Towers or Bookshelf - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Towers or Bookshelf

Looking to upgrade my 7.1 setup here in the next few months. Trying to decide between tower speakers or bookshelf. Currently using two Emotiva B1 Airmotiv speakers for my fronts and a C1 for the center. Using E1s for my surrounds. The problem is I think I need an upgrade for the center and fronts. I have an HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 sub to go with this set. I can't help but feel my sub conquers and dwindles the speakers. Not saying I have too much sub but rather would like to get speakers to push more. Price range is fair. Not looking to buy 2000 dollar each speakers but not no a budget friendly diet. My plan is to add an additional VTF-3 in the future for 7.2. I'm stuck between either getting tower speakers or sticking with bookshelf. I want the most out of them as possible so I lean towards towers, but with so much at subwoofer I feel bookshelves may be more than adequate. So I ask your opinion and if possible any suggestions for whatever speaker you choose.

Last edited by Mike Lang; 06-12-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 12:59 PM
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 04:15 PM
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Here is what matters -

- What are the Dimensions of the Room?
- How far are you seated from the Front Speakers?
- Where are the Front Speakers place relative to nearby walls?
- Give us a working BUDGET or Budget Range? Not $2000 is NOT a budget. Give us a number?

"HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 ... I can't help but feel my sub conquers and dwindles the speakers..."

Again, room size and speaker placement. Also, Subs have Volume Controls, they can be turned down. You can also select or experiment with other Sub/Front Crossover settings.

Also, are the speaker sent to SMALL or LARGE?

Most recommend that you always set the Front Speaker to Small so all low bass is diverted to the Subs.

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post #4 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardlesstulip View Post
... I want the most out of them as possible so I lean towards towers, but with so much at subwoofer I feel bookshelves may be more than adequate.....
You are contradicting yourself. Think about Tower vs Bookshelf ABOVE the Front/Sub Crossover frequency. Above 80hz (as an example) the Towers are still pushing way more air than the Bookshelf. Above the frequency it is 2x6.5" or 2x8" vs 1x5", 1x6.5", or rarely though possible 1x8"

Which pushes more air - 2x6.5" or 1x6.5"?

It is not that complicated.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardlesstulip View Post
Looking to upgrade my 7.1 setup here in the next few months. Trying to decide between tower speakers or bookshelf. Currently using two Emotiva B1 Airmotiv speakers for my fronts and a C1 for the center. Using E1s for my surrounds. The problem is I think I need an upgrade for the center and fronts. I have an HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 sub to go with this set. I can't help but feel my sub conquers and dwindles the speakers. Not saying I have too much sub but rather would like to get speakers to push more. Price range is fair. Not looking to buy 2000 dollar each speakers but not no a budget friendly diet. My plan is to add an additional VTF-3 in the future for 7.2. I'm stuck between either getting tower speakers or sticking with bookshelf. I want the most out of them as possible so I lean towards towers, but with so much at subwoofer I feel bookshelves may be more than adequate. So I ask your opinion and if possible any suggestions for whatever speaker you choose.
Emotiva t1 ($500 a pair) and t2 ($800 a pair) towers are on sale. I would say upgrade to a C2 but they are out of stock, some have had luck calling emotiva and getting a referbished one. Make sure you have room for a C2 though its alot bigger, wider and deaper than the C1, its also rear ported so cant be up against a wall like the C1.

Need to make sure your avr wont have issues though since they are 4 ohm speakers. Most newer recievers have no issues, i use a onkyo 830z.

Both of these options would keep you under 2k. Closer to 900-1200 for 3 speakers. Even have some left over for a second sud if you want.
The b1 can always be moved to the surrounds to upgrade an e1 if space permits.

I have T1/C2/E2 in a 5.1.2 setup i am very happy with. I have a small 11x12 room but prefer the sound of towers over bookselfs for the lr front speakers(went to bed buy and tried tower and bookshelf speaker of the same line to find this out). I sit 8ft from my mains. Went with C2 for vocal clearity off others recommendation and am very happy with it. (This was my main complaint with the old monoprice speakers i had).

I have a monolith 12 for a sub and dont feel i am over powering my center or towers. To me it seems well balanced once i got everything set up like i wanted it.

This all only matters if you like the sound of your emotiva speakers though. If you dont then there are other option depending on what you dont like about the enotiva speakers.

Sub and towers should not play at the same frequency, i cut mine over at 80hz, some like different setting or need it higher for there speakers.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 09:43 PM
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Its very simple - you have great subwoofer(s) and you will gain very little from a tower, unless you want them because of not wanting stands.

There are many threads on here about speakers for various budgets. My only suggestion would be to buy speakers that are not low sensitivity. There are many things to consider such as what you like to listen to (from the fact that you want dual subs I'd assume movies are at least 50% if not more), and for HT its generally said that bright/forward speakers are better.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-13-2019, 12:35 AM
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If you say your problem is that your subs are overpowering your speakers, then I would say it’s indicative of a setup issue. What AVR are you using and is your setup properly calibrated? Maybe you need to tweak various settings (Dynamoc Eq etc) that artificially boost bass frequencies, Or maybe you have room modes, that are causing the bass frequencies to resonate in the room. These are all different problems and will not be solved by upgrading your speakers. In fact, adding towers will add more bass and likely make it worse.

If however, you intended to say your speakers are not at the same caliber/quality level as the subs, and you want something more refined - then you should be thinking about your usage and preferences (music? What kind of music, warm vs bright sound signature etc). You should also be evaluating brands to find out which ones target what you’re looking to improve on. Budget (even if is a range) will be important factor to help narrow down the options


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post #8 of 11 Old 06-13-2019, 12:38 AM
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Also if you are not getting the right volume level from your main speakers, then maybe you need to upgrade your avr and/or add an external amplifier


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post #9 of 11 Old 06-13-2019, 01:15 AM
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I always prefer towers...but before you go upgrading I would buy a umik 1 mic and learn to use rew. you might have some large/wide nulls hampering the sound you already paid for.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-16-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardlesstulip View Post
Looking to upgrade my 7.1 setup here in the next few months. Trying to decide between tower speakers or bookshelf. Currently using two Emotiva B1 Airmotiv speakers for my fronts and a C1 for the center. Using E1s for my surrounds. The problem is I think I need an upgrade for the center and fronts. I have an HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 sub to go with this set. I can't help but feel my sub conquers and dwindles the speakers. Not saying I have too much sub but rather would like to get speakers to push more. Price range is fair. Not looking to buy 2000 dollar each speakers but not no a budget friendly diet. My plan is to add an additional VTF-3 in the future for 7.2. I'm stuck between either getting tower speakers or sticking with bookshelf. I want the most out of them as possible so I lean towards towers, but with so much at subwoofer I feel bookshelves may be more than adequate. So I ask your opinion and if possible any suggestions for whatever speaker you choose.
You missed the C2 deal so if you want a bigger center will have to wait for its replacement.

The T1 towers would seem to be your logical choice as they offer much more dynamics than the B1s as the T1 midrange is the same size as the single woofer in the B1 and the T1 has two 6" woofers to boot.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-16-2019, 10:12 PM
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This smells of a set-up issue. After running Audyssey, did you bump up the sub like 6 dB? If that is the case, then, of course, the subs are going to overpower the main speakers. Just for fun, try bumping the three front speakers the same amount you did the sub and see what happens.

Also, you might try raising the crossover point to 100, instead of 80. That will fill out the mid-bass thinness, if that is the problem.

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