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Expensive speakers. Am I expected to let them sit on sharp spikes Studio Monitors
Old 10th February 2018
  #1
Expensive speakers. Am I expected to let them sit on sharp spikes

So I got some new monitors to mix on. Just setting them up in my room pushing and pulling them around to get the best LBIR SBIR etc. They are on Unity monolith stands. They are expensive.

Am I really expected to let them sit on sharp spikes? I just don't have the heart to do it!

I just had a look at a thread about "isolation" this but unfortunately it disintegrated into a total mess and has only managed to give me brain damage...

Testing Loudspeaker Isolation Products
Old 10th February 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
Absurd

Spikes are absurd. Shame on Unity for making such a product.
Remove the spikes and use Isolate It hemispheres or other resilient product. Get the loading right by choosing the right diameter and duro? number.

Did your speakers come with pads or hemispheres? Neumann speakers come with tiny clear resilient hemispheres. I use carefully chosen bigger one between the KH310 and the Towersonic stand.
If possible I would fill any metal tubing with some dry damping material. Kitty Litter, Sand, Polyester fibre....

DD
Old 13th February 2018
  #3
28kg ATC SMC20ASLs

Ha yeah you would think that they could chuck in some feet for that money! Saying that though they do seem to be quite happy just sat on the stands. I don't blast huge dBs.

Why would hemispheres be better than hockey puck shaped feet? A hockey puck shape seems like it would be more stable? Just wondering why they are that shape

The more I read about spikes the less it seems anybody would ever need them.
But they are everywhere.... do a search for speaker decoupling and mainly you will see spikes! Bizarre.
Old 13th February 2018
  #4
Gear Guru
Hemishpheres

I would have thought square or rectangular sorbothane to move the least. But moving and resilient are in conflict here so it's an engineering trade off.
A Hemisphere offers a gradually increase in load bearing as one gets closer to contact. I guess that prevents scratching. I remember seeing a recommendation, but not the actual number, as to how much load or deflection is optimum. Is it half way through the recommended operating load? or 30%? or 70%?
Yes the popularity of spikes are kinda insane. As is the current popularity of Vinyl.
What next, Cassettes?

DD
Old 14th February 2018
  #5
Suspension system...

So I asked the manufacturer of my speakers what I should put them on. They were not impressed with the idea of using rubber pucks..."are typically quite hard and the resonant frequency of the mass-spring system ends up in the speaker operating band where, they may do as much harm as good"

They suggested a mass loaded wire suspension system @ a resonant frequency of about 10Hz but I was unlikely to find one, so don't worry about it.

So they are not bothered what you put them on as long as they are stable and safe. It is true that at even at decent amount of decibels I cannot feel the cabinet move at all

They were more concerned about de-coupleing the stands from the floor in case the neighbours were angry with my new monitors!

So now I am thinking about the best way to de-couple the stands from the floor!
Old 14th February 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Spikes are for strongly coupling, not decoupling.
Old 14th February 2018
  #7
Gear Guru
BS

The semi hard rubber pucks are to avoid scratching or digging into the wooden floor.
If you were to actually decouple the speakers from the floor the tower would be able to wiggle. And as akebrake said, spikes couple intimately.
This is an Acoustics forum and we are here. I don't mind debating issues to tease them out, but debating reality, especially with someone not here is daft. Your speaker stand manufacturer is quite ignorant of Acoustics and Physics.
EDIT send em a link to this thread or any other rubbishing the notion that spikes decouple.
DD

Last edited by DanDan; 14th February 2018 at 07:00 PM..
Old 14th February 2018
  #8
Spikes are for strongly coupling

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpusOfTrolls View Post
Spikes are for strongly coupling, not decoupling.
I always knew this. Like a bridge on a violin. Tuning fork on table etc. It transfers the sound. The argument that the end of the spikes is very small so doesn't transfer is totally ridiculous. Still there are hundreds of outlets advertising spikes for de-coupling. Articles explaining how to de-couple using spikes are everywhere.

Even the speaker stand makers (Unity) call them de-coupling spikes!

So let it be said here for others who are confused

Speaker spikes DO NOT DECOUPLE your speakers. Speaker spikes guarantee they WILL be coupled.
Old 14th February 2018
  #9
Gear Guru
Daft

Towersonics supply spikes as standard. Rubber pucks are an expensive optional extra. As I have carpet, I replaced the spikes with round headed nuts. These sink into the carpet and underlay without damage, easily moved, but the apex pushes down squeezing that tiny area of carpet hard. An early mentor, Nicky Ryan (Enya, Clannad) used concrete blocks. Just wrapped in fabric. (or could be painted). On consideration, what a good idea.

