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Couple or decouple speakers?


Ceko
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Just a post to see if I understand correctly and maybe get some of your invaluable input :-)

I’ve made some diy speakerstands to put my Klipsch Heresy’s on. For those who don’t know the Klipsch: they have these el cheapo “wooden” frames underneath that tilt the speaker a littlebit backward. And on that frame there are four iron nails I’ll call them.

Now, as I understand things, the nails are somewhat like spikes right? So they are better coupled to the floor? But as I have a wooden floor with nothing underneath that resonates the bass and so I need to decouple right?

I don’t really want to break the bank and I’m enjoying the diy part of things.. sooo what can I use for that? Frlt? Cork? Rubber feet?

Would I have to couple the speaker to the stands and then decouple the stands from the floor? Or can I just decouple the speakers from the stands and be done?

Or am I incorrect and do I need spikes everywhere anyway, as some folks on insta seem to think... 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Ceko said:

Just a post to see if I understand correctly and maybe get some of your invaluable input :-)

I’ve made some diy speakerstands to put my Klipsch Heresy’s on. For those who don’t know the Klipsch: they have these el cheapo “wooden” frames underneath that tilt the speaker a littlebit backward. And on that frame there are four iron nails I’ll call them.

Now, as I understand things, the nails are somewhat like spikes right? So they are better coupled to the floor? But as I have a wooden floor with nothing underneath that resonates the bass and so I need to decouple right?

I don’t really want to break the bank and I’m enjoying the diy part of things.. sooo what can I use for that? Frlt? Cork? Rubber feet?

Would I have to couple the speaker to the stands and then decouple the stands from the floor? Or can I just decouple the speakers from the stands and be done?

Or am I incorrect and do I need spikes everywhere anyway, as some folks on insta seem to think... 

Wooden floor with nothing underneath - you mean a suspended wooden floor? If so, then yes you want them decoupled.

I've the same and have tried a massive variety of things. I now use IsoAcoustic Gaia III. These are not cheap but make a huge difference to the sound and are worth every penny.

Edited by Amormusic
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Posted (edited)

I have the same problem with a suspended wooden floor and agree that you need to Isolate/Decouple.

For Floorstanders, I have used Auralex Gramma.

For Standmounts (LS50s) - I isolate the speakers from the top of the stand (Valhalla Technology Speaker Pads) + Fill Speaker Stands with sand + Blu-Tak bottom of stand to Granite Plinth (no spikes). If I couldn't do this and wanted a vfm solution, I would use Auralex (one of which is for sale on here atm).

Edited by CnoEvil
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Just to disagree slightly with the above, it depends on the speaker as much as the floor, & how the cabinets are designed to work.

I have a suspended wooden floor, & as such have had issues with several speakers. No point going back too far but the last two pairs before current ones needed to be decoupled, bass was a bit loose & mids a bit congested just placed on spikes, but I found with marble slabs, & especially Auralex SubDude Platforms, it tightened everything up to the point I was happy. When I changed to my current ones, Sonus Faber Toy Towers (silly name, not toys at all), I expected the same, but interestingly decoupling them made the sound appreciably worse than plonking them straight on the floor, ie spikes & cups. Then a friend loaned me a set of feet that screwed into the spike slot & had round, flat bases, around 45mm diameter, & that improved the sound again, much more focus & solidity.

What I take from the is that the cabinets must be designed differently, & the resonance of my SF's must closely match those in my room. I am sure that is a simplification, but you get my drift I am sure.

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13 minutes ago, Speedracer said:

Just to disagree slightly with the above, it depends on the speaker as much as the floor, & how the cabinets are designed to work.

I have a suspended wooden floor, & as such have had issues with several speakers. No point going back too far but the last two pairs before current ones needed to be decoupled, bass was a bit loose & mids a bit congested just placed on spikes, but I found with marble slabs, & especially Auralex SubDude Platforms, it tightened everything up to the point I was happy. When I changed to my current ones, Sonus Faber Toy Towers (silly name, not toys at all), I expected the same, but interestingly decoupling them made the sound appreciably worse than plonking them straight on the floor, ie spikes & cups. Then a friend loaned me a set of feet that screwed into the spike slot & had round, flat bases, around 45mm diameter, & that improved the sound again, much more focus & solidity.

What I take from the is that the cabinets must be designed differently, & the resonance of my SF's must closely match those in my room. I am sure that is a simplification, but you get my drift I am sure.

