Pretension is a Brisbane based electronic producer who is determined to make his mark on the Australian dance music scene. This blog explores how he uses various production techniques in his past and present releases. Check them out!

DIY Speaker/Monitor Stands

Between Christmas and New Years of 2007 I bought myself a pair of Yamaha HS80M powered monitors. Sweet sound, and at a fairly decent price. It has certainly been an improvement over the dodgy book case hi-fi speakers I was running before and after recently buying a MOTU Ultralite, the signal chain has improved ten fold.

I decided to make up a pair of speaker stands to match the monitors. I took inspiration from one of the threads on SoundPunk.com (http://www.soundpunk.com/index.php?topic=518.0), ran out to the local hardware store and started piecing these together.



So down at Bunnings, I picked up two 1 metre lengths of 100mm diameter PVC pipe, four PVC end flange joints, a couple of bits of pine and two lengths of M16 threaded rod and nuts and washers to suit. I chose 100mm PVC over the standard 90mm just to make the stands a little more stable and solid. The flange joints were fairly cheap ($3-4 each) and helped considerably with the stability and meant that I did not necessarily have to cut the ends of the PVC straight (which is a bit difficult for anyone that hasn’t tried it).

So I measured everything up such that the tweeters would be at the right height. I also made sure the size of the top of the stands would be the same size as the bottom of the monitors, and the base slightly larger to help with stability once again. I wanted to make sure that the speakers I just spent my hard earned cash on didn’t topple to the floor.

I cut holes in the base to mount the spikes. I got a bit slack and just used small bolts and countersunk them into the base, rather than professional speaker spikes. However, they seem to have worked out alright.



After a bit of fiddling to get them all level, I puttied up the top surface and sanded the whole thing down.



You could even sharpen the ends of the bolts to get a good spike. A bit of measuring to get the hole right in the centre for the threaded rod and I was able to tie the stands together and check the height.

I then centered the PVC on the base, sealed it with sellastic and wiped off the excess. I then bolted them together again and waited for the sellastic to cure.



In the meantime, I went down to the beach and pinched a crate of sand. I totally over estimated how much sand I would need. Now because I got sand from the beach (Salt) I thought I would protect the rod inside the speaker stand and give it a good coat of KillRust. It may be the difference between these stands lasting five and ten years.



I used a funnel and a sieve to put the sand in the stands. I only filled them up about two thirds of the way as they were getting pretty heavy. The stands ended up weighing about 13kilos each (the same as the speakers). The funnel is a great idea because it centers the booker rod in the PVC and helps you align the top board, and the sieve makes sure I don’t get any dirty Gold Coast beach debris in my stands.

Roughly, I ran some sellastic around the top because I knew this area was not going to be seen and stuck the top on. Lined up the top with the base and let it cure again. A day later I grabbed a tin of black paint and sprayed the stands. Make sure you give the PVC a good sand to ensure the paint really sticks to it.

I then went out to Clark Rubber and grabbed some pieces of foam. The main reason was to clear the nut on the threaded rod but to also aid in sound quality. Best way to cut it is using a good sharp kitchen knife, preferable a long one as short Stanley knives or scalpel blades tend to tear rather than cut.

So yeah that's it. It cost about $80 for materials and a few hours labour on top of that. I set them up in my room and they are looking and sounding nice.



Time to go make some tunes!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great article. Just stumbled across it today. Good find.

Kitchen Canisters said...

Great DIY project, It could work for other things you want to put on stilts like that. To weigh them down I would use pebbles.

Cathal said...

Nice job, would you have a list of all the materials you used ? Also did you run the speakers cable through the main PVC column or just straight to the back of the speaker ?

Pretension said...

Hey Cathal, materials as follows:

- 2 lengths of 100 diameter PVC pipe
- 4 end flange joints
- 2 lengths of M16 threaded rod + 4 nuts and washers
- enough 15mm thick Pine to make the top and bottom.
- M6 or equivalent bolts + nuts to make small studs for feet.
- Wood putty filler
- Sand
- Silicon
- Paint

Cables went straight to the speaker. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, but how did you attach the PVC pipe to the baseplate?
Looking swell.

Thanks.

Pretension said...

Sellastic to seal the PVC to the wooden baseplate and I used a long threaded rod to tie the whole thing together.

Rory Fugerson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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