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Filled my stands

Jonathan Cox

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2008
47
1
18,540
Thought I’d try filling my Soundstyle Z2 stands so went for the Custom Design inert filler. Only cost me around a tenner which is enough to fill each main tube almost completely. I’ve started by filling I reckon an inch or 2 above half way as worried too full may dull the sound. So far I can hear little to no difference. Becoming a worrying trend as recently changed my cartridge from Rega Elys to Nagaoka MP110 and felt was a small improvement only. Been experimenting also with speaker position again and difference was minimal to me. Are my ears ruined (from countless metal Gigs!) or am I expecting too much? Is one part of my system strangling any improvements, or is all the talk on these forums a huge black void of over exaggeration?

Not having a go at forum I’ve learned so much from reading here but am starting to feel a bit disillusioned with it all. I always remember that the music comes first, and the system is only the means to hearing it at the highest quality within constraints of budget and room. Thanks for any opinions.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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I have the same Z2 Stands - and filled all 3 columns with Kiln Dried Sand (further dried in the oven).

I have a suspended wooden floor, so have the bottom of each stand Blu-Tak'd onto 2 Granite Worktop Savers (ie. Doubled up), per Stand....so no spikes. It's very stable.

I also have Valhalla Speaker Isolators + Blu-Tak between the Speaker and the Stand.

All of the above gives great results.
 

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
1
0
I made a useful video on filling speaker stands

over filling is an old audiophile wives tale

https://youtu.be/1GOUsyVemvU
 
Feb 18, 2015
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Relating to the cartridge....the nagaoka and the rega are pretty much on the same price level....I think your going to have to go up the nagaoka,rega or Ortofon range to get a worthwhile improvement......a Ortofon 2m blue would certainly give you a noticeable difference..whether that's your cup of tea is debatable.I also quite like the audio technica carts....but you will need to spend up to £200 for a noticeable improvement from what you are using.imho.

On the other hand the components further down the chain.(namely the amp)could be hindering the cartridge from performing to anywhere close to it's best.I am also assuming that the turntable is well supported and free from vibration etc.
 

Gaz37

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2014
58
0
10,540
And it just an opinion, is that you're discovering that a significant amount of audio lore is BS.
I thought filling my stands made an improvement but did it really? Could it?
Every time you disover that accepted hifi wisdom doesn't work for you there'll alway be a believer saying that it's because your equipment or hearing isn't good enough. Maybe, maybe not but the fact is whatever you tried didn't work, lesson learned
 
Feb 18, 2015
58
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When I filled my atacama moseco 6's it wasn't for any perceived audio improvement...but to be safe in the knowledge that my near fifteen hundred quid speakers were on a nice,stable,solid surface...also if they ain't on something decent..what chance have you of ever hearing them at anywhere near approaching their best qualities.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
Gaz37 said:
And it just an opinion, is that you're discovering that a significant amount of audio lore is BS. I thought filling my stands made an improvement but did it really? Could it? Every time you disover that accepted hifi wisdom doesn't work for you there'll alway be a believer saying that it's because your equipment or hearing isn't good enough. Maybe, maybe not but the fact is whatever you tried didn't work, lesson learned
TBF. The stands have 3 columns and the OP has only (just over) half filled the main one. This is probably not enough...so lessons not necessarily learned.
 

Gaz37

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2014
58
0
10,540
CnoEvil said:
Gaz37 said:
And it just an opinion, is that you're discovering that a significant amount of audio lore is BS. I thought filling my stands made an improvement but did it really? Could it? Every time you disover that accepted hifi wisdom doesn't work for you there'll alway be a believer saying that it's because your equipment or hearing isn't good enough. Maybe, maybe not but the fact is whatever you tried didn't work, lesson learned
TBF. The stands have 3 columns and the OP has only (just over) half filled the main one. This is probably not enough...so lessons not necessarily learned.
Either fill them properly or don't bother lol
 

Jonathan Cox

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2008
47
1
18,540
Thanks guys yeah have my stands spiked to wood floor over solid concrete and speakers blue tacked to top plate so happy they were already very stable. No granite slabs have sections of carpet tile underneath to help with moving them. Will have a go filling further over weekend and will update what I find. Regarding amp always niggled me how good it is I’ve never compared with anything else apart from my old Pioneer 90s stack but have been told the phono stage especially is a very good one.
 
I do find it funny when cries of BS instantly appear as soon as someone mentions they didn’t hear a difference when they tried something, especially before finding out any background, which in this case was only added in the previous post. Whether or not a difference is there, what we hear is affected by many things, including our mood and the music used, for numerous reasons.