I suppose it just shows that there are few hard and fast rules - just things that work the majority of the time - but not in every situation. Experimentation is Always the key

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This piece is worth a read:

Spikes and Cones – What’s the point?


In recent years it has become common for items of audio equipment to be mounted using “spikes” or “cones”. These come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials, at all kinds of prices. The Hi-Fi magazines sometimes ‘review’ these accessories, and recommend their use. However, are they worth buying and using? On this page I’ll consider their use with loudspeakers, and discuss some alternatives.

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/cones/speak.html

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Posted (edited)

Experimentation is also fun so it’s not a bad thing at all :-)

But as these spikes and isolation feet can have excessive prices, I’d like to fool around a littlebit with stuff from around the house so to say.

Edit: and thanks for all suggestions by the way. People just starting out with hifi (or under de influence of snake oil salesmen) can’t think of anything other than spikes! Your recommendations reinforce my believe that spikes aren’t always the answer.

Edited by Ceko
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3 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

I suppose it just shows that there are few hard and fast rules - just things that work the majority of the time - but not in every situation. Experimentation is Always the key

As long as it’s guided by logic/reason.

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6 minutes ago, Ceko said:

Experimentation is also fun so it’s not a bad thing at all :-)

But as these spikes and isolation feet can have excessive prices, I’d like to fool around a littlebit with stuff from around the house so to say.

Edit: and thanks for all suggestions by the way. People just starting out with hifi (or under de influence of snake oil salesmen) can’t think of anything other than spikes! Your recommendations reinforce my believe that spikes aren’t always the answer.

Most audio accessories are way overpriced and many are indeed snake oil.

Some equipment/base interfaces are complex and difficult to replicate but there is a lot that one can experiment with.

When I had large floorstanders with extended low end performance in a room with suspended floorboards I tried cork, felt, crushed rubber, soft rubber, sorbothane and ended up with pads which I cut from a foam gardener kneeling pad.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ceko said:

But as these spikes and isolation feet can have excessive prices, I’d like to fool around a littlebit with stuff from around the house so to say.

For about £8 washing machine anti vibration feet are low cost and effective.

Nowhere near Gaia's, but nowhere near the price either.

A cautionary note re the Gramma platforms mentioned above. You'd have to be careful if have floorstanders as I bought something similar and they were super-wobbly. 

There'll be a stream from a while back. I tried quite a few things.

Edited by Amormusic
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On 30/05/2021 at 12:08, tuga said:

As long as it’s guided by logic/reason.

You know that some scientific discoveries were discovered by accident. Whilst we are not in that realm it is ok to just keep experimenting and see what works; not everyone has your brain. This is especially important given postings above and as there is no database of information about what works between each individual speaker and different floor types. HiFi really could do with a decent data set!

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You’ve had some good suggestions already.  Given the unusual design of your Klipsch, I’d personally try something just to ‘load’ the floor first, and help reduce the transfer of the bass energy downwards, while also giving the wooden frames/bases a solid foundation.  
The thriftiest way is probably with some granite worktop savers.  (Mine were about £8 each from Argos)  You may need four, rather than the two I need under a pair of stands.  Then between the granite and speaker bases (and possibly the floor too, unless it’s super even) some of that rubber mesh stuff sold to stop cutlery rattling in drawers.  Just the mesh might be an improvement!

https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-granite-work-top-saver-30cm-x-40cm/p/0262890

https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-non-slip-cushion-mat-45-x-125cm/p/0507531

A further thought, maybe the wooden bases themselves might benefit from some of that stick-on car deadening material, if the wood is a bit ‘noisy’ when tapped?  Maybe you can share a picture of the underneath, as I don’t recall one from the reviews I’ve seen. 

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If you have a Home Bargains ( or similar) store near you then there is plenty of alternative options at low cost.
The granite worktop savers were £5 last time I was there and also look for bamboo equivalents or drinks coasters. 

Foam kneeling mats are good as are the gel insoles for shoes.

The kids section is always a goldmine with rubber balls, squishes, slime filled oddities and even the latest pop it craze.

It puts a whole new spin on just popping in for some cheap toothpaste.

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Posted (edited)

Indeed. The decision is rarely determined primarily by the speakers, it is almost always determined by the substance beneath the speakers which you would be coupling to/decoupling from*

*yes, I do appreciate that a preposition is not something one should end a sentence with :)

Edited by TheFlash
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