I would rather have a concrete floor if you have a choice between locations with either. Make sure that the covering for the concrete is sufficient to damp reflections. Due to water damage I just replaced the inherited from previous owner wall to wall carpet on my concrete floored listening room with vinyl flooring with 3 large wool area rugs and the improvement was well beyond expectations.
Concrete is the absolute best. But many do not have that option. I have wood floors over concrete and it works great.
I tried using the spikes that come with my Thiels, but prefer cork adhesive dots. Sounds better to me.
Great question and one that I never gave much thought to. My speaker/stands came with spike so I've always used them. First on wood and now on tile covering concrete.
May I rephrase the question to help the larger audience:
If you have concrete flooring should you use spikes or another material to anchor your speaker stands?
Likewise, if you have wood should you spike it or use a covering over it?
What did you end up using? The reason I ask is that I currently have speakers with large Edensound brass footers on them. The speakers and footers sit on top of a 2.5" thick wood block that has carpet piercing spikes. Now the flooring in my listening room is going from carpet over concrete to engineered wood over concrete. I'm thinking I may not need the wood block with carpet piercing spikes anymore but I'm thinking I may need disks underneath Edensound brass footers. Part of me was thinking to put Auralex Subdue platforms underneath the speakers as an alternative.
Any thoughts or comments on this is much appreciated.
I have a similar setup to yours. I have B&W 803ds that have 2" Eden sound footers, mounted on a 3.5" thick maple plinth. Under the maple plinth I have 3" diameter Eden Sound long spike carpet footers that pierce my carpet to a wood floor. This system sound fantastic, much better than footers alone or stock B&W spikes alone.
I would not eliminate the plinth, as this acts as a second stage of vibration sinking to your floor. If you go footers right into the wood/concrete floor, I think your speaker sound will degrade considerably, as concrete is the worst material to sink into (as it reflects sound back up). You can try discs under the plinth spikes to protect you floor, but I am not sure how good those will sound. Is the engineered wood thick or is it the 1/4" Pergo type?
You might also want to talk to the folks at Maple Shade. They can give you some tips about mounting plinths over various flooring materials.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I just saw this posting now.
I've decided to keep the plinths underneath my KEFs. What you say makes a lot sense. The engineered wood is 1/2" thick.
This is the name:
Home Legend High Gloss Oak Gunstock 1/2 in. Thick x 4-3/4 in. Wide x Random Length Engineered Hardwood Flooring. Model # HL110P
I'm going to be calling Mapleshade and Edensound for their ideas regarding floor protection for the spikes soon. A more expensive solution may be changing the spikes on the plinth to the radiused footers. I was even thinking about the Cone/Spike Decoupling Glider or the Cone/Spike Isolation Bases if I keep the spikes on the plinths.
Not turntables and definitely not speakers,no matter what is claimed for them.
At least not where compellingly musical sound is concerned.
And concrete is vastly inferior to wood as as surface to support real music.
Should have said IMO, even though it isn't even close.
curious what your reasoning is for this? why do so many manufacturers ship with spikes then?
My reasoning is simply from listening.
Everyone who hears the comparison always agrees. A lot of head shaking goes on as people cannot believe they been led to believe this myth.
The sound goes from tight "audiophile" bass to realistic sounding bass with proper form, attack, and beauty.
One of the most successful high end companies does this, and it takes about five minutes to convert them from mechanical sounding 'precise' speakers to something that actually produces music.
I have no idea why they use spikes. Makes no sense whatsoever.
Even the expensive products do it - to their considerable detriment, IMO.
The improvement in the musical results are mind boggling when this old-wives-tale get addressed.
I don't like spikes for my speakers either. Takes away some of the musical experience and enjoyment.
Spikes typically couple to the object which they are resting on...So what's your feedback on decoupling through the use of footers like Stillpoints or Track Audio?
i agree with hornguys, i have never been a fan of spikes on speakers, manufactuer's or after markets like still points. The only plus side is maybe better imaging but at the expense of realistic bass and tonality.
After lots of experimentation, I ended up decoupling both of my speaker systems. Vibrapods for the monitors and cork rubber laminates on bamboo boards for my floorstanders. Preserves the nuance, microdynamics, and energy.
Always wanted to try the rollerball type.
I did extensive listening tests with my B&W 803ds with respect to spikes, footers, and plinths. I started with the stock 803ds flat on the carpet without stock spikes. I them went to stock spikes through the carpet (although they never really got a solid connection to the floor). I then went to speakers (no spikes) flat on a 3 1/2" thick x 18" diameter solid maple plinth, flat on the carpet. Then I tried 2" Eden sound footers directly on carpet. Then I tried 2" Eden sound footers on the plinth, plinth flat on carpet. Then finaly 2" Eden Sound footers on plinth, with 3" Eden sound deep carpet footers from the plinth to the carpet.
