Stands, Racks, Furniture, Room Treatment
- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 28 December 2007
When you are out shopping for a home theater system, and you take your DVD player, receiver, speakers, and subwoofer home, two of the things you might realize when setting it all up are (1) you didn't get enough cables and the cables you did get are not long enough; and (2) the bookshelf speakers don't fit very well on the shelf.
You can easily return the short cables and get some longer ones.
But, what to do with those speakers that won't fit on the shelves?
Speaker stands are the answer. However, unlike cables which usually are behind the equipment rack and don't show (unless you want them to), speaker stands sit out in the den or living room for everyone to see, especially your spouse who might not like black wooden things in her room with the white couch.
There are some stylish speaker stands out there, but in general, they are more utilitarian-looking than fashion-oriented.
- Carbon Fiber and Aluminum Stand
- Dimensions: 29" H x 14.5" W x 18" D
- Weight: 10 Pounds/Each
- MSRP: $599/Pair USA
Whitworth Design is not an A/V accessory company. They manufacture all sorts of things, including clocks made from automobile brake rotors.
However, one of their lines is speaker stands, which are called "Pulse". These are not your garden variety of stands, as you can see from the photo.
They come in several colors that you can see on their website, and in my opinion, they are some of the most attractive stands I have ever seen. Being made of aluminum and carbon fiber, they are not very heavy, so they are easy to move around. They have spikes, but in my case, I put a penny under each foot so as not to punch holes in my carpet. Metal discs for such purpose are available elsewhere.
The tripod base completely levels the stand, regardless of uneven floors.
One of the most important features of a speaker stand should be that it presents a small sound-reflective surface to the listener. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to have a round rod for the speaker support. That way, very little of the sound coming out of the speaker can reflect off the front of the stand and reach the listener as a first reflection. The Pulse stands have thin round rods, so they fit the bill perfectly. The carbon fiber rod comes filled with silica granules. The rear rod (red) has an opening that can be used to run the speaker cable. The silica will deaden the stand so it does not vibrate with the sound.
I found these stands to work beautifully with Paradigm Studio 20 bookshelf speakers in listening tests. The stands did not ring or reflect anything that I could hear.
Whitworth Design, among other things, manufactures a beautiful line of speaker stands. They are superbly stylish and have appropriate engineering to deliver the sound of your speakers, without adding any reflections or vibrations of their own.