Skylan Stands for My Dutch & Dutch 8c Speakers

tmallin

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Why?

The idea of moving on from my 28" Monoprice Monolith stands did not originate from any dissatisfaction with the quality of sound I was getting from the speakers mounted on those stands. As you can tell from what I've said before in my Dutch & Dutch 8c thread, I've found the 8c's to be near ideal sounding all along.

No, what drove this decision was the fact that the 28" height of the stands was, as it turned out, just a bit too high for my seated position in my long-term listening chair. I compensated for this by putting a couple of wooden platforms (an old Target Audio MDF rack shelf and a bamboo cutting board) below the seat cushion to boost my seated height more than an inch. While this was not really uncomfortable, it was not as comfortable as I know this chair is without this sort of "height augmentation."

Dutch & Dutch makes a dedicated stand for these speakers, but I wasn't keen on using it for a few reasons. First, at 24", it's a bit too low for my chair. (Similarly, the next lowest available height for the Monolith stands is 24".) Yes, I could put large tall cones or spikes beneath the stands and/or between the stands and speakers to raise the height. But I've not had good sonic experience with sharp cones or spikes under speaker stands in the past. While the bass is certainly tightened, it tends to go toward the anemic side while the high frequencies are, yes, more "detailed" but that detail often takes the form of increased treble and/or the treble is overlaid with significant "edge"/"grit"/"grunge."

And while I might try the A-V Room Service EVPs I like so much under my electronics under the speakers and/or the stands to gain extra height, I know from a lot of experience with the EVPs that getting the supported equipment truly level when supported by these devices is an exercise in frustration. The qualities of EVPs which make them great at absorbing vibrations—their compressibility—makes it difficult to distribute the weight evenly enough among the EVPs to get the supported equipment truly level, an aspect exacerbated by the fact that EVPs vary in height as much as 1/8 inch from one to another uncompressed by load. I've found that speakers must truly be as level as you can measure with a good bubble level to get them to sonically match left and right and create the most sonically cohesive sound field.

Second, the D&D stands seem wedded to cone-like spikes sold with them.

Third, the stands are metal and must be filled with sand/cat litter/rice or similar to deaden them, just like the Monoliths I currently use, a messy project, particularly in the winter in Chicago-land where the weather is not conducive to doing this outdoors.

Thus I Iooked for alternatives. A friend noted that Noel Nolan's Skylan Stands had a picture of a pair of D&D speakers on one of their four-poster stands in the Gallery portion of Skylan's website. The stand looked like it fitted the D&Ds like a glove—at least as well and as D&D's own stand—and it looked really handsome and well proportioned. The Website picture gives you a good idea, but I believe the stands are even better looking in real life than in the photo.

In addition I've successfully used Skylan stands twice before. Once was under my original Harbeth Monitor 40 speakers. And I also used a pair of one-poster Skylans for many years under the main left and right Totem Dreamcatcher speakers in the 7.2 home theater system in my old home.

Description

Contacting Noel I found out that he could make a four-post stand for the 8c's with any height between 24" and 27". The top plate would be 10.5" wide and 14.5" front to back, which matches the D&D 8c dimensions well.

He also was willing to take a stab at pre-drilling the top plates of the stands to match the D&D template for the bolt holes in the bottom of the speakers. D&D's own stands come pre-drilled so you can bolt the speakers to the top of the stand for ultimate stability.

Noel mentioned that in his experience bolting speakers to the top plate can significantly improve the sonics. He also is keen on using his Q-Bricks vibration mitigation devices (a sandwich cookie of top and bottom metal plates glued to a rubbery center with a tiny vinyl dot in the center of one side) with his stands as an interface between the speakers and stands. The idea is to place the Q-Bricks atop the threaded rod inserts in the stand top plate, vinyl dot side down to help with exact positioning in the well above the rod insert) to feed vibration from the speaker more directly into the posts and thence to the damped threaded rods within the posts.

No fill is needed or currently recommended for the Skylan stand posts because of these damped rods and the inherently low resonance of the polymer material used for the posts.

