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What Speaker Stands for Spendor SA1?

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CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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Inter_Voice said:
nopiano said:
... I may be a bit gullible, but I tend to think the manufacturer knows best. They will never be the cheapest, but why would you provide a stand that didn't make your speakers sound at their best?

Not to say someone somewhere might not do better/differently, but I think it best to see stand and speaker as a 'system'. No-one asks about fitting a SME arm to a Rega TT, do they?
IMHO "system" approach might not always get the best result. Using Leema product as an example. If system approach is always worked then I should have bought the CDP, the amp and the speakers as a set to get the best from it. But in real life it will not always the case. I think system approach only sometimes works on certain products. As to Spendor they are mainly speaker manufacturers and not experts in stands making. I believe it is some third party provides the design for them. I strongly belive someone expertised in a particular field such as in speaker stand manufacturing should have better say.
I'm with NP on this. I think that the speaker and stand should be seen as "an item". I believe that Spendor is in the best position to design a stand that meets the specific needs of its unusually designed speaker.
IMO. It is slightly different logic to say that a Leema amp needs a Leema CDP. This of course is only just my opinion, and is no more important than yours.

Cno
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
251
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CnoEvil said:
Inter_Voice said:
nopiano said:
... I may be a bit gullible, but I tend to think the manufacturer knows best. They will never be the cheapest, but why would you provide a stand that didn't make your speakers sound at their best?

Not to say someone somewhere might not do better/differently, but I think it best to see stand and speaker as a 'system'. No-one asks about fitting a SME arm to a Rega TT, do they?
IMHO "system" approach might not always get the best result. Using Leema product as an example. If system approach is always worked then I should have bought the CDP, the amp and the speakers as a set to get the best from it. But in real life it will not always the case. I think system approach only sometimes works on certain products. As to Spendor they are mainly speaker manufacturers and not experts in stands making. I believe it is some third party provides the design for them. I strongly belive someone expertised in a particular field such as in speaker stand manufacturing should have better say.
I'm with NP on this. I think that the speaker and stand should be seen as "an item". I believe that Spendor is in the best position to design a stand that meets the specific needs of its unusually designed speaker. IMO. It is slightly different logic to say that a Leema amp needs a Leema CDP. This of course is only just my opinion, and is no more important than yours. Cno
My experience tells me, speaker manufacturers dont do much (if any) research on stands for their speakers. Although these days, my experience is 20 years out of date! . . . However looking around I'm not convinced much has changed, just goes round and round and . . . ?

Why try to have sound type 'A' or sound type 'B' to suite your room or your personal preferences, you try to manipulate the sound with cable, amp, speaker type . . . and then deny that the stands have any affect, a tone arm, cartridge, turntable combination will change as the components are swapped, (unless you have rega?) even then, choose a different cartridge to your taste.

Its the lack of understanding that stands have their own sound signature, as does everything in our environment, tap it and it with have some sort of audible sound, the harmonics are passive. Like plucking a guitar string, the strike and then the harmonic decay, same with a drum. Then think about all the items in the auditorium or you listening room, its vibrating in sympathy, we often cant hear it . . . the most obvious manifestation; echo. Think about it.

Speakers generate a vast amount of energy, in terms of 'motion' back and forth and harmonics via the cabinet, that energy has to go somewhere, there is not enough or the right kind of mass in a speaker to absorb or damp it, therefore we hear it as colouration. Keep the energy in the cabinet, ie inverted spikes in a stand, and the speaker designer has half a chance to try to Tailor the sound to compensate . . . ? Why not drain to disperse some of that energy in to a mass loaded stand ie, BluTak. In my humble opinion a more direct approach.

The factor most misunderstood, we live in a world of echos and harmonics, step into an anechoic chamber, its very disorientating, almost uncomfortable. Our brain is programed to deal with reflected sound, it actually likes it, as some performers know, with out the echo chamber they would be pretty dull.

The secret of Foundation stands was to drain and absorb the bad harmonics, preserving the ones we like. How it was don thats another story. Nobody does anything like this today as far as I know, fill up with sand, thats about it . . . it helps but is not the pure focused answer, achieved all those years ago.

The one thing I will accept, occasionally, very occasionally, the mass loaded approach does not work, those are pretty good speakers . . . and the same with turntables . . . I bow to Rega, have just purchased a Rega P5, picked it up yesterday. I will be spending today setting its position up in my room according to 'light and isolated is best' . . .

At the end of the day, it all comes down to, personal preference, achievable practicality with in your setup, cost and personal environment constraints. Dont accept this and you will spend most of your time chasing rainbows . . . rather than listening to music . . .

Sorry for the epistle, hopefully it has helped to shed some light on the 'black art' of speaker stand concept and design? . . . CJSF
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,233
5
19,195
CJSF said:
. . . I bow to Rega, have just purchased a Rega P5, picked it up yesterday. I will be spending today setting its position up in my room according to 'light and isolated is best' . . .
Yes, Roy Gandy has always been an advocate of light, rigid, open supports that 'earth' mechanical vibration through the shortest possible path to floor or wall with the fewest joins.

