I recently acquired a nice older hifi system with Aerial Acoustics 7B tower speakers.I am not an audiophile. The speakers have heavy iron bases on them but there are no feet of any sort on these bases. I emailed the owner/designer at Aerial and he sent me a schematic of the bases which show that they originally had spike feet. He said he could provide the spikes at minimal cost. I was afraid to ask what minimal meant since I seem to remember that these bases cost $400 when new. (I'm still getting accustomed to what things cost in the audiophile world.)
I am wondering if I really need the spikes. These speakers sit on a carpeted floor with hardwood on typical joist construction floor. They sound quite good to me but if spikes would help in any way and I can get them cheap then I will do so.
I'll ask Aerial how much theirs cost but I'm pretty sure that stainless steel tripod (for photography) spikes will fit the 3/8-16 threads in these bases. The cost would be about $40 for those. Maybe the actual Aerial ones wouldn't cost any more but they are longer and look very sharp which makes me wonder about floor/carpet damage since these speakers weigh around 110 pounds each.
If the speakers are on a carpeted floor over hardwood, you definitely want to use spikes that are long enough to go through the carpet and couple the speakers to the hardwood. If possible, a little space between the base and the carpet is preferred. You’ll notice a much more articulated and tighter and less boomy bass response as the result. The weight will make tiny pinholes on the wood floor from the spikes but they’ll be (obviously) not noticeable/seen.
You've stated that you're not an audiophile, and that your system sounds quite good to you. Good! Enjoy your music, forget about spikes and relax. Now, as time goes by you may acquire the audiophile itch to constantly wonder, tweek, ponder, change, worry, fret, agonize, change again... For now though, just enjoy what you've recently acquired.
Thanks guys. Will look into all that. tomcarr, I agree with you completely. I'm just looking to maximize the little things with as little money as possible..........but I'm starting to think that I might have audiophile tendencies....which is the last thing I need.
Generally high end speakers which come with spikes are designed for them. That is to say, the spikes serve a two-fold purpose. First and foremost, to drain unwanted vibration (energy) from the cabinet into the floor by directly coupling to the floor through the carpet. They do that by the shape of the spikes which direct energy away from the cabinet. And secondly, to help stabilise the speaker which also helps reduce vibration, and has a safety factor. Vibration is deleterious to the sound of the speakers as it causes distortions by interacting with the motion of the drivers. Ideally, the cabinet would be inert, and the drivers operating in perfect piston motion. That way the wave form reaching your ears is a closer representation of the musical signal. That’s the long explanation anyway.
Re: buying spikes, yes i’d suggest atleast giving them a try. With your flooring, they should help the bass to tighten up, and the imaging to snap into focus. Personally, I’d recommend the factory spikes if they’re not prohibitively expensive as the Designer would have chosen them after some testing to work synergistically with the speakers. If you go with an after-market alternative, make sure they are the same height. The reason for that is, the height of the factory spikes would have been chosen to elevate the tweeter to the optimal height. Using shorter spikes could therefore affect things like sound staging. As to the risk of the spikes damaging your floors through the carpet. I wouldn’t worry. Hardwood can stand up to knocks and dings pretty well. Also, my current speakers weigh 220lb’s & are supplied with spikes! Hope that helps.
The spikes in the link provided by Yogiboy look like they are mostly for adding to speaker cabinets that do not have bases or sockets for spikes.
My bases have threaded sockets for them. I think I will just see how much they are from Aerial or contact the seller in that link for thread measurements.
Many of those have metal plates for the spikes to rest on. I'm assuming that is just for hard floor since it would defeat the purpose on carpet.
The hardwood under my carpets was never meant to be seen. It is an old house and this is the type of under flooring they used before plywood. So I'm not worried about it. Just don't want to tear up the carpet when moving the speakers, etc. Will just have to be careful.
milpai, the $400 was for the whole stand assembly. And I think it was for both stands, not sure. But, I've only been on these forums for a week or two and I'm sure if there are $400 speaker spikes out there they would surely make a system sound way better than $40 spikes.
The link that was sent to you for the Parts Express speaker toe spikes is your best bet for the money. Be SURE to order what they have listed as 1/2" Toe Spikes, for they are actually 3/8" 16 thread spikes, just like you are looking for. The ones they have listed as 3/8" toe spikes are NOT actually 3/8" in diameter, they are about 1/4". I know this because I just purchased some from them for my speaker stands, which needed 3/8" 16 thread...The 1/2" ones they sell fit perfectly!
Thanks guys. I'll wait to hear from the guy at Aerial but if his are pricey you've given me a number of good alternatives. I've probably got enough grade 8 stainless bolts in my parts bin to make a set of these on the grinder....which appeals to the tight wad in me.
I just received some Revel Studio2's and I am in midst of fiddling, and read your question on spikes........