DD
Old 14th February 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
I found a noticeable improvement in sound with the IsoAcoustics monitor stands. I have the classic, not the new pucks. Nice rubber feet. Mind you, that's on a desk bridge, not stands.
Old 14th February 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
There is a long time ago before the idiophiles goodies arrive in the audiophile world, we used spikes under an analytical balance sensitivity. For decoupling or isolate the balance of the table and the vibration generate buy the floor.
Old 14th February 2018
  #12
Gear Guru
Coupling

Quote:
For decoupling or isolate
Spikes couple and connect. The area of contact is much smaller than a flat foot but weight is not magically vanished, it is transformed into vastly increased pressure in a smaller area. Plus penetration.

Spikes, particularly three, can make a very stable contact, which is useful if the floor is solid.
DD
Old 14th February 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Spikes couple and connect. The area of contact is much smaller than a flat foot but weight is not magically vanished, it is transformed into vastly increased pressure in a smaller area. Plus penetration.

Spikes, particularly three, can make a very stable contact, which is useful if the floor is solid.
DD
The spikes and his magical property : quantum property, the quantum superposition.
How is the cat?
Old 14th February 2018
  #14
Gear Guru
LOL

Aaah, I get it now. Nice one dino.

DD
Old 15th February 2018
  #15
higher up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicus View Post
I found a noticeable improvement in sound with the IsoAcoustics monitor stands. I have the classic, not the new pucks. Nice rubber feet. Mind you, that's on a desk bridge, not stands.
Is that partly because they are now higher up?
Old 15th February 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
The semi hard rubber pucks are to avoid scratching or digging into the wooden floor.
If you were to actually decouple the speakers from the floor the tower would be able to wiggle. And as akebrake said, spikes couple intimately.
This is an Acoustics forum and we are here. I don't mind debating issues to tease them out, but debating reality, especially with someone not here is daft. Your speaker stand manufacturer is quite ignorant of Acoustics and Physics.
EDIT send em a link to this thread or any other rubbishing the notion that spikes decouple.
DD
At the moment I wish the stands had wheels (lockable). Heaving them around while positioning is giving me a nice workout!

My floor (cheap wooden) is quite resonant so I think I may go with your concrete blocks approach.

Am I right in thinking that not much vibration actually reaches the floor through the stands anyway?
Old 15th February 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Freeland View Post
Is that partly because they are now higher up?
No. I'm, let's say, fastidious about positioning. If there was a change in height, it was an inch.
Old 15th February 2018
  #18
Gear Guru
Degree

Quote:
Am I right in thinking that not much vibration actually reaches the floor through the stands anyway?
This depends on IMO mostly the cabinet design. Some are massive, even concrete, or MDF strongly braced, or mass loaded plastic etc. etc. Even at high volumes of bass heavy music, one cannot feel much vibration of the box, and certainly nothing discernible in the stand. An Accelerometer would be better, but such measurements are bound to detect vibration. Is it audible or damaging to the main audio though? If the stand is coupled to a resonant floor, and the speaker coupled to the stand, audio damage is possible to likely. Tests have shown sound radiating from the floor and arriving at the listener BEFORE the direct air path sound. Sound travels very much faster in solids.
There has been at least one speaker who's cabinet is designed to radiate. It was a standard BBC Studio Monitor. The Spendor BC1.

Quote:
If there was a change in height, it was an inch.
An inch can easily change response quite significantly.

DD
Old 15th February 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
An inch can easily change response quite significantly.
Hmmm - do you mean an inch relative to the room, the desk, or my ears?

If it's ears - I always adjust my sitting height to be at nominally the same level relative to the speakers.

On the other hand - I cannot ensure I sit at exactly the same height every single moment, all day, every day to better than +/- 1/2 inch.
Old 15th February 2018
  #20
Gear Guru
Size Matters....

I wouldn't single out any particular dimension or relativity. When tweaking speaker positions, at the final stages I go down to a couple of centimetres. I have seen remarkable differences in LF response even with such tiny variations of width and height.
DD
Old 16th February 2018
  #21
Resolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post

An inch can easily change response quite significantly.

DD

Yes. Ever accidentally nudged your mic in the middle of a measuring session? Even a 1 cm move gives you pronounced differences in measurements.

I imagine a an inch from the hard surface of a desk will change response despite how high your ears are.
Old 1st March 2018
  #22
Gear Addict
 

I've been visiting Gearslutz for about 10 years and haven't really delved into the acoustic treatment/studio building section until recently, as I've begun work on my own studio, and the wealth of knowledge is remarkable. I can't thank you guys enough. Almost every question I've wanted to ask has already been asked by someone, and answered by several others. So I'm just soaking it all in.

