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PSB Image B6 / C4 Center vs Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 vs Chase SHO-10

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Looking to get some advice from the experts here as i am a newbie who is looking to upgrade my front speakers and center channel. My current setup consists of:

Pioneer VSX-1021-K
Energy Take Classic Speakers
Outlaw LFM-1 Plus Sub (Adding a 2nd soon)

I have the system in an average sized room. Activities are as follows
  • Home Theatre: 40%
  • Video Games: 40%
  • Music: 10%

Looking for a quality set-up in the front consisting of new speakers and a center channel. They can be bookshelf or larger speakers, it really doesn't matter. Looking to spend around 1K on a new tio of speakers

I have read that a lot of people are in favor of the Chase SHO-10's. I am thinking about these.

Any other recommendations? Can my receiver handle these speakers or will I need to upgrade that as well (if so what do you recommend)?

Thanks in advance for all of the help!
post #2 of 53
Your receiver is probably adequate as long as you don't use speakers lower than 6 ohms (nominal impedance rating).

Are you going to drive 5 channels or just 3?

With 3 it is definitely no problem; with 5 there could be problems with total power if you really drive it hard; hard to be sure.

IMO there are MANY better-sounding speakers than those Chase speakers for $1000. In addition to not sounding that great, IMO, they only go down to 80 Hz, and a front speaker should go down to 50 HZ to give good stereo sound to the system in the mid-bass (which you certainly don't have now!). I rate those speakers as an extremely poor choice.

One thing you should be aware of is that your front speakers now only go down to 120 Hz; this is a major problem. It means you have no sound except your subwoofer in the mid-bass region, which of course is mono sound. This REALLY screws up the sound quality. When you have proper front speakers that go down to 50 Hz, you will have stereo sound except for the very lowest frequencies, and your subwoofer is DESIGNED for those (it's not really designed to operate efficiently much above 80 Hz).

Monitor Audio, PSB and KEF would be the top of my list if I were recommending to a friend for that price range.

For example you could get the PSB Image B6 speakers and Image C4 center for around $850 (cheaper if you want to get seconds from Saturday Audio).

Or you could get the Monitor Audio BX-2 and the BX Center for $800 (this is my #1 recommendation).

You can check the specs pictures and prices on those at the Audio Advisor website.

The KEF Q300 and Q200c would cost $1100 at KEF Direct, but are probably available for less elsewhere.

I very much doubt that you will need another subwoofer. Keep in mind that all of these speakers are going to give you excellent mid-bass which is now totally absent from your front speakers, so you will set your crossover lower and your sub will be able to concentrate its available power on only the lowest frequencies. This should make its operation more efficient overall, and could make a big difference in its operating efficiency in the system.

Right now I would assume you have it crossed over well above 100 Hz, so it is doing a lot of work from 50-100 hz that it should not be doing and will NOT have to do with appropriate front speakers.

In any case, get new front speakers that will go down to 50 HZ, set the sub to cross over at 60, and see if it is not quite adequate; I strongly suspect you won't need a second one, because you have a very powerful unit.




Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycannoli View Post

Hi all,

Looking to get some advice from the experts here as i am a newbie who is looking to upgrade my front speakers and center channel. My current setup consists of:

Pioneer VSX-1021-K
Energy Take Classic Speakers
Outlaw LFM-1 Plus Sub (Adding a 2nd soon)

Looking for a quality set-up in the front consisting of new speakers and a center channel. They can be bookshelf or larger speakers, it really doesn't matter. Looking to spend around 1K on a new tio of speakers

I have read that a lot of people are in favor of the Chase SHO-10's. I am thinking about these.

Any other recommendations? Can my receiver handle these speakers or will I need to upgrade that as well (if so what do you recommend)?

Thanks in advance for all of the help!
post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
comms,

Thank you SO much for your detailed response and the information that you have posted. It is really nice to learn something new and gain information on factors that i had not considered before.

I will be driving 5 channels with the setup. As i said i will mostly be doing movies (5.1) and video games. Everything makes sense as you pointed out with the front speakers in the mid-base region. The subwoofer is doing the work that it shouldn't, which really makes it sound horrible.

I will look into those speakers and do some more research. Anything else I should consider with looking at speakers?

