Stands absolutely necessary for mini monitors?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephanieM, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. StephanieM

    StephanieM Extra

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    I've read some brief comments interspersed in different threads but am hoping to get more feedback. I will be using the minis as rears with the M11s as fronts. How essential is it that I place the minis on stands. I've read some say if you do not put on a stand the sound gets compromised. I planned on putting one on a bookshelf and the other on a tall cd rack (wooden with metal slots).

    And if stands are indeed essential, what do you recommend that is economical. It's crazy how some stands cost more than the speakers themselves! Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Cooper_B

    Cooper_B Agent

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    Well bookshelves are bad because:

    a) The sound loses clarity (I think it's especially noticeable in the higher frequencies, which are important for surround speakers to get your attention)

    b) There's no clearance for the rear port on the mini-monitors (At least 1-2 feet is preferable), which hurts the bass and some of the midrange from what I understand.

    When I auditioned the Mini Monitors, they were initially sitting on a carpeted ledge. When I asked the guy to move them to their proper stands, the difference was incredible and immediate. It was like doubling the value of the speakers. This will probably be less extreme if they're on a very firm surface.

    Oh, and the Paradigm stands I got were around $70 I believe. But if speaker stands are too impractical, you can just get some kind of feet for the speakers. In one Stereophile article, the writer actually used four marbles under a bookshelf speaker, and the sound improved significantly. So if you use some hard feet, spikes being the best, you should be fine.

    I'm not an expert in feet, though, so maybe someone else can suggest a specific product. Try some things lying around the house, and you should be able to hear the difference.

    -Cooper
     
  3. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Bookshevles and rear ports are bad. Putting it on top of a CD rack is a good idea though. Try to find something else like that to put them on. You don't have to have dedicated stands. Continue to be creative with things that are about the right height.
    What I did was go to a orginazition home store. I got some cheap stackable plastic crates ($5 each) and stacked them to the desired height. I put the speaker on top, and magizenes below, but you could use the shelves for anything.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  5. StephanieM

    StephanieM Extra

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    Thanks for all the replies so far. John, I really do not want to spend over $100 including s/h. Cooper, which Paradigm stands did you get for $70? I did not even know that Paradigm made stands. After reading your post, I found some internet references to a premier line but could not find definitive pricing. I also called a dealer who had Paradigm S-26 stands for about $100.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I got my S-26s from my Paradigm dealer for $100, and I am pretty sure the S30s are also $100.
    If you don't want to spend that much, then look up the Med. mass stands, they are only $60 + shipping.
     
  7. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Stephanie, I'm sorta/was sorta in the same boat as you, using the big cardboard boxes that my front speaker came in as "stands" for my rears (hardly an aurally appropriate solution!).

    The biggest problem I had was finding a stand of sufficient height for the rear speakers, and one that was also capable of supporting a fairly beefy bookshelf speaker (27lbs). Basically, anything under 36" simply wouldn't cut it. And 36" is somewhat below optimal.

    I ended up purchasing the Atacama Nexus 40" stands from audioadvisor.com (still in shipment). Unfortunately, these cost me $189. However, it was the only stand of this height that seemed capable of supporting a 27lb speaker - most of the others were the wispy, telescoping variety with teeny-tiny top-plates. Bell'O makes a 36" stand that they claim will support up to 100lbs, and can be found for as little as $130, but the aesthetics didn't quite match - though it's a very tasteful design - and I didn't want to give up that extra 4" of height that the Atacamas offered.

    Don't know if this helps at all, but do consider your height requirements and the size of your speaker before purchasing!
     
  8. Tyler DJW

    Tyler DJW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Rich,
    I was in exactly the same situation with a Monitor setup looking for a tall stand for my ADP-370 surrounds. I ended up with the same Atacama Nexus stands from Audio Advisor and I've been quite happy with them. I'd rather wall-mount them but I simply can't and these are the next best thing for me. I was concerned that the wouldn't be tall enough but for a non-directional speaker like the ADPs they're great.

