Speaker Spikes - Working Principle

Vibration damping obvious makes sense (in speakers just as well as in cars). 

That involves 'killing' (converting into heat, through typically internal friction) kinetic energy. So any sort of elastic material (rubber has lots of internal friction) makes sense. 

And then there are spikes. Using a pointy hard object and pair it with a softer, elastic material (to deform, and kill kinetic energy) can work; think metal sharp spike into carpet or wood floor. 

But what is the idea behind pairing fairly unelastic metal (brass for example) with similarly unelastic (brass, stone, etc) material (example photo provided)? Only thing I can come up with: LOOKS good and makes owner feel good  thinking its an improvement (works only for Audiophiles though),

Even more curious: are they ENGINEERED "spikes" (vibration dampers or shock absorbers) for speakers that are TUNED for the frequency (and mass)  that needs to be dampened? Can piston style fluid dampers be designed for the high frequencies (100, 1000, 10000 Hz) using geometry, nozzles size and viscosity of the fluid?



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Isoacoustics includes the threaded rods for a lot of speakers (not KEF, but they were quick to send me the correct ones). And you would be correct.  I have hardwood floors with wall to wall carpet on top, so if I uses the Gaia’s, I’d need to use their spiky things underneath and they would poke through the carpet and muck up the hardwood floor.  So the granite pieces took care of everything.

Two different links to the same helpful article by Norman Varney here. IMO, the main take-aways:

1. "Couplers are unpredictable, inconsistent, and never neutral. A quality audio isolation device...will perform predictably, consistently, and neutral[ly] in every scenario."

2. "The idea that decoupling ’imprisons’ and coupling ’evacuates’ vibrations is false. Unless the vibration path is broken, or the energy converted, vibrations will be transmitted."

3. "The idea...that rigid mounting of the speaker cabinet to a heavy surface prevents the drivers from being displaced, which keeps phase constant or coherent" is "not likely."

4. "Structurally decoupling removes structural resonances, buzzes and rattles.... When the source of vibration (the loudspeaker) is isolated from the structure, only airborne sound waves from the speakers are heard. From an audiophile POV, dynamic range, low-level detail, tonality, spatiality, etc. are all improved. Everything becomes more articulate because the unwanted influences have been removed.... [Furthermore,] controlling unwanted structural vibrations can mean better-performing electronics. Mechanical vibrations can cause havoc to tubes, digital clocks, laser reading, stylus tracking, electrical contacts, etc."

OK; so why is there any confusion here?

It seems to me the reason, as usual, is that we all have different specific circumstances in our listening rooms. Simple bottom line: if you have a slab (concrete) floor, very little mechanical vibration will resonate from that floor; most of what is transmitted by the speaker will be absorbed. If, however, you have a suspended wood floor, the floor itself becomes a kind of transducer: it will resonate in its own ways as a result of vibrations communicated to it. But your wood floor is not a transducer designed by a speaker manufacturer! Therefore, whatever sounds it produces will not enhance your SQ. So you should try to minimize your floor’s contribution to the overall sound. To do that, use a decoupling device.

FWIW, I’ve tried Isoacoustics Gaias and Townshend podiums. Both excellent products. But what I’m actually using is sorbothane feet that screw into the spike threads on my speakers. Less than $100, and just as effective as either Gaia or Townshend.

@j-wall I tried the Herbies and they didn't work for me.  Not bashing Herbies because I have used his other products.  I'm more for Isolation instead of coupling based on my suspended wood floors rather than concrete.


Hello, looking for confirmation, I have concrete floor with pad/carpet on top, I have spikes but don't use them, the towers rest on the carpet.

My understanding from everything is this is decoupling, am I correct?

If I used the spikes provided with the speakers, they would "couple" the speakers to the concrete floor, because the spikes would pierce through the carpet and pad.

Am I understanding correctly or do I have it backwards? Thanks for any clarity you all can provide.