sand versus shot in speaker stands

recently purchased monitors and stand for bedroom and do not know if i should fill stand or not. if the stands should be filled what material should be used. i always read about stands being sand or shot ready, but i must admit i do not know what is meant by shot and where one goes to by shot.

thanks in advance for the help
Shot is lead used for shotgun loads. Unsafe but very heavy when compared to sand. Weight in the stands will make the driver less prone to movement resulting from the drivers working canceling out the sound. Should tighten everything from the top to bottom end. That being said your speakers should sound more 'forward' but improved. At least thats what I've experienced.
Yes, lead is heavier, but you really don't want to be handling it and creating lots of lead dust and then having it around to become a problem down the line. When you weigh the safety, sand is plenty heavy enough.
I've never dealt with commercial stands. The set I made many years ago, before I was even aware of hi-end were filled with Sackrete.
Could you still use lead shot if at the same time you mixed in some expanding foam? That'd seal in the lead at the same time as providing additional damping.
Careful of the ratio, so you don't get a geyser of foam.
Do a search there used to be a product that was similar to lead and made for filling speaker stands. It was odd shapes and claimed to have the ability to interlock and pack as a more dense mass. Maybe someone like Musicdirect, etc would have a clue. Or maybe someone here will know what I am talking about...I rarely do..
I found sand impossible to work with. Any moisture in the air made it clump up and difficult to pour. I went with cat litter, which works well, IMO and is very easy to work with. BTW both Skylan and Totem recommend this product, so I'm not alone in this.

You are correct. There is a compnay called Atacama that sells a product called ATABITES.

"High density filler designed for mass loading of speaker stands. Delta shaped chips which interlock together creating minimum air gaps."
You could always look for a well drilling supply place and get colorado silica sand of a given size range. You can get aquarium size sand in a sack, and it will not hold moisture and clump.
You can get clean dry sand from most hardware stores in a day or two. Just ask for a bag of Playground sand. I think it was 70lb at least 50lb and very inexpensive
sonically, lead is best. I have two sets of Chicago stands, spiked on the bottom and top and they work fine. Lead can be safely handled and on the Chicago stands it was easy to seal the tops so no dust could escape.
Find a store near you that sells sand blasting shot. Make sure that is the silica sand type. It is dry and will not clump. I bought a 50# bag at a local tractor supply store for $8. It is more than heavy enough and does a good job dampening resonance.
Lead (~11g/cc) is approximately seven times more dense than dry sand ((~1.6g/cc) or similar materials. Unhappily it is not environment friendly and its poisonous.
Mass is important for speaker stands and affects mainly low frequencies performance - the heavier your stand, the less it will move. Damping it will eliminate resonances that will affect mid and high frequencies and I remember reading advice from a speaker manufacturer that you should mix both to get the optimum filling, as thin sand is much more dissipative than lead.
Some years ago, as I did not want to use lead, I have used a filling of iron small parts (~7.8g/cc) and sand in my speaker stands.
But if an audiophile is really concerned with bass and ecology he can mix sand with gold (19.3g/cc) or uranium (19g/cc) to fill his stands!
Hello, we have recently received the new Lovan Black Gold High Density Speaker and Audio Stand Filler. It is very effective and easy to use. It is not dangerous as lead, it does not absorb moisture as play sand and kitty litter. It is supplied in plastic "easy to pour" jugs. It is made up of fine black silica and ferrous materials. So far, all purchasers have had positive results.
somehow, some didn't get the memo that lead is poisonous. it shouldn't be kept in the home under any conditions.
As a safer alternative, maybe look at steel or brass shot. Go to the Starsound website and look at their microbearing steel that you can purchase, or maybe go to a blasting supply for steel shot of various sizes. However, I believe the brass shot or beads are quite expensive.

Lead is known to be a poison and very dangerous because of what it does to your body and how it can rapidly accumulate and take a very long time to leave the body. It is especially hazardous to developing children.

If I were going to use lead, it would only be on a permanent installation, and not for stands that are going to be periodically taken apart or have the filling removed. I would fill the stands outside of my house and only use it in stands where the cavity filled with lead is air tight and able to be sealed, like on my sound anchor stands. I would wear gloves and an appropriate respiratory apparatus. Here is what I found posted by OSHA in response to a question about handling lead buckshot.

US Department of Labor - OSHA
You have questions regarding the handling of lead, which you described as lead balls or buckshot. We apologize for this delay in providing you with a response.

The OSHA standard which regulates exposure to lead in general industry is 29 CFR 1910.1025. This standard requires that employers ensure that the airborne levels of lead remain below the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3 as averaged over an time period. Lead becomes airborne when it is heated or abraded. It is unlikely that solid lead buckshot would produce an airborne-exposure level above the PEL or the action level of 30 µg/m3. However, it is advisable to wear gloves while handling the lead shot and to always wash your hands before eating, drinking, or smoking.
Leadheads, When you sell your speakers or stands be sure and tell potential buyers that you contaminated them with a hazardous substance.

Also note that when you remove the lead or lead/sand mix to make the items lighter for shipping the fill is a hazardous waste and must be disposed of in accordance with state and federal regulations. I worked in environmental compliance for 20 years so this is not just an opinion---it's the law.

