The current doctrine seems to indicate the use of rigid (think spikes) coupling to stiff cement type floors and isolated non coupling to bouncy floors like wood
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Thanks. I agree that applies to the speaker and the stand as a unit but I'm asking about the interface between the speaker and the stand. I know some folks use some material like blue tac to "couple" the speaker to the stand but I suspect that's mostly used to reduce the likelihood of accidental tip over. I'll experiment with blue tac as well as some soft vibration absorbing pads and see if I hear a difference.
I can only summit my personal experience and final results as I stumbled into my best setup. My speakers are Wilson Audio Sophias (160#) , my flooring is a floating wood floor on a concrete slab. After spending 6 months with the setup I was looking for a means to easily slid the speakers while adjusting the placement of the speakers in the room and purchased a set of the Herbies Gliders to assist me, spent the next couple of weeks fine tuning till I found the sweet spot, after spending a few weeks in the final position I removed the Herbies and spiked directly to floor and noticed quickly that the results were better with the Herbies at which time I reinstalled the Herbies and that was 6 years ago. About a year ago we were having new floors installed so a few weeks prior I cut spots out of the flooring and spiked directly to slab, the results were good but better with the Herbies in place. YMMV. Enjoy the music.
We now have a proper way to isolate speakers, I.e., mass-on-spring. Isolating them kills many birds with one stone. It prevents mechanical feedback. It isolates the speaker and internal wiring and crossover from seismic type vibration. It reduces unwanted speaker cabinet resonance. Problem solved! 🤗 You can forget about everything else.
I'm asking about the interface between the speaker and the stand.Right. Its all one thing.
Speaker/stand is the exact same thing as stand/floor.
Forget that trapped in his own mind Atkinson guy. It works like this:
Almost all the vibration is coming from the speaker. In the unlikely event you find this hard to believe simply place your hand on a speaker while its playing and then on the floor. Which is vibrating more? So where are the vibrations coming from, really?
So really what is happening is the speaker vibrates like hell causing the stand to vibrate like hell-lite and the floor to vibrate like oh I don't know purgatory. Now that they are all vibrating what do you suppose happens? The same vibrations that went speaker/stand/floor now go floor/stand/speaker. Only now since the speaker is making the music you're tying to hear, any of that vibration is gonna find its way into said music.
So its all the same and you need to deal with both.
Now as to which one does what and how best to deal with it nobody here has a clue. If they say they do all that means is they're more clueless even than they know! Because you can't. No way. In order to answer that question you'd need to be there looking and listening and understanding exactly which thing is doing what. Which only you know, and therefore only you can do.
So its all malarkey, and Atkinson can go sit in a corner with Hirsch until they both come to their senses and apologize for leading so many so far astray.
All you can really do is try different things and see for yourself which combination works best.
What you will find- in general - is anything soft or springy will tend to damp not just mechanically but musically. Attack and detail will be softened. Which makes sense when you think about it. Attack is the first sharp motion of the driver. Newtonian physics, if the driver moves one way the speaker is gonna move the opposite way. But you want that speaker to be rock solid, so only the driver moves. So you try something more firm like blu-tac, sure enough the sound tightens up because now the speaker can't move quite as much.
If you can get your hands on some BDR Cones you will find they have the best (so far as I know) combination of stiffness and damping to bring out both dynamics and inner detail without overly damping or hyping anything. But really when it comes to specific details like that my advice is no better than anyone elses. Well, a helluva lot better than Atkinson, but that's a pretty low bar. You want to raise the bar, go and listen.
I have some fairly large KEF floorstanders in a large room on a suspended timber floor. I found the sound very much improved when I hung them from the ceiling with motorbike clutch cable. It is fairly easy to experiment with height and well worth the effort. The only hard part is fixing to the speaker, I put four small screws in the bottom.
I have tried this a couple different ways when I was working on stands for my speakers.
I started with a high mass MDF with spikes coupled. Good result, not great.
Moved to low mass metal (aluminum) with spike. Bad result.
At advice from the wholesaler, I put IsoAcoustics Orea pucks between the speakers and stands. Tighter bass and overall, more coherent sound. Great result!
Stand material made no difference. i use three ores bronze under each speaker on top of the stands based on the weight of the speaker. I also have spikes in the stands but that is strictly aesthetic and has no impact on the sound.