The last configuration sounded the best by a large margin. I expected an improvement in bass definition, but was delighted to find a improvement throughout the audio spectrum. Vocals were especially nice, and the edginess and brittleness I used to have in some recordings was gone. Imaging also improved. Bass impact improved to the point where I have now plugged the vent ports on the 803ds to improve detailing of bass transients.
As an added bonus, the standing stability of these 803ds was also improved. They are much more stable and a lot less "tippy". On their stock spikes, the slightest nudge could send them arcing toward the ground. Now they are rock solid.
I must inquire why one places such a low performance value on spikes when there are so many different types and shapes of conical structures manufactured from so many diverse materials that are available for purchase in this marketplace. Does one relate to speaker spikes as a form of vibration control and mechanical coupling processes or just an accessory part that is added to the speaker from the very early years of hi-fi innovation?
Most speaker manufacturers provide very inexpensive steel spikes with their products to raise the speaker off the floor in order to avoid an acoustic coupling of the speaker enclosure with the flooring mass. Compact monitors arrive with either nothing at all or everything from hardened rubber dots, soft squishy discs or whatever materials fit into the final retail price for the speaker system. Wishing to avoid arguments over costing issues we have yet to find any low cost device such as steel spikes and such that affords a robust increase in musical performance. This is High-End Audio yes?
Like many recording studios our smaller monitors rested atop the primary recording desk with nothing separating them from resting directly on the console chassis. We never paid much attention or thought of improving our reference points through the coupling or decoupling methods of these smaller monitors.
Learning a great deal from our experience as to how equipment racking materials and how mechanical coupling designs affects the final sound in the recording process; we focused our sound improving efforts on coupling the lesser sized reference monitors along with the primary playback speaker system.
In order to eliminate the myths of spike functionalities, testing in the studio was instrumented using real time analyzers (RTA) and sound pressure level (SPL) metering. However we believe that our ears are the most important testing method available today.
In defense of spikes we have found that the choice in material coupled by the geometrical shape of the cone is extremely important. Our choice provided a tremendous lift in the overall sound quality of the studio. Being able to hear more from the reference monitors made huge improvements in our final product that is purchased by our clients.
As in our case we chose brass as the material of choice and these smallest sized products were not cheap but the end result very audibly enhanced the musical presence.
In our humble opinion, spikes should not be placed into such a vast generic category nor judged upon in the same fashion. There is a proven success history of companies selling thousands of spikes proving there is a viable positive result from use along with audiophile acceptance from listening.
Is it possible that one may have never tried the name brands of spikes that do perform exceptionally well? Search out the products with the long time reputations of success and give them a try.
Disclaimer: My father works with a commercial company that employs various forms of vibration management so I am biased, have had greater access to knowledge from experience and have applied various techniques, multiple grounding principles and years of working in recording studio settings.
i decided to experiment taking the factory spikes off my DeVore Nines. So far I actually like the sound better. I have a set of Stillpoints inbound to test out in place of the spikes...will report back my findings on that test but so far I'm converted to non-spike.
A lot of what you say makes sense, and I found that the simple steel spikes that come stock on the B&W 803d to be essentialy useless. But I might not have discovered this had I not had the problem of the stock spikes penetrating my rather thick, dense plush carpet. With that carpet, I need penetration well beyond 1 1/4" to 1 1/2", due not only to the carpet but the thick underlayment pad beneath. To be effective, the spikes must penetrate to the wood flooring surface. Add to this the stability problem. We have earthquakes here in CA, and a little shaking can send these topheavy B&Ws crashing to the floor. Even bumping them during vacuuming can produce unintended consequences. Ever wonder how may G's that $1000+ diamond tweeter will take before its damaged?
So I was looking for a stability solution as well as a sonic one, and extensive conversations with folks at Maple shade and EdenSound convinced me of a number of things.
(1) Its not just the shape of the spikes or the material they are made of, but the MASS as well. Brass spikes intrinsicly coupled to huge masses of brass are best. If I could afford 2" thick brass plates under the speakers I would use them, but at the current cost of brass (and cosmetics), that solution is out of the question.
(2) Spikes have a sonic "diode" effect, transfering unwanted cabinet vibrations to the surface they are imbedded in. This can be a bad thing if they are in concrete, as unwanted reflections back up in to the cabinet are possible.
(3) The use of thick, natural wood platforms of maple have a damping effect, and give you added sonic "sinking" if sandwiched between groups of massive brass footers.
So in my final implementation I got the stability I needed with a sonic improvement I was not particularly seeking, but am happy with nonetheless.