Question on Custom Design FS 104 (Signature)

In another thread I’ve got the advice to change my set-up and that was of great help. SQ is much better! I was also recommended to buy a HiFi rack and some decent stands for my Chario Syntar 100 speakers or other monitor speakers(for the future). Custom Design FS 104 Signature were suggested. I like the looks of the standard FS 104 over the signature. I’ve checked the Custom Design website but can’t find answers on my question. I hope someone can answer my questions.

Question one; Is there much difference in SQ between the standard FS 104 and the Signature?
Question two; The size of my Chario’s is 18cm (7") width and 25 cm (10") deep. The base is much smaller 16,5cm(6,5) by 18cm(7") (don’t know which is width or deep). Are my speakers to big?
Question three; My Chario’s are ported on the down-side. Are the speakers placed on a frame or is a base plate included? If that’s the case the bass port will be blocked…
Question four; I consider to test and maybe buy Proac Tablette 10’s in the near future. Do these fit on these stands?

Hi Eddie

I have the FS Signatures

The top plate you can get in a couple of sizes . I think the standard 16.5width x 18 deep would be okay for your speakers as personally I like a bit of overhang of speaker on each side and back of top plate, but just contact custom design, Paul there is very helpful

A helpful hint - definitely get the inert filler for the main column on stand, it really tightens up the base with a clearer presentation , really worth the investment

Cheers

If the stand had a top plate which is smaller then the base of my speaker it will block the bass port.

Oh then you need a stand with an open top plate

My advice is to contact Paul at custom design , they have a big range is speaker stands and I’m sure he can assist, they may even make a special plate for you , they are great to deal with

I could be mistaken but the FS104 standard are black centre column w/black posts and the FS104 Signature include the chrome/brushed chrome posts. I’ve owned two pairs of FS102 models, one standard and one signature in the past. Other than the different finish for the posts (and slightly more $$), they were identical. I suspect the FS104 is similar.

I’ve used the standard FS102 and FS104 (black/black) with some Neat Minstra and found them to work really well. The top plate is a little shorter but a small dab of Blutac on each corner secured them in place. I am now using a pair of SQ404 steel stands, a 4 square posts design stand that requires each post to be filled a little. It is more substantial than the FS series and I felt it was an improvement over the FS104. In your case, if you need to have the bottom open, the FS104 would be a nice choice.

As for setup, as others have mentioned, the center column should be filled. I’ve had good success filling it about 1/3 of the way or until you do not hear any ringing when tapping it with a finger. I found a little more than roughly one bag of their filler is enough per stand. Add a pea sized portion of Blutac cut into 4 to secure the speaker and some floor protectors, which can also help tighten things up. I am also using some Track Audio isolation feet.

Just to scratch an itch and see if I can improve things, I actually just ordered a pair of Custom Design stands specifically for the Neat Mininstra. This model does not have a full top plate. It’s an open frame design.

Custom Design recently introduced new versions which seem to be based on the FS104 with an open frame to fit offerings from a few more speaker manufacturers such as Neat, Graham and more. As suggested, you can contact them for suggestions.

Hope this helps.

Likewise Ants - I have the FS104’s with the Neat Ministra’s - they are both keepers for me, a really great combination

Cheers

I have a pair of Custom Design FS104 Signatures, which I previously used with my ATC SCM7s. I’m awaiting delivery of a pair of ProAc Tablette 10 Signatures, and I plan on using these stands.

The FS104 Signatures come in both a chrome and a matt black finish (I have the latter). If you look them up on their website you’ll see that there isn’t a top plate, rather there’s an “H”-shaped web laid out so that the ends of the two stems of the H rest on the tops of the four narrow outer columns, and are attached to them via countersunk Allen screws. The crossbar of the H has a disc that closes off the top of the wide centre column. The top is 159mm (along the stem of the H) by 180mm. The Tablettes are 191mm wide by 160mm deep and so are a near-ideal fit, with about 6mm overhang on either side.

