Whats the point of full range speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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what is the point of expensive full range speakers when a dedicated sub and high quality speakers together is better?

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post #2 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 03:29 PM
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It's partially a vestige from the days of hi-fi stereo when there were no subwoofers. A purist audiophile might (mistakenly) object to a sub by saying there is LFE channel in a two channel recording, and they prefer that simplicity. There is also sometimes no need or want of the kind of high power bass that a sub brings. Many full range tower speaker have adequate bass for a lot of people. There are other reasons I am sure. No objections to subwoofers can really be for reasons of overall audio performance.
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post #3 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh alright. Thanks for the clarification

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post #4 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

It's partially a vestige from the days of hi-fi stereo when there were no subwoofers. A purist audiophile might (mistakenly) object to a sub by saying there is LFE channel in a two channel recording, and they prefer that simplicity. There is also sometimes no need or want of the kind of high power bass that a sub brings. Many full range tower speaker have adequate bass for a lot of people. There are other reasons I am sure. No objections to subwoofers can really be for reasons of overall audio performance.
This is hilarious.

Yes, the reason why nearly all the best speakers in the world are full range is just because of all those dinosaurs out there, who just didn't get the memo on this.

Try again.
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post #5 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 06:11 PM
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There is *no* LFE in a stereo recording (typo).

There are many reasons for full-range speakers, and as many why not. Preference. I started to list reasons and pros/cons of each but decided it's just not worth it.

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post #6 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 06:20 PM
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There is no LFE channel in stereo material, but that doesn't mean a subwoofer doesn't benefit a stereo system.
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post #7 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 06:30 PM
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Interesting common but related Audyssey article - http://www.audyssey.com/blog/small-vs-large - besides deep bass not being directional, they use different EQs for the sub outputs to more finely EQ the bass.
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post #8 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

There is no LFE channel in stereo material, but that doesn't mean a subwoofer doesn't benefit a stereo system.
+1. Subwoofers pre-date LFE by about twenty five years. I built my first sub in 1971.The main argument for full rangers is 'that's how we've always done it'. The main argument for subs/satellites is that seldom, if ever, is the best room placement for sources that operate in the shorter wavelength directional frequencies also the best room placement for sources that operate in the longer wavelength non-directional frequencies.
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post #9 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 09:58 PM
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So then would it be smarter to invest into some quality bookshelves if you are going to run a sub? Or could you perhaps gain more midbass punch with the towers and a highpass about 80hz?

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post #10 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 06:38 AM
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So then would it be smarter to invest into some quality bookshelves if you are going to run a sub? Or could you perhaps gain more midbass punch with the towers and a highpass about 80hz?
Look at SPL charts for towers, covering up everything below 80Hz. Compare that to SPL charts for bookshelves doing the same. Then compare the price you have to pay, and space you have to devote, to get the same results with both formats.

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post #11 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 07:21 AM
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If you bought monitors + subs, the Knight would tell you, "You have chosen wisely". biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

I own Salon2, B&W 802D2, Orion3, Phil3, and I also think that monitors + subs is the more prudent & practical route.

But it's a hobby. People don't necessarily buy speakers and amps for prudent and practical. There are other factors like aesthetic, pride of ownership, bragging rights.

It's like owning a Range Rover, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, etc., instead of a Toyota.

Some of us truly believe that Monitors + Subs is better. But some people wholeheartedly believe that towers sound better than monitors + subs.

There's no wrong way to play.

If you were a billionaire, would you rather have five Salon2 or TAD R1 or KEF Muon plus Subs, or would you rather have five Monitors + Subs? And even then, billionaires would disagree. biggrin.gif
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post #12 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 08:20 AM
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As long as the bookshelves extend well below 80hz, they are the way to go for movie watching. I think crossing over at 120hz is not a great idea. Be sure the -3db point is well below 80hz and you will be fine. Most of them do. Contrary to all the advice and opinion, I run my towers full range and use the sub for fill and bass enhancement. My system is used mostly for music so my sub is used together with the woofers in the main speakers but subtly. It is big enough to handle movie LFE just fine but that isn't its main purpose. For movie watching, separating the mains and the sub is preferred. I just chimed in to explain why some people may choose towers as main speakers.
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post #13 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 08:48 AM
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Last night I was going back and forth between 80Hz & 120Hz XO watching some movies (5 KEF 201/2 & 7 subs).

