Towers or Bookshelves for my room size - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-26-2013, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been looking to upgrade my speakers in my front room, which is 13' by 14', with an 8 foot ceiling, so a pretty small room. This incredibly precise and detailed diagram will show you the current layout .
There is a 7' by 3' window into the kitchen on the left side behind the couch, and the two lines in the bottom left corner represent openings leading to the kitchen and a hallway, and opposite the way into the kitchen is my front door.
Recently I went into a high end Home theater/ audio show room and listened to a 5.1 Klipsch setup consisting of RF 62 II towers, RB 61 rears, RF 62 II center, and a 10" sub. It sounded great, but were a little over my budget, and we were probably 12 - 14' away from the fronts, whereas the chair shown in the diagram, where i would mostly be sitting, is only 8' away from the where I could place speakers. After doing some research, I'm beginning to think that towers would be too much for such dimensions, or at least I wouldn't be able to get their full potential within that distance.
The other considerations are that I am planning to purchase an AVR that outputs 80w per channel, and I will be purchasing a sub, most likely a SVS PB-1000. I don't necessarily need recommendations on speakers, just what would be better for this room. I have Logitech Z-5500 speakers doing the work right now, and they are plenty loud for that room.
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-27-2013, 02:22 AM
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Hi AD,

and welcome to AVS Forums.

Take a good look at Ascend Acoustics... their set of 340 across the front, with 170's for surrounds ($1166 currently)

... or the fine offerings from Hsu Research :

Today, I'd splurge , as their upgraded rosenut finish is a great value ... very nice price on a pair of HC1's in rosenut ( 519 shipped), and the matching center is also on sale( 279 shipped). using a pair of HB1's, also in rosenut (410 shipped) for a grand total of $1208. Individually, the same speakers in black would be $1155

with either company, their is a less expensive option utilizing smaller speakers for your front L and R. I would highly recommend calling both , as they may be able to do even better pricewise, and to get a better feel for the company you'll be voting for with your $$.

Would you like a sub with that? smile.gif

so... what's the real budget? wink.gif

It's for 'wall hung dude', and no, I don't need any help to 'hook-up'.... sheesh ... dirty minds around these parts....
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-27-2013, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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My max budget would be $2000, excluding the AVR, although If i could fit that in there that would be great. Those speakers look nice, and I love the price, so I definitely check them out.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-27-2013, 03:17 PM
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It looks like the sides of the couches might obstruct the sound from the lower speakers on towers so I'd recommend bookshelf speakers on stands for your LR fronts.

Also, because of the couch seating I'd recommend speakers that have strong imaging to give everyone as good a sound as possible. (The chair is in the "sweet spot".) The Ascend speakers mentioned in an earlier post have this quality (and they get universally good reviews!). Another speaker, in your price range, with excellent imaging would be the KEF Q series - Q100's or Q300's across the front LCR with Q100's or Cambridge Audio S30's as surrounds (the S30's being a less expensive option for surround speakers). The website www.accessories4less.com has good prices on the KEF's, the CA S30's can be found on amazon.

The SVS sub you mention is an excellent choice.

With the couch seating so close to the front speakers I would be hesitant to recommend the Klipch. They can be on the bright side and that could be esp. noticeable/uncomfortable for someone sitting right next to the speaker.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-27-2013, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

It looks like the sides of the couches might obstruct the sound from the lower speakers on towers so I'd recommend bookshelf speakers on stands for your LR fronts.

Also, because of the couch seating I'd recommend speakers that have strong imaging to give everyone as good a sound as possible. (The chair is in the "sweet spot".) The Ascend speakers mentioned in an earlier post have this quality (and they get universally good reviews!). Another speaker, in your price range, with excellent imaging would be the KEF Q series - Q100's or Q300's across the front LCR with Q100's or Cambridge Audio S30's as surrounds (the S30's being a less expensive option for surround speakers). The website www.accessories4less.com has good prices on the KEF's, the CA S30's can be found on amazon.

The SVS sub you mention is an excellent choice.

With the couch seating so close to the front speakers I would be hesitant to recommend the Klipch. They can be on the bright side and that could be esp. noticeable/uncomfortable for someone sitting right next to the speaker.

+1 I think the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SEs or KEF Q300s across the front would be excellent choices. You should be able to listen the KEF speakers at an audio shop. The Ascend speakers could be demoed at home. They have a 30-day policy.

"Guns for show, knives for a pro..."
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-27-2013, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I'll give the ascends a shot, I like the way they look. I prefer soft dome tweeters, and I think the klipsch's could become grating after extended listening sessions. Unfortunately there are no Kef dealers in my area(St. Louis), and there is only one home theater shop that's not a big box store, and they don't carry them.
Also, there is space between the front of the couches and the entertainment center, about 3' on each side. I got carried away with the square tool in Paint.
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-27-2013, 10:35 PM
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Good advice above.

I'd suggest the Aperion Verus line, as well. If you can swing the Grand Bookshelves with the Grand Center, I would strongly consider a home audition. The PB1000 is a great sub, too.

I've got a slightly bigger room than you and had the budget to upgrade the speakers a bit, and what I got is probably overkill for the space. The Aperions and SVS sound natural, wide and deep. Great with HT, games, and music, whatever I can throw at them.

Don't skimp on a receiver, though: get one with Audyssey MultiEQ XT at least. It's worth it.

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post #8 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 07:25 AM
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Simple answer: If you run a sub use bookshelves, if you don't run towers. In terms of locating the high frequency sources and low frequency sources where each functions best subs and bookshelves are a much better choice than floor standers.

