Speaker Spikes - Working Principle

Vibration damping obvious makes sense (in speakers just as well as in cars). 

That involves 'killing' (converting into heat, through typically internal friction) kinetic energy. So any sort of elastic material (rubber has lots of internal friction) makes sense. 

And then there are spikes. Using a pointy hard object and pair it with a softer, elastic material (to deform, and kill kinetic energy) can work; think metal sharp spike into carpet or wood floor. 

But what is the idea behind pairing fairly unelastic metal (brass for example) with similarly unelastic (brass, stone, etc) material (example photo provided)? Only thing I can come up with: LOOKS good and makes owner feel good  thinking its an improvement (works only for Audiophiles though),

Even more curious: are they ENGINEERED "spikes" (vibration dampers or shock absorbers) for speakers that are TUNED for the frequency (and mass)  that needs to be dampened? Can piston style fluid dampers be designed for the high frequencies (100, 1000, 10000 Hz) using geometry, nozzles size and viscosity of the fluid?



Springs/ Townshend products suit me best. I suppose it’s like many things audio, a bottomless lake of options and definite maybes. 

Hope you all have enjoyed the Holidays and wish you peace in the new year. 

I am having second thoughts about replacing carpets with hard wood floor in my listening area after reading this thread and one other thread where low rumbles are a major problems and headaches. My wife wants to replace carpet with hardwood flooring including my listening area. To date, I had no issues from floor reflections to unwanted vibration creeping in to my audio signal path whether I played LPs or CDs. My Thiel 3.6s are on factory provided carpet piercing spikes and my TT stand also have spikes and anchored to the floor board.

I feel like 2024 is going to give me headaches we replace the carpets. I am planning to use a rug between speakers and my listening position to control floor reflections. But now I see another whole set of problems are going to creep up on me (LOL).

Wish you all Happy New Year!

So much BS in here ^^^^!!!!

Spikes under speakers serve to MASS COUPLE the speaker to the mass of the floor. It helps to change the resonant frequencies of the cabinets by adding the mass of the floor to the mass of the cabinets. Whether or not it makes an audible improvement is highly subjective. But in the case of underbraced cabinets, it can help. It’s as subjective as cable lifters, mono block amps on stands, speaker cables, and component spikes. One definite advantage of mass coupling is using metal wood screws to mount a turntable shelf to the wall studs. It greatly lowers the resonant frequency of the shelf supporting the turntable.

This is my thought when trying to overcome the debate of coupling vs. isolation.  My experience of having floor stander speakers on a second story suspended wood floor with carpet was a challenge. I tried spikes, no spikes, limestone pads with spikes and no spikes and Herbies gliders.  The floor would pick up vibrations and transmit them causing some strange room nodes in the bass.  I finally mitigated the problem by using Townshend podiums which de-coupled the speakers from the floor.  So I'm a big fan of isolation at least in my situation.  

Article from Positive Feedback on misconceptions regarding spikes reinforces using isolation products rather than coupling products (spikes) for improved SQ.  The article’s summary and link are below.   There are many good speaker isolation  products such as Isoacoustics, Symposium, Townsend, etc.   I personally use Townsend Seismic Platforms and can attest they perform as advertised making a remarkable improvement in all areas of SQ. Note I copied link but when I preview a graph appears rather than the link.  When I click on graph the article opens.  If the link does not work contact me and I will type it rather than copy it   Sorry.  

PF Summary:

  • Rigid feet couple vibrations
  • Vibration is a two-way street
  • Spikes cannot drain energy to a heavier mass
  • A small contact point actually amplifies vibrations
  • Spikes cannot reduce internally generated cabinet vibrations
  • Question one-size-fits-all and no lab report devices
  • Isolation means the mechanical path is either broken, or the form of energy is converted to another form
  • Properly designed isolation is predictable, repeatable, and neutral in performance
  • Isolation will offer clarity that cannot be experienced with coupling, because with coupling comes additional, unwanted vibrations
  • Isolation is easy to perceive
  • Vibration transmissibility is easily measured