Speaker Stands – Part 1

I got my order of speaker stands, speaker cable, and some miscellaneous cables from MonoPrice last week.

The speaker stands I got were these: Speaker Stand – Silver (SS-01) – Set of 2. I actually got 2 sets of them since I had rear speakers and side speakers to elevate. I was contemplating on mounting on the wall, but that didn’t give me as much freedom and my layout is a bit weird. If you don’t recall, this is what my layout looks like:

living room speaker layout

Everything was fine until I finished building my first speaker stand. If I hooked up my speaker to it, it wouldn’t stand on its own. It appears my speakers were too heavy. My rear and side speakers aren’t that big. They measure 4″ x 6″ x 10.5″ and weighed 2.6lbs. I actually found a neat way to measure how heavy items are. My digital scale won’t turn on unless something heavier than 10 or 20lbs stands on it. Therefore, to weigh the speakers, I first weigh myself twice (to guarantee accuracy of my own weight), and then I weigh myself holding the object. Simple subtraction afterwards nets me the objects weight.

I was somewhat pissed at this point. I have 2 sets of these useless speaker stands. I even started browsing Best Buy and Circuit City to see what available options I had. They were all over $50, but I was feeling desperate at this point. I shot an email to MonoPrice support and also left a review (no longer available – which I’ll explain later). There’s one interesting thing about MonoPrice’s “Average User Satisfaction Rate“. When you submit a review, you give it a rating, however the rating is between 4 and 10, where 4 corresponds to 2 stars and 10 corresponds to 5 stars. Meaning, the product’s rating are partially inflated. Somewhat deceiving in my opinion and it guarantees that no product’s rating falls below 2 stars.

The reason it wouldn’t stand is the fact the pole is in the center of the base and by stick a 2.6lb speaker to the front of it, the center of gravity is shifted forward, pulling it forward and down, which inevitably causing it to fall. At this point, I was trying to think of all the possible remedies, such as adding more weight to the base, finding a way to fix the stands to the floor, having wires and strings to hold it back from falling, leaning it against the couch, etc. All ghetto solutions and none that I would’ve been satisfied with.

The following day, the product manager sent me an email back claiming his 3lb speakers work find with these speaker stands, but he forwarded my email to tech support and they would try to assist me in figuring out what’s going on. Ungsunghero and I weren’t exactly sure how “tech” support would be able to help me with a mechanical problem. I decided to take some photos of the stands with speakers on it and Ungsunghero suggested I take a video of it falling (into a pillow).

At this point, I noticed there was an indentation on the top of the base, which I haven’t noticed before. The speaker stand came with 2 sets of screws, nuts, and bolts for the 2 variations of speaker back panel connections. There was this big twist ring (apparently called the twist lock), which I didn’t really know where it went. It fit the bottom of the pole, so I thought it was meant to lock the weight in from sliding out. However, the indentation made me realize that the twist ring was suppose to sandwich the base panel between it and the weight.

After I corrected this, my speaker stands no longer fell. However, they were still tilting forward. I attributed this to user error and bad instructions. The instructions were rather vague and incomplete, as there was no mention of what to do with the twist ring at all.

To be continued…

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