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DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
#1792280 11/19/11 09:19 PM
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Hi, I am trying to find out how to mount my new (actually, third-hand:) M-Audio BX8a monitors.

I understand that they should be about ear level. Unfortunately, they are too big to put on the top of my DP. (Kawai CL-36.)
Since the DP is going to be placed in the living room, and my kids are running all over the place, and I really don't want them to knock over the 12kg beasts, floor-standing speaker stands are out of the question.

So, I think I am just going to put them on wall-mounted shelves, like this:

[Linked Image]

My usual design would be a simple slab of MDF (or maybe pine), mounted to the brick wall using some kind of L-shaped metal console.

But here comes the catch: what kind of vibration isolation / noise dampening should I use?

I tried to look into this, but (like almost everything related to HIFI-quality sound) the area seems to be huge, and highly inconclusive.

I really do not have the required time to research this properly now, but some of you might have this figured out already, so I would like to ask for your advice.

Some of the suggestions I have heard:
- Small points of plasticine or BlueTech
- A mouse pad
- rubber pad
- sand bed
- a piece of rug
- metal spikes
- wooden spikes
- foam (what kind?)
- erasers
- cymbal felts (like these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/gewa_hi_hat_clutch_filz.htm )
- special equipment
- something else

Now I have no budget for costy special equipment for this, but if something simple can improve the sound, then I would like to go for it.

Any ideas about this?

Thank you for your help!

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792283 11/19/11 09:26 PM
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If you don't play very loudly, a mouse pad (the thick rubbery kind) will help.
Otherwise, try a piece foam rubber. Or a piece of carpet pad.

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792292 11/19/11 09:37 PM
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Hi,

I realized that I forgot to explain why am I even considering this.

When I was evaluating this pair of speakers, I listened to some test tones (I like to listen to this midi file via Pianoteq Play Demo), and the bass was incredibly boomy. When I complained about this, the guy put some kind of thick foam brick between each of the monitors and the wooden table, which improved the sound. (Somewhat.)

I don't know what it was, but I know I will (probably) need something like that. That's why I am asking.

Thank you for your help!

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792322 11/19/11 10:43 PM
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Rob
Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792325 11/19/11 10:45 PM
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The M Audios I tried out came with some kind of foam thing to put under them. Yours might still have it. Some monitors already have something like that affixed to them underneath as well. Most of those other options you listed would be really good too. I'd start with whatever the things come with, and then if you identify a problem, start experimenting with one thing after another (and try stacking them too).

Some kind of open-cell foam is what I would recommend. The kind of stuff you can get in fabric stores for making cushions and so forth. The stuff I have and like came as packing material in a box that shipped a hard drive. In a pinch, a towel can do a rudimentary job.

Probably (I'm guessing) a bigger issue will be placement. Manufacterers suggest not being too close to a wall, and especially not close to a corner. Also there are sound absorbing things (panels and the like) that people put behind their monitors if you are close to a wall. Just some ideas. I'm kind of struggling with this situation as well. I'll be interested to see how your shelves work out.

In my prior setup, I used a table set up behind my piano and then elevated the monitors on some short wood platforms. It was very solid and worked out better than the stands I'm using now. It did take up some space, though.

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792363 11/19/11 11:58 PM
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I can't possibly think of a worse why to mount a speaker. Acoustically it has everything going wrong

1) Vibration transmitted to shelf, then into wall. Both will re-reradite sound out of phase with speaker

2) Speakers are WAY to close to a wall - expect some booming bass notes

3) 90 degree angles are created at shelf/wall intersection. This is a "horn" or "corner reflector"

4) zero flexibilty so you will never be able to fine tune your setup. Unlikely to get it perfect on first try

To make it better...

1) if is MUST be a shelf and you have zero other option please make the shell SMALLER than the base of the speaker. (less dusting too)

2) use a monitor "'arm" These things are pipe-like stands that screw to a stud in the wall and hold a speaker on a swivel joint. They are not cheap if they are good.

3) The "best" thing is a floor stand and pull it out a good 18 inches or so. The best floor stands will have removable carpet spikes and a wide enough footing to be stable

4) OK if you must have over sized wide selves make then as wide as you can to get the speakers away from wall then place speaker on a thick 4" tall block of foam where the foam is not larger then the base of the speaker. This will get it way from the two flat surfaces

5) why a wood shelf? install the shelf brackets but what function does the flat board have. Use the shelf bracket as a "poor man's" speaker arm

6) place a hook in the ceiling. Find a joist 18 to 24 inches from the wall and hang the speaker.


