Floorstanders vs. Bookshelves/Subwoofer - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nuance
Use the search function at the top of the screen. There has been numerous threads in just the past few months on this very subject.
There are more ungodly long threads on this subject than most.

It's really all been said before, and there isn't an easy correct answer.

The right answer is bookshelves. Because that's what I like. And what I like is right for others. :p
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PlasmaCrazy
Sorry to double post - but I also wanted to point out that I attempted to hire one of the two audio professionals in town to help me install a new system. He came over to "evaluate my house" and ended up spending his entire time telling me how he would wire the speakers through my existing walls. At not time did he ask things like, "what do you like listening to?"
Also, as he was walking out he said something like "by next week, I'll have a list of things for you, including a power conditioner, cables, and a quality receiver such as one of Denon's upper-end receivers"
Power conditioner? And why would I need an "upper-end receiver"?

THAT's why I'm relying on this forum to do things myself. It's been a fun journey.
Sounds like a typical salesman. I am sure he would not spend his two hours time for the $60 "minimal" charge. The whole intention is to net a bigger fish.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:01 PM
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I can listen to bookshelves without a sub and sometimes be content, and in fact would rather do that then listen to a sub that can't be blended in well....I won't sacrifice SQ for boom-boom, I 'd rather have less bass than bad bass.....To that end I am VERY picky about what subs to use, they are either rather expensive like the DD series (or other servo controled) if I also want a bit more output and/or depth, or they are somewhat less expensive but not so high in output or depth.
I think we can all assume that most are going to get a sub even if you are going to get floorstanders, and if you are alright with listening to floorstanders without a sub (fine for most of us unless your music is infused with nutty low bass) , then you could get a "theater sub" (deep and loud) without worrying to much about blending, musicality, pace, rythm, nuance, etc. Still easier to blend these kind in to bass heavy (good) music if you cross-over much lower.
To crossover at higher freqs without a good sub (and sub correction equip ;) )
Is to challenge a sub to play a wider range than it may do well. A 6.5" rolled into a 12" at 80hz can be that kind of challenge , especially with a lower quality sub, room w/limited placement options, and/or a lack of selection with phase, x-over slope etc. .

The answers are differant for everyone depending on your tastes, desires, money, room, media, related equipment, etc....describe all these in great detail and we'll get into it even more.

I think it would be generally more useful if everyone new to these forums is reminded that they are constantly being marketed to and pitched by people who post their affiliations and many others who do not. This is all part of marketing and advertising and you, the consumer, are the targets.
Noth...
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PlasmaCrazy
Please forgive me - but I fail to see how that answers my question?

Simple, I wasn't answering your question, but I forgive you. ;)

sent via Morse code...........

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Old 08-11-2006, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tweeterex
I can listen to bookshelves without a sub and sometimes be content, and in fact would rather do that then listen to a sub that can't be blended in well....I won't sacrifice SQ for boom-boom, I 'd rather have less bass than bad bass.....To that end I am VERY picky about what subs to use, they are either rather expensive like the DD series (or other servo controled) if I also want a bit more output and/or depth, or they are somewhat less expensive but not so high in output or depth.
I think we can all assume that most are going to get a sub even if you are going to get floorstanders, and if you are alright with listening to floorstanders without a sub (fine for most of us unless your music is infused with nutty low bass) , then you could get a "theater sub" (deep and loud) without worrying to much about blending, musicality, pace, rythm, nuance, etc. Still easier to blend these kind in to bass heavy (good) music if you cross-over much lower.
To crossover at higher freqs without a good sub (and sub correction equip ;) )
Is to challenge a sub to play a wider range than it may do well. A 6.5" rolled into a 12" at 80hz can be that kind of challenge , especially with a lower quality sub, room w/limited placement options, and/or a lack of selection with phase, x-over slope etc. .

