Originally Posted by Veda
Is this true though really? If a monitor + sub combo is the best possible setup then why do they keep making those towers...
Alot of people just like the aesthetics and simplicity of towers better than a set of stand mounted monitors and subs. I personally think a high quality set of stand mounted monitors and matching subs though look so much better. But regardless if SQ is your ultimate goal, then a pair of high quality monitors coupled with a sub or preferably subs, will give you multiple advantages.
A. With stand mounted monitors, you can now focus soley on optimal imaging and soundstage presentation WITHOUT also having to worry about trying to get best in room bass response as well. Case in point, my Revel Salon's, even in the moderate sized room I use(used, since they are broken down in pieces currently) them in the optimal placement for midrange imaging would leave 2 frequency bumps and one large dip in the bass region. I found to even partially smooth them out via placement, they would be set too far apart and imaging would suffer tremendously, and the soundstage would pull too far to the right(left side has opening to another room) and have a hollow point just right of center. Using a set of monitors in the same room and pair of subs I was able to get a perfectly centered imaging with rock solid instrument placement. THe bass was also perfectly optomized for the room as well since both subs were able to be seperatly placed in positions that allowed for perfectly smooth in room response as well.
This right here is the biggest advantage and its a HUGE one.
B. Cost, normally I find that the monitor version of a specific speaker line can be nearly half price or even less sometimes than the same lines "tower" offering or offerings. WIth that money saved you can normally get far superior powered active subs and still save money in the long run.
C. Flexibility: With powered subs you now have dedicated amps for each sub, therefore relieving your main amp of the need to play "full range", which in turn can gain you a little bit in dynamics and headroom only having the need to play a limited bandwidth. Also, since now your running active subs you have much more control of fine tuning of the sub frequencies, phase, level, xover points, even EQ of the sub frequencies all can be fine tuned to your room and monitors for best response. Your not stuck with a tower's "passive" bass system, not only in terms of placement as mentioned previously, but in terms of system tailored response directly with your monitors and rooms own abilities.
Alot of times tower speakers will be lined with multiple smaller 6",7" or 9" drivers that just don't have the displacement of a good dedicated sub, and displacement is key when hitting those low frequencies cleany unless you have a gigantic passive box in the tower, most times though the big tower speakers are still tuned to somewhere in the 30-40hz range thus still lacking that last true octave in response performance.
Most speaker mfg's have a monitor version of their tower speakers, and they use the same quality drivers, cabinets, and xover parts. Towers are normally nothing more than a monitor "head" thats combined with a passive bass box instead of a stand.
Ive had the pleasure of selling, installing and hearing some of the "best"(in terms of paid advertisement)speakers mass mfg'd over the past 2 decades, and the best sounding and true full range setups involved high quality monitors and dedicated subwoofers. There are very good tower speakers out there too(and a few came darn close to reproducing the total sound of a sub/sat combo, dont get me wrong, but all of them has always left me feeling that there was something missing here or there.......always.
Veda: Those 718's are very good performing monitors on their own......too bad you haven't gotten a chance to pair them up with a set of quality subs flanking them. That 107 definetly does not even come close to qualifying.