Filling SolidSteel SS-7 stands

Any tips on best way to fill these - them screw holes look mighty small or is simply a painstaking task! Also sand or Atabites?
Thanks

This appears to be a near duplicate of your “Filling SolidSteel” stands thread, maybe accidental? Perhaps @Richard.Dane can combine for you.

Personally I like the idea of filling hollow metal stands, which can be anything from sand (washed to remove chlorides, and thoroughly dried), to small lead shot, to a proprietary filling material. Other than density and so the weight of the filled stand, I’m not sure there’s a lot to choose between different fillings. You can use any hole large enough - or drill some as necessary, and plug afterwards (epoxy resin, putty, silicone sealant, or a screw or a rubber bung if you might want to empty one day.

1 Like

Ah yes I posted it twice in error so deleted the other post. The thought of drilling into brand new stands is pretty horrifying!

Anyway thanks maybe a small nozzle might suffice!

The outer columns of my Sound Factory FS104 stands have tiny holes, but I managed to get Atabites into them using a small plastic funnel. Very tedious, but worth the bother.

There’s no absolute rule about how much to fill them. If you put too much in, you’ll likely deaden the sound - this happened to me in a previous situation - but if you put too little in, it’s hardly worth the bother. The sweet spot seems to be between 1/3 and 2/3 full.

My stands are a little over 60% full, and that’s working well at the moment - to my ears, there’s a good weight to the sound, without sacrificing any PRaT. If you have the patience, I’d recommend starting at about 30% full, live with that for a few days, then add more in increments of 10% until you feel the sound starting to deaden - that point is easy enough to hear.

Please report back on how you get on. Every stand is different, and others will benefit from your experience.

Thanks Corry so it’s a labour of love then. How on earth do you know when the tubes are 30/40/50% full then with the holes being so tiny?

I echo @Innocent_Bystander views. Back in my post grad days my acoustics thesis was on just this topic. An accelerometer was fixed to one of the speaker stands and a real time analysis was conducted using a standard signal and analyser (this was before the days of affordable FT analysers).

Both subjectively and objectively filling the stand improved the sound, as did having the stands on rigid base. Lead shot was best, but sand was more affordable. I expect molten lead would be beyond most!

I guess you could calculate the internal volume of your stands, and then either measure the volume of your filling material directly or if you know (or calculate) the density of your filler, weigh your stands from time to time.

And actually might resonate where a stand full of small particles might remain acoustically dead, which is what is wanted (if people want uncoloured sound).

1 Like

I bought a bucket of Atacama, weighed it and divided by six … (yes I did take out weight of bucket first) then I used icing bag thing that you use for cooking. Filled bag up and poured in. Pretty easy really.

1 Like

I have filled my SS6 with coarse aquarium sand from the pet shop. It is pre-washed and dry. I calculated the volume of the 3 stands and measured out the sand accordingly in a measuring cup (filling height 2/3). I filled the sand with a small funnel using circular movements, otherwise the funnel would get clogged. It takes a little patience, but it goes faster and faster with time. It brings a tonal improvement.

That’s exactly what I have planned to do!

1 Like

Expect the resonant frequency would be quite low, whereas the ball bearings might be excited and vibrate. However, it was not a serious suggestion to use molten lead, and my acoustic experimental days are long passed.

To fill a tube to, say, 60%, just calculate 40% of the total height, then mark off that length on a suitable probe. The openings at the top of the FS104’s outer columns will allow a rod of maybe 3 - 4 mm. diameter to pass through. I used a bicycle spoke.

1 Like

I don’t know if the science supports this, but I suspect that the ideal amount of fill is defined less by the absolute weight of fill, and more by how much air is left above it, which is probably different for each speaker and stand combination.

For this reason, I believe it’s best to use the densest fill possible. I went with Atabites not only because they came highly recommended but also because they’re much denser than Custom Design’s proprietary inert filler (maybe twice as heavy).

1 Like

Indeed I see Atacama suggest that stands are only partly filled with their micro-discs (zinc coated steel). And, “however, overfilling can dull the stands causing detail and mid-range to soften, so experiment with the amount used to match the speaker stands to your specific requirements”.

I would imagine that they don’t use lead because of its toxicity. And I expect they experimented with spheres as well as discs, and I expect discs are easier to manufacture.

1 Like