Speaker Stands

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  • 12-25-2004, 11:41 PM
    Aric M L
    Speaker Stands
    So I just acquired a pair of B&W 602 S3's that I've been lusting over for quite some time. However after waiting for so long, I decided to wait a while to set them up until I have everything around them optimal as can be. I bought a Harman Kardon reciever to power them and am looking to buy a pair of speaker stands. So what I'd like to know is what do I look for in speaker stands? They are going in a 13'*14' second story room with carpeting. I am also curious as to if anyone has advice on using blu-tack to adhere them to whatever stands I buy. Really any advice anyone has on what are the ups and downs of different types of stands, I can't wait to set them up and hear them... and then wait a month until they're broken in and hear them all over again!
  • 12-26-2004, 12:47 AM
    matt39
    Why wait
    The general rule of thumb is to get a stand with a height which will bring the tweeter to the same height (or as near as possible) to the height of your ears when you are in your primary listening position. Frankly, I'm no expert on stands. I just use some generic wood ones I bought years ago at Best Buy and they have always worked fine for me. As long as they are sturdy, steady and of the proper height you should be okay. Why not set the speakers up on some boxes of about the right height and start playing them now? If I had a set of nice speakers like the 602's I don't think I could be that patient. Besides you're breaking them in at this point so why not start as soon as possible! I also own a Harman Kardon receiver (HK3375) and I think you made a good choice there. The HK amps are rated for a 4 ohm impedance and should handle your 602's very well. The other members here can give you more info on different types and brands of stands and on the use of blu-tack as well. If you are handy you might check out www.tnt-audio.com as they have a diy section which includes a practical and inexpensive stand project. Anyway congratulations on your new speakers. Hook them up and start having some fun!
  • 12-26-2004, 08:27 AM
    NickWH
    Yeah, 24"-26" stands should do the trick. You may want carpet spikes for stability, and a mass-fillable center column(s) to increase weight and deaden any resonances. Blu-tak works fine when mounting the speakers on the top plate (with no damage to the finish I might add). Make sure the top plate is large enough for your speakers, but not so big that it sticks out around the cabinet. A lot of people like Sanus stands, but there are many good brands out there. Plan on spending at least $100/pair, all the way up to $500/pair.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/store/ca...20Stands&All=1
  • 12-26-2004, 12:42 PM
    SpankingVanillaice
    I always woundered about this but is it really worth to have speaker stands since I thought placeing them on bookshelfs sounds really good but do you guys think its better to place my JBL S26 on stands? If yes what kind of stands should I get?
  • 12-26-2004, 12:45 PM
    SpankingVanillaice
    My speakers are in my bedroom were my comp is. I have them placed on my computer desk on the top
  • 12-26-2004, 03:54 PM
    RGA
    Stands are critical to the sound of a loudspeaker - basically a Stand converts a standmount speaker into a kind of floorstanding speaker - floorstanders that use CHEAP cabinets sound dreadful - using better materials generally equals better sound.

    This does not mean you have to spend a lot of money though. Skylan out of Alberta Canada is relatively inexpensive and I used to own them with My AN K's. They are high mass sand fillible and they will custom build them to yuor spec. I even tried one that had a system where you could tilt the stands back and raise the stands. They have two posts to fill with sand or lead shot(or a mix of both), with carpet spikes and rounded corners to you don't kill your toes.

    You can also build your own stands but frankly $200.00Cdn after conversion is pretty inexpensive for the stands you get from them compared to spending lot more for not a lot if anything more quality.

    http://www.skylanstands.com/
  • 12-26-2004, 05:12 PM
    Woochifer
    Stands are important because you need them to elevate the speakers to the proper height. The things you really need to look for are how stable they are and how well they isolate the speaker from the floor. In general, stability is contingent on build quality and weight. The better stands have adjustable spikes so you can level them out on uneven surfaces. Those don't have to cost a lot. Another trait of better stands is weight -- i.e. they are heavy and they distribute more of the weight towards the bottom. You can add mass to stands by filling them with sand or lead shot, so look for fillable columns. With filling the stands, you also make them acoustically inert.

    The options that the others have suggested are good, and I would also add the Premier (available at Paradigm dealers) stands, which are surprisingly good stands for around $120 a pair (I prefer them to the more commonly available Sanus stands, because they use a heavier base plate). Another option is the Target Audio stands, which are ugly but very well built. Not sure if they're available in the U.S. again. If you want something that gives you maximum build and can be customized to your exact specs, look at the Sound Anchor stands.
  • 12-26-2004, 05:24 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Stands are critical to the sound of a loudspeaker - basically a Stand converts a standmount speaker into a kind of floorstanding speaker - floorstanders that use CHEAP cabinets sound dreadful - using better materials generally equals better sound.

