Speaker ballast advice

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by kempez, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. kempez

    kempez
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +281
    Hi guys

    I have some MS 906i's now and I'm currently running them in...which is fun!

    I have heard that it is advisable to add ballast to these to tighten up the bass.

    Is this right? I've read around as much as I can and it seems like the right thing to do.

    I've seen kiln dried sand is the cheapest way of doing it, but how do I go about that? Just grab some and pour half of it in each speaker??

    Basically I'm a newbie to ballast so advice from experts is much appreciated :thumbsup:

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    22,339
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,209
    Unless the speaker has a separate chamber specifically for 'ballast', I say, DON'T DO IT.

    As others have pointed out in similar discussion, all adding ballast does, in this case, is reduce the internal volume and thereby raise the resonance frequency of the box. So, yes, the bass sounds different, but not necessarily better. In fact, probably weaker. Though some people confuse 'weaker' for clearer and more defined, or whatever nonsense.

    Also, if by some chance you throw a wild drunken party, and some idiot knocks over one of your speakers, the sand is going to get into the drivers and raise all kinds of he||.

    So, again, unless your floorstanding speakers are designed for ballast, or in the case of bookshelf speakers, unless your stands are specifically designed for ballast, forget about it.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. kempez

    kempez
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +281
    They have a ballast champer with a plug, so they are specifically deisgned for ballast as far as I know.
     
  4. William YZF-R1

    William YZF-R1
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    4,255
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +536

    Nice :thumbsup: You are right they do.

    Mordaunt Short Avant 906i Floorstanding Speakers

    If you do:

    There may be better ways these days or perhaps it is just not necessary, but the last time I did a similar thing many moons ago I inserted a sturdy oversized plastic bag into the chamber, through the bung hole, and carefully added sand to the opening of the bag which was still protruding from the hole.

    When I had added enough sand I twisted the top of the bag and tucked in just inside the hole.
     
  5. kempez

    kempez
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +281
    I was thinking of doing something similar to that, thanks :)

    Do you know how much I should use? Fill it up??
     
  6. richard_t

    richard_t
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    770
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Ratings:
    +146
    Just don't do what I did years ago to fill bookshelf speaker stands...

    I bought a big bag of building sand from B&Q and then spent about 4 days drying it out (after I'd spread a bit in a baking tray) in the oven. :oops:
     
  7. kempez

    kempez
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +281
    lol I was planning to buy kiln dried stuff :)
     
  8. Davieboy00

    Davieboy00
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,450
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    In the Short Forest , with the toads , near Camari
    Ratings:
    +173
    :rotfl:
    Sorry but that is priceless :smashin:
    At least you have the balls to admit it.
    :rotfl:
     
  9. ARNOLD AKIEN

    ARNOLD AKIEN
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,617
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Location:
    SUNDERLAND
    Ratings:
    +347
    Don't do it!! Fill with sand that is! Horrible stuff .. very hard to get rid of if you decide that you don't like the effect that it produces.

    The thing to use is THIS STUFF .. 'Atacama Atabites ' ...note theres a video clip in the link which follows ....

    " Dennis Greenaway, UK Sales Manager for Atacama, shows us the remarkable Atabites metal filing ëfiller', which can be used to fill speaker stands and thereby deaden sound and reduce resonation. You can actually tune your speakers by varying the amount of filler used. Tests have shown Atabites to be much more effective than sand. Talking of sand, Atacama take their name from the desert of the same name in Chile, purportedly the driest in the world. We'll drink to that! "


    Atacama show us Atabites and talk to us about deserts! (What Hifi Stuff Show 2006)


    The lowest price from a web supplier that I could find is here ...

    Atacama Audio Atabites Accessory - Buy from Digital Direct

    " Description .. High density filler designed for mass loading of speaker stands. Delta shaped chips which interlock together creating minimum air gaps. Supplied in 9kg (20lbs) tubs. ...... £13.96 GREAT DEAL "

    I researched this when I considered buying speakers that had the option of mass loading but eventualy bought B and W 704s which don't use it.

    All that time and effort drying sand!! :rolleyes: This stuff is much better and can be removed if it doesn't produce a pleasing effect. :devil:

    Arnold.
     
  10. Bald Monkey

    Bald Monkey
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,123
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,084
    Not sure I'd have the confidence to fill a speaker with the Arabites, but I've used them in my front stands and they do exactly what it says on the tin! :D
     
  11. bohane

    bohane
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    625
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +25
    im going to do an experiment tomorrow, im going to fill one chamber with kiln dried sand and the other with 'atabites' and do a side by side comparison and see if there is a difference ;) iv used both and am currently using kiln dried sand, and i tend to think that the 'atabites' are 'snake oil' put out by a speaker stand manufacturer, as they new people were using sand instead, of which they would make no profit from...

    is there anybody out there who has used both atabites and sand? the reason i as is it apears that nobody who has recomended the 'atabites' over sand has actualy used both :rolleyes:

    i think the atabites will do no better job than sand, and tomorrow i will know for sure :D

    andy
     
  12. ARNOLD AKIEN

    ARNOLD AKIEN
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,617
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Location:
    SUNDERLAND
    Ratings:
    +347
    :devil:
    I live not far away from a beach ... belive me I know enough about sand to want to keep it out of my house let alone out of my speakers! :rolleyes:

    By all means have Fun with your Experiment .. thats what A.V. Experiments are for after all .. but do bear in mind that the Atabite Solution is fairly easy to apply and doesn't involve a substance that can, and Does, absorb moisture. Moreover it isn't particularly expensive as these things go.

