Please Help! Question about floorstanding speakers for home theater use??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys. I'm starting to get really confused here. I'm looking to get the polk tsi500s as my main left and right in my system. I have the cs20 center already. I will get an svs subwoofer later down the road. I mostly watch movies and play games with some music listening (bout 95% movies/games, 5% music).

My question is this:

Why do so many people have big floorstanding speakers with mutiple drivers if they just cross them over at say between 60-80hz and let the subwoofer take over?? Do they cross them over much lower? But what about the surround channels?? Can budget bookshelves really play to 40hz cleanly??

I've heard many people say that the tsi500s are a waste of money if you plan on adding a good sub. Take prices /brands out of the equation. Isn't everyone "wasting" money for big floorstanders with multiple drivers if they have a quality sub?? I mean does anyone really cross over their subs at like 40hz??

Someone replied to me and said the midrange stays the same if the tweeters are identical (which they are between my old tsi 300s and the tsi500s im looking to get). Is this true, or was i correct in assuming multiple drivers will make those frequencies above the crossover clearer??

It just seemes to me people tell me I'm wasting money, but I just wanted to know if everyone who has big floorstanders with multiple drivers is "wasting" money if they have a quality sub crossed over from say 60-80hz. Do people just like overkill? (I do haha) What's the deal??? Please educate me....

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone??

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 08:05 PM
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What size room do you have? The bigger the room, the bigger the speaker.

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddt007 View Post

What size room do you have? The bigger the room, the bigger the speaker.

I'm in my bedroom now haha. I wanted to get ones that I can keep when I move out after I finish college next year.

But I thought if u have floorstanders with woofers in them that ur wasting money if u have the sub taking over those frequencies. Thats what I've been told. People say to save the money and get a good sub instead of getting the tsi500s in my case. I also read the tsi 400s would be better for strictly ht use since u really dont need the extra bass the tsi 500s put out because chances are you'll have your sub take over those frequencies.

I was just asking if it really is a waste of money for all of us that want big floorstanders with more than 2 drivers. Do people just get them to fill their larger rooms, even though the bass is handled by the sub?

Idk, I just wanted to see If I'm the only one that doesnt care if I really "don't need" an extra driver or 2 on my floorstanding speakers. I know I can't be. They look awesome haha.

If people are telling me to save money on the tsi 500s, then what would people say about people buying much more expensive floorstanders with say 7 or 8 inch woofers in them (like the polk rti a7 or a9) in the same space?

Does having more drivers help with the midrange in the tsi500s case? I'd like to think more drivers would smooth out the response and not make the speakers work as hard as say the tsi 300s would have to in order to produce the same frequencies that the subwoofer doesn't cover. I'm confused

Polk CS20
Polk Tsi 500's
Polk Tsi 200's
Denon 1713
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Panasonic DMP-BDT 210
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 08:37 PM
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hi Batman,

I'll give it a shot... I had an Onkyo HTIB , and wanted to upgrade, and liked the looks of, and the positive comments here, so I got Monitor 70's (with a CS2 and M50's for rears). Lots of drivers, impressive size and looks, etc., and they were a huge improvement over the Onkyo's. All good, right? And it was. Until I got the bug to get a real sub.

Not wanting to buy the wrong tool for the job, and researched like crazy, and got a HSU vtf3 mk 3. It was the largest ported sub they offered at the time. And knowing the M70's went down to a listed 30 hz (but truly a -3db more like 40hz), I set the crossover for them at 40hz, and thought it sounded great. I had a hard time with the mental reasoning of a higher x-over point, thinking it would be a 'waste' not letting them do all they could.

But, with tweaking being so much a part of this hobby, I eventually did try the 'recommended' 80 hz... just to see. And it was a real eye opener. Now my mids and highs sounded even better! Freeing them from the strain of trying to reproduce everything from 40 to 80 hz, just made them sound better from 80 hz and up.

And the sub really did a better job with the low stuff than the Polks ever did. (Thank you Dr. Hsu !)l

And then the bug bit again... and already being so impressed with HSU, I ordered a set of 4 HB1's and an HC1. An almost sideways step price-wise, but I will say that one quality 6.5 inch driver (and a great tweeter) did better than all those (cheaper) Polk drivers put together.

Do they go down to 40 hz ? No, but I never intended to use them without a sub. And then I did. (remember the tweaking thing) And they are quite competent, for music, on their own. Impressive is a better word. Could they go as low as the Polks? No, but what they could do, they did much better, cleaner, and just as loud. More accurately, for sure. And with a sub? No comparison.

Granted, I listen to 95% music / radio / tv and 5% movies (if that), but I have a system that covers all those bases, with authority. Were the big towers with all those drivers a 'waste of money' ? Probably, but I don't think I'd have been drawn to those small bookshelf sized speakers at the time, because I wanted big, imposing looking towers, and truly didn't know any better then.

