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michael green
michael green's picture
Last seen: 3 hours 19 min ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
Michael Green's Speaker Platforms

Ever really thought about the connection between your speaker and floor.

It's highly possible that the reason you have not had success with your speakers is not necessarily the speakers fault but the way the speaker is interfaced with the rooms floor. Most speakers come with some type of stand or landing or spikes at the bottom (we gotten that far) but this is not enough to get a true interconnection between the energy in your speakers and the vibration in the floor. De-coupling is not the answer. There is no way to remove the sound of the floor but there is a way to tune the speaker to the floor.

People throw around words in this industry without thinking sometimes. Why would you for example want to decouple something from something else if the energy flow is going to end up going through that foundation anyway? Makes no sense to say I'm de-coupling a product from the floor. Your not removing the floor, at best your allowing the energy to dissipate into the floor in tune, but so much of the time the energy is entering the floor out of tune which makes the object being grounded out of tune.

I've been designing tunable speaker platforms for 25 years now and have only found 3 floors where the floor was actually in tune and the platform was not needed for the speaker. No ones perfect, but that means 99% of the floors out there with speakers sitting on them right now are causing the speaker and floor interconnection to be out of tune.

Big deal right, so it's out of tune a little. Out of tune a little as far as speakers go can mean decreasing the size of a soundstage dramatically, not allowing the drivers to co-exist in a cabinet or even change the dynamic range so much that whole parts of the perfromance sounds flat and lifeless.

When we took our platforms on tour in Nashville we set up one night at one of the rows popular night spots. The complaint was the bass was always muddy in the hall and almost not even there by the time you got to the back of the 135 foot long room. Sammy Kershaw's bass player assisted me as we put the bass amp on the platform, "sounds like a bass solo" was the comment of the house engineer afterword. We then put the other speaker components on theirs and the sound was "clear as a bell, I'm able to hear every note".

Speaker platforms are one of the biggest missing links in the high end audio industry today. There are huge tonal shifts that take place when a speaker is moved from the speaker designers facility to the end users home. Part of this is the acoustics but another is that the speakers are not able to form the same full range signatures designed into them. Many clients sit there disatisfied not realizing that the speaker is wanting to perform but not able to because an in-tune connection has not been made.

If your speaker is cold sounding, or the music is stuck in the speaker, or if you get a weird U shape stage in your room, or your sitting there saying "something is not quite right" one of the problems could be that your speakers are in need of a speaker platform.

michael green
michael green's picture
Last seen: 3 hours 19 min ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
so I got an email

Hi Listeners

So I got an email asking me what was up, why am I saying "de-coupling" is wrong, and how can you tell if something is coupled or not?

let me start with this for those who don't know me

What I do is studied the audio industry and find what works and what doesn't in an effort to find what works for any individual who has an audio question or problem.  Ever since RoomTune came out I've had the chance to work with tons of listeners in a way that has been different from when I did pro sound or even having my audio stores. The audiophile world has our own little ways and sometimes departs from the outside way of thinking. Not sure why that is with the exception that there is a high mix of engineer thinkers thrown in with listeners who are more artistic. Believe it or not this does play into this posts direction. Here's why. The music industry is all about being variable in the creation of sound. Every musician knows that you must start with tuning the instruments together. Notes are only part of it and they are far different from frequencies. The other side of this is the engineer designer who is making the products used to record or playback the music created. Many of these folks come from a particular schooling of how sound works. We study the formulas and technical side of current and circuitry and how they work together. It's a value and numbers game, this plus this equals that. It works well on paper and we wouldn't have electronics without. The interesting part now comes into play because taking something from paper and turning it into actual sound is doable on a simple level, but turning what is on paper to a series of musical notes and the interaction of these notes takes a precision and as good as materials are that make the parts that carry our formulas they get affected by not only the nature of the material, but also by nature itself. The engineer sits there and says this does that on paper but the parts that are actually doing the passing of signal are in forever change mode. This variable and the variable of conditions is something that for years was marginalized. That's where people like me come in.  We're the guys looking at what the engineers are saying it should do and listen to what it is really doing. I don't have the luxury of pretending that the numbers match up to the sound. Sticking a microphone infront of a speaker only does me service if I take that microphone and move it over every square inch of that room and make sure that my testing equipment has an exact calibration of what my reference is and if my room is one hundred percent neutral. Then I have to take into account that the electricity driving my test equipment is vibrating and affecting my digital signal traveling along an analog pathway.  That's just my test equipment, I'm playing an audio system that has a main function of vibrating. Every part in that audio pathway must vibrate to pass a signal, that's what signal is "vibration". So to keep the audio signal from changing (distorting) I can't have too much or too little vibration varity that takes away from the natural function of every mechanical conduit along the audio pathway including the air making the sound waves. This makes things interesting. I can't hold the parts still cause some of the information stops vibrating and I lose signal. If things vibrate too much distortion comes from extra vibratory energy conflicting with the orginal signal.

