Lead shot is ok, but remember it is a toxic problem, and when you discard them someday...
And filling them if you have children or pets around...
Sand on the other hand is easy to use, non toxic, easy to dispose of and works just as well.
I have B&W 501S stands filled with sand and they are great.
Remember to dry the sand, then pack it down by vibrating or tapping the stands to settle and pack the dry sand as much as possible before sealing them.
Lead shot has greater mass per volume than sand and mass is what is desired when filling stands. Sure lead is toxic if handled all the time, but inside your stands poses no danger to you, your kids or pets. Some folks like to mix sand in with the lead to fill the gaps, but lead is soft and doesn't vibrate, so sand isn't really needed.
When you buy your sand go to Lowe's or similar store that stocks it on shelves INSIDE the store. This should guarantee that it is dry. Buy the fine grade. A couple of weeks ago I got some like this at Lowe's to fill a new pair of Dynaudio Stand 4's. It worked great.
This post comes up every few months! Lead shot is best, the smaller the pellets [higher #'s of bird-shot], the more dense the pack.
Some cautions...as Elizabeth mentioned, lead can have toxic effects, and needs to be disposed of properly [recycling or giving to a gun store]. Rinse the new shot pellets a few times in a bucket to remove the dust. WEAR A DUST PROTECTION MASK WHILE DOING THIS!!! And don't worry about pouring the water down the drain, but DO NOT pour the rinse water into the ground. When the shot dries, CAREFULLY pour it into the stand filler holes, and then seal the stand up. Use a funnel, if necessary, and be sure to inspect and remove any and every pellet that has fallen onto the floor. You're all set...no worries.
Children are very susceptible to lead poisoning. The method of exposure primarily involves eating lead paint chips, which supposedly have a sweet flavor. Lead paint is no longer available to the consumer market, but it still does have industrial applications. Inhalation of lead dust or vapor is also very dangerous. Again, interior house paint used to contain lead, so you just can't sand it down and repaint! It involves a HazMat removal, which can cost several thousand dollars...or more!
Also, it requires a prolonged and repeated exposure [inhalation or ingestion] for toxicity, but the effects can be permanent. It's a material where small non repetitive exposures is nowhere near as dangerous as the media hype portrays.
Hello and thanks to all who have replied. I did go to Lowe's yesterday and purchased the play sand they had(only one I saw). I think I will forgo the lead shot at this time. These stands are not high dollar and I will probably replace them in the future. My next go round will have a mix of sand and shot. Nice thread on the cautions. Good listening, Bret
One point which has not been made here is that sand and lead have different absorptive/deadening properties which complement one another. I mix the sand and lead shot together and have found the combo to be very effective.
I have not completed building the stands so I may reconsider adding the shot. I'm also in need of some blu tack for the top plates. The stands come with foam pads but I rather use the blu tack. Anybody have a wad they would like to sell? Also what can I use that is similar that I can pickup at Lowe's. Ahh the pains of a phile :)
Use Blu-tack ONLY! The other "generic" stuff sold in hardware and office supply stores is CRAP...I had to find out the hard way.
I've tried lead and sand and have settled on concrete powder. It's extremely dense and dead for sound. Non toxic and plentiful/cheap.
I used a mixture of sand and shot by filing first with sand and then pouring in the lead.
You can get blu tac or 3m substitute at any hardware or general merchandise store.
Once again I thank you for your knowledge and advice. I called a gun shop to inquire about the shot and was told Walmart has this. Maybe I can get the blu tac at the same time. I'm on my wayyyy :)
Blu-tack = Audio duct tape
I used generic bluetack on my B&W805s stands.
I made it super thin by kneading it with my fingers until them bled!
1/32 inch thick (any thinner and it 'tears')
The sound without, and screwed to base was too 'tight' in the bass and a bit bass shy.
With the bluetack substitute the bass came out just enough to be perfect!
The generic worked for me... just remember to knead it a LOT before using it. The more the better.. (keep pulling it in to a long strip then fold, repeat. after a dozen strech and folds, twist it up about 30 twists, real tight. then repeat streching and folding. then roll it up into a ball or tube and use it anyway you want.
Makes the stuff much much better.
Try something else. In my experience lead destroyed much of the microdynamics of the music, especially at lower volumes. Sand much less so, but created some resonance issues. I took a hint from the AudioPoints folks and tried fine metal shot (blasting shot off ebay). Sounded very exciting and energetic, but a bt unnatural. A 50:50 mix of steel shot and sand was just the ticked to retain microdynamics but still sound natural.
I also don't like what high mass does to the sound of my bookshelf speakers, and I didn't like the effect of blue tac, but those are lengthy topics by themselves.
Try these things for yourself.
Elizabeth, the generics that I've used are more sticky, tacky, and pliable than Blu-tack. They are also harder to remove, and when exposed to higher temperatures [car interiors] they will deteriorate to a consistency slightly less sticky than used chewing gum! What generic brand are you using? Maybe I'll give it another try.
I had no luck find blu tack at Walmart. Elizabeth where can I find the generic blu tack you mentioned? My quest continues.
The last time I tried finding blu-tac I had no luck either so I purchased Scotch 3M Adhesive Putty. It comes packaged identical to the blu-tac and worked identically also as far as I could tell. I'm sure it's available at any store that sell office supplies, including Wal-Mart. As for shot, I had no luck at local Wal-Mart and went to a large sporting goods store that specialized in outdoor (hunting/camping) gear. Lead shot was a good 30% cheaper there than at local gun shop.
As for Ssglx's comments. Wow! Those are some very good ears to hear a difference caused lead vs sand vs steel. Honestly though, I have never tried to hear a difference between blu-tac and similar material. The same goes for listening for a difference caused by stand filler material. Good luck with your search.
I was going to place very fine, pure sand obtained from a pet store for reptile acquariums in the section of my speakers dedicated for mass loading. My thinking was to actually place the sand in 1 pound ziplock bags as a way of proper measuring/calbrating, and also making it a "cleaner" fill. Any thoughts on using sand-filled baggies as opposed to straight sand? I'd think they'd both settle the same.
Hey Walkman I like your idea. May give that a try. Timrhu I'll look for that 3M putty you mentioned. Stay tuned--I'll get this project cooking soon. Thanks to everyone else for there input.
Thx South43, I am borrowing it from the suggestion of my dealer. Also, to be clearer than my other post, it's for mass loading a floorstanding speaker, not speaker stands. I don't want to hijack the thread, but my approach seemed to be related to the topic at hand, so I "put it out there" for feedback.
An update: I did find the blu tack(actually yellow)at Walmart as well as the shot. However I did not purchase the shot as they only had #6 in stock. A project for another day. In addition I just purchased a pair of Epos ELS 3's so it's been a good day I'll be looking for them soon. Like I said earlier these stands are not all that and I plan to update them in the near future. I want again to thank everyone for there feedback. Bret
Of course, that's not your genuine Aussie BluTack as invented by Bostik and protected by international trademarks. You probably have FunTack. It will ooze over time and make a nice yellow mess.
Actually it's called Handi-Tak and it's made by Pacer Technology. There was some of the same in blue but this stuff claimed to be acid and lignin free(whatever that is). Anyway if you have some of that Aussie tack available let me know. Regards,
The Bostik can be found from time to time on Ebay. I have a question: If you use a straight pure playground-type sand from Home Depot, what is the proper amount to fill the stand tubes? I have read that filling to the brim makes for an over-damped sound. One guy found the best results filling with about 70%, the balance air. Anyone else have experience with X-amounts of sand to achieve the right results?