Manufacturer: Soundocity Loudspeaker Enhancements
Item Reveiwed: 6″-9″ Straight End Steel Spike Version: $118 / Pair of Speakers
I suffer from a somewhat unique issue in my listening room, my speakers sit on, wait for it, garden paving slabs! I am told by someone who knows more about interior design than I do, that it looks ‘rustic’. What do I know? Anyway the net result is that my speakers must stand on a very uneven if not very solid surface and the adjustable screw in rubber feet on my XTZ 99.36 speakers have never really done a great job of providing a completely level or stable position for the speakers, in fact the slightest knock and they wobble.
After a little research it seems there are very few products available aimed at increasing the stability of speakers whilst still providing a good amount of adjustment, something critical for my stone effect flooring.
I eventually settled on the speaker outriggers from Soundocity. Most of their products employ various sizes of very pretty cone-like spikes for feet but they all raise the speaker quite a way off the ground and in my opinion are more suited to carpet for that very reason. As this is something I wanted to avoid the ‘no-frills’ Steel option appealed the most and for once it was also the cheapest.
The Steel Outriggers arrived in a standard USPS box within the stated 2 week delivery time, despite being ordered just before Christmas. The contents were well wrapped in brown paper and packaged in nothing more exciting than newspaper but despite the box obviously having taken a pounding, the contents were safe and well protected. There were no instructions included but it assembly was pretty self explantory.
I ordered the narrowest outriggers available 6″-9″ with the plain and not ’round’ ended versions. As they both have rounded ends this was a point of confusion for me but suffice to say there is another design which has large round discs at the ends, that is the ’round ended version’!
The outriggers come with all the parts you need, the outriggers themselves (2 pairs must be ordered for a pair of speakers), adjustable spikes with protective spike covers, bolts, locking nuts, sprung washers and hex drive threaded inserts.
I upended my speakers (XTZ 99.36 Floorstanders) with the intention of removing the threaded feet and simply using the existing threaded inserts to attach the outriggers, unfortunately life is rarely that simple. The bolts that come with the Soundocity outriggers, whilst the same diameter, are a different thread density, being somewhat coarser than the ones employed by XTZ. As I didn’t have any other bolts the same size I decided somewhat cautiously to remove the XTZ threaded inserts the replace them with those supplied by Soundocity. Despite me owning the only 50 piece Allen-key set which doesn’t seem to fit anything I have ever bought, I eventually manged to replace the inserts and still maintain a firm base for the outriggers. I was especially careful not to overtighten the inserts as I was pushing my luck re-threading these into MDF.
Attaching the outriggers was quite straightforward but would have been easier if Soundocity had supplied larger spring washers as the ones I received were not large enough and slipped into the mounting grooves of the outriggers. I had to use some additional flat washers to make proper use of the sprung washers. If the grooves cut in the outriggers were not so wide this would not be necessary but for whatever reason they are much wider than necessary so providing an appropriate sized washer would have been nice. I used an 11mm spanner to bolt the outriggers securely in place and added the (also 11mm) locking nuts to the threaded spike before screwing them a little way into the outriggers.
Once the speakers were placed back in their normal positions I used a small spirit level to ensure they were placed accurately and constant prodding and adjustment of the 4 spike ‘knobs’ to achieve a firm and stable platform. Once I was happy I then tightened the locking nuts to ensure no accidental movement or interference from troublesome children!
Note the rear Outrigger. Without additional washers the supplied sprung washers fall into the mounting slot.
I purchased the Soundocity Spiked Speaker Outriggers to provide a stable support for my wobbly speakers and make life much easier whenever I move them, change the toe-in etc. which was especially troublesome on an uneven surface. For that purpose I have to say theses really are excellent, my speakers are now rock solid and perfectly upright. The Outriggers are not cheap but the Steel options I purchased represent the best value and I haven’t seen anything else come close. Soundocity could have made life easier for customers with tighter tolerences on the mounting slot on the outriggers or simply supplying better suited washers, as the latter option would hardly cost very much it is a slight niggle that they didn’t do so. However this is a small complaint and overall I would highly recomend these outriggers for anyone wishing to improve the stability of their speakers or to provide a more convenient means of ensuring they are level after adjusting your speaker positioning.