Skylan vs. Sound Anchor speaker stands? Comments?


Is there an appreciable difference between Sound Anchor and Skylan speaker stands? They both appear well made. Each can be filled with sand.

If you believe one is superior, please explain why.

Thanks in advance.
tvad
I have the four post Skylans ( 24") I can confirm they are very stable and well built. Unfortunately I have no experience with the Sound Anchors. Certainly once shipping is taken into account the much lighter, when empty and flat packed, Skylans will be a lot cheaper! I remember reading on the Harbeth forum, someone who went from Sound Anchors to Skylans for his Monitor 40s and prefered the later. However he recently posted that he had moved on to using wooden barstools with even greater success!.
...he recently posted that he had moved on to using wooden barstools with even greater success!.
Pcoombs (System | Threads | Answers)
Ah, the stale Guiness tweak!
Makes you wonder why he didn't try the barstools first.I guess they were not "audiophile approved" and did not cost enough to warrant an audition!!!!!!!!
I have both for my Spendor S 100s. The one thing I am sure of is that they don't sound the same. The 100s did not work well in my current room previous to its overhaul and I have not had a chance to work with them in its new configuration. For THIS PARTICULAR SPEAKER I would probably go with Skylan as the SAs use adjustable rubber feet to hold the back of the speaker and I don't care for this. But this is a personal prejudice and they worked fine in previous rooms.
Stanwal, the Skylan web page describes incorporating neoprene de-coupling pads. Are these located on the top of the top plate (thus between the bottom of the speaker and the top of the stand)?

Do you use them this way?

I wonder if these neoprene pads, and the SA's adjustable rubber feet can be removed?

I have purchased speakers that are intended to be placed on mass loaded stands, but the manufacturer recommends blue tacking the speakers to the stands for rigidity.
My Skylan have small pads that can be removed, the rubber feet are on screws and would be more problematic. I don't think that most of their stands use these. I did an extensive test on interfaces this last year and concluded that Blutak is my last choice. Others such as Martin Colloms disagree. To me it deadened the top end. I much preferred Star Sound Audio points [ for which I am a dealer] but now use cups and ball bearings with marble tiles on top. Gives best sound but not for users with small children or big pets. Blutak is certainly rigid, I have had to pry things off after using it. All this is almost certainly system and taste dependent, they aim at different effects. Blutak intends to make the speaker and stand one unit, Star Sound intends to drain vibration from the speaker to the ground through the stand and the roller ball system intends to isolate the speaker from the ground. All do what they were intended to do. I use some specialty products for mass loading , I have seen steel blasting shot recommended but haven't used it. I has trouble getting one of the skylan tight enough to hold cat litter and haven't tried the metal material I have in my other stands, I am using Target and Atacama right now as the skylan and SA don't fit the speakers I am currently using. I have Atabits in the Atacama and Star Sound Micro Bearings in the Target. both of which I am a dealer for. Both are good but not cheap which is why I suggested the blasting shot. I used the smallest Audio Points under the S 100s most of the time [ point down] but also placed them directly on the stands. These different configurations make a considerable difference but results will vary with room and system in my opinion.
Stanwal, what you describe regarding Blutak is what the manufacturer intends, i.e. rigid coupling.

I can't say what I would prefer, but I first have to go with what's suggested before I deviate.

I considered Sistrum speaker stands, but frankly, in my seismic prone location sharp brass points are not the best choice for keeping gear undamaged even in a small shaker.

Anyway...any further comments on the Skylan versus Sound Anchors are appreciated.
I've tried Skylan and several high quality metal stands just recently (not Sound Anchor) and it seems so far that the metal stands have a slightly more lively sound. The Skylan is filled with sand, which might be a factor. Reading various reports on audioasylum seem to confirm that metal is a bit livelier as a rule of thumb. That might be a big clue as to which one you want to start with.

Also I've noticed that I like the one stand I'm using that is basically a wide frame instead of having thick posts, the EPOS ST12. I've always felt that speakers like having space to breath around them - always felt that floorstanders need to be on spikes tall enough to give them some room between speaker and floor - so this is consistent with that observation I've had over time.

Art
I was under the impression that Skylan stands are metal, excepting the base and top platform. Is this not correct?

On the other hand, Sound Anchor stands are 100% metal, yes?

