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A neat way to stop Bluetak and sticking spreading on speaker stands


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Hi all.

 

The manufacturer of my Neat Acoustics stand mount speakers recommends using four pea sized balls of Bluetak between the speaker and stand platform.

 

Yes, it does clean up the sound but it also compresses and spreads into a 25mm pancake of super sticky muck that makes it a delicate task to remove the speaker without damage or pulled muscles.

 

After pondering how this muscle building blob could be 'tamed' I decided to try my own variation.

 

The long term problem is that the effectiveness of Bluetak seems to decrease over time due to the spreading.

 

My desperate brainwave was to use objects I had hanging around and try some thin insulating washers from four old RCA sockets with a small ball of Bluetak pushed tightly down in the washer hole so it was slightly higher than the washer.

 

I had considered using steel washers but I was attempting to emulate the pure Bluetak decoupling of the speakers rather than coupling because I had good results previously when the Bluetak was fresh.

 

I expected the speakers to slide on the washer but they stuck firmly and the speakers are secure but the Bluetak hasn't increased in size which is what I wanted. The performance seems slightly cleaner too and bass is tight, so I'll keep using this solution until I find something better. I reclaimed some Bluetak too!

 

Hope it helps somebody else.?

 

Cheers, Rob

 

bluetack-isolation.jpg.5dcba7740d4743e943151685576f146a.jpg

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If you gold plate the washer and claim that it’s a proprietary damping compound in the middle you will be able to sell these to audiophiles for at least $500 each.

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Man has invented three great things. Bluetak, cable ties and Duct tape. With these you can build a rocket ship and travel to Mars. The wheel is just so overrated.

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I like the spreading of the Bluetak into a thin film. I use pieces the size of a grain of rice, rolled into little balls. They flatten to about 5c coin size, and very thin. That way they still fulfill their purpose (removing rattles between speaker bottom and stand, and keeping the speaker from sliding around), without turning into a springy and flexible contact point.

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17 hours ago, robmid said:

that makes it a delicate task to remove the speaker without damage or pulled muscles.

A strong twist will break the connection.  Then you can remove Blutak with Blutak.  Roll a fresh piece into a pea sized ball of Blutak.  The just using the ball apply it slowly and lift the flattened piece bit by bit.  It works for me.

 

John

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17 hours ago, Steam said:

If you gold plate the washer and claim that it’s a proprietary damping compound in the middle you will be able to sell these to audiophiles for at least $500 each.

 

If it was in a different colour and it was described as a "bespoke audio tuned elastomer with a crafted nylon surround"...  Maybe $450 :D.

 

The tip is fantastic!

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43 minutes ago, keinesorge said:

 

If it was in a different colour and it was described as a "bespoke audio tuned elastomer with a crafted nylon surround"...  Maybe $450 :D.

 

The tip is fantastic!

'Tak' comes in different colours now.

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18 hours ago, andyr said:

Brilliant, Rob!  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

Thanks Andy.

 

I just found a magic solution for my stands that digs deeper into the musicality without decreasing bass.

 

The DIY stands are designed for bench seats but have proved very successful speaker stands. I have two pieces of 25mm timber between the stands with a 75mm gap between to stop resonance through the top plate.

 

These four leg stands are much more stable than any single leg stand I have used and cost about $200 for the pair.

 

To try to clean up any final sign of wooliness, I have filled four legs and base with kiln dried sand and screwed four M4 threaded speaker mounting screws into the top. Small Bluetak balls in the screw flat ends still tie down the speakers and still keeps them secure.

 

Every last annoying hint of muddiness has gone and isobaric loaded bass has even more definition without losing any energy.

 

Cheers, Rob

 

20201118_120344.thumb.jpg.217ae0208ad5617c8d9ed25610d47e54.jpg

Top plate before adding screw spacers.

 

20201118_113923.thumb.jpg.f30869e1dc67d4b000a85bd668b8d27b.jpg

 

Hollow steel legs and base are fully sand filled.  Feet are spiked with wide stick on spikes. 

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3 hours ago, Steffen said:

I like the spreading of the Bluetak into a thin film. I use pieces the size of a grain of rice, rolled into little balls. They flatten to about 5c coin size, and very thin. That way they still fulfill their purpose (removing rattles between speaker bottom and stand, and keeping the speaker from sliding around), without turning into a springy and flexible contact point.

 

Steffan, thanks for the idea.

 

Unfortunately, I tried that amongst other things like thin slices of whites anti vibration blocks, sorbothene, neoprene, rubber, foam, felt etc.

