There are many kinds of speakers available and many different ways to install them: on the floor, in the walls or ceiling, or on bookshelves or other furniture. A person who owns a Hi-Fi system with bookshelf speakers sooner or later considers the option of mounting his speakers on special stands. Standmount Hi-Fi speakers offer superior sound quality when compared to floorstanding speakers. This is because rather than sitting on the floor, a standmount speaker sits on a solid base. Off the floor, the speakers are not subject to unwanted vibrations that can affect sound quality. This configuration also greatly improves the look of a Hi-Fi system. The audiophile can buy speaker stands in brick-and-mortar stores, but there is always a greater choice available online, especially on eBay. There are all kinds of different factors to consider when looking for the best speaker stands for one's speakers. The buyer needs to consider the different types of speakers, as well as how size, weight, and placement of the speakers affects sound quality.
Speakers and Drivers
A speaker or driver is a device that can transform an electrical audio signal input to sound. A speaker consists of a lightweight dome or cone-shaped diaphragm and an electromagnet that is attached to the middle of the diaphragm. The electromagnet is placed in a magnetic field. When it receives the variable electric signal it moves back and forth causing the diaphragm to vibrate, creating sound. There are full range speakers with a single driver that covers a broad frequency spectrum, but most Hi-Fi speakers consist of different drivers, each outputting a part of the frequency spectrum. So, a driver refers to the device that turns the electric input into sound, while a speaker is the complete box that can be plugged into the amplifier and can consist of more than one driver.
Full range or wide range speakers utilise a single driver that can produce a very wide frequency spectrum. As the audible frequency range of the human ear is between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz, this is the frequency range a full range speaker must cover. Full range speakers are the speakers of choice for radio and TV receivers, intercoms, some computers speakers, and public address systems, but high-end wide-range speakers are also used in Hi-Fi systems. As a matter of fact there is an ongoing debate between audiophile fans and critics of full range speakers. Advocates of full range speakers claim that they produce coherent sound and avoid interference between different drivers, while critics claim that their limited frequency response is a limiting factor for their performance.
A subwoofer is usually also a single-driver loudspeaker. It is used to reproduce ultra low bass sound, below 200 Hz or even below 100 Hz. A subwoofer has a solid construction and is usually heavy, as the sound produced makes the speaker, and sometimes the whole room, vibrate with bass.
Multi-driver speakers usually combine two or three different drivers to reproduce the full range of sound frequencies. Most multi-driver speakers are three-way, meaning they consist of a woofer, a mid-range driver, and a tweeter. Two-way speakers only have a woofer and a tweeter.
A woofer is the driver that reproduces the lower frequencies in multiple driver speakers. A good woofer can eliminate the need for a subwoofer. Mid-range drivers reproduce the middle frequencies, while tweeters handle the high frequencies.
General Tips on Hi-Fi Speakers
When buying a set of Hi-Fi speakers, a general rule of thumb is that the speakers should approximate the amplifier in terms of price. It is also important to keep in mind that each speaker has its own unique sound colour and that tastes differ. For this reason it is good advice for a buyer to visit some brick-and-mortar shops and listen to different combinations of amplifiers and speakers to determine what kind of sound he prefers.
There are many different types of speakers, They differ according to their design, function, size and placement. There are floorstanding speakers, in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, bookshelf speakers and satellite speakers. Bookshelf and satellite speakers are very often mounted on a stands. A speaker stand basically consists of a top base and a bottom base, connected by a tube. Stands can be made of many different materials, but they are usually made of some kind of metal. Metal tubing has the advantage of being heavy, sturdy, and easy to manufacture in different sizes and configurations.
The Advantages of Standmount Speakers
Mounting speakers on a stand offers several advantages. These are related to the sound quality, and appearance.
A good speaker stand can improve the quality of the sound produced by a speaker. It provides a solid base for the speaker, in contrast to bookshelves, tables, chairs, or other places where a speaker might be placed. This way vibrations and resonance are eliminated. This is particularly important for the bass sounds that can actually make a speaker move around on an unstable base.
Using speaker stands, the listener can adjust the height of the speakers to the best height. The best height is a quite disputable issue, but research has shown that speakers sound best when the tweeter is sitting at the same level as the listener's ears.
A very important issue with many Hi-Fi lovers is the appearance of their Hi-Fi installation. A set of sleek speaker stands can show off the latest in high-tech speakers. Of course, there are many stands to choose from. A buyer needs to choose a stand that complements the look of the speaker mounted on it.
Choosing the Right Stand
There are many things one should consider when choosing speaker stands. The factors include the size, height, and weight of the speakers, as well as stand placement.
Size, Weight, Height
A good speaker stand must first of all be be able to support the speaker placed upon it. Satellite speakers are small and can do with a narrow, lightweight stand, while proper speakers need something bigger and more sturdy. In any case, the top base should be wide and deep enough to properly support the speaker and the bottom base should be of sufficient weight and size to prevent the speakers from tipping over when someone bumps into the stand.
As mentioned before, sound is best perceived when the speaker's tweeter is sitting at the same height as the listener's ear. So when someone is choosing a standmount speaker, it is a good idea to measure both the height of his ear when seated and the height of the tweeter inside the speaker to determine how high the speaker stand must be. Some speaker stands are adjustable for height, but adjustable stands can be less sturdy.
Minimising Vibrations and Movement
A very important function of a speaker stand is to isolate vibrations caused by the speaker's sound waves. Most speaker stands have a special anti-slip material or a plastic or rubber pad to keep the speaker in place from moving.
Speaker stands must be properly placed to avoid accidents. First of all, the top plate should be completely level. Good speaker stands come with three or four adjustable spikes attached to the base that can be adjusted to level the plate. The spikes can also be used to anchor the base to the floor. If the speaker stands are placed on a carpet, the spikes can pierce through the carpet to provide a solid grip. If placed on a wooden or laminate floor, there are small blocks of hardwood or special metal cups that the spikes can rest on to prevent damage to the floor. Some speaker stands, especially for larger speakers, can also be attached to the floor with bolts.
How to Buy Standmount Hi-Fi Speakers on eBay
eBay offers a wide variety of standmount Hi-Fi speakers. To find what you are looking for, just go to the eBay homepage, type 'Standmount Hi-Fi speakers' into the search box and click on 'Search'. You will then see a list of results matching your query. You can either browse through the list or refine your search further by using criteria such as brand, condition, inputs, connectivity, price range, and more. Of course, if you know what you are looking for you can also start with a more detailed search such as 'used KEF standmount Hi-Fi speakers'.
When you have found the speakers you are looking for, it is always a good idea to check out all the item pictures, as well as the payment and postage details. If you have any questions, you can contact the seller directly. To do this, just go to the seller's profile page and click on the contact link.
When shopping for standmount Hi-Fi speakers, either online or in brick-and-mortar shops, it is a good idea to do some research. Choosing the correct set of speakers can have a great influence on the sound quality. Whether the buyer is looking for wide-range or multiple driver speakers, the proper stand can help bring out the best in every speaker. The ideal speaker base is stiff, sturdy, and heavy enough to provide both a safe place for the speakers to stand and a way of isolating vibrations. An additional aspect is the appearance. A nice, well-designed speaker base chosen to blend harmonically with the speakers and the decor enhances the look of any Hi-Fi system. When installing standmount speakers, it is important to make sure that the stands are level and stand firmly on the ground to prevent any accidents. To get the best perception of sound, the standmount speakers should be at such a height that the speaker tweeter drivers are on the same level as the listener's ears. Audiophiles will find a huge selection of standmount and other Hi-Fi separates on eBay.