Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors

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Canada Rob

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Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« on: 13 May 2015, 03:20 am »
I promised Noel at Skylan I would do a mini review on the SKY-4P20 20" 4 post speaker stands he sent me for my Super Alnico Monitors.

Some years back Omega on Skylan stands were often seen at trade shows and looked and sounded just fabulous together.  Many an Omega customer put their speakers on Skylans back then.  What happened?  Why are they not seen together so much any more?  Answer: nothing happened really, they just drifted apart.  They are still as visually and sonically well matched as before, and they are coming together again.  I am by no means saying Skylan is the only suitable stand for Omegas, but they certainly are a great match.  Noel makes stands to fit all the Omega monitors now.

My history with Noel at Skylan goes back as far as when I started Audio Boutique.  I was too cheap to buy a pair of his two post stands, so I built my own Skylan copy which serves me well to this day, and every speaker I put on them does very well.

When I ordered my 4 posters, Noel said they would ship in 2 weeks and true to his word, thats when they shipped, ditto all subsequent orders.
They arrived in a reasonably compact box that weighed around 30 pounds, and when I opened it the engineering of the packaging showed a lot of thought and care.  Examining the contents showed a beautifully designed and made speaker stand.  They are so well thought out that they about fell together in less than half an hour - everything fitting beautifully.  Fit and finish are second to none and a lot nicer than my home made copies.  During assembly I took a different route than what Noel recommended and did not fill them with rice, but instead put rubber dampers on the tie rods.  I want to be able to take the stands apart without a mess. 
Addendum: I should have mentioned using rubber dampers instead of ballast has also yielded excellent results sonically. 
Instead of being mass loaded, the stands are now lossy.  YMMV

Listening:
The front end is the Resenessnce Labs Concero HD DAC, Cardas Clear 1 meter USB, Decware Silver Reference 1 meter interconnect, and Decware Super Zen Select with V-Caps, stepped attenuator, and 4ohm OPT, and the speaker cable is a secret, but really good.  I have my reasons for not divulging.  I feared the 93db efficiency of the Alnicos may be a problem, but from the first note my mind was laid to rest - lots of power.  I personally think the efficiency spec of this driver needs to be looked into.  They are SO easy to drive.  My little Zen amp is the best tool I've found to test the true efficiency of a speaker.  The only time I've ran a Zen amp out of gas was on a pair of 86dB inefficient two way sealed mini monitors.

From the first note the sound was sublime, totally unlike any speaker I've heard, including other Omegas.  Rich and smooth, and so EASY to listen to with such tuneful integrated bass - the most reality I've ever heard in audio.  The unballasted stands sound like they are working well and the rubber damper makes the tie rod dead as a doornail.

Noel sent along with the stands his Q-Bricks which are these little metal/rubber/plastic discs that look like flying saucers from some early 60s sci fi B film.  They plug into the tie rod T-nut on the top plate of the speaker stand.  The speaker then rests on the Q-Bricks literally tying the speaker through the tie rods to the floor.  Years ago Royd Audio did a similar thing to wonderful effect.  Today I played through a variety of music (mostly more complex) with the Q-Bricks in place and everything had such an effortless sound.  Nothing even broke a sweat.  The soundstage was huge with the recording venue faithfully reproduced.  One word has summed up this rig from the get go: reality.

I then removed the Q-Bricks and noticed subtile differences, I mean subtile, but still noticeable.  Marginally less refinement is the best way to describe the difference.  Would I have been in bliss if I had never heard the Q-Bricks?  Absolutely!  Now that I have them though, I won't part with them.  Skylan stands are often paired with Harbeth speakers which are lightweight and thin walled compared to the heavy Super Alnico Monitor and I feel the Q-Bricks may have an even more profound effect on the Harbeths.

Check out the accompanying pictures.

         





Truckbed rubber rod dampers and top plate.


Stock Sorbothane square pad and tie rod T-nut.


Q-Brick on right upside down with neoprene locating dimple.  Q-Brick on left is flipped and plugged into tie rod T-nut.
The speakers no longer rest on the Sorbothane pads, but on the Q-Bricks.


Voila!

