You could just plonk your speaker onto the top of your chosen stand, of course, but it’s best to have the speaker fixed to the stand in some way, because otherwise it can slide around. One popular and effective method is to place blobs of Blu–Tack under each corner; this acts as both a removable adhesive and as a damping medium. Another alternative is to use high–friction rubber matting, of the type sold for workshops and kitchens.
And stands are especially helpful in the low-frequency area, as this part of the frequency spectrum is omnidirectional and therefore more sensitive to surfaces nearby than the high-frequency area.
The theory is that the mass and spring characteristics are chosen so that the resonant frequency of the combination is well below that of any frequency they’re likely to be asked to isolate. For example, if the lowest note a speaker can reproduce is 30Hz, then the resonant frequency of the supporting platform needs to be well below that — perhaps just a few Hertz or less.
No, it’s not because we don’t like your bookshelf. It’s probably really good looking. But, bookshelves, sideboards, TV-boards and tables all share a common drawback: surfaces. You don’t want surfaces close to your speakers, as surfaces can cause early reflections that colour and distort the sound image – that’s also why we recommend getting your speakers away from corners and walls.
Many stands come with a compartment dedicated to sand and similarly heavy and well-damped materials. And there’s method in the madness. You see, the speaker plays music by moving its drive unit in and out to create sound pressure: when the drive unit pushes outwards, it creates sound pressure, but when it moves inwards it pushes the entire speaker backwards.
And stands do more than combatting early reflections. They also provide what’s called decoupling between your speakers and the floor (which is also known as mechanical isolation). We will let Otto describe their construction: “Take your typical Dynaudio Stand; you have feet with either spikes for solid floors or rubber for wooden ones at the bottom. Then you have a base plate that manages vibrations. Also, large base plates with feet far apart are more stable, making it harder for the speakers to fall over.
If you already have a speaker stand with spikes and your floor is made of wood, then you should consider putting some form of isolation platform between the speaker and the stand, to prevent the cabinet vibrations reaching the stand and, through it, the floor. Avoid flimsy stands that move or rock when you touch them. If the final assembly doesn’t feel completely solid, avoid it.
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