 

On my system, the grain sized balls of Bluetak did no better than the speakers mounted directly to the top plate, except stop them falling off.

 

The result was that small pieces didn't anything to help the bass blooming. They increased the muddiness because the enclosure was still causing bass transfer through the top plate due to the super thin film of Blutak. Pea sized balls had a much more positive impact on sound quality.

 

The isobaric loaded dual woofers in my speakers are capable of producing a prodigious amount of bass which may be why it didn't work for me.

 

Cheers, Rob

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I use a Daiso product called Earthquake Resistant Mat, they’re cheap too.

 

 

 

image.jpg

image.jpg

Edited by 5L15
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22 minutes ago, 5L15 said:

I use a Daiso product called Earthquake Resistant Mat, they’re cheap too.

 

 

Let me guess, $2.80? :D

 

Interesting stuff, though. Is it a soft material, or more on the rigid side? I.e. more anti-vibration or anti-skid? Does it have an adhesive side, or is it tacky all over?

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My main gripe about BT is it smells like an old jock strap (mine), and after pulling muscles getting it off the odour stays for awhile and affects listening sessions.

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@Steffen you’re on the money :thumb: , there are 2 size and thickness types of this I picked the thicker squishy 1, if you can read the blue writing on the back of the package it should clear a few things up for you.

I thought that it has a similar consistency as blue-tac (depending on the age of blue-tac) sticky top and bottom and can be re-used ( you can clean them by rinsing them).

 

I would recommend a visit to Daiso and give ‘em a squeeze to see if it possibly could meet your requirement? $2.80 shouldn’t blow anyone’s audio budget out of the water? I don’t think it should???

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On 11/02/2021 at 3:48 PM, jamiebosco said:

Use kerosene to remove any residue. I love using this stuff. Used it for years building cars. It stops rattles and everything.

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2 hours ago, Rollen said:

Use kerosene to remove any residue. I love using this stuff. Used it for years building cars. It stops rattles and everything.

Agreed, I've used this stuff for tonnes of projects over the years

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On 10/02/2021 at 6:49 PM, Steam said:

If you gold plate the washer and claim that it’s a proprietary damping compound in the middle you will be able to sell these to audiophiles for at least $500 each.

IF 

it were possible to observe this washer-blue Tak combination microscopically

AND if you were able to discern minute changes in the diameter of the washer

THEN you would have a quantum-audiophile effect and could sell for even more money...

 

ENDIF

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2 hours ago, lenticularis said:

IF 

it were possible to observe this washer-blue Tak combination microscopically

AND if you were able to discern minute changes in the diameter of the washer

THEN you would have a quantum-audiophile effect and could sell for even more money...

 

ENDIF

 No need for the IF.  Just claim a quantum effect and charge extra

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19 hours ago, lenticularis said:

IF 

it were possible to observe this washer-blue Tak combination microscopically

AND if you were able to discern minute changes in the diameter of the washer

THEN you would have a quantum-audiophile effect and could sell for even more money...

 

ENDIF

IF

the washer doesn't have anything to do with the sound quality

AND only holds a smaller amount of Bluetak so it doesn't spread as much

THEN I have found a way to stop Bluetak getting thinner over time which would reduce it's reason for being used

ELSE I have just found a great way to save money on Bluetak

ENDIF ?

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Another "remove BluTac" option is WD40 applied to the edges of the BT and use your fingers to lift it off. I also used "GLUE DOTS" ( which is a reposition-able double sided adhesive ) to stick my KEF R3's to a set of SolidSteel stands. Got it from Bunnings. Works a treat.

Cheers

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3 hours ago, 075Congo said:

Another "remove BluTac" option is WD40 applied to the edges of the BT and use your fingers to lift it off. I also used "GLUE DOTS" ( which is a reposition-able double sided adhesive ) to stick my KEF R3's to a set of SolidSteel stands. Got it from Bunnings. Works a treat.

Cheers

They look interesting. Do they have the same viscosity as Bluetak that prevents the speakers from bouncing back and forth or sideways or can the speakers still wobble slightly?

 

Cheers, Rob

 

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The "Glue Dots" come as a quite thin adhesive gel sheet you can cut into 1 inch square pieces (8 of them) to use between the speaker base and the stand. Quite strong grip result but not the same viscosity as BT. Another product that comes with SolidSteel stands is UHU Tac White re-usable adhesive putty  . Office Works sell it ; same viscosity as BT. Sorry I didn't mention it before.

Cheers

No "wobble" using the UHU Tac White or with the Glue Dots.

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Thanks Mick.

