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I look at you list of speakers you have, they are all small bookshelves. Can you fairly compare if you don't have floor standers? OP is ready to spend $1200, the speakers he's going to get is going to be very likely quite a bit better than your speakers. I won't give such a strong advice if I were you. Particular if he is willing to get used ones, he can get into higher end stuffs rather than mid-fi stuffs.
I am in the process of getting floorstanders, actually, but I sincerely doubt that much of anything would change since I would be maintaining basic principles of bass management in a HT setup. And I am not getting them due to some belief that they'll somehow shake my walls more than the bookshelf speakers I am using right now.

Again, the $1200 spent on bookshelf speakers would yield better-quality speakers than a $1200 pair of towers, especially if you're talking Hifi vs. Mid-fi.

I wouldn't give such strong advice when you make categorically false statements like bookshelf speakers "stop working" at 80Hz or that DSP causes distortion or room correction costs money. I'm not sure what mountain of experience you claim to sit atop that would draw you to such conclusions.

I also wouldn't get upset with someone telling you that their bass output is likely better than yours, getting defensive by saying he doesn't "know your gear", then you proceed to insult my gear. Don't be a hypocrite.
 

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On a five string bass the lowest note is 31hz. (4 string is 40 hz). My speakers have a F3 of 34 hz. I don't listen to organ music which some old cathedrals have that play to 18 hz. (you feel more than hear). I don't care about movie LFE or audio special effects. I got what I wanted for good 2 channel music playback and I just take what I get if I watch a movie. Suits me well.
For movie, sub is important for the rumbling effect, but for music, like you said, the lowest note of the 4 string bass is 40Hz, that's very low, how do I know, I have a bass guitar and I played it. Seldom you hit the open low E note playing music( I am being generous, Never have I hit that open low E, it's too low!!!). Good to know for 5 string, it's 31Hz.
 

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I am in the process of getting floorstanders, actually, but I sincerely doubt that much of anything would change since I would be maintaining basic principles of bass management in a HT setup. And I am not getting them due to some belief that they'll somehow shake my walls more than the bookshelf speakers I am using right now.

Again, the $1200 spent on bookshelf speakers would yield better-quality speakers than a $1200 pair of towers, especially if you're talking Hifi vs. Mid-fi.
But with bookshelf, OP still have to buy sub and bass management.

I wouldn't give such strong advice when you make categorically false statements like bookshelf speakers "stop working" at 80Hz or that DSP causes distortion or room correction costs money. I'm not sure what mountain of experience you claim to sit atop that would draw you to such conclusions.
You guys said the bookshelf start rolling off at 80Hz.

I also wouldn't get upset with someone telling you that their bass output is likely better than yours, getting defensive by saying he doesn't "know your gear", then you proceed to insult my gear. Don't be a hypocrite.
Yes, he has no idea about my main speakers, it's presumptuous of him to say that. My speakers have 12" woofers, very rich in bass. I would not come right out and tell you my speakers sound fuller than yours even though I know the Polk brand of your speakers quite well. I did asked him twice what speakers does he have, he never answer to put in perspective.
When you comment, you sound so confident in advising and insist in bookshelf is just as good with sub and room correction that everyone else doesn't know anything. So I look up what you have to put it in perspective.

This is what you have, am I correct:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-jceA8waJF34/p_107RTIA3B/Polk-Audio-RTi-A3-Black.html?XVINQ=GLX&awkw=75640298665&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=47618698345&awdv=c&awug=9031935&gclid=CjwKCAjw7-P1BRA2EiwAXoPWA-giDpbIV1i5UHKAJu1T4j9Ses5ZyYYCVjU8OPiTJ5pSM-UdwoLPbRoCCjEQAvD_BwE
And

https://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Bookshelf-Speakers-Cherry/dp/B000V2UBSI


TBA
https://www.amazon.com/KEF-Q750-Floorstanding-Speaker-Black/dp/B0719PD98X


How come if bookshelf is so good, you are going to get a pair of Kef floor stander? Hypocrite no?


OP is going to spend $1200, that would be in range of your TBA speakers. After you have your new Kef floor stander that is of much better quality than your Polk, then I would take your comment more seriously. But since you have not bought it yet, let me tell you, I owned 2 pairs of Kef and one of their top of the line Reference Series center. They are NOT that good. The name is bigger than their sound. The pair I gave to my stepson should be similar quality as your TBA. But that's off topic of this thread. You can pm me if you want more detail
 

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The Rythmik mentioned above is about $1000, while the SVS SB2000 Pro is $799. I don't think that qualifies as "considerably less." I don't have any experience with Rythmik subs but I thought they'd be much cheaper being internet direct. SVS is far from being a value leader, but they do offer free returns, and upgrade policy, which I'm sure inflates the price. Hsu is clearly the best bang for the buck, but it doesn't appear Rythmik is in this same category. Do you recommend any of their subs that are cheaper than a SB3000 or Hsu VTF3 Mk5 equivalent? For budget subs, it appears Emotiva and Outlaw are comparable to Hsu. Let me know if I'm missing something.

