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.
So, what should you do instead? We’ve talked to our product team to learn more – and the solution is stands. Sideboards, tables and chairs are out of the question, too. Speaker stands are specifically designed to bring the best out of your speakers by managing vibrations, reducing early reflections and ensuring the proper amount of treble. Together with our Product Manager – Home, Otto Jørgensen, we’ve taken a look at the fundamentals.
The heavier the stand, the less it will move, and with many hi–fi and pro–audio speaker stands (including many of the models made by Atacama, for example), it’s possible to fill the hollow support column with a heavy material to add mass and to damp resonances. This could be sand, shot or any other heavy but well–damped material.
To sum up, the platforms with a heavy plate of some type on top are the most effective, though you can add mass very easily to any type of support by using floor tiles. Similarly, the more massive and better damped a speaker stand, the less vibrational energy is likely to make it through to the floor and less the stand itself will vibrate. Compared with the cost of speakers, adding suitable stands or platforms is relatively inexpensive, yet it can make a very worthwhile improvement to the overall sound quality!
Where vibrations are allowed to leak into any studio furniture or wooden floors, the audible result is often a blurring of the bass and lower mid range, as well as a deterioration in the stereo image. By using an appropriate stand or platform, the bass end should tighten up to a very noticeable degree, leaving the mids sounding clearer and the imaging better defined.
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.
An isolation platform works in a similar way to a car’s suspension, and comprises three mechanical components: a spring, a mass supported by the spring, and some form of damping to prevent the sprung mass from continuing to bounce around. In a car you have the springs between the axles and the car body: the car body provides the mass and the shock absorbers provide the damping, to stop you having a bouncy ride.
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