The answers are differant for everyone depending on your tastes, desires, money, room, media, related equipment, etc....describe all these in great detail and we'll get into it even more.
same, i would much rather have very controlled bass then some loud ass out of control stuff that totally overpowers the rest of sound in the room (great example of this are infamous logitech speakers..)
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:18 AM
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I have tried both bookshelf speakers, regular floorstanders, and full range floorstanders, both with and without a sub. I decided that a regular floorstander does not do it (for me) for music. And though full range floorstanders are all I need for music, I still need to add a sub when I watch movies. I have yet to hear any floorstander, even full range ones, that don't benefit from a sub when used for movies.

Though I have full range fronts, I think the sound of good bookshelf speakers, when paired with 1 or 2 good subs, comes very, very close to the sound of full range floorstanders and a sub. The best would be to have 2 bookshelf speakers and 2 subs as your fronts, but you can get by with just 1 sub. The cost will be much less than full range floorstanders without sacrificing much performance.

So, if I was to start over again, I would probably go with good bookshelf speakers and a sub. Then I'd add a second sub when I had more money. I think that is the most economical way to get the performance of full range floorstanders--it can save you 50% versus the cost of full range floorstanders and a sub--and it gives you more flexability in sub placement for optimum performance than full range floorstanders do.

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Old 08-12-2006, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by PlasmaCrazy
Does this mean that the new contemporary-style elongated and thin speakers paried with a sub can provide decent sound? Or at least can the sound they produce be similar to more "hefty" speakers?
For example, would any of you consider the likes of the Boston Acoustic VR3s to be on par with the likes of the Athena WS-100s? Link

I wish I could actually compare and do hat Steve did (thanks for that!) but my job does not allow me to have much free time. In fact, I usually post here during short breaks while at work.
Yes the new contemorary speakers paired with a good sub(s) can sound just as good. It depends on the quality of the speakers, sub, the room acoustics, and correctly setting the crossover, phase and tuning the linear response of the sub.

Ie, its more work. However depending on bass response in the room, seperate subs away from the mains can sound better, or worse... which is fixed by moving the subs up by the mains.

There are many posts about this subject (in which I've posted my opinions) so searching is a must.

Long and short of it: Take a full range floorstander. Sperate the bass. So now you have 2 monitors and 2 subs. Move the subs around for best bass response and cross them over correctly. If all this is done right and the cross over is below the directional bass limits AND the minitor cabinets are large enough that the bass response of them down to say, 50 or 60 hertz is flat, then this is the optimum setup... although it is alot more work. Again this my opinion. Your mileage may vary, blah blah.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by PlasmaCrazy
Sorry to double post - but I also wanted to point out that I attempted to hire one of the two audio professionals in town to help me install a new system. He came over to "evaluate my house" and ended up spending his entire time telling me how he would wire the speakers through my existing walls. At not time did he ask things like, "what do you like listening to?"
Also, as he was walking out he said something like "by next week, I'll have a list of things for you, including a power conditioner, cables, and a quality receiver such as one of Denon's upper-end receivers"
Power conditioner? And why would I need an "upper-end receiver"?

THAT's why I'm relying on this forum to do things myself. It's been a fun journey.
1) You dont need a power coniditioner. In theory all good components should have isolation transformers in thier power supplys to regulate the voltage and good step down transformers that take 120v ac into whatever dc is needed by the components. That said if you take apart some "high end" gear you'll find some of them have crappy power supplys. A dedicated power conditioner from a reputeable company that doesnt cost an arm and a leg may be worth it to you. It depends on your setup.

I have a whole house surge protector (they are CHEAP... you'd be silly not to have an electrician install one at your fuse box) and I also have an APC power consitioner on my main gear stack. Why? Because during the summer we have consistant brownouts here and having the apc do the voltage up conversion is both more effecient power wise than all the other gear doing it and my cheaper components may struggle to do it as well. Is it needed? With the whole house surge no its not. It was a few hundred bucks and I could justify it to myself. If you are short on cash its not worth it.