After further discussions with Noel, I decided to order a pair of four-post Skylan Stands for the D&D speakers in a 26" height. That height includes the hardwood floor glides which are mounted to the stand base. The price of the pair of stands was $570 delivered. Delivery took less than two weeks and from time of shipment to delivery was only two days, remarkably quick for what FedEx called its "economy international" shipment service from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to Chicago in the USA.

The shipping weight of the stands was only about 35 pounds so they weigh less than half as much as my cat-litter-filled Monolith stands. They arrived intact and the packaging seemed bullet-proof. You can get an idea of the high level of packaging care by looking at the unboxing photos at this review from Steve's Blog. Assembly is even easier than it looks, is thoroughly covered on a single two-sided sheet, and was helped along by the fact that I've assembled Skylan stands before. The design is both ingenious and very good looking once assembled which takes only about 10 minutes per stand, I'd say. This process is much easier than assembling the Monolith stands, by the way, which themselves are not all that difficult to assemble. The Skylan parts just fit together so easily and positively; you know everything is extremely well seated and the parts fit together with a great precision which inspires confidence that you know you are doing the job correctly.
 
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tmallin

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Mounting the Speakers on the Stands

The difficult part was figuring out how to mount the 8c speakers atop the Q-Bricks with the Q-Bricks properly seated into the little wells in the center of the threaded inserts in the top plate of the stands. As it turned out, the rubber feet which are the OEM feet for the bottom of the 8c speakers would not fit securely atop the Q-Bricks when the Q-Bricks were mounted the way they should be. The rubber feet were just a bit too far apart to fit front-to-back atop the Q-Bricks. I could precariously balance the rubber feet atop the Q-Bricks, but then the pre-drilled holes in the bottom of the speakers for the bolts did not line up with the holes Noel drilled in the top plates of the stands for the bolts.

I could have abandoned the Q-Bricks and just used the 8c's rubber feet as an interface with the stand and lined up the bolt holes easily that way. However, given how keen Noel was on the performance enhancement of the Q-Bricks, I decided on a more radical approach.

First I determined that there were conical screws protruding from the bottom metal plate of the D&D speakers which were placed so that they could rest atop all four of the Q-Bricks when the Q-Bricks were placed as recommended. Then I determined that the rubber feet of the D&D speakers could easily be removed by just pulling them out. I also determined that, with a little work, those feet could be replaced into the bottom metal plate of the speaker by compressing the little plastic "wings" which held the feet in place when mounted in the speaker's bottom plate.

Next I determined to use the special double-layer Q-Bricks Noel had sent along instead of the single layer pictured on the Website, which version he also sent. Since I was losing the 1/4" height of the speaker's rubber feet, the double-layer Q-Bricks (basically two Q-Bricks glued together vertically) compensated for this loss of height.

The real trick was then placing the heavy speaker atop the Q-Bricks in just the right position so that the conical screw heads rested atop the Q-Bricks without dislodging the Q-Bricks from the little wells into which they fit atop the top plate of the stand. The Q-Bricks are not bolted or glued in place in those little wells; they just sit there. This job probably might well have been much easier with two people—one to hold and maneuver the speaker and the other to hold and/or reposition the Q-Bricks, but I eventually managed it myself.

Once I got the screwheads in the bottom plate of the speaker positioned atop the correctly seated Q-Bricks, it was easy enough the nudge the speaker into exactly the right position so that the bolt holes in the speaker's bottom plate and the bolt holes in the stand's top plate lined up just right to allow the bolts to be inserted from below the stand's top plate into the pre-threaded holes in the speaker's bottom plate.

For bolts I used M6 stainless screws, 35 mm long with a single thin rubber washer between the head of the screw and the underside of the top plate of the stand. The screws I chose need a 4 mm hex head wrench to drive them. This hardware proved perfect for this job, creating a VERY solid connection between the speakers and the stand. Here are links to this hardware I purchased from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082W2WBCK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MTDD6C5/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here is a picture of this unusual speaker/stand interface with Q-Bricks and bolts.