I’ve heard much praise of Atacama Atabites as a stand filler, but they won’t work with the FS104s, because the openings at the tops of the columns are too narrow. You might succeed in forcing the Atabites (which are 2 – 8mm diameter microdiscs) into the centre column if you’re really patient, but they won’t fit into the outer columns, as the widest gap is around 3mm in diameter.

I still have Custom Design’s own inert filler, a black metallic material with the consistency of coarsely ground coffee, so I plan on using that. Opinions vary on how much to put in, ranging from ½ to ¾ the capacity of the columns. With my ATCs I went to 70% to 80% and in hindsight that was too much, so I plan on starting with 2/3 and seeing how that works.

And a question. A couple of the spikes have partially rusted in storage. They’re 40mm M8 zinc coated steel spikes with a nut below the bottom plate and a dome nut above (which is not strictly necessary as the plate is threaded). Does anyone know of a good source in the US for quality replacement spikes? I’m ordering exact replacements from the importers, but I’m a little dismayed at how blunt the spikes are, and I’d like to track down stainless steel equivalents.

Thanks, I will contact custom Design.

A lot depends on whether you intend to get the ProAcs. Putting the reflex port on the bottom of a stand mount speaker is a bit odd and you wouldn’t want to limit yourself should you then swap speakers. The thick column of the FS104 Signature allows loading with the inert filler, which is highly recommended.

If you do go with the ProAc, the recommended stand is the Atacama HMS1-TS, which is specially designed to fit speakers that are wider than deep. They are a better match than the Custom Design, but are very chunky looking. Another good stand is the Solidsteel SS6. I had those at first but the looks didn’t work in our room unfortunately. So there are a few decent options.

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I took the advice of several OPs here and filled mine up to around the 2/3 - 3/4 mark. Being a cheapskate I used kiln-dried sand instead of the recommended filler.

Results for my Spendor SA1 are excellent though, bass resonance improved so much I’ve turned down the subs a couple of notches to compensate.

With that and the 3.6.0 update my little Atom-based home office system has now got that lovely meaty sound that I like so much in my Musos QB2s , only on a bigger scale obvs.

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I’ve just (rather spontaneously) upgraded to a pair of ProAc D2Rs (from ProAc DB3). My current 24" stands are too high for the D2Rs – 20" would seem the right size.

Anyone used Custom Design’s FS 104 or FS 106 stands with the ProAc D2s? Any other stands recommended? TIA.

If you plan to keep the Chario, why don’t you ask to Chario the best (or suggested) stands for your speakers.
If you plan to change speakers, change speakers first than find the best stands for the new speakers…

David

Chario stands are very ugly. I’ll have a pair Neat Motive SX2 on a demo tomorrow.

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@EddieB Question four; I consider to test and maybe buy Proac Tablette 10’s in the near future. Do these fit on these stands?

I use these mass loaded with Atabytes with my Tab 10 Sigs. Top frame designed to fit perfectly.

G

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I have FS104 Signatures, and have shied away from using Atabites because the particle size (up to 8mm, according to Atacama’s website) would seem to make it difficult to get them into the centre column, which has gaps that are around 10mm. Did you have much difficulty doing that?

Also, did you put any filler of any kind in the outer columns? Difficult to see how you would get Atabites into those, given that the openings are around 3mm.

I used the recommended custom design inert filler for the FS 104 central column Cory, which worked well. As you say need the smaller particles to go through slots

I really like the stand combined with Neat Ministra’s, in the past have had the FS 103 with the neat motive SX3’s and they worked really well also

My dealer filled them before delivery and used a funnel I understand.

G

How suspicious does that sound in the wrong context!

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Atabites will go in easily. The vast majority are tiny, and the 8mm ones are long and thin. They are designed to lock together in some way. The 104 stands really benefit from filling, usually about 2/3 full.

ProAc recommend the Atacama HMS1-TS for the Tab 10, they are massive things and each takes 14kg of Atabites.

One thing I really like about my stands is that they are made from solid steel bars, welded together, so there is nothing to fill even if I wanted to.

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Ha ha - won’t go any further on that one :crazy_face:

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