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Separate Sub vs sub in Towers for 5.1/7.1

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'm new and am asking for a clarification of how 5.1/7.1 handles frequencies: Saw another Speaker thread asking if sub in tower was good enough or whether a sep sub was better (general answer was listen to which sounds best for the individual). My use is 90% movies fm DVD/TV with 5.1. Question: In 5.1 encoding, do any subs in the L & R towers get the same low freq as the separate (x.1) subwoofer? Or is the low freq stripped out of the streams to the L & R front channels (totally or partially)? I can see a use for subs in towers for stereo music, but in 5.1, not sure if subs are redundant, not driven or ??. I anticipated having a separate sub, and am trying to pick L/C/R and sub - wouldn't mind saving some money. Any suggested L/C/R & sub combo? Dialogue clarity is my key for CC. Budget 1-1.5K. Running Denon 1909 (90W for L/C/R) with JBL L226C in-ceiling rears (4). Room size is 22x18 with one open wall. Also, have a 12" powered sub on another system - are 8" and 10" becoming the sub size standard?
post #2 of 35
Depends on how you set up your receiver to send those frequencies. You can have all frequencies sent to your mains, or you can have it designated by using a cutoff, where as all frequencies of a certain level go to a sub.

A separate sub is always going to be > towers with subs IMHO. BUt thats just me.
post #3 of 35
With a big room like yours, don't pay more money for subs in towers than towers without. You are going to want a good 12" sub for that size space for HT. Two 10" or 8" built-in subs are not going to compete in output and low frequency extension with one of the major 12" ID brand subs that are regularly recommended here. Be sure to budget for one of those
post #4 of 35
I have def tech BP7001's with a built in 10" sub and 1500 watt amp in each tower and have to use these towers as small crossed at 40Hz set as Large and the built in towers sound bloated. I would go with great bookshelves with 6.5" drivers and get two 12" outboard subs for far better bass response.
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by UofAZ1 View Post

I have def tech BP7001's with a built in 10" sub and 1500 watt amp in each tower and have to use these towers as small crossed at 40Hz set as Large and the built in towers sound bloated. I would go with great bookshelves with 6.5" drivers and get two 12" outboard subs for far better bass response.

Too bad Def Tech doesn't make bipolar bookshelf speakers

I really liked the sound of the new BP 8000 series STs.
post #6 of 35
Dedicated seperate subs all the way!

A reason is because very few times are the best places for your floorstanders also the best places for your subs. So then you have to choose which is more important to you the upper bass/mids and highs or the deep bass. And probably the option would be to cater to the mids and highs for clearer vocals.

I love tower speakers and own some, but I would honestly rather have bookshelf speakers and seperate subs than have towers with built in subs. But there's nothing to say that you can't buy towers with subs built in and still get seperate subs as well.
post #7 of 35
+1 Without a doubt a separate subwoofer.
post #8 of 35
It's important to make the distinction between floor standing speakers which have a woofer, and the floor standers with a built-in sub. You should be able to save a considerable amount of money buying floor standers without any built-in subs, since you need a stand-alone subwoofer anyway.

Even with a so-called full range floor stander, its better to set your receiver to Small, crossing over those floor standers at 80Hz (to the sub). That reduces the demands on your receiver by 66% and lets a dedicated subwoofer do what it does best.
post #9 of 35
The only towers I had with woofers were Strata Minis with power subs. Even then, while for music in a good room it was great, for HT I wouldnt do it because like it was said, you are compromised on location for bass and the rest of the speaker.
To me, not a good idea. I do have towers but I place them in a way to avoid most issues with reflections, etc since I have separate subs thus I have a lot more flexibility and the performance is a LOT better too.
post #10 of 35
I forget where but I saw a post and a pic of a guy who was running 7.7 or should I say 7.1+6...... What he did was have a seperate powered sub at each speaker. His front 3 he used the subs as speaker stands and the 4 surrounds were wall mounted with a sub directly under them.

I would've loved to hear that system (can't remember the make or model of the speakers or subs) but he used 7 identical bookshelf speakers with 1 tweet and 1 woof all vertically oriented. All 7 subs were identical also.
post #11 of 35
Wow but wouldnt that be a nightmare of cancellations trying to blend all those subs that way? Interesting though
post #12 of 35
No hard and fast correct answer.


Many times they're not a perfect choice (towers with subs) because where the mid and high range drivers sound best are not where the subs will reproduce the best output/response (how much the most advanced room EQ solutions- like Audyssey XT 32- help this is debatable I suppose) .

Otherwise there are plenty of towers with built-in subs that will outperform a vast number of free-standing options.

See here: http://www.definitivetech.com/produc...uctid=BP7000SC

Are they the absolute last-word in subwoofer performance?

No.

But will they demolish many other 5, 6, and $700+ stand alone options? Absolutely. There's simply no reason to assume properly designed and integrated powered subs cannot produce great sound out of tower speakers.

And of course you get a pair, which also has benefits over a single stand-a-alone in both output and response.

Again, no cookie-cutter answer for all applications.

James
post #13 of 35
If you use something like REW on these speakers/sub and actually see what is there will help with the decision may be surprised or disappointed .
post #14 of 35
^ correct. Or at the very least give it a go and spend a fair amount of time listening rather than just assuming that because the positioning is less than ideal, you will have poor results.

Again, having two subs in and of itself is a nice perk and if they are of decent quality there's a good chance you will end up with great bass after some room eq.

James
post #15 of 35
True but I would still rather either spend less on a tower with no built in subs and have 2 seperate subs. OR spend the same on towers without built in subs which would be of much higher quality (assuming the buyer did their homework) and also have 2 seperate subs.

I'm with you that 2 subs is a bonus but I would choose 2 seperate subs rather than ones built into a tower.

