Your order

Close

Subtotals

January 23, 2018

Why stands make a difference for your hi-fi

Ask around our offices in Skanderborg, and you'll get a definite yes: "Stands are important." And with our engineers' blessings about stands' effectiveness, we could probably have left it at that, but where's the fun in that?

Together with our Product Manager, Otto Jørgensen, we explore why stands make a difference in your hi-fi setup on this episode of Ask the Expert. We also talk about more practical issues like decoupling, what to fill your stands with, and if there's one stand material to rule them all. Enjoy.

In this episode

You can watch the entire video by starting the player above - or find the particular question you find most interesting below and start from there. It's up to you. Enjoy. 

 

Thank you! 
We want to give a big thanks to all of those who posted questions. Unfortunately, we can only steal our experts away for a short amount of time, so we haven't been able to answer each and every one of the great questions we received. As we did last time, we'll make sure keep an eye out for any interesting questions to bring to the next episode of Ask The Expert.

Subscribe now: Ask The Expert on YouTube

If you have any more questions, please share them with us - and the rest of our community - on our Facebook page or directly in the comment section on YouTube.

All the best, 
Otto and Christopher

Read the transcript

Oh, so you prefer reading? That's not a problem. Below you'll find the full transcript of our conversation with Otto.

Christopher Kjærulff, Content Manager:

- On this episode of Ask the Expert, our product manager, Otto Jørgensen, drops by to stop to talk about stands. Hello and welcome to Ask the Expert. My name's Christopher and I'm your host. Today we have Otto Jørgensen with us. And Otto you're a product manager here at Dynaudio. Today we are going to talk about stands. But before we jump into all of the user questions, I would really like it if you could give us a quick reason why stands actually matter.

Otto Jørgensen, Product Manager:

- Yes, actually the stand for a speaker serves two purposes. The first one, the most important thing actually, is to place the speaker in the room. You want to get it away from walls. Back walls and side walls. You also want to be able to adjust that position because rooms are different, speakers are different, so the actual position in your room will vary. So you need to be able to adjust it.

Christopher:

- Okay.

Otto:

- That's the main purpose actually.

Christopher:

- And the second one?

Otto:

- The second one is whatever the speaker is placed on, if that's actually playing along with the speaker, when the speaker is moving the woofer in the speaker is moving, you don't want something to vibrate along with the speaker. So you want to only hear the speaker, not whatever it's placed on.

Christopher:

- Not the floor, not your table, not whatever.

Otto:

- No it needs to have something firm that doesn't add any distortion to the sound.

Christopher:

- Okay, and with that said I think that we should start jumping into the questions from you guys, so let's go.

Christopher:

- Otto, the first question is from Andreas and David. And they want to know if the material that you put between the stand and the speakers, if that actually matters and makes a difference.

Otto:

- It does make a difference. Again, you have two schools of thought here. You could say that if you actually bolt the speaker to the stand you make sure that if the stand is heavy then the speakers won't be able to move the stand, in turn the speaker won't move. That's a good way of doing it, provided the stand is actually heavy enough. So it should fill the stand with sand or lead. The other way is you could use some kind of rubbery material some soft material to decouple it from the stand so that when the speaker is playing it won't actually make the stand move. That's a different way of doing it which works better if you don't have a heavy stand or if you have it placed on something that is not heavy enough. Like directly on the table or something like that. That's a better choice.

Christopher:

- So two school of thoughts and you could go either way?

Otto:

- Yeah you could. One thing I would like to add is that You can also use spikes and from an acoustic point of view using spikes is basically similar to bolting the speaker to the stand. It makes sure that the speaker can't move relative to the stand so they both kind of move together. And if they're heavy enough that means they won't.

Christopher:

- All right, but back to what I said. There's two school of thoughts. So, in one of them you can either bolt them or use spikes. The other one is using rubber. But is any one of these school of thoughts better than the other one?

Otto:

- In our testing we did a lot of research trying to figure out which way to go here, but what we kind of found out is that it's different. And in different scenarios it provides different results. Depending on the speaker, the floor, the room it's placed in. It kind of reacts differently. So it's better to actually try it out in the actual position that the speaker is in. And use whatever works best in that situation because we didn't find one solution that works best in any scenario so that's not really possible to say that one thing is better.

Christopher:

- But I guess it's still good to know that you - you should either go this way or that way, and then you should try both and see which works in my particular setup, but don't go like in-between either one I don't know if you can even go in-between and have like rubber on one side and spikes on the other. That would make absolutely no sense. But still two school of thoughts and try both out.