How do I judge how much is too much or too little?

The only real way to do this is to do a recording and play that recording till I get the parts to vibrate close enough to reproduce in my playback room what happened in the recording room. The most fun this boy ever had!  A true audiophile experience. First time I did this my biggest finding was that the parts in the audio chain can and should vibrate a lot more than I thought. The more mass I removed from the parts and from what the parts were touching the more sound of the original I was getting in the playback room. Eyes wide open I found myself stripping away at so much of the products that very little remained. I won't go on right now but the wakeup call was loud and clear. I also found that when you go too far in the vibration direction that all you had to do was tune in the extra energy and there it was, the whole picture, I guess my absolute sound. This was a major departure from what high end audio was building and to be honest I really didn't know what to do or say while testing everything I could get my hands on finding that the results were pretty much across the board, not only with me but the other folks who got turned on to tuning.

The more I practiced this method of listening the easier it was to even pick a recording off the shelf and tune it in.  Which was another eye opener. I went back through and picked up recordings that music reviews said were horrible and tuned them into masterpieces. I didn't do anything of course but let them play more intune. Now the question that I never thought I would have to ask was, what does the audio industry do with this?

At first I started to just setup what people had but as the situations got deeper and people wanted to go further I became all consumed and I took each system and setup personal. This brought me to an interesting place as I was no longer doing plug and play but now more filling in the gaps between the plug and play.  Basically here's the deal. I walk into someones home and they put on a piece of music and start to tell me what they think about it. Here are the things they like and the things they don't. I usually get the story that they have spent all the money in the world and some setups do this for them and others do that, and it would be nice to have a one size fits all system.  Many times they want that system but are afraid to lose touch with a hobby that is all about collecting equipment and climbing a ladder. And can you blame someone, it's a pretty cool hobby both entertainment wise and visual. So for me I started sticking with those that wanted to go further in the hopes that the industry would turn onto this like they did RoomTuning. Well, it's a big wheel I guess but one explorer at a time. BTW I'm not saying stuff is bad, I'm saying there's yet another step or two before we get our wishes to come true. Hey, we've come a long way to get the room finally noticed as a component. Hats off to Stereophile by spending more time on this.

Now back to the question of coupling. The truth is there is no de-coupling only interaction. I hope that the folks who use this term kinda bend it a little cause they are really not separating things from each other cause gravity doesn't really work that way and neither do electrons and the rest of the material family members. In the sound world you can do a few things. You can absorb, reflect or transfer. Absorbing is obviously losing signal if the absorption is in the same path of a direct vibration. Reflection comes back into the audio source and causes distortion. Transfer however is allowing the vibration to stay intact and if controlled correctly and in tune can allow signal to amplify without the  interfearence of too much or too little. All of your audio parts vibrate and are highly tunable. Once you start finding how tunable your going to be very surprised to see how much more music is availible to listen to. It's not really my job to tell someone how much or how little but more I feel offer the whole range and let you play. My main point is there is more music than you think and many times when you feel stuck in your setup or sound it's because you have things shutdown and squeezed.


As I said in an earlier post your not getting rid of your floor, That floor is either going to eat up your speakers energy or reflect back up into your speaker or transfer in tune and dissipate naturally. Your speaker is a lot more adaptable to your room than you think , and you are not limited to moving them around. Did your speakers sound different when you put them up on cones or spikes or some other foot?  Well that's what I'm saying. The industry has a hole here and I think that speaker platforms are going to become a must have. They're going to make speaker companies a lot happier and you. Many are blaming their speakers right now and it's really only because they haven't been given a good sounding place to sit.

michael green


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