I really truly cannot tell much of a difference. They both sounded great.

But, as I've said, people can try it out and see.

Anyway, because I couldn't tell any difference, I went with 80Hz. Peer pressure. biggrin.gif
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post #14 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Last night I was going back and forth between 80Hz & 120Hz XO watching some movies (5 KEF 201/2 & 7 subs).

I really truly cannot tell much of a difference. They both sounded great.

But, as I've said, people can try it out and see.

Anyway, because I couldn't tell any difference, I went with 80Hz. Peer pressure. biggrin.gif

Crossover frequency is the exact reason I went with full range towers (well, pretty close to full range). Everyone hears sound differently. Some people immediately hear phase issues, some are more sensitive to higher frequencies, some low frequencies, distortion, etc. Personally, I'm fairly sensitive to directionality. Because of this, with an 80hz crossover I can almost immediately hear where the sub is located. Depending on available receiver settings, I typically run my crossover at either 50 or 60hz. It's not that I ever plan on running my fronts full-range during playback, but I need them to extend pretty well below the crossover to get a smoother transition to the sub. This also is in a single sub system, I'd be surprised if in a multi-sub system it wouldn't lessen my need for the low crossover
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post #15 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 12:15 PM
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Already discussed at length here : http://www.avsforum.com/t/1493443/bookshelf-versus-tower-when-using-a-good-sub

Since ideal sub positioning is rarely the same as ideal positioning of localize-able frequencies; one would be hard pressed indeed to make a sound-only argument in favor of full range in a single box.

They can sometimes be very cool though; and convenient if you don't want to place subs and run the extra wires. And, of course, you can then cross them over wherever you like (flexibility is good); but there's gonna be a premium for that.
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post #16 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 12:42 PM
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Well I own a toyota and I can afford a BMW however, I prefer to buy things like speakers, amps, and other things my wife can't understand to save her life eek.gif


I read you post acudef about monitors and subs and you have inspired me to possibly hand on to my CM5's and look into a couple rhymiks 15's or perhaps 12's haha with the size of my living room, Im sure one sub would be fine but I want to push the roof tiles off the house!

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post #17 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kingofthecrate View Post

I read you post acudef about monitors and subs and you have inspired me to possibly hand on to my CM5's and look into a couple rhymiks 15's or perhaps 12's haha with the size of my living room, Im sure one sub would be fine but I want to push the roof tiles off the house!

The purpose of more subs is not to make bass louder; it is to make it more even.
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post #18 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 01:56 PM
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I read you post acudef about monitors and subs and you have inspired me to possibly hang on to my CM5's and look into a couple rhymiks 15's or perhaps 12's...

That would be my move. Great subs can make an amazing difference.

No matter what speakers you own, great subs is always a great thing to have.
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post #19 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Last night I was going back and forth between 80Hz & 120Hz XO watching some movies (5 KEF 201/2 & 7 subs).

I really truly cannot tell much of a difference. They both sounded great.

But, as I've said, people can try it out and see.

Anyway, because I couldn't tell any difference, I went with 80Hz. Peer pressure. biggrin.gif

I've never tried it. I was told somewhere that frequencies above 100 hz can be localizable. If the sub is in the area of the speakers, it wouldn't matter at al, obviouslyl. If sub is located elsewhere, the theory is you could end up with some localization from the sub. Where are your subs located?
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post #20 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

The purpose of more subs is not to make bass louder; it is to make it more even.

It could be for either or both depending on the individual's requirement.
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post #21 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 06:45 PM
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I've never tried it. I was told somewhere that frequencies above 100 hz can be localizable. If the sub is in the area of the speakers, it wouldn't matter at al, obviouslyl. If sub is located elsewhere, the theory is you could end up with some localization from the sub. Where are your subs located?

