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Old 08-23-2014, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Towers or Bookshelf + Subs for front sound stage??

I'm in the early planing phase of my new dedicated home theater. My new home construtcion should begin in early/mid September.

My question is something that I've pondered before, and I've recently come accross it being mentioned in another post (can't find it). What benefit would I gain by using full towers in my front sound stage as oposed to bookshelfs? This is my old set up (I sold everything with the house).



My new theater will be in a bonus room on top of the garage. 25x14x8.

Since most good towers can handle low end pretty well, but we cut it out and let the subs handle that part why not save some money and get really good bookshelfs for the LCR?
I plan on doing something similar in my new room (speakers and subs behind AT screen). I don't really care if it looks a bit wimpy back there as no one sees it! I used to love the look of three massive towers behind the screen but as I get older and wiser (not according to my wife), I want the best bang for my buck!

Secondly, what Direct sellers would you recomend? I've purchased from HTD.com before and was satisfied with the quality and service. I've come accross Chane Loudspeakers... They look impressive and the prices are great, but has anyone had experience with them? Any other sellers? This time around, I'm really not interested in brand names. I just want good powerfull speakers/subs for the best price I can find!

Thanks!
Matt
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mat1220 View Post
IWhat benefit would I gain by using full towers in my front sound stage as oposed to bookshelfs?
Nothing. For the same price, if not less, you can get bookshelves that will work much better in the pass band where you're actually using them. Don't get caught up in the nonsense that 'bookshelf' means 'small'. This is a 'bookshelf', meaning that it's intended to run in the midbass and up, with subs handling the low end:
http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/triple-8ht/

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:56 AM
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The problem arises if you like to listen to music in 2 channel direct. Subwoofer won't be active. There are pros and cons of each type, it's been discussed to death already. There is no clear cut answer which is the better type. Size of room, whether it's movies, or music, is just two questions.

I own floorstanders and standmounts.

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Old 08-23-2014, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input guys!
@fatbottom : This will be strictly movies!
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:20 AM
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Size of room? Favoured crossover point? Quality of subwoofer(s)? Amplifier type (lower crossover point require more power) Budget?

And even after those questions are answered.....there is no set correct answer. lol

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Old 08-23-2014, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Size of room? Favoured crossover point? Quality of subwoofer(s)? Amplifier type (lower crossover point require more power) Budget?
Room is 25x14x8 with slight slopes along it's lenght. Side view to give you an idea of the slope. (no window)



I plan on matched LCR along with 2 subs behind an AT screen.

Crossover at around 80Hz. I've been looking at these subs from Chane http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/Power-Package-Two that comes with a Dayton SA-1000 sub amp. I'm also strongly considering the Emotiva XPA-3 to power the LCR and let my receiver handle the side and rear surrounds.

Budget? well I'm near 3K on subs and amps so far. So another 1k/1.5K or so on LCR and surrounds?
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:01 AM
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Crossover at around 80Hz. I've been looking at these subs from Chane http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/Power-Package-Two that comes with a Dayton SA-1000 sub amp.
You should be looking at these for L/R/C:
http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/chan...rs/Theater-Ten
Above 80Hz they'll flatten towers costing three times as much. Below 80 Hz...who cares? That's what subs are for.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I had glanced at those... looks impressive... will strongly consider! Especialy if I pull the trigger on that sub package. What are you're thoughts on the SBE-118 subs paired with the Dayton amp? Seems like an awesome value to me! But I'm far from knowledgeable!
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:41 PM
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What are you're thoughts on the SBE-118 subs paired with the Dayton amp? Seems like an awesome value to me! But I'm far from knowledgeable!
I'm not wild about their sub specs. They show maximum output at 20-31.5Hz at 110dB, 12dB lower than from 40-63Hz, and that's after EQ. That would be OK in a room no larger than 20 feet or so on the longest dimension, where cabin gain will fill in the bottom octave, but in a larger room ported subs will be better.

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Old 08-24-2014, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not wild about their sub specs.
Ah thanks for the input! That's why I come here. Where would you point me for something along the same budget? ~1500 (powered or with amp)... preferably 2 subs for that price. Taking into consideration my 25x14x8 room.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:44 AM
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I just recently installed floorstanders as mains replacing bookshelf speakers and it actually made a bigger difference to the overall sound than my recent subwoofer upgrade. The floorstanders produce much more lower bass than the bookshelf speakers I had and better upper bass presence then the subwoofer. The soundstage at the front is now bigger and more immersive.

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Old 08-24-2014, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mat1220 View Post
I had glanced at those... looks impressive... will strongly consider! Especialy if I pull the trigger on that sub package. What are you're thoughts on the SBE-118 subs paired with the Dayton amp? Seems like an awesome value to me! But I'm far from knowledgeable!
No one really knows yet how the SBE-118's perform, but here are measurements for the previous version, the SS18.1 (scroll down for links to measurements and graphs). Assuming the SBE-118 is similar, if you get some significant room gain, they could work very well. If you don't, then you might be better off going with subwoofers with more of a linear response.