The $1k + conditioners? Complete hocus pocus. I'm an EE. The expensive units claim great surge protection blah blah. The simple truth is surge protection has to be done at the breaker box close to ground with suplimental protection at the end points. If you have a lightning strike somewhere in the house and it hits hot, netutral and ground and the path of least resistance is through your gear, no $5k+ surege protector is going to save your gear without destroying itself in the process. The iodea with these units, is that they will shunt events on hot, neutral ect down to ground. If the event has no where to shunt because its coming up all 3 the only way it can protect is by severing all connections to your equipments.. ie blowing some type of fuse. There is SO MUCH amperage/voltage coming from a lightning strike that typical fuses wont blow fast enough... you need something faster.. That something faster usually is expensive to replace. I'd reather replace a good conditioner/protector like an apc for a few hundred bux than a expensive 1k+ unit. With a shunt down at the breaker box thats a remote possibility also.

Hence the protection at the breakerbox. Shunt to ground is always available because typically the box is connected DIRECTLY to ground. When an even hits it wants to get to ground as fast as possible. Events are funny... getting to ground might be hitting the roof of yur garage, blowing through to your garage door opner, traveling through your breaker box, up to your family room, and out through your tv through your window, into your yard blowing everything in its path. Unlikely but possible. With a protector with a super fast blow (the box sacrifices itself during an event) it fuses the whole breaker box to ground. You still lose your garage door opener but at least your tv doesnt get blown to hell. The carge moes to your box then is shutned out through ground.

I know this is kind of long winded but people jsut dont seem to understand surge protection. The protector up by your rack is needed If and only if the even hits initially between the breakerbox and your gear. If it starts at your gear its fried no mater what you do. If it starts in the middle the gear surge box is there to encourage it to go down to the breaker and get shunted out there and NOT through your gear. Thats it. Its more useful as a voltage regulator if you ask me.

As far as a high end receiver.. thats a personal thing. You might want some of the features in a high end receiver. You might not. you might want more wattage out of a high end reciever you might already ahve a 5 channel amp. ITs all personal preference :)
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico
I used to believe that (assuming the same investment) bookshelf speakers, paired with a good sub would be superior to floorstanders. even if the floorstanders were paired with a sub. Until I got my Vandersteen 2Ce floorstanders. They changed my outlook. Obviously it is speaker dependant but those Vandersteens sound better than any model bookshelf I have ever owned. Infinity RS series, Triangle Titus 202 or Comete 202, Dunlavy SC1-AV, Axiom.

:cool:
I'd argue that the Vandersteens use superior drivers and are a superior design to all those others listed. You also never mentioned what sub(s) the other monitors used and how they were blanaced.

Good floorstanders "just work" and sound great out of the box... but are expensive. My argument is that Vandersteen puts most of its $ into the bass of those speakers. If they offered the same speaker in a monitor and you had 2 good subs crossed over AND a difficult room, you could get the same sound with alot of effort, and potentiall better sound after you moved the bass around to compensate for room anomolies.

The best obviously is to use the 2ce's up front for stereo, add 2 subs for HT set the subs to crossover at 40-50 hz. But thats not the argument :)
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:27 AM
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if you can handle floor standers/sub in your room, go for it, they will typically have better mid-bass than book shelf/sub combo,
if you do your research and audition lots of speakers, you should find what you want.
if you get a good set of bookshelfs and a good musical sub you won't be missing much at all,
and they're much easier to move around.