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post #9 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 07:47 AM
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I'd also look at the Ascend setup - good value and you can't go wrong with the 30 day trial. If you decide that the bottom end isn't weighty enough for you, you can add the SVS sub-woofer.

If you listen to lots of music in your 5.1 setup, like I do, you might want to get towers then. It's not a matter of using the "full potential" but rather with 2 channel music, it's preferable to have two full range source points rather than adding in a subwoofer to handle to bottom end.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spincycle79 View Post

with 2 channel music, it's preferable to have two full range source points rather than adding in a subwoofer to handle to bottom end.
Not really. In a correctly done sub/satellite system all of the directional information comes from the mains, while all of the information from the sub is not directionally locatable, so you can't tell that the LF source isn't the mains. My system has the sub in back of the LP, and even I can't tell that it's there based on what I'm hearing. I know it's there because I put it there, visitors are completely unaware that it's a speaker at all.

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post #11 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 10:05 AM
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^^^ I agree Bill cuz the best spots for the Front L&R are rarely (or never) the best spots for the sub or bass of the system.

Spincycle I say this because Trebel and Midrange react to a room much different than the bass frequencies. Bass is much harder to tame than the other frequencies.

Shawn
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 10:20 AM
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Consider "future proofing". While bookshelves might work fine for your current room, what does the future hold? Will you be moving into a bigger house or bigger entertainment room? If so, you might consider towers.
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by metalsaber View Post

Consider "future proofing". While bookshelves might work fine for your current room, what does the future hold? Will you be moving into a bigger house or bigger entertainment room? If so, you might consider towers.
Using towers has nothing to do with the room size. They don't go louder than bookshelves, they go lower. Lower doesn't matter if subs are handling the lows.

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post #14 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 11:01 AM
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Even if your using towers its still best to use a subwoofer. Most towers only have output down to low 50s to mid 40s. The mains are positioned for imaging and soundstage, which may not work out for lower freq bass.

I would also have to disagree that towers don't go louder than bookshelfs. I reached the limits of my Arx A1 5.3" single driver bookshelf when crossed at 80hrz. I replaced them with Arx A5 3 way towers same tweeter, but with dedicated midrange driver (limited freq range) and 3 midbass woofers (same woofer in the A1). Now I have more output, better midrange resolution, dyanamics are improved, no excursion issues. A 2 way bookshelf with single woofer can only do so much. I don't have a huge room but enjoy having towers as mains.

I have a hard time believing that a Klipsch RF62 tower only has better bass than a Klipsch RB61 bookshelf. Larger cabinet volume and and extra driver DOES help with output and "load" sharing to potentialy lower distortion (more drivers working less to cover same range) .
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 11:06 AM
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Sure, it's generally accepted that sound becomes omni-directional around 80hz. But ask many folks on here, you can localize sound lower than 80hz. If you get bookshelves that play, unstrained down to say below 50hz, sure, throw in a sub. But if your bookshelves can't play that low, I'd buy something fuller range for my mains. Only way to find out OP is to try things out. In room response can extend the low reach any speakers you're testing. Bookshelves and a sub might be just fine, but if you have very damped room you might need something that can dig deeper.

Also, to the OP, I'd also consider how you're going to set things up. Will your bookshelves need stands? If you need to put them on stands, you might also want to consider a tower - at lease you'll have a functional stand then. smile.gif
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Using towers has nothing to do with the room size. They don't go louder than bookshelves, they go lower. Lower doesn't matter if subs are handling the lows.

I'd also disagree that towers don't go louder. Generally they have more drivers and move more air. An energy RC-10 doesn't produce the same SPL as an energy RC-70. But as the OP stated, his current set up is loud enough, so this is a moot point. smile.gif

OP, it really comes down to if you can hear a difference with towers. Choose from a company that will let you audition both and send back the loser. It's always hard to judge the bass response of a room over the internet. Those couches that you have in your diagram might soak up the low end coming from your speakers. Try out both and post your results here. Testing is the best part of buying speakers!
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 08:59 PM
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The CMT-340SEs are essentially mini-towers and their output is very good as expected for fairly efficient speakers.

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post #18 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. The main reason I created this thread was to determine whether towers or bookshelves would perform better in such a small space, but after some more research and the replies in this thread, this may be more subjective than I thought. I'll definetly have to try some out for myself
These speakers would be for music and ht. Not until recently have I set up my current speakers up for serious 2.1 listening. Usually I have them set in a pro-logic 2 mode and play them while I was off somewhere else. These have a surprisingly good soundstage for what they are. I can see myself using my next set of speakers for this kind of task more often..
I will be getting a sub whether I get towers or bookshelves. What I may end up doing is flipping the room setup 180º as to put more room between the couches and the front speakers, and make it easier to adjust the surrounds.
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post #19 of 19 Old 01-28-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spincycle79 View Post

Sure, it's generally accepted that sound becomes omni-directional around 80hz. But ask many folks on here, you can localize sound lower than 80hz.
If you can localize it it's not below 80Hz. Folks here who believe that they've heard otherwise are mistaken.
Quote:
towers... Generally they have more drivers and move more air.
That's true, so that they can go lower. With all else being equal to go one octave lower driver displacement must be doubled, either by doubling cone area, doubling excursion or doubling the driver count. Or the cabinet size must be increased by a factor of eight. Or a combination of higher driver displacement and cabinet size may be employed.

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