IMG_7890.jpg



 

tmallin

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Floor Interface & Leveling the Speakers

Since I have the speakers on a hardwood floor, I am not using the included spikes. I'm using the also-included glides. I agree with the discussion in Steve's Blog about the great design of these glides. They do indeed allow easy and precise adjustment of the glides with just your fingers to allow leveling and freedom from rocking.

For those who have not leveled four-footed speaker stands on a wood or concrete floor before, you have to keep in mind that while three feet define a plane and will not rock no matter whether the stand is level or not, four feet define two planes and definitely will allow rocking if the feet are not all carefully adjusted. The proper technique is to try rocking the stand holding diagonal corners of the stand. The direction that the speaker rocks indicates that the other two diagonal corners are too high and at least one of the supports of those other two corners should be lowered.

Once you stop the rocking, you then measure the levelness of the top of the speaker cabinet, both side to side and front to back. I suggest starting with the glides or spikes as extended as possible with still enough caught threads for structural integrity of the connection between the glides/spikes and the posts. For the Skylan glides, that's at most 1 inch. I actually started with the glides each extended only 7/8" from the bottom of the post for added stability. I made sure the lock nuts on the glides were adjusted well down toward the knurled feet. Then, to adjust the speaker's levelness, only screw each glide further back into its post, rather than extending it further out. Yes, this will lower the maximum height of the stand a bit but will also make it a bit more stable.

To adjust the levelness with four-posted stands, if the front of the speaker is too high, adjust both front feet lower by the same amount until the speaker is level front to back. Then move the level to measure the speaker's levelness side to side. If the left side is too high, adjust both the feet under the left side of the cabinet inward by the same amount to lower that side of the speaker stand/cabinet. NEVER adjust one support at a time; always work with pairs or you will be chasing your tail in terms of achieving levelness and avoiding reintroducing rocking of the stand.

To measure the levelness, I use a 10-inch-long BMI Inclinat bubble level. I visually judge when the bubble is exactly centered between the two markers with the level oriented front to back and side to side on the speaker cabinet. Once I got the speaker level I used the included-with-the-stands 7/16" wrench to tighten the lock nuts on the glides to the bottom of the stand posts for added stability.

On my wooden floor, I find the glides to be a bit too slippery to allow the speaker on the stand to stay securely put on the floor. But adding the included rubber pads beneath the glides makes the stand very difficult to move on the floor. When I moved the stand, it moved suddenly and tended to leave the rubber pads behind. I wanted something in between in terms of friction with the floor so that I could adjust the speaker position quite exactly with purposeful nudges but be fairly confident it would not move too easily thereafter. I decided to try self-adhesive heavy duty felt pads, 3/4" diameter adhered to the bottom of the glides. I've used such pads as stand/floor interfaces many times before; in fact, that's what I used with the Monolith stands. These felt pads seem to work pretty well, adding some but not too much additional floor friction, and also adding a bit of extra height.

I waited to add the felt pads to the bottom of the glides until AFTER rocking of the speaker stand was eliminated, the speaker was level, and the glide feet lock nuts were cinched down. This is important. It is impossible to judge whether you have the feet of a four-post stand adjusted properly to avoid any tendency of the stand to rock if the interface of the stand feet with the floor is at all "soft." With a "hard" interface you can both easily feel and hear the stand rocking. If you mount the felt pads earlier in the process, you likely will not be able to detect slight rocking which would be obvious without the pads.

Mounting the sticky pads to the bottom of the glide feet after they were attached to the stand and the speaker atop the stand was actually quite easy despite the considerable weight. Remember, each speaker is very securely bolted in place to the top of the stand. There is no way the speaker would move out of place, much less off the stand, by raising the leg of the stand by a quarter inch or so. I first removed the protective paper on the sticky side of the felt pad and placed that pad sticky side up near the stand leg I was working on. I then grasped the bottom of that one post with one hand and maneuvered the pad directly beneath the sticky pad and lowered the glide foot into the middle of the pad. The 3/4" diameter of the felt pads I used allow about 1/8" of the felt pad to extend beyond the edge of the 1/2"-diameter glide foot all around the glide foot. I then rotated the stand a quarter turn so that the next post was in the same relative position to my hands. In this way, placing the pads under all eight post feet of both stands took no more than ten minutes.
 

tmallin

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Positioning the Speakers in the Room

The design axis of the speaker is now 37" above the floor, which is just about my ear height sitting in my listening chair without any boards underneath the seat cushion. Just what I wanted to achieve.

