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High-mass stands for Tannoys?

Discussion in 'classic' started by eastone, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Audio Nervosa strikes again:

    I'm about to order some good high-mass stands for Tannoy Chatsworths, from Custom Design.

    The main aim being to reduce the resonance in the cabinets, and hopefully control the bass a little.

    High-mass seems the obvious solution but before I commit to buy I wondered if anyone here had opinions to offer.

    Is it possible very heavy stands will deaden the sound?

    I also plan to line the side and rear panels with some Dedshete from Wilmslow Audio, underneath the foam wadding that exists already.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The stands can’t do anything about cabinet resonance, only vibration transmission into the floor, and in the case of Chatsworths, getting the tweeter at ear level (which should be a good gain). I don’t know Chatsworths well, but if there is intrusive cabinet resonance the best way to address it would likely be a little light internal bracing. Just a connecting opposing cabinet walls at an asymmetrical point (i.e. not right in the middle of the panel) will likely quieten them down a good bit, though the big risk with cabinet bracing is in moving resonance upwards in frequency where it will be more irritating. Tannoys, the big ones at least, do have fairy thin wall cabs that vibrate at a low frequency well below the critical midband. Very like BBC thin-wall in this respect and for me makes for a nicer more natural mid-band than typical really high-mass speakers. Also pay very close attention to the back door and how tightly it is screwed on. You will very likely find that very loosely screwed is the right amount, i.e. just tight enough that nothing rattles, but not tight enough to get a ‘note’ from the cab when tapped. A dull pitchless thud when rapped is best IME (same goes with BC1s, Harbeths etc).
  3. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Thanks Tony.

    I tried experimenting with the rear-panel after reading a number of threads on here - I think one of them was yours maybe.

    Open-baffle didn't work for me at all, being far too diffuse. Their was definitely a point, using the technique you suggest, where the detail in the bass improved, but I felt this came at the expense of some clarity overall. So I've returned to having the rear-panel tightly screwed in. The issue is excess energy below about 50Hz which I'm currently compensating for with some gentle digital EQ.

    The cabs are aperiodically loaded via a slot on the front panel. So my idea was to use high-mass stands to absorb some off the energy below 50Hz, and use Dedshete to dampen the rear and side panels, hopefully directing more energy towards the front where it might interact less with the rear walls.

    This is mostly speculation, I admit.

    And my worry is that I will end up losing some of the natural qualities of the 'lossy' cabinet. Perhaps I would be better to go with a good open-frame stand like Something Solid and continue to deal with room issues in the digital domain?

    I fear this is going to be a try-it-and-find-out scenario...
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    As I say I’ve never tried Chatsworths, but in my experience with Yorks and Lockwoods the tighter you do the back door up the tighter the bass gets, but the worse the midband. The reverse to what you describe. I can live with a slight loss of bass grip (still sounds very real and tuneful) for a more natural open midband. I have a feeling you may find your situation reverses once you get more inline with the treble horn height wise, so do try it again once the stands turn up. The first thing to try would be just to stand them on a couple of breeze blocks or bricks and see what the height gain brings. I may even stop there if it sounds good. FWIW breeze blocks take emulsion paint really well and can look very good. Just use some BluTac or whatever to seat the speakers. Back when I had a little studio we built the mixer stand out of a pallet and painted breeze blocks (a pastel blue IIRC) and it looked great and cost nothing at all!

    PS I bet three full baked bean cans a side would work well as stands too, two at the front, one at the back. Spray them black and you have a nice inert and damped pair of stands for £2!
  5. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    I can't see the high mass stands helping with cabinet resonances at all unless they're firmly attached to the cabinet.

    If on the other hand some 'boom' is coming from the floor (suspended wooden floor perhaps) then I think stands could help.

    I used to have some IMF RSPM's which could make earthquake like bass. They came on the original stands which are slightly flexy and I think really helped isolate the cabinet from the floor.

    However, I'm no expert.
  6. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    I already have them at almost the right height. The current bodge comprises another pair of speakers turned on their side and two quite large hardback books, 'Art Since 1900' and a 'Dictionary of Untranslatables' - definitely high-mass :)

    I'm about 5cm shy of the ideal height but more books will make them unstable.

