Audiophile blogger Santi needed solid speaker stands that wouldn't break the bank, and wound up using cinder blocks to get the job done. Santi writes:
I know most of you out there probably just stick your speakers on a desk, or shelf, and mostly likely the speaker is pushed all the way back against the wall. Well, let me tell you that this is NOT optimal. Speakers should be at least one foot away from the wall, and placed on sturdy structures that will not resonate with the speaker, which can colour the sound.
With some epoxy, cinder blocks, wood circles, and concrete paint, Santi painted and glued together a few cinder blocks to mount his speakers on, and the result is surprisingly good-looking (if unconventional)—plus there are built-in shelves inside the blocks. Maybe cinder blocks aren't just for college dorms any more.