Once I had the speakers leveled and at the correct height, I adjusted the speakers so that, as before, the center back each speaker was 30 cm from the wall behind it and 40 cm from the near side wall. Then I adjusted the toe-in to aim the speakers at my ears via the method I've described in detail in post #26 of my Dutch & Dutch 8c thread, using small mirrors attached to the front baffle of the speakers.

Then with the auxiliary boards removed from underneath the seat cushion of my listening chair, I sat down for some serious listening.

Sonic Differences

How does the sound of the speakers on the Skylan stands compare with the way they sounded on the Monolith stands? Was the expense and experimental work worth it?

First let me say that I regard the sonic differences I will describe as quite small. I believe they are there, but they are by no means night and day differences. This is in line with my previous experience with speaker supports. Once you are "in the ballpark" the differences get small.

Things that go "outside the ballpark" unfortunately include the all-too-common audiophile concatenation of speakers with extremely stiff cabinet walls with extremely "hard" interfaces like spikes and pointed cones between speaker and stand, stiff metal stands, pointed cones or spikes between such stands or the speaker itself and the floor, together with extremely stiff supporting surfaces like a concrete floor on the ground.

Such "hard interface" combinations tend to produce huge amounts of ringing and chattering among all the interfaces. Such vibrations may be centered in the low kilohertz regions, near the area of the ear's greatest sensitivity. While frequency response measurements of the driver outputs may show little, if any, before-and-after change, the entire tonal character of the speaker can be transformed by such "hard" mounting. Warm purring bass becomes enormously "tighter" and "dryer" and "punchier." Part of this is due to good coupling of the bass to the structure of the building. The bass energy going through the structure travels faster than sound travels in air, reaching you first, adding what seems like an added transient attack to the bass. The high frequencies are simultaneously brightened in response to the cabinet ringing at low kilohertz frequencies from reflected vibrations from stand and floor. Many folks hear this combination as "greater detail" throughout the frequency spectrum, ignoring the rather-obvious-to-me addition of an obnoxious layer of grunge/brightness/brittleness to the upper frequency regions. Yes, such "hard" speaker/stand/floor interfaces "transform" the sound, but not, to my ears, in a sonically desirable manner.

On the other hand, if the speaker doesn't have extremely stiff walls and there are "soft" (e.g., felt, terry cloth, or even Blu Tac) interfaces between speaker and stand and stand and floor (e.g., felt, carpet) while you might lose just a bit of bass detail and punch, the overall sound will be much more inviting and musically natural.

The combination of the Dutch & Dutch 8c speakers with the Skylan stands, the Q-Bricks speaker/stand interface, and floor glide/felt stand/floor interface is somewhere in between. The D&D cabinets definitely are not extremely resonance free. They make some thunky noise when tapped; but at least there is no zingy or even clicky sounding high frequency resonances in evidence when the cabinets are tapped.

The conical screws atop the Q-Bricks is a quite stiff/hard interface, but it is damped by the rubber sandwich of which the Q-Bricks are made, plus the damped threaded metal rods in the Skylan stand posts.

The bolting of the conical speaker screws to the Q-Bricks makes this connection very firm and rattle-free, exerting far more force than the "mere" 50-pound weight of the speakers on the Q-Bricks. The bolt interface with the stand's top plate is damped by the rubber washer under the screw head I used. There is thus no possibility of rattling at this interface either.

The smooth glide feet are firmly bolted to the stand pillars and would ordinarily rest on the hard wood floor. This would be another hard interface. But this interface is also somewhat damped by my use of the heavy-duty felt pads between the glide feet and floor. No rattling or ringing is going to happen there.