« Last Edit: 2 Jul 2015, 03:56 pm by Canada Rob »

beowulf

Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #1 on: 13 May 2015, 09:32 pm »
Hi Rob, nice review, well thought out and detailed.  Just one question ~ what was your theory about not filling them?  Was it just because of the mess or did you have other thoughts about it?

Canada Rob

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Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #2 on: 13 May 2015, 10:39 pm »
Hi Rob, nice review, well thought out and detailed.  Just one question ~ what was your theory about not filling them?  Was it just because of the mess or did you have other thoughts about it?
Thanks Beowulf,
I should have mentioned it was more than the mess.  My oversight.  The computer table which I designed and built uses the same treatment in the legs and I've had more desktop systems (some in the thousands of dollars) on it than I can remember and the sound quality is really good.  Speaker stand design seems to follow two ways of thinking: mass loaded or lossy.  Mass loaded would be a Target 4 poster loaded with sand, and lossy would be the Something Solid stands.  Not mass loading my Skylans would lean toward the lossy side.  Some of the best monitors I've heard have been on lossy stands.  Empty, the Skylans only weigh about 15 pound each and the sound I'm getting is the best I recall in my audio life.  At about 30 pounds each, I feel the Super Alnico Monitors don't need extra mass, just a really solid stand, which the Skylans are.  My 2 post Skylan copies are filled with cat litter for some mass as the speakers put on them are a lot lighter than the Super Alnico Monitors.  YMMV.

ozoid

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Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #3 on: 14 May 2015, 02:30 am »
Thanks for the review, Rob. I'm certainly aware of the Skylans, which Louis features in the Alnico pix on the Omega web site. But I'm not familiar with the Something Solid stands. A quick Google search showed some images but didn't seem to show a North American outlet. Is there one? What are they made of?

Won't need stands anytime soon, but I like to keep a file on things like that. 

kmcelyea

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Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #4 on: 14 May 2015, 02:44 am »
Thanks for the view CR! My SKYLAN 4 post stands arrived last night. Yeah, but they are sad as I waiting patiently (well maybe not so patient) for my Alnico monitors to arrive! But I am looking forward to the day when they do arrive ! :thumb:

Kevin  :D

Canada Rob

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Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #5 on: 14 May 2015, 04:52 am »
Thanks for the review, Rob. I'm certainly aware of the Skylans, which Louis features in the Alnico pix on the Omega web site. But I'm not familiar with the Something Solid stands. A quick Google search showed some images but didn't seem to show a North American outlet. Is there one? What are they made of?

Won't need stands anytime soon, but I like to keep a file on things like that.

I'm not sure if there is a Something Solid outlet in North America.  Somehow don't think so.  They definitely would be made of welded steel.

beowulf

Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #6 on: 14 May 2015, 08:38 am »
Thanks Beowulf,
I should have mentioned it was more than the mess.  My oversight.  The computer table which I designed and built uses the same treatment in the legs and I've had more desktop systems (some in the thousands of dollars) on it than I can remember and the sound quality is really good.  Speaker stand design seems to follow two ways of thinking: mass loaded or lossy.  Mass loaded would be a Target 4 poster loaded with sand, and lossy would be the Something Solid stands.  Not mass loading my Skylans would lean toward the lossy side.  Some of the best monitors I've heard have been on lossy stands.  Empty, the Skylans only weigh about 15 pound each and the sound I'm getting is the best I recall in my audio life.  At about 30 pounds each, I feel the Super Alnico Monitors don't need extra mass, just a really solid stand, which the Skylans are.  My 2 post Skylan copies are filled with cat litter for some mass as the speakers put on them are a lot lighter than the Super Alnico Monitors.  YMMV.

Thanks for the further clarification.  I guess my only other question is ... where did you get the rubber dampers from?

Canada Rob

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Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #7 on: 14 May 2015, 02:54 pm »
Thanks for the further clarification.  I guess my only other question is ... where did you get the rubber dampers from?
I cut them out of a piece of rubber truckbed liner using tin snips.

beowulf

Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #8 on: 14 May 2015, 10:21 pm »
I cut them out of a piece of rubber truckbed liner using tin snips.

