Spiking speakers not designed for spikes?


Has anyone had good luck doing this?  I have some PSB Stratus Golds from 1994 that I'm having problems upgrading, so I'm going to try tweaking what I have.  They have these cheesy, wooden bases that I'm nervous about removing or drilling into.  If I do decide to spike these suckers, would anyone recommend outriggers?  Or trying to attach spikes directly to the speakers.
Thank you for your time!
10ee051b 8b5b 4200 83a9 53b1a2a2775fhalecory
Set em on some Cones.

You will have to experiment to find which works best. None need to be fastened, the weight of the speaker holds everything just fine. Also experiment with placing different things like MDF about 3" to 4" square or round directly under the Cones.

According to the Stereophile review the top piece is removable solid wood. You could try replacing it with something with more mass and/or damping. Granite or marble, lead shot or sand, etc. Same for the base if it can be removed or modded. 

Each of these will improve something you can hear. Its easy to make something better. What is hard is to make everything better across the board. For that you experiment with different combinations. The beauty of it is you set Cones underneath and try, you set something on top and try, but you don't go cutting anything until you have already figured out by trial and error what combination works the best.


Millercarbon is a smart human.  Back in the 80s, we did exactly that with solid machined aluminum cones under floor standers.  The effect was immediate.  We used a 3 cone system for each side.

Another possible upgrade is simple crossover and wiring work.  Keep same values of caps and find some decent Solens or better.  Almost any decent speaker cable wired in is an improvement over stock wiring.
wooden bases that I’m nervous about removing or drilling into.
Use "T" -nuts of the same thread as your spikes, and for good measure coat the outside of the "T" nut with liquid nails before you hammer them in, and you’ll be fine I’m sure.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81x9eKE2eAL._SX425_.jpg

https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/5954888a-159c-46b2-a760-a79dcc9a1c21/svn/liquid-na...

But remember, spiking a speaker into suspended floor is a no-no as the floor becomes a sound board for the bass destroying any tightness to it. They should be de-coupled not coupled on this type of floor.
Only spike a speaker into a solid cement slab floor that can't act as a sound board. 

Cheers George
what doe's 'spiking' mean?
Though solid cement floors are less resonant than are suspended wood ones, they are still plagued by seismic vibrations. Spiking is so 20th Century ;-).
@bdp24 do you have a suggestion for an alternative to spiking?
@georgehifi Thank you!  I had a local guy suggest those same nuts.  Will it be simple to find the right threaded spikes for those?
@celtic66 How big is the payoff for the crossover upgrades?  I've opened up these suckers a couple times, and it's a pain in the ass to get them back together due to these expanding rubber nuts on the back of the drivers. 



g_nakamoto asks:
what does 'spiking' mean?


This goes back to a misconception a lot of guys have about how cones work. When we don't understand something very well we reach for metaphors which in this case watch for 'grounding', 'coupling', 'sink', 'isolating', bunch of stuff like that. What they all have in common is a misunderstanding of what is going on. Doesn't take a lot of trying different things to disprove all these false notions. But hardly anyone can be bothered to actually try and see. Especially because when you actually try and see you invariably wind up learning a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong.

Anyway, the spike idea is something pointy digs down into the floor or whatever to where it becomes more solidly anchored and so either vibrations flow from the component to the floor (if you buy that one) or the massive floor keeps the speaker from moving around (if you're into that one) or both.

This is easily disproven by something as simple as placing a penny under each spike. The spike will no longer penetrate, and yet it will still work just fine. Maybe even better.

Every component I have ever seen is shipped with such awful footers that just about anything will be an improvement. So you try something, sure enough its better, and you congratulate yourself on being such a shrewd audiophile. Most of the stuff out there is pointy, the difference with pointy spikes is sharper leading transients which is really easy to hear, which is probably why so many think you need something sharp.

But the best Cones I ever tried had a relatively blunt 1/4" radius. Also you can experiment with something, anything, and learn pretty quickly the exact same material works differently when made into different shapes. Only takes a minute with a file to round off some cheap cones and prove this for yourself. Or make your own out of different materials.


Will it be simple to find the right threaded spikes for those?
In Australia it was, as the local hardware shop had all different sizes, I just took a spike with me and he found the right size 8 of them and 8 lock nuts as well. and don’t forget the tube of Liquid Nails.