I would thus expect a lack of brightening of the high frequencies and bass which is perhaps a bit firmer than a really soft mounting would produce.

I regard my Monolith stands as having different interfaces between stand and speaker and speaker and floor. First, I used vinyl bumpers between the Monolith stand top plates and the speakers. Second, I used heavy duty felt pads on the bottom of the floor plates. Yes, the whole Monolith stand is metal and rings quite a bit when unfilled, but the cat litter filling damps this ringing quite well. The rigidity of the Monolith stand with the heavy 8c's atop them leaves something to be desired, perhaps, since the speaker/stand combination could be swayed a bit in response to a tap or nudge. But the natural frequency of this movement was so slow/low that it was in the area of being able to visually "count the cycles" of the stand's movement. It was not a high-frequency oscillation that would produce an overlay of upper-frequency coloration. Not bad at all for stands costing only $120 a pair (plus cat litter).

When I first listened to the 8c's on their new Skylan stands I did so without most of the acoustical padding on the walls near the speakers. The foam had been removed so I could have better physical access to the speaker locations and measure distances to the walls. I noticed right away that even without the padding, the speakers sounded even less "splashy" in terms of the audibility of high frequency reflections off nearby walls. I concluded that some grunge I previously attributed to wall reflections was in fact due to less optimal mounting of the speakers to their stands, reflections from the stands themselves, or just lesser stability of the Monolith stands.

Adding back the acoustical foam the way it was most recently with the speakers supported on my Monolith stands, the background is now somehow yet a little blacker. The macro dynamics of music are improved a bit further. Most noticeably, perhaps, the sound "holds together" tonally and dynamically at higher SPLs even better than before. There is no tendency for the speakers to get at all brighter as the SPL increases. Also, the dynamics remain just as wide as the SPL increases, reducing any slight tendency toward dynamic compression as the average SPLs get higher. This just reinforces my prior judgment that the 8c speakers are champs for their size in terms of their ability to output truly full-range, low distortion, highly dynamic sound at high SPLs in a small room like mine. They already did this better than any other speakers I've used in this room; mounted on the Skylan stands they do this better yet.

The bass is a bit firmer and more resolute and at least equally deep. The ability to follow moving bass lines is improved a bit. The bass remains properly warm and full, yet with potent punch, a truly winning combination. The bass differences between the Monolith and Skylan stands are there and important, even if small in magnitude.

Imaging is a bit firmer yet all across the spectrum and the apparent stage size in all dimensions varies a bit more from program to program. The differences between poor and great recordings are more evident in terms of revealing the recorded space.

As I said, these sonic differences between the Monolith and Skylan stands are small. In comparison, they are dwarfed by the changes induced by going from dispersive wall treatment near the speakers to sound absorbing foam at the speaker end of the room.

The Skylan stands cost roughly five times the cost of the Monolith stands, but in audiophile terms the difference between $120 a pair for the Monoliths and $570 a pair for the Skylans is not large in terms of dollars. Yes, even these small sonic differences are well worth the extra price.

The one downside for the Skylan stands used with the D&D 8c speakers is one of visual aesthetics. While the Skylan stands themselves are very handsome (the Monoliths are also visually appealing in a different way since the speakers appear to be floating in free space atop them), the open space between the Skylan pillars does not hide the three or four wires running to each speaker. The four closely placed columns of the Monolith stands allow the cables to be easily hidden behind the four posts without cable ties or any other cable routing system. To hide the cables with the Skylan stands you will need some sort of cable routing system, preferable one not involving visibly wrapping the stand pillars with cable ties.


