Spikes or no spikes ?

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cheap-Jack

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ? - Spike it!
« Reply #20 on: 20 Dec 2012, 10:25 pm »
Hi.

(1) spikes are used to couple, not decouple/isolate.

(2) I do wonder though, in situations where speakers are spiked to the floor, would it be better to bolt them down to the floor? I don't know. I've never heard of anyone trying or talking about that.

(2) Trying to bolt the speakers to the concrete or joists beneath them would be not that hard .....

(1) Sorry, I disagree. So many manufacturers of audio spikes & tip toes claim their products are for vibration
isolation & decoupling. So they are lying or YOU are?

FYI, ALL my audio components, i.e. TT, tape deck, tube phonostages, tube & SS power amps are 'floated' on either steel spikes or tuned copper/brass tip toes. Excellent soundstaging & precise imaging, obviously helped out by the floatations provided by the spikes & tip toes. My basement audio den is on wall-to-wall carpetted concrete floor.

(2) My KEF 2-way bookshelvers are placed on a pair of lead-shot stuffed steel tripods with spikes nailing down the carpetted concrete floor.

(3) Concrete floor, being so massive, does not vibrate or shake unless in earthquakes. So who needs to
     overkill it in bolting the loudspeaker down onto it????

c-J


Danny Richie

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #21 on: 20 Dec 2012, 10:42 pm »
Quote
FYI, ALL my audio components, i.e. TT, tape deck, tube phonostages, tube & SS power amps are 'floated' on either steel spikes or tuned copper/brass tip toes. Excellent soundstaging & precise imaging, obviously helped out by the floatations provided by the spikes & tip toes. My basement audio den is on wall-to-wall carpetted concrete floor.

(2) My KEF 2-way bookshelvers are placed on a pair of lead-shot stuffed steel tripods with spikes nailing down the carpetted concrete floor.

All of those devices are not decoupling devices. They do not float the gear or separate it from the floor. They couple or secure them to the solid surface to produce all of those positives you describe.

persisting1

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #22 on: 20 Dec 2012, 10:44 pm »
Quote
My floor is armored concrete

Wow. Sounds like you have a structurally sound listening room.

Guy 13

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #23 on: 20 Dec 2012, 11:02 pm »
Wow. Sounds like you have a structurally sound listening room.

Hi persisting1 and all Audio Circle members.
Most of the houses in Vietnam are built that way,
I mean armored concrete,
of course depending on the size of the house the thickness of the floor/ceiling varies.
Mine is about 12" thick.

The walls are made of one or two layers of soft red bricks with a thin layer of cement and some plaster to smooth the surface before painting.
So noise don't come in or go out.

My listening room is just above our bedroom and even when playing my sound system full blast my wife can't hear a thing, even the deep bass from my V1 does reach the bedroom.

That's what I call sound proof.

On the other hand, with all the concrete my listening room is very echo,
I had to installed some drapes (Curtains) and other stuff to reduce reverberations.
It's much better now, but to complete the room treatment I would need some bass trap, diffusion and absorbtion panels, but since I will be staying in Vietnam  only for a year or two, no need to spend money on that,
I will live with the present acoustic of my listening room.
Yesterday, I moved by V1 from the shortest wall to the longest wall and seems to me that the sound is a little better.
Well thanks for your comments, they are always appreciated.

Guy 13   

stevenkelby

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #24 on: 20 Dec 2012, 11:19 pm »
Hi.
(1) Sorry, I disagree. So many manufacturers of audio spikes & tip toes claim their products are for vibration
isolation & decoupling. So they are lying or YOU are?


CJ, I've read enough of your posts to know better than to try and communicate with you so I won't be replying to you there, sorry.

Steve.

JerryLove

Re: Spikes or no spikes ? - Spike it!
« Reply #25 on: 21 Dec 2012, 02:25 am »
Hi.
(1) Sorry, I disagree. So many manufacturers of audio spikes & tip toes claim their products are for vibration
isolation & decoupling. So they are lying or YOU are?

Given that your enclosures likely vibrate more than your foundation: Isolation would be counter-productive.

Quote
FYI, ALL my audio components, i.e. TT, tape deck, tube phonostages, tube & SS power amps are 'floated' on either steel spikes or tuned copper/brass tip toes. Excellent soundstaging & precise imaging, obviously helped out by the floatations provided by the spikes & tip toes.

Tape deck? Really?

Quote
My basement audio den is on wall-to-wall carpetted concrete floor.

I thought you had replaced that with wood per your discussion in "Audio Myths Too"? (seriously though: what is it with the bad spelling here on AC. Not typos: I get that; but homonyms and the like?)

AKLegal

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #26 on: 21 Dec 2012, 02:26 am »
I'll chime in here since I recently received a set of 8 of Herbies Giant Fat Gliders.   

My listening room is in my basement and I obviously have concrete floors.  My room is not very big 16x14 feet.  The wall behind my speakers is concrete/cinderblock for the first five feet and wood on top of that.  Basement is fully finished thick carpet throughout.

