2 Sets of floor protective SuperSpikes (8 total spikes), 6mm threads, NIB.
Speakers produce vibrations, and most other audio gear is sensitive to vibrations. Isolating them will make the system sound better.
But there's more to it than that. Take speakers. A spike -- or better yet a cone -- provides an inefficient path for vibration to cross: the gross mass mismatch of the huge floor and the tiny point. This mismatch makes energy bounce back rather than cross the boundary. At the same time, the point digs into the floor, anchoring the speaker so that the energy radiated by the speaker is turned into sound instead of cabinet movement.
But if you have nice hardwood floors you probably winced at those words, "digs into." A hole in the floor? Yeah, right. You can, of course, get little protectors to put under a cone or spike, such as the Tenderfoot.
But now comes this Norwegian company, Soundcare, which puts the two parts -- the spike and the protective dish -- into one sealed unit. Since it doesn't come apart, as far as we can determine, we've included the manufacturer's photo of how it is put together.
The version shown in our picture includes a threaded shank that fits 1/4" (non-metric) threads in a speaker or equipment cabinet. Other versions fit 5/8", 6 mm and 8 mm threads.
The execution is flawless. Unless the Superspike is badly tilted, the upper part touches the lower base at only one point: the tip of the spike. But since the unit doesn't come apart, there's no awkward fiddling with the different sections, as there is with a separate cone and dish. Once we thought about it for a bit, though, we came up with a concern. Since there is only one point of suspension, isn't there a danger that it will wobble, allowing a speaker to rock?
Well, no in fact. We put the 6 mm set on an Osborn Mini Tower, and adjusted the spikes to level the speaker (the kit comes with locking nuts and a handy wrench for tightening them). Once they were adjusted, the Osborn was rock solid despite its height, resisting all attempts to rock it.
The bottom of the Superspike is rather industrial unpolished metal. The kit includes velvet stick-on protectors to fit underneath. Theoretically, any resilient materials will weaken the anchoring of the speaker, but they are so thin their role is insignificant.
We should warn, however, that Superspikes are not ideal for all situations. They don't work at all with carpeting, because the flat bottom will rock readily on the carpet pile. There, the best solution is a bare spike or cone, which can bite through the carpeting into the floor underneath. That, incidentally, will do much less damage to a good carpet than an ordinary foot that crushes the piling.
There are two other versions of the Superspike, intended for equipment without appropriate threaded sockets. One of them, the Superspike Feet, replaces the useless feet on most modern equipment. You bolt them on from the inside of the bottom panel instead of the existing feet. Inside is the same spike-dish assembly. Finally, there is a smaller version that sticks on the bottom of either equipment or speakers.
Used appropriately, Superspikes are as effective as normal spikes, without the danger of damage to finished surfaces. We could not distinguish a difference in the sound of the Osborn Mini Tower when we substituted the Superspikes for its own spikes (running it with no spikes was awful, however).
We then mounted the Superspike Feet on our Parasound C/BD-2000 CD transport. The difference was slight, since our equipment stand is already fitted with cones, but there was a distinguishable increase in the precision and steadiness of the stereo image. That's enough for us to adopt them.