The SS-6 from Italian brand Solidsteel is a tripod design speaker stand costing around £480 in the UK. Stuart Smith has a listen to various loudspeakers on them.

Solidsteel SS-6 Speaker Stands

An elegant tripod design that is good looking and stable

We’re calling these shorter reviews of, in the main, Hifi accessories and other accoutrements associated with achieving audio Nirvana “Quickie Reviews” and the name sort of gives the whole premise away. To an extent the same could be said of Italian brand Solidsteel and, by the same token, this review could be over more quickly than an over-excited teenager’s long-anticipated first amorous encounter.

SOLIDSTEEL HISTORY

Solidsteel’s history goes back to 1990 when Moreno Conti, the founder of the company and Father of Gaetano Conti who currently heads up the company. Actually, it goes back a little further than that when Moreno was working for the family company “Conti” that supplied silencers for motorcycle company Ducati and gained a passion for engines and records. And this sort of sums up the philosophy behind Solidsteel – robust engineering partnered with passion. Moreno worked in the family’s factory and acquired the skills, particularly in open-flame welding, that would later be used in the construction of the products we are talking about here.

­­­­Long story short, the family company ceased to be in the late 80s and Moreno began to develop prototypes for audio furniture that were tested by friends and local audio enthusiasts.

The name Solidsteel relates not only to the fabrication of the company’s products but also the firm foundations upon which the company was founded.

The company continued in one form or another until the death of the founder and it was assumed the passing of Moreno would mean the demise of the Solidsteel brand. And that would certainly have been the case had the family not have discovered work carried out in secret by Moreno that spurred them to build on the company’s reputation. Gaetano took over and the MC Group (the parent company of Solidsteel) was born.

Solidsteel makes three series’ of Hifi and Audio Visual furniture – VL Series, the S series, and the Hyperspike series, with the level of sophistication of products being in that order, though today I’ll be focusing on the S Series, specifically the S Series speaker stands, of which there are three options that differ in size and height. Also in the S series are a range of racks and stands that come in an ‘Advanced’ form or in a  more basic style.

SOLIDSTEEL SS-6 SPEAKER STANDS FIT AND FINISH

All three of the available speaker stands are made up in a tripod arrangement with spikes to the bottom and a top plate on which to stand the speakers. The spikes can be replaced for more floor-friendly footers should you so wish – and I went for this option given we have suspended floors (both are included in the pack). Each of the tripod’s legs is made up of tubular steel that can, should you so wish, be filled with damping material to further deaden the structure. The top plate, made of MDF, attaches to the main body of the stands by a steel bolt and is decoupled from the stand by three steel ball bearings that sit on top of each of the legs, which is a nifty design that goes back to 1992. Speakers sit on the plate and are secured somewhat in place by a blutac like material called Pata-fix”. The whole assembly is welded together and the welds are visible – I really do like this and whilst we went for the black version there is a version that is naked steel (‘Raw’) with the welds being very clearly visible – actually I sort of wish we had gone for that finish. The three finishes available are Black, White, and Raw.

Solidsteel SS-6 Speaker Stands

Dimensions of the Solidsteel SS-6 loudspeaker stands

The three speaker stands in the range differ in size but the primary differentiator for us is the height and they are available in heights; 725mm, 625mm, and 525mm. The idea here, and this will come as no surprise, is to get the stand that sits the speaker at the right height for optimal listening.

We originally bought the stands for mounting of LS3/5A, Jern, and also Celestion SL6s with us swapping them out as and when. The top plates will be perfect for the LS3s and are perfect for the Jerns, but they are a little small for the SL6 and I would perhaps have liked the option to have had a couple of top plates of different sizes to accommodate different sized speakers – perhaps Solidsteel could look at this being a bespoke option down the line?

Solidsteel SS-6 Speaker Stands

Ball bearings separate the frame from the MDF top plate

The speaker stands are incredibly well put together and come pretty much ready assembled (which must add to shipping costs considerably) with the end-user only having to screw in the spikes, position the ball bearings and attach the MDF top plate with a hex bolt. Not only are the stands beautifully constructed, but they are also very beautiful in my opinion. They are industrial-looking but with them having an open frame they do not dominate the room and I can’t envisage a décor in which they wouldn’t look great.

SOUND

We swap speakers in and out of our mid-priced system often, and it is not uncommon for us to have three or four pairs of speakers in one system in a day, particularly if testing out amplifiers or cables, and so several different speakers are used on top of the Solidsteel stands. Our previous stands were of similar height and had been made especially for us – actually they are based on an existing commercial design that have had four extra legs welded to them for increased stability. They are a very similar height to the Solidsteel stands.

I think the importance of equipment supports, be that for electronics, turntables, or loudspeakers, can be underestimated and I am forever tinkering with new products like spikes, isolation, and platform in order to squeeze the last ounce of performance from the system as a whole.

The Solidsteel speaker stands do a fine job. Yes, they get the tweeter of our speakers at the right height (though obviously we have compromised given that we use different speakers of different heights) in relation to our sitting position, but they also seem to add a degree of stability to the stereo image in comparison to our previous chosen stands. This stability manifests itself in sounds and instruments being more firmly positioned in the soundstage and without blur. Now, we are not talking night and day differences here, but then we are not talking about adding a new cartridge, speaker, or amplifier to the system. We are talking about a small but clearly beneficial sharpening of the stereo image – it’s not like something being snapped immediately into focus, rather it is like the focus has been ever so slightly tweaked to bring a touch more clarity. This same phenomenon is carried through to the mid-frequencies too.

Solidsteel SS-6 Speaker Stands

Spikes or carpet friendly footers are included

Likewise the bass performance. It certainly wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination with our other speaker stands, but there is now a perceived feeling that there is a smidge more tightening of the lower frequencies and this tightening brings a little more drive and rhythm to the music you play.

CONCLUSION

The Solidsteel SS-6 speaker stands come highly recommended by me. They are incredibly well built, look great, and add a degree or two of focus, and, for want of a better word, solidity to the sonic image that is presented before the listener.

The option to use either spike or footers is a good one to have out of the box and makes the stands more flexible for more scenarios – I would have used spikes had we had solid floors.

My only criticism of the stands is the top plate and I would have liked to have had the option of having different sizes to accommodate speakers with a different footprint.

AT A GLANCE

Build Quality: Exceptionally good. Solid, well thought out, and good-looking. The ball bearings decoupling the top stand from the frame is a clever touch

Sound Quality: A tightening of the stereo image and bass that brings a tad more clarity and drive to the musical performance

Value For Money: Not cheap, but then quality never is

Pros:

Well built

Well thought out

Improved stereo image and bass

Spikes or floor-friendly footers included

Interesting range of finishes to suit all homes

Cons:

Some will find them too industrial looking

The top plate should be available in different sizes

Price: £480

Stuart Smith

Test Equipment: Celestion SL6s loudspeakers, Jern loudspeakers, Xavian Perla loudspeakers. Merrill Thor amplifiers, LAB12 pre1 and dac and various digital sources.

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