Bookshelf versus tower when using a good sub - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post



The area of a woofer cone (Sd) is one Theile/Small spec. There are over a dozen specs that determine performance. If you do use the same woofer in a bookshelf versus tower the size of the tower in and of itself will result in a lower f3. But if you do that means you're not using drivers optimized for the pass band in which they're operating, and performance will suffer as a result. Like the proverbial Jack of All Trades a driver used in both bookshelves and towers is a Master in neither.

Sure there are trade offs, but im not sure if i will agree that performance will suffer. Even drivers manufactures likes Seas offers different recommendation on box volume and tunning.
A speaker master should be able to adapt in his desings. If he is too hardheaded, he is not a master.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


There is if you're an engineer. As I already noted drivers may be optimized to work within specific band widths. A driver that works as well as possible to well below 80Hz won't work as well above 80Hz as a driver designed to work as well as possible above 80Hz.

I think you're assuming that towers are two way systems. Three way systems, as you know, have drivers designed to handle a narrower range.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I think you're assuming that towers are two way systems. Three way systems, as you know, have drivers designed to handle a narrower range.
That what I was eluding to with my question about 3 ways. Each driver has a narrower freq range to handle. Therefore if done properly it seems they would be more efficient and should provide better sound quality.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

No. The only benefit to the larger cabinet is bass response. That also requires using drivers optimized to work in a larger cabinet to lower frequencies, and when that's the case said drivers don't work as well in the higher frequencies as drivers optimized to work with subs handling the lows. However, having more drivers in a bookshelf is beneficial. No single 5 incher or for than matter 6 incher is going to give concert level output, unless you typically sit in the last row.
This would seem to make the case for a 3 way being better in most situations.

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Old 10-06-2013, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


The dual woofer version will have 6dB higher output capability than the single woofer version, while having the dual woofers vertically aligned will more than halve the vertical dispersion angle, putting more sound at the listening position, while reducing early reflections off the ceiling and floor. The tweeter/crossover components would have to be adjusted so that the tweeter sensitivity matches the woofers sensitivity, but that's a very simple affair.
That expectation would not be realized.

The spec on HSU site seems to contradict, though i agree with you on this one. But i wonder why HSU didnt not offer as a L/R in the first place.
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

That what I was eluding to with my question about 3 ways. Each driver has a narrower freq range to handle. Therefore if done properly it seems they would be more efficient and should provide better sound quality.
They won't necessarily be more sensitive (efficient is not the correct term) but they will often sound better than a 2 way system that covers the same band width. But that applies to bookshelves as well as towers, as either can be configured as a 2 way or 3 way.
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I think you're assuming that towers are two way systems. Three way systems, as you know, have drivers designed to handle a narrower range.
I make no such assumption. The woofers in a 3 way tower are seldom crossed over to the mids at 80Hz, they typically run at least two octaves higher than that, so you still can't compare how they'll work above 80Hz to a driver specifically designed to do so.
Of course, there are some high end towers that do cross over from the woofers to the midbasses in the 80Hz region. What does that make them? A sub and a bookshelf housed in the same box.

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Old 10-06-2013, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by hdnewbie21 View Post

Your comparison does not disprove Bill's generalization. You are assuming that the P363 and the bookshelf cost the same.
Bill never said "at the same cost" anywhere in the post I responded to. You are adding facts which were not there.
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The underlying philosophy of the towers vs bookshelves is that at an X amount of dollars, more often than not, you'll find a bookshelf that performs better than a tower in the >80hz frequencies. Of course there are exceptions.
Though there's some logic which might create that expectation (less wood costs less money); that's far from establishing it as statistical reality (and even if true, just makes it a majority case).

So I stand by what I've been saying. Your favorite speakers within your price might be towers or might be bookshelves. The specific implementation will matter more than the form factor.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

Arent there inherent advantages to a quality 3-way speaker vs a quality 2-way? Better midrange performance, perhaps?

It's a question much like the form-factor question. There are advantages to a 3-way design over a 2-way design covering the same frequencies in that each driver will be asked to cover fewer octaves, but the specific implementation will matter more than the theory. To use an extreme example: My Salk SCST's (2-way) outperform my Primus 363's (3-way).