I bought a Rythmik F12SE, it's a dream!!! Granted I don't have too much experience with Sub, I had a Velodyn first generation sub from the 90s, it's day and night difference. Rythmik is a lot faster, the attack is a lot stronger and better. It's pretty also.

I am not putting down SVS, I can only rave about the Rythmic. It just happens the sweet spot is next to the sofa, so I put a piece of glass on top and use it as an end table.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Lots of discussion

Yikes! This went a little sideways. However, I appreciate the passion and I am filtering out good info. I assume most of us are the same and want the best for the limited money we can justify spending right now...and then we make upgrades when we can. Personally, I might be from the school of thought that a sub isn't necessary for music but, for now, a sub will add what I feel I'm missing. Having said that, nothing I listen too is really going to be enhanced by earth shaking bass, in fact, that's kind of the problem with my current set up. To add some bottom, I plugged in the 2 channel system to the home theater sub and it is far from seamless. Point of getting a dedicated sub for the bookshelves is to build on what I have in place and have it all dialed in together. Plus, I think I could get a sub AND amp for $1200 (or maybe a bit more), which gives me two upgrades...and versatility down the line. The other option is $1200 for towers and no worries about matching or sub placement. Seems like I kind of toss the Martin Logans to the side if I do that and that's a shame because they do sound pretty great. As for the room correction, I am not dismissing that. I didn't know about Anthem...does that work with any receiver and speakers? My home theater runs through a Pioneer VSX90 and that came with a version of room correction. It turned my so-so Polk towers into something that sounded completely different...in a good way!



So, no decision yet. Sub and amp is easiest because I already know what I want in the sub and I can save a little more while I decide what amp. However, throwing all the money at one set of towers may simplify the process and I could hold off on upgrading the amp...or maybe be satisfied with what I have. Thanks for battling it out and making the case for both sides!
 

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Yikes! This went a little sideways. However, I appreciate the passion and I am filtering out good info. I assume most of us are the same and want the best for the limited money we can justify spending right now...and then we make upgrades when we can. Personally, I might be from the school of thought that a sub isn't necessary for music but, for now, a sub will add what I feel I'm missing. Having said that, nothing I listen too is really going to be enhanced by earth shaking bass, in fact, that's kind of the problem with my current set up. To add some bottom, I plugged in the 2 channel system to the home theater sub and it is far from seamless. Point of getting a dedicated sub for the bookshelves is to build on what I have in place and have it all dialed in together. Plus, I think I could get a sub AND amp for $1200 (or maybe a bit more), which gives me two upgrades...and versatility down the line. The other option is $1200 for towers and no worries about matching or sub placement. Seems like I kind of toss the Martin Logans to the side if I do that and that's a shame because they do sound pretty great. As for the room correction, I am not dismissing that. I didn't know about Anthem...does that work with any receiver and speakers? My home theater runs through a Pioneer VSX90 and that came with a version of room correction. It turned my so-so Polk towers into something that sounded completely different...in a good way!



So, no decision yet. Sub and amp is easiest because I already know what I want in the sub and I can save a little more while I decide what amp. However, throwing all the money at one set of towers may simplify the process and I could hold off on upgrading the amp...or maybe be satisfied with what I have. Thanks for battling it out and making the case for both sides!

You have to lay out a long term plan, are you going to upgrade more, or are you going to get what you want the cheapest way and be done with it? If you are going to up grade in the long run, lay out your plan, buy the first one as in your plan, then work towards the next when you have the money. Just step by step.


If you choose to buy a floor stander with all the money, it's NOT like you have to decide not to get a sub. All I said is you'd be ok for now without a sub. You can always add a sub later when you have money. At the mean time you get a nice speakers to tide you over. I use a sub also, I am just looking at you budget of $1200 and I feel it's not wise to dilute the money and concentrate on one good piece, the most important piece. Like I said, if you are willing to buy used, you can get into some really good speakers. The new pair I just bought is used, I paid 1/3 the price of the MSRP. I really stretch my money. $1200 can get you a pair of old speaker in the MSRP range of $3000 to $4000. That's high end level already. Forget the common brands like Kef, Polk, Energy or Klipsch. I cannot give you any solid example as it takes time to research. Like I said, I just got a pair at 1/3 price in perfect condition and I am loving it. It takes time to research, took me more than 1/2 a year to buy the pair of speakers.

As for amp, there's a certain degree that the amp has to match the speakers. You buy the amp first, it might not match your speakers later on. This is a case in point. I just bought a pair of speakers. The amp that I considered the best according to the last pair of speakers is too soft and bassy with the new speakers. The new pair has a lot of bottom ( in the low frequencies, not necessary bass), for music, it's perfect. But for watching tv, the voice is not as strong and clear. I actually have to change to a different amp that was a little less musical and a little bright for the old speakers. Now, it's perfect.

