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Need opinions on bookshelf with a sub vs floorstander sound quality

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
1) I am deciding between getting a pair of bookshelf speakers with a sub or floorstanding speakers without a sub. I know that a sub is required for movies so I am talking about sound quality with music.

2) Does an amp really make a big difference over a receiver in sound quality? Or will it just allow me to reach higher volumes without distorting?

Thanks
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarthog View Post

1) I am deciding between getting a pair of bookshelf speakers with a sub or floorstanding speakers without a sub. I know that a sub is required for movies so I am talking about sound quality with music.

2) Does an amp really make a big difference over a receiver in sound quality? Or will it just allow me to reach higher volumes without distorting?

Thanks

Well I might as well say it ..

1. Budget..
2. WAF??


If you want a smaller form factor for space restraints Bookshelves are ideal but I prefer the look of the Floorstanding.. I would say whatever you choose I would Highly recommend a Decent sub..

I made a IXL 18.4 18" DIY and will never look back at any sub the other companies have.. but again the subs can get very large mine is 10Cu. Ft....I 've seen some the size of a Fridge.. but then it depends on your WAF or Space requirements but for a sub usually larger is better..


Well with Seperates you can get more Power for your Mains then a Reciever typically does and most people prefer Seperates then just getting a receiver.. It can get costly going with seperates, So it all depends on your Budget for the entire system..
post #3 of 25
It depends, some towers have amps and subs built in, in this case, for music, you don't need a separate sub. I find that even very expensive bookshelf speakers need a sub for my taste.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well my budget is $400-600 for a pair of bookshelf speakers and an outlaw M8 for $200 or $800-850 for a pair of towers.

I will not be getting towers with a sub built in like Definitive Technology.

I was thinking the cheapest pre/pro or receiver with preouts and HDMI and a used Emotiva XPA-3 since I think Emotiva has a transferable warranty.
post #5 of 25
Is your budget up to the $600 include the sub or just the speakers?

A pair of CMT-340 SE's for $600 shipped would be a good deal, and a LV12R would be a great sub. You can get that thru Ascend too and I believe it's just over $550 shipped.

http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html

I would think that combo would be better then any towers with built in subs in the $1200 price range.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarthog View Post

1) I am talking about sound quality with music.
Accurate response is accurate response, no matter what you're listening to. The main issue with towers is that they force you to place the low frequency elements and midrange/high frequency elements in the same place. That seldom gives the best possible result, especially with the lows. The secondary issue with towers is that few go as low as nor have nearly the output capability of good subs.
Quote:
an outlaw M8
One eight inch loaded sub is barely enough to keep up with a pair of four inch loaded bookshelves. Figure you need at least twice whatever power you run to the mains for the subs, along with drivers capable of handling it. The size and power of mains versus subs is directly proportional to the wavelengths they produce. A 100Hz wavelength is 11 feet long. A 30Hz wavelength is 38 feet long.
Edited by Bill Fitzmaurice - 8/1/13 at 7:52pm
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
To be clear $850 is my budget for speakers. For a receiver or used receiver+used amp is around $500. So amplification and speakers combined is $1350.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

One eight inch loaded sub is barely enough to keep up with a pair of four inch loaded bookshelves

Well I said M8 because my room isn't too big and it's supposedly as good as the STF-1. Maybe the Klipsch RW-12d if I go with bookshelf speakers then. The reason don't want a sub with floorstander is that I found that most towers put out enough bass as long as I give them enough power to not worry about damage.

Thanks Fitzmaurice. I get the point of accurate response but some people really go on about 3-way designs (dedicated midrange) being superior to a 2-way bookshelf. I thought that by adding a sub I would turn a 2-way bookshelf into a 3-way when the sub was added. Still I am unsure which is why I am asking.
post #8 of 25
The Ascend CBM-170 SE's with a LV12R would come in right around your budget.

Also take a look at the HSU Hybrid 2.1 package, that's a great deal too at $799 plus shipping.
http://hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your speaker recommendations. I am looking into them and I appreciate them. I would like to keep this thread focused on bookshelf vs floorstanders and receiver vs amps. I am going to start another thread for speaker recommendations where I think I will get more posts on speaker recommendations due to the title reflecting what I am asking for.
post #10 of 25
Bookshelf vs floorstander. In the lower price ranges bookshelf plus sub will be much better than floorstander alone.

