God bless speaker stands!!!

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by eddieZEN, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Before, my little Mordaunt Short bookshelves were 15" off the ground, sitting on my horizontal entertainment center.

    Now, for a measly $33 shipped, got a pair of el cheapo 21" Techcraft MDF stands, put them on my entertainment center for a total of 36" off the ground---and OH MY GOD!!! It's like I have a new pair of speakers! The sound seems a million times richer, fuller and more opened up all of the sudden...am now questioning whether I really need to buy towers after all, the speakers fill up my cavernous living room surprisingly well.

    Makes me wonder how many people know about just what jaw-dropping wonders a pair of stands can do for a decent pair of small bookshelf speakers like that.

    Also, since the speakers are set on "small" and all low frequencies under 80-100Hz (I haven't decided which yet, still experimenting) are sent to my sub, the cheapie stands don't risk any resonance or vibration. Can't see any advantage for blowing $100-200 on premium stands, other than looks.

    Of course, the only drawback is yes I do have to agree with my wife that the stands are not the prettiest---any kind of stand really, it inevitably makes the whole setup look too busy, too many perpendicular lines. Thus my strongest remaining rationale for buying towers now seems to be more aesthetic than anything else.

    Or is there still something else I'm missing without full-blown towers?

    Found some JBL e90s online for a mere $290/pair shipped, though can't find too much discussion of them, people seemed evenly divided between liking them and finding them too harsh on the highs.
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Eddie,

    I think you've stumbled on a very good finding. Use of speaker stands will usually do a great job of getting the speaker up at a decent level to make it sound good. Depending on the tower speaker, you might only get marginally better sound - depending on the speaker. However, now with our reliance on subwoofers, we don't need speakers that have to cover as much of the frequency spectrum as they once did.

    One of the authors in one of the A/V magazines has pointed out on more than one occasion that bookshelf speakers are some of the most under-rated values when it comes to stereo gear. The greatness of their performance often gets overlooked.
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I just ordered a pair of stands that will raise my surround speakers up to 45" from the floor. They're the tallest ones I've found yet, that can support a bookshelf speaker. I'd mount the speakers on the wall, but my room doesn't really make it simple.

    My favorite "tweak" is actually to put vinyl bumpers between the speaker and the platform, whether a shelf or stand.
     
  4. Evan H

    Evan H Stunt Coordinator

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    Is the conventional wisdom still that the higher end stands that fill w/lead or sand will still provide an improved performance over the cheaper MDF stands? I'm looking to do an upgrade in the late winter / early spring and would consider upgrading the stands if it would help out.
     
  5. perrin

    perrin Stunt Coordinator

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    I have some speaker stands for my bookshelves, and I was wondering where to get the sand to fill them? I tried looking on Home Depot's website, but it did not find any listings.

    perrin
     
  6. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    It would seem to me that you'd only need to have sand if you were using the stands for very large/bulky/heavy speakers which were putting out ALL the frequencies, not going through a bass-management system with a subwoofer.

    Just my guess, I'm anything but an expert on this.
     
  7. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I don't know about performance, but I intend to add sand to mine just for stability. I'm a little scared with having my speakers almost 4' off the floor on a 6 X 6 inch platform. I don't have rambunctious pets or children, but I walk around in the dark sometimes [​IMG]
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    The stands I purchased were the Omnimount 400-AH. The 300-AH, which extends to 40 inches, is on sale at J and R for $40. Ground shipping is around $23. I was tempted by the $20 difference, but I knew I'd probably want the extra five inches.

    The design of the 300s are also different - the column is at an angle, forming a "Z" shape with the base and platform when viewed from the side. The photo on the site is actually for the 400s.

    http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4015281
     
  9. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Cameron,

    > I don't have rambunctious pets or children, but I walk around in the dark sometimes

    Well, unless you are a very tiny and lightweight person I can't see sand making your stands completely knockover-proof.

    How about bolting the base into your floor? [​IMG]
     
  10. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Actually I've had them that high before, but my solution was a little funky looking (stands on cubes). As long as they can take a nudge I'll be happy. Good thing I don't live in an earthquake prone area (though this may be changing from what I hear).
     
  11. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    If that would be true speaker cabinet makers[regardless of size] wouldn't go out of their way to brace the cabinets internaly,to combat resonances which could potentinally degrade the performance of the given speaker.Speaker stands are no exception,and midrange resonanse is far more audiable then a low frequency ones,for the simple fact that the human ear is more sensetive at those frequencies[400-4k].This doesn't mean you can't enjoy your current stands,it's just something to keep in mind,for future upgrades.
     
  12. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Midrange resonance...hmm, I never even knew such a thing existed! I'll keep an ear out for them in that case; can't say I've noticed anything like that since I got the stands.
     
  13. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I have 30" powder coated metal stands from Parts Express ($100 from them! - so about $500 retail!)

    I filled each one full of silica sand blasting sand and they are over 50 pounds each!

    WOW! They made a HUGE, HUGE difference. Do not underestimate stands.
     
  14. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    The only way to compare it is to another stand that is dampened.Your current set up sounds "miles ahead" compared to the previous location,based on your description,so you may only notice any benefits of a resonance free stand if you actually get one.
     
  15. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Kenneth,

    I'm curious, what kind of speakers (size & weight) do you have on them? And are the speakers high-passed or full-range?

    I'll check out that Parts Express site, thanks.
     
  16. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I have used a few JBL's with bass responce down to 55 Hz. or so.

    They really do sound amazing.

    JBL HLS 610
    JBL SVA 1500 (for sale!!!)

    I will probably be getting some Klipsch F-3's soon.
     
  17. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Wow, I just Googled your JBL HLS speakers and there's actually a website of people who are trying to lobby JBL to bring back that model! Sounds like great bang for the buck!

    Make sure you audition the Klipsch or get the dealer to let you demo a pair for the weekend, many people find them too harsh for prolonged listening.
     
  18. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    They are great speakers - but the only issue is they seem VERY fragile. The tweeter is tiny (about a 1/2" poly dome) and the woofer isn't as 'buff' as I would like it.

    I have no doubt JBL's next 'Northridge' line could be as good as the HLS's and for more cash, you could step to the 'Studio' line and get even better. JBL has the talent, R&D, etc. to do great things for great prices - they just choose not to [​IMG]

    Oh well, Klipsch is great, JBL needs to do a bit of work.
     

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