Floorstanders that good? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking into re-doing my whole home theater, everything needs an upgrade. Are floorstanding speakers worth the extra money and extra space? Or can I still get awesome sound with only the small surround-speakers.
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 08:08 AM
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I've always preferred floorstanding speakers for the mains, sometimes they offer better dynamics, deeper extension for 2ch stereo, more crossover adjustments when using a subwoofer. Also I have noticed better midbass punch having towers vs having bookshelfs.
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 08:10 AM
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It depends. A good speaker is a good speaker. There's no definitive answer. For instance, the Chase Home Theater SHO-10's have tremendous midrange punch and they're not floorstanders.

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post #4 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 08:45 AM
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Again, the expert can correct me if I am wrong...but size of speaker matters. Floorstanders tend to be bigger and that "bigger" can house large drivers, allow for more electronics and packing material and the geometry of the cabinet can contribute to the sound of the speaker.
As gets pointed out all the time, there are large towers that sound like crap and smaller bookshelves than can sound very good, so...

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 09:03 AM
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Both can be good, but why spend $$ on stands for the bookshelves? Spend that $$ on floorstanders. They look cool too!

Seriously, there are many variables, but if you're going to have a sub in the mix, a good bookshelf (w/stands) will suffice since you're crossing over the signal for the sub anyway. Personally, I listen to a lot of 2 channel 'analog audio' and prefer to have floorstanders that go deeper than a bookshelf since I don't use a sub for my 2 channel listening. If I used a sub, it would mean digitizing the signal, which defeats the purpose of 'analog audio'.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Again, the expert can correct me if I am wrong...but size of speaker matters. Floorstanders tend to be bigger and that "bigger" can house large drivers, allow for more electronics and packing material and the geometry of the cabinet can contribute to the sound of the speaker.
As gets pointed out all the time, there are large towers that sound like crap and smaller bookshelves than can sound very good, so...

That is generally true when comparing speakers of approx the same level. But really good expensive bookshelves can blow away a cheaper floorstander. So it's just hard to generalize.

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post #7 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 09:50 AM
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After four sets of floorstanders, I went with (high quality) bookshelves to go with two 15" subwoofers in large ported enclosures in a small HT room. The bookshelves sounded fine.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 10:49 AM
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99% of this hobby revolves around two things. Personal preference and your checkbook. I used to be a floor stander guy until some experiences with bookshelf/sub set ups that were just amazing! In a HT setup, when you are dealing with lots of LFE, it just makes more sense to have bookshelf speakers when all the low stuff is better handled by a sub. With two channel listening, it becomes more of a grey area.

Sounds good!
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CooperM View Post

Are floorstanding speakers worth the extra money and extra space? Or can I still get awesome sound with only the small surround-speakers.

It sounds like you are going from one extreme to the other. Small surround-speakers like those small 3" driver satellite systems... or do you mean bookshelf speakers with drivers of 5.5" or 6.5"? There's a world of difference between satellite speakers and more conventional bookshelf speakers.
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5150zx View Post

Both can be good, but why spend $$ on stands for the bookshelves? Spend that $$ on floorstanders. They look cool too!

The price difference between a bookshelf and a floorstander in the same model line is far greater than the price difference of having to get stands usually.

Myself, I got one pair of stands second-hand and made the other set myself from some 4x4.

Going for monitors, I was able to go up to a higher quality model line from the same manufacturer than if I was to spend the same money on a tower. The better cabinets and crossovers of the higher model line dramatically improved the sound quality of vocals and such and performed much better with the types of music I like to listen to. Of course the cost of a couple of subs to supplement the monitors eroded the price difference, but the sound quality of better quality speakers plus well implemented subs is absolutely wonderful in filling my room with music!
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

It sounds like you are going from one extreme to the other. Small surround-speakers like those small 3" driver satellite systems... or do you mean bookshelf speakers with drivers of 5.5" or 6.5"? There's a world of difference between satellite speakers and more conventional bookshelf speakers.

One advantage of floor standers is you don't need an expensive stand. My bookshelfs have 7" midwoofers and have a internal volume of .5cf. They are quite effortless sounding down to below 80Hz (the frequency they are crossed over to the subs). I certainly wouldn't get "satellite" (micro?) speakers and expect the performance of one with a good 6.5"-7" midwoofer. A "satellite" speaker would be straining and weak with even an 80Hz crossover.
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post #12 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:13 PM
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Floorstanding speakers have a lot of advantages, but if you are using a good subwoofer and buy front bookshelf/monitor speakers that have frequency response down to 50-60 Hz, there is no real NEED for floorstanding speakers and you can save a lot of money.