 :thumb:

sruffle

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Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #9 on: 20 May 2015, 02:15 am »
I am a big believer in good stands and isolation products.  With the Skylan stands it looks like the idea is to couple the speakers to the floor rather than isolate. On a suspended wood floor, isolation may be a better approach - I am not sure as every situation is probably different.

I recently bought some Stillpoints ultra minis to put under my DAC. The results were beyond my expectations.  It would cost $1k to do it, but using  the ultra minis on top of the Skylan stands would probably be a real eye-opener.

Canada Rob

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Re: SKYLAN STANDS WITH OMEGA ALNICO MONITORS
« Reply #10 on: 20 May 2015, 02:38 am »
What I love about the way my Super Alnico Monitors sound with my Skylan stands configured this way (among all this combo's other amazing attributes) is how the bass presents itself: tuneful and integrated with the rest of the music like few, if any other speakers I recall hearing, and that no sub on earth can match for that integration.  Yes, other speakers can go deeper and make "more" bass as can many subs, but it's the quality of that bass that draws me, all ultimately emanating from a single point source.

Don't get me wrong, there are cases where I love a sub, but in this case I feel no urge for one.  For me, as this system is set up, the musical picture is complete.  That said, the next guy might want a sub added.  To each their own - it's what makes life interesting.

kevtn8

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #11 on: 10 Nov 2015, 11:36 pm »
Rob,

Based on the results you're getting with the rubber dampers, have you been tempted at all into testing out the mass loading theory on your Skylan stands?

Also, do you still feel that one piece of rubber per tie rod is sufficient based on your several months of listening so far? If you are still getting excellent results and not experiencing any bad side effects than I will most likely use your "lossy" damping method on my upcoming Skylans.




Canada Rob

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #12 on: 11 Nov 2015, 12:19 am »
One rubber piece per column works fine, and I've no desire to change what I'm hearing.  Putting two in per column certainly won't hurt though.  YMMV.   :)

sruffle

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #13 on: 11 Nov 2015, 02:33 am »
The Skylans and Super Alnicos are a very nice combination.  Herbies square fat dots between the stands and speakers were a nice improvement over blue tack. Has anyone tried the Herbie's threaded gliders under the Skylan spikes? 

kbuzz3

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #14 on: 11 Nov 2015, 03:52 am »
The Skylans and Super Alnicos are a very nice combination.  Herbies square fat dots between the stands and speakers were a nice improvement over blue tack. Has anyone tried the Herbie's threaded gliders under the Skylan spikes?

Funny I just emailed Steve about those....he advised to bring the spikes to a hardware store and check the size before ordering from him.  I have used the small puck version u dear spikes to great effect with other stands but I just broke out my skylans after a long hiatus and they need fgliders to assist in moving them around

sruffle

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #15 on: 11 Nov 2015, 11:34 pm »
Great timing.  Please post your impressions  if you end up getting them.   

GrahamMiles

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #16 on: 2 Jun 2016, 12:34 pm »
Lossy versus mass-loading, takes me back to my Linn LP12 days where the recommended platform was a flimsy card table. I had excellent results on my previous floor standers with a home made roller bearing platform and I'll give that a try later today with the Skylans. I also have a sheet of vibration damping material meant for vehicle panels. A few wraps on the steels rods might damp them nicely.




RDavidson

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #17 on: 2 Jun 2016, 03:41 pm »
Thanks for the write up, Rob. At some point I'll likely get Skylans. :thumb:

GrahamMiles

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #18 on: 2 Jun 2016, 04:25 pm »
Interestingly, the threaded rods ring like a bell when you tap them. Wrapping them in sound deadening material reduces the ring to a dull thud.



Audiophile58

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Re: Skylan stands with Omega Alnico Monitors
« Reply #19 on: 13 Aug 2016, 02:05 pm »
My uncle works in Pro audio and he let me borrow Iso Acoustic stands the small ones fit on stands the larger ones floor standers. Truly tighten up the bass and image focus Without Question better then any tweak
And see the Maaany Accolades. Great for Subwoofers only . It cost me nothing
I bought  a pair