DIY Monitor Stands for the Home Studio

Updated: May 2, 2018



A desk with studio monitors on stands discussed in this post on either side
The final product: even/safe weight distribution AND more desk space
Studio desk with oversized studio monitors on small shelf
Top shelf rated for about 40lbs…EACH monitor about 40lbs (not recommended)

As any audio engineer or audiophile will tell you, speaker placement is crucial for accurately reproducing the sound as well placing the listener in the optimal position for sonic enjoyment. For audio engineers and musicians, this placement is even more important as it will significantly influence their mixes and productions. For these reasons and more, the distance between your monitors and the angle at which they sit are important factors to consider when setting up your studio.


This isn’t an article about proper monitor placement though, (it’s just a nice segue). No, instead I’m just going to illustrate how I fixed my problem, which has relatively little to do with proper monitor placement, and more to do with safe monitor placement. See, my monitors were/are simply too big for my room (I was in need of monitors, had a crush on them, and they were very on sale…I couldn’t help it!). Aside from and more important than simply being oversized, they were also very overweight for the top shelf of my studio desk, which presented a real possibility of damaging my gear.


To fix this issue, I needed monitor stands, and while it doesn’t change the fact my monitors are too big for the room, it DOES free up plenty of space on my desk and provides peace of mind from that my big ass monitors wont crack the shelf they sit on. Rather than buy a set of stands, I figured it would be more fun and cost effective to build them myself, (and it was both).


The following tools and materials lists are reflective of what I used to build the monitor stands I currently have supporting my KRK VXT8 monitors in my home studio. Some things can be substituted, added, or removed, but the lists below is what I actually used to achieve the finished results in the pictures. Listed in order used. Be Safe!


Tools:

  • Measuring tape

  • Marker

  • Circular saw

  • Wood Glue

  • Drill (3/32” drill bit and #2 phillips driver)

Materials:

  • Wood (Two 32” piece of 2”x8” per stand and one 2’x2’ sheet MDF per set)

  • Corner braces (two four-packs of 2” per stand)

  • Primer

  • Textured Metallic Black paint

  • Rubber feet (one package per stand)

2x8, 2x2 MDF, paint, corner braces, and rubber feet
Enough to make a single stand

How-to:

1. The first thing to do was determine the height I wanted my monitors to sit at. Most research will tell you that placing the tweeters at ear level is optimum, so that was the height I was aiming for. To do this, I sat in my chair at my desk the way I would if I were mixing or producing. I then took a tape measure and (doing my best to hold still), I measured the distance from my ear to the floor (make an upside down “L” with the short end coming from your ear).

2. After determining the height from my ears to the floor, I measured the distance from the center of the tweeters to the bottom of the monitors.

3. The distance from the center of the tweeters to the bottom of the monitors is then subtracted from the distance from the ear to the floor.

4. Since I used ¾” MDF for the top and bottom of the stand, I also added the thickness of the pieces together and subtracted another 1.5” from the ear-to-floor measurement.

5. It was at this point that I SHOULD have also subtracted the height of my rubber feet, but I neglected that part of the process (and to be completely honest, I aint even sorry).

6. Anyway, with my ear-to-floor measurement having the MDF and monitor height subtracted from it, I finally had the length I needed to cut my pieces of 2”x8.” Using a circular saw, (and only after measuring at least twice), I cut 4 pieces of 2”x8” into 24” long sections.

7. I then took my 2’x2’ square of MDF and cut it into four 1’x1’ squares for the top and bottoms of the stands.

A 2x2 piece of mdf with lines for cutting four 1x1 platforms
2x2 MDF for the top and bottom platforms

8. I played around with the arrangement of the pieces of 2”x8” in relation to the MDF in search of a design that both looked good but also provided the strength to hold up my monitors with confidence. After looking online at some other monitor stands and testing a few different configurations, I determined the triangular shape provided the most stability.

Raw monitor stand mocked up
Only slightly better than just eye balling it

9. I placed one L bracket on each side of the 2”x8” at the top and bottom of the stands, making it 8 total brackets per stand.

Raw monitor stand from front and back
Simple, yet effective

10. With all the brackets in place and everything glued and screwed together, it was time to start painting. I wasn’t going for anything fancy (as if that wasn’t already obvious), so I didn’t do much prep work outside of sanding down a few edges to make them a little smoother, but in general, this was a “just get it painted” kind of paintjob.

11. I used primer and the wood soaked it up so I had to use more than I wanted (as in, more than one can per stand.

12. Once the stands were decently covered in primer, I sprayed a few coats of textured metallic black over the stands and let them dry.

The same monitor stand before, during, and after painting
Raw, primed, painted

13. After about a day screwed the rubber feet onto the bottoms of the stands and decided to test my handy work by getting up on one.

14. I then brought them back into the studio (still stinking like paint) and set my monitors on them and haven’t looked back since!

Results:

While my monitor stands are far from anything remotely resembling fancy, they were affordable, it was a fun experience, AND I got the peace of mind that my monitors will be safe, as my stands are both strong and sturdy. I also have plenty more room on my top shelf as well as better positioning of my ears in relation to the tweeters. Because of the width of my desk, the monitors are still a bit wide for where I would have them ideally, but it’s not an issue that can’t be remedied by simply backing up a few inches.

It’s not perfect, but every step gets it better and better, and I’m certainly happy with that.

Studio desk with DIY monitor stands on either side
Much more space on the upper shelf (pic from September 2016)

Price Breakdown: (some items show up more than once because I bought extra)

Home Depot

7.48 - 2x2' 3/4” MDF

10.05 - 2x10x10 Doug Fir

.10 - CA Lumber Fee

3.87 - Painters Touch Gray Primer

5.76 - Textured Metallic Galaxy (x2)

1.95 - 7/8” Rubber Feet

6.28 - Corner Brace SS

4.91 - Corner Brace Galv

3.22 - Tax

Total: 43.62


Walmart

3.87 - Painters Touch Gray Primer

5.76 - Textured Metallic Galaxy

1.95 - 7/8” Rubber Feet

3.65 - Corner Brace SB x2

1.51 - Tax

Total: 20.39


Textured Metallic Galaxy 5.76 x2 (Only used 3/4 of 1)

Tax .92

Total 12.44

GRAND TOTAL: 76.45


Good: Cheaper than buying from store, got to design, had full say in construction, put more of myself into my studio, sturdy as hell

Bad: Paint isn’t uniform, screws on top aren’t flush, top and bottom not identical or square,

Lessons: Look up different primers, prep wood for paint/primer, work out design kinks in design phase (not at Home Depot)