Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar
Thank you. You know I agonized over that a lot even before purchasing the S50s, and even talked about it with Crutchfield. The issue is I'm worried (from my own experience) that at lower volumes such as the 10W stated above can provide, the S50s are too big to power already. I understand the points you're making but my experience worries me. Also, I'm afraid S55 will be too large for my 12X10 ft room. And if I finally get a sub, then the S15 or S10 should be enough for highs and midrange, right? After my extensive tests on the S15/S10 last night, I finally understand why folks on this forum are so insistent on a sub. Music was great for me, but the action movie was meh. It felt like a drama movie. But today, I'll test the S50 with and without bi-amping by playing the same music/movie/FM as yesterday.
Then stick with bookshelf speakers and sub. No reason to keep the towers if they are not performing well. S15s should be satisfactory for fronts in that scenario, S10s for surround duty. However, there are lots of speakers at Crutchfield, and only $10 to return, so you might consider getting another pair or two in-house to compare. I know it seems to be money thrown in the dumpster, but it isn't. It gives you peace of mind that you did your homework and kept the right one.
If your room is stark (bare walls, hard floor, glass), that may be contributing to the brightness issue. Also, you say the room is 10x12, yet say there is space beside one of the speakers? Is this room open to another room or is one speaker in the corner and one not?
Often forgotten in setting up a new system is that positioning is your most powerful weapon in getting the best from your investment. Speakers evenly placed is a far better scenario than what you describe. Some distance from the wall behind is often helpful in curing boomy bass. Distance apart and toe-in matters greatly with imaging and soundstage. Even the seating position has a huge effect (especially if you are against a wall or sitting at the 1/2 or 3/4 point of the room).
The more you "fix" with positioning, the less your receiver has to cope with (and it is already very limited in what it can do).