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demasoni
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custom speaker stands from a welder?

Anyone hire a welder to make speaker stands for them?

I am considering this route because shipping to HI is so expensive if I buy nice stands from the mainland.

I figure I can give the dimensions of the top/bottom plates and some kind of column (box or circular) to a welder and have them craft it. I will probably also ask for a hole to be cut out in the rear of column to fill with sand for added mass. Then I will spray paint the stands black.

Should the top plate dimensions be larger than the speaker dimensions, less, or fit the speaker exactly?

Thanks for any input!

linden518
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Re: custom speaker stands from a welder?

Hi, demasoni. First of all, what speakers do you have? Second of all, make sure the welder that you're going through is VERY knowledgeable about audio & hi-fi. At the very least, make sure he doesn't use ferrous metal for stands.

Also - you should think about whether or not metal stands are the best for your speakers. In my short experience, and from other people who are more savvy about these things than me, I've learned that even some legitimate metal stands can ring slightly, even after mass-loading them w/ sand, etc. One easy way to circumvent this issue is wood stands (I have Skylans for my speakers... made of MDF, but w/ hollow columns for mass-loading.) I've no doubt that many people here have good results w/ quality metal stands, but if you're having the stands custom-built by someone who is not an audio equipment specialist, chances are you will worry less about ringing by going w/ wood stands than with metal ones.

And if you're custom-making the stands, they should fit your speakers exactly.

dbowker
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Re: custom speaker stands from a welder?

It's not that the MDF or wood stands aren't a good idea, but they can be tricky too, and cost more in time and craft than a decent steel set.

Personally I don't think I'd be that concerned about the "ringing issue" esp. if you can fill them with sand. Use Blu-Tak (putty) to affix the speakers to the top and maybe some hard rubber feet on the bottom and you should be good to go. The other thing you could do is paint them with spray on "electrical" paint, which is basically a rubber coating. That would tame resonance. But seriously almost ALL stands are steel. Ideally you'd have your welder do four posts (maybe 1 1/2-2" square pipe that's at least an 1/8" thick) instead of just the center post. You could have him fill them with sand before he welds them to the second plate.

Take a look at the Sound Anchor stands- they are pretty much the best around. Maybe you could print out some of their web pages and show him what you're looking for. Here's a link. http://store.acousticsounds.com/browse_detail.cfm?Title_ID=16009

Good luck!

KBK
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Re: custom speaker stands from a welder?

My dad is a world class, top of his field union welder.

He made me a set of custom stands once.

top quality trailer axles (top grade steel he had 'sitting around') for the main pillar. The kind of axles used to move mobile homes and such around. Seriously built stuff. Then, 3/8th's plate steel for the top and bottoms. Filled and welded shut with dried and cleaned playground sand, that had been on a shaker (inside the post) for a day, each stand.

Easily over 100 lbs each. Holy smokes. Great stands. So solid, you'd end up with bruises and damage each time you tried to move them. One generally had to get right over them to shift them about. That kind of mass.

dbowker
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Re: custom speaker stands from a welder?

I love over built stuff that's almost for free! That's what DIY projects are all about!

demasoni
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Re: custom speaker stands from a welder?

Thanks for all the info guys.

I actually haven't bought any speakers yet! Was thinking of picking up a pair of Totem Rainmakers from Audiogon.

If the cost of hiring a welder to make stands outweighs buying ready-made stands inc shipping, then I may just may bite the bullet and order stands. I just don't like the idea of buying monitors then having to buy stands whose combined price is the same as floorstanders!

This is especially true I think with the Totem line if you compare the prices of used Arros or Sttafs with a pair of used Rainmakers plus stands.

linden518
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Re: custom speaker stands from a welder?

Okay... I don't know how it is in Hawaii, but I feel like having custom stands made by a welder, if he is not your friend, will cost more than just purchasing from the mainland. Plus, let's say you show him some examples of great metal stands, like Sound Anchors. He'll see how much they cost, too, and perhaps charge you near that cost (if not more), in which case, you're better going w/ Sound Anchors - which are very expensive. Even pricier than the MDF Skylans.

If you're interested in Skylans, which are very well regarded, go to skylanstands.com and get the phone # & call. Noel, who hand-builds the stands, will answer. If you explain to him your situation, and the cost of shipping, I bet you he will listen and, who knows, he might give you a break on shipping. He's really fun to talk to, and full of common-sensical audio wisdom.

I haven't heard Sound Anchors myself, but I've a friend who's an engineer & a discerning audiophile who home auditioned Sound Anchors with his Spendor SP 2/3es. Could not stand them, heard ringing. They went out the door quickly & in came Tyler wood stands, and he's very happy with them. I know that a lot of Harbeths (my speakers) used to be showcased on Sound Anchors, but to the best of my knowledge, the Harbeth designer Alan Shaw is an advocate of wood stands for the same reason: minimization of ringing. He recommends Skylans, for sure, but also - incredibly - $15 Ikea wooden side tables called Lacks, which used to fit HL5s to perfection, until they changed the dimensions. Then Shaw stopped recommending those Ikea tables. I actually did have the Harbeths on Ikea wooden chairs for a while. I swear, the sound wasn't too bad!

BillB
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Re: custom speaker stands from a welder?

Working w/ a welder sounds like a smart idea. I would suggest doing a sketch, and see what he suggests - if you specify too much (regarding details of thickness, metal type, etc), then you start narrowing his options, and therefore increasing the probable price.

I bet you can get a good set for less than you would pay for mainland retail + shipping.

If it were me, I'd rather not have the sand welded inside; one might want to change or add material later. YMMV.

I have Sound Anchor stands for my Vandersteens, that were "mass" produced but made just for that model of V'steen, I'm pretty sure. They are square section steel, filled completely with some damping material - not sand, or shot, it's like an injected hard foam or something. They are dead as a doornail, no ringing at all. Since the V'steens are fairly tall, the stands are short - that helps too.

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