Now I think there are a host of reasons to not blindly accept the audiophile dogma that says spikes on concrete is the ultimate in audio.  It depends on the room construction.  In my case coupling my speakers to the concrete with spikes caused some very nasty effects like glare and harshness in the midrange.  My speakers resonated in the midbass/midrange.  Some of the bass energy also audibly traveled across the floor causing other furniture and racks to resonate.  I was originally going to buy a pair of Soundanchor bases for floorstanders but decided to try Herbies stuff because it was slightly cheaper. 

They worked like a charm for me but every situation is unique.  In my system, the mid range has cleared up substantially and bass travel across the floor is inaudible.  I went ahead and bought 4 more for my audio rack.   I am not a touchy feely audio guy so I am going to do measurement with Room EQ wizard to confirm what I am hearing.

I think if you have a very large room with concrete floors you may have a ideal situation, but those of us with smaller rooms with concrete floors might be better off with isolation as opposed to coupling.

AKLegal

Re: Spikes or no spikes ? - Spike it!
« Reply #27 on: 21 Dec 2012, 02:34 am »


(2) My KEF 2-way bookshelvers are placed on a pair of lead-shot stuffed steel tripods with spikes nailing down the carpetted concrete floor.

c-J

FYI, what you have described here is actually isolation not coupling.  The lead shot in those stands would absorb energy from the speakers that would have normally  traveled to the floor.  This is how Soundanchor stands work and  Herbies loudspeaker feet are a stripped down version/different implementation of this.  Your stands are probably very effective for isolation.

Danny Richie

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #28 on: 21 Dec 2012, 02:57 am »
Quote
(2) My KEF 2-way bookshelvers are placed on a pair of lead-shot stuffed steel tripods with spikes nailing down the carpetted concrete floor.

c-J

FYI, what you have described here is actually isolation not coupling.  The lead shot in those stands would absorb energy from the speakers that would have normally  traveled to the floor.  This is how Soundanchor stands work and  Herbies loudspeaker feet are a stripped down version/different implementation of this.  Your stands are probably very effective for isolation.

Yes, the lead acts as a bit of a damper, but the spikes do in fact couple the stand to the floor.

SoCalWJS

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #29 on: 21 Dec 2012, 04:38 am »
I've always believed that spikes, by themselves. are used to couple the device to the floor/surface.

There are similar devices that are used to de-couple the device from the surface which usually have something like a ball bearing between two hard surfaces which allows for movement between the two.

Each approach has theoretical advantages and which is better is dependent on your specific circumstances.

....could be mistaken  :scratch:

bdp24

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #30 on: 21 Dec 2012, 05:17 am »
Ever since they appeared on the scene, my take on spikes has been that of Danny's-----their purpose, for loudspeakers atleast, is to keep the box/panel/whatever from moving forward and backward as a result of the driver(s) moving (for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction, as we were taught in school). That's why I put spikes on the tops as well as the bottoms of my Quad stands. The stands are locked to the floor and ceiling, so the only part of the speaker moving is the part that is supposed to move (in theory, that is. Resonance is a related but different matter, which is why we need spikes AND Norez). When I got the first Magneplanar's (with three 18" X 6' panels hinged to each other) nobody was spiking yet, and those things were rocking back and forth like crazy. No wonder they were so soft and veiled! Magnepan came up with metal base supports that screwed onto the front and back of the panels, and we (Magneplanar owners) put bags of sand on top of the supports to aid in the effort to hold the panels still.

Danny Richie

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #31 on: 21 Dec 2012, 05:36 am »
By contrast this Dodd Audio Levitator is used to isolate (or separate) one surface from another.


bdp24

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #32 on: 21 Dec 2012, 05:53 am »
In the 50's, the early audiophiles were putting their turntables on a slab of granite which sat upon an inner tube, an idea reintroduced in the 80's by Frank Van Alstine, and more recently by Max Townshend (with The Seismik Sink).

AKLegal

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #33 on: 21 Dec 2012, 12:59 pm »
I've always believed that spikes, by themselves. are used to couple the device to the floor/surface.

There are similar devices that are used to de-couple the device from the surface which usually have something like a ball bearing between two hard surfaces which allows for movement between the two.

Yeah, I think that is "true" decoupling but you obviously don't want your speakers moving so the focus sort of switches to absorption/pseudo-damping.



Each approach has theoretical advantages and which is better is dependent on your specific circumstances.

....could be mistaken  :scratch:

That is my view.  I bet if I moved my speakers to a different space I would switch back to spikes.  I think its all room dependent.

dBe

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #34 on: 21 Dec 2012, 04:15 pm »
Physics is a harsh mistress.  The idea of "grounding" is a mechanical concept applied to electrical usage.  It simply means to send to earth.

For spikes I use Hilti pins that are intended to be shot into concrete or through steel beams to attach things to the surface.

https://www.us.hilti.com/holus/page/module/product/prca_catnavigation.jsf?lang=en&nodeId=-61412 

The ones for steel are case hardened and available in a wide variety of sizes.