Rega's own turntable wall support doesn't even have adjustment for levelling* but has welded 'cups' for the feet. You have to ensure the wall is dead level (and plumb) unlike other solutions like the Pro-Ject turntable supports where a wooden platform can be finely levelled with adjustable spikes.

Speakers stands like those from Something Solid take another approach (other than mass damping) and have an open frame of thin (solid) welded bar. These have no hollow components or large, flat areas to reflect/transmit vibration and would seem to mirror the Rega approach in being light and open and rigid. (They also allow the bottom panel of the speaker cabinet to send vibration into the air rather than into the stand's structure because of having no top-plate.)

*I wish Rega had provided for fine adjustment of levelling on their wall support.
 

AEJim

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2008
72
6
18,545
Don't presume all speaker manufacturers put no effort into their stands.

The stand we offered with our AE1mkIII's was admittedly purchased from an existing stand manufacturer was of the extremely mass-heavy variety. It worked well with that speaker which also used mass in the form of steel plates to dampen vibration, judging by the universally glowing reviews the speaker recieved (and the fact some reviewers even now own pairs ;)) that approach worked pretty well.

We don't like using other people's designs though and for the new Reference series developed our own stand from scratch which uses a compressed rubber/MDF laminate layer construction. This underwent extensive developement and comparison with not just our own stands (the original AE1 stand as well as the mkIII variety) but with the top models from other bespoke stand manufacturers as well. We are gradually moving away from the mass-heavy approach as it does impede the "life" of the speaker to a degree, instead working on damping through the materials used in the construction itself.

The Reference stand has three vertical strips of very carefully selected rubber of a specific density running its entire height. This reduces the bass-to-top-plate vibration almost entirely - which we found to be the most intrusive aspect of a stand's performance in testing. Even the top-plate itself is a certain size/overhang and shape which we found to work better than smaller/larger alternatives when testing. We supply rubber pads rather than spikes and again these were selected to be specifically the right density to perform well with the stand/speaker combination - better than spikes or blu-tac with the added advantage of not marking the speaker (their inate grip also holds the speaker in place at a steeper angle than spikes manage, reducing chances of damage should they be accidentally bumped!). We're so convinced by how well these work we now supply them with all new models of speaker as a matter of course.

I don't mean this to sound like a sales pitch and I'm sure no-one will be purchasing our stands in isolation without the speakers anyway, I'd just like to point out that they weren't thrown together just to "look pretty" with the speakers, a lot of effort went into their design.
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
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I like the sound of your approach 'AEJim' . . . my work started over 30 years ago on my kitchen table, my long suffering wife putting up with various concoctions all over her lovely kitchen work tops . . . Sadly she died in 95 . . . I have don nothing in the way of stand design or hifi since. I am looking at isolating my Rega P5 from the structures around, one is looking at laminated glass sitting on a felt cloth as an isolating interface . . . not a dissimilar approach to your rubber lamentations, size of the glass top may also be critical, the adjustment of which is made easy, as Rega use a small three point footprint.

Its good to hear someone is actually thinking about what they are doing, a value for money approach . . . more power to your elbow.

CJSF
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
251
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chebby said:
CJSF said:
. . . I bow to Rega, have just purchased a Rega P5, picked it up yesterday. I will be spending today setting its position up in my room according to 'light and isolated is best' . . .
Yes, Roy Gandy has always been an advocate of light, rigid, open supports that 'earth' mechanical vibration through the shortest possible path to floor or wall with the fewest joins.
The other way of looking at this 'chebby', bring the wall/floor closer to the item . . . ie, 'put the item on a mass loaded support', or even mass load the item its-self as seen on some good TT's these days (Townsend Rock was the first, superb TT) and a few speakers appear to have this approach.

'Proper speaker cabinets' were something I was working on in the 90's, Celestions light metal honeycomb and Wharfedales foam cabinets only addressed half the problems of a cabinet under stress, I worked with both companies in those days. As is the case with this subject, light does compliment heavy, its a juggling act. We did mass loading, but the structures we loaded were essentially lightly built, it gets complicated!

CJSF
 

AEJim

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2008
72
6
18,545
CJSF said:
I like the sound of your approach 'AEJim' . . . my work started over 30 years ago on my kitchen table, my long suffering wife putting up with various concoctions all over her lovely kitchen work tops . . . Sadly she died in 95 . . . I have don nothing in the way of stand design or hifi since. I am looking at isolating my Rega P5 from the structures around, one is looking at laminated glass sitting on a felt cloth as an isolating interface . . . not a dissimilar approach to your rubber lamentations, size of the glass top may also be critical, the adjustment of which is made easy, as Rega use a small three point footprint.

Its good to hear someone is actually thinking about what they are doing, a value for money approach . . . more power to your elbow.

CJSF
Thanks CJSF, The "sandwich" method seems to be very effective - we use 5mm MDF/3mm Rubber/7mm MDF from memory (in the speakers at least).