What would you think of a 3/4" birch plywood stands...basically a boxes divided into upper and lower chambers that would allow the upper chambers to be filled with compacted sand? The bottom would be open, with AudioPoints on the bottom corners. Consider the stand is only 9" tall.
Its been a while since I visited Noel and owned a pair of his stands but I believe the posts are made from a Vinyl composite and the bottom and top plates are of MDF but the best thing to do is email him or call him to discuss your needs. He is a great guy to deal with and will custom fit a stand to your specifications.
No metal in the Skylans except for the support rod that runs top to bottom in each post, and the spikes. I like the Neoprene pads but have not experimented with alternatives. I still have Blutack stuck to the bottoms of a pair of speakers -- I hate the stuff.

There are different schools of thought about what to fill stands with or, indeed, whether to fill them at all, not to mention how full to fill them. One thing I think you want to do is dampen them so they don't ring, but clay cat litter should do that as well or perhaps better than sand or lead shot. Should the stands be as heavy as possible (thus lead shot)? Beats me.

Tvad, I sure do want to know what your new speakers are, but I know you'll reveal in good time. Standmounts, eh? Bit of a surprise.
Oops, I see you did reveal. Good choice.
Grant - not to hijack your thread, but have you considered looking for a pair of Osiris stands? I've owned two and thought them outstanding. Sorry, could not compare to either you are considering though. They also have a flat metal platform and require some fun-tak or your temporary adhesive of choice. When not used to support your speakers you could place a glass of Guiness safely atop the stand and short of anything above a 3.0 I'd bet it would stay there should the ground start shaking. You may loose some beer though. They would not be comfortable long term bar seating, but perhaps after a pint and a shot or two you would not notice the difference.
I would think the dealer knows the various kinds of stands that work best and how each may impact the speakers sound.

Perhapsyou can contact AN directly by eamil?

What amp did you settle on for your new speakers?

Thanks
10-31-09: Grannyring
I would think the dealer knows the various kinds of stands that work best and how each may impact the speakers sound.
Clearly, Audio Note has a vested interest in recommending their stands, but some Audio Note owners have reported that other stands work better...and may be less expensive.

I have not settled on an amp, and likely will not do so for several months.
Sound Anchor adds their own filler to their stands. I have owned both Sound Anchor and Skylan although not at the same time and with different speakers so I can't give you a fair comparison. The Sound Anchors are heavier-duty and cost more than the Skylan. If you are going with the Audionote speakers, what does the manufacturer recommend for them?

http://www.soundanchors.com/page3.html

Audio Note recommends Audio Note stands.

I am interested in alternatives for reasons explained earlier in the thread.
I'm sure you've done your homework researching all the alternatives for your new speakers. Here's a review for an amp to add to your list of considerations:

http://iar-80.com/page45.html

I know Paul Folbrecht used those amps with his Audio Notes.

I have a pair of George Wright Signature AU-15 (2A3) monoblocks I am going to try, as well as the Pass Labs XA-60.5.

There are many options.
10-31-09: Jax2
Grant - not to hijack your thread, but have you considered looking for a pair of Osiris stands?
Marco, thanks for the idea. If they were still being produced, I'd definitely be considering them. I think it's unlikely I'll run across a used pair to fit the AN-E speakers, as the AN-E stands are just 10" tall, and sized to precisely fit the footprint of the speakers to allow close placement to side and rear walls.
Sorry, Grant, I missed that you were looking for AN-E compatible stands. Funny, I was just close to auditioning the pair that's local to me, but my wife vetoed them. Let me know how you like those speakers. I like George's Au-15's a whole lot, btw.
I live in L.A. My Sound Anchors are spiked to the floor - with upside down Symposium Rollerblock Jrs. between the monitors and stands. While I was listening this past summer, a tremblor happened. The speakers rocked and rolled - figuratively and literally. I could have yanked the monitors but I was curious to see what would happen. Never came close to tipping - just like a boat bobbling on the water. If you're interested, you're welcome to stop by and take a look. Aren't some newer skyscrapers in SoCal designed similarly with anti-shock engineering in their foundations?
Steakster, I had the same experience using Rollerblocks and Aurios. Pretty cool.