Here's a picture of the speaker end of my room with the current foam arrangement and Skylan Stands:

IMG_7892.jpg
 
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Hear Here

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Dutch & Dutch makes a dedicated stand for these speakers, but I wasn't keen on using it for a few reasons. First, at 24", it's a bit too low for my chair. (Similarly, the next lowest available height for the Monolith stands is 24".) Yes, I could put large tall cones or spikes beneath the stands and/or between the stands and speakers to raise the height. But I've not had good sonic experience with sharp cones or spikes under speaker stands in the past.
I agree about spikes, but to raise the height without the adverse effects have you considered IsoAcoustic Gaia footers? Your floor appears solid and no carpet under the speakers, so ideal for Gaias. These will add 2" to the stand height so possibly this would bring the D&Ds to the height you want. A local dealer here in UK uses stands with much more substantial legs. There's only a couple of inches of fresh air between them! Peter
 

MTB Vince

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Coincidentally, I use (sand loaded) custom 4 post Skylan stands beneath my active ATC SCM20ASL Pro MkII stand mounts. And @tmallin's description of the D&D 8C cabinet construction exactly mirrors that of my ATC monitors. And my dedicated room features suspended hardwood floors.

After some experimenting my initial setup made use of Skylan's Q-Bricks and adjustable glider feet in preference of Blu-Tak and the also included spikes. The resulting combination worked great. However, the substitution of Isoacoustics Gaia II footers for the Skylan threaded plastic glider feet a few months ago proved sublime!
 

tmallin

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Good to know about the Gaia II footers. But it looks like they are two inches high. Since the reason I changed stands in the first place was to lower the stand height from 28" to 26", adding 2" footers in place of 7/8" footers would be counterproductive. I would need lower stands. But, as Hear Here stated above, such tall footers would allow one to use 24" stands with the D&Ds and still get the design axis of the speaker up to about 36.5" above the floor, a reasonable listening height. See my discussion of proper listening chairs at this thread.

While the frequency response of my D&D 8c speakers doesn't vary much with such small changes in height, the time alignment is not optimal once you move away from the design axis. To my ears, the correct height is easy to hear and once you hear things from that correct height, you want to lock in listening from that correct height. It's hard to describe, but I'd say that the sound "snaps into focus" at the correct listening height with time-aligned speakers. It's not like the sound is really out of focus from a different listening height, but all the parts of each musical note seem to be more "together" and "coherent" from the correct height.

This change in time alignment with respect to the vertical design axis of a speaker is an inherent characteristic of any time-aligned speakers with multiple physically offset drivers, whether the crossover is implemented in the analog domain (e.g., Thiel, Vandersteeen, Spica, Meadowlark) or digital domain like the D&D 8c's. I can easily see the effect on step response from small changes in vertical height in my own measurements and they are occasionally shown in Stereophile's measurements of speakers. See, for example, Figures 8 and 9 in John Atkinson's measurements of the Vandersteen Treo on this page.

By the way, the closer you sit to speakers, the more the vertical angle with respect to the drivers will change for any given change in listening height. Simple geometry dictates this. For those who listen close up to time-aligned speakers, getting the vertical listening height correct is more important than those who listen from 10 or more feet back.
 
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sbnx

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It looks like you are well on your way. One thing I notice in the Dutch & Dutch speaker is the distance between the tweeter and woofer. I don't know how low they are extending the tweeter but I can see how there might be some vertical off-axis response issues. This would magnify the importance of getting the proper speaker height relative to your ears. Were you noticing a dip in the response at your previous speaker height?

~Todd
 

tmallin

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"Distance between the tweeter and woofer"? The D&D 8c tweeter and mid/woofer are quite close together, as close together as the waveguide around the tweeter will allow.

I said in my last post that the frequency response does not change much with vertical movement off the design axis (which is midway between the center of the tweeter and center of the woofer, 24.5 cm above the bottom of the cabinet); what I'm aiming for is best possible time alignment.

To my knowledge, the Dutch & Dutch 8c has the smoothest horizontal AND vertical off axis response of any multi-drive, non-omnidirectional speaker out there--at least those for which I've seen such measurements. See Figure 3 and Figure 4 in John Atkinson's measurements of the 8c on this page and compare these to any other speaker for which such measurements are published by Stereophile. The off-axis change in response is very small and smooth in both the horizontal and vertical directions by comparison to most other speakers. The Gradient Revolution probably comes closer to the 8c than most others, but it is clearly not as good in this respect. The horizontal directivity plot shown in Mitch Barnett's review on
this page also shows the uniquely constant wideband directivity of the D&D 8c; you won't find this uniformly constant directivity pattern in any other multi-driver, non-omnidirectional speaker.