The rubber is a pretty hard compound, early samples came in too soft and you could hear the cabinet colouration. We actually now use old prototype cabinets as our equipment racks in the office - we had some nice expensive wooden racks that are well reviewed but these cabs just sounded far better to us! Our head of R&D has a Masters in Engineering and came from suspension & engine mount design for Jaguar so knows this side of things far better than I! :)

By and large we work much like you did by the sounds of things - we're always floating ideas about in the office, mocking them up in the woodshop, if they work refining them over time until finally going to the CAD stage for production samples - very much a "garden shed" way of doing things which, in the subjective world of listening has benefits because it doesn't always work out that what looks good on computer analysis necessarily sounds better!

Sorry to hear about your wife, maybe getting back into these hobbies is a good way to focus your energies, sometimes throwing yourself into your work can take your mind off of life's troubles!

Take care,

Jim.
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
251
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Just had a look at your web site Jim, thats a fine looking stand, if the combination sounds as good as they look, then its a winner. I would have been proud to have put my name to such a good looking design.

CJSF
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
611
380
19,270
@ AEJim

Thanks very much for your contributions here; this sort of thing is what makes forums like this worth the effort of regular 'attendance' and trying to contribute where I can. As it happens I live quite near Cirencester and am often tempted to pop in to see if you have any speakers to listen to. [For those who don't know the area, the AE HQ is on quite a prominent roundabout on the 'ring road' around this beautiful Roman town.]

@ CJSF

I've enjoyed getting to know you through these pages in recent weeks, and also admire your thoughts and input here. I still have some Foundation stands which my beloeved SL600s sat on - until they were stolen in 1997. But that, as they say, is another story.

@ Cno

Thanks for getting my point about he 'system' approach, which indeed didn't mean buying everything from one souce, but seeing stand & speaker as an entity.

Generally, I note that, as an example, in PMCs new models the stands bump the larger standmount model above the price of the first floorstander, and I imagine this is not untypical these days. No wonder the tall, slim floorstanders are so dominant in 2011. I still love the classic mini-monitor speakers, such as AE's AE1 - they always seem to perform a minor miracle of weight and imaging.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I have to say the SA 1 dedicated stands are worth the money, (sorry Singslinger) for me the biggest difference was at the frequency extremes and imagery when compared the the metal foundation stands I have, much cleaner and crisper. Best thing is my other speakers love these stands too and the results are similar.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Inter_Voice said:
I have not tried SA-1's dedicated stands but I am very happy with my Atacama Nexus 6i which is many times cheaper :bounce:

( http://www.flickr.com/photos/64195350@N03/6302512089/in/photostream/ )
They look pretty nice, I bet your noticing a difference from the previous position. I just had to have the dedicated stands, (which are incredibly lightweight) aesthetics are just superb as well as the sound. I'll be looking at Atacama's for my Proacs though, that is unless any others have any suggestions.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
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Spectre: You are right. The first thing I noticed is big improvement in sound staging when compared with previois position of putting the speakers on the wall cabinet. Other than that I also noticed the bass is tighter and much more solid. The HF are very clear but no fatigue feeling. So far I am very happy with my Atacama Nexus 6i and I have no intention to change it with Spendor's dedicated stands in the future (may be there could be further slight improvement to the SQ).

For the shake of finding if the stands have any induced vibrations or resonance from SA-1 I turned the volume of my amplifier to very high level and used my hands as sensor. I could not feel any slight vibrations in the three colummns or the granite slabs underneath the speakers. However I could feel some minor vibrations on the side walls of SA-1 which I think is normal and unavoidable.
 

dannycanham

New member
May 5, 2009
20
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This is the best thread I have ever read.

I never went any further than to try to engineer stands as heavy and solid as possible. To try to make the design stage simple and bend what was really happening so that I could lump them together as part of the concrete and brick room. Trying to engineer them as part of the moving speaker system would have been way over my head.

:cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

Have SA1s on wooden stools atm as the stands are in transit. Look forward to hearing the difference they will make.

CJSF and AEJim, if only twitter was a place that interested people like you, I could listen to your comments daily.
 

FennerMachine

New member
Feb 5, 2011
83
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I use IF Designs Tallis speaker stands, apparently designed for the BBC LS3/5A speakers. Cost about £450.00 when available several years ago. I didn't pay that for them, got them at a discount from a friend who used to be a Hi-Fi dealer but packed it in years ago. Spendor's heritage stems from BBC commissioned speakers so likely have a similar quality with these stands.

My speakers, Spendor SA1's, sound so good that I have no intention of changing the stands, I see no need to do so.

But, if you have found an amazing sounding speaker stand that works for you for £100.00 why change? Unless you demo some stands and they make a noticeable difference save your money for something else. BUT, if they make a noticeable difference, what is £500.00 for the Spendor SA1 stands as a percentage of overall expenditure of your system?
 

stretchneck

New member
Jul 26, 2009
1
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I just wanted to do a quick post to say that the SA1's and the new D1's absolutely, without fail, must be on good stands. Without good stands they are no where near as good. I didn't believe the effect stands can have to start with, but having tried some £500 stands at home the subjective improvement is +20-30% in sound quality and authority (compared to mounting on a solid, very thick, oak TV cabinate).
 

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