Quality Dry Speaker Stand FILLER - CHEAP

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by BlueWizard, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I might get into trouble for this since I've already posted it in another thread. But it was somewhat tangential to that otherwise long thread, so I thought it bared repeating.

    As many know it is possible to fill many speakers stands with weight to make them more stable and denser. Many claim this can make the bass sound really solid.

    But, what to fill the stands with, that is the question?

    Many recommend common Play Sand as it incredibly cheap. But, even washed kiln dried sand can be dusty, and it is usually very fine. (~£3 for 15kg)

    Now if you've got the cash, there are various 'professional' fillers like Atabites, which are metal punches that have been Zinc plated to retard rust. But at about £30 for 7.5 kg, that's not really that cheap.

    Several days ago as my mind wandered freely, as it has a tendency to do, it occurred to me that Aquarium Gravel would be the perfect Speaker Stand Filler. It is not dusty. The stone chips are larger than fine sand, and depending on how fancy you want to get, the Aquarium Gravel comes in many colors including black, white, red, pink, rainbow, yellow, green, etc....

    It also comes in a variety of materials from common Dorset Pea Gravel (£9/20kg)-

    Dorset Pea Gravel Small 20kg

    to Roman Natural Mixed Gems (£2/2kg) -

    Pettex Roman Gravel Natural Mixed Gems 2kg

    Again, this come in a variety of colors and a variety of prices, but it is clean, acid free, pH neutral, and cheap. Plus stone doesn't rust.

    Beautiful, Clean and washed natural gravel. for your fish or aquatic habitat in Health And Hygiene - The Pet Express

    Note there are FOUR PAGES of Aquarium Gravel at this link.

    This is certainly something to keep in mind should you decide to fill your speaker stands.

    It is amazing what an idle mind can come up with when given nothing else to do.

    For what it's worth.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Actually, another alternative occurred to me as I closed this first post. I was thinking of using Aquarium Gravel in place of Chicken Grit, to throw on my walkways to make them less slippery when they are icy.

    Then BAM! Chicken Grit speaker stand filler. Like Aquarium Gravel, Chicken Grit is nuggets of stone chips, usually granite in my experience. Again, very cheap as you will see from the link. Also, clean, dry, and not dusty. Some grit has shells added to it to given the chickens more calcium for firmer egg shells. You don't necessarily need the shells, but they don't do any harm either.

    chicken grit - Google Search


    I see a 25kg bag for £5 or £0.20 per Kilo. That's really cheap.

    Also, it doesn't hurt to keep a small bag in your car in the winter. Excellent should you get stuck in the snow. Just throw it under the wheels for excellent traction.

    See, idle minds are NOT the devil's playground.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  3. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    OK, as long as we are on the subject, I've come up with one more possibility. Though this one is not especially cheap.

    Colored Sand - which is really colored quartz crystals

    Unlike common play sand, Colored Sand is less likely to be dusty.

    GREEN SAND

    Standard Colours

    The sands shown are £1.49 for a 200gm shaker, but if you select a given Sand, you can select a variety of sizes, and a 9kg bag of bulk sand is £24.99 (£2.78/kg). That's not extremely cheap, but it is an option to consider.

    Though the color doesn't really matter, it comes in Florescent colors, Pastel colors, and Standard colors.

    Coloured Sand

    I found these with just a quick search of Google. If you shop around, you might find it for a better price.

    I did find another place that deals in a variety of Aggregates from very coarse to very fine, plus glass beads, glass marbles, and few other options.

    Coloured Sand | Specialist Aggregates Ltd - Search Results

    A lot of these are sold for landscaping so the Bulk Lot is HUGE (240kg), but if you can find some sort of landscaping place like this near you, you might be able to buy smaller quantities.

    Many building supply stores will have similar types of Stone Aggregate, though most too coarse for our needs, none the less they might have something usable.

    They also have colored GLASS beads, these are commonly found in Fabric Stores and Hobby shops -

    Glass Nuggets - Ocean Mix - Pack - Design With Colour - Specialist Aggregates Ltd

    This might not be the best source, but it helps illustrate the possibilities.

    Again, the glass beads might not be the cheapest at about £5/kg, but it is something to consider.