Isolation of that type runs counter to the recommendation of the manufacturer of my speakers, though.
I understand your concern re: isolation. I utilize several sets of Symposium Rollerblocks and Rollerblock Jrs. at various locations in my system. The two designs operate on a similar concept but are constructed differently. I can be mistaken here - but my intent for the Rollerblocks is drainage; while the intent for the Rollerblock Jrs. is transference - especially in the upside down mode. Call it creative implementation. I totally concur with Stanwal in his earlier post. My Sound Anchors came with Blutak - but, the sound was deadened. With the upside down Rollerblock Jrs, the sound was much livelier.
To get off the speaker stand subject for a moment, Grant, being that you are a strong proponent of "try-before-buy", were you able to demo a pair of the AN speakers in your home before you decided to order?
...being that you are a strong proponent of "try-before-buy", were you able to demo a pair of the AN speakers in your home before you decided to order?
Sherod (Threads | Answers)
Unfortunately, no. There was no home demo available.

I heard them at RMAF, and once at LA HES in 2006, and that's it.
Okay. Getting back to speaker stands, one Audiogon member swears by the Audio Point SP101 Sistrum platform(8" height) as "smoking" the AN stand in his system. I think he owns the J speakers, though.
fwiw I have the Sound Anchor stands for my Audio Note kit 3 (model E) speakers and they are at least twice as beefy as the AN stands which are a bit flimsy IMO.

The downside on the Sound Anchors is that you can only put the speaker about 3" from the wall as the base is bigger (bottom of stand) than the speaker itself.

can not comment on the sound difference however, but I like them fine
11-01-09: Philjolet
fwiw I have the Sound Anchor stands for my Audio Note kit 3 (model E) speakers and they are at least twice as beefy as the AN stands which are a bit flimsy IMO.
Philojet, you hit on a point that is along the lines of why I am not jumping to buy the AN stands.

Also, the ability to place the speakers close to the walls is important, although 3" shouldn't be a problem.

Sherod, I own SP-101 stands, so I will try them. Their design precludes placing the AN speakers as close to the walls as is recommended, which is one reason the Sistrum stands are not ideal for the AN speakers, IMO ( in addition to the earthquake issue already mentioned).
Sherod, I own SP-101 stands, so I will try them. Their design precludes placing the AN speakers as close to the walls as is recommended, which is one reason the Sistrum stands are not ideal for the AN speakers, IMO ( in addition to the earthquake issue already mentioned).

Grant - Sistrum makes a stand specifically for the AN/e speakers. You just missed one for sale: Here's the cached ad
Marco, Sistrum no longer makes that model, but they do have a new model available. I'm aware of those.

For me, the issues with the Sistrum stands are the wide base that precludes placement as close to the walls as AN recommends, and the brass points which do not provide a secure placement in an area prone to earthquakes. Even a small shaker may cause the speakers to slide on the sharp points, thus causing scratches that will immediately decrease the value of the speaker by more than half.
Even a small shaker may cause the speakers to slide on the sharp points, thus causing scratches that will immediately decrease the value of the speaker by more than half.

As you know, I'm up in Seattle, right next to a fault line. I've lived through a couple of shakers myself - one pretty good one where I stood in the door frame of my studio (not enough time to get out) and watched the walls undulate and the floor go up and down (what a truly bizarre sight). No damage to spiked components in my systems that I recall. I'd guess you could speculate on all kinds of risks to your speakers and system. Things could fall down on it, they could fall on any stand you choose, pipes could break, fires could start. Heck, you may not make it through to enjoy your speakers. Life's too short. Isolate freely and without fear. You could always hang them by cables from the ceiling once you've determined the best position (that's a serious suggestion).
Marco, you make some valid points. Call me guilty of wanting to keep my gear as pristine as possible, and of taking the steps necessary to do so.

As I mentioned earlier, I own Sistrum SP-101 stands, and I will certainly give them a try with the speakers.

BTW, the Sistrum AN speaker stands are $1320/pair.
Grant,
Since earthquakes are a major concern, maybe( in order to keep your costs minimized) you might consider a custom stand( mass loaded) to match your speaker measurement requirements and place a special plate designed by Silent Running Audio or perhaps Bright Star Audio on top of it to couple to your speakers. Basically a 6" tall stand with a 2" plate to give you your 8" height requirement. Adona also makes custom stands for speakers.
Sound Anchors made stands for Audio Note before Audio Note decided to make their own stands. The Sound Anchors stands for my AN/J speakers will allow them to get tight into the room corners if that is your desired speaker position. I'm sure Sound Anchors could make you a pair of stands for your speakers if you decide to go that route as they would have the specs on file or they can custom design to your specifications.

