Speaker Stands and Clean Sand / Lead Shot Questions

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mds, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I am going to make some speaker stands and will need to fill the hollow aluminum tubes. If I were to buy "Clean" sand from say Lowes to fill my speaker stands what is the problem if I do not clean the sand with water prior to filling the stands? Is there a difference between using sand and lead shot in terms of deadening the stands? Are there other options?
  2. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Iowa, USA
    No need to clean any sand you buy from Lowes. Just needs to be dry.

    Lead much higher specific gravity than sand. Better for this purpose than sand and much more expensive.
    JNTEX and SandAndGlass like this.
  3. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    whats in the stand doesnt matter much, especially if you are decoupling the speakers from the stand. id argue id would be impossible then to determine whether the stand is filled with fruity loops or lead really.
    mitchius and NaturalD like this.
  4. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thank you both for a quick response. I was debating lead shot vs. sand. Each seemed to have a down side. Lead was really expensive and if I had to clean the sand a real pain. Based on what you too have said, sand it is and I may decouple the speakers from the stands, but sand is fairly inexpensive so I will definitely fill them with clean, dry sand but no washing.
  5. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Not so.
    SandAndGlass and F1nut like this.
  6. Shiver

    Shiver Forum Resident

    Filled mine with kiln-dried sand. Very obvious positive effect. Priced up the equivalent lead (and audiophile type) shot and it started to seem a bit daft
  7. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident

    Meridian, ID
    My Vandersteen 2c's are mounted on lead filled stands. I can't say if it's any better than sand filled. What I can say is that it's a real pain to move the stands around. Lead shot (from a sporting goods store) weighs a lot.
    displayname, Manimal and timind like this.
  8. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    yeah, sand is just fine, anything really that will stop the metal to resonate. but honestly, since you will decouple the speakers from stands, anything should work.
  9. Old Audiophool

    Old Audiophool Well-Known Member

    Melbourne, Fl.
    If you purchase from Lowes, make sure it is the playbox sand and not just the regular sand. The playbox sand is much finer and will be absolutely dry upon purchase. It also packs very well.
    33na3rd and mds like this.
  10. Balthazar

    Balthazar Well-Known Member

    I think I used kitty litter in my Skylans, but don't even remember anymore.
  11. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Yea just buy play sand, smallest bag....I filled my Lovan 5-pole stands with sand and it was a good improvement.
    mds likes this.
  12. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    The Mars Hotel
    I use a mix of dry play sand and lead shot...best of both worlds.

    The lead shot helps obtain the maximum mass and the sand fills the little gaps between the shot. The sand also makes it possible to fill up the posts on stands like Skylan whereas that wouldn't be practical or wise using shot alone.
  13. basie-fan

    basie-fan Forum Resident

    I filled my Skylan stands with non-clumping kitty litter. Worked well.
  14. McGuy

    McGuy Forum Resident

    i was just going to do this today. amazon has playbox sand for $28 for 50 lbs. Lowes has it for...$2.60! nice.
    displayname and SandAndGlass like this.
  15. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    SF Bay Area, USA
    25 pound bags of lead shot are about $40, much more expensive than sand, but really help to anchor the speakers, I used #7.5 size which is 0.94 inch diameter, seemed a good size for this and worked well for me, not too big and not too small ... Speaker Stands
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    SandAndGlass and JNTEX like this.
  16. apesfan

    apesfan Forum Resident

    Used non clumping paper based kitty litter in my stands and it was a marked improvement. Typical tighter smoother sound with no more ringing. JohnM.
    NaturalD likes this.
  17. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    I used sand in my custom-designed battleship-plate steel all-welded stands. It completely eliminated any possibility of "ringing" from the stand.

    I used lead shot (6.25 lbs) in my Totem Sttaf speakers. Less messy and much easier to remove if and when I ever need to ship them anywhere. Much more expensive per unit weight than sand BUT much denser than sand. In the Totem's I was not looking for any acoustic/mechanical damping - just added mass down low to add stability. Can't say there is any difference in sound before and after. And by the by, for any Totem owners looking to do the same: instead of using that adhesive patch that comes with the speaker to cover the fill hole, take the stopper (black plastic top / cork body) from a port bottle and wrap the cork in a turn or two of duct tape to increase its diameter slightly and it makes a perfect fit, and looks great too!

  18. McGuy

    McGuy Forum Resident

    Just got the playsand at Lowe's - $2.60! barely used half a bag for both of my stands. luckily they were easy to fill - big hole at the top once you take off the mounting plate.
    timind likes this.
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    I used cat litter for my Skylan stands at the recommendation of the manufacturer. The (4) legs on each stand have a large cross-sectional area and volume and with the cat litter become fairly heavy.
    Sand is actually almost twice as dense as cat litter (80 lbs / cuft vs 44 lbs / cuft) so I would probably use sand if the volume of the legs were smaller such as the OP wants to make. I might try sand for mine as well but the manufacturer warns against over damping. Even with the cat litter the recommendation was to leave some empty room at the top of each leg.
  20. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    Awesome avatar!
    apesfan likes this.
  21. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    I used kitty litter in my Skylan stands as well. If I were to use shot I'd use steel over lead. If for no other reason than one day the lead will need to be disposed of. I may not be here when that happens but I feel a responsibility to the future. Feel free to laugh at me but I think it's important.
  22. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH Forums.

    I recently filled my audio racks with sand. To make sure there was no moisture, I heated it in the oven first on an old baking tray. Had to do it in stages. I also tried to do it at a time when Mrs.Qwerty wouldn't find me heating sand in the oven, I got sprung but she was OK with it. When I filled the metal tubes I wrapped a hammer with several layers of toweling (in the absence of having a rubber mallet), and gently hit the sides of the tubes so the sand will settle, so I could pour the max. amount of sand in.

    As the bottoms were open to accommodate threaded spikes, when the max. sand was in the tubes (allowing room for the spike to be screwed in) I sealed the sand by pouring some PVA glue on top of the sand. None has leaked out.

    When I had metal speaker stands I filled them with lead shot. If I did speaker stands in the future I would start with lead shot, then fill the gaps with sand, just to make sure I got the maximum effect.
  23. McGuy

    McGuy Forum Resident

    glue was a good idea. I just filled mine with play sand almost to the tippy top. Hollow sound is gone!
    Bigbudukks likes this.
  24. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

    It could always be melted down and used to line the fallout shelters.

    No need to dispose.

  25. telemike

    telemike Forum Resident

    Greensboro, NC
    Lead poisoning
    Mike-48 likes this.

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