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Turk 182

the wisdom of russ andrews 2 - speaker stands

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approx 20 years ago i purchased my 1st "proper" hifi system including a set of b&w 601 s2 speakers and the dealer recommended atacama se24 stands.

on the dealers instruction the stands had their spikes attached which were they pushed through the carpet of my listening room and wedged firmly in the floorboards beneath.

the stands them selves were then "mass loaded" with sand and finally the speakers were held in place with trusty old blu-tach. 

after giving the system 100 plus hours to "run in" the speakers as advised the sound quite frankly disappointing - one note bumpy bass, very quiet midrange and treble that sounded fizzy...

this puzzled me as i had set the kit up as instructed and i now began to feel i had made some sort of expensive mistake !

upon seeing an advert from russ andrews accessories advertising some free guides one of which was on equipment supports i contacted them - they were free so nothing to lose !

the guides arrived and it was interesting to see that they advised against mass loading stands, using blu-tac and even pushing spikes firmly into floorboards !

so following the advice contained i removed the sand from the stands making them about 4/5 lighter.

i also removed the blu tach resting the speakers on the stand top plates and finally had the bottom spikes resting on cross head screws to prevent them wedging in the floor boards below.

the result was a marked improvement in all areas - tuneful bass, something that now resembled a midrange and a sweeter treble that did not induce ear ache !

all this impressed me as the advice was from a free guide albeit from a guide designed to "help" you purchase some of his products.

its what lead me down a path of experimenting and tweaking my system and a lesson had been learnt as regards to there being not one correct way of setting up a hifi system ! 

Image result for russ andrews firm foundations

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Super Wammer

The advice about coupling versus isolating, and mass loading versus lightweight continues to this day. 

Only last night I read a Stereophile article about various isolators and good old blutak.  As you say, there’s no ideal way, though some speakers tend to like solid stands and others prefer a light framework. 

 https://www.stereophile.com/content/sound-surprise-loudspeakerstand-interface-page-2

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2 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

The advice about coupling versus isolating, and mass loading versus lightweight continues to this day. 

Only last night I read a Stereophile article about various isolators and good old blutak.  As you say, there’s no ideal way, though some speakers tend to like solid stands and others prefer a light framework. 

 https://www.stereophile.com/content/sound-surprise-loudspeakerstand-interface-page-2

hi nopiano

thanks for the reply and link.

i think / am guessing that the firmness of the speakers cabinet is the deciding factor as to which speaker stand set up sounds best.

(due to whether the cabinet is well constructed / damped or whether, like my budget b&w's, it is basically an empty(ish) shell !)

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1 hour ago, Turk 182 said:

hi nopiano

thanks for the reply and link.

i think / am guessing that the firmness of the speakers cabinet is the deciding factor as to which speaker stand set up sounds best.

(due to whether the cabinet is well constructed / damped or whether, like my budget b&w's, it is basically an empty(ish) shell !)

Different schools of thought, so I don't think there's a one size fits all conclusion to be reached.

IIRC, AudioNote suggest heavy stands but initially only half-filled, then incrementally adding/subtracting to taste. 

Some manufacturers of course are somewhat 'anti-spike' in an audio context, Lavardin/LeContoure, Boenicke and Townshend come immediately to mind.

I think all you can do is go with the prevailing wisdom for any given application and be prepared for a little experimentation.

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3 hours ago, Nopiano said:

The advice about coupling versus isolating, and mass loading versus lightweight continues to this day. 

Only last night I read a Stereophile article about various isolators and good old blutak.  As you say, there’s no ideal way, though some speakers tend to like solid stands and others prefer a light framework. 

 https://www.stereophile.com/content/sound-surprise-loudspeakerstand-interface-page-2

Coupling versus isolating does indeed  remain a potentially  confusing  argument, even today.

The more you think about the relevant principals , the more complicated it seems.

Do you want to hold this thing still ? do you want to  "ground"  energy from it or leave it in the structure ?   It's often "horses for courses".

Enough  understanding to do some useful experimentation is perhaps the requirement .

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Moderator

To add to the fun, it of course also depends what you are standing things on. There is a massive difference between a concrete floor and a suspended wood floor.

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31 minutes ago, rabski said:

To add to the fun, it of course also depends what you are standing things on. There is a massive difference between a concrete floor and a suspended wood floor.

Neighbours also think the same..

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2 hours ago, Smokestack said:

Coupling versus isolating does indeed  remain a potentially  confusing  argument, even today.

The more you think about the relevant principals , the more complicated it seems.

Do you want to hold this thing still ? do you want to  "ground"  energy from it or leave it in the structure ?   It's often "horses for courses".

Enough  understanding to do some useful experimentation is perhaps the requirement .

+! and russ provided me with this for free !

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Super Wammer

I would certainly agree that if a speaker is designed with fast transmission of energy is used ( Celestion SL600 , Harbeths ) then they sound much better on light stands which have the same principle . Torlyte stands work very well but frankly they are a little expensive. I used open frame such as the Linn Stands to what I considered a beneficial effect. 

How this would work with a speaker designed to absorb and energy is open to debate. 

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What I have found over the years:

- isolation from a suspended wooden floor is essential 

- There are no hard and fast rules, so experentation is key

- Too much mass loading can make the bass slow, lumpy and plodding

- Too much Blu tak can rob the sound of excitement

- Some speakers prefer open framed, light stands

- Spikes couple

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