Adding spikes to an SVS sub....

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Aaron E. Smith, May 1, 2004.

  1. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys,

    In my never-ending quest to procrastinate, I've been trying to come up with differnt and interesting things to do and tweak and whatnot. Anyway, one of the things that I've thought about is adding some really good spikes to my SVS subs (I have two 16-46PC+ subs). I know that SVS discontinued using spikes before I bought these subs, and I've also read that they don't feel that spikes add anything, but I've got a very thickly carpeted living room/home theater, and I'd like to try out the spike for myself. The question is, if I decide to do this, what is the best way?

    I figure that this site below is good for some spikes, but I'm not sure what is the best way to mount the spikes and whatnot?
    http://www.audiopoints.com/shopping.html

    Any pointers? Has anyone else done this to their SVS?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  3. TimRP

    TimRP Stunt Coordinator

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    I say don't waste your money and get some more DVDs!!!
     
  4. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Thanks for the link; I hadn't thought to look at Parts Express (duh...). Anyway, I really like that set: the spikes look plenty nice and the threaded sockets for the spikes are just the sort of thing that I figured I was going to need to find on my own. How did they perform on your old sub? Was it worth the effort? And did it make much difference?

    -----

    Tim,

    Yea, I figured some folks would say that, and I'm not sure that you wouldn't be right. After all, SVS doesn't feel the need for the spikes. Then again, it isn't that much money; especially if I get the spikes from PE like John suggested. OTOH, a couple extra DVDs sure don't hurt! [​IMG]
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My old place had pretty thick carpet and my sub had a flat bottom (no feet of any kind), so the spikes did in fact tighten up that sub. Bass sounded cleaner. In my new place, with a new sub, which has it's own feet, I didn't bother with the spikes. I didn't go with the inserts either, I just used a thin layer of removable 3M adhesive to try it out, as you are considering. I now use those spikes to separate my center channel from my TV.
     
  6. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    Speaker spikes, like a lot of other BS audio pheripheral artifacts, delve into vodoo territory, so use 'em only for structural STABILITY and nothing else as the damned things does absolutely nothing for sound reproduction...one way or another.

    Btw...congrats on your fine choise of subs!... [​IMG]

    -THTS
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sorry, but this is not correct. Sound IS modified by using spikes. With a sub sitting directly on a carpeted floor, it is not making contact with a solid surface. Even with a heavy sub, this can sligtly degrade sound. Coupling the speaker directly to the sub-floor through the carpet can tighten up response. In the case of a speaker sitting directly on a hardwood floor, the speaker directly transmits resonance to the floor, which can also cause ill effects - spikes can remove some of the immediate harmonics while keeping the speaker coupled to the floor. In both cases, you are not adding something to the performance, but rather removing effects that should not be there.
     
  8. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    This may be a question for SVS-Ron, SVS may be constructed and tested with out spikes and your purchase of spikes or feet may change the response of the sub.
     
  9. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    this may sound dumb, but where would i hook the spikes to under my svs sub? do i remove the rubber feet and somehow hook the spikes alongside the screw holes, or do i make new screw holes?

    should i use three or four spikes? three seems to be better for stability.
     
  10. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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    (IMHO) A rock steady speaker or subwoofer is always a good thing. Especialy at louder levels when the drivers are pushing and pulling air at a more vigorous rate.
     
  11. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    I knew damned well that you'd bite the hook, John. How so? Well, I've been involved in audio reproduction and ran an audio society for what it seems a millenia...and eventually came to deeply understand certain audiophile mentality, thus wound up rejecting the "high-end" audio tenet or creed years ago. There is no going back to such dark ages for me since I still consider--and always will--that the great bulk of such belief system to be based in new-age geeky weirdo practices, pseudo-science, vodoo, pure bull-caca, and sheer non-sense.

    Considering that I was once a "Linninite" (Linn Sondek disciple--one that believed my feet tapped at the turn of transcription equipment rather than the music itself) I now truly feel free--at last! [​IMG] --to far more deeply enjoy my HT and music listening hobbies.
    And guess what: since I am a mucician, it didn't take me long to finally comprehend what the falacy of Linninism really entails since in reality f.....g turntables and tone arms don't produce sounds of their own--only pick ups or cartridges, like loudspeakers, do!
    Perverse, ain't I John... [​IMG]

    -THTS
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I knew it was bait. [​IMG]
     
  13. Chris Bplayer

    Chris Bplayer Auditioning

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    An alternative to removal or drilling might be Isolation Cones, part #240-721 from Parts Express. It might be a bit tricky to setup with a very heavy sub.. it's just another option to consider.

