Review: The Track Audio Spikes 10MM Spike Tweak

Category: Accessories

The Track Audio Spikes

If you have not yet heard of Track Audio they are a company out of the UK. The company whose owner has his own machine shop. A company whose machine shop specializes in stainless steel. They build and make some of the most exemplarary speaker stands in existence. The company additionally machines some of the finest spike feet, coupling disks and coupled and decoupled bases for all audio applications. The quality of their products are second to none.

I acquired a set of the Track Audio Speaker Spikes to use on my pair of Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Baby Grand speakers. The stock Vienna stands are supplied with 10MM spikes but they are not super hard like stainless and the points are not pointed enough to really spike the speaker to the floor. They are just standard steel and painted black. The Track Audio Spikes are more pointed and have a slightly rounded tip to prevent it from bending the tip. The Spikes slice thru the carpet pad like a switchblade and anchor the speaker to the floor solidly. The floor and the speaker become one with each other.

My previous experience with stainless steel couplers has shown to me that they sound superior. They do this by removing a layer or two of grunge and adding musical clarity and sparkle without being analytical. Pushing my choice even further was the fact that Track Audio is the only company that makes a 10MM fitment. So the choice became obvious.

Plus the fact that they have been compared in the audio press as comparable to the Stillpoints stainless feet with their Track Audio decoupled and couple footers. I knew I just had to try a set.

My first selection was the LP of Eric Clapton “Homeboy” (Movie Music 791241-1). The music came thru more detailed but set back in more relief. The energy of the recording had changed. Drums have more snap with the spikes. Electric guitars have more electricity. The body of acoustic guitar more body and sustain.

Yes noticeably more sustain. The notes held longer with more silence in the background. Timbre was now more precise with better tonal structure. Bass was more articulate and more brought out of the depths where before unbeknown to me was murky sound. There was more delicacy and dimension more 3D. Voices more heard and unheard in the greater silence brought forth.

The Track Audio Spikes really pierce the carpet and ride on the wood beneath the carpet instead of riding on top of the carpet and the pad. Now the speaker and the floor was one solid structure. The result was more delineated, more detailed and smoother highs. The air around the sound was not analytic but more apparent. There is more apparent energy to the music without it becoming noticably louder or brought forward.

On the cut “Call me if you Need Me” by Magic Sam the body of the acoustic bass became very real to me. Almost like getting a two to three thousand dollars worth of electronic performance or a jump up a notch in a speaker line. The sense of space and the change of it with the Track Audio Spikes were that large.

The LP of the “Grieg Piano Concerto”, Radu Lupu / Andre Previn LSO (King Super Analog KIJC 9161) the acoustic of Kingsway Hall has never sounded better. The ceiling and the walls more apparent or came across so well as the reverberant field grows and swells. No wonder the original Decca SXL is on the TAS Super Disk List.

Jimmy Smith's “Organ Grinder Swing” (Verve Japan UMV 2074) reveals so much. I have heard this LP many times it has become a standard for me. But it always reveals new found information. This time subtle drum cues and the organ. The swinging dynamic growls of the organ and the bass thumping down low are a huge part of the sonic picture.

Lower bass sounds improved and with now more impact than I remember hearing before on this LP. The voice of Smith the dialog of oh yea - uh huh sounding fresher than it has before. It’s the inter-transient silence the veil of the cloud has lifted. Clouds lifted to show the fidelity of the music and the sound. “It’s nice” Jimmy says and he makes you believe sounding so much better during “Blues for J”.

Which brings us to Miles Davis’ recent new release of “Round about Midnight” LP (Mobile Fidelity 1373). This is the one that many have been waiting for its remaster and the wait has been over a year. And its sound here is in “Hemispheric Mono Sound”. The standout cut “Round Midnight” has some of the most holographic mono sound.

This is a cut that haunts. It’s so good and the sound is likened to the sound of a movie never made. And Miles hits a clunker right at the end which makes me wonder was the fade late? The Track Audio Spikes really make the listener notice. The drums on “Bye Bye Blackbird” now present with more air. Paul Chambers’ bass is very rounded filling the studio sounding very bassy in the mix for its time. Rich and full bodied is the sound.

Mel Collins’ sax on Richard Wrights’ “Wet Dream” (Columbia LP 35559) took on a more rounded and resonant sheen. The whole of the soundstage now larger and reach out and touch with initial transients having more of a leading edge and again more apparent sustain. “Drop in from the Top” taking on a more mechanical musical character with the sections added to the cut in the recording by multitrack. The added sections become apparent when Collins’ sax is in the sonic picture and mixed low.

The sparse instrumentation on Linda Ronstadt’s “Get Closer” LP (Warner – Pioneer Japan P11060) also shows how dense the mix is and how open and wide the soundstage is. With the stick work and keyboard floating off the width of the speakers the width of the room. A prime candidate for a re-issue, grab any copy you can find as it’s a beautiful work and recording.

Even on a work of few surprises. Stokowski’s “Bartok Concerto for Orchestra” (Classic – Everest LP SDBR 3069) we have buried string textures in the beginning of the piece now made apparent by the Track Audio Spikes. Across the stage the drum battery appears and strings pluck with the delicacy that only a harp can produce. In sharp contrast are the drums and are all texture, bombast and edge.

Overall the Track Audio Spikes remove an entire layer of grunge. The feeling of compression in the midrange of the speaker is removed entirely. The noise floor of the speaker and Vienna which is amongst the very quietest increases. The sense of apparent energy in recordings is heightened and enhanced in my system. Hearing these on the speakers makes me wonder what they would do for my Sound Anchor amp stands. These spikes offer a ton of performance for the money. There is no way I could go back to listening to the speakers with the stock spikes after hearing this fantastic upgrade.

These are the sonic qualities of what the Track Audio Spikes can bring to an audio system. The Track Audio Spikes are available in just about any SAE or metric thread size you could need for your application. I only wonder what they sound like with their coupled and decoupled footers and how much and what those add to the sound of the spikes. More to come next time?

Prices and Sizes for Sets of Eight:

1/4 X 20 $119

3/8 X 16 $149

M6 $119

M8 $129

M10 $149

Track Audio

Associated gear
Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Baby Grand
Thanks for the informative review Triodeotl, I am thinking of buying these for a pair of Tekton Lore-S speakers on a second system I have as I am not happy with the stock spikes which came with these speakers. I like that the Track Audio spikes seem to be easy to adjust height and rake angle as well. I need to get protective coasters and will probably get the the smaller Iso-Cleans. You say that the spikes are solid, so I assume you had no problems with speaker leveling or rocking?