Otto:

- Yeah that's, depending on the situation what is practically possible and make sense I would simply try to try out both ways of doing it. Maybe do it in a simplistic way before you spend a lot of money on on the tweaks for a certain kind of approach. But yes you have to try it out in the actual position. That's the advice we got from our acoustic team after actually testing this stuff.

Christopher:

- Cool.

 


 

Christopher:

- Otto, we've just talked about, you know, what should you use between the speaker and the stand. But let's talk about what you should do between the stand and the floor now. And that's where Iain and Jack's questions come into play. Because they asked how should you approach different floors?

Otto:

- Yes, some floors are easier than others, you could say. If you have a wooden floor, a floating floor, you don't want the speaker to actually excite the floor to make the floor vibrate. So again, it would add to the sound. So you want to decouple it from the floor. So that means using some kind of rubbery substance or something soft between the stand and the floor. So that it doesn't vibrate the floor. If it's a hard floor, like a concrete floor, that includes a carpeted concrete floor or something similar, tiles... You're very often well off by using spikes towards the floor. If you have a carpet make sure the spikes penetrates the carpet and goes directly onto the typically concrete floor underneath. And then you make sure that, again, the speaker sits completely firm with the floor Because concrete floor won't move. So if you can bolt the speaker acoustically to the floor then you make sure that you're only listening to the speaker and not the stand or the floor.

Christopher:

- Because it takes a lot from a speaker, you know... to excite a concrete floor, obviously.

Otto:

- Yes, yes.

Christopher:

- Even a big stand mount wouldn't do that.

Otto:

- Oh no, that would work perfectly with stands. If it's a bare, hard floor you could also decouple it, it's again, different schools of thought. It will probably rag a little differently from a sound perspective but that part is not really problematic.

Christopher:

- Okay, but I know one thing that is problematic. And that's when you have a wooden floor and a carpet on top of that.

Otto:

- Yes, because typically on a carpet we would say that you should use spikes to penetrate the carpet. But if you are then coupling it to a wooden floor that itself will vibrate, then that's not really a good option. But you also don't want the stand to float on the carpet. So how do we actually couple it away from the floor without having a wobbly stand. I want to show the design of the Stand 20 here. So what we did here is that instead of just having a flat plate If you had that the speaker would just sit on top of the carpet and it would be quite wobbly.

Christopher:

- And also difficult to weigh it down...

 

Otto:

- Yeah, bad for sound and also not very stable. So we actually have these, kind of adjustments where the spikes.

Christopher:

- I don't know if people can actually see them if I pick it up.

Otto:

- Where we put the spike in, you have this feet that's going down so if you put this on a carpet, it lies on only this part of the stand instead of the whole plate. And provided again, you put some weight into the stand. That should be enough, together with the speaker, to actually push those feet down so that you're sitting on top of the carpet but you'll put pressure on the carpet and it will stand quite firm on top of the carpet. It's the same thing with our big floor standing loud speakers. If they're heavy enough, that works fine.

Christopher:

- But I guess, I wanna go back to the thing you said about carpet on concrete floor, because you have to make sure that the stand pushes through or the spikes pushes through that carpet and if you just have a really lightweight stand put on that carpet it's not necessarily that it's gonna do that.

Otto:

- No, then maybe sit on the stand before you put the speaker on it! Just make sure that it actually penetrates where it's placed, make sure it penetrates the carpet to reach the floor, that's with the hard floors.

Christopher:

- So rounding this discussion up. When you have a wooden floor, you try to, in most cases, decouple it from the stand. Concrete floors you try to really bold it tightly together with them and carpets on concrete you do the same. Sit on it before you put the speaker on it just to make sure you push through that carpet. And carpets on wooden floors, stands that are really heavy.

Otto:

- Yeah.

Christopher:

- Perfect.

 

Christopher:

- Otto, the next question's from Sven. And I think Sven is describing a situation that anybody who's into hi -fi and who has kids or grandkids is familiar with. You're sitting on the couch, your kids are playing, you're going oh my god please don't run into the stands and the speakers. Because, one, you don't want to see them knock the speakers down. Two, you definitely don't want to see them knock the speakers down and hit them. How do you solve that problem?

