Can speaker stands really make a difference to the sound you hear?
We’d like to share some feedback we’ve received on our new speaker stands and our responses. Here goes:
Question: What are the vibrational dampening and isolation characteristics of your stands?
Well, firstly there’s a minimal amount of “touch” between the stand and the speaker. There are four synthetic SBR rubber feet and four synthetic SBR rubber back stops, each with minimal points of contact.
In over two years of design, prototyping – and now independent testing (which we’ll publish when complete), we found that it’s better to let the speaker be ‘free’ to vibrate itself. This can be a little controversial – we’re not saying, for example, that mounting a speaker to a wall with proper mounts is a poor methodology. What we are saying is that for stand mounts, the minute you attach a speaker to the stand, it introduces a tied relationship that carries the mechanical vibration from the speaker, directly to the stand and beyond.
An audio speaker and its mounting conditions
We know that Philip Newell and Keith Holland, in their excellent book “Loudspeakers For Music Recording and Production”, Focal Press 2007, have said that “far too many people, even professional mixers, fail to realise that the loudspeaker and its mounting conditions cannot be separated” and we would agree. What we’ve done is to isolate and minimise as much as possible the relationship between the speaker and the stand. But, in researching industrial mechanical vibration and applying insights from other fields, we’ve also isolated the stand itself from the mounting surface underneath, using multiple means. So, isolating the speaker-to-mount and the mount-to-mounting surface. And, we’ve also achieved variable tilt and rotation that haven’t been done before in an isolating stand mount, so there’s no side-cone performance degradation and less body absorption in direct aural location.
Further underneath the top isolation points, there’s an alloy base that carries the tilt and rotate functions on top of an IsoBase (TM), which has silica-filled pipes in sealed containers, atop an SBR rubber floor. Taken all together, there are multiple isolating features that form part of our patent.
It’s not possible here to go into any great detail, but the patent is in the post search, ‘no prior art’ stage, pre-publication, and valid in 124 countries. It will be published within 18 months if not sooner and runs to 28 claims and 36 drawings, so it’s very thorough – unfortunately we suffer from perfectionism. The test spec and results will be posted as soon as they’re complete – it may be a few months more.
Question: Can the stand be tilted forward, for example, to tilt a speaker down when it’s on a mixing desk meter bridge?
Yes, we’ve allowed some forward tilt for meter bridges and we did toy with the idea of velcro fasteners to the sides of the speakers but it went against our purist sensibilities. Leave the speaker alone to do its thing. We make more comments about this in our Elevation Pro User Guide.
You may tilt the stand forward and we’ve found it to be robust, but you must satisfy yourself that you’re happy with it – we can’t account for all situations, for example, where someone might put a very heavy speaker, past our spec, on the stand and wind it right forward. We’ll have floor pylons out in about 6 months.
So, can speaker stands make for better sound?
The answer is yes, they can. But how? By isolating the speaker from its mounting conditions, the frequencies that would bleed away through the mount are more constrained to the correct signal path, from electrical origination, through speaker exertion and on to the listener through the air – the speaker itself performs better in its cabinet and the listener hears a more complete frequency range.
Also, by pointing the speaker directly at the optimal hearing location, the speaker cone is performing in its optimal designed plane – pushing air equally from all surfaces of the cone or waveguide without side-cone degradation. The audio arrives more directly and more correctly with less reflective path interference, and the human body absorptive function becomes less of an issue with the most direct sound path.
These are simple statements, obvious in many ways, but also backed by intensive research in many related areas, prototyping and testing. And, they’re generally true for all situations – studio, home studio, audiophile, home cinema, home entertainment systems, desktop, gaming, post-production, and audio forensics.
More to come
We welcome all comments – it’s been a long process to achieve audio and design goals, and to set up distribution worldwide – over two years. We’ve another 21 products on the roadmap in various stages of design – not all to do with speaker isolation. It’s all about better sound and, for my part, things that have bugged me for years in the live and recording spaces concerning audio isolation and sound enhancement… better sound!
If you have a sales query, please don’t hesitate to contact us on Sales at Ardán Audio. Thank you.
You can find out more about our products on our web here: Ardán Products
or download the Elevation Pro Product Brochure
and some general background with extended articles can be found here: About Us.
Many thanks for the feedback to date, we’ve really been encouraged by the positive welcome.
all the best
Brent Finlayson Smith