Anyone else have any thoughts or comments?
post #4 of 53
You are certainly welcome.

My guess is that part of the reason you may have been thinking of a second subwoofer is because too much of the bass is currently mono.

That will change. Just make sure that your front speakers have a frequency response down to at least 50 Hz and that their efficiency rating is 88db/watt or higher to keep your receiver happy.

I have recommended the Monitor Audio speakers to several people and everyone has been extremely pleased so far.

Good luck with it all.



Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycannoli View Post

comms,

Thank you SO much for your detailed response and the information that you have posted. It is really nice to learn something new and gain information on factors that i had not considered before.

I will be driving 5 channels with the setup. As i said i will mostly be doing movies (5.1) and video games. Everything makes sense as you pointed out with the front speakers in the mid-base region. The subwoofer is doing the work that it shouldn't, which really makes it sound horrible.

I will look into those speakers and do some more research. Anything else I should consider with looking at speakers?

Anyone else have any thoughts or comments?
post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You are certainly welcome.

My guess is that part of the reason you may have been thinking of a second subwoofer is because too much of the bass is currently mono.

That will change. Just make sure that your front speakers have a frequency response down to at least 50 Hz and that their efficiency rating is 88db/watt or higher to keep your receiver happy.

I have recommended the Monitor Audio speakers to several people and everyone has been extremely pleased so far.

Good luck with it all.

Looking into the monitor audio speakers as we speak. Just wanted to clarify that these are the Bronze BX-2's?
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post


IMO there are MANY better-sounding speakers than those Chase speakers for $1000. In addition to not sounding that great, IMO, they only go down to 80 Hz, and a front speaker should go down to 50 HZ to give good stereo sound to the system in the mid-bass (which you certainly don't have now!). I rate those speakers as an extremely poor choice.


What didn't you like about the SHO-10 when you listened to them?
post #7 of 53
I thought that the tweeter showed a lot of change in character when peaks occurred; seemed to strain a bit.

Aside from what they sound like, though, I think they are way overpriced for what they do. I would always want a speaker that at least went down to 50 or 55 Hz if possible, and there are lots of them for that price.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffmand34 View Post

What didn't you like about the SHO-10 when you listened to them?
post #8 of 53
Yes; I think they are $489/pair on Audio Advisor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycannoli View Post

Looking into the monitor audio speakers as we speak. Just wanted to clarify that these are the Bronze BX-2's?
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

In any case, get new front speakers that will go down to 50 HZ, set the sub to cross over at 60, and see if it is not quite adequate; I strongly suspect you won't need a second one, because you have a very powerful unit.

While there are exceptions, generally accepted convention is the sub should be crossed over at 80hz, and the front speakers set to small (no matter how far down they will go). 50 hz is too low for most installations. Subs are fine at 80 hz... sound at 80hz and under is non-directional, and the vast majority of subs have no difficulty whatsoever reaching that high.

There may be a different for critical 2 channel audio listening, but the OP specified 40% HT 40% gaming and only 10% music, so following the general recommendations would seem to be prudent in this scenario.

The biggest exception would be the need to set the xover higher should he have especially poorly-performing speakers that can't even make it down to 80hz.
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

While there are exceptions, generally accepted convention is the sub should be crossed over at 80hz, and the front speakers set to small (no matter how far down they will go). 50 hz is too low for most installations. Subs are fine at 80 hz... sound at 80hz and under is non-directional, and the vast majority of subs have no difficulty whatsoever reaching that high.

There may be a different for critical 2 channel audio listening, but the OP specified 40% HT 40% gaming and only 10% music, so following the general recommendations would seem to be prudent in this scenario.

The biggest exception would be the need to set the xover higher should he have especially poorly-performing speakers that can't even make it down to 80hz.

I agree with this post.

Commsysman, I have seen you post that 50 Hz number a few places. Could you back that up? Most people crossover at 80 Hz, so fronts that pay down to 65 or so are perfectly adequate, since they won't really get any info below that freq anyway. Many subs play clean and flat well above 100 Hz also, so saying that all are designed for just 80 Hz and below is not always true. I do agree that the OP should get fronts that allow a crossover of 80 Hz. Small sat front speakers are not recommended if you can avoid them.

