So many choices, can you really go "wrong"? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 04-11-2014, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been researching speakers for a few months now, trying to figure out which speakers to buy. I plan to use them for music half the time, and gaming/movies the other half of the time. I currently have a pair of Energy C-7's, which sound amazing (for both music and movies), but one of the tweeters recently went out. I love the sound of the C-7's though. I believe I got them in 2007. I am also not sure if I should go with a 2.1 or 3.1 set up. I would prefer 2.1, as that way I could get better speakers, and also because 3.1 is useless for music. As far as room size, these would be going in a 10'x12' room. So, experts, if you had $1500 to spend on a pair of speakers (preferably floor-standing), what would you buy? I would spend another $300-$500 on the sub.
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post #2 of 31 Old 04-11-2014, 02:15 AM
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The only way to go wrong is to base your choice on somebody else's opinion. Go and take time to demo what is in your price range and interest. Dont rule out anything till you've heard them. Good luck.


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post #3 of 31 Old 04-11-2014, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Francky View Post

The only way to go wrong is to base your choice on somebody else's opinion. Go and take time to demo what is in your price range and interest. Dont rule out anything till you've heard them. Good luck.

The problem is I can not demo most speakers, besides ones sold at bestbuy. I am currently interested in the Focals from a4l, but I was told they can be harsh. I like clarity, but not harsh.
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post #4 of 31 Old 04-11-2014, 02:54 AM
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I have demoed Focals 714, 726, 948, Dynaudio, Martin Logan esl. Problem is my ears have been used to Klipsch horn (Rf82II) and i cannot

get myself to like regular tweeters anymore. They all sound too artificial and yes the Focals sounded way too thin and clear to me except for the 948 at 5000$/pair.

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post #5 of 31 Old 04-11-2014, 04:33 AM
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I would recommend going with bookshelves, and a better sub. Your receiver will set a crossover and make the lower extension of towers wasted. Above the crossover, bookshelves and towers are equally capable.

I will recommend the NHT Classic Three, and a SVS SB-2000 sub. NHT makes some fantastic speakers, they are very clear and accurate, but not harsh. This SB-2000 is a fantastic sub, and being sealed it will work well for music, and still have enough output in your space for movies/gaming.

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post #6 of 31 Old 04-12-2014, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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So I was able to audition many speakers today, from lower-end speakers to higher end speakers such as B&W, NHT, Focal ect. What did I walk away with? A pair of Polk RTi 8's biggrin.gif I got the pair for $300 new, and nothing came close to giving the sound quality of the RTi 8 for the money. Yes, speakers that costed 5 times as much for a single speaker sounded better, but not by much. The RTi 8 has such a detailed and crisp sound, and we pushed them extremely hard during listening with no problems at all. From what I have read, these speakers can really benefit from a good subwoofer. What would be a $500 or less subwoofer to pair with these?
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post #7 of 31 Old 04-12-2014, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *UFO* View Post

So I was able to audition many speakers today, from lower-end speakers to higher end speakers such as B&W, NHT, Focal ect. What did I walk away with? A pair of Polk RTi 8's biggrin.gif I got the pair for $300 new, and nothing came close to giving the sound quality of the RTi 8 for the money. Yes, speakers that costed 5 times as much for a single speaker sounded better, but not by much. The RTi 8 has such a detailed and crisp sound, and we pushed them extremely hard during listening with no problems at all. From what I have read, these speakers can really benefit from a good subwoofer. What would be a $500 or less subwoofer to pair with these?

SVS PB-1000 deserves a hard look

 

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post #8 of 31 Old 04-13-2014, 09:46 AM
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I just bought a SVS PB2000, a litle above your price point. Go for SVS, whatever you can afford. Congrats on new speakers. Dont take crap from anyone about what brand you like. Have fun.


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post #9 of 31 Old 04-18-2014, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I would recommend going with bookshelves, and a better sub. Your receiver will set a crossover and make the lower extension of towers wasted. Above the crossover, bookshelves and towers are equally capable.

If this is true, then what's the point of ever going with towers? Everyone (98% of time) seems to supplement their system (mains) with sub(s). Does that mean all of these people are wasting lower end extension for their towers, in turn money down the drain? Hard to believe. If that was actually the case, then no one would ever spend thousands on mains and instead spend hundreds for bookshelves. Physics implies that bookshelves and towers are actually unequal in their capability, especially once driver size is taken into consideration.