 

Otto:

- Well we can both relate to that issue. But we're actually taking that very seriously in the design of the stands. So what we did is, one, we make sure that we adhere to the regulations that if you tilt the stand out 10 degrees with the speaker mounted on top, it should always fall back instead of falling over. Not all stands actually adhere to that, but ours do. And so for the speaker not actually falling off, we have two solutions. One we have these pieces of material that is creating some friction so that the speaker actually won't fall off if you put it 10 degrees, the speaker will still fall back. We adhere to regulation without actually screwing the speaker to the stand. If you still want to be more safe that that, we have holes here so that you can put screws, into the cabinet of the speaker, so you can bolt it to the stand. That will make it even more safe than that.

Christopher:

- A little bit intimidating for most but I guess it makes a lot of sense if you don't want the speakers to hit your kids.

Otto:

- Yeah, it's an important thing to not knock them over. So, yeah, that's what the suggestion is.

Christopher:

- Yeah, so there's actually a lot of things that we're doing to prevent those kind of situations where it becomes dangerous because the kids were playing in the living room.

Otto:

- Yes, we've made a lot of effort into the design of the stand to make sure that it doesn't only sound good but we also have the safety concerns in place.

Christopher:

- Perfect.

 

Christopher:

- Otto one of the questions that a lot of people asked was which material should I fill my stand with? And Damien, and Luiz and Simon they got it down to two different materials, sand or lead. But the question is which is better?

Otto:

- Yeah those are the two most commonly used materials. That's because sand is fairly heavy and easy to get and cheap, so that's used by a lot of people. Lead is actually better because it's heavier, it's about four times as heavy at the same amount. So if you can get it, it's the best material to use.

Christopher:

- Okay, and is it because it's, you said, it's heaviest or and it's more dense, does that help with the vibrations, or?

 

 

Otto:

- Yeah you could say the idea of filling it with something like sand or lead or whatever is that we want the stand to be as heavy as possible, so it can't move when the speaker is playing. So the more dense the material is, the more heavy the stand will be and the more difficult it will be for the speaker to actually move the stand. So that's why it works better.

Christopher:

- Before we started filming we were talking about this question actually, and you were talking about two school of thoughts in the whole, should it be heavy, should it be light. Can you talk a little bit about that again?

Otto:

- Yeah you could say that you could make a stand either to be as heavy as possible so that, as I said, it doesn't move when the speaker is playing. You could also make a stand that is very light and stiff and try to make sure that when it is moving it doesn't really cause too much of a problem. So you negate the problems of the stand moving. So that's kind of two different ways of going and I would say you shouldn't go halfway in either direction.

Christopher:

- So don't go in-between.

Otto:

- The idea is to either make it not move at all or make the movement to have as little bad sound as possible.

Christopher:

- Is there any one of the school of thoughts that we adhere to or recommend?

Otto:

- Generally we go for the completely dead stand so that's why we are making a compartment in the stands for sand or lead or something similar.

Christopher:

- So it's about getting your hands on some lead? And just filling it up, two thirds of the way, right?

Otto:

- Yeah generally we say two thirds. There's a trade off between filling it up completely then you have a higher center of gravity. So sometimes it's better to not fill it completely. If you use lead there's also a price to take care of. That's...

Christopher:

- That's a different question, yeah.

Otto:

- Depends on how much you want to put that into account.

 

Christopher:

- Cool, so lead is better because it has more density and two thirds of the way and you're golden.

 

Christopher:

- Otto, I think that we should continue discussing materials because the next question, the question is from Ricardo and Sergio and Jonathan. They're talking about which material is better for building the stand? And they want to know if it's wood or metal?

Otto:

- Yes, well, they of course have different properties. If we actually look at one of our stands, you'll see that we have different kinds of properties we want in a stand. We want it to be critically good. We also want it to look nice so you'll actually want to put it in your living room. So let's say this is the design we would like to make. If we make this in wood, the sides of the jute would have to be a lot thicker. And then you wouldn't actually have space for the sand that you want to put in the stand to make it heavy. Yeah, we have a compartment for cable, we have a compartment for sand. Those would not have the space we need if we make it out of wood. So the overall stand, once you have it filled, would probably be worse if it was wood. Otherwise it would have to be bigger to make the wood work if you did that I guess it could work but it would also not look as nice in your living room. So that's also something we take into account.

Christopher:

- But you could actually make something out of wood just remember to make it really big.

Otto:

- I mean in reality it's about making something that doesn't move when the speaker is playing. So you can do that in a lot of ways. There's different kinds of materials, so if you end up with the same end result, then the acoustics would theoretically be the same, so it would just kind of look different. And maybe the cost would be different. But the actual properties are basically about how how firm is it, how stable is it, does it move when the speaker is playing. You can reach that in a lot of ways.