As to what will be better: that would depend on the implementation in both cases. I'll return to the example with the Infinity Primus line. Looking only above 80Hz: the 363 will beat 143 in the lower registers (below 350Hz) because of larger bass drivers. Compared to the 163, the 363 should still win below around 200, but will also have a better HF response because of the smaller midrange driver and higher crossover to the tweeter.

Bill likes to respond with the (true) theory that 3-way doesn't necessitate a tower; but the reality is that, in most speaker lines, it ends up that the 3-ways are towers.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:11 PM
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Thanks guys. Sorry if I took it a little off topic. I know that 3 ways can be bookshelf, center or tower but I was more concerned about the advantages/disadvantages of a 3 way design. Sounds like they are the way to go assuming you have quality design, crossovers and other components. Which, of course, equates to expensive.

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Old 10-06-2013, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

I was more concerned about the advantages/disadvantages of a 3 way design.
Dispersion. As you go higher in frequency dispersion narrows. Once the cone is significantly more than one wavelength across it will beam, perhaps well below where a tweeter can take over. One cure is to cross over to a smaller midrange driver to work in between the woofer and tweeter pass bands.
Another is to go MTM. Two 6.5s, for instance, can go high enough to make a dedicated midrange unnecessary, but may still have more low frequency output capacity than an eight. The disadvantage of a 3 way is the added complexity and cost of the crossover, and of integrating the sound fields of three drivers versus two.

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Old 10-06-2013, 05:43 PM
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Selah Temptesta's are great although a bit laid back for my taste.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:50 PM
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what about the nht classic 3 being a three way two crossover speaker, does it carry any advantages over say a similar sized speaker as the ascend acoustics sierra 1?

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Another is to go MTM. Two 6.5s, for instance, can go high enough to make a dedicated midrange unnecessary, but may still have more low frequency output capacity than an eight. The disadvantage of a 3 way is the added complexity and cost of the crossover, and of integrating the sound fields of three drivers versus two.
Taken to an extreme you get a line-array.

Now ask him why we don't solve everything with line arrays of tweeters. You'll discover there are downsides to that too.

There is no perfect technology. If there was, everyone would do it.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:55 PM
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Everyone thinks he knows best. biggrin.gif

Plenty of talented engineers from NHT, KEF, ATC, Revel, etc., have designed tiny speakers that have F3 of 100-110Hz with the intention of crossing over to subs @ 100-110Hz.

So it's just fine. No worries.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

what about the nht classic 3 being a three way two crossover speaker, does it carry any advantages over say a similar sized speaker as the ascend acoustics sierra 1?

Compare apples to apples measurements of the two models here from Soundstage in the Canadian NRC:

NHT Classic Three

Ascend Sierra-1

(note that apparently the Sierras' total harmonic distortion wasn't low enough to warrant a second set of measurements 5 db higher)
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Of course, there are some high end towers that do cross over from the woofers to the midbasses in the 80Hz region. What does that make them? A sub and a bookshelf housed in the same box.

Or in a lot of cases... a 2-way bookshelf sitting on top of a sub. http://www.stereophile.com/rmaf2009/eficions_gem/
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicardoJoa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post



The area of a woofer cone (Sd) is one Theile/Small spec. There are over a dozen specs that determine performance. If you do use the same woofer in a bookshelf versus tower the size of the tower in and of itself will result in a lower f3. But if you do that means you're not using drivers optimized for the pass band in which they're operating, and performance will suffer as a result. Like the proverbial Jack of All Trades a driver used in both bookshelves and towers is a Master in neither.

Sure there are trade offs, but im not sure if i will agree that performance will suffer. Even drivers manufactures likes Seas offers different recommendation on box volume and tunning.
A speaker master should be able to adapt in his designs. If he is too hardheaded, he is not a master.

No, drivers optimized for towers and drivers optimized for subwoofers even of the same diameter are generally different.