Mine speakers are sitting on carpet( floor above basement) with the polymer footers. I think spiking is a bunch of " hooey", And according to others ( it should)- thin the bass a bit and tightens the base resolution
I just spiked the feet....... Holy cow, bass tightened and the emotive force really went up, it's like adding more bass drivers And the bass was good to start with
I would have never expected
Why? maybe it's like hitting a squishy pillow vs hitting a solid wall
WTF HAPPENED. I just spent 30 minutes writting a post and it vanished before I was done. I'll make this fast. Bought a pair of Bryston A2's. Have them in my basement cave and kept the rubber feet on. I just put the spikes that came with them and WOW, a huge improvement. I have an indoor/outdoor carpeting over concrete, what a change in sound. I have learned so much from you all in the last year. My first system was purchased in 1974. Bought a pair of Infinity Kappa 8's 20 years ago. Recently took my 1974 Thorens TD 160 in for a $300.00 facelift. Salvaged about 75 of my 300 albums. Had a Adcom 555 II amp I had to buy to replace my old Pioneer 939 for more power. Since then replaced that along with my preamp, 25 year old Technics CD player. Bought a Isotek to fix the lousy electrical service here in Wisconsin. New $100.00 power cords and don't laugh, when I hooked up the new speakers I realized that I followed the instructions in the Infinity Manuel and used electrical lamp cord. As I'm financially handicapped I believe I have one great system. The new speaker Audioquest wire even has an arrow to indicate the flow of direction. Thank you all again, and please don't look down on me as not being in the same class. My circle of friends say the new system sounds great but what do they know as sound from a sea shell is good enough for them. And I would like to thank the member from Milwaukee that was helping me out months ago but when I took him up on his offer to come listen to his $50,000 system I never heard back. I understand, you don't know me, why invite a stranger into your house and risk a low life ripping you off. Thanks again you all. We all had to start somewhere, my start was in the 60's with a 3" square battery powered A M radio. I believe FM was just a dream. A shout out to WZMF radio here in Milwaukee, they were one of the first FM stations and broadcasted from a house in Menomonie Falls and played so much of the overseas Prog before it was even called that.
Sort of. I made them out of grade 8 bolts. It is a triple allow stainless steel and it is very strong.
Each one was hand made and shaped precisely as I wanted it to be.....so I'm sticking with "specifically tuned". It just rings true in the audiophile world. I might even be willing to sell and market them.
"Barron* Spikes. Hand crafted in triple alloy stainless steel by a reclusive audiophile in his basement workshop, carefully tuned to match the weight, shape and model of your speakers as well as the type and pile of your carpet or species and finish of your wood floors. Call for pricing and to get your name on the wait list. Cash only. Please allow 6-12 months for delivery."
I certainly don’t wish to muddy the waters but I have addressed the issue of materials for audio cones and feet elsewhere but it might be worth repeating. For audio cones, the way the rating of materials vs sound quality works is the HARDER the material the faster energy exits the system. Thus, NASA grade ceramic that’s almost as hard as diamond heads the list. Heat tempered and cryod high carbon steel next. Ordinary steel next. Then come aluminum, brass and carbon fiber which are way on down the Moh scale of hardness. The differences in the sound of these materials should be easy to hear on any reasonably good system. The shape of the cone is also important but not as much as the material. Iso stands are also subject to the differences in cone material, and cones should be placed under the component and under the stand, to avoid storing energy in the system.
This stand has rubber(?) cones that compress between the stand and the speaker. These were OEM from Aerial Acoustics.
The stainless I used is from a grade 8 bolt which in the world of steel is fairly soft but still way harder than aluminum, etc. And probably harder than the bargain spikes you can buy online. Plus these were heated and quenched a number of times.
The shape of these was derived at by how easy I could shape them on a grinder and to some extent how well they would penetrate the short pile of my carpet but not too much into the wood below.
They sound phenomenal. You should hear them. Everyone should make their own.
Sweet spikes & handy work!!! Grade 8....You could support a dump truck with them
You need a narrower spike profile to pierce carpet.( mine were 1/2-13 with a machined profile that was 3/16 dia with a long and thin spike ) I had to rock the speakers around to get them “ mated” to the wood( pierce carpet) They felt like they still floated on carpet
Throbbing Gristle (TG) Audio pretty much nailed down, to use an expression, the tempered steel spikes territory with Pointy Things 25 years ago. IMHO the best solution to the whole vibration issue is a combo of mass on spring isolation and spikes or cones and damping of the top plate. Everything is relative and it’s difficult to determine if you have achieved a maximum or only a local maximum. 😛
"Isolating the speakers with springs, making them less rigid, sounds better"
In my experience, that depends on the specific conditions. That approach worked well for me when I had the speakers on a suspending hardwood flooring, e.g., second floor, above basement, etc. Direct/solid coupling worked better when I had the same speakers on hardwood floor on concrete slab or on tiles on concrete. I also think the results could vary depending on the speaker design and the location of the woofer and its relative proximity to the floor, assuming a floor standing speaker.