 

I'll have to check it out. You can never try too many experiments!

 

Cheers, Rob

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Could coupling/uncoupling a better and adjustable solution to speaker stand bass control?

 

Thanks to alternative isolation methods being posted by members I had a rethink on using Bluetak or a washer. The effectiveness of Bluetak was changing again over time, even with my washer fix, so back to the drawing board.

 

Stainless steel M4 Sockethead bolts have now been screwed into the top plate corners.

 

The base of the bolt heads sit 5mm above the top plate. A small pea sized blob of hot glue was stuck to the bolt head leaving a rounded mound for the speaker to sit on. The result was incredibly transparent sound but bass was lacking.

 

It occurred to me that perhaps I should be trying to couple + uncouple at the same time, so I trimmed the hot glue blob in half with a scalpel so it was flat and tried again. My hunch was correct.  Bass was back with a vengeance and full of detail. Boominess had gone and treble remained just as open. The balance between bass and treble was in believable proportion and foot tapping was back.

 

This makes me think that being able to vary the thickness of the isolation material would allow the bass level to be increased or decreased depending on taste and equipment used.

 

Using the spacer bolts is similar to having spikes under the speakers and the stand.

 

NOTE: I'm keeping my setup this way but watching out for compression of the hot glue which would probably increase muddy bass again.

 

My conclusion is that adjustable coupling + uncoupling is a viable solution for my system and the hot glue does stick to the enclosure slightly and it feels adequately secured to the stand. 

 

Cheers, Rob

 

Bold-with-hot-glue.jpg.45a04baae089b66b3a2314b1981515d6.jpg

Edited by robmid
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4 minutes ago, bob_m_54 said:

looks more like a socket head, rather than a cup head..

Yes, aka capscrew, maybe that's where the confusion arose.

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Sorry about that.

 

Of course it's a socket head ...the box says so. I guess I'm the cup head around here!

 

Cheers, Rob

 

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On 13/02/2021 at 3:35 PM, 5L15 said:

@Steffen you’re on the money :thumb: , there are 2 size and thickness types of this I picked the thicker squishy 1, if you can read the blue writing on the back of the package it should clear a few things up for you.

I thought that it has a similar consistency as blue-tac (depending on the age of blue-tac) sticky top and bottom and can be re-used ( you can clean them by rinsing them).

 

I would recommend a visit to Daiso and give ‘em a squeeze to see if it possibly could meet your requirement? $2.80 shouldn’t blow anyone’s audio budget out of the water? I don’t think it should???

I grabbed a pack of the Earthquake mats from Daiso today, these things remind me of the dampeners drummers use, that people use as a cheap Zero Dust substitute for cleaning stylus.

 

I think these might work well for either and are a hell of a lot cheaper.

 

Seems to have been picked up by other audio nuts

http://hi-fi-avenue.blogspot.com/2010/02/rm5-tweak.html

 

Drum dampeners

71ihbAvlHmL._AC_SL1500_.thumb.jpg.7b925c4a30689843056b0d03154928b7.jpg

 

Products for stylus cleaning

ds-audio-st-50-1564386773.jpg.7680c55be8eccc1cbbfeeb2b1600938a.jpg

 

The things from Daiso

index.jpg.89ed951345d69146b02578b1d4ef7b7f.jpg

 

Is there any difference between these things?

Edited by muon*
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29 minutes ago, muon* said:

I grabbed a pack of the Earthquake mats from Daiso today, these things remind me of the dampeners drummers use, that people use as a cheap Zero Dust substitute for cleaning stylus.

 

I think these might work well for either and are a hell of a lot cheaper.

 

Seems to have been picked up by other audio nuts

http://hi-fi-avenue.blogspot.com/2010/02/rm5-tweak.html

 

Drum dampeners

71ihbAvlHmL._AC_SL1500_.thumb.jpg.7b925c4a30689843056b0d03154928b7.jpg

 

Products for stylus cleaning

ds-audio-st-50-1564386773.jpg.7680c55be8eccc1cbbfeeb2b1600938a.jpg

 

The things from Daiso

index.jpg.89ed951345d69146b02578b1d4ef7b7f.jpg

 

Is there any difference between these things?

 

 

In any case, looking forward to your findings on the pads from daiso, for me it ticked nearly all the positive boxes for use with my speakers on stands.

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58 minutes ago, 5L15 said:

 

 

In any case, looking forward to your findings on the pads from daiso, for me it ticked nearly all the positive boxes for use with my speakers on stands.

Just got them out of curiosity, I use Whites Anti Vibration products for isolation.

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