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mkrzych

Spikes and Cones – What’s the point?

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  1. Sam Lord's Avatar
    For speakers, the point is to maximize stiffness of the floor at the points of speaker contact. This is an efficient way to minimize the distortion that results from a moving baffle by minimizing the movement. You can measure the effect by pointing a laser at a mirror on the baffle and charting the motion of the laser's reflection onto a wall.

    For other components, the goal is to minimize vibration, which can affect all devices but principally capacitors and wire.
  2. mkrzych's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord
    For speakers, the point is to maximize stiffness of the floor at the points of speaker contact. This is an efficient way to minimize the distortion that results from a moving baffle by minimizing the movement. You can measure the effect by pointing a laser at a mirror on the baffle and charting the motion of the laser's reflection onto a wall.

    For other components, the goal is to minimize vibration, which can affect all devices but principally capacitors and wire.
    Yes, indeed for spikes if you have an carpet on the floor, certainly spike helps. I've also notices that having heavy stands with spikes improve a bit bass response and stereo imaging. Subtle, but audible.
  3. sdolezalek's Avatar
    See various posts elsewhere on this site from Barry Diament about floating rather than connecting speakers to the floor. I have not tried it for myself, but he makes a convincing argument that his ball bearing like isolation devices remove vibration-based distortion from all components, including his Magnepan 3.7's and for audible benefit.

    In both cases, the question that needs to be answered is the frequency of the baffle movement that a spike is trying to resist versus the frequency of a vibration that might travel from the floor up into the speaker. Ideally you would couple at frequencies outside the audible range and isolate or float within the audible range.
  4. Sam Lord's Avatar
    "In both cases, the question that needs to be answered is the frequency of the baffle movement that a spike is trying to resist versus the frequency of a vibration that might travel from the floor up into the speaker. Ideally you would couple at frequencies outside the audible range and isolate or float within the audible range."

    That's right, the bearings trade the set of horizontal oscillations into a single one with a very low frequency. Our speakers (Intuitive Design Denali) were the first the incorporate Aurios then Stillpoints into the design--18 bearing sets in all. It's an expensive tweak, you need excellent ball bearings and races, but it does beat spiking. Edit: You still spike the surface at the floor unless you have a massive slab there.
  5. Sam Lord's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sdolezalek
    In both cases, the question that needs to be answered is the frequency of the baffle movement that a spike is trying to resist versus the frequency of a vibration that might travel from the floor up into the speaker. Ideally you would couple at frequencies outside the audible range and isolate or float within the audible range.
    Sorry, I didn't respond properly. The momentum transfer between speaker and floor is positively unstoppable, but delays can occur that mostly avoid the sonic range. Spikes do two things: 1) when stiffly attached to the speaker as a rigid object, they greatly increase the resonant frequency of the box-floor system. This is where the speaker enclosure mass is so helpful, its acceleration will decrease linearly with the increase in mass. But spikes also are fairly inelastic (lossy) in high frequencies because the spikes slightly deform and heat the surface they are impacting. There is probably an ideal surface to spike for a given type of speaker, stiff enough but still somewhat lossy at supersonic frequencies.
  6. mkrzych's Avatar
    So, reading your answers it seems that the best solution is to use bearings instead of stiff spikes cones. I assume that this kind of tweak is rather for the expensive speaker sets (rather big ones), because it is expensive itself. I think that for the small standmounters, much heavier stand than the speakers itself with the spikes may be the solution to go for. What do you think?
  7. Sam Lord's Avatar
    I agree with all you just said. The bearings roll better with more weight on them (up to a point), so lighter, smaller speakers benefit less. And the bearings must sit on a perfectly level and rigid surface. My point is that you really need good stands or slabs of some type to be able to use the bearings well. I see you have Dali Zensors, I haven't heard them but they sure look like a great bargain.

    I saw that you now have stands. Are they heavy, and are they filled with a lossy material like sand? If not that is something you should do. You can also weigh down the stands with sand bags like studios do with microphone stands, but that is hard to make attractive. If your stands aren't heavy and can't be filled with sand, a simple alternative is to set the speakers upon stone or concrete blocks. These will also weigh more than all but the most costly stands. But again there is the challenge of making them look OK. You can also add weight to the *top* of a speaker as well, that will reduce enclosure vibration a lot.

    Good luck!
    -Sam
  8. mkrzych's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord
    I agree with all you just said. The bearings roll better with more weight on them (up to a point), so lighter, smaller speakers benefit less. And the bearings must sit on a perfectly level and rigid surface. My point is that you really need good stands or slabs of some type to be able to use the bearings well. I see you have Dali Zensors, I haven't heard them but they sure look like a great bargain.

    I saw that you now have stands. Are they heavy, and are they filled with a lossy material like sand? If not that is something you should do. You can also weigh down the stands with sand bags like studios do with microphone stands, but that is hard to make attractive. If your stands aren't heavy and can't be filled with sand, a simple alternative is to set the speakers upon stone or concrete blocks. These will also weigh more than all but the most costly stands. But again there is the challenge of making them look OK. You can also add weight to the *top* of a speaker as well, that will reduce enclosure vibration a lot.

    Good luck!
    -Sam
    Zensor 1's are small standmounters and my stands cannot be filled with sand. However I think they are so much heavier than the speakers on top of them and speakers are glued to them using Tesa Powerstrips: tesa Powerstrips® LARGE - Products - tesa SE that it may help with the resonances to the floor. I have also spikes cones on the special floor protection tabs. One time I thought about the vibration eaters to put on the top of the speakers, but they are rather expensive comparing to the speakers.
  9. mkrzych's Avatar
    In my case I have this stands, but grey. Sound Organisation-Z522 Four-pillar Stand-Speaker Stands | Acoustic Sounds They seemed to be discontinued already. Not sure if they're fillable.
  10. Sam Lord's Avatar
    mkrzych,

    I think you have done good work to optimize your speakers' performance. The Z522 stands are fillable, by the way. If you use sand, you need to be sure the sand is dry and doesn't have large particles--they can block proper filling.

    I think that buying vibration eaters is completely unneeded. You can do much better by putting a stone or concrete slab on top of each speaker.

    BTW, why don't you post these notes in the forum instead of blogs? I think your questions and comments are very good and would be read by many more people.

    Cheers, Sam
  11. mkrzych's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord
    mkrzych,

    I think you have done good work to optimize your speakers' performance. The Z522 stands are fillable, by the way. If you use sand, you need to be sure the sand is dry and doesn't have large particles--they can block proper filling.

    I think that buying vibration eaters is completely unneeded. You can do much better by putting a stone or concrete slab on top of each speaker.

    BTW, why don't you post these notes in the forum instead of blogs? I think your questions and comments are very good and would be read by many more people.

    Cheers, Sam
    Regarding the Z522, I've bought them as a bargain from store and they were already assembled. Don't know where is the whole to fill them with sand to be honest? Need to look closer. So far, I think the heaviness of them itself should be enough for my small speakers, but in the future when I decided to go for something bigger, good to know that I can use sand to make them even heavier and resonant resistant.

    About posting on the forum, indeed good idea. I will try to summarize that discussion and put also the link to the blog on the forum soon.