To the OP, some advise. Use these forums for technical advice, setup advice, learning about new products etc. Don't pay much attention when someone says that this speaker sounds better than that one. Listening is so subjective, that it is impossible for someone else to say what will sound good to you. Listen for yourself and pick what you like.
post #11 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the continued advice everyone. I have been doing research on different options out there and like the PSB Image B6 + C4 Center & the Monitor Audio BX2.

I don't have a nearby home theater store to test out these speakers so i wanted to listen to some more personal reviews on both setups. Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say
post #12 of 53
thread title updated
post #13 of 53
My current setup is the PSB Image T6 speakers with an NHT B12D subwoofer, and I have the crossover set at about 50 Hz, which seems to sound the best.

The Image T6 rolls off at 40 Hz, and the Image B6 and Monitor Audio BX2, which were the speakers under discussion, go down to 45 HZ and 42 Hz (according to the mfr.), respectively. I would expect the correct crossover setting that sounds best to be between 50 and 65 Hz somewhere for those speakers, but one should try different settings and listen to see what seems to work the best in each situation.

I can't imagine what is meant by the statement "won't really get any info below that frequency anyway". The main speakers get everything that the amplifier puts out, which usually is down to 20 Hz, so that is clearly not correct.

I always recommend front speakers that have frequency response down to 50 Hz, whenever possible, so that stereo sound is preserved down to that frequency for string bass, drums, and other LF instruments such as the tuba, all of which have frequencies between 40 and 80 Hz. Many sounds that occur in action sequences in movies are also in this frequency range, so stereo is essential for the sound to follow the direction of the action in the film.

If the sub is the only thing reproducing the frequencies from 50-80 Hz, there is no question in my mind that the resulting monaural sound in this frequency range has a very negative impact on overall sound quality for ANY type of listening.

In my mind it is nothing short of ridiculous to have an elaborate stereo or 4-speaker setup to simulate the nuances of motion, action, or music, and then let a MONAURAL device, the subwoofer, handle everything below 80 Hz. That is SO WRONG that it annoys the heck out me when people suggest it!!! Think about it.



P.S.--People forget that the whole idea of the 80 Hz crossover frequencies originally came from the THX standard for commercial theaters, BUT IN THX THE SYSTEM IS INTENDED TO BE 7.2. THE THX SYSTEM ALWAYS HAS STEREO ALL THE WAY DOWN TO 20 HZ, BECAUSE THERE ARE ALWAYS STEREO SUBWOOFERS. IF you have 7.2, with stereo subwoofers (true stereo; not just two subwoofers), then the system considerations are considerably different.






Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

I agree with this post.

Commsysman, I have seen you post that 50 Hz number a few places. Could you back that up? Most people crossover at 80 Hz, so fronts that pay down to 65 or so are perfectly adequate, since they won't really get any info below that freq anyway. Many subs play clean and flat well above 100 Hz also, so saying that all are designed for just 80 Hz and below is not always true. I do agree that the OP should get fronts that allow a crossover of 80 Hz. Small sat front speakers are not recommended if you can avoid them.

To the OP, some advise. Use these forums for technical advice, setup advice, learning about new products etc. Don't pay much attention when someone says that this speaker sounds better than that one. Listening is so subjective, that it is impossible for someone else to say what will sound good to you. Listen for yourself and pick what you like.
post #14 of 53
I also do not have anyplace convenient to audition equipment, so I usually buy from a company that has a convenient return policy so that I can audition at home for a couple of weeks.

I find auditioning in a store almost worthless anyway, since over many years I have found that the setup in some demo room to be nothing like my own situation where the equipment and acoustics are totally different.

You can get the PSB and Monitor Audio speakers at Audio Advisor, which charges no tax or shipping and gives you 30 days to return an item for a full refund. This works for me. IF I decide to return something (I usually don't), then I do have to pay Fedex for the return shipping charges.

I figure that the return shipping charge is a lot cheaper, IF it comes into play, than being stuck with an expensive mistake...lol.

I recommend that you order the PSB speakers from them and try them out for 2 weeks. In the very unlikely event they don't work out, you can send them back. I very much doubt that you will.





Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycannoli View Post

Thanks for the continued advice everyone. I have been doing research on different options out there and like the PSB Image B6 + C4 Center & the Monitor Audio BX2.

I don't have a nearby home theater store to test out these speakers so i wanted to listen to some more personal reviews on both setups. Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

My current setup is the PSB Image T6 speakers with an NHT B12D subwoofer, and I have the crossover set at about 50 Hz, which seems to sound the best.

The Image T6 rolls off at 40 Hz, and the Image B6 and Monitor Audio BX2, which were the speakers under discussion, go down to 45 HZ and 42 Hz (according to the mfr.), respectively. I would expect the correct crossover setting that sounds best to be between 50 and 65 Hz somewhere for those speakers, but one should try different settings and listen to see what seems to work the best in each situation.

I can't imagine what is meant by the statement "won't really get any info below that frequency anyway". The main speakers get everything that the amplifier puts out, which usually is down to 20 Hz, so that is clearly not correct.

I always recommend front speakers that have frequency response down to 50 Hz, whenever possible, so that stereo sound is preserved down to that frequency for string bass, drums, and other LF instruments such as the tuba, all of which have frequencies between 40 and 80 Hz. Many sounds that occur in action sequences in movies are also in this frequency range, so stereo is essential for the sound to follow the direction of the action in the film.

If the sub is the only thing reproducing the frequencies from 50-80 Hz, there is no question in my mind that the resulting monaural sound in this frequency range has a very negative impact on overall sound quality for ANY type of listening.

In my mind it is nothing short of ridiculous to have an elaborate stereo or 4-speaker setup to simulate the nuances of motion, action, or music, and then let a MONAURAL device, the subwoofer, handle everything below 80 Hz. That is SO WRONG that it annoys the heck out me when people suggest it!!! Think about it.

Your opinion on this matter is counter to the advice of nearly every audio expert in the field. If you're happy with your settings, that's great, but that doesn't make it objectively true.

What is objectively true is that frequencies below 80 hz are non-directional.
post #16 of 53
ANYONE can hear the string bass and tuba in my recordings down to 40 Hz, and they can be clearly identified as coming from the left or right.

What is certainly true is that you are mistaken about that!

As for experts in the field, ask any THX certified installer or contractor, and they will inform you that you are totally wrong.

Home theater originated with the THX standards, and the standards make it clear that sounds are directionally perceived down to below 40 Hz. STEREO subwoofers (not just dual ones) are specified in THX for precisely that reason!

There is no crime in being ignorant about these things, but it really would be helpful if you would research the facts before you make pronouncements which are absolutely incorrect. They could mislead someone who reads them.

You can easily prove that you are wrong about this by playing a 60 hz test tone through one speaker (that has response that low) and then the other while you are seated between the speakers. You WILL be able to tell which speaker it is coming from, which proves conclusively that you are wrong. You want proof; there it is!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

Your opinion on this matter is counter to the advice of nearly every audio expert in the field. If you're happy with your settings, that's great, but that doesn't make it objectively true.

What is objectively true is that frequencies below 80 hz are non-directional.
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I thought that the tweeter showed a lot of change in character when peaks occurred; seemed to strain a bit.

Aside from what they sound like, though, I think they are way overpriced for what they do. I would always want a speaker that at least went down to 50 or 55 Hz if possible, and there are lots of them for that price.

I am not sure whose set-up you heard, but this goes counter to every opinion on the SHO-10 I have heard, including my own. The SHO-10's have compression drivers that play clean louder then your hearing can handle. I have auditioned the PSB T6's and my father owns SHO-10's; there is no comparison when it comes to clean, high SPL playback. The dome tweeter in the PSB and Monitors cannot hope to match the clean output at peaks of the SHO-10. The speakers are designed to be crossed over at 80hz to work with capable subs, they gain greater efficiency in their assigned FQ band this way compared to PSB's.

The power that's needed to drive the PSB's and Monitors is also orders of magnitude greater than the SHO-10's. If your goal is clean loud playback using your existing receiver than it is not even close.

I am actually a fan of PSB and that is why I auditioned them. But if you are going mostly movies and video games, then it is no contest. Use the right tool for the job.