    Chris
     
  14. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Perhaps I should mention that the original SVS subs did in fact come with a set of detatchable spikes. These were later removed from future models. Here's what they have to say from the quick set up guide that came with my PC-Plus:


    There you have it.
     
  15. ChrisBee

    ChrisBee Stunt Coordinator

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    If it doesn't go against frank's philosophy [​IMG] dare I suggest an alternative?

    Concrete paving slab under your cylinder. Cheap enough to be worth a try and nothing lost if it doesn't please. Apart from a slightly squashed carpet. [​IMG]

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. (Newton)

    Logic suggests that mass loading a carpetted floor under a downward firing sub should aid transients. Bolting an SVS cylinder to a concrete floor might be worth the effort if anyone has such a floor, a cylinder and the means. But don't tell frank :wink:

    ChrisBee
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Linnites are a very spooky group, just like the Illuminati and the Masons.
     
  17. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Spikes?

    Damn, talk about night of the living dead (buried but just won't STAY buried).

    Well, thankfully Jeff F. already quoted us, so you know the real deal.

    A bit more. They were only ever designed in for added stability on thickly carpeted floors. The idea in those early days was that by putting in threaded inserts (which usually come with DIY "spikes" I believe... and if you aren't sure about putting in threaded inserts properly, you probably shouldn't try... or just budget on buying a new baseplate from us) customers could insert and tighten (with the included "cinch nut") adjusting the spike level needed to punch thru carpet and pad, right to the wood sub-floor. The key there being a soft wood SUB-floor (no relation to subwoofers by the way).

    This would (we thought) give a bit more lateral stability and would ONLY be used where carpet depth, and actual underlying wood flooring would allow the hard spikes to sink in and not resonate.

    So much for theory (not that it didn't work just dandy in our own test HT's). First of all, with the woofers just inches from our signature baseplates (a very costly part if you didn't know, making the subs useable out of the box on any type floor, carpeted or not) all cylinder SVS's proved exceptionally stable, even on padded carpet surfaces. Obviating the need for spikes in the first place. We told people this of course. Even though they were included, the spikes probably wouldn't be needed.

    Second, now and again, a customer would proceed to use the spikes on ALL sorts of flooring, tile, cement under carpet, hardwood, you name it. So a "rattling" subwoofer would quickly be diagnosed as caused by the use of spikes on floor types they were never intended for. SVS subs are/were very very stable, but 500 watts of woofer power suspended by three needle sharp hard steel spikes is going to result in resonance at times. Especially if, say, they are being used on some nice glazed Italian floor tiles.

    So we killed spike installation in our old factory in a midnight raid, and melted down the rest for rare SVS belt-buckles (so I'm told, I never got one ;^) There was much rejoicing among the assembly crew, which included Tom Vodhanel in those very early days.

    After the pogrom, once in a while, even years later, someone would SWEAR that the spikes, when used just so, on their perfect combination of carpet and padding did add sonic appeal, and it's certainly possible, but the problems far outweighed the benefits, and those benefits never included sonic improvements anyway. The laments fell on deaf ears, a very un-SVS situation but we stood fast (it's even tattooed on my fingers "Master and Commander" style...if you want proof).

    So the death of SVS "spike feet" was final, and will not be rescinded.

    Our current baseplates work on 90% of all floors as is, and for those rare instances where an especially slick floor might cause an SVS to shift a bit? We include very soft durameter 3M "dots" that can be spaced between the standard foam disks (which double as baseplate leg screw covers). Ed Mullen (yes, THAT Ed Mullen) was actually one of the beta testers of those optional feet about a millennium ago ... before he became a famous big-shot subwoofer tester and started buying other brands of subs much to our dismay ;^)

    If you got the idea that we don't feel adding spikes is a worthwhile way to procrastinate from mowing the lawn, or studying for finals, or playing catch with your kid... much less a way to bass nirvana... well you would be right.

    Then again, if you are really good with a drill press, two part epoxy resins, and use just the right combination of feet AND flooring, you might (and probably will) hear an improvement in sound... after all... we're only human (and want to hear improvements in anything we spent that much time "tweaking").

    Whew, another chapter done in the first draft of "SVS: The Subhuman Chronicles".

    Ron
     
  18. ChrisBee

    ChrisBee Stunt Coordinator

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    Does this mean you don't really recommend spikes then Ron? [​IMG]

    Regards
    ChrisBee



























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  19. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    Chu Gai,

    You got that right!... [​IMG]

    -THTS
     
  20. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    Chrisbee,

    Why tip-toeing through the tulips? After all, I got nothing against Newton and his theories (and bet 'ya a buck he never recommended spikes for speakers either [​IMG] )...

    -THTS
     

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