Soundcare® SuperSpike: You can’t do better !!!
Introduction: The Soundcare SuperSpike is an all new-design, all-in-one spike foot. The unique construction of the SuperSpike eliminates the most common problem experienced when using a conventional spike: damaged surfaces, while offerings the benefits of isolating the equipment from external vibrations in the environment. Development History: The idea for the SuperSpike was inspired after the designer Terje Borgen purchased a pair of loudspeakers. The speakers were delivered with traditional spikes and also a set of ‘rubber’ feet. In the manual it stated that if you want the best sound, use the spike. However if you do not want to scratch your floor or surface that the speakers are placed on, use the (also supplied) feet. Knowing that life is almost always a compromise and when deciding on a purchase of home audio equipment many compromises are usually made, Terje felt this one area of compromise was not acceptable. Either best performance and dented / scratched surfaces or unmarred surface and a sacrifice of performance. There had to be solution, a spike that would offer the performance without the damaging side effects.
After an extensive examination of the market many factors were revealed. A majority of all floorstanding speakers, speaker stands, and component racks were being offered with spikes. In addition many electronic manufacturers were offering spikes and / or other materials to assist in isolating the component from external influences. The spike was a preferred design in isolating equipment because it applied the units own weight to an extremely small surface area, which reduces the transmission of vibrations to the equipment. Some solutions were being offered for the spike design. Most were made up of two parts, a traditional spike to be placed on the equipment and a spike base in which the spike was to rest (protecting the surface from the spike.) These systems offered a solution to the compromise, but also had there own side effects. Because of metal choices used some systems could only handle a certain load, as the spike would push into the base, damaging the base and spike. While also increasing the surface area the spike was contacting reducing the effectiveness of the spike. The most common drawback associated with this two-part system was just that, it was a two-part system. You would have to place all of the spikes and then line up all of the spike bases. For some smaller equipment this was not so bad, but for larger or heavier equipment this was a project in its self and usually required several people for the installation.
Terje had formulated his idea of what the perfect spike should offer. The SuperSpike should modify to fit and work with the majority of all products available, offer the performance of a steel spike, it should not damage any surface it rests upon, and should be easy to use. Terje developed the design layout of the SuperSpike and applied for patents. The most important part of the SuperSpike is the materials used in its construction. Many types of materials were tried. Zinc was the best material found to reduce resonance. Zinc however is not strong enough to handle the pressure from a small point and could not be used for the spike itself. Steel was strong enough for the spike but had a high level of resonance. Brass was less resonant than steel, but steel is stronger. Brass spikes can handle approximately 50 kilograms of weight before the tip is deformed.
Product Design:
After many tests, steel was concluded to be the best substance for the spike (2). Zinc is pressed around the steel spike (3) to reduce resonance. The steel spike is case hardened and for added strength the tip is rounded by 0.5mm. The protection disc (5) is a mild steel insert with an angled crater and flat bottom to accept the spike, surrounded by zinc (4). Mild steel was used in the base because the spike itself should be the strongest part of the assembly. By placing the rounded end of the spike on to the flat bottom of the cratered insert a very small contact point with extremely good strength is achieved. A weight test of approximately 400 kilograms was applied to the SuperSpike. Under a microscope no change was found to the spike, to the casing and to the support disc. The spike did make an impression of 2/100 mm into the mild steel crater insert (protection disc.) This is such a small impression not to influence the functionality of the SuperSpike and this load was extreme. If this load had been spread over four SuperSpikes the weight of the component would be over 1600 kilograms (1.6 tons).
The SuperSpike has also undergone an aging test, which simulates the use of the SuperSpike over a ten-year period. This was to insure that the functionality of the spike would not change over an elongated period of time and use. The results of the aging tests confirmed no changes in the functionality of the SuperSpike over time and use. All Soundcare SuperSpikes’ have a manufacturer warranty of ten years. The final part in the development of the SuperSpike was the plastic housing (1) that held the spike and protection disc together when the SuperSpike was not in use or on equipment. This is a formed piece of plastic that is fit to the base and has an inward lip that fits over an outward flange of the spike. This allows both pieces to move freely (but as one unit) until weight is applied. When weight is applied the spike assembly centers itself in the crater of the protection disc with no contact from the plastic housing. The SuperSpike was designed and tested, four different threaded models were to be offered to fit the majority of components available on the market today, along with two models of non threaded spikes for electronic components and components which did not offer a threaded insert.
Finishing Step:
Now a finish had to be applied. After many conversations with dealers and consumers it was determined that one finish would not satisfy everyone. Two separate finishes were developed, standard and The only difference between the standard and High-End version is finish. The standard final finish consists of nickel and chrome plate with a housing formed of black ABS plastic. The High-End final finish is in albrafin gold or 24K gold with a clear polycarbonate housing. The production process of the SuperSpike is similar for every model. The zinc portions are cast and machined with the steel spike or insert. The standard versions are machined polished and the High-End versions are hand polished.
The standard self adhesive model spikes and support discs are plated in nickel while the threaded version spike is plated with a base finish of alkaline copper and then chrome finish. The High-End finish for all models consist of a coat of alkaline copper, acid copper, chrome and then finally covered with albrafin gold or 24K gold. The SuperSpikes are then packaged for shipping. The standard versions are hand packaged in a cardboard carton. The High-End models are each hand inspected and then packaged in a mahogany box, which all insures the highest level of quality for the finished product.
The SuperSpike is offered in eleven models. Spike 1, Spike 3, Spike 4, and Spike 5 are all standard threaded models. S1 HE, S3 HE, S4 HE, and S5 HE are all High-End threaded models. All threaded models are designed to fit manufacturers threaded inserts on the base of the manufacturers equipment. They are supplied with a lock nut; wrench and a Self-adhesive felt disc made from 1.25mm quality felt with permanent high weight tape. Spike 2 is a standard self-adhesive model. S2 HE is a High-End self-adhesive model. Both self-adhesive models are designed to fit under the manufacturers components. They are supplied with double coated 3M high performance permanent tape and a Self-adhesive felt disc made from 1.25mm quality felt with permanent high weight tape. The self-adhesive models are generally used under bookshelf speaker and electronic components as well as for larger speakers without threaded inserts. Spike E is a standard self-adhesive model, which is furnished with a plastic foot to replace the feet that come standard with some manufacturers electronic components. Spike E is supplied with double coated 3M high performance permanent tape and a Self-adhesive felt disc made from 1.25mm quality felt with permanent high weight tape. The installation of the Spike E is extremely simple. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the original equipment foot on and remove the original foot. Insert that same screw into the precut hole in the center of the Spike E. Reattached the foot to the equipment. Finally place the double-sided tape and the felt pad onto the Spike 2 and insert it into the cut away in the base of the Spike E.
Whatever the component; bookshelf speakers, floor-standing speakers, audio electronics subwoofers, etc… and application; component rack, shelving, wood floor, carpet, etc… Soundcare SuperSpikes offer a cost effective, easy to use solution to optimize the performance of any component without the damaging side effects.