Speaker Spikes and Cones – What’s the point?

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
In recent years it has become common for items of audio equipment to be mounted using “spikes” or “cones”. These come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials, at all kinds of prices. The Hi-Fi magazines sometimes ‘review’ these accessories, and recommend their use. However, are they worth buying and using? In this article, we consider their use with loudspeakers, and discuss some alternatives.


Discuss "Speaker Spikes and Cones – What’s the point?" here. Read the article.
 
Dan

Dan

Senior Audioholic
I've often wondered about this "point" myself. It seems that if vibration is the issue proponents of spikes make it out to be, than perhaps a hammock like arrangement would be better. I still find it hard to believe that any of this could matter for components aside from turntables and speakers. However you find isolation material for all types of components usually at obscene prices.
 
stratman

stratman

Audioholic Ninja
There are no points or reasons to spend good money after bad.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Good ol' Admin :D

I use Auralex MoPads on my front 3 speakers. They do the trick very nicely. All of my stands have spikes on the bottom though, because of what is described in the article - without spikes, the stands just rock around on the carpet and the spikes both keep them stable and keep them exactly where I put them.
 
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stratman

stratman

Audioholic Ninja
Yes J, but you use them for the right reason. Not the garbage they spew in the audio mags.:)
 
A

AbyssalLoris

Audioholic
Thank you, seriously, for the article. I have been wondering about all these spikes. Even without thinking about it, the idea seemed a little dubious.

More importantly, it seems quite absurd to me to use spiked amplifier stands or audio racks that carry electronics.

This is not something I had really registered in my mind, until recently, when I went to this dealer to check out speakers and also looked at some AV racks they had over there. I said how I had made the mistake of buying a media cabinet (because it would not fit any AVR or amp) and he started off immediately about how this company (Quadraspire) makes good stuff and how media cabinets are bad to put electronics in. He was talking about mechanical isolation being a BIG thing in the audio world. All the while I was wondering why on earth I would need to mechanically isolate an AVR. Speakers.. maybe there is a reason. Electronics? I mean its not like they are vibrating, at least not in any significant sense. Sure, they have power sources and what not and are bound to produce some minuscule vibration as probably any electrical thing is. But its not like that can alter your audio output or interfere with your speaker's performance. Your household A/C definitely vibrates a zillion times as much. Going by this logic, all household electrical/electronic goods should be mounted on spikes! Why, maybe we should all walk around on spikes ourselves! Oh wait, is that what those spiked shoes are for? Mechanical isolation?

Not to make fun of anyone who uses those things. I'm sure no one wants to take it upon themselves to figure out if these ideas are valid or bunk, and most people would just grit their teeth and get the accessories after having paid good money for their real equipment. But it is good to hear some authoritative input.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
my understanding from what I've read

In recent years it has become common for items of audio equipment to be mounted using “spikes” or “cones”. These come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials, at all kinds of prices. The Hi-Fi magazines sometimes ‘review’ these accessories, and recommend their use. However, are they worth buying and using? In this article, we consider their use with loudspeakers, and discuss some alternatives.


Discuss "Speaker Spikes and Cones – What’s the point?" here. Read the article.
is that spikes act as a conductor of vibrations effectively coupling the speaker to the floor (given the spikes are long enough) and reducing the vibration of the speaker itself. I believe speaker manufacturers have intended this along (who would know better about vibrations than a speaker manufacturer) but for some reason, the translation got lost by the Hi_fi magazines.

I've found that the spikes supplied with the speakers I purchased help me in tilting back the speaker a bit which for my setup has improved the sound. It also keeps the speakers (floorstanders) anchored more securely to the ground making them less suspetable to be knocked over.
 
J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
I have used (the same) speakers with and without spikes, and have never heard any difference.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
On a lighter note

To me spikes on a speaker or speaker stand is analogous to women wearing high heels. Very sexalating . :p
 
Z

ZoFo

Audioholic
Mapleshade!

But do they work as good as the real "majic maple wood" blocks! Take a look at them if you want to see "isolation" taken to the very extreme, or for a good laugh!
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
I have used (the same) speakers with and without spikes, and have never heard any difference.
Maybe your are deaf? LOL:D;)
One only needs to ask a 'golden ear.':D Now, he knows, his ears are perfect, unlike us mortals and J6P. :p
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
To me spikes on a speaker or speaker stand is analogous to women wearing high heels. Very sexalating . :p
I just like very short skirts and beautiful legs :D Like the one who was almost booted off that SW airline.:p
 
Soundman

Soundman

Audioholic General
I have my Emotiva electronics on the bottom shelf of an entertainment/TV stand. I don't use any kind of isolation products, etc. I think the rubber feet on them do a fine job at keeping them secure. no rattling here. it works just fine.
 

mgrabow

Audiophyte
"Spikes" Miths and Reality

This is one of my sore points...Spikes are good for one thing and one thing only... To COUPLE the speakers to the floor. Not ISOLATE as some would advertise. Speaker Spikes COUPLE by JOINING the speaker to the floor and make the whole speaker more solid. Kind of like making a baffle out of cement or 4inches of MDF. Same idea... You are trying to make the cone be the only thing that is vibrating.

Rubber (or some poly based compound) ISOLATE. They keep your vibrating floor, equipment rack or shelf from vibrating your CD Transport or turntable. If you couple your equipment by using spikes on your CD player and slam the door... It will skip. However, they allow sound to cause the vibration of the component because the component is free floating and more likely to vibrate. But a good poly based pad under each foot will dampen the vibration. So If your floors, racks and shelves are solid, then spiked will COUPLE the equipment to the shelf, rack and floor. If your floor , rack and shelf vibrate, you may want to use some sort of poly based rubber ISOLATORS to stop the component from vibrating.

So do they work? On speakers sitting on carpet they are one of the cheapest tweeks to make your system sound better. On the components, you may need to evaluate your environment. Possibly a high end enclosed rack coupled to the floor with the components inside on rubber pads will make the best difference.

Here ends my rant...
 
J

Joe Schmoe

Audioholic Ninja
My new Mirages are very tall compared to their width. Without the spikes, they would fall over on carpet.
 
highfihoney

highfihoney

Audioholic Samurai
A few months late i see but what the hey,i dont use spikes after i snagged a huge run in my carpet moving the speaker,plus mine are heavy enough that i could fall into one & it wouldnt move.
 
ParadigmDawg

ParadigmDawg

Audioholic Overlord
I used spike at first and placed them on pennies so they wouldnt pierce my hardwoods. Moving the speakers around was a nightmare so I removed the spikes and placeed some rubber stickies from Home Depot on them.
A few months late i see but what the hey,i dont use spikes after i snagged a huge run in my carpet moving the speaker,plus mine are heavy enough that i could fall into one & it wouldnt move.
 
Soundman

Soundman

Audioholic General
I used spike at first and placed them on pennies so they wouldnt pierce my hardwoods. Moving the speakers around was a nightmare so I removed the spikes and placeed some rubber stickies from Home Depot on them.
That's an interesting idea. I never thought of that. :)
 

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