Receiver vs amp....hmmm you still need a pre-amp with an amp or are you speaking of integrated amps? Be specific. Tbere's a lot of stuff out there. An avr (audio visual receiver) is a pre-amp/tuner/video processor/amp package. An amp is just that, an amplifier, still needs a pre-amp and sources. An integrated amp is a pre-amp with amp, but no other sources built in, just the facility of switching your sources.

Personally many avrs will work quite well for you and offer a great bang for the buck. Most people buy avrs so that's where the economy of scale lies, you get more features in a better $ package than separate units can offer...generally.
post #11 of 25
You'll probably have more luck starting a thread in the amp/receiver section then you will hear. Afterall you did post this is the speaker section.

I still believe with your budget you're better off going with good book shelf speakers and a sub over floor standing speakers.
From your post count you look to be fairly new to AVS forums, Bill is a very smart guy and designs speakers for a living.
I would listen to his advice.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok well I am done for the night since it's late. Maybe tomorrow I will ask that question in the amp section to get more replies.

So far it seems that bookshelf + sub is a bigger bang for the buck option. Floorstander speakers main advantage is looks when compared to a good bookshelf (with a sub).

So only one question remains. How big of a difference does the midrange driver make when there is a sub? So far from what I read by Fitzmaurice it's not that important but would like some clarification.
post #13 of 25
:cool:More than "hear"? Watchu talkin' bout Willis? Nice BC dank?
post #14 of 25
I would also recommend bookshelves + sub. It saves money since you can get a proper sub, why pay extra for woofers in floorstanders that won't go low enough anyway.

I also think unless you are going to exceed the power level, sonically receiver and amp/separates should sound the same, after all if you don't reach distortion then there's no reason they shouldn't.
post #15 of 25
So given your budget of $850 for speakers/sub, and $500 for amplification, I will recommend the following:

Focal Chorus 706V
SVS SB-1000
Denon AVR-X1000

Those Focal Chorus speakers are on clearance and offer fantastic value and are a good musical speaker. They are front ported so placement is easier and in my opinion look fantastic. The SVS sub is a very good option for music, it has a flat frequency response curve, is compact, and should pair well with the Focals. Lastly the Denon would be a better choice than separates at your budget. It comes with Audyssey MultEQ XT room EQ, has network capabilities, and plenty of power. You get much more value going with bookshelves and a good sub, and this would make for a nice 2.1 setup.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarthog View Post

Thanks Fitzmaurice. I get the point of accurate response but some people really go on about 3-way designs (dedicated midrange) being superior to a 2-way bookshelf. .
A sub plus a 2 way bookshelf is a 3 way design.
Quote:
So only one question remains. How big of a difference does the midrange driver make when there is a sub?
The reason for using a dedicated midrange is when the midbass is too large to give adequately wide dispersion. A 6.5 inch midbass has perfectly good dispersion to at least 3kHz.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarthog View Post

1) I am deciding between getting a pair of bookshelf speakers with a sub or floorstanding speakers without a sub. I know that a sub is required for movies so I am talking about sound quality with music.

2) Does an amp really make a big difference over a receiver in sound quality? Or will it just allow me to reach higher volumes without distorting?

Thanks

I use my subs every time I listen to music, not JUST movies.

I would go w/ monitors + subs over just towers.

I would rather place 2 monitors on stands atop 2 subs than spend the same amount of money on 2 towers w/o subs.

No, ext amp will not make any difference over an AVR especially if you crossover the bass to subs. The reason is because tweeter and midrange do not require that much power compared to sub bass.

So the tweeter & midrange may only require 1 - 32 watts, while the sub bass may require over 100 watts.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. Looks like bookshelf speakers and a sub for me.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

So given your budget of $850 for speakers/sub, and $500 for amplification, I will recommend the following:

Focal Chorus 706V
SVS SB-1000
Denon AVR-X1000

Those Focal Chorus speakers are on clearance and offer fantastic value and are a good musical speaker. They are front ported so placement is easier and in my opinion look fantastic. The SVS sub is a very good option for music, it has a flat frequency response curve, is compact, and should pair well with the Focals. Lastly the Denon would be a better choice than separates at your budget. It comes with Audyssey MultEQ XT room EQ, has network capabilities, and plenty of power. You get much more value going with bookshelves and a good sub, and this would make for a nice 2.1 setup.

Good recommendations here; well-balanced budget.
post #20 of 25
wart:

I've been using sat/sub type systems for over 20 years. IMO, this is a wonderful & the best way to go for me. Smaller, accurate sats coupled with a quality sub or two are really versatile as just the right amount of bass can be easily dialed in, although it is easy to overdo it bass-wise.

