofer of my A/V system - it reduced the amount of movement in the enclosure and improved bass details..

So I tried placing the 15 lb weights, one on top of each speaker...
- immediately there was a very noticeable improvement in clarity
- also, almost all of the vibration in the speaker enclosure had disappeared.

I have not experienced anything quite so dramatic as this, but it would appear from this experience that it was a very simple tweak to improve speaker performance.

On thinking about it, the weight provided extra resistance to enclosure movement, which allowed the driver(s) to more accurately reproduce the sound - hence the improvement in clarity.

FYI: I am aware of the many products (Spikes, Cones and Vibration eliminators) out there to address speaker stability and isolation, but this approach proved to be very simple to implement and extremely effective.

So here is my question..:

Has anyone come across a commercial product out there like this
- that weights >=15 lbs
- that is "more attractive" than a large dumbbell

I have thought about a slab of stainless steel, since it would provide the heft required in a smaller footprint and not oxidize. Brass or Bronze might also be a better solution

Thanks in advance for any feedback - Steve

williewonka
Hey Steve,

In the past, I used a couple of bags of lead shot, covered in a ziplock plastic bag, then covered in a DIY black felt "pillow case". Did a great job of adding mass and reducing vibration and the black felt didn't look too bad.
This is why spikes were invented in the first place. I think it started in England. Forget all that voodoo about mechanical diodes funneling unwanted energy into the ether. What they do is poke through the carpet so the speakers are sitting on the hard subfloor below. Problem solved. Get the cheapest spikes you can find.
Adding weight to the tops of speakers can be quite effective. I’ve done this for years.

If you check out my listening room, you’ll see heavy granite slabs the exact dimensions of the speaker tops placed on top of the speakers. I also added some heavy lead fishing weights. The fishing weights aren’t attractive, but without the weights, the granite slabs look as though they are part of the speakers. This tweak really helps in the clarity department.

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5490#&gid=1&pid=2

Frank
Spikes on their own are not always the full answer especially when dealing with relatively light weight monitors perched on top of 26 to 30 inch tall stands. Of course the quality and rigidity of the stands can make a world of difference too.

I had exact same issue with rear surrounds in my ht rig monitors sitting on 28 inch stands of fairly cheap origin. Even though spiked they were still less than perfect. A slab of milled steel painted black on top of each ( maybe 10lb each) cured all ills and really is not very noticeable at all.
Things that do work on top of speakers since mass loading is mostly placebo. In no particular order.

Crystals
Totem Beak
DH Super or Jumbo Cone
Tekna Sonic damper
Ceramic tile tables on cones
small Helmholtz resonators
Mpingo disc



Placebo? I have it on the utmost authority, facts and all, that there is no such thing as placebo when it comes to audio.
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Thanks for the info everyone...
- The lead shot would be relatively easy to make and would stop people placing glasses on top of the speakers - but that would be a lot of lead shot
- The granite, although probably looks the best, would have to be quite thick to get to the desired weight because the speakers have a foot print of around 9" x 10.5"
- I like the steel plate idea because it would probably be the most effective due to it's density - and it would be reasonably inexpensive - just got to find a place that can cut it.

I think before proceeding I have to get my friend to fist get the speakers as stable as possible, because this approach would make them top heavy and more apt to easily fall if accidentally knocked

Hmmm - food for thought :-)

Cheers

.

 
Btw
Under the steel plates I have a blob of blutac each corner just to help stop it sliding off if bumped and chopping somebody's toe off!.

We all still have 10 toes for now!
I sometimes grumble that my speakers weigh over 130# each with the bases and spikes on them. Such a pain to move around. I guess I should stop complaining. They do not vibrate...not that you can feel or see anyway.
@uberwaltz - Believe it, or not, there is a website called - sandbagstore.com. They have double seamed cordura bags, in multiple colors, filled with 25, 30 or 35 lbs of steel shot. Reasonable prices and free shipping. This would probably be the easiest solution. Just order 2 of them. No work, no effort.

A 25 lb. bag of lead shot would be smaller, more compact, but more expensive, toxic and would require some effort to seal it and cover it for aesthetics. 
Yes, I've recommended this before, and your assessment is the same as mine:
The back and forth motion of the drivers can in some cases actually move the speaker baffle causing noticeable doppler like distortion. See Newton's Third Law.

It does not ALWAYS have to happen. It is overall a function of the weight of the speaker, the location of the woofer, tilt and footprint, etc.

Fortunately the fix is cheap and easy. :)

Best,
E
I guess I’m the only one who thinks lead sounds like crap. Makes the bass all weird and funky. I dunno, maybe sound quality isn’t an issue any more. Lead seems like it should be such a great material, too. Not to hard, not too soft. What happens is it gets packed in there and forgotten about. It’s not nice to try and fool Mother Nature.
@uberwaltz - Believe it, or not, there is a website called - sandbagstore.com. They have double seamed cordura bags, in multiple colors, filled with 25, 30 or 35 lbs of steel shot. Reasonable prices and free shipping. This would probably be the easiest solution. Just order 2 of them. No work, no effort.
I believe you for sure.
However I had plenty of steel plate in my workshop so was no big deal to make a couple of weights for free, just a bit of cutting and some paint.

Good info for others interested for sure. 
These would be the ones you were referring to I assume

Quite an interesting site!

Thank you

https://www.sandbagstore.com/shot-filled-sandbags.html
In my experience, there is no, one great fix for every speaker/subwoofer. The damping material/amount used, will vary greatly in it's effectiveness from any speaker. Remember, Harbeth, designs their speaker cabinets to flex, yet they are consistently written up as some of the most natural sounding speakers available.