Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Improving Small Speaker Performance

  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Jon Burns.
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    John Gleason

      I have a pair of JBL LSR305 speakers that I never liked. I kept moving them around and trying different foam pads, but the definition was never crisp and the bass was really sad (even for a 5" speaker). Some commercial speaker pads use a heavy base between the speaker cabinet and the foam to add mass -- the DIY version would be to use concrete stepping stones and rubber pads but I wanted some method to firmly fix the speaker cabinet to the weight in order to reduce any vibrations as much as possible.

      It then occurred to me that the extra mass could go on top of the speakers if the weight wouldn't vibrate. I had a pair of photographic black nylon saddlebag weights (used to keep light stands from falling over), each filled with 15 pounds of sand. Instant success! The sand settles into shape and provides good vibration control. They don't look too dorky (they are pro photo items) and they have made a noticeable improvement in both the definition overall as well as the bass performance (such as it is).

      The DIY version would be to fill a heavy plastic bag with sand and drape it over the top of your speaker. You can always conceal it in a nylon bag, etc. The saddlebag weights can be purchased for under $25 each (sand included) from an on-line pro photo store (i.e. BHPhoto or Adorama).

      The speakers I WISH I had are heavy enough that they probably don't need the extra mass, but if you have small speakers that could use some help this might work for you. Give it a try!


      Jon Burns

        Thanks John, I agree that's a great tip!
        I had a local slate/worktop company cut 2 bits of granite from a worktop offcut
        and that's what sits on my monitors. I got some thin foam liner from a fabric
        store to go underneath & protect the speakers. Then they're on iso stands which
        are each on a concrete breeze block on my desk. I wrapped the blocks in funky
        paper to keep the environment vibing. 🙂
        The iso stands came with the speakers as a deal, then I did the granite, then
        the blocks. Each stage was a notable improvement in definition and stereo placement.

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