So, after all that rambling... I'd suggest getting the sub first. See how much better your speakers sound with a true subwoofer, and then decide if you need to upgrade them. You were already planning on getting a sub, so just shift the order, and you may find your priorities changing, as well.

Hope it helps,
Joseph

What a long, strange trip its been....
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman61405 View Post

Hey guys. I'm starting to get really confused here. I'm looking to get the polk tsi500s as my main left and right in my system. I have the cs20 center already. I will get an svs subwoofer later down the road. I mostly watch movies and play games with some music listening (bout 95% movies/games, 5% music).

My question is this:

Why do so many people have big floorstanding speakers with mutiple drivers if they just cross them over at say between 60-80hz and let the subwoofer take over?? Do they cross them over much lower? But what about the surround channels?? Can budget bookshelves really play to 40hz cleanly??

I've heard many people say that the tsi500s are a waste of money if you plan on adding a good sub. Take prices /brands out of the equation. Isn't everyone "wasting" money for big floorstanders with multiple drivers if they have a quality sub?? I mean does anyone really cross over their subs at like 40hz??

Someone replied to me and said the midrange stays the same if the tweeters are identical (which they are between my old tsi 300s and the tsi500s im looking to get). Is this true, or was i correct in assuming multiple drivers will make those frequencies above the crossover clearer??

It just seemes to me people tell me I'm wasting money, but I just wanted to know if everyone who has big floorstanders with multiple drivers is "wasting" money if they have a quality sub crossed over from say 60-80hz. Do people just like overkill? (I do haha) What's the deal??? Please educate me....

Your assumption is correct. Lets say that you have $1000.00 to spend on your two fronts, left and right. Observe the price for a pair of towers compared to $1000.00 for a pair of stand mounted speakers. That $1000.00 for two stand mounted speakers will most definitely buy you some very fine sound to enjoy.

Most people will set the pre-amp setting to small, and crossover the lows to a powered sub woofer as you mentioned.

Another issue that comes up with towers is placement of all of the speakers within the cabinet. Often the perfect spot for the mids and tweeters are not the ideal place for obtaining your best bass response. In your case the separate sub can be moved around the room to find the best spot for great bass response.

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post #7 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 08:51 PM
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There's a bunch of qualified people on here that'll be more than happy to help you out! Unfortunatly, I'm not one of them! Be patient!

Yamaha RX-V765 Behringer A500 x2 (for now) FL/R/C
EMP E55Ti, E5Ci, E5Bi
OPPO BDP-83
HSU VTF-2 MK3
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 09:51 PM
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It all depends on the design of the speaker. You cant generalize everything together. The M70/TSi500 is a 2.5 way design, that means the top two woofers handle the midrange, but all four woofers handle the bass (depending on the speaker, a 2.5 way design's lower woofer(s) start contributing around 800hz) . This additional capability covering the lower mid range and mid bass gives you significantly more output, impact, and lower distortion in the most demanding region of a speaker being crossed at 80hz. This type of design will also need significant room from walls, due to the flat anechoic bass response of a 2.5 way, which is by nature full 6db BSC. This is a whole other subject that I wont get into, just know that any 2.5 way should not be placed within a foot of any walls.

Designs like the RTi A7/9 are true 3-ways, but the mid/woofer crossover is 120hz, which does make all that extra woofage seem kind of pointless when crossed to a sub at 80hz. This is not common of every design, and is a poor design decision by Polk IMO. Many designs are crossed much higher, which gives the same benefits talked about above for the 2.5 way, but also lowers IM distortion for the midrange since it is relieved of bass duties, and can allow for a smaller mid range driver with better off axis response.

You can find 2.5 way and 3 way monitors, but the comparable floorstander can always be bigger, and capable of more output and lower distortion.


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post #9 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 10:15 PM
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Designs like the RTi A7/9 are true 3-ways, but the mid/woofer crossover is 120hz, which does make all that extra woofage seem kind of pointless when crossed to a sub at 80hz. This is not common of every design, and is a poor design decision by Polk IMO.

But then again, not everyone will be using them in a system equipped with a subwoofer i.e. a plain ol' stereo system.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 10:30 PM
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I know this isn't everyone's fave brand, but I like this configuration MTX uses for some large bookshelf speakers, lots of output but still small enough to place on stands: Monitor 60i with dual 6.5" woofers. Can probably easily handle an 80Hz crossover without strain (the region around 80Hz can still contain very energetic sonic elements).
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

But then again, not everyone will be using them in a system equipped with a subwoofer i.e. a plain ol' stereo system.

Of course, the extra woofage helps for full range use. I still would have liked to see them relieve the mid about 100hz higher.


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post #12 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlhungdude View Post

hi Batman,

I'll give it a shot... I had an Onkyo HTIB , and wanted to upgrade, and liked the looks of, and the positive comments here, so I got Monitor 70's (with a CS2 and M50's for rears). Lots of drivers, impressive size and looks, etc., and they were a huge improvement over the Onkyo's. All good, right? And it was. Until I got the bug to get a real sub.