Furthermore, these types of systems have a certain elegant appearance as well - as you can see in my set up here - Posts #206 & #207:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1464107/new-official-axiom-audio-speaker-owners-thread/180

TAM
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

A sub plus a 2 way bookshelf is a 3 way design.
The reason for using a dedicated midrange is when the midbass is too large to give adequately wide dispersion. A 6.5 inch midbass has perfectly good dispersion to at least 3kHz.

A sub plus a 2 way speaker is still a 2 way speaker design, not a 3 way, a sub doesn't make a 3 way design, handling the low and ultra low bass is not part of a 3 way design, having a tweeter to handle the highs a mid range driver to handle the mids and woofers to handle the mid bass and a cross over with this in thought.

2 way uses different woofers with the thought of them having to handle the mids and mid bass and a cross over designed for that, crossing those speakers over higher to just handle the mids isn't doing that speaker right cause that's not how it was designed to be used. The other problem is that most subs can't handle the full mid bass so say up to 150, most subs can't reach that high. If that's the way someone wants to go then their best off buy really good Sats and getting a sub that can play up to 120-150 .
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustABrah View Post

A sub plus a 2 way speaker is still a 2 way speaker design, not a 3 way, a sub doesn't make a 3 way design, handling the low and ultra low bass is not part of a 3 way design, having a tweeter to handle the highs a mid range driver to handle the mids and woofers to handle the mid bass and a cross over with this in thought.
2 way uses different woofers with the thought of them having to handle the mids and mid bass and a cross over designed for that, crossing those speakers over higher to just handle the mids isn't doing that speaker right cause that's not how it was designed to be used.
Not necessarily. When 3-ways were king, up to about 30 years ago, the typical woofer range was 40-500Hz, the midrange 500-5kHz, the tweeter 5kHz on up. They didn't go much below 40Hz because there was no program down there, so they didn't have to. That was a bit of a Catch 22, there wasn't much below 40Hz program material because no one had speakers that would go that low anyway.

It all changed with the introduction of subs in theaters, and the subsequent addition of LFE to DVDs, giving rise to the use of subs in homes. If I was to design a true full range 20Hz-20kHz 3-way today, which I have, it would run the sub 20-100Hz, the midbasses 100-2.5kHz, the tweeters 2.5kHz and up. Since the sub shares the same vertical footprint as the midbass and tweeter there would be no need to cross it lower than 100Hz. The result is a sub plus 2 way in one box.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

If I was to design a true full range 20Hz-20kHz 3-way today, which I have, it would run the sub 20-100Hz, the midbasses 100-2.5kHz, the tweeters 2.5kHz and up. Since the sub shares the same vertical footprint as the midbass and tweeter there would be no need to cross it lower than 100Hz. The result is a sub plus 2 way in one box.

Yes, which is basically what a lot of the ultra expensive high-end full range speakers are these days. A 2 or 3-way sitting on top of a powered sub with digital HP LP filtering.

Take Focal's Grande Utopias for example...
http://www.avguide.com/review/tested-focal-grande-utopia-em-loudspeaker?page=5
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Yes, which is basically what a lot of the ultra expensive high-end full range speakers are these days. A 2 or 3-way sitting on top of a powered sub with digital HP LP filtering.

Take Focal's Grande Utopias for example...
http://www.avguide.com/review/tested-focal-grande-utopia-em-loudspeaker?page=5

I'm not familiar with that speaker but wasn't it designed to be used with the sub as a 4 way? So they'd use the woofers they need to best cover the range it's being tuned to cover, to say a speaker like the Sierra-1 which uses different woofers to cover more of the mid bass and mids, to their tower which uses different woofer than the Sierra-1 cause they have a dedicated mid range woofer.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustABrah View Post

I'm not familiar with that speaker but wasn't it designed to be used with the sub as a 4 way? So they'd use the woofers they need to best cover the range it's being tuned to cover, to say a speaker like the Sierra-1 which uses different woofers to cover more of the mid bass and mids, to their tower which uses different woofer than the Sierra-1 cause they have a dedicated mid range woofer.

Well all the 2-ways I have owned have benefited from having 60 or 80hz taken off them. Midrange clarity significantly improves - especially as you push the volume levels higher.

While it doesn't turn my 2-way speakers into 3-way speakers... It does turn my 2-way system into a 3-way system.
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