To mass load or not to mass load

robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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What do people think about the issue of mass loading metal speaker stands? I bought some Triangle stands for my Triangle speakers and though the stands are well-made and look ok I mistakenly thought I could load them with atabites or whatever to dampen them. They are a good height and I think the sound is improved over my previous stands, which were too low, but I wonder whether very occasionally I'm not hearing a bit of vibration coming from the stands.
What do you guys think? Do you mass load and if so what do you think are the benefits?
 

camcroft

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Jan 12, 2012
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What do people think about the issue of mass loading metal speaker stands? I bought some Triangle stands for my Triangle speakers and though the stands are well-made and look ok I mistakenly thought I could load them with atabites or whatever to dampen them. They are a good height and I think the sound is improved over my previous stands, which were too low, but I wonder whether very occasionally I'm not hearing a bit of vibration coming from the stands.
What do you guys think? Do you mass load and if so what do you think are the benefits?
I used Kiln Sand in mine. Cheap I think that I got it from B&Q I have done 2 lots of stands with it. I don't want to comment on the benefits as Placebo effect is going to be mentioned at some point or other ;);)
 
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Gray

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Just seemed logical to fill my Atacama SE24 with sand to kill any resonance from the metal . To say it added mass would be a an understatement - they weigh a ton, dead as a doornail to a knuckle rap.

I've heard it said that the choice is speaker dependant - some say you're better off with little or no filling, others use light, wooden stands for minimum mass.

Each to their own.
If you've got any noticeable resonance, kill it I say. It can't possibly help to have anything joining in with your sound.

Now comes the coupling / decoupling from floor debates......
 
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robdmarsh

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Just seemed logical to fill my Atacama SE24 with sand to kill any resonance from the metal . To say it added mass would be a an understatement - they weigh a ton, dead as a doornail to a knuckle rap.

I've heard it said that the choice is speaker dependant - some say you're better off with little or no filling, others use light, wooden stands for minimum mass.

Each to their own.
If you've got any noticeable resonance, kill it I say. It can't possibly help to have anything joining in with your sound.

Now comes the coupling / decoupling from floor debates......
Thanks Gray. Rapping knuckles on these stands and they definitely ring. And they're not the most pleasing on the eye. Funnily enough I thought my last stands were fillable and only found out they weren't when I'd bought a tub of attabites at the Bristol show. So if I go with a fillable model I've got the filling!

What speakers do you have, may I ask?
 
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camcroft

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Don't worry about others and their Placebo effect. You obviously think it's worth it so what do you think it does?
I think as Gray says it kills the resonance making the whole unit lets say whole. I did one lot then another so I must be convinced that it was a worthwhile exercise and for what it cost me I didn't stand ( No pun intended ) a lot to lose
 
If your speakers are separated from the stands by either gel pads or Bluetack or whatever, there is little point in filling your stands with anything.
You have to decide if you're isolating or not.
Some believe that you should isolate speakers from their stands and others that you attach it in such a way that the speaker / stands are one unit..... But then what do you do with the interface of that unit and the floor....??
To be honest, in all my experience, I have never know a filled stand to make difference because my standmounts have always been sat on gel pucks.
If you can stop any interaction with the stands themselves why do you need to modify a stand??
.....sits back and awaits flak.... :)
 
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twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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Depends on the speaker some speaker love mass. So a good bag of wet sand in a plastic bag does the trick.

Some speaker like open framed stands such as those by something solid.

best stands I’ve come across are the partington super dreadnoughts But the ones from 10-15 years ago where better built
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
What do people think about the issue of mass loading metal speaker stands? I bought some Triangle stands for my Triangle speakers and though the stands are well-made and look ok I mistakenly thought I could load them with atabites or whatever to dampen them. They are a good height and I think the sound is improved over my previous stands, which were too low, but I wonder whether very occasionally I'm not hearing a bit of vibration coming from the stands.
What do you guys think? Do you mass load and if so what do you think are the benefits?
What do the manufacturers say? They would be my first port of call.

It’s a complex interaction between stand and speaker, also affected by anything you put in between - like blutak or rubber feet. Some speakers seem to prefer light and rigid stands - a common example are BBC type speakers such as Falcon or Harbeth. Others like solid and dead stands - like the Celestion SL600 I once owned and the Foundation stands once made by a former contributor here.

Personally, I feel that stands that ring when you tap them are off putting, but the only way to be sure is a bit of experimentation. (I once used light-ish Target stands with budget Mission speakers. The stands rang until the speakers were secured to them with blutak)
 
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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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If your speakers are separated from the stands by either gel pads or Bluetack or whatever, there is little point in filling your stands with anything.
You have to decide if you're isolating or not.
Some believe that you should isolate speakers from their stands and others that you attach it in such a way that the speaker / stands are one unit..... But then what do you do with the interface of that unit and the floor....??
To be honest, in all my experience, I have never know a filled stand to make difference because my standmounts have always been sat on gel pucks.
If you can stop any interaction with the stands themselves why do you need to modify a stand??
.....sits back and awaits flak.... :)
I'd quite like to try the gel puck idea but it won't work with these stands. There's a layer of felt on top of the stand and nothing sticks to it.
 
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nopiano

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I'd quite like to try the gel puck idea but it won't work with these stands. There's a layer of felt on top of the stand and nothing sticks to it.
Probably that’s why the felt is fitted, to isolate the speaker a bit. Is the speaker bolted to the stand? If not, surely you could put some type of rubber washer, pad, or whatever between the two surfaces?
 

robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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No, it's not bolted. You've kind of reassured me a bit with the function of the felt layer. I think perhaps it's the look of these stands I'm not so fond of but others have said they look fine. I think I'll stick with them.
 

RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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For thin walled speaker ie. BBC style designs absolutely no mass loading. Open frame stands are pre requisite.

All else, suck it and see. Personal preference comes into it.

Bass heavy, under damped speakers usually benefit from stand loading, bass light ones could sound better unloaded.
 
Depends on the speaker some speaker love mass. So a good bag of wet sand in a plastic bag does the trick.

Some speaker like open framed stands such as those by something solid.

best stands I’ve come across are the partington super dreadnoughts But the ones from 10-15 years ago where better built
Probably why I own two pairs, they are a tad 'industrial ' though.
 

RobGardner

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Jul 22, 2008
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I initially tried kilt dried sand and then I settled on lead shot in my Partington dreadnoughts under my LS3/5a speakers. There was definitely more bass extension and clearer mid range with the sand but lead shot took it up yet another notch.
Neither tweak was expensive, the sand was about £3 and the lead shot I bought in a diving gear shop for about £80. The sand was by far and away the best value upgrade ever. The lead shot was slightly better all round but cost nearly 30 times more. In the hifi world I suppose it was still a cheap upgrade, and I was very happy with the outcome. To find something I preferred over this set up I had to spend far too much money!
I now use stand mount speakers with integrated stands so there is no chance of experimenting with sand or shot.
The best thing was it was an easy if messy reversible upgrade; although I never felt the need to remove the lead shot.
The speaker stands used spikes into a suspended wooden floor, maybe if the floor construction had been different the result would have also been different.
Best thing is to try dried sand first, even if you have attabites as sand is easy to handle and easy to remove if you don’t like the effect. I imagine that because of their shape that cavitation might be a problem with attabites, both during filling and especially removal if you don’t like what they do.
I think that in most cases wet sand would not be a good idea, although it would increase the mass it would also accelerate corrosion and over time would likely leak water.
The other possibility depending on the construction of you stands would be something like Dynamat on the externals of the stand. It would look grim be horrible to remove but should sort out resonances.
Happy experimenting!
 

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