Not wanting to buy the wrong tool for the job, and researched like crazy, and got a HSU vtf3 mk 3. It was the largest ported sub they offered at the time. And knowing the M70's went down to a listed 30 hz (but truly a -3db more like 40hz), I set the crossover for them at 40hz, and thought it sounded great. I had a hard time with the mental reasoning of a higher x-over point, thinking it would be a 'waste' not letting them do all they could.

But, with tweaking being so much a part of this hobby, I eventually did try the 'recommended' 80 hz... just to see. And it was a real eye opener. Now my mids and highs sounded even better! Freeing them from the strain of trying to reproduce everything from 40 to 80 hz, just made them sound better from 80 hz and up.

And the sub really did a better job with the low stuff than the Polks ever did. (Thank you Dr. Hsu !)l

And then the bug bit again... and already being so impressed with HSU, I ordered a set of 4 HB1's and an HC1. An almost sideways step price-wise, but I will say that one quality 6.5 inch driver (and a great tweeter) did better than all those (cheaper) Polk drivers put together.

Do they go down to 40 hz ? No, but I never intended to use them without a sub. And then I did. (remember the tweaking thing) And they are quite competent, for music, on their own. Impressive is a better word. Could they go as low as the Polks? No, but what they could do, they did much better, cleaner, and just as loud. More accurately, for sure. And with a sub? No comparison.

Granted, I listen to 95% music / radio / tv and 5% movies (if that), but I have a system that covers all those bases, with authority. Were the big towers with all those drivers a 'waste of money' ? Probably, but I don't think I'd have been drawn to those small bookshelf sized speakers at the time, because I wanted big, imposing looking towers, and truly didn't know any better then.

So, after all that rambling... I'd suggest getting the sub first. See how much better your speakers sound with a true subwoofer, and then decide if you need to upgrade them. You were already planning on getting a sub, so just shift the order, and you may find your priorities changing, as well.

Hope it helps,
Joseph

Thank you so much for the insight Sadly, I can't get a subwoofer first. I am selling my current tsi300s and tsi 100s to my friend who is setting up his first ht system, so i won't have any speakers except my cs20 center channel. I won't be able to get a sub for at least a year, maybe longer because of space and money. I will not buy a $250 crappy sub. I'm going to save and get either an SVS or a HSU, so that's going to take a while for me , but I know it will be worth the wait.

After the insight you and the others have given me, I'm really contemplating selling my cs20 on ebay and just starting over hahah. I really liked my tsi300s, but I know what you mean about one quality driver vs. 3 subpar ones.

My issue now is that because I will be without a sub for at least a year, will the floorstanders such as the tsi 500s be worth it? I think for now they will, but like u said, after I get a sub, they wont be.

Can anyone offer any suggestions of speaker brands for me to look into? $800 for a pair? (what i was going to pay for the tsi500s). I'd still prefer floorstanders but with an svs or hsu sub in mind for the future. Nothing with a lot of crappy drivers. Quality drivers for midrange and highs that will be greatly complemented with the addition of a good subwoofer is what I'd like to invest in. I'll have to get a new center too o well haha

Thanks for all of your help guys!

Polk CS20
Polk Tsi 500's
Polk Tsi 200's
Denon 1713
Samsung 37'' LCD
Panasonic DMP-BDT 210
SVS PB-2000
Auralex Great Gramma/MoPAD
Logitech Harmony One
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 10:49 PM
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IMO the best floorstanders under $800 are Ascend 340's with pedestal stands.



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post #14 of 14 Old 06-01-2012, 11:21 PM
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that's okay, I like a challenge... and coming up with other options...

I'm sure those 340's would be waaaay better than the Polks you were looking at. but...

how about...
option 1: don't sell what you have now. Sounds like your friend has a larger budget than you, so let him take the hit on buying new. Or up the price and make the center part of the deal to increase what you can work with for your own next set-up.

option 2: look at a VTF1 and a pair of HC1's, and go 2.1 for now. Small room, good base to add to later. You could add a bigger sub when you have a bigger budget, and use it kinda like a MBM nearfield, with a bigger (think VTF-15 ) in the far corner of your much bigger room later. Once again, call them for the best price, as neither is on sale now, but they both will be eventually. They rotate all their product on sale, eventually.

option 3: If you want to stick with Ascend, get a VTF1 and a pair of Ascend's htm 200's. only $20 over budget, and they could be shifted to rear duty when you can afford a 340's or even 170's for the front 3. They would all timbre match.

I'm sure there are other options, but I wouldn't blow the whole budget on just a pair of front speakers. At this point, I couldn't go back to not having a sub at all. Your mileage may vary.

What a long, strange trip its been....
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