    Whilst I haven't used the - remarkably Cheap Snake Oil Solution of Atabites - it does seem to me to be more likely to be reversible than pouring sand into your speakers, and also IF you're bent on doing a Scientific :rolleyes: Experiment on the virtues of Sand V Atabites you will need Two PAIRS of Identical Speakers connected by the same speaker cables and so forth to the same Amplification and Source ... Oh and Whilst Atabites are of a Standard variety SAND is no such thing and so as to obtain the correct comparison you will Need Builders Sand - in various kinds - Kiln dried Play Sand and whatever Kind of Sand is Specifically Supplied for the Purpose by Professional suppliers as Recommended by a given Speaker Manufacturer ..... What Fun ! :thumbsup:


    How I do Envy your commitment to Science Andy.

    One thing is certain though ... tomorrow you will NOT know for sure. :devil:


    Best Wishes,

    Arnold.
     
  13. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    22,339
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,209
    Arnold is on to something here. I don't think there is that much difference between types of ballast. You can go down to your local metal shop and buy a big bag of metal 'knock outs' or slugs; brass, steel, iron, aluminum, whatever. And they will ballast your speakers as good as anything.

    However, each form of ballast, while not being much different acoustically, can be very different aesthetically and practically.

    Sand is very dense and it doesn't rattle, but it is sand, and even washed sand is still very 'dusty'. Plus it can absorb water from the air.

    With various types of metal 'slugs', you would have to wash the machine oil off of them and dry them thoroughly. Then there is the issue of corrosion. All metal will corrode, even aluminum unless it is anodized. And if the vibration is right, metal can rattle.

    The Atacama Atabites -

    Atacama Audio - audio visual accessories for speaker stands and hifi racks

    ...are not metal 'slugs', but fine metal chips that are much denser than sand. Again, if they are cheap enough, and you can afford them, they are probably the preferred choice. While they are a high carbons steel, they are not likely to rust, they are too small to rattle, and they don't give off any dust.

    If you look at the webpage you will see that they also have a glass-like crystalline ballast. Also, keep in mind that this ballast is primarily intended for speaker stands.

    I'm not saying I would never use sand, but absolutely, I would put the sand in some type of durable plastic bag. Depending on the size of the entrance hole to the ballast chamber, several small zip-locks rather than one large bag.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  14. kempez

    kempez
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +281
    Thanks for all the advice :) Appreciated

    I think I'll go with the atabites in some ziplock plastic bags then as it seems a clean and easily reversible process.
     
  15. bohane

    bohane
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    625
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +25

    :eek:what have i gotten myself into now! i wasnt going to take it that far arnold, but i am genuinly interested in weather or not it would make a difference using the atabites over kiln dried sand sound wise:smashin: the most scientific i was going to get was put equal weights in first, then equal volumes in second and that was it...i never thought of having two extra identical speakers etc, but in the name of science and all that.....:rotfl:


    but seriously, i agree i wont know anything for sure lol

    andy:D
     
  16. Bald Monkey

    Bald Monkey
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,123
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,084
    Just thinking about the little bags for sand etc...


    Has anyone tried condoms? :D It just occured to me that some 'plain' condoms would be ideal as they should be strong, and easier to fit into the hole.. :rolleyes: :lease: This is a serious post.. :D
     
  17. ARNOLD AKIEN

    ARNOLD AKIEN
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,617
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Location:
    SUNDERLAND
    Ratings:
    +347

    You Should NOT have done that! Now I 'm going to spend the day trying NOT to imagine Andy solemnly pouring carefully measured quantities of sand into various kinds of condoms. :D

    Arnold.
     
  18. bohane

    bohane
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    625
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +25
    this is getting worse and worse everytime i look at the thread.....:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

    andy

    p.s. no, i wont be using condoms, as i fear the atabites may be too sharp and cause me to have a 'blow out' of some kind....:eek:

    andy
     
  19. Bald Monkey

    Bald Monkey
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,123
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,084
    Perhaps it'll last longer if you use two at once.. ;)


    :devil: No stop... !!! :lease: :devil:


    I was thinking for the sand BTW, not the atabites... I think I've still got a small tub of them left over from when I did my stands if you required a sample? :D
     
  20. bohane

    bohane
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    625
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +25
    i still havent gotten round to it yet, but iv actualy got some in the chambers in my old (broken)evo 3's upstairs so im going to empty them out now and make sure they are 'atabites'

    ndy
     

Share This Page

Loading...