The lack of abrupt changes in off-axis response in the 8c is probably why I find that room treatment, while still helpful with the D&D 8c, is not the necessity in my small room that room treatment is with most other speakers. What I hear reflecting off room surfaces is very close in tonal balance to what I hear from the direct sound from the drivers and is thus not so obnoxious even though the reflections are obviously "time smeared" with respect to the direct sound. At least the reflections are not greatly colored and the smooth fall off in horizontal response lessens the audibility of the high frequency reflections as long as you don't listen from too far away from the speakers and toe them in toward your ears as I do.

Your room, at 28' x 22' x 12', is much larger than mine and not subject to the same sort of reflection problems as my small 13' x 11' x 8.5' room. You can get your speakers far enough away from the side walls so that reflections from the side walls and wall behind the speakers are not early enough to cause great audible problems. Most any type of speaker polar pattern will work well in your room. If you sit 8 feet away from your speakers with the speakers separated by 8 feet and firing down the long dimension, the speakers will be 7 feet from the side walls and the earliest reflection from the side walls will reach your ears considerably more than the 10 msec after the direct sound, late enough to be heard as pleasing ambiance or space rather than annoying slap echo, brightness, grit, edge, etc.
 
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Hear Here

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Good to know about the Gaia II footers. But it looks like they are two inches high. Since the reason I changed stands in the first place was to lower the stand height from 28" to 26", adding 2" footers in place of 7/8" footers would be counterproductive. I would need lower stands. But, as Hear Here stated above, such tall footers would allow one to use 24" stands with the D&Ds and still get the design axis of the speaker up to about 36.5" above the floor, a reasonable listening height. See my discussion of proper listening chairs at this thread.
I made the Gaia suggestion after reading the first 1 or 2 of your postings when you were considering moving from 28 to 24 inch stands but thought 24 a bit low. The exta 2" of Gaia would have possibly been ideal. I've concluded that you can always add height but you can never take it away.

With my own new speakers (Avantgarde Duo XD) I'm a little annoyed that the Duo has grown considerably over its development and the latest version needs to be tilted forward for ideal sound. My early ones could have their mid and top horns adjusted by about 8" so different chair heights were no problem. The latest version in non-adjustable and undeniably too high unless you listen from a bar stool! I'm making changes that will save a few cms but they'll still be too tall to all Gaia Is. What's so annoying is that they've made the bass enclosure less deep but added too much to its height. The same volume could have been achieved with a lower height.
 

tmallin

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Your Avantgarde Duo problem is unusual. Most floor standing box speakers have their design axis too low. It is rare to find such speakers designed for a listening height of more than 36 inches. Chairs which put the ears of the average adult that low while allowing a comfortably erect head posture are rare. Recliners might do it, but as I've discussed in my thread on listening chairs, it's really critical for your head to be erect and for nothing to be directly behind your head to allow you to hear the imaging and staging your system can muster to best advantage.

For your speakers, try an adjustable medical stool with a back. Either that or an adjustable pneumatic lift office chair. The Steelcase Leap Chair I'm sitting in as I write this can get my ears up to about 49" above the floor. I used to use it in my audio room when I had my Harbeth M40s on 24" stands.
 

Hear Here

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Portsmouth, UK
> Most floor standing box speakers have their design axis too low. It is rare to find such speakers designed for a listening height of more than 36 inches.

Avantgarde suggest you should be able to see the top surface of its bass enclosure from your seating position. This surface is 39 1/2" using the supplied spikes. This means the treble horn is 35" above the floor and the middle horn 52" All these figures even higher if other supports such as Gaias are used. I would have liked the treble horn to be more like the 32" of my old Duos. These had adjustable horn heights but I always use the mid-height and found this perfect.
 

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