Can they sound good of course.
post #16 of 35
I agree, for that money I can get a sub that outperform them and can be placed on the best possible location so again, I still believe the separate sub will be a better option all things equal.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena View Post

I agree, for that money I can get a sub that outperform them and can be placed on the best possible location so again, I still believe the separate sub will be a better option all things equal.

I agree.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

But will they demolish many other 5, 6, and $700+ stand alone options? Absolutely. There's simply no reason to assume properly designed and integrated powered subs cannot produce great sound out of tower speakers.

But what if one takes the $5500 those speakers costs, spends $2000 on towers and buys two JTR Captivator Pros and an amp?
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

No hard and fast correct answer.


Many times they're not a perfect choice (towers with subs) because where the mid and high range drivers sound best are not where the subs will reproduce the best output/response (how much the most advanced room EQ solutions- like Audyssey XT 32- help this is debatable I suppose) .

Otherwise there are plenty of towers with built-in subs that will outperform a vast number of free-standing options.

See here: http://www.definitivetech.com/produc...uctid=BP7000SC

Are they the absolute last-word in subwoofer performance?

No.

But will they demolish many other 5, 6, and $700+ stand alone options? Absolutely. There's simply no reason to assume properly designed and integrated powered subs cannot produce great sound out of tower speakers.

And of course you get a pair, which also has benefits over a single stand-a-alone in both output and response.

Again, no cookie-cutter answer for all applications.

James

Number one, your DefTech link is broken.

Number two, one doesn't need to spend a lot on tower speakers. Certainly less than $1,000-$1,400 a pair. Buyers of DefTech towers with powered subs are duplicating what a less expensive tower speaker and the requisite subwoofer(s) cost.

Number three, the Def Tech models with powered subs less than $1,000 each have only an 8 inch subwoofer. I wouldn't spend all that money for a floor stander with an 8 inch "subwoofer".

Number four. I would sooner buy a pair of these: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P252...ck-grille.html

for $300 and spend more on a pair of good subs. YMMV
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

....demolish.............

Demolish?

You realize that DefTech (intentionally?) publishes FR specs that do not truly represent the +/-3dB point of their speakers and subs, right?
post #21 of 35
Yeah like that 11hz is laughable. I will put my money on a SVS or HSU at the quoted price range any day.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post


Number three, the Def Tech models with powered subs less than $1,000 each have only an 8 inch subwoofer. I wouldn't spend all that money for a floor stander with an 8 inch "subwoofer".

YMMV

Well actually the 8060 at $999 has a 10" woofer/subwoofer.

And yes they are typically more expensive than buying a nice monitor and a separate sub for each.

But the STs take up less space, have built in and according to DT a sort of dynamic on the fly crossover.

And for those, like me, that like the sound of the DT bipolars (especially for movies) there are no bipolar monitors in the $400-$500 range that I'm aware of.

There is of course the Mirage Omnipolar speakers. But it seems they're a love or hate type of sound. Plus they're on their way to extinction.

Gene
post #23 of 35
This is a 10" Subas well...size does not mean much by itself.

To each its own I guess , but in my book thinking you can match a dedicated subwoofer with one in a tower is just not going to happen all things being equal.
I guess, we are all different and have different expectations.
post #24 of 35
There is nothing inherently wrong with having a sub-woofer essentially collocated with your speakers so long as the "right" spot for your speakers are the same "right" spot for your subs. If either spot is compromised for either the sub or speaker, you should go separate.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Well actually the 8060 at $999 has a 10" woofer/subwoofer.

And yes they are typically more expensive than buying a nice monitor and a separate sub for each.

But the STs take up less space, have built in and according to DT a sort of dynamic on the fly crossover.

And for those, like me, that like the sound of the DT bipolars (especially for movies) there are no bipolar monitors in the $400-$500 range that I'm aware of.

There is of course the Mirage Omnipolar speakers. But it seems they're a love or hate type of sound. Plus they're on their way to extinction.

Gene

I found it of significant interest that in the review of the 8060 in Sound&Vision Daniel Kumin mentions that the output of the rear facing drivers has been reduced by 6 db from previous BP series speakers.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...ystem?page=0,2

So much for bipolar...
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mannoiaj View Post

There is nothing inherently wrong with having a sub-woofer essentially collocated with your speakers so long as the "right" spot for your speakers are the same "right" spot for your subs. If either spot is compromised for either the sub or speaker, you should go separate.

I have never seen that so far its always been a compromise.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

I found it of significant interest that in the review of the 8060 in Sound&Vision Daniel Kumin mentions that the output of the rear facing drivers has been reduced by 6 db from previous BP series speakers.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...ystem?page=0,2

So much for bipolar...

And done so by DT to enhance the affect or make it better and easier to place the speakers. So still bipolar but now they do not need to be on such strong meds

That review and another I read on the 8040s had nothing but praise for the sound field.

I think DT knows what they're doing, except when it comes to publishing specs
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

I have never seen that so far its always been a compromise.

Which means, in every situation that you have personally "seen", separate subs would be a more effective solution.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mannoiaj View Post

Which means, in every situation that you have personally "seen", separate subs would be a more effective solution.

Which means in every situation I have seen having the speakers pulled out into the room a couple of feet does a world of good for everything but deep bass next question.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Which means in every situation I have seen having the speakers pulled out into the room a couple of feet does a world of good for everything but deep bass next question.

Perhaps you read my post and thought it was a question by mistake. I forgive you for your mistake. Perhaps you read my post and believe that I think having a speaker + sub-woofer married together is a good solution to separates... again your wrong and I forgive you for your mistake. There is a place for the def tech solution in people's homes however, and that's why the company does well.
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