Lets do a little math here.  I generally use 3 studs per speaker (determines a plane, you know) because the speaker can't rock.  The actual point of the pin is very sharp but let's assume that it is 1/32" across.  The area of those points is ~.01 sq in.  Assume that the speaker weighs 100 lb.  That gives a loading of ~10,000 lb/sq in resting on 3 sharp case hardened steel points.  Please explain to me how that is not coupled?  The actual point is probably on the order of < .01" radius. Check the pictures.  You can do the math from there.

The idea that cones and spikes "de-couple" comes from the concept that it is harder to transmit low frequencies to the floor/stand/whatever through small points.

Squishy things float.  Hard points couple.  Simple.

On suspended wood floors coupling actually occurs from room pressurization moving the floors.  Unless the walls and ceiling are infintely stiff there is always boundary coupling anyway.

Dave

werd

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #35 on: 21 Dec 2012, 04:49 pm »
All of those devices are not decoupling devices. They do not float the gear or separate it from the floor. They couple or secure them to the solid surface to produce all of those positives you describe.

So Danny would you not say that they couple the speakers but they decouple the bass response from the floor? Because I would not know how to describe it other wise. Since the response from the enclosure that's coupled is not losing energy from its base sitting flat on the surface.

SoCalWJS

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #36 on: 21 Dec 2012, 05:05 pm »
I know of one person in the Audio world that is a proponent of de-coupling speakers from the ground, Barry Diament. He uses super hard ball-bearing-like objects which rest in a super hard concave "bowl". The theory is that the speaker (or other object) has sufficient mass to remain stable if there are any vibrations/micro vibrations underneath it - that is, the floor or shelf moves slightly while the object above remains in place. The design is self-centering due to the concave shape of the cup or bowl holding the ball bearing.

He, and people who have tried it, swear that it works well. I even picked up a set produced by FiM (the 305-3 model) at the T.H.E. Show in OC last year. but have not yet given them a try (I need better woodworking skills and a different equipment rack to try them out. This goes one step further in that there is an inverted cup which sits on top of the ball bearing)

It's a theory....

werd

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #37 on: 21 Dec 2012, 05:15 pm »
Hi Guy

The rollers on your pic are use ful but once you have moved them to where you want apply a spike kit to the bottom. Your wife's complaint are valid but there are easy solutions to this. Many spikes come with placement pads that go under the spikes. You will get better volume control and more response at casual listening. They are the way to go on hardwoods and stuff like that.

Danny Richie

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Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #38 on: 21 Dec 2012, 05:29 pm »
So Danny would you not say that they couple the speakers but they decouple the bass response from the floor? Because I would not know how to describe it other wise. Since the response from the enclosure that's coupled is not losing energy from its base sitting flat on the surface.

You need to think of this as two separate events.

One is the movement of the drivers that are converting electric energy into acoustic energy. There is movement to that force especially in the low frequency range as heavy woofers move back and forth. That's one force to deal with.

The second is pressure that is created in the room from the speakers output. This pressure can cause walls to flex and resonant. It can also flex a suspended wooden floor. And any large panels in the room with a resonance frequency in the audible range can be excited. Equipment racks and gear are hit by these forces as well. The speakers enclosure is also very much subject to these forces.

The first issue of controlling the mechanical force of the speakers drivers is addressed by trying to get the speaker itself to not move along with the drivers. If the speaker is allowed to move or float around on thick carpet or other materials then the movement of the cabinet will counter the movement of the drivers. This causes soft bass, and loss of image focus. And this is a back and forth movement (as per the drivers) and not an up and down movement.

So we want the cabinet to be solid and not move around. Physical weight helps a lot. But the most common solution is to anchor the speakers to something and a solid concrete floor is the most solid and non resonant thing in the whole room. Floor spikes can be very effective to anchor or couple the speaker to the floor. The only way you can say that it is decouple would be in relation to the bottom panel of the cabinet. It no longer sets on the floor so one could say that it is isolated from the floor. If the bottom panel were a floppy resonating panel that was buzzing against the floor then getting it off the floor might alleviate some additional buzzing. But that is a separate problem. The spikes couple the speaker to the floor.

If you have a buzzing cabinet wall then these issues have to be addressed with additional bracing and damping with products like No Rez. This is a pressure change related resonance.

Likewise the room and everything else in it will be susceptible to pressure changes. So gear can be placed on racks and stands that are heavy and anchored to the floor (the one solid thing in the room that doesn't move) and to each other with various spikes. You don't want the pressure of the output signal to move that stuff around either. Again this is coupling not decoupling. Gear can in addition to these things be placed on floating things (as Dave puts it) to act as sock absorbers. Bicycle inter tubes, magnetic lavitators, or anything else that separates the gear from a larger surface that might be catching some of the pressure changes that the output from the speakers are creating. This is decoupling.

werd

Re: Spikes or no spikes ?
« Reply #39 on: 21 Dec 2012, 05:43 pm »
Ok I get I now, so decoupling isn't word suited for audio at all.  :thumb:. Decoupling isn'tsuited at all for describing bass response.