What's best? Depends on the kind of sound you like but what I did was get a pair of speakers that are tall enough to set directly on the floor and use with no stand. Price is reasonable.

I'm using a pair of these for the piano.
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Monitor-AM5025-Floorstanding/dp/B0002Z240M

I have a pair of these too. I tried them on the piano. Makes some impressive noise but my music room is to small. I use them in another room for stereo
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Monitor-AM7025-B-Floorstanding/dp/B0002Z241Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

I use studio monitors on the computer but not on the piano

Last edited by ChrisA; 11/20/11 12:16 AM.
Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792415 11/20/11 02:04 AM
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If you must mount them on the wall and all you want is something to put under them, then Rob's suggestion of auralex foam is probably what you are looking for.

I agree with ChrisA that mounting them on the wall will not provide the best sound. As gvfarns sugested, mounting an acoustic panel directly behind the speakers might help.

If you are open to a different suggestion all together, you might consider a studio desk. You can place your piano on the lower desk and your speakers on the upper part of the desk. I am currently building my own custum studio desk/piano stand that resembles this...

[Linked Image]

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...one&gclid=CMGktLHCxKwCFQGFQAod8hY-pg


Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792419 11/20/11 02:11 AM
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Ooops! Sorry. Scratch that... I see now that you have a console piano; not a stage piano.

As gvfarns suggested. I'd consider placing a table behind the piano to put the speakers on. You could get a on stage stand WS8540 and place an MDF board on top of that to make a cheap table the exact size you want.

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792450 11/20/11 05:13 AM
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Has anyone ever suspended monitors from the ceiling to avoid vibrations?


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Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Dave Horne #1792456 11/20/11 05:50 AM
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Don't the BX8A have an open port at the back of them so that placing the rear against the wall would not be recommended?
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Has anyone ever suspended monitors from the ceiling to avoid vibrations?

Yup, I've one this with my smaller BX5A, not for piano use though, but it works, and looks, great. (Just need to be creative with the power and audio leads). They will move though at high volume and loud bass

Last edited by spanishbuddha; 11/20/11 05:50 AM.
Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792513 11/20/11 10:56 AM
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Thank you for all the suggestions so far.

I would like to clarify a few things.

- The DP is going to be placed in a 4m x 6m living room, which is already quite full of furniture. There is really no useless empty space here. There is one, ~2m long "opening" against one of the walls (where there are no wardrobes); that's where the DP goes. Since playing the DP is not going to be the sole function of the room, there is simply no chance I can use more room.

So, suggestions about moving further away from the wall, or putting a table behind the DP, might be very useful generally, but they are not going to work for me this time.

Obviously, this means that I must make compromises about the sound quality. I am ready to accept this, but I am still trying to make the best out of it.

- My budget is depleted. In fact, I have already went over it. (My wife was ready to accept the cost of the (budget) DP, but then there came the "small accessories": the piano bench, the monitors, the USB audio interface, maybe a quality headphone, a virtual instrument, etc, etc...) So, I really can not afford buying further high-cost equipment, for now. Having said that, the MOPAD solution might be worth the prize... if that's really the best solution that I can come up width.

* * *

About the suggestions:

Quote
Vibration transmitted to shelf, then into wall. Both will re-reradite sound out of phase with speaker


That's why I want to add the vibration dumping. Would this still be the case if I added these?

Quote

3) 90 degree angles are created at shelf/wall intersection. This is a "horn" or "corner reflector"

4) zero flexibilty so you will never be able to fine tune your setup. Unlikely to get it perfect on first try


I planned to make the shelves bigger than the base size of the monitors (39x39 against 25x33), so that I can experiment with turning them to different angles. Would this not provide some flexibility?

If not, the how about installing a rotating base between the wall-mounted metal consoles and the monitors?

Quote

why a wood shelf? install the shelf brackets but what function does the flat board have. Use the shelf bracket as a "poor man's" speaker arm


Good idea, I might try this. But I am somewhat afraid that if the monitors are not properly secured, the children might knock them over. (I can not place high enough to avoid this...)

Quote
place a hook in the ceiling. Find a joist 18 to 24 inches from the wall and hang the speaker.


