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Low-Cost DIY Speaker Stands

I would always recommend buying good quality speaker stands from a reputable maker. Unfortunately it can be hard to reconcile the cost of a ‘piece of equipment’ that does nothing other than support speakers, in spite of being assured by the experts that stands really do make a difference.

I won’t go into details about speaker stand theory and design in this article, suffice to say they should be sturdy, and of a height that puts the tweeter at ear level when seated (assuming that most of the time you listen to music seated).

At my local DIY store I came across two sturdy plant stands being sold at a fraction of the cost of speaker stands. Their height couldn’t have been better, even if they had been made-to-measure, so I snapped them up.

Two sturdy wooden plant stands, which make good speaker stands.

However, when I replaced my Music Fidelity MC-2 speakers with a smaller pair of bookshelf speakers the stands were about 15 cm too low.

The problem I faced was how to raise the speakers a few centimetres, to put the tweeters at ear level, without resorting to putting books under them. The answer came while again visiting my local DIY store – concrete blocks!

Two speakers of different sizes on speaker stands.

Most people probably don’t want blocks of concrete in their living room, but suitably disguised with a coat of paint might make them acceptable. Before painting though, concrete needs chemically sealing, as the surface is too powdery to apply paint directly. After sealing paint can be applied. I chose satin black and applied three coats, but two would probably have been enough.

Blocks of Concrete at a DIY store.

Very little is needed in the way of equipment. I used one brush to apply the sealer, and another to apply the paint (this was cheaper than buying just one brush and a can of brush cleaner). Unlike the sealer, the pain was water-based so I used a milk carton cut in half to clean the brush between coats, and a plastic straw to stir the paint before use. The tray, to help keep things neat and tidy, originally had meat on it from the supermarket.

A can of paint, two brushes, and sealer.

Here is the painted block of concrete. To prevent it from scratching anything I attached sticky cork feet to the base, bought at my local £1.00 store...

Black-painted concrete with stick-on cork feet at the base.

...and cut a piece of 2 mm thick cork to size to place on the top.

Black-painted concrete with a thin layer of cork at the top.

Speaker on stand.Speaker on stand.With the stands complete I introduced them to my living room, and this would have been the end of the story had I not come across a forum on the Internet about low-cost ways to decouple speakers from stands for a further improvement in sound quality. To find out more see the related article Low-Cost DIY Speaker Isolation Pads.

And finally a word of warning: concrete blocks are heavy! Be sure whatever you place them on is capable of supporting both the weight of the concrete and your speakers! Also, if on a stand, make sure the stand is extremely stable, so as not to present a health hazard.




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