Loudspeaker stands should be as solid as possible, in order to communicate more of the music and imaging. The proper stand, mounting and use of pads or spikes, may make as much difference to the sound of your dream movie and music system as the proper cables. Stands should also look good, ideally contributing to the powerful appearance of your majestic home movie and music reproduction system, without calling undue attention to themselves. Yet, they should not lighten the wallet at the expense of other essential gadgets or goodies.
The least expensive route is the rough looking, poor student life-style concrete cinder blocks (scroll down, half way). Cinder blocks can't be shaken with a subwoofer. They are heavy, paint-able and as cheap as Taco bell burritos.
The ultimate concrete block is architect Frank Lloyd Wright's open-patterned Millard House Lantern Textile Blocks, available at Target, but the cost for four of them puts the decorative blocks on par with other options...
Nurseries and garden shops sell white-stone pedestals in classic Grecian-styles for plants and statutes. They are two to three feet high, not too wide and heavy - they don't need filling with sand; they are sand themselves.
Look for cheap stone garden pedestals at America's ubiquitous hardware store, Home Depot, and other garden stores. See Statute.com for a wide and expensive selection. Heavy wood statute pedestals, like those from a church, will also do the job in classic style. Look for them at antique shops.
To use garden or church pedestals on carpets, try spikes. For use on hard floors, try soft isolation points, like rubber tipped spikes or rubber pads.
Following the Do-It-Yourself route can lead to "Saturday make-a-mess on the floor" projects. If you are handy, you could fashion your own sleek black pipes out of PVC and fill them with sand. The hollow column can be filled with sand, lead shot, or even... kitty litter.
Of course, many companies are eager to supply tweaking audiophiles with sophisticated loudspeaker stands:
The maker of wonderful sounding single-driver loudspeakers, Omega has stands designed to be mass-loaded with sand: Skylan 20" or 24" High Mass Stands.
Skylan stands consist of rigid polymer pillars with a one-inch thick bases and die-cast threaded inserts for adjustable steel points or soft feet. The top plate is rigid and non-resonant and incorporates high friction neoprene de-coupling pads to improve the speaker/stand interface. Skylan stands, including custom models made of acrylic and solid aluminum posts, start at $200.
Canadian loudspeaker make, Totem makes stocky Totem T4S ($475/pair) with their dual cast-iron black columns. They are aluminum center pillars with steel top and bottom plates.
Whether your budget and taste runs the gamut from college-concrete, garden pedestal, sand-filled tube, polymer pillars or cast-iron columns, loudspeaker stands should communicate the joy of movies and music. They make a difference to your dream movie and music system. The right stand should look good and leave room for more gadgets or goodies to... Enjoy the music!
Happy Holidays everyone and wishing you and yours a wonderful 2005!
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