Blu-Tac is a good interface between speakers and stands but there are alternatives that may be different, better or more to your liking. I liked Herbie's Fat Dots and I've also tried adhesive cork pads which can be found at any hardware store.
On Silverline 17.5, using EPOS metal stands ST12, the sound is very lively and the speakers disappear, with great transparency.

With Skylans, they sound less lively, disappear a little bit less well, and have a bit less going on.

BUT, there is something beguiling about the Skylan sound. Blacker backgrounds. More lyrical. Something about it just grabs your attention.

At least one of these two stands is very colored in sound!
(perhaps both?)

I can't say for sure that my experience with the metal EPOS stands will translate to the Sound Anchors. But I'll tell you that the difference is very substantial, with the metal EPOS sounding more like what I expect my cds (recordings that I'm very familier with) to sound like, but the Sklyan offering a take on the music that makes me smile.

I'm planning to play with both for the forseeable future, so I can experiment more (e.g. try lighter kitty litter instead of sand in the Skylan), and give each one more time to convince me it's the real thing.

Also I'll have fun demonstrating for skeptical visitors what a huge difference a pair of stands can make :)

I have a clear memory of past occasions where the component that sounded better to me at first did not wear on me as well as other choices. We shall see.

Art
If you browse the search engine for what to fill speaker stands with, you'll find a lot of varying opinions. Some prefer kitty litter, some all sand, some shotgun pellets, and some a mixture of all of the above. There seems to be a repetition in some posts that filling only to the 2/3 level gives best results. I guess some people feel that you can over-damp the stands, resulting in a duller sound. I'm not so sure. I currently have Skylans in my main system and Lovans in my bedroom system. Both are filled to the brim with playground sand. Maybe I'll try the 2/3 full method. Speaking of Lovan, these new Jazz series look interesting:



http://www.lovanusa.com/index.php?cPath=1_9&osCsid=8429fda884027e95d3266782b84cce31



I read someone say that the 3 post jazz is not very stable. That issue is what lead me to EPOS ST12. Well that and I could borrow it from a friend first to check it out :)
Art
ps: I use 24" Lovan's (thin 2-post 4-spike metal) in my bedroom system for usher s520 and it seems a match made in heaven. Both are gloss black too. Cool. But they don't seem stable enough for the Silverline 17.5's.
I'm using the 20" skylan stands for the harbeths....
There was a thread on speaker asylum where Noel and his friend Moray were experimenting with cat litter and sand, and then rice, which they seemed to prefer, filled all the way. So when I bought the stands Noel suggested the rice, which I've done. I think they sound great, although I haven't emptied them out and filled with sand, so I don't really have a comparison. For some reason I like the idea of not using metal. Maybe I'm just mental....
Grant,
Check out the system of Audiogon member, Audioot. He made his own custom stands for his AudioNote speakers. Maybe he'll make you a pair for a reasonable price.

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vdone&1249415002

Thanks for the link, Sherod. If I have read his system page correctly, he lives in the Netherlands.
Yes, the Netherlands. Oops! Shipping would be rather expensive for something this heavy, wouldn't it? Maybe he'll give you a diagram to build your own. (o:
Never received a response from Skylan, so that brand is out of consideration.

It's down to Audio Note, Sound Anchor, Sistrum, or custom built mass loaded wood.
It's too bad that Noel at Skylan didn't get back with you. I have read many threads where he has made custom stands for many different speakers.

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/search.mpl?forum=speakers&searchtext=skylan

I emailed him over a week ago now (I think) asking if prices on his web site were US or Canadian dollars. It took many days for him to get back to me (it's Canadian). I think he is just very busy.
Art
btw Tvad when you do get the speakers set up properly I hope you post your comments here on Agon.

I really love to corner load my kit 3, the sound gets an intimate quality that focuses on fundamentals but the tonal balance is too far off (bass heavy) so I keep them about a foot out usually. I hear this can happen with the kits and the factory built speakers are leaner which is what I heard at AK Fest these last few years.

All the best

Phil
I definitely will, Phil.
Tvad, it's best if you call Noel at Skylan. I think it's just him right now doing it all, and he does answer his phone. He was great to talk to. I got slightly peeved with my order, it took far longer than I thought, but he was backed up by taking off for the show. It still perturbed me, but his product is good. What I sense is a lack of grain over metal stands.
Have fun with your audio notes.
I don't have the patience to deal with companies that are too busy to answer inquiries or deliver product in a timely fashion. There are too many other alternatives.

I'm sure the Skylan product is excellent, but I'm going in a different direction at this point.