My old stand mount speakers sounded excellent with high mass (filled) stands spiked through carpet to concrete floor. speaker resting on small high density, low profile clear rubber pads.
Floorstanders also sound excellent spiked through to the concrete.
For my next brit mon speakers I am going to try a rigid open frame wood stand spiked to the floor but use higher profile high density clear rubber pads to rest the speakers on.
You have to isolate the speaker's energy from the stand if it can resonate.
verdantaudio, I’ve also had great results using isoacoustics (pucks) between the speaker and the stand. I have the Golden Sound ceramic cones going from the stand to the slate floor. I’m tempted to use the isoacoustic 1’s there but the cost of those is pretty steep ($1,200 for both speakers)... Not sure the improvement would be worth that. If I only knew of someone who sold cryo springs for 150 pound speakers
@boxer12. I had a pretty extensive conversation with distributor on this and I have a spare set of Gaia III feet lying around and just tested it. Distributor advice was to
use the pucks.
Isolating the speaker from the stand makes an obvious difference with the Oreas as I said. Swapping Gaia Feet for spikes had no impact that I could discern. I use “these are days” from 10,000 maniacs as my test song and have listened to it 100s of times. On a side note, my wife really hates that song now
I can’t hear a difference and swapped spikes for gaia’s three times. Maybe with other songs the Gaia’s might have a small impact but I use that song because there is lots of layered detail that stray vibrations really screw up. It also could be that my speakers and stands aren’t heavy enough for the Gaia IIIs. Mine are quite the opposite of yours and are 12lbs and the stands aren’t much heavier.
If the stand is isolated from the speaker, further isolating the stand from the floor shouldn’t have a huge impact though.
Isolation of speakers eliminates the variable of what kind of floor it is. If thy eye 👁 offend thee pluck it out! It could be a trampoline floor, it could be a cement floor, it could be a suspended floor on the tenth floor. And higher floors are moving side to side 🔛 due to wind and other forces - and in rotational directions 🔄 as well as vertical. People tend to hyper-focus on vibration in the vertical direction 🔝only. There are six (count em!) directions, at least. In the horizontal plane there is an infinite number. 🙀
You want to do two contradictory things:
Minimize the contact area the speaker cabinet has with the floor. This doesn't have to be extreme, but not resting the entire cabinet on the floor is bad.
Minimize the amount the speaker moves in space. The force a woofer has on the cabinet is significant. Sometimes adding weight to monitors can significantly improve clarity and bass.
I experimented with putting a small amount of Blue Tack on the corners between the speakers and the stands and then switched to using the 2"x2"x1" square pads made-up with a layer of cork sandwiched between two layers of rubber. The speaker/stands are on spikes on top of Herbies cone/spike decoupling gliders. The floor is suspended hardwood above full basement. I use these rubber/cork pads under a subwoofer in my other system and electronics with good results.
Obviously an A/B test in realtime was not an option but I played the same tracks at the same volume using those configurations. All I could tell was if I listened closely, the bass notes seemed, and I underscore seemed, a tad better defined. In my case, the speakers weigh roughly 30 lbs. each and the stands weigh about the same filled with rice. The difference might be more noticeable when using smaller/lighter speakers.
Anyway, I think its something worth experimenting with standmount speakers but I wouldn’t expect as dramatic as a difference when compared with how the speaker/stand interacts with the floor, at least this was true in my situation.
Thank you all for your input.
In years gone by, Tekna Sonic dampers for speaker cabinets and subwoofers effectively dissipated cabinet vibrations - with no side effects. Sadly they went belly up 🔝many years ago. The good gnus 🐂 🐂 is that isolating speakers accomplishes the same thing, dissipating cabinet resonances, plus prevents any hint of mechanical feedback 🔙 to the front end electronics. The only good cabinet resonance is a dead resonance ☠️ Speakers are not (rpt not) the same thing as musical instruments. 😬
Expanding the discussion, what about Maggies? Spike or isolate? I’m thinking of the smaller (LRS, .7, 1.7). The advantage of non-spikes (my current approach) is that I can slide the Maggies “out of the way” as my wife says when not listening. As many of the points made above talk about vibrations in the box, do these arguments apply to Maggies?