    Idle minds want to know.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  4. Doomlord_uk

    Doomlord_uk
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    There's also concrete. Obviously don't mix and pour it indoors ;)

    You could be REALLY cheap and make your own gravel with a pile of old bricks or rocks and a big lump hammer. Again, best done outdoors! :D
     
  5. RobTi

    RobTi
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    But how long would it take swmbo to break that amount of bricks up with a toffee hammer ;-)
     
  6. RobTi

    RobTi
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    So does it not matter the weight of the filling material
     
  7. Dave

    Dave
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    I used builders sand thoroughly dried in the oven before being sieved and poured in. Worked a treat and cheap as chips.
     
  8. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Your being sarcastic, but not completely unrealistic. Though at £9 for 20kg, I think I will save the wear and tear on my arm muscle and just buy a bag.

    Also, poured concrete is a bit permanent. Once poured and set, there is no turning back.

    Sand is fine, but the problem is, sand is fine. What I mean by the second 'fine' is, if there is the tiniest leak in the stand, fine bits of sand dust will leak out.

    However, the Aquarium Gravel is larger than sand, has no sand dust, and is much much finer than what we would commonly consider 'gravel'.

    In most cases the Aquarium Gravel is pH neutral so as not to throw off the aquarium water. It won't rust, nor will it cause rust.

    Certainly every one has seen the small stones in the bottom of Aquariums and therefore have some realistic perspective on what we are talking about.

    The colored sand, though not especially cheap, does have the advantage of no Sand Dust, and while fine, is probably not quite as fine as common play sand.

    Chicken grit if you get the right type, would be perfect.

    Now, if you want to fork out £30 for 7kg of Atabites, fine... no skin off me. But, if you are looking for a good solution at a more reasonable price, I've offered some alternatives, all good, all workable, all cheap.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Yes and no. It is kind of pointless to fill a speaker stand with downy feathers (expensive too).

    Well certainly STEEL is heavy. But we are talking about Rock here. OK, finely crushed rock, but rock none the less.

    This isn't a precision operation. The goal is not to use precisely "X" amount of weight, but more so to simply add weight and density to the stand. So, Rock is fine.

    In my opinion.

    Though do keep in mind, I don't have speaker stands. I solve the problem by simply having floorstanding speakers. Though, that said, there are some floorstanding speakers that do have a chamber in the bottom that can be sand (or other) filled.

    I'm simply presenting clean and cheap alternatives to 'professional' fillers.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  10. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Builder sand or what I call Play Sand (as in sand for a kids sand box) is kiln dried before it leaves the manufacturer. However, being sand it can pick up moisture along the way. I generally do find the sand I buy in 50 pound bags (22kg) to be dry.

    Now if by Builder Sand, you mean loose bulk sand, yes that can certainly be moist, and most definitely cheap.

    However, pre-bagged Play Sand is kiln dried and only cost £3 for 15kg. That's about a cheap as ...premium chips. And since it is already dry, the wife won't kill you for baking sand in her clean oven.

    Again, I'm just suggesting alternatives to expensive commercial filler.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  11. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    Kiln dried/block paving sand worked for me. Few pounds for a bag, no point in piddling about with anything else I reckon ;)
     
  12. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    thanks steve your suggestions to use pea gravel has saved me over £50 !! nice one mate :smashin:
     
  13. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    You're welcome, I do what I can.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  14. Nick1881

    Nick1881
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    Why didn't you tell me this a few weeks ago? lol

    I bought kiln dried sand and filled my stands, but it leaked out. So I took my stands to work and had my friends seal them with latex around the bottom. Now the sand doesn't leak but using one of your suggestions would have been easier.

    Next time I will remember this, thanks.
     
  15. css_jay99

    css_jay99
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    Another idea is to use the stand as a piggy bank.
    Stuff it full of pennies ....
     
  16. biggy7

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    guys, im looking at needing to fill 4 stands with something

    2x 80cm and 2x 1m stands

    how much filler (kg wise) would i need?

    i also want cheap so looking at Chicken grit, does Chicken Grit smell?
     