A good example of what I mean would be in the PSB line of speakers. You can buy the PSB Image B6 speakers for around $550/pair. They go as low as you need with a sub, around 50 Hz, and they are a lot cheaper than the PSB Image T5 or T6 tower speakers, which cost at least twice as much.

Another issue is stands, however. I HATE speaker stands. To work properly, a speaker stand needs to be very heavy, and very solidly coupled to the floor. Most professional reviewers put steel or lead shot in the vertical steel tubes of the stands to get them heavy enough to work right.

What I prefer to do is actually use a tall wood end table or vertical shelf unit 12"x 12" x 36" tall or so that is heavy enough to function as a stand.

If I use a shelf unit to put the speakers on, it can function as a cabinet to hold 3 or 4 shelves of LP records or CDs (or whatever...), and they add more mass, which is good, and I am getting a lot of storage space under the speaker instead of just a speaker stand with no other function.

In any case, I always recommend that the front speakers should always go down below 60 Hz, so that the subwoofer isn't giving you monaural sound all the way up to 80 or 100 Hz; that sucks. That really hurts the sound quality of the system.






Quote:
Originally Posted by CooperM View Post

I'm looking into re-doing my whole home theater, everything needs an upgrade. Are floorstanding speakers worth the extra money and extra space? Or can I still get awesome sound with only the small surround-speakers.

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post #13 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:22 PM
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I like floorstanders for HT. To me they just sound bigger.

You would probably need to spend a lot of money on a bookshelf speaker to match the impact a good floorstander provides.
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:24 PM
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Bookshelves, as the name indicates is to be put on bookshelves in a study room.
It is downright stupid, if not idiotic to buy bookshelves and then buy expensive stands, the total cost of which might be very close to the floor-standing versions. My 2 cents.
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:29 PM
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Even if the crossover is the same for both at 80Hz I still feel the extra bass drivers in a floor stander and the fact that they usually cross over at around 300Hz would tend to be a little tighter and offer slightly more dynamics then say a bookshelf that covers a span of 2000Hz down.
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:34 PM
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It comes down to what your listening habits are. If you listen to a lot of 2 channel music then floorstanding speakers may make more sense. If this is mostly for home theater then you can get some very good bookshelf speakers with a dedicated subwoofer (or two) and blow away many floorstanding speakers.

Not all speakers are built the same and don't be fooled into thinking that floorstanding speakers will automatically sound better than a bookshelf speaker. Size of the cabinet is just one thing to consider. The actual components inside that cabinet are far more important like the quality of the crossover, tweeter, midrange, etc.

Also, don't buy some big porter cabinet speaker and then have it crammed into the corner of your room. Many floorstanding speakers need proper placement from walls to really sound good and that can mean as much as 3' or so of placement from a wall. It kills me when I see people buy an expensive massive ported floorstanding speaker and then cram it into the front corner of their room because it is the only way to fit it in the room. You might as well have spent less money on a smaller speaker or bookshelf.

One thing I have learned is that the subwoofer is vastly important for home theater. Budget properly for your subwoofer and make sure you buy one that is rated for your room size and have the right placement options. Understand bass management and finding the right balance between your subwoofer and speaker. There is no "one size fits all" in the audio world. Every room is different, and people have different tastes.

Speaking of the room, that is just as important as the speaker. It is just a fact that you can throw very good money away quickly by buying very expensive speakers and then putting them in an improperly treated space. Placement of speakers, and dealing with room issues/accoustics is just as important as the speakers you buy and many people overlook this.
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:36 PM
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I personally like floorstanders. I did try 3 bookshelfs before with stands but returned those and ended up getting my current setup. 3Towers across the front

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses". - Abraham Lincoln
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CooperM View Post

I'm looking into re-doing my whole home theater, everything needs an upgrade. Are floorstanding speakers worth the extra money and extra space? Or can I still get awesome sound with only the small surround-speakers.

To answer your question, small surround/satellite speakers will work quite well for the undiscriminating listener/viewer. The market has lots of them, and sold tons of them. But if you like to nitpick every sound detail, and even want to use it as 2 channel music speakers, then it would not work. Make sure you get at least one 10" powered subwoofer (a pair is better).
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:38 PM
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My wife would really like it if I got rid of my floorstanders for something smaller and more practical. So, yah, that pretty much conclusively establishes that floorstanders are better, worth the extra money, and worth the extra space.
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