5 subs up front about 12 ft from me. 1 sub left side surround 6ft away, 1 sub right side surround 6 ft from away.

But I don't think the distance matters because I've stood right next to the subs and couldn't localize the bass either.
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post #22 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 07:18 PM
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It could be for either or both depending on the individual's requirement.
True enough; but louder could be accomplished more easily without going to multiple subs. Take this monster for example: http://jtrspeakers.com/portable/orbit-shifter/
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post #23 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 08:33 PM
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True enough; but louder could be accomplished more easily without going to multiple subs. Take this monster for example: http://jtrspeakers.com/portable/orbit-shifter/

Not sure if I would consider having to move that beast around the room qualifies as "more easily". wink.gif
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post #24 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 09:13 PM
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Not sure if I would consider having to move that beast around the room qualifies as "more easily". wink.gif
It has wheels wink.gif
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post #25 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 09:51 PM
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It has wheels wink.gif

Well that would help tremendously.
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post #26 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 10:02 PM
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Crossover frequency is the exact reason I went with full range towers (well, pretty close to full range). Everyone hears sound differently. Some people immediately hear phase issues, some are more sensitive to higher frequencies, some low frequencies, distortion, etc. Personally, I'm fairly sensitive to directionality. Because of this, with an 80hz crossover I can almost immediately hear where the sub is located. Depending on available receiver settings, I typically run my crossover at either 50 or 60hz. It's not that I ever plan on running my fronts full-range during playback, but I need them to extend pretty well below the crossover to get a smoother transition to the sub. This also is in a single sub system, I'd be surprised if in a multi-sub system it wouldn't lessen my need for the low crossover

With one or more really good subs in the mix it seems you would be giving up quite a bit of output above 50hz unless your towers are really large when using such a low crossover.

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post #27 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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That sub weighs more than me! Awesome!

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post #28 of 33 Old 10-10-2013, 05:51 AM
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With one or more really good subs in the mix it seems you would be giving up quite a bit of output above 50hz unless your towers are really large when using such a low crossover.

For me, volume is never really an issue because I'm always listening well below reference (that's assuming audyssey properly set 0db to be reference). That being said, I do think that my speakers would do better than most at reaching below 80 hz. They are MartinLogan Montis, each with a 10" powered woofer. Certainly not a replacement for a real sub, but it helps me to keep my crossovers where I like them. Like I said, everyone hears differently. That's why I almost never suggested towers over bookshelf+subs in 4 years of audio retail.
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post #29 of 33 Old 10-10-2013, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

5 subs up front about 12 ft from me. 1 sub left side surround 6ft away, 1 sub right side surround 6 ft from away.

But I don't think the distance matters because I've stood right next to the subs and couldn't localize the bass either.

Well there has never been anything short changed about your HT. You have no localization because you have every cubic inch of the room inundated with bass! smile.gif
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post #30 of 33 Old 10-10-2013, 07:51 AM
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Well there has never been anything short changed about your HT. You have no localization because you have every cubic inch of the room inundated with bass! smile.gif

That makes sense. I think having subs around the room front and back should help.

But I remember even back then in the OLD college days when I just had 5 NHT SuperZero + 1 SW2P sub, I never "noticed" any localization when I set my XO to 100Hz.

I think it just depends on how sensitive we are to certain things. I mean if we are not sensitive to certain sounds or frequencies, we may not even "realize" that localization was present. Perhaps "localization" is present, but if we don't even "notice" it, then it matters little. biggrin.gif

I really have never experienced or noticed a few things that others have in this hobby. Like Subwoofer localization (hearing exact location of sub) or Sub bottoming out or amps lacking power (protection) or tweeters blowing, etc.

Of course, I hear people talk about, but just never experienced it.

Anyway, I am certainly not AGAINST towers + subs. The key thing is having the multiple subs. As far as XO, 80Hz seems to be the favorite (THX) point.

But if budget is limited, I think little speakers like the NHT SuperZero (which people have gotten for $60 directly from NHT) plus multiple subs work well even if the XO is set to 100-120Hz, as long as you don't notice any subwoofer localization.
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