    I certainly found that the midband became much less open when I tried blocking the front vent. Were your Yorks and Lockwoods sealed at the time you were experimenting with the rear panel?

    Mike I'm lucky to be in a very well built 60s block with poured concrete floors so it's not that sort of boom. Just gain from the rear wall I think. They're about 50cm out from the wall and that is as far as I can possibly go in this room.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Yorks are ported, Lockwoods vented with an internal layer of felt for aperiodic loading. Chatsworths should by design be sealed shouldn’t they?
  8. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    I've seen 2 versions, ducted port around 1968 for monitor gold and sealed for HPD around 1974-they aren't aperiodic.
    I'd lose the 'support' speakers, they could be droning away in sympathy with the bass from the Tannoys, with the Tannoys playing touch their cones if they are moving they are reradiating.
  9. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Yes, at least mine were.
  10. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    The support speakers are far better damped than the Tannoys! Kef Ref 103.2

    I was expecting the Chatsworths to be sealed, but on removing the grille cloth discovered the vent, which a previous owner had made.

    I toyed with returning them but read around on a periodic loading and decided it was worth hanging on.
  11. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Did you have yours on stands ToTo Man?
  12. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    No. I didn't have them that long TBH, just for a few months back in 2012. I foolishly sold them immediately after acquiring a mint pair of 15" Lancasters and before I had a proper understanding of vintage Tannoy drivers (they had a slight mismatch in MF/HF output which I thought was abnormal but later discovered was par for the course with Tannoys). They were fitted with HPD 315s which had perfect surrounds and purple cones (must have been recently re-coned), and thick yellow polyurethane foam lining all cabinet walls. Aside from the slight left/right channel imbalance they were superb speakers. I remember them really loading my room with deep and punchy bass, much more so than the Lancasters that replaced them, and less coloured too in their overall tonal presentation. Hindsight is a wonderful thing....
  13. Ragaman

    Ragaman pfm Member

    No need for high mass
    If you want to get the best out of your speakers try these

    I know of at least 50 people who have gone down this route & could not be happier, me included.
    The guy is a cabinet maker & will make them to any size you wish at no extra cost.
    They are rock solid once placed & well damped, more neutral than metal stands.

    I doubt you would look back.
    They also look much classier in the flesh.
  14. the loaf

    the loaf pfm Member

    FWIW I used a pair of 12 inch tannoy silvers in ported Lancaster cabs on a pair of MAF stands built for Quad 63s (on castors ). They were slightly tilted up - result was akin to a complete 'tidying up ' of pretty well everything ie soundstage / rhythm / bass treble overall coherence .
  15. audiojoy

    audiojoy pfm Member

    The advice I have received is to line the bottom of the speaker loosely with BAF Wadding, perhaps extending up the sides of the speaker as well. See what that does.
  16. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Thanks for all the contributions gents.

    I'm going to go for a pair of the oak stands Ragaman linked to. At less than a third of the price of custom metal stands this seems like the best way to test the water.
  17. Ragaman

    Ragaman pfm Member

    You won't regret it, they allowed every speaker I have tried on them to sound as intended to my ears, very neutral & without artifice, very clear & clean. I have tried many metal options, filled, unfilled, heavy. light, none have allowed me to enjoy the sound as much as when placed on these.

    If you don't like you can return them too, the guy is lovely to deal with.
  18. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Cheers Ragaman
  19. Satchmo

    Satchmo New Member

    I have a pair of Chatsworth, the cabinets are sealed and I have had the same issue with bass resonance. They are made of thin plywood, 12mm thick i think.
    A crate of vinyls on top of the cabinets did the trick, around 15kg of added weight.

    I did some internal bracing by screwing a solid wood cleats to the side panels, but I did not hear anynoticeable effects.

    What drivers do you have into these cabinets?
  20. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    Monitor Gold 12".

    I need to take a look and see if the speakers currently used as supports are reradiating as Cooky suggested. Next step is the oak stands and then I may try damping the rear and side panels with bitumen sheet.

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