Another good idea. The construction of the ceiling is kind of complicated, but still, I might be able to this it, but this would require much more effort. Knowing that the monitors would still be very close to the wall, how much would this improve the sound?

* * *

Again, thank you for all the ideas. I will need to do some more thinking about this.

Best wishes:

Kristof

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792519 11/20/11 11:11 AM
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If your budget is constrained by your wife's objections, perhaps you should built a BIG shelf ... and put her on the shelf! Then you can go spend all you want! smile smile

Seriously, though ... Don't be too worried about all of the "concerns" stated above. The pair of shelves will do well enough. And you can later decide whether you need padding under the speakers.

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1792584 11/20/11 01:57 PM
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Yeah. A little at a time. Once you get the piano up and working, you can work on improving the acoustics or whatever as you have the time and money to do so, without being rushed.

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
MacMacMac #1792689 11/20/11 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
If your budget is constrained by your wife's objections, perhaps you should built a BIG shelf ... and put her on the shelf! Then you can go spend all you want! smile smile


Nah; she looks and sounds much better than any DP, so the exchange would not be a good one :))

(Besides, who would do the recorder, flute and guitar tracks then? smile

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
R0B #1793118 11/21/11 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by R0B


I have found a cheaper alternative:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_takustik_isopad_7.htm

I think I will go with this.

* * *

The remaining question is: should I make the shelf

a) Smaller or just the same size as the base of the monitors (or the isolation pad), or
b) a little bigger than the monitors (so that I can move/rotate them around, for adjustment, or
c) small, but sitting on some kind of axle, so that I can turn it around freely?

Originally Posted by gfvarns

Also there are sound absorbing things (panels and the like) that people put behind their monitors if you are close to a wall.


Like these?

http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_acoustic_curtain_white_160_cm.htm

Thank you:

Kristof

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1793153 11/21/11 07:54 AM
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Decent quality speakers are designed with a particular mounting configuration in mind. Mounting them in a radically different way will most likely not improve the sound quality, even if that way seems to be acoustically sensible. For example, some speakers will develop overpowering bass resonances if mounted too close to a wall, but others are designed to be mounted in such a way, and will sound very thin if not. A heavy speaker might transmit vibtration to a shelf (and the wall, to a limited extent) if rigidly mounted, but a lightweight speaker might need to be rigidly mounted because it doesn't have enough mass to counter cone recoil otherwise.

And so on. I have Denon monitors in my piano room that are designed to be rigidly mounted directly on a wall. The manufacturers are very clear about this, and provide mounting brackets that allow the backs of the speakers to rest solidly on the wall and be tighened into position. They sound absolutely crap with any other form of mounting.

If you don't have specific manufacturer's guidelines, then my suggestion would be to leave your mounting options as open as possible, until you have chance to experiment to find the way that works best for you.


Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
kevinb #1793160 11/21/11 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinb
Decent quality speakers are designed with a particular mounting configuration in mind. [...] If you don't have specific manufacturer's guidelines, then my suggestion would be to leave your mounting options as open as possible, until you have chance to experiment to find the way that works best for you.



Well, M-Audio says this in the manual:

[Linked Image]

So I guess a flat surface under them is OK.
What I don't understand is this:

Originally Posted by M-Audio
Do not place any obstacles that may block [...] in front or between the monitors.


What's wrong with putting stuff between the two monitors?

I thought that's exactly where one would put the scores, LCD monitors and the like. Is that wrong?



Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1793229 11/21/11 10:49 AM
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If the speakers can accommodate a mounting bracket, use that. Lots of home-theater speakers have that ability. Not sure about your monitors, though.

If not, I'd definitely make the shelves large enough to allow for speaker adjustment (and also to give assurance that they're not one small push away from crashing to the floor).

Axle? No. Mechanical parts will vibrate.

BTW, nice find on those cheaper isolators. If you need the down-slope, these will do the trick. (But do you need the down-slope? You won't if you position the speakers at ear level. And in that case you might not need any padding at all.)

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1793326 11/21/11 01:34 PM
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Sounds like you're still planning on blocking off the rear low frequency port. Being picky about some things and ignoring others. smile Oh well.

Re: DIY wall-mounted monitor stand: isolation/vibration damping?
Csillag #1793351 11/21/11 02:05 PM
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Yeah. If you must mount these on the wall you really should consider returning/selling these monitors and getting a pair without a rear facing port.

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