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Old 08-12-2006, 01:47 PM
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Long and short of it: Take a full range floorstander. Sperate the bass. So now you have 2 monitors and 2 subs. Move the subs around for best bass response and cross them over correctly. If all this is done right and the cross over is below the directional bass limits AND the minitor cabinets are large enough that the bass response of them down to say, 50 or 60 hertz is flat, then this is the optimum setup
The key here is that there aren't many bookshelves - that I am aware of at least - that can go deep enough while staying flat and having low distortion. As I mentioned before, the 80-200hz range is just as important for movies and more so for music than the <80hz range.
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCallas
The key here is that there aren't many bookshelves - that I am aware of at least - that can go deep enough while staying flat and having low distortion. As I mentioned before, the 80-200hz range is just as important for movies and more so for music than the <80hz range.
Well in the DIY world there are...the Modula MTs from HTGuide are fairly flat to just below 40Hz.
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:39 PM
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DIY is always the exception to the rule, as one can basically accomplish anything they want - but you are correct, I should have prefaced my comment with commercial.
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCallas
DIY is always the exception to the rule, as one can basically accomplish anything they want - but you are correct, I should have prefaced my comment with commercial.
Well this is the "commercial" speaker forum, so your statement wasn't entirely wrong.
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Old 08-12-2006, 06:39 PM
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How on earth are bookshelves a sensible substitute to floorstanders when floorstanders are generally complex...having seperate mid-range drivers, etc...
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by epicbloodline
AMEN BROTHER: Im running a very humble setup myself, i run 4 seperate sony ss-mf750h thank you "sony canada" with their matching center SS-CN550H and the athena as-p6000 sub into my pioneer1015, my mains/center have solid electrical copper wire from home depot and 10g wire in the rear mf750h.. the sound is amazing, mainly in the music department, im really impressed with all stero channel setup, all 4 floors rocking all at the same time..its serious! everyone who came by AND heard it first hand thinks its too much sound for room thats only 13x15...lol i went this route because of cost..pioneer was $450 the speakers was $320 all for towers $70 bucks for the center and $249 for the sub all together thats priceless! :D


pound for pound its a great entry level setup..
Almost my exact setup-4 sony towers,a center and a big sub.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Megalith
How on earth are bookshelves a sensible substitute to floorstanders when floorstanders are generally complex...having seperate mid-range drivers, etc...
Oh please, do you have any idea what frequencies mid-range drivers reproduce and what frequencies subs reproduce? I didn't think so.

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Old 08-13-2006, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bradman
Almost my exact setup-4 sony towers,a center and a big sub.
great thing about it is..my setup has room for upgrading, now i know what a low budget setup sounds like, now a can get excited about turning things up in the near future, but even still my peers thinks its the best they've ever heard, so thats saying something..my next move is probably axiom or htd level 3's


until then im happy


:D

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Old 08-13-2006, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Megalith
How on earth are bookshelves a sensible substitute to floorstanders when floorstanders are generally complex...having seperate mid-range drivers, etc...
You are confusing cheap bookshelfs with good monitors. Good monitors are complex.. and failrly small. Well at least smaller than floorstanders :)
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wmilas
1) You dont need a power coniditioner. In theory all good components should have isolation transformers in thier power supplys to regulate the voltage and good step down transformers that take 120v ac into whatever dc is needed by the components. That said if you take apart some "high end" gear you'll find some of them have crappy power supplys. A dedicated power conditioner from a reputeable company that doesnt cost an arm and a leg may be worth it to you. It depends on your setup.

I have a whole house surge protector (they are CHEAP... you'd be silly not to have an electrician install one at your fuse box) and I also have an APC power consitioner on my main gear stack. Why? Because during the summer we have consistant brownouts here and having the apc do the voltage up conversion is both more effecient power wise than all the other gear doing it and my cheaper components may struggle to do it as well. Is it needed? With the whole house surge no its not. It was a few hundred bucks and I could justify it to myself. If you are short on cash its not worth it.

The $1k + conditioners? Complete hocus pocus. I'm an EE. The expensive units claim great surge protection blah blah. The simple truth is surge protection has to be done at the breaker box close to ground with suplimental protection at the end points. If you have a lightning strike somewhere in the house and it hits hot, netutral and ground and the path of least resistance is through your gear, no $5k+ surege protector is going to save your gear without destroying itself in the process. The iodea with these units, is that they will shunt events on hot, neutral ect down to ground. If the event has no where to shunt because its coming up all 3 the only way it can protect is by severing all connections to your equipments.. ie blowing some type of fuse. There is SO MUCH amperage/voltage coming from a lightning strike that typical fuses wont blow fast enough... you need something faster.. That something faster usually is expensive to replace. I'd reather replace a good conditioner/protector like an apc for a few hundred bux than a expensive 1k+ unit. With a shunt down at the breaker box thats a remote possibility also.

