I will offer a short snippet of my experience with speaker
stands first. About
7 years ago I had my first good pair of speakers. They were B&W DM602S1's.
They were and are a very decent commercial speaker for a modest financial
expense. After having the speakers for a few months I decided to build
some decent stands for them. I welded the stands out of very heavy steel.
Upon completion each of the stands weighed about 50lbs. They had a 1"
thick base plate that comprised most of the weight and a fairly solid pipe and
pedestal too. They were intended to be child proof, and indeed they are.
Initially I put some rubber pads on the upper pedestal to occupy
the space between the speaker and the stand. At this point I really didn't
notice any serious improvement over having the speakers sitting on chairs in my
living room. My wife did like the improvement in aesthetics, but that was
about the only improvement.
After a few months I decided to really splurge and purchase some
spikes! The cost about $15. I tapped the spikes into the top of the
metal upper pedestal of the stand, and put the 602's on the spikes. Upon
return to my listening chair I was astounded at the improvement the spikes made.
The bass was tighter, the midrange was clearer, the imaging was better. It
was incredible! I thought folks should be arrested for NOT using spikes on
their speakers stands. The improvement was fabulous!
I still have those same heavy stands and still use the same
spikes with the 1801s. For a/b comparison I put a board on top of those
spikes to nullify the coupling effect. I have found that with a
solid/heavy speaker cabinet the effect of the solid/heavy stand is nullified.
I hear no difference with the 1801 on spikes or a wood pedestal. Actually
a bar-stool works just fine. This might seem strange, but there is good
explanation for this.
The goal of any
stand/cabinet combination is to control the vibration related movement of the
speaker. Commercial cabinets in the sane price range are incredibly wimpy
when compared to a good DIY cabinet. Commercial cabinets have very
think cabinet walls and are very light. The 1801 weights about 35lbs,
and really isn't anything special for a DIY cabinet. However, when
compared to a commercial cabinet the mass and strength IS considerable.
The B&W 602 speaker is/was about the same size and weighed about 21lbs.
Given similar weight drivers, the 602 cabinet is roughly 1/2 the mass of the
1801 cabinet. I believe the size and strength of the 1801 cabinet explains
the null effect of a very solid stand on the 1801. What follows is a
simple recipe for constructing a fairly solid speaker stand. This stand is
borderline overkill, but isn't arduous to construct like my 50lb welded steel stand.