A Spiky Issue

Spikes are a source of contention among audiophiles, it would seem a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. They do however serve a purpose, so just in case you’re on the fence, here’s the what, why and how of spikes.

Spikes or cones

Spikes which fit into the base of floorstanding loudspeaker provide stability for the speaker while allowing you to level it on a carpeted surface. These long thin spikes are commonly known as carpet spikes and are built to drive through the weave of the carpet and make contact with the solid floor underneath.

Standmount and bookshelf speakers don’t have spikes like floorstanding speakers. For optimum performance, we recommend you put your standmount speaker on a stand. The stand will come with the appropriate fixings or you can use pressure sensitive putty to provide a good solid coupling complementing the provided acoustic carpet spikes (as seen on our FS6 and FS8 stands).

If you plan to use your speakers in a bookshelf scenario (on furniture or on a shelf for example) there is help here as well. Your speakers come with self-adhesive, bump-on feet that go between the speaker and the furnished surface. This prevents unwanted vibration from the furniture and surrounding ornaments while protecting both the furniture and speaker finishes.

However, for the eagle-eyed reader amongst us, you may notice that our F1-10S or F1-12S  come with floor coupling spikes which are more cone shaped than the carpet spikes, but in essence, they perform the same job.

Comparison of F700 and F1 spikes

How they work

You might ask, what the science is behind spikes. Well, our crack team of white coated lab boffins concluded that spikes are designed to reduce the point of contact between the speaker cabinet and the floor. This reduces the contact area, minimising vibration interference which allows cabinet vibration to be dissipated away into the floor. And, as the cabinet is stable, the minute movements of the tweeter dome are not corrupted.

Great! So, what does that mean for sound? Well, minimising those vibrations helps deliver a better more controlled bass, while controlling the stability helps brings a greater detail and stereo imaging.

Ah, I hear you cry, but don’t you know spikes are a pain in the bottom to adjust?! Fear not, our clever engineers have been beavering away and have devised a top adjusting spike used on our F500 Series and up. Using the supplied adjustment tool, this nifty little feature means you can stabilise and level your speaker with ease without the need for you to sign up to an expensive local gym membership beforehand.

But what are the cups for?

We know that there’s a very high possibility you won’t want to damage that very expensive hardwood flooring you have just invested in, so in such instances, we would suggest using the supplied cups underneath the spikes. This will help keep the contact point to a minimum and avoid scratching up that floor like a cat chasing a laser !

spike cups F702

My subwoofer has feet not spikes?

If you have a subwoofer to complement your Hi-Fi system or perhaps you have invested in an AV setup, you may have noticed, your subwoofer uses large compliant feet instead of sharp spikes. After many sleepless nights, our lab coated friends decided that subwoofers only produce very low frequencies and so for that reason rubber isolation feet (as seen on our F3 Subwoofer series) are preferred to soak up vibration, rather than allow it to be transmitted to the floor.

subwoofer feet

Put a spike in it

So, there you have it, straight from our good Dr’s lab, the reason all our floorstanding models have spikes. Hopefully this has helped you understand their worth in balancing and reducing vibrations. If you need further information on how to fit them it can be found in the manual of each product handily located in the product support section.

Now that your speakers have a sound footing, crank the tunes up and enjoy.

Happy listening.

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