  17. cR4cKF0x 5TevE

    cR4cKF0x 5TevE
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    I used cat litter in my Spectral stands: cheap and seemed to do the job.
     
  18. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer
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    Kiln-dried sand from Wickes. It will fill all the corners and doesn't need time to settle. It's also inert.
     
  19. biggy7

    biggy7
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  20. Flobs

    Flobs
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    A solution is to bung where it could leak with something like Plasticine/modelling clay. I did this when filling my speaker stands with builders sand worked a treat. In fact what ever 'fine' substrate you use I would recommend bunging the hollows with something saves mess.

    I like the idea of concrete, I also thought of lead, smelt it down and pour it in (like making a keel for a boat). Not very practical but you only do it once.
     
  21. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Lead is TOXIC. Then we have to consider the final weight.

    As to putty, plasticine, or modeling clay, that is a good idea, but one thing occurred to me, you likely need it at the seam where the column meets the base, but unless you have very long arms, it is hard to get it down inside of there. Most stands are at least 24", that's about an arms length, but if the stands are taller, it is going to be hard.

    Perhaps, as another did, some caulking around the seams.

    One could even stir up some epoxy, and pour it into the bottom to seal it.

    Still things like aquarium gravel are acid neutral and have no dust, though a bit more expensive than sand.

    Another alternative is to put sand in zip-lock bags, shape them to the size of the column, and drop them in.

    Concrete is an options, but once it is in, it is in for good. You could perhaps seal the bottom with concrete, then pour sand or fine gravel over it.

    And I suppose you could use plaster too. But you have to weigh the wisdom of pouring anything WET into your speakers stands. If you feel the stands can take it, fine; that becomes an options.

    Really, in then end, it is down to ingenuity and creativity.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  22. Flobs

    Flobs
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    Yes it would depend on the design. My stands came as top and bottom plates with connectable bolt on tubes. The Plasticine was easily placed and sealed the tubes nicely. It may be more difficult with other designs.

    Just bought some new stands that weigh 8.5 kg the stand for a height of 20cm and that's without sand, though I cannot image that you can get much sand in a stand of 20cm. Haven't had them delivered yet but I am looking forward to it. Don't worry I won't melt lead down, I'll be sticking with sand.
     
  23. 9u775

    9u775
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    Necro'd this to say thanks to BlueWizard for the chicken grit idea. I picked up a cheap bag to fill a new pair of Norstone Stylum 2's and it worked brilliantly, not to mention cheaply. There was a bit of dust but not much and it was very dry. After filling one column I gave it a shake and it made space for at least another few scoops, suggesting the varied size of the pieces settle to pack more densely than if they were of uniform size. I have my doubts whether mass filling and / or spikes make any noticeable difference to the sound but my main concern was more to prevent the set up from being so top heavy that it toppled over when someone walked past it.
     
  24. danmc_82

    danmc_82
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    I've got a ton of builders sand left over from a building job, people are more than welcome to help themselves :)

    Derby
     
  25. Starheaven

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    Got myself polished pool glass beads 2-4mm they come in a variety of colors. They are the perfect stand filler no dust, won't rust, won't absorb moisture, inert and best of all my speakers stands are rock solid and speakers sound great.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  26. Oldnewt

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  27. Oldnewt

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    I stumbled on two large bags of what is usually known in the UK road repair trade as top dressing, left behind by a neighbor (who was in the trade). This varies in size from about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch and of a reasonably regular shape. Filled my Diamond 8.3s chambers with this and found the bass was heavier and more pronounced but slightly muddy. Reducing to about 50% (fiddly to remove) but improved the performance, so will now juggle quantities to fine tune. As with all these suggestions it's all trial and error until you get it right.
    All part of the adventure from my point of view.
    Only your ears can tell you what is right!
     
  28. Oldnewt

    Oldnewt
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  29. Oldnewt

    Oldnewt
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    Begs the question "depends how close to the chicken has it been"?
     
  30. 9u775

    9u775
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    It's usually just grit to aid digestion with pieces of seashell added to provide dietary calcium that improves egg shell integrity. I don't recall it smelling of anything, although it did contain a fair amount of fine dust so best to fill your stands outside if possible.
     

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