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Old 08-24-2014, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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... if you get some significant room gain, they could work very well. If you don't, then you might be better off going with subwoofers with more of a linear response.
Room gain. From my very little bit of digging I think I understand that room gain is the effect that the room dimensions, materials, design have on the output of the sub, yes? How can this be measured before actualy having the sub in the room?
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I just recently installed floorstanders as mains replacing bookshelf speakers and it actually made a bigger difference to the overall sound than my recent subwoofer upgrade. The floorstanders produce much more lower bass than the bookshelf speakers I had and better upper bass presence then the subwoofer. The soundstage at the front is now bigger and more immersive.
This seems to go against what I'm being lead to beleive. What speakers, subs did you replace/upgrade?
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:39 PM
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If you're going to hide them why not just go DIY? Something like the 1099s across the front, with some Marty Subs....
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:41 PM
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This seems to go against what I'm being lead to beleive. What speakers, subs did you replace/upgrade?
That's the operative question. If the original bookshelves were just plain too small to comfortably reach 70-80Hz with plenty of headroom then towers might give a better result. But so would bookshelves capable of comfortably reaching 70-80Hz with plenty of headroom.
It's kind of like saying your 4cyl 106 HP Toyota Yaris doesn't have adequate acceleration, so you're going to get a V6....in a Tacoma Pickup.
You'll do a bit better in the acceleration department with another 4 cylinder. Just make sure it's a twin-turbo, sitting in a BMW 228.

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Old 08-24-2014, 08:13 PM
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This seems to go against what I'm being lead to beleive. What speakers, subs did you replace/upgrade?

The bookshelf speakers I was using for mains were Q acoustics concept 20's replaced with tower QA concept 40's. The concept 20's have a single 5" driver, the concept 40's have two. Prior to upgrading my mains to towers with the concept 40's I replaced a small velodyne 10" sub with the svs pb-2000. The pb2000 made a pretty big difference because my old velodyne was a bit weak for my room but the concept 40 towers made an even bigger difference, it improved the whole sound including bass, opened up the front soundstage and provider greater dynamics and greater immersion to the 5.1 channel mix.

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Old 08-24-2014, 08:19 PM
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Room gain. From my very little bit of digging I think I understand that room gain is the effect that the room dimensions, materials, design have on the output of the sub, yes? How can this be measured before actualy having the sub in the room?
I'm no audio engineer. I can't tell you. LOL

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Old 08-25-2014, 05:00 AM
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The bookshelf speakers I was using for mains were Q acoustics concept 20's ... The concept 20's have a single 5" driver
A single 5 inch driver is going to struggle going to 80Hz at all, let alone with headroom. I wouldn't consider less than a 2x6.5 bookshelf for a serious system.
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Room gain. From my very little bit of digging I think I understand that room gain is the effect that the room dimensions, materials, design have on the output of the sub, yes? How can this be measured before actualy having the sub in the room?
Cabin gain begins at the frequency where the longest room dimension is 1/2 wavelength. In feet that's 565 divided by the dimension. Maximum gain is 12dB/octave for a very tight room, 8dB/octave is a more realistic figure in the average room.

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Old 08-25-2014, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
You should be looking at these for L/R/C:
http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/chan...rs/Theater-Ten
Above 80Hz they'll flatten towers costing three times as much. Below 80 Hz...who cares? That's what subs are for.
First time I have ever seen Bill make a speaker recommendation, so OP this is a very good suggestion. The speaker you are looking for is a high efficiency theater speaker, this Chane Theater Ten would be a great choice.

However, if you are handy at all, I would suggest a DIY kit from www.diysoundgroup.com. Their SEOS kits are fantastic and get you JTR performance, for a fraction of the price. With cabinet flat packs and assembled crossovers available, all you have to do is glue it all together and paint the cabinets black.

Get yourself three of these: http://www.diysoundgroup.com/wavegui...fusion-12.html

If you can wait a bit, the 1099 speaker from that site will be available soon and from what I have read is absolutely fantastic. The 15" version of the Fusion kit should also be available soon.