I have one question though; I have a 10" subwoofer (M-audio SBX10) that came with screw-in spikes, and my floor is tiled with ceramic tiles. Would it be better to use the spikes to couple them to the floor, or decouple them using sorbothane hemispheres or rubber pads? Which would yield more accurate results for sound quality?

These are the rubber pads: SVS SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System, 4-Pack Amazon.com: SVS SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System, 4-Pack: Home Audio & Theater
Old 1st March 2018
  #23
Gear Guru
Isolation

To be honest I would probably put a small hand towel or facecloth under them. Or a Mouse Mat. So Isolation is obviously my recommendation. I have used Isolate It, but I guess any Sorbothane should work fine. Try to pick ones that match your speaker load as best as possible.

DD
Old 1st March 2018
  #24
Spikes

You might by accident improve your response by coupling, you might not.
I don't think spikes on a ceramic floor is a very good idea!

You will only really know if you measure with and without.
I would start by isolating them.

Some makers of such spikes claim that they de-couple reasoning that because they stop the speaker from moving back and forth less energy is transferred to the floor. (reading that back I wonder where they think the energy from stoping the back and forth motion goes? Doh!)

Really good speaker cabinets barely vibrate anyway making it more important to put them on heavy stands.

A slab of something really heavy underneath the sub would help you to hear more of the sub and less of the floor if you can make the sub stick to the surface.

Some people use Sorbothene. You could spike into a lump of hard heavy wood and use some rubber feet? Save your tiles!
Old 5th March 2018
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Freeland View Post

Some people use Sorbothene. You could spike into a lump of hard heavy wood and use some rubber feet? Save your tiles!
This sounds like an excellent idea. I'll definitely do this. Thanks guys!
Old 17th March 2018
  #26
Here for the gear
 

I had a similar problem with my speaker on spikes with a brand new hardwood floor. Benefits of strong coupling or not, they did not pass the wife test. My workaround was to go down to the local hardware store. I got the spikes off the floor about 1/3 centimeter onto a small disc made of stacked metal washers. Total cost: $4. Would Bob Carver or Richard Vandersteen or one of them high end stereo guys approve? Probably not. But my wife did.
Old 19th March 2018
  #27
Here for the gear
 

I got some new Focal Shape 50s and i've been finishing off treating my room. So, i've been taking many many frequency sweeps to find the best placement etc.
My Shapes came bundled with a nice set of Isoacoustic L8R155s for which i had read many a rave review of how they tightened up the bottom end, improved the stereo imaging etc. But after extensive testing i can't really say i'm hearing it to be honest.

I then took a whole slew of sweeps, both with the Iso stands, then with some old foam isolators and then with the standard little hemisphere style feet that were supplied with the Shapes and the sweeps look pretty much identical and the Shapes sound pretty much identical (great, that is!). After doing a little more looking into this, this seems to be backed up by Ethan Winer after he did some fairly extensive testing himself. Testing Loudspeaker Isolation Products

I'd say don't spend too much money with whatever decoupling 'solution' you go for....
Old 23rd March 2018
  #28
LOL

That is the link I made in the first post in the thread. Not a good thread at all. Descends into a mess. Not very scientific or conclusive.
Old 23rd March 2018
  #29
I like to use spikes ( or my favorite DH Ceramic Cones --- and Oh yeah I can hear the effect ) when a big speaker is sitting on something solid, like a concrete slab in my basement. Gouples the solidly and prevents the cabinet from vibrating on the floor.

Tied other kinds of cones or spikes, store bought and home made. None had the sound of the ceramics.

Pucks or sorbo may work better when the spkr is on a surface that would vibrate sympathetically with the speaker.

Different solutions for two separate problems.
Old 23rd March 2018
  #30
What vibrations?

With good studio monitors usually there is virtually no energy transmitted through the stand to the floor, spikes or no spikes. I cannot even feel the actual cabinet vibrating with my hand here! At all, even at quite high SPLs. This is by design unless a radiating design like Dan Dan mentioned earlier.

ATC are considered to be one of the best if not the best speaker manufacturers on the planet. When I asked them they sounded pretty unimpressed with the idea of pucks or spikes.

"resonant frequency of the mass-spring system ends up in the speaker operating band where, they may do as much harm as good"

Of course you will hear a difference if you have changed the speaker hight.

IF your speaker cabs ARE radiating then isolation is a better pursuit than coupling via spikes (that according to the manufactures actually de-couple).
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