    I would recommend looking at the Atacama stands to anyone who's in the market.
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Tyler, glad to hear of your positive experience! I understand these stands are very highly considered in the UK and Europe, but haven't been sold to the North American market.
    BTW, I noticed they don't seem to have any holes for wire management... is this true? I presume it is, and have several solutions in mind.
    Just asking... anybody know how I could go about drilling a hole into metal? [​IMG]
     
  10. StephanieM

    StephanieM Extra

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    Rich, you share my thoughts exactly. I also prefer a taller stand so that the surrounds will be higher than ear level. I did not think the 26" paradigm one would be tall enough, even with the tweeter being on the top portion of the mini. And actually, I just measured my cd holder last night and it stands at 30" tall, which I already thought was a little bit too low. Unfortunately, the 40" stand you referenced is a bit high in price for me. Funny you should mention the Bell'O stand because I was in fact looking at the SP-200 stand that is 36". I found it at many different places but expressaudiovideo.com seem to have it cheapest at 119 though I dont' know what their s/h charges would be. Also, I'm always a bit cautious when I've never heard of an etailer. But I have heard good things about audioadvisor. At this point, maybe I'll just trial run the cd holder and heck, maybe I'll use the front speaker box (I never thought of that!)on the other side until I make up my mind. I was surprised because I originally thought the bookshelf was more ideal than the cd holder but it seems bookshelves and speakers are not a good match.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If the speakers are pointed into the listening area, they should be at the same level as the mains. Ideally, surrounds should not be pointed directly at the listener.
    36" is too tall, IMO, but 24" is a bit low for the Minis.
    I have a friend who has the Bell'O stands, and I didn't think they were very stable.
    Haha, yes the irony in the fact that a bookshelf is not the best place to put a bookshelf speaker. [​IMG]
     
  12. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    John, I have to completely disagree with your recommendation regarding rear speaker height. But, admittedly, I don't have anything to back up my opinion except my own experience... [​IMG]
    I've found this to be particularly true when I changed from dipole to monopole rear speakers. I find that I much prefer the sound characteristics and imaging I get from monopoles, but I still prefer the greater dispersion and sense of ambience from the dipoles. It's a trade-off, though I find more positives on the side of the monopoles.
    And it's in the area of dispersion, particularly for monopole speakers, that I find the height issue to be most important. I'm sure it's different from room-to-room and listener-to-listener, but after considerable experimentation in my own room, I've found that the tweeters need to be at least 45" off the floor (or approx. 8" higher than my fronts), and that 52" is ideal in my room.
    I have my rear surrounds placed opposite one another and slightly to the back of the listening position. They're "toe'd-in" slightly toward the listening position (that is, slightly toward the frontwall), but aimed at a position just behind that of the listener. Of course, this exact configuration won't work in every room, but please don't tell my wife that all her struggles as I sat comfortably saying "just a little higher, hon", "just a bit further back" were for nought! [​IMG]
    Interesting that you found the Bell'Os to be unstable. They sure look a tad tippy in pictures. I gotta say, I'm real sceptical about their listed tolerance for a 100-lb speaker! How much do your minis weigh, Stephanie? If you're interested in the Bell'Os, I'm sure you can contact them directly through their website to confirm. Till then, I'm sure the CD rack will do (I've been getting by - barely - with cardboard boxes for a month now!).
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  14. StephanieM

    StephanieM Extra

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    I think it may be best to wait until I pick up the speakers and experiment with different heights and angles. My family room is 15x22 with an opening on the right side. A fireplace and hutch/bookcase take up the entire left side. The front (all wall) has my sony 34xbr2 while the back is all windows with a couch and chair/ottoman. Unfortunately, I do not have enough space to place the rears behind the listening position as my couch is almost to the window. The logistics of the room did not facilitate the ADP-370s (dipoles) so I went with the minis which weight 31lbs a pair. I will be putting the minis directly in line with the couch. Would it be better to have the rears facing eaching or slightly "toed-in" as Rich has done?

    As far as the Bell'Os go, aesthetically they look great, but I too have concerns about their stability.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    regarding stands: i think they made the single best improvment in my speakers. i've used everything from milk crates, to photocopy paper boxes, to endtables. the key benefit is getting the sperakers off the floor and away from reflective surfaces. when i used boxes or tables, i found the sound (while improved) still somewhat muddy. i think that's because the large surface footprint still presented a reflective area for the speakers -- which colored the sound.

    i'm now using some speaker stands i got from circuit city. they were pretty inexpensive (around 60 bucks i think) and they work well. they're sturdy and have a small footprint so they don't present any reflective surface. of course, they're placed about 18" away from the wall.

    regarding speaker height: i've tried my rears both low and up high. although having them low sometimes distracted me, having them up high isn't giving me the feed i need. i think i'm gonna put them back lower. unfortunately, they're also sitting against the wall, but i'm stuck there.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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