Here is a great resource for high sensitivity speakers:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1387083

This is also a good post on the matter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

You need to know your listening distance, SPL requirements, speaker specs (max power, sensitivity) before you can determine what sufficient power is needed.

Even then MANY popular choices of speakers are a bad fit for many rooms especially when the content has 20-30dB peaks!!

Its well known I push the idea of sensitivity daily on the speaker forum. It annoys most since they own speakers that have crap sensitivity. Its still amazes me that 99% of purchases are still subjective and almost no one does the math....actually not amazing but kind of sad considering the amount of money people are putting into their setups sometimes.

To determine if sensitivity matters. You need to know the following variables.

1. content peaks = +20 to +30dB
2. Speaker sensitivity
3. Listening Distance
4. Amp Power
5. SPL (Listening level) requirements

From those you can use one of the many SPL sites to determine what your peak SPL will be and if it meets your SPL requirements

example....
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

Your opinion on this matter is counter to the advice of nearly every audio expert in the field.

Commsysman's comments on crossover and soundstage totally reflect my findings too.

I always seem to find myself back at a 60 hz crossover everytime I experiment with a new setup. I find an 80 hz x-over makes the soundstage sound more flat and mono like. My 5.1 HT system is also my music system and I do play 2ch material over all 5.1 with the AVR.

Say there is a track with a quick blast from a set of drums that races across from left to right. When the surround speakers are x-over at 80 hz, it takes away too much of the impact from the extreme left and right that help give you imaging clues. 60 hz at least still gives you a decent hit from any of the channels and gives a dynamic soundstage.

And coincidentally on this subject... just last week I got Jim Smith's 'Get Better Sound' DVDs and he talks about this as well. He goes as far as recommended subs to be set up in stereo - i.e. one sub for each left and right channel running separately on its channel. He has demoed to many a doubting "expert" on the role bass still has to play with soundstage. (Stereo subs would be of course for a 2ch music system, not a HT multichannel system)

Basically, spend more time listening to your rig and less time listening to the "experts" and let your ears be the guide.
post #19 of 53
thread title updated...again
post #20 of 53
I was asked WHAT I HEARD WHEN I LISTENED TO THEM and I gave my honest answer in my response. I did not research any of the issues you are bringing up, and I have no idea whether you are right or wrong.

I don't particularly care, either. I really do not care very much about that speaker one way or the other. If someone wants to hear a commercial for that speaker I will certainly refer them to you, since you seem highly motivated to expound on whatever good points they MAY have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matman1970 View Post

I am not sure whose set-up you heard, but this goes counter to every opinion on the SHO-10 I have heard, including my own. The SHO-10's have compression drivers that play clean louder then your hearing can handle. I have auditioned the PSB T6's and my father owns SHO-10's; there is no comparison when it comes to clean, high SPL playback. The dome tweeter in the PSB and Monitors cannot hope to match the clean output at peaks of the SHO-10. The speakers are designed to be crossed over at 80hz to work with capable subs, they gain greater efficiency in their assigned FQ band this way compared to PSB's.

The power that's needed to drive the PSB's and Monitors is also orders of magnitude greater than the SHO-10's. If your goal is clean loud playback using your existing receiver than it is not even close.

I am actually a fan of PSB and that is why I auditioned them. But if you are going mostly movies and video games, then it is no contest. Use the right tool for the job.

Here is a great resource for high sensitivity speakers:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1387083
post #21 of 53
The 7.2 standard for home theater specifies stereo subwoofers, and that is derived from the THX standards for commercial theaters and home theater.

I don't understand how anyone can think that mono sound from 80 Hz down is satisfactory. Perhaps this comes from a lack of ever actually hearing a demonstration of the difference, or maybe it is just an attempt to justify the supposed adequacy of the inferior systems they are using.

Playing a 60 Hz test tone through one speaker and then the other (they obviously have to have response below 50 Hz) should prove to anyone that has two functional ears that you can tell which speaker it is coming from...BELOW 80 HZ; that's called S-T-E-R-E-O.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Commsysman's comments on crossover and soundstage totally reflect my findings too.