If I by chance, misinterpreted what you meant, then i apologize. In which case, i recommend being a bit more clear next time since others might take away the same thing.
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post #10 of 31 Old 04-18-2014, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOandME View Post

If this is true, then what's the point of ever going with towers? Everyone (98% of time) seems to supplement their system (mains) with sub(s). Does that mean all of these people are wasting lower end extension for their towers, in turn money down the drain?
Pretty much.
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Physics implies that bookshelves and towers are actually unequal in their capability, especially once driver size is taken into consideration.
Physics dictates that the exact opposite is the case. Towers are larger and use larger drivers because that's a necessity to play lower frequencies. If you're not playing those lower frequencies then the larger cabinet and driver size is wasted. That doesn't mean you can't use ten or even twelve inch drivers in 'bookshelves'. You just use drivers optimized for use in the bandwidth where they actually operate. Taken to the extreme this is a 'bookshelf' and subwoofer system:


All that really differs from a HT system is the scale.

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post #11 of 31 Old 04-18-2014, 05:18 PM
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A lot of times the bigger towers also get the higher end drivers and crossovers in them (better sound and more power handling). With just that they can play higher levels more effortless and have a bigger sound doing it (regardless of size). Im sure there are some towers and bookshelf examples that are really close. But over all towers can have a bigger advantage than just below 80hz. This i know from lots of experience comparing them in the same line. It can be night and day really.

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post #12 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


Pretty much.
Physics dictates that the exact opposite is the case. Towers are larger and use larger drivers because that's a necessity to play lower frequencies. If you're not playing those lower frequencies then the larger cabinet and driver size is wasted. That doesn't mean you can't use ten or even twelve inch drivers in 'bookshelves'. You just use drivers optimized for use in the bandwidth where they actually operate. Taken to the extreme this is a 'bookshelf' and subwoofer system:


All that really differs from a HT system is the scale.


I beg to differ. Bookshelf paired with a sub will do a great job but full range towers will do a better one. A sub doesnt do as good as towers in mid frequencies and towers dont go as low as subs. This is amplified with bookshelf. There is a better and easier integration of sub with towers than with bookshelf.


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post #13 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 03:47 AM
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Then you simply haven't heard enough "bookshelf" speakers. As Bill pointed out, a "bookshelf" speaker is simply a speaker designed to play a particular band of frequency response, typically not lower than 60 Hz. If you've found the bookshelves you've listened to are not as good as full range speakers then you've been listening to inadequate designs.

I admit, this is a problem in many consumer speakers, but when you step up to pro level designs you'll find they are every bit as good as a full range in their bandpass and are designed for high output and power handling. A properly designed bookshelf should only need a low frequency driver to extend it's frequency response lower, not any change to the existing drivers.

There's nothing inherent to a full range design that makes them superior to a bookshelf if crossed over to sub(s).

However, a good tower speaker could potentially sound better played without subs than a tower or bookshelf crossed over to subs since a well designed tower crossover is difficult, but not impossible, to match with separate subs. Most don't have the equipment, processing, or knowledge to get the crossover as good as an integrated tower design. It's why 2 channel purists generally prefer full range designs.
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post #14 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Francky View Post

I beg to differ. Bookshelf paired with a sub will do a great job but full range towers will do a better one.
Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Mine is based on what I do for a living, not what I dabble in as a hobby. wink.gif
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post #15 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 06:39 AM
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Then you simply haven't heard enough "bookshelf" speakers. As Bill pointed out, a "bookshelf" speaker is simply a speaker designed to play a particular band of frequency response, typically not lower than 60 Hz. If you've found the bookshelves you've listened to are not as good as full range speakers then you've been listening to inadequate designs.

I admit, this is a problem in many consumer speakers, but when you step up to pro level designs you'll find they are every bit as good as a full range in their bandpass and are designed for high output and power handling. A properly designed bookshelf should only need a low frequency driver to extend it's frequency response lower, not any change to the existing drivers.

There's nothing inherent to a full range design that makes them superior to a bookshelf if crossed over to sub(s).

However, a good tower speaker could potentially sound better played without subs than a tower or bookshelf crossed over to subs since a well designed tower crossover is difficult, but not impossible, to match with separate subs. Most don't have the equipment, processing, or knowledge to get the crossover as good as an integrated tower design. It's why 2 channel purists generally prefer full range designs.

You hit the nail on the head when you said a properly desgined. In most cases that is not the case. Not to many speaker companies put their best stuff in a small bookshelf. It happens but it's not all the time. That part is not explained to the op. That gets told he don't need towers and it's a waste of money. That's fine as an opinion but its far from a fact.