    Not quite.

    A stand does not turn a standmounted speaker into a floorstander. Floorstanding speakers differ in that they use the larger internal volume and different port size to extend the low frequency (and change the overall tonal characteristics, depending on the size of the port opening and interior volume). If the materials on a speaker stand change the acoustical properties of the speaker so that they "sound dreadful" then the stand is doing a poor job of isolating the speaker cabinet from the stand.

    As I stated above, the role of the stand is to elevate the speaker to the right height and provide the needed isolation and stability. Many choices in materials can do the trick if designed right. Those Skylan stands that you suggested use plastic columns, so I'm not sure where you're going with the materials argument as it pertains to stands.
  • 12-26-2004, 06:04 PM
    RGA
    While I have metal stands currently - Skylan's poly material/mdf constructions works to absorb sound quite effectively. Steel is more rgid but also doesn't flex and rings. And of course a floorstander has open internal volume - the reason they tend to sound woirse is due to cabinet resonance becase most of these makers use crappy non wood or dirt cheap wood composites - using more crappy wood(err whatever) means more resonance.

    A stand has to better transfer vibration - Skylan is a relatively cheap option - is there cheaper maybe - in my parts there is nothing I have seen as good for the money and the stands from the speaker makers tend to be worse and cost more than double especially the rippoffs from B&W.

    And it may be that not all speakers will notice much of a difference in stands - or listeners in which case cheaper is better.
  • 12-27-2004, 12:07 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    While I have metal stands currently - Skylan's poly material/mdf constructions works to absorb sound quite effectively. Steel is more rgid but also doesn't flex and rings. And of course a floorstander has open internal volume - the reason they tend to sound woirse is due to cabinet resonance becase most of these makers use crappy non wood or dirt cheap wood composites - using more crappy wood(err whatever) means more resonance.

    A stand has to better transfer vibration - Skylan is a relatively cheap option - is there cheaper maybe - in my parts there is nothing I have seen as good for the money and the stands from the speaker makers tend to be worse and cost more than double especially the rippoffs from B&W.

    And it may be that not all speakers will notice much of a difference in stands - or listeners in which case cheaper is better.

    If you fill the steel stands, they can be every bit as inert as other materials. Their advantage over other materials is that they allow for more design options, while retaining their strength. The adjustable tall stands that I use for my surround speakers use steel, allow for a height adjustment of 5" to 45", and can support up to 100 lbs. Even so, they remain relatively compact. Going to wood or plastic would require a much bulkier design.

    A floorstanding speaker has open internal volume because that space is part of the speaker's acoustical mechanism. The role of a stand is to NOT become a part of that process. This is why you can fill stands with dampening materials, but have to leave open cavities inside of speakers. If the stand is inert, stable, and isolates both the stand from the speaker and the stand from the floor, then it should do that job just fine and resonance from the stand would not be an issue.

    B&W is not alone in charging a lot for their matching stands. My recollection is that the stands that B&W sells for the 600 series go for around $300. This is similar to how much Paradigm's Premier J-series stands cost, but they also offer two lower priced series starting at $80 a pair. The thing to keep in mind is that most of the stands offered by high end speaker companies place a premium on the design as well as the performance. With those B&W stands, you're paying the extra money to get something with a higher quality look than the more generic options out there. Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics, and Von Schweikert, among others, charge comparable prices on their stands. The Sonus Faber stands that I considered for my surrounds cost more than $500. No question they were high quality stands -- solid, stable, very heavy, four fillable post steel design, isolators on the top plate, and a very attractive design. Generic options that are similar cost over $300, and are a lot uglier.
  • 12-28-2004, 12:16 AM
    Aric M L
    Thanks for the advice. I actually wound up buying a pair of 23" Plateau ST stands from a local dealer. They had them set up with the 602's and I listened to those and a pair of wooden stands for about 10 minutes each. While I could tell maybe only minute differences I did like the aluminum ones better (Aesthetics also played a role). Now I come to the question of what to fill them with? Sand or Lead shot. I cant help but ask, wouldn't lead shot possibly rattle around in the stand if not filled to absolute perfect capacity? And if not, is there really any difference with what I use to wiegh the stands down?
  • 12-28-2004, 05:07 AM
    N. Abstentia
    I use aquarium gravel in my Studio Tech stands. It's extremely heavy and it packs in real good (I guess 'dense' is the word?). It's much cleaner than sand!