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eviewer: David Kan
Review Component Retail: detailed in text

Myoss. Make your own speaker stands. Yes, you can do it. A handy man with carpenter's skill could easily do that by building a 22" or 24" tall miniature square column, add top and bottom plates, fill the inside with sand, finish it off with wood veneer, stain and varnish. And it'll look like a thousand-dollar job. But what if you don't have the skill? Don't be dismayed. Let's work on something simpler but more modern looking. All the skill you need to supply is to drill a few holes in wood, tighten a few screws and get yourself down to Ikea to buy the parts. Here's your shopping list (for simplicity's sake, I quote US dollar prices):

For building Myoss 3 (pair):
Ikea Vika Inge aluminum leg $12.00 (x 6) = $72.00
Ikea Exklusivt butcher block $19.99 (x 2) = $39.98
Ikea Skydd wood treatment oil $3.99 (x 1) = $3.99
Half-inch round wood buttons and Quarter-inch round furniture protectors (available at Home Depot or building supply stores).

For building Myoss 4 (pair):
Ikea Vika Inge aluminum leg $12.00 (x 8) = $96.00
(Top plate materials to be discussed later.)

When you are in Ikea, stay away from their ready-made speaker stands. They are just for kids, not grown-up audiophiles like us. The urge to build my own speaker stands struck me after my recent acquisition of miniature-size monitors that require elevated support of 28" and above. I presume other people also feel the need as smaller and mightier bookshelf speakers proliferate. Regrettably, commercially available stands that measure up are not common. The available few are meant for light-weight home-theater satellite speakers. They literally swing to the rhythm of music. And my Mark & Daniel Sapphire weighs 21 pounds each. Can you imagine? Now to the difference between the two versions I've made: Myoss 3 is three-legged and has a larger foot print (14.75" square to be precise), a lower center of gravity and a gross weight of 15 pounds. (The Exklusivt chopping board alone weighs over 7 pounds, that's why.) Myoss 4 is four-legged but lighter, has no bottom plate and occupies less floor space. The Vika Inge leg is 27.5" long. The Exklusivt butcher block is 1.5" thick. Adding up the bottom treatment, the Myoss 3 stands up to 30" while the Myoss 4 is 28.5" high.

Myoss 3 Assembly

1. Take off the elastic black rubber bumper from the Exklusivt chopping board. Prepare the wood with Skydd mineral oil. Let dry overnight and re-apply once more as you wish. I personally like the naturally dark rich color the oil rubs into the wood texture. (Picture shows before and after.) Alternatively, you can stain and varnish or paint it with any color you prefer.

2. Re-attach the rubber bumper. Place the round metal mounting plates of the Vika Inge legs on the board - one at the front, two at the opposite corners. Space them apart according to your speaker size. Imagine the three contact points for the speaker to align within the vicinity of the mounting holes closest to the center of the board (blue circles).

3. There are five mounting holes on the round metal plates. My advice is that you only use two of them (red arrows) so that you can re-adjust the mounting positions for different speaker sizes without messing up the board and your mind with too many holes. The same two holes will give you the flexibility of two mounting positions.

4. Mark the position for the holes and pre-drill. The wood is extremely hard and dense. Make sure the pre-drill holes are a good fit. (If they are too small, you can't turn the screws.) Secure the metal plates onto the board by tightening the screws. Remember that you have a choice of two mounting positions. All necessary hardware is supplied with Vika Inge legs.

5. Attach the legs to the mounting plates by tightening the locking metal screws (the large flat-tipped ones) with the supplied Allen key. The legs are asymmetrical with one side straight and one side slanting. Under most circumstances, you should have the straight side facing inward.

6. Since the locking screws thread through the center of the mounting plates, by turning the two rear legs clockwise or anti-clockwise you have many different combinations to accommodate various speaker sizes. As for my Myoss 3, they can contract to fit speakers with a footprint as small as 4.5" x 5.5" and expand to 6" x 8.75" or even 6" x 11" if I space out the mounting plates.

7. Attach three half-inch round wood buttons to the bottom of the board with blue-tac or carpenter's glue. They are usually made of hardwood birch or maple. Alternatively, you can use spikes instead for carpeted area.

8. Attach self-adhesive quarter-inch round furniture protectors to the tips of the legs. They will provide friction at the contact points to hold the speaker in place.

Myoss 4 Assembly
This is more or less the upside-down version of Myoss 3. Ironically, the Vika Inge legs eventually stand on their own feet. However, some extra work might be required unless you can find some small chopping boards to make the top plates. Although I could find them easily at a local Canadian Tire store and thought about using a double-layer top plate, I decided to go for a more designer look. So my Myoss 4 ended up utilizing a three-quarter inch thick MDF plate measuring 7.5" x 10" (cut out from a 2' by 4'.) I had it spray-painted silver and the edges were finished with silver iron-on melamine strips. The Vika Inge legs I used here were purchased last year and had a protruding triangular structure at the top. The new model I purchased this year for Myoss 3 had the protruding parts rounded off. If your local Ikea store is selling the old version, you might have to saw off the triangular portions to fit the legs together under the top plate. They are made of aluminum so that's an easy job with a jig-saw. In my case, I only had to cut two corners (see photo). The good news is that you don't need the metal mounting plates and just mount the legs directly under the top plate. Be careful as the supplied mounting screws might be too long for your top plate. If so, get yourself some shorter screws or add washers.

Well, where do we stand now? Myoss is what. On our own three (or four) feet...

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