Acoustically Challenged (or “shoulda stuck to ice hockey pucks”)
I really, really ought to have known better. But common sense just sometimes goes out of the window where hi-fi is concerned.
When I first took delivery of the ProAc Studio 140 Mk2 speakers, I decided not to fit the spikes that come with them. Instead, I placed them on the ice-hockey pucks I had previously purchased, which in turn sat on the ubiquitous granite chopping boards. The sound seemed good enough. Of course, anything new is subjected to thorough investigation by the resident furry search engines, chief investigator being Thora (see avatar). She bugged the hell out of the intruders, but couldn’t fathom them or the tantalising narrow gap between them and the chopping boards.
Today I got an email message whilst at work: “Thora’s found a new panic room”. Hmmm, that doesn’t bode well – I recall the last time she found a panic room; it took us 2-3hrs to find her! So, it was with some trepidation I asked the inevitable question: “where is she?” The good news: she was in her cage. The bad news: the so-called ‘panic room’ was inside one of the speakers!
How? As I said: I ought to have known better but curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to know whether the supplied spikes would actually improve things any. So, the other day I swapped the pucks out, placed coins onto the chopping boards and placed the be-spiked speakers on top. I reckoned that with the speakers no longer being the novelty they had been, Thora would continue to ignore them. Did the sound improve? Maybe, just maybe the bass is tighter, better controlled, more precise. Maybe it isn’t.
Somehow Thora detected the difference today (as far as I know she has not shown any interest for months) and found that the extra few millimetres were sufficient to allow access…not only to underneath the speakers, but to the downward firing ports. From here it was a simple matter of squirming upwards into the bowels of my precious ProAcs!
Apparently, no amount of knocking would persuade her to leave her new refuge, which was a fascinating new discovery for her. Fortunately, the resident Pied Piper used her special powers to call her familiars to her and Thora emerged. I said that if had been left to me, the hi-fi would have gone on and a hefty blast of heavy rock would have shifted the furry blockage!
So what to do? I haven’t evaluated the sound with spikes yet. I can’t go back to the hockey pucks now! Aha! I have a pair of smaller granite squares that had been largely redundant. A quick application of Blutak to the underside and under the speakers they went – hey presto, ferret proofing sorted! As to the acoustics…well, that remains to be heard.
I am now told that the little horror actually worked it out: she passed through the space several times and then tried it from one side and upside down (ooer, missus!) Still, no apparent harm done…that I can tell. Good job they aren’t chewy rodents, really.