Hence the protection at the breakerbox. Shunt to ground is always available because typically the box is connected DIRECTLY to ground. When an even hits it wants to get to ground as fast as possible. Events are funny... getting to ground might be hitting the roof of yur garage, blowing through to your garage door opner, traveling through your breaker box, up to your family room, and out through your tv through your window, into your yard blowing everything in its path. Unlikely but possible. With a protector with a super fast blow (the box sacrifices itself during an event) it fuses the whole breaker box to ground. You still lose your garage door opener but at least your tv doesnt get blown to hell. The carge moes to your box then is shutned out through ground.

I know this is kind of long winded but people jsut dont seem to understand surge protection. The protector up by your rack is needed If and only if the even hits initially between the breakerbox and your gear. If it starts at your gear its fried no mater what you do. If it starts in the middle the gear surge box is there to encourage it to go down to the breaker and get shunted out there and NOT through your gear. Thats it. Its more useful as a voltage regulator if you ask me.

As far as a high end receiver.. thats a personal thing. You might want some of the features in a high end receiver. You might not. you might want more wattage out of a high end reciever you might already ahve a 5 channel amp. ITs all personal preference :)
best write up on surge protection I have seen here, I will add that you need to have 20 ohms or less resistance atleast at your ground rod, if you have to drive a couple and counterpoise them, its the best surge protection and its cheap
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:37 PM
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^^^$200 bucks for monster power 3500mkII :D

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Old 08-14-2006, 06:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas
The key here is that there aren't many bookshelves - that I am aware of at least - that can go deep enough while staying flat and having low distortion. As I mentioned before, the 80-200hz range is just as important for movies and more so for music than the <80hz range.
My new Klipsch RB61's are dead flat to 43hz, and plenty powerful in a 400 sq. ft. room. I don't feel the need for a sub for music.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM
My new Klipsch RB61's are dead flat to 43hz, and plenty powerful in a 400 sq. ft. room. I don't feel the need for a sub for music.
It's all a matter of what sounds best to your ear Pulliamm. But IMO, there are going to be some music recordings that have quite a bit of content between 30hz and 45hz. A reasonably good sub, (doesn't have to be big if you only intend to use it for music applications), will serve you well to balance those lower freqs and give you that added punch in that area.

I've gotten accostumed to listening to music from my floorstands without a sub. The sound is just so natural to my ear. It's going to take me awhile to balance my system for music, (to my taste), once I get the pre ordered PB12-NSD in September.

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Old 08-14-2006, 07:53 AM
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My new Klipsch RB61's are dead flat to 43hz, and plenty powerful in a 400 sq. ft. room. I don't feel the need for a sub for music.
Are you basing that on their published FR? That could mean they are up to -6db at 43hz. Also, let's be realistic, how much distortion do you think a single 6.5" driver that is crossed over at 2000hz in a ~19 effective liter enclosure is producing below 150hz at spirited listening levels? You can't deny physics.
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas
Are you basing that on their published FR? That could mean they are up to -6db at 43hz. Also, let's be realistic, how much distortion do you think a single 6.5" driver that is crossed over at 2000hz in a ~19 effective liter enclosure is producing below 150hz at spirited listening levels? You can't deny physics.
According to their published FR, they are down by at most 3db at 43hz. Based on the sound I hear, I believe this.
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WolfsBane
It's all a matter of what sounds best to your ear Pulliamm. But IMO, there are going to be some music recordings that have quite a bit of content between 30hz and 45hz. A reasonably good sub, (doesn't have to be big if you only intend to use it for music applications), will serve you well to balance those lower freqs and give you that added punch in that area.

I've gotten accostumed to listening to music from my floorstands without a sub. The sound is just so natural to my ear. It's going to take me awhile to balance my system for music, (to my taste), once I get the pre ordered PB12-NSD in September.
I greatly prefer hearing what a good pair of speakers can do on their own, rather than struggling (usually with little success) to integrate a sub.
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
There are more ungodly long threads on this subject than most.

It's really all been said before, and there isn't an easy correct answer.

The right answer is bookshelves. Because that's what I like. And what I like is right for others. :p

haha, nice!

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