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post #16 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 06:42 AM
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It would be like saying all subwoofers have better bass than towers. Just not always true smile.gif

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post #17 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 08:13 AM
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I think once you move away from "mass market" brands, like Polk, new Energy, etc, then you find most companies bookshelf speakers are in an equal class to their tower speakers. Of course the towers will extend lower than a similar bookshelf, but above the 60 or 80Hz crossover to a sub, they often sound equal.
Many "mass-market" bookshelf speakers are designed to hit a lower price-point than towers, not to sound the same in the upper registers.
IMHO of course!tongue.gif
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post #18 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOandME View Post

If this is true, then what's the point of ever going with towers? Everyone (98% of time) seems to supplement their system (mains) with sub(s). Does that mean all of these people are wasting lower end extension for their towers, in turn money down the drain? Hard to believe. If that was actually the case, then no one would ever spend thousands on mains and instead spend hundreds for bookshelves. Physics implies that bookshelves and towers are actually unequal in their capability, especially once driver size is taken into consideration.

If I by chance, misinterpreted what you meant, then i apologize. In which case, i recommend being a bit more clear next time since others might take away the same thing.

Among other reasons ... If your listening is primarily stereo music then a very good set of towers can give you the best bang-for-your-buck.

Movies use "sub bass" frequencies (below 35hz) so even with towers a good HT/surround system will still need a sub woofer. However most music only goes down into the "bass" frequency range that can easily be covered by a good set of towers.
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post #19 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

However most music only goes down into the "bass" frequency range that can easily be covered by a good set of towers.
True. But speakers are like real estate. The three most important things are location, location, and location. The placement that gives the best results in the directional frequencies, roughly 80Hz and higher, tends to give the worst results in the non-directional frequencies below roughly 80Hz. Using separate sources to cover those different bandwidths allows each to be placed where they work the best, no matter what the content being listened to. It's this fact that led to the development of separate subs and mains some 20 odd years before home theater was commonplace. The first widely used sub/satellite systems, from Bose and Cambridge Sound Works in the 1980s, were primarily intended for music playback.

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post #20 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 01:27 PM
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^^^^ There you go wink.gif
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post #21 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 01:28 PM
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This is an extreme but this speaker



vs these






performance is greater in every way not just below 80hz. In some cases is can be the same but its definitely not wasted in all cases smile.gif

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post #22 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 03:20 PM
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And this Danley Jericho only goes down to 70Hz, so technically it's a bookshelf... that delivers 150dB. eek.gif


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post #23 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 03:26 PM
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That's a Danley Jericho if my eyes are not deceiving me. Ok for surround duty I suppose, but I want me a tower for my mains! wink.gif

Edit: lol, I could swear it wasn't identified as the Jericho when I first looked...eek.gif. I'm either losing it or you edited that post Bill! Probably the former smile.gif
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post #24 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 03:34 PM
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I just happen to be relaxing to Bill Evans piano work on a pair of Danley Synergy's as I chat here, so your post was apropos! Of course these "bookshelves" only hit 130 dB, but you have to take what you can get, lol.
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post #25 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 04:48 PM
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lol no ones arguing they can't perform as well. Im just saying its not in every case. Most of these buy bookshelf posts i read on here don't explain this. Its just stated if you buy floor standers and have a sub your wasting your money. And thats not always true as you guys know. It sounds just like a bose ad to be honest eek.gif

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post #26 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 05:08 PM
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It's OK man, I get your point. I just think towers for someone that's crossing over to subs is a waste when there are many good or better bookshelves as choices.

I think we've taken this as far as it can go, and beyond. biggrin.gif
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post #27 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

It's OK man, I get your point. I just think towers for someone that's crossing over to subs is a waste when there are many good or better bookshelves as choices.

I think we've taken this as far as it can go, and beyond. biggrin.gif
We agree to disagree at least smile.gif

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post #28 of 31 Old 04-19-2014, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Reference_head View Post

We agree to disagree at least smile.gif
You know, the more I thought of this topic I realized that rather than say its a waste to get a tower, I think a better way to put it is they should explore the bookshelf side of things a bit more smile.gif. I've burnt quite a bit of capital on audio that is simply overkill. I really dont have the room to criticize anyone else doing it eek.gif

Occasional introspection is refreshing. biggrin.gif
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post #29 of 31 Old 04-20-2014, 11:19 AM
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Lol smile.gif

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post #30 of 31 Old 04-20-2014, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

You know, the more I thought of this topic I realized that rather than say its a waste to get a tower, I think a better way to put it is they should explore the bookshelf side of things a bit more
From an analytical standpoint one would decide how much output they want in the 80Hz and above frequency bandwidth, then compare how different speakers measure in that respect. Factor in price and size and you've got a reasonable way of making a decision. Of course you'll find some floor standers that will work better than some bookshelves, but you'll find just as many bookshelves/dedicated midbass/HF mains that will work better than some floor standers as far as output is concerned. The problem is finding the data, and being logical about it. A Pioneer bookshelf isn't going to blow away a Klipsch RF7II in the midbass and highs. A JTR Triple 8 will.

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