Introduction: Spike Your Speakers

Picture of Spike Your Speakers


Adding spikes to the bottom of your speaker cabinets can be a very economical way to improve their sound by isolating them from the surface they are resting on.  In my case, the floor of my apartment.  This modification was done primarily for the benefit of my downstairs neighbors, because I like to play bass heavy music and getting the speakers up on spikes will reduce the amount of bass transmitted through the floor.

That's the idea, anyways.

Careful if you just have hardwood floors.  If you support heavy speakers this way, they will dig right into the wood.  You can be creative with protecting hardwood floors.  One common method is to put pennies under the spikes.  It is also common to see spike sets sold with small platforms for this purpose.

Here is a lengthy article
on what may or may not happen when using speaker spikes. 

noahw also has a short write up on this subject on his instructable.

Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List



Required


Speaker spike sets, I got the cheapest ones I could find since I didn't pay anything for the speakers and this isn't audiophile gear.

You can get pretty fancy ones if your gear warrants.

Drill

Hammer or Allen Wrench depending on the design

Optional

Adhesive  -  A couple reviews at Parts Express recommended using an adhesive like Liquid Nails to improve the seal of the threaded inserts.  I picked up something called Seal-All at the hardware store, but any decent glue should do the trick.

Vacuum Cleaner to suck up saw dust (for the carpeted apartment hobbyists out there).

Step 2: Measure & Drill Holes

Picture of Measure & Drill Holes


Important
: if your speakers are made out of a Press Board/MDF material that isn't a solid wood, first try a 1/16" smaller drill bit than the one recommended (It's good to try it on a scrap piece of material first, if possible).  For these, I followed the advice of the reviewers on Parts Express and used a 5/16" bit instead of the 3/8" recommended.  This is because MDF style material can shred up pretty easily and it helps to get a tighter fit if you use a smaller hole.

I took the time to pull out my woofer and make sure there wasn't anything that I might drill into and to judge the thickness of the material at the base of my speakers.  I take no responsibility for damage to your speakers If your speakers are sealed and you can't easily see inside them to make sure you won't hit something with the drill.

Find some decent tool for making consistently spaced mounting holes, I used a square, but this isn't too crucial.

Drill down to the estimated depth of your inserts, plus a little more if you want to have your spikes go further in than your insert (again, depending on what your spike design is).

Step 3: Insert the Inserts

Picture of Insert the Inserts


Apply your chosen adhesive to the outside of the Insert Nuts and slowly, carefully screw them in with the Allen Wrench so that they go in straight and even.  It can be frustrating if you accidentally pull them out or push them diagonally, tearing the speaker cabinet material, so don't rush.

Step 4: Add the Spikes

Picture of Add the Spikes


If you did use some kind of adhesive to seal the nuts inside the cabinet, then give it a few hours to a day to properly dry and form a bond.

Try to keep them level and to get the tweeter as close to ear height as possible for the best sound reproduction.

Enjoy your newly floating speakers!

Don't forget to rate this instructable on the right side, there.  Let me know what you think!

Comments

ASCAS (author)2012-01-22

Spikes are only good for carpeted floors.

curious youth (author)ASCAS2012-04-25

false. read what he says about protecting hardwood or other flooring. i have many applications (not on carpets) where sound is better reproduced with the speaker on the spikes

ASCAS (author)curious youth2012-04-25

Ohh, sorry, I didn't know that.

biolethal (author)2011-07-03

wait... spikes would do the opposite of isolating the speakers. im no audio expert, but using simple physics, i can tell you that they are actually not helping isolate your speakers, but are probably anchoring your speakers to the ground more. since dry friction is a function of mass, gravity and the roughness of the area in contact, and not of surface area, theoretically you would not have a decrease in friction between the floor and the speaker if the point of the spikes is to isolate the speakers by using the false concept of less surface area = less friction = isolation. in fact, because the spikes will slightly dig into any surface that is softer than them, that would increase the friction of the speakers to the floor, and effectively anchor them, which could also be desirable. no hatin' or offense intended. great instructable!

mettaurlover (author)biolethal2012-01-14

And yet audio experts disagree. I wonder why...

biolethal (author)mettaurlover2012-01-14

I think it all goes back to "I think it sounds better, because i did something to it"(placebo effect) audio has become so advanced nowadays, that the individual differences that such changes may make are so minute that the human ear cannot possibly tell the difference. Air humidity or temperature probably makes much more of an impact than if speakers have spikes or not, unless your speakers are sliding around while they play...

mettaurlover (author)biolethal2012-01-14

Assuming a solid surface, a tiny point of contact is going to transfer MUCH less sound than having the entire base touching it. That's why speakers have large surface area, instead of having just the actuator.

biolethal (author)mettaurlover2012-01-14

two things:

speakers need to have a large surface area because air is not solid, so they need to contact as much of it as possible to achieve the desired amount of air movement. however, you don't need a large point of contact to move a solid mass. try pushing air with the tip of your finger. wasn't very effective, was it? now try pushing a solid object, like your mouse, with the tip of your finger. worked, didn't it? that proves that you don't need a large point of contact to transfer movement, or in your case, sound, through a solid object.

second, assuming the spikes do not slide around on the ground, and assuming their elasticity is negligible, you have no effect on speaker movement in relation to the ground. the speaker cone travels parallel to the plane of the ground, so any third-law forces it would produce (the forces that would move the speaker) will be in the exact opposite direction, parallel to the plane of the ground. so the speaker will not vibrate up and down, only forwards and backwards, transferring sound not up and down, but forwards and backwards. put your spiked speakers on a hardwood floor, with pennies under the spikes, and try pushing it. now take the same speaker, without spikes, and try pushing it. it takes the same force to push the speaker. so the speaker would move exactly the way it did before.

power (author)2010-02-11

 lol you should try to repair that dustcap
and I've added some spikes for my speaker,sounded the same but with less complains from my dad :D

5 stars

The nerdling (author)power2010-12-02

one way to fix it is to get a small screw driver and poking a hole at the back ang using a pen poke it out from behind

Syncubus (author)The nerdling2011-07-01

Seems you might be able to pull it out with a vacuum cleaner hose? Is it too fragile for that?

schumi23 (author)Syncubus2011-12-09

o had a speaker cone with the same problem, and managed to mostly get it out with a dab of hot glue, quickly grab a piece out (ok, its hot, deal with it(its not really hot enough to burn you...) then let it dry for 30 seconds or so, then pull it off, it should work... it did for me.
ps: Why is my firefox spell check putting itself on french by default?

bowmaster (author)2011-10-09

The problem with this is, I listen to so much dubstep the spikes would vibrate themselves into the floor.

Justinph5 (author)2010-01-13

 Your first article suggests using pennies under the spikes for hardwood floors. You could suggest that to people with hardwood floors, so they won't get scratched.

teeps (author)Justinph52010-01-13

Thanks, I will add that.  Pennies are one option.  Many spikes are sold with small platforms as well.

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