SPEAKERS: Anchor or isolate?


Audiophile wisdom is rife with both good and bad advice. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the electronic chain’s component quality while it’s a bad idea to spend so much on tweaks you ignore the fundamentals.

Sometimes this common wisdom finds itself in the middle of a great philosophical divide. For example, if producing great bass is our goal, should the speakers be anchored or isolated?

On the one hand, the anchor folks spend a great deal of energy using all manner of specialized hardware to couple the box to the floor in the hopes of a good outcome. The isolationists do the opposite expending great energy to float the speakers.

Both methods can’t be the best way of achieving the same goal. So, how does one determine which way is best?

I think the answer is not a simple one because the solution will inevitably be a compromise. You can’t fully anchor or isolate. So then we have to lower expectations of perfection and select the most practical within our means.

For most of us unwilling to suspend our speakers in the air or embed them in the concrete of our flooring, the most common solution is a simple set of spikes or the narrow contact area of a roller ball.

In my IRSV system, I do neither because the speakers are so massive and so anchored to the cement slab that there would be no advantage.

Practical trumps perfection. Choose which way gives you the best results.

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