I always seem to find myself back at a 60 hz crossover everytime I experiment with a new setup. I find an 80 hz x-over makes the soundstage sound more flat and mono like. My 5.1 HT system is also my music system and I do play 2ch material over all 5.1 with the AVR.

Say there is a track with a quick blast from a set of drums that races across from left to right. When the surround speakers are x-over at 80 hz, it takes away too much of the impact from the extreme left and right that help give you imaging clues. 60 hz at least still gives you a decent hit from any of the channels and gives a dynamic soundstage.

And coincidentally on this subject... just last week I got Jim Smith's 'Get Better Sound' DVDs and he talks about this as well. He goes as far as recommended subs to be set up in stereo - i.e. one sub for each left and right channel running separately on its channel. He has demoed to many a doubting "expert" on the role bass still has to play with soundstage. (Stereo subs would be of course for a 2ch music system, not a HT multichannel system)

Basically, spend more time listening to your rig and less time listening to the "experts" and let your ears be the guide.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I was asked WHAT I HEARD WHEN I LISTENED TO THEM and I gave my honest answer in my response.. I did not address any of the issues you are bringing up, and I have no idea whether you are right or wrong.

I don't particularly care, either. I really do not care very much about that speaker one way or the other.

Sorry if I made it sound like I was going after you as that was not my intention. Everyone has their own tastes in sound; I remain a fan of PSB and I think they are one of the best performance/values left in non-internet direct markets. I love the sound of the T6 at moderate listening levels.
post #23 of 53
Depending on the person, the equipment, and the location of the sub in the room vs the listening position, it CAN be possible to to locate sounds below 80 hz, but again, that's all very dependent. THX specs actually call for an 80 hz crossover, in spite of this.

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/ge...tower-speakers

Even in these tests, they put the lowest cutoff at 60 hz, NOT 50.

I'm done with this, run your own damn searches, but you'll find the VAST majority of advice out there, including from sub manufacturers and experts, is still pointing to using an 80 hz crossover in MOST situations.
post #24 of 53
THX specs also call for STEREO SUBWOOFERS, which makes an 80 Hz crossover point appropriate. You say "the sub" and then mention THX, which indicates that you don't understand that.


With ONE SUBWOOFER, 80 Hz is NOT an appropriate crossover point!!! That is my whole point; the distinction between the two situations seems to be escaping some people.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

Depending on the person, the equipment, and the location of the sub in the room vs the listening position, it CAN be possible to to locate sounds below 80 hz, but again, that's all very dependent. THX specs actually call for an 80 hz crossover, in spite of this.

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/ge...tower-speakers

Even in these tests, they put the lowest cutoff at 60 hz, NOT 50.

I'm done with this, run your own damn searches, but you'll find the VAST majority of advice out there, including from sub manufacturers and experts, is still pointing to using an 80 hz crossover in MOST situations.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

My current setup is the PSB Image T6 speakers with an NHT B12D subwoofer, and I have the crossover set at about 50 Hz, which seems to sound the best.

The Image T6 rolls off at 40 Hz, and the Image B6 and Monitor Audio BX2, which were the speakers under discussion, go down to 45 HZ and 42 Hz (according to the mfr.), respectively. I would expect the correct crossover setting that sounds best to be between 50 and 65 Hz somewhere for those speakers, but one should try different settings and listen to see what seems to work the best in each situation.

I can't imagine what is meant by the statement "won't really get any info below that frequency anyway". The main speakers get everything that the amplifier puts out, which usually is down to 20 Hz, so that is clearly not correct.

I always recommend front speakers that have frequency response down to 50 Hz, whenever possible, so that stereo sound is preserved down to that frequency for string bass, drums, and other LF instruments such as the tuba, all of which have frequencies between 40 and 80 Hz. Many sounds that occur in action sequences in movies are also in this frequency range, so stereo is essential for the sound to follow the direction of the action in the film.

If the sub is the only thing reproducing the frequencies from 50-80 Hz, there is no question in my mind that the resulting monaural sound in this frequency range has a very negative impact on overall sound quality for ANY type of listening.

In my mind it is nothing short of ridiculous to have an elaborate stereo or 4-speaker setup to simulate the nuances of motion, action, or music, and then let a MONAURAL device, the subwoofer, handle everything below 80 Hz. That is SO WRONG that it annoys the heck out me when people suggest it!!! Think about it.