The subwoofer driver need only have high end extension up to a few 100 Hz. Bass drivers designed for towers and bookshelves need extension to crossover to a midrange or a tweeter, which means 400-1000 Hz if a midrange, and 1000 to 4000 Hz if a tweeter. Even a tower with bass extension down to 40 Hz requires a driver with different design features than one in a sub that goes down to 10-30 Hz. Generally the cone in a subwoofer driver is far heavier.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicardoJoa View Post

Actually, if you look at the klipsch spec, the towers of the same size woofer will have a lower F3 then the bookshelves.
As for the ARX, the a2 and a3 have the same tunning, but it looks like the overal cabinet volume is larger on the towers. It should theorically have better lowend at the expense of db. Their woofer FR would be similar but i would bet the tower have flatter response.
What is F3?

 

 The roll-off frequency at which the driver's response is down -3dB from the level of its midband response.

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Old 10-07-2013, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

Thanks guys. Sorry if I took it a little off topic. I know that 3 ways can be bookshelf, center or tower but I was more concerned about the advantages/disadvantages of a 3 way design.

The unmitigatable disadvantage of 3-ways is that all other things being equal, they cost more money. Any other disadvantage that I know of can be managed. Of course managing disadvantages costs more money.

The advantage of 3 way over 2 way is requiring less frequency range of each driver. The big disadvantage of 2-ways is the sharp change in directivity at the crossover point if the drivers are direct radiators.

It is advantageous for drivers being crossed over to have similar directivity at the crossover frequency. This is inherently mission impossible with true direct radiators because their directivity is largely dependent on size, but you can come closer if there are more frequency ranges.

The directivity issue can be managed by using a waveguide driver, which you guessed it, raises costs. The big cost of waveguide drivers can be in turn mitigated by replacing the usual compression driver with a direct radiator. The waveguide itself can be made more cheaply and is easier to package if it is shallow. The other way to mitigate the costs of the compression driver by having them made by the airfreight container load in China. But to do that you need volume, volume, volume.
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Sounds like they are the way to go assuming you have quality design, crossovers and other components. Which, of course, equates to expensive.

That's been the situation for decades. The AR3 was a trend setter in the resurgence of 3-ways in the 60s. In the 60s crossovers were still somewhat of a mystery. The NHT 3.3 was a trend setter for 4-way systems in the 90s benefiting from progress in drivers and crossovers.

For the record the last two speaker systems I purchased were Infinity Primus P 363 and PC 351, both 3-ways. The new Hsu speakers appear to also use this technology.

One of the big advantages of the Mackie 824 and Behringer B2031 comes from a well-engineered direct radiator based waveguide.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

No, drivers optimized for towers and drivers optimized for subwoofers even of the same diameter are generally different.

The subwoofer driver need only have high end extension up to a few 100 Hz. Bass drivers designed for towers and bookshelves need extension to crossover to a midrange or a tweeter, which means 400-1000 Hz if a midrange, and 1000 to 4000 Hz if a tweeter. Even a tower with bass extension down to 40 Hz requires a driver with different design features than one in a sub that goes down to 10-30 Hz. Generally the cone in a subwoofer driver is far heavier.

You are talking about specific driver like a midrange, a woofer, a subwoofer, a tweeter.
From what ihave been reading, i dont think thats whats had been discussing. Is more like a midbass driver where it will do mids and bass.
I also made my comments refering to klipsch tower bookshelves, and the arx center a2 and the tower a3.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Everyone thinks he knows best. biggrin.gif

Plenty of talented engineers from NHT, KEF, ATC, Revel, etc., have designed tiny speakers that have F3 of 100-110Hz with the intention of crossing over to subs @ 100-110Hz.

Yes, but high F3 speakers only work well if the subwoofer is in close proximity to, and centered between the front speakers. One of the advantages of subwoofers is the ability to put them where the bass response of the room is best, as opposed to having its location dictated by its relationship with the L & R speakers. At some point, even close proximity won't deal with the imaging and soundstaging problems. 120 Hz is about it.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:10 AM
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No, drivers optimized for towers and drivers optimized for subwoofers even of the same diameter are generally different.

The subwoofer driver need only have high end extension up to a few 100 Hz. Bass drivers designed for towers and bookshelves need extension to crossover to a midrange or a tweeter, which means 400-1000 Hz if a midrange, and 1000 to 4000 Hz if a tweeter. Even a tower with bass extension down to 40 Hz requires a driver with different design features than one in a sub that goes down to 10-30 Hz. Generally the cone in a subwoofer driver is far heavier.