Filling stands will exhibit more of a difference when used on suspended wooden floors. In this case, a wooden floor over concrete doesn’t really pass as such, so I would expect the differences to be minimal anyway, particularly if the stand is already pretty rigid and stable.

Some speakers may react negatively to filling the stands. I’ve mentioned it before, but back in the early 90s I remember trying a budget system (under £500) using either Celestion 5 or 7. These were quite lightweight speakers as they were a budget model (under £200), and had a pretty neutral tonal balance, ie, not bass heavy like some. I was listening to the system using Apollo AZ stands, which are a thick central column pre-filled with sand. The stands were swapped for Epos ES11 stands, which were open frame type, so pretty lightweight but very rigid. The speaker’s bass was transformed. The Apollo stands were making the Celestion’s bass sound heavy, muddy and lacking control. With the Epos stands, the bass had control and focus. From that point, I never took stands for granted. You’ll find other speakers won’t sound so good on open frame stands, and will prefer a larger, or a number of large, filled columns to get the best from them.

The main thing to concentrate on, before adding ballast, is to make sure all screws and bolts (including spikes) are tight, and that the stand sits on the floor without any rocking or movement.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
339
124
19,070
Minor improvement from slightly cheaper cartridge via onboard phono-stage? I'll take it! Also, ear damage from blast-off music levels could most likely factor in.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
Jonathan Cox said:
Thanks guys yeah have my stands spiked to wood floor over solid concrete and speakers blue tacked to top plate so happy they were already very stable. No granite slabs have sections of carpet tile underneath to help with moving them. Will have a go filling further over weekend and will update what I find. Regarding amp always niggled me how good it is I’ve never compared with anything else apart from my old Pioneer 90s stack but have been told the phono stage especially is a very good one.
My adventure: https://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/adventures-eccentric-irish-hi-fi-enthusiast
 

Gaz37

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2014
58
0
10,540
That's a new one.

Does it affect other senses or just hearing?

It's a bit worrying, I mean if you're in a really bad mood your sight might fool you into thinking a bar of soap is chocolate, if your taste is equally affected it may even taste like chocolate and you only find you ate a bar of soap when you start farting bubbles LOL
 
Gaz37 said:
That's a new one.

Does it affect other senses or just hearing?

It's a bit worrying, I mean if you're in a really bad mood your sight might fool you into thinking a bar of soap is chocolate, if your taste is equally affected it may even taste like chocolate and you only find you ate a bar of soap when you start farting bubbles LOL
Not really a representable comparison. I’m referring to how someone might feel about a product or system when they’re not in the right frame of mind for listening/reviewing etc. Hardly a new concept.
 
Gaz37 said:
That's a new one.

Does it affect other senses or just hearing?

It's a bit worrying, I mean if you're in a really bad mood your sight might fool you into thinking a bar of soap is chocolate, if your taste is equally affected it may even taste like chocolate and you only find you ate a bar of soap when you start farting bubbles LOL
Not really a representable comparison. I’m referring to how someone might feel about a product or system when they’re not in the right frame of mind for listening/reviewing etc. Hardly a new concept.
 

Jonathan Cox

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2008
47
1
18,540
Yes my stands did already feel very solid regarding change of cartridge went for it based on many opinions directly praising improvement from Rega to Nagaoka, even within similar price range. So Rainsoothe are you suggesting a good stand alone phono stage like the Rega MM 3 or Schiit Mani would show the (potentially) superior cartridge off? Also unsure why anyone would want to evaluate any change in components, let alone even listen to music, if not in the right frame of mind????? However, an interesting chat thanks all who’ve commented.
 

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
1
0
empty or part empty metal hollow columns will ring at certain freq.

Even solid aluminum rings

The last thing you want is your speaker stands ringing that cant do any good only negative.

Do a tap test if there is even the slightest bit of noise then you need more filler inside so its dead when you crack it with your knuckle.
 

Jonathan Cox

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2008
47
1
18,540
spent the last hour filling my Z2s, as main columns already 2/3rd full thought I’d fill the 2 narrower columns first. Took more filler than I guessed so my 2 bags have run out but these are now almost completely full. I’ve ordered another bag to fully fill main columns as well. However not sure I’ll need it as the improvement in sound is absolutely fantastic, bass is definitely tighter and seems faster to me also more bite and sparkle to treble frequencies no doubt in my mind.

It’s the first upgrade if you can call it that where I didn’t really have to listen intently to discern, it was that obvious no doubt in my mind whatsoever. And all for £10, I’m delighted. For information, my pair of Soundstyle speakers took 2 bags Custom Design inert filler to completely fill smaller tubes and 2/3 fill main ones, third bag will easily be enough to fill these with some to spare I reckon. Thanks again folks.
 

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