P.S.--People forget that the whole idea of the 80 Hz crossover frequencies originally came from the THX standard for commercial theaters, BUT IN THX THE SYSTEM IS INTENDED TO BE 7.2. THE THX SYSTEM ALWAYS HAS STEREO ALL THE WAY DOWN TO 20 HZ, BECAUSE THERE ARE ALWAYS STEREO SUBWOOFERS. IF you have 7.2, with stereo subwoofers (true stereo; not just two subwoofers), then the system considerations are considerably different.

You are wrong in many ways, but I also think there is some miscommunication.

Sound below 80 Hz in non directional. No human can tell where it is coming from. Therefore, stereo sound does not apply below 80 Hz. When you hear a string instrument or such, the freq above 80 Hz is what you localize.

People use two subs, ie 5.2poe 7.2 systems, to smooth out the bass, not to get stereo bass. Bass waves interact with the room giving peaks and nulls, which people try to flatten using two subs.

As far as front speakers playing down to 50 Hz, it is not necessary with an 80 Hz crossover if the fronts are set to small, which is the most common way people set up their system. If they are set to small, they won't get any info below 80 Hz, factoring in the slopes of the crossover. Now, if you choose to leave them set to large, then yes, you are correct, they will get the full range of sound from the AVR. You are also correct that fronts with more bass, that go to 50 Hz, can have a lower crossover such as 50 or 60, rather than the standard 80. Those choices are up to the listener. Most people recommend leaving the fronts on small because a sub, as you stated, is much better in the 20-80 Hz range then pretty much any tower speaker. Also, it reduces the stress on the AVR because it no longer has to generate power to produce low freq from the fronts, it can leave those freq to the sub which has its own amp.

I would also agree with you that for music played in two channel stereo, you do want front speakers that go down to 40 Hz or so, in order to reproduce almost all music, excluding pipe organs and some other deep bass techno stuff. But that is only because in two channel you do not use a sub, just the fronts.

If you don't believe me, set your crossover to 80, put the fronts to "small" manually turn off the sub, and play a 50 Hz test tone. You will not hear anything from your towers, because the 50 Hz tone is being sent only to the sub. That is how most people set up their systems, which is why it is not needed to have fronts play to 50, just around 65 or so, so the 80 Hz crossover works.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

THX specs also call for STEREO SUBWOOFERS, which makes an 80 Hz crossover point appropriate. You say "the sub" and then mention THX, which indicates that you don't understand that.

With ONE SUBWOOFER, 80 Hz is NOT an appropriate crossover point!!! That is my whole point; the distinction between the two situations seems to be escaping some people.

1) Where does the OP say he is currently setting up a 7.2 system? He does say he is adding a second sub at some point, but ATM only has the one. That means 7.1. So why are you going on about stereo subs?

2) Read the OP again. This is for 40% HT, 40% video games, and 10% music. You would have an argument if music was the primary purpose of this system, but that's not what the OP reported. For HT purposes (and videogames fall into the same category, from a surround standpoint), a 5.1 or 7.1 soundtrack (when was the last time you saw a movie encoded to 7.2 specs?) only has a mono LFE track. Dual subs will certainly smooth out the room response, but they don't magically make a stereo signal for the bass.

3) Very few receivers have stereo sub outputs, and those that do tend to be EXTREMELY expensive. So how exactly are you planning to get this stereo signal out to the sub(s)? Even those with dual sub outputs generally merely split the mono signal internally, and send the same MONO signal to each sub. The OP's Pioneer VSX-1021-K only has one sub output.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

THX specs also call for STEREO SUBWOOFERS, which makes an 80 Hz crossover point appropriate. You say "the sub" and then mention THX, which indicates that you don't understand that.

Can you show me where that spec is?
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

Sound below 80 Hz in non directional. No human can tell where it is coming from. Therefore, stereo sound does not apply below 80 Hz.

Well that's the theory. I have found the reality of the real world to be somewhat different though. To me 80 hz crossover reduced the soundstage and it sounded like the drums were always placed at the centre of the stage. With a 60 hz crossover, bass instruments seemed as if they could come from the extreme left and right of stage as well. It made for a lot more enjoyable and engaging listening experience.