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Old 08-25-2014, 06:48 AM
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O.k so we're not talking about standard bookshelf speakers here, the ones with a single 5-6.5 inch driver and tweeter and can actually fit in a bookcase.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:57 AM
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O.k so we're not talking about standard bookshelf speakers here, the ones with a single 5-6.5 inch driver and tweeter and can actually fit in a bookcase.
True, what we're talking about is speakers optimized for operation above 70Hz or so, as opposed to speakers intended for use down to 35Hz or so. To cover that lower octave with equal sensitivity requires a combination of increased box size and/or driver count, and it's a waste of space and money if you're not going to use that lower octave capability. The term 'bookshelf' is over-used to describe speakers intended for operation above 70hz, but that's the fault of marketeers, who insist on dumbing down wherever possible.
These charts show sensitivity (top) and maximum SPL (bottom) of two systems, both the same price, one optimized for use above 80Hz, one for use down to 40Hz. It's pretty obvious that the former will do a lot more than the latter above 80Hz. The advantage of the full range system below 60Hz ain't worth doodly-squat when your subs are working in that range and the tower isn't.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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... if you are handy at all, I would suggest a DIY kit from www.diysoundgroup.com. Their SEOS kits are fantastic and get you JTR performance, for a fraction of the price. With cabinet flat packs and assembled crossovers available, all you have to do is glue it all together and paint the cabinets black.

Get yourself three of these: http://www.diysoundgroup.com/wavegui...fusion-12.html

If you can wait a bit, the 1099 speaker from that site will be available soon and from what I have read is absolutely fantastic. The 15" version of the Fusion kit should also be available soon.
Ok, now you have me considering something that I thought I would never do... building my own speakers! I always stayed away from the DIY speaker threads. I do consider myself quite handy and am really not afraid to tackle most any project, but the thought of building speakers and subs just seemed way too "specialised". After digging through the diysoundgroup website and reading through a few of those "scary" DIY speaker threads, I appear to have worked myself into a bit of a state! hehe

The "elusive" 1099s look amazing for the price. I will require S.O. approval, but I may very well pre-order these soon!

Now the DIY subwoofer category is still scary to me...
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:45 AM
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Ok, now you have me considering something that I thought I would never do... building my own speakers! I always stayed away from the DIY speaker threads. I do consider myself quite handy and am really not afraid to tackle most any project, but the thought of building speakers and subs just seemed way too "specialised". After digging through the diysoundgroup website and reading through a few of those "scary" DIY speaker threads, I appear to have worked myself into a bit of a state! hehe

The "elusive" 1099s look amazing for the price. I will require S.O. approval, but I may very well pre-order these soon!

Now the DIY subwoofer category is still scary to me...
In this day and age, it really is simple to build your own. You can get everything pre-assembled and cut, so all you're left with is assembly. If you can wait for the 1099, it would be worth it. DIY subs are pretty simple as well, build yourself 4 sealed subs and buy a couple pro-audio amps. Do a little research on the Stereo Integrity 18" sub. DIYsoundgroup sells a sealed sub cabinet made just for that driver and it is the current flavor of the month with the DIY home theater crowd.

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Old 08-25-2014, 10:44 AM
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Ok, now you have me considering something that I thought I would never do... building my own speakers! I always stayed away from the DIY speaker threads. I do consider myself quite handy and am really not afraid to tackle most any project, but the thought of building speakers and subs just seemed way too "specialised". After digging through the diysoundgroup website and reading through a few of those "scary" DIY speaker threads, I appear to have worked myself into a bit of a state! hehe

The "elusive" 1099s look amazing for the price. I will require S.O. approval, but I may very well pre-order these soon!

Now the DIY subwoofer category is still scary to me...
You should go for it. If I had more skills, I definitely would.

And check out the subwoofer flatpacks at the DIY sound group: http://www.diysoundgroup.com/sealed-...flatpacks.html

No need to be building big Marty Cube subs if that would get you in trouble with the SO

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Old 08-25-2014, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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No need to be building big Marty Cube subs if that would get you in trouble with the SO
Ha! That's funny.. I was just reading a thread on building the MartyCube cabinets and saying to myself "wow... those are big, my wife is going to think I'm nuts!"... then I get a notification of your post!

Yeah, I've already been going back and forth with Erich from diysoundgroup about shipping and sub enclosures. Looks like I'm going te be pulling the pin on this. I can't beleive I will be starting a DIY speaker/sub build threat along side my theater build thread!
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:39 AM
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just curious, are this speakers really that good. I don't mind diy but was always skeptical that the speakers in the kits would be low grade. anyone have any of these speaker kits up and running right now
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:49 AM
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just curious, are this speakers really that good. I don't mind diy but was always skeptical that the speakers in the kits would be low grade. anyone have any of these speaker kits up and running right now
Most DIY speakers, kit or scratch built, have better drivers and higher quality crossover components than most commercial speakers. That's because DIYers know what drivers and other components are being used. Do you know what drivers are in your store bought speakers? Or what they're actually worth? Most consumers would be shocked to find out how cheap the components in their speakers really are.

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Old 08-26-2014, 10:22 AM
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Point taken, safe to assume that the 1099's would be quite an improvement over my polk rtia3's? im in construction so a pre-cut kit would be simple enough and my curiousity is peaked enough to give them a whirl since it seems fairly simple. Is the crossover already spec'd or are you asked for that info?
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:08 AM
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Yes that would be a very significant upgrade.

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