Ken- Check out Star Sound products. They have a product, MicroFil (sp?), that I had very good results in my turntable stand. I had been using sand, but MicroFil did improve image focus and dynamics. Good luck.
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Using sand should suffice for audio stands. For speaker stands l would use both materials, albeit shots of various materials can and will become very costly. I don't think there will be significant improvements using shots for an audio stand. Use the money for isolation platforms or component footers. Good luck with the stand!
I agree with, and second what Jcbtubes said. I use the Micro-Bearings with great results and highly recommend them. A bit pricey but worth it. “One bearing, thinner than a human hair and smaller than a grain of sand (.0087 millimeters each), multiplied by many billions provide additional conductive mass. This increased density improves the audible(and inaudible) sound quality and performance of any equipment rack and/or loudspeaker stand by reducing detrimental vibrations.
One quart of Micro-Bearing Conductive Steel weighs in at approximately 9 pounds. Being round in shape, coupled with the extremely small size, permits the mass to become uniform in grain structure with no air pockets positioned between the bearings”.
I’m in no way associated with this product, I simply find that it works very well.
To my knowledge, all lead shot sold in the U.S. is plated with Bismuth. The risk of toxicity is minimal. Lead is most toxic when it is part of compound that can easily be absorbed by the body, such as tetraethyl lead that was once used in gasoline. The metallic form is very poorly absorbed by the body, but be cautious not to inhale any powder or fumes from molten metal. You should get the smallest size shot you can. Buy it at a gun store that sells reloading supplies.
For speaker stands, it is not that critical, but for component stands, using a non-magnetic material would be a better choice. Magnetic steel has caused some strange reactions for me with my VAC 30/30 Mk. V Signature tube amp.
I purchased an attractive, manufactured steel posted stand
a while ago, and after placing my amp on the bottom shelf and listening to the system, I was shocked to hear how horrible things sounded. I had changed nothing but the stand, and it suddenly sounded worse than I could ever imagine...VERY muddy and ill-defined! I had to re-assure what I was hearing was real, so I invited several others to confirm...They agreed it sounded horrible. I then removed the rack and tried again. Back to normal like it should be!
To be on the safe side, use stainless steel, aluminum, or wood for your support pillars on stands, especially if they are close to the transformers.
Don't use either. You don't want to absorb resonance, but transfer them to the floor. I agree with all the guys who recommended Starsound's Micro-Bearnings. The difference is amazing. Call Robert over there and he'll give you the sonic scoop to what is actually (scientifically) going on. You'll be amazed. They are on to some really cutting edge things over there. I'm not a salesman. Just a very happy customer. Good luck.
I've no doubt that you are pleased with Starsound's "micro-bearing" fill but the claims made for its functional properties as something other than a damping/mass sink mechanism is complete bollocks.
A number of the conceptual theories touted in their promotions simply undermines the credibility of an otherwise well considered and effective resonance control product line.
Micro-bearing steel was chosen for the specific application of transfering resonant energy to ground. Again Sistrum was designed as a high speed transfer agent not as a slow speed blurred focus, time signature distorted ,dynamic dampening device. My advice is to try these specific devices in your own system. I have been using them for almost 3 years now and have decided this science works and will not be replaced.