You may want to read the link someone just posted that makes your grandiose sweeping statement not quite so true after all...

"Bass localization is particularly noticeable when the subwoofer is located close to the listening position and crossed over above 60Hz from our experience. We have run blindfolded listening tests in our own sound labs and found that the pressure waves of bass are localizable to the human ear as far down as 60Hz if the subwoofer is placed in close proximity to the listening position."

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/ge...tower-speakers
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycannoli View Post

Thanks for the continued advice everyone. I have been doing research on different options out there and like the PSB Image B6 + C4 Center & the Monitor Audio BX2.

There are a lot of good home audio speakers out there in the same price range as the PSBs and Monitor Audios.

Another good brand to look at for HT is the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE. They make a matching center that is the same speaker, only with the tweeter adjusted for laying the speaker horizontal. HT enthusiasts agree that an exact matching center is much better for your front soundstage for HT, over the compromise offered by PSB and Monitor Audio with their centers.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Well that's the theory. I have found the reality of the real world to be somewhat different though. To me 80 hz crossover reduced the soundstage and it sounded like the drums were always placed at the centre of the stage. With a 60 hz crossover, bass instruments seemed as if they could come from the extreme left and right of stage as well. It made for a lot more enjoyable and engaging listening experience.

You may want to read the link someone just posted that makes your grandiose sweeping statement not quite so true after all...

"Bass localization is particularly noticeable when the subwoofer is located close to the listening position and crossed over above 60Hz from our experience. We have run blindfolded listening tests in our own sound labs and found that the pressure waves of bass are localizable to the human ear as far down as 60Hz if the subwoofer is placed in close proximity to the listening position."

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/ge...tower-speakers

I did some reading and I believe that I have a better understanding of our different opinions.

First, let me refer you to this link:

http://forum.blu-ray.com/subwoofers/...t-part-ii.html

It references a study in Europe in which frequencies from subs began to be localized at 185 Hz but below 80 Hz, people were unable to localize sound. So, I think on a purely scientific level, my statement is correct. Of course, real life is more complicated.

The article then says this:


If you believe that you can localize the frequencies below 80Hz in your room, it is most likely that you are hearing the the upper harmonics of those bass frequencies and those can clearly be localized. The solution is better room treatment and bass traps.

Couple that fact with the slopes of the crossovers used in low pass filters of receivers, and it gets complicated.

So, a crossover set at 80Hz means that there is still sound at frequencies lower than 80 Hz being sent to the main L/R speakers, even if set to small, and there is sound above 80Hz coming from the sub.

Also, we never listen to pure tones when listening to music or watching a movie.

My issue with what Commsysman posted is that he stated what he prefers as if it is a fact. If he had said "I feel like the best sound from my system is with the crossover set at 60, and therefore I prefer fronts that play down to 50hz" I would be totally cool with that. As you said, that sound is preferable in your setup and obviously in his too. But, implying that a speaker must go to 50Hz in order to set the crossover at 60Hz is not fact, it is just one way of doing it. The most popular setup is for the crossover to be at 80Hz. So, that should be stated clearly so as not to confuse people looking for advice.

He also said this:

I can't imagine what is meant by the statement "won't really get any info below that frequency anyway". The main speakers get everything that the amplifier puts out, which usually is down to 20 Hz, so that is clearly not correct.

That only applies if the fronts are set to "Large" which is not recommended for many reasons. If he has his system setup that way, he likely is hearing distortion from his mains, which he says roll off at 40Hz. Maybe that is why he localizes the bass from them.

Finally, I can't find the THX reference he keeps mentioning regarding stereo subwoofers all the way down to 20Hz. I would love if he posted the link, so I could learn more about it. In all my browsing I have always understood sub output to be mono, as Kalani posted, so multiple subs are just for smoothing, not stereo. But, I will freely admit I am wrong if I can read the reference.

So, if one has mains that play 50Hz or lower, such as most tower speakers, and the room sounds better with a 60hz crossover, totally cool. If one has bookshelf speakers that play to 65hz, and the room sounds good with crossover of 80Hz, also cool.
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