Christopher:

- Yeah and we take other stuff into consideration as well as you started by saying, right. It has to look good, it has to be something that we can ship without having to, you know buy a whole ship for them, so.

Otto:

- Yeah, yeah exactly, we also take something like tipping into account, like if you have a stand and you tip it over does it fall back. We have to take all these safety concerns into account as well. And metal makes it a lot more free to design the products to actually fulfill all of these expectations.

Christopher:

- Cool.

 

 

Christopher:

- We got a question from Diego. And he's interested to know if a stand should be a certain height to work optimally.

Otto:

- Just in theory we generally say a tweeter should be at eye level. That's kind of the standard way of approaching it. It's not really that exact because sometimes the speakers are disbursing the sound differently. So for some speakers, it should be different. What you can say is that there's a kind of accepted rule of thumb that a stand is about 60 centimeters high. So most speakers are tuned to work on a stand that is about 60 centimeters.

Christopher:

- But as you said, even though there is like the rule of being 60 centimeters, it doesn't really matter if it's 60 or 59 or 61?

Otto:

- No they say that everything in audio makes a difference, so you can tweak and tune everything. But in reality a slight difference in height doesn't really make a difference because you're sitting some feet or meters away from the stand. So because of the disbursement of the speakers, a few centimeters doesn't really make the difference.

Christopher:

- Okay, so around 60 centimeters, Diego.

 

Christopher:

- Otto, we have a few questions that are really good. And even though we're running out of time, I really want you to answer them. But, I'm putting you in some constraints here because you've got to answer quickly. Do you think you can do that?

Otto:

- Probably not.

Christopher:

- Let's give it a try. So the first one is from Davidson Audio. And they're asking why don't your speakers bolt to the stand?

Otto:

- Actually some of the speakers do bolt to the stand. The Contour and Confidence line, for instance, does have inserts in the speakers. And we have an adapter plate that fits the speaker. So you can actually bolt it to the stand. For the lower ranges, generally we don't have these inserts in the speakers and there's a few reasons for that. One of them is that even though we want people to put them on stands, a lot of people will actually place them on the wall on a mount. We also do sell a wall mount. So if you do that, we also want it to still look nice, and having inserts in the bottom of the speaker doesn't necessarily look nice when you put it on the wall. That's one reason. A different reason is, when we're in the lower ranges, maybe people want to reuse the stand instead of buying a dedicated stand specifically for that model. So if you're reusing the stand, those inserts won't necessarily fit your stand anyway. So then it just might be a hassle to make it work to the original stand. Was that quick enough?

Christopher:

- I gotta give you, you said probably not and you couldn't really, so you gotta answer quickly. Next one, Florian, should the top plate's dimensions fit exactly with the speaker's bottom?

Otto:

- No, not necessarily. I mean it has to be wide enough to make sure it sits firmly on the stand. So it shouldn't be wobbly. If it's a few centimeters in, not that important.

Christopher:

- Perfect.

Otto:

- The next one is from Francis. Would bookshelves on a desk sound as good as it would on a stand?

Christopher:

- No.

Otto:

- No, that was quick, I gotta give you that.

Christopher:

- Sean, So will layers of play mats work as an alternative to speaker isolation pads?

Otto:

- Would it work as an alternative, yes. I mean the concept is to isolate it, to have some sort of soft material to make sure that it doesn't vibrate. The kind of material will make a small difference but not necessarily a big one. So, various materials could work, yeah.

Christopher:

- Final one, Yuen, would placing a heavy object like a brick on top of the speaker with a stand beneath it actually help, would that do anything for the sound performance? You're kinda weighing it down even more.

Otto:

- Yeah, most likely like I said, any kind of difference does make a difference, So how big it is you could also argue, but adding more weight will help make sure that only the drivers are playing and not the speaker. So yeah, sure, you are adding it at a very high level so you have enough gravity to take into account also. But, yeah, weight helps.

Christopher:

- Good, five quick questions. I think you answered reasonably quickly. So thank you for that. Otto, we are running out of time, sadly, and before we end I just wanna say thank you for joining us, it's been a pleasure as always.

Otto:

- You're welcome.

Christopher:

- And one final thing before I let you go. If you had to say one thing about stands that's really important that people understand, what would that be?

Otto:

- I think that stands are highly underrated. It makes a lot of difference to the sound. You have to appreciate that.

Christopher:

- Cool, and with that final note, I wanna say thanks for all the questions. Keep an eye out for the next Ask the Expert, and keep the questions coming.