Filling Atacama Nexus 6i stands

ruskiru

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I currently have a pair of Wharfedale 9.1s sitting on the edge of a very sturdy wooden cupboard, more or less at the right height. The sound is pretty amazing, if missing a little openness in the midrange.

I thought I’d invest in a decent pair of stands, bought the Atacama 6i’s thinking that if nothing else, the sound wouldn’t be worsened. The sound is very disappointing. Bass has disappeared, along with the soundstage and imaging. The excitement has been sapped out of my speakers, so it’s back to my sturdy wooden cupboard.

So the question begs, will filling the Atacama’s make much difference? If not, I reckon I’m going to have to buy the cupboard from my landlord when I move :)
 

ruskiru

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The same way as they're attached to the cupboard, small pea-sized blobs of blutak. The speakers need to be cat-proof, so using top spikes isn't really an option.

PS. They floor is not only wooden, but suspended. So I'm wondering if there are multiple factors at play.
 

mitch65

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Mmmm....strange, I've just replaced my aging Atacama SE24 stands with the Nexus 6i and I have found them more open as a result. I have just invested £25 in a tub of atabites which has given back some bass weight but this is at the expense of some of that openness (to be fair most stands seem to react this way and is really down to personal taste how much filling you use)

Mine are on solid floors now but I do remember back when I first got my SE24s I had wooden flooring and they needed to be well isolated or they would sound horrendous
 

BenLaw

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Properly isolated on heavy stands you should have a big improvement over being placed on a cupboard. The blu tac is fine (IMO preferable) but you (i) may need to weight the stands (I would recommend kiln dried sand from B & Q or similar, cheap and effective), (ii) may need to isolate the stands from the floor - at least with punched 2pence pieces or spike shoes, possibly through granite or similar.

The other thing to mention is that I would expect you to hear a change in the bass. The lack of reverberation can be interpreted as the bass 'disappearing' as it will be tighter, less boomy and therefore less 'in yer face'. Chances are after a period of adjustment this will be found to be preferable.
 

ruskiru

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When you say well isolated, how did you achieve that? Spikes couple the speakers to the flooring as I understand, so isolating would involve the opposite, decoupling?

At the moment, the stands sound fairly horrendous when using the supplied spikes directly on the suspended wooden floor. If not to use the spikes, it's a question of how to stabilize the stands so not to easily knock them over.
 

BenLaw

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Use the spikes but place them into spike shoes or punched 2 pence pieces. You can go further by putting this on concrete slabs or granite work top savers, which can be further decoupled from the wooden floor by using felt or similar.
 

ruskiru

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Thanks for the advice. Putting coins under the spikes seems to have done the trick and put the life back into the speakers, along with some bass and a soundstage. I might try granite slabs and filling at some point. Decoupling seems to be the thing for suspended wooden floors. I would never have believed such a simple thing could make such a big difference.
 

mitch65

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BenLaw said:
Nice one :)

Filling the stands should also help now.

Definately.

Be warned though, I used ordinary sand which is fine if you are using a plastic liner but I didn't and the moisture in the sand started rusting the bottoms!! :doh: .....so.....new stands.
 

ruskiru

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So after a couple of weeks with coins, the speakers have gone back to the cupboard, where the level of performance simply blows the stands away. The image is solid, plenty of bass and an energy that makes for a very enjoyable listen. Much better than the headache-inducing bright sound generated by the stands.

I'm trying to understand the physics behind this. The cupboard is extremely heavy; I guess adding a lot of mass to very light bookshelf speakers, and also isolating the speakers from the suspended wooden floor. Therefore, I’m thinking of buying two Audioserenity A1 granite platforms and mounting the stands on top using spike shoes.

Any suggestions or opinions? I’m not convinced that granite platforms are heavy enough to make a real difference.
 

mitch65

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I can only put this down to room acoustics as this is definately not my experiance of these stands.

As I've said before, my floor is concrete and carpeted so maybe this takes the edge off the high frequencies (which would do my head in as well, it must be said). If this is the case then, short of carpeting, you are probably better off staying with the cupboard.
 

Blackdawn

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If the cupboard sounds better I wouldn't spend any more money on stands or accessories, just use what sounds the best to you. What height is your cupboard by the way? I've just bought the exact same stands so hope they sound better than my cupboard. Oh dear....

another option is to try moving the stands closer or further from the walls, see if this helps.
 

ruskiru

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Mitch65 – It’s the suspended wooden floor that’s the problem. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with the stands. Your concrete provides a high mass to which you can couple the stands, giving you a stable platform and balanced frequency response.

Blackdawn – I think you’ll be fine with the stands as long as you’ve got a solid floor to couple them to. My cupboard raises the tweeters just above ear level when sitting. I’ve tried everything with positioning to no avail. I’m sure the problem is the floor.

I’m keen to get the stands working because soon I’ll be moving and the cupboard doesn’t belong to me. Of course I can just buy another cupboard and fill it with heavy stuff, but why do that when I’ve got a pair of stands sitting unused? All flats in the city are likely to have a suspended wooden floor, so there’s no escaping the problem.
 

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