But it is not just the disposal of lead that is a problem. The mining and smelting of lead also creates an environmental consequence. Sand is much friendlier.

Regulations have been passed to reduce or eliminate even minor amounts of lead and other toxic materials from new electronic equipment and to recover and recycle materials that have been used. I find it very sad and disturbing that anyone would still consider using lead in massive quantities for selfish purposes.
I used garden pebbles (also called beach pebbles or river pebbles). You can get many different types. You can even use Pea gravel although it needs a good washing first, but it's super cheap. anyway, you can get garden pebbles pretty cheap, and you can get mixed or quartz or whatever and you can get very small ones -- the small ones are very dense and are no mess to work with, pour easily, more desnse than kitty litter, don't retain moisture, don't make any dust.
Interesting issues regarding shot and lead. We have loaded our own shotgun shells in all 4 gauges for 60 years. 12, 20, 28, and 410. We use MEC 650 loaders, and we are competive internationally ranked skeet and trap shooters. At any given time, we have 300-500 pounds of bagged lead shot on hand, and have yet to have a 3 headed baby, nor have we glowed in the dark.
Now if I can just get rid of this nasty eye twitch...
Lead shot is just fine (the real tiny stuff from the gun store)- much better/heavier than sand in my experience. I have filled a Target stand with it, along with a pair of speaker stands- I did not have any 'dust' when I was filling mine- wore gloves while doing so; then sealed the holes with black electrical and/or duct tape- don't see how this would be a problem, as it is all inside the stand(s)...
all of lead's toxic charms are still being discovered. i do not think any manufacturers are recommending it anymore.
Would there be an issue in using lead if once installed it were potted in place using expanding foam or other 'goo'?
How about using some kind of epoxy resin to fill the stand/voids after filling w/shot? No way will it ever come out or get to atmosphere.

Wear gloves / long sleeves / and a particle/dust mask when handling it?
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Blasting sand is dry in the bag and ready to use. No stirring or baking is required.

Elizabeth is correct. Sand is neither hydrophilic nor deliquescent. Sand does NOT absorb moisture from the atmosphere. Sand attracting moisture is another myth perpetuated by repetition by those who flunked chemistry.
One thing I neglected to mention, we don't physically handle the lead shot. It is taken from the bag it comes in and deposited in an awaiting supply tray, then fed into the MEC presses.
The way it is stored in it's original 25 pound sack has never caused us problems.

That being said, I sure wouldn't ingest it, nor would I handle it for any length of time without hand protection, and I sure wouldn't let the kids play with it.

The cost of lead shot has sky rocketed over the last 50 years, but the alternative in steel shot is even more expensive in 25 pound bags.

I agree with Jaybo in much of what he says. I'm not a big fan of sand for moisture purposes, but if you need shot for this purpose alone of weighting down your stands, use steel shot.
When I was a kid back in the dark ages, we all played freely with lead in all forms. I can remember having a kit of molds into which we poured melted lead to make toy soldiers, then painted them, probably with lead-based paint. Did we wash our hands after doing this? No. Would I recommend doing it today? No. Do I think there's any real danger using lead shot to fill speaker stands? No again.
Micro-fil steel bearings are smaller than human hair(I use them in my GPA rack). Lead is dangerous, but is nothing compared to Hydrazine.
Thanks for the oven idea. I left a few bags of sand out in the sun to dry out and it appears they're now infested with large spiders.
Spiders are not as good as sand, and certainly not as good as lead, when placed in stands or racks. However, spiders may offer some damping benefit when placed directly under equipment feet or under cones. The large spiders work best under amps or other heavy equipment. You can also use them as a "spider clamp" with top-loading CD players.
Remember, lead is hazardous. Do not, under any circumstances, eat, lick or kiss speaker stands that have been filled with lead. Regardless of how sexy the speakers on them are sounding this is hazardous to your health.

Better than lead, the suggestion above of using uranium "resonated" with me. Depleted uranium is a by-product of the military complexes activities, but the caliber munitions they use are too large for filling stands.

Does anyone have a source for depleted uranium #9 bird shot?
A bit off topic- Nordost packaging usually states "LEAD FREE - Save our environment" on a green sticker featuring a pine tree. Didn't expect the brand to be an environmental activist.
Some years ago I read an article/review in an audio journal, which claimed (on the basis of mesurements) that iron/steel filings are the best filling for speakers stands. I beleived them and filled my stands with them.
Lead is preferable for weighting speakers IMHO. Handle it gently; just don't put it in your mouth or nose and you won't die or lose your mind.

Given the possible toxicity, I put it in ziploc bags first - the in the speaker base.

When I have used it, I wore nitrile gloves and a basic painter's mask. Just handle the lead gently and if possible, don't pour it from one container to another as this might create dust.

Remember - don't eat, breathe or otherwise ingest it.

Here's a link:
You want 8.5 or 9...
I am using graphite coated lead shot ,which is very good and the graphite absorbs added vibration. On Amazon 25lb bags $50 free shipping 
And yes you can go to home depot and get some plumbers puddy to seal the top.then put your top plate on .
Manufacturers have long supplied tin-coated lead shot to eliminate even the possibility of lead dust and associated hazards. Once mixed with sand (recommended) and sealed inside the post of a speaker stand, no more dangerous than sand alone.