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Mass loading speaker stands: Advice needed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew Beacom, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    I recently bought some 40" Atacama Nexus stands for my surrounds and have been researching mass loading. My stands have a center column that can be mass loaded and is approx. 2" (diameter) by 39". The center column has about a fingers width of space to pour a substance into the column.

    After my initial research I came up with aquarium gravel, BB's and sand (play box) as possabilities. Since I rent the stands need to be moveable at a later date.

    I looked at gravel at WallMart and realised that I'll need quite a bit. Do I want the smaller kind so it packs tight or the larger so I need less volume? It occured to me that gravel being hard may rattle. But once it's all in the stand perhaps it's negligable?

    Also at WallMart I looked at BB's. I hadn't realised how heavy they were. I figure 1 box would fill 8-10 inches and be heavy. Not sure if I want to do the whole volume though. Perhaps 1 box of BB's on the bottom to add weight and then another substance to take up the volume?

    I didn't really want to mess with sand but it certainly makes sense after seeing the gravel and BB's. What I'm unsure on is if any sand could leak from the stand? And if the sand would come out easily when I came to move? I'll guess that if it stays dry it should fall or push out.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Lead shot...? Toxic...bad, but heavy.

    I like the BB idea, or Kitty Litter.
     
  3. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    I checked out some Kiddie play sand at Lowes and it's certainly the cheapest option at 1.99 for a 50lb bag. It seemed pretty dry and course but looks like it would do the job.

    I guess the cheapest option would be to try the sand and if it leaks switch to something else.
     
  4. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    Do you have a wood shop nearby? I hit a local wood shop and asked them for saw dust. They had literally hundreds of pounds of it to be thrown out. I packed my metal stands with it and it worked great, very dense and FREE..

    Give it a try!
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sawdust? Doesn't seem like that would add any real mass to the stands?

    I have the same problem with my stands. I want to use sand, but it will surely leak. I was going to put the sand in a BAG, then put it in...

    I was told the only place to purchase lead shot was at an ammunition store.

    BBs are basically brass, I believe, and is not a bad idea. I might have to look into that one also.
     
  6. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    John,

    During my research I read that sand can be put into sealed (ziploc) bags and then placed into the stand. I would do this if I could but the opening on my column isn't big enough. It has the benefit of sand and of confining the sand to "sand bags".

    I'm not sure I'd use BB's for the whole volume but they are heavy, round and not to big. They would certainly add weight to the bottom of the stand.
     
  7. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    There are two things going on here: mass loading and vibration dampening. If you just want to mass load the stands, the BB's will be good enough and you don't need to fill all 40" of the stand. The reason many people use sand is because it serves both as a mass loader and vibration dampener, and is almost literally dirt-cheap to boot. Since the Nexus is a metal stand, I'd go with sand as the best choice if you want vibration dampening. If that's not enough mass for you, go with a box of BB's each as well.
     
  8. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    Eujin,

     
  9. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    I used sand- very glad I did. I played the speakers on the stands b4 and after and the sand filled was a huge improvement. The bass was tighter and less "muddy". SOrry I don't have any pics but my sand hasn't leaked at all. I didn't use any bags or anything. I wood glued my 3in PVC to a double mdf bottom (one solid piece bottom and another slightly smaller mdf on top of it with a 3in hole cut out for the pvc.) I used a little liq nails to hold the pipe to the top mdf sheet and loaded in the sand to the top. Worked fine and cost me less than a buck to have heavy, non resonating stands.
     
  10. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Lead shot is the best, sand is the easiest.

    -rob
     
  11. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    I don't know about lead being the "best". Perhaps. But I have read that ringing was the result for a few (very few I suspect)who used lead.

    Many folks just don't like the idea a bringing a toxic substance into their homes. Lead is such a beast.

    Sand is my choice. YMMV.

    BOK
     
  12. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    I agree, with little kids or animals it might not be the best idea. However, when I bought my Platinum Solos I found sand to be unsatisfactory. The dealer told me that lead shot was the only thing to use. (The owner of the store was also a partner of Platinum Audio Ltd.) [Audiolink, Bedford NH] Maybe it depends on the speaker, but it was like I insulted him when I told him I put sand in his stands. As always, let your ears make the decision.

    -rob
     

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