You are talking about specific driver like a midrange, a woofer, a subwoofer, a tweeter.

Yes. They are all best if tightly optimized for their role.
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From what ihave been reading, i dont think thats whats had been discussing. Is more like a midbass driver where it will do mids and bass.

Such a driver is a compromise, and its more of a compromise if the driver is too small. If you want to go down to 80 Hz with a 3 inch driver its built more like a subwoofer than if it is a 6 or 8 inch driver. If you want to obtain really high SPLs, suddenly even 8 inchers get to be a little small.
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I also made my comments refering to klipsch tower bookshelves, and the arx center a2 and the tower a3.

I didn't know that Klipsch and ARX had been granted a reprieve from the laws of physics. ;-)
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Yes. They are all best if tightly optimized for their role.
Such a driver is a compromise, and its more of a compromise if the driver is too small. If you want to go down to 80 Hz with a 3 inch driver its built more like a subwoofer than if it is a 6 or 8 inch driver. If you want to obtain really high SPLs, suddenly even 8 inchers get to be a little small.
Plenty of these soc call "compromise "drivers. Midbass for god sake! To be clear, no one is taking about 3" driver for doing sub frequencies. Or 8" driver doing high spl of a 18". If you want to comment on my post at least make it relevant.

Speaker designs has always been a compromise. There is no perfect designs. A master know that.
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I didn't know that Klipsch and ARX had been granted a reprieve from the laws of physics. ;-)
They arent, but it doesnt mean their design cant be tuned for a specifics goal. Just like the seas ER 15, Jim Salk uses both on the monitors and its TL design just like the HT2TL as well.

The point is, neither klipsch or arx towers are doing out of the norm. They arent doing sub frequencies or super highs like the impression
you giving me.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


Of course, there are some high end towers that do cross over from the woofers to the midbasses in the 80Hz region. What does that make them? A sub and a bookshelf housed in the same box.

Like the $180,000 Focal Grande Utopia? biggrin.gif

It's not a bad speaker.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:04 AM
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Yes, but high F3 speakers only work well if the subwoofer is in close proximity to, and centered between the front speakers. One of the advantages of subwoofers is the ability to put them where the bass response of the room is best, as opposed to having its location dictated by its relationship with the L & R speakers. At some point, even close proximity won't deal with the imaging and soundstaging problems. 120 Hz is about it.

What if you use 2 or 3 subs?
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:21 AM
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What if you use 2 or 3 subs?
If crossed too high then you'll have two or three subs that are each easily directionally locatable and heard as separate sources. About the only way you can get away with running subs above even 100Hz without directionality issues is if you have a wall of them across the front of the room. That would cause room mode issues in most rooms, though, so you're trading one problem for another.

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Old 10-07-2013, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

If crossed too high then you'll have two or three subs that are each easily directionally locatable and heard as separate sources. About the only way you can get away with running subs above even 100Hz without directionality issues is if you have a wall of them across the front of the room. That would cause room mode issues in most rooms, though, so you're trading one problem for another.

That sounds pretty good in theory. But like all good theories, actual perceived sound is another matter.

I've seen many people crossing @ 100-120Hz without any kind of issues in actual practice.

People can easily try and see for themselves.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:46 AM
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AcuDefTechGuy I think is because you are using this settings for music ,I think 80hz in that circumstances is not very critical .

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Old 10-08-2013, 08:49 AM
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thread cleanup

please take the high road in every post
if you see a problematic post, please do not quote it or respond to it: report it to the mods to handle
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:49 AM
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I've compared 40Hz vs 120Hz XO on my Salon2, 802D2, KEF 201/2, Linkwitz Orion3, Phil3 (Pre-pro is Denon AVP-A1HDCI, amp is ATI AT3005, cables are Kimber Kable) and the difference was very subtle at best.

Definitely not day-and-night difference or "S#$$load".

If his speaker will go down as low as 100hz, and he crosses it 40hz, that would make the S#$load wink.gif

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