One of the roles of an effective speaker support is to prevent such vibrations from being transferred into other structures, such as wooden floors, desktops, shelves or mixer meterbridges. It should also hold the speaker as firmly as possible, to reduce movement due to the action/reaction effect.
And, of course, it needs to put the speaker in the correct position relative to the listener, which usually means with the tweeter aimed at an imaginary point just behind the listener’s head. Note, though, that a few speakers are deliberately designed to be aimed directly ahead rather than at the listener, so always check the recommendations in the manual that comes with your particular loudspeaker before directing them inwards.
And according to Otto Jørgensen, this is where you have the most to gain from acquiring a pair of speaker stands: “The most impactful benefit of getting stands is added distance between your speakers and surfaces. It keeps early reflections to a minimum. And that’s especially important for the speakers’ low-end performance.”
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.
We tend to think of a loudspeaker as a fixed box that produces sound directly from the moving cones of the speakers (and, where the speaker is ported, from the port as well). Although that is certainly where most of the sound comes from, the reality is that no matter how rigid the cabinet is there will also be some vibration of the cabinet walls.
You can make a speaker move less in many different ways, and one of those is by adding more mass to the speaker and the stand; making it harder for the speaker to move. That’s why you’ll find a sand compartment in most stands.
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.
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