This is 4 you need 2 sets, and M8 is the "t" nut thread size 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/4pcs-lot-M8-Iron-Speaker-Spikes-Hifi-Audio-AMP-Monitor-Isolation-Stand-Feet-42mm/312225878780?hash=item48b21cd2fc:g:yUEAAOSwR7Bbg7kt

Cheers George
halecory,

Obviously, the improvement is quite subjective and if it’s painful to deal with the nuts and bolts of it......bail.

Of course the spikes or TipToes are easy to try.

@halecory, some listeners (Robert Deutsch and Art Dudley in Stereophile, VPI's Harry Weisfeld) have been very impressed with the IsoAcoustic Gaia isolators, many of the UK reviewers are enthusiastic about the Townshend Audio Seismic products, and Audiogon's own Geoff Kait offers two different versions of his isolation springs.

The notion of cones and spikes being mechanical diodes (passing energy only one way) is obviously a myth. For proof, go onto You Tube and watch the short videos wherein Max Townshend demonstrates the difference between the same speaker spiked to a cement floor, and isolated from it with his Seismic platform. 

Oops, forgot roller bearings (Symposium Acoustics, Ingress Engineering, DIY).
Oh, and all the various Herbie's Audio Lab offerings. That's it, I think ;-) .
@bdp24 , you have used/tested both, Townshend seismic pods and Isoacoustic products I believe. Which one is more effective, which one would you recommend under a DIY platform that's placed on the floor?
thanks.

@jkuc, although I have mentioned them several times (to bring them to the attention of anyone who might find them worth looking into), I decided against purchasing any GAIA. I like to analyze the concept and design of any product I am considering, and after doing so with the GAIA came to the conclusion that it’s operating principle is that of a damper more than an isolator.

If you look at the diagram blow-up of the GAIA structure, and read IsoAcoustic’s description of it, you will see the function of the stainless steel housing is only to create separate top and bottom sections; any isolation provided by the GAIA is that of the rubber layer inserted between the top and bottom pieces.

Rubber has for years been used in just about all hi-fi products, whether the old Neoprene feet on the bottom of component chassis’, or the newer compositions such as Sorbothane, Navcom, EAR Isoldamp, and whatever rubber it is IsoAcoustics puts in the GAIA. Rubber DOES possess some properties of isolation, but only down to a not-very-low frequency. Below that number, it acts as not an isolator, but as a damper. That doesn’t interest me.

In contrast, the Townshend Audio Seismic products provide true isolation down to approximately 3Hz, and other more expensive products (the Herzan and Minus-K isolation tables) even lower. Depending on the weight of one’s loudspeakers, two sets of Seismic Pods may cost less than two of the GAIA, and will provide, imo, superior isolation. That DOES interest me.

I have the Pods under my turntable (why a guy like Art Dudley would have finally tried the GAIA under his Garrard 301, but not the Townshend Seismic line---which has been available for a number of years---is something I don’t understand), and will soon be installing them under my tube electronics and loudspeakers.

Before investing in sets of GAIA for loudspeaker pairs ($400 for the III, $600 for the II, and $1200 for the I), I would consider trying the far cheaper Ingress Engineering Roller bearings (or your own even-cheaper DIY version), and/or Geoff Kait’s isolation springs, which provide isolation, not damping.

Thx  bdp24. Gaia seems to be topic of the day and has a very good press. Reviews is just advertising / promotion stuff though.

Yup, the GAIA first came to my attention via a quote from VPI’s Harry Weisfeld, who put them under his KEF Blade loudspeakers and loved the results. Others have also reported hearing benefits from their use, so I've been waiting for someone to compare the GAIA to the Townshend products (which have in the U.K. received the attention the GAIA are receiving in the U.S.), but finally gave up.

A set of the Townshend Pods for my loudspeakers are cheaper than the GAIA II (the speakers are too heavy for the III), so I’m giving them a try first. Based on my use of the Seismic Pods under my turntable, I expect to be pleased with the results. I’m sure the GAIA would also provide an improvement, but I’m not buying both just to find out!

Post removed 
+1 for the Gaia's. I have them under my Tektons (on a slate floor) & they are a wonderful improvement.