I design and built amps, so I have amps coming out of my ears, but for others, that's a lot of money to keep buying different amps to match different speakers. If you buy the best amp for one set of speakers, then you buy another pair of speakers, you might be surprised. Don't listen to anyone telling you an amp is an amp and they should all sound the same. From years of designing and testing, amps don't sound the same even though the spec, graphs and all tell you so. You have to listen and see whether you like it or not. And don't go really fancy and pay a lot of money for an amp. The amp should be like 1/3 the cost of the pair speakers. Some say 1/4, some say 1/2. But you get the point. It's always speakers, then find the amp.
 

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I'm glad that works for you, but room treatments and/or room correction will still improve the bass and lower midrange in your system, if you don't already have any now.
My main system is for 95% tv/movie usage, so I want it to go beyond the full 20hz to 20khz range. It was designed to be a mostly neutral and well calibrated system.
I don't use it for music much because for whatever reason, my family doesn't appreciate my mix of metal, rock, jazz, top 40 and classical music.
But when I do use it for music, it's an amazing system for that too.
I usually listen to music with a Chord mojo and Audeze Lcd3f headphones, which isn't much of a sacrifice.
I do use room correction. Note my signature below. I use an Anthem AVR MRX-520, a simple 5.1 avr with ARC in a 2.0 channel mode. When I bought it, there weren't hardly any 2 channel systems with room correction. Shortly after buying it, Yamaha came out with the R-N803 with YPAO or I might have gotten that. At the time, Lyngdorf had the TDAI-2170, but at around 4000 bucks. I'm happy with the anthem, as my music sources are Oppos for SACD and USB music so the HDMI connection is welcome.
 

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I do use room correction. Note my signature below. I use an Anthem AVR MRX-520, a simple 5.1 avr with ARC in a 2.0 channel mode. When I bought it, there weren't hardly any 2 channel systems with room correction. Shortly after buying it, Yamaha came out with the R-N803 with YPAO or I might have gotten that. At the time, Lyngdorf had the TDAI-2170, but at around 4000 bucks. I'm happy with the anthem, as my music sources are Oppos for SACD and USB music so the HDMI connection is welcome.
I like my MRX520 as well. -20 is the loudest I need to go in my 8' listening triangle, so lots of headroom left. I have a few sound panels plus some soft furnishings along with ARC so it sounds great.
I was thinking about adding better measuring amps to my receiver but any distortion there is now is inaudible and there is enough power, so it doesn't seem wise to spend money on.
My sub is very well blended in, you can never tell that it's not part of the LCR speakers. Never boomy, just deep, tuneful bass unless the movie calls for it, then it really shines.
I know that adding another sub would help smooth the bass over the entire room but it doesn't seem lacking in any way as it is. If I had a larger listening area I would.
 

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On a five string bass the lowest note is 31hz. (4 string is 40 hz). My speakers have a F3 of 34 hz.
On an electric bass, the 2H and 3H will be much higher than the 1H on any 34/35" scale bass, at least to A (fret5 on low E, higher on a 5er), so being able to get to 31Hz flat to play the low B is pretty much irrelevant. The tonal characteristics are coming from the higher harmonics. Many will also tell you that one of the best recorded or live bass sounds is from an Ampeg 4/6/8x10 (I think they sound like mud) which begins to roll of at about 70Hz, second order.
I measured a ton of my basses on one of the bass forums about 15 years back, have been playing and doing live sound and FOH for most of the last 35 years. There is very little, if anything useful, below 40Hz on just about any rock/pop/jazz record. And below 40Hz on a stage is a PITA.
 
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On an electric bass, the 2H and 3H will be much higher than the 1H on any 34/35" scale bass, at least to A (fret5 on low E, higher on a 5er), so being able to get to 31Hz flat to play the low B is pretty much irrelevant. The tonal characteristics are coming from the higher harmonics. Many will also tell you that one of the best recorded or live bass sounds is from an Ampeg 4/6/8x10 (I think they sound like mud) which begins to roll of at about 70Hz, second order.
I measured a ton of my basses on one of the bass forums about 15 years back, have been playing and doing live sound and FOH for most of the last 35 years. There is very little, if anything useful, below 40Hz on just about any rock/pop/jazz record. And below 40Hz on a stage is a PITA.

Can't agree more, even on 4 sting, hitting the low E sounds like farting already!!! I never even hit lower than low G. I don't know what frequency is that.
 

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well not all music is the same. cannons in 1812 go under 10hz
 

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I'll spend the money on a bigger speaker any time of the day than to insist on bookshelf, then spend money on room correction and a sub. OP's budget is $1200, I'll buy a floor stander any time of the day over bookshelf. Why? I have two book shelves as shown in the picture. One is Kef the other is Monitor Audio Silver series. I walked the mile to say this. That's the reason I just bought another pair of floor stander lately.

I sure would not waste money on room correction with the limited budget. For music, you don't even need to buy a sub, just put all the money into one good pair of used floor stander and you'll get quite high quality speakers that DON'T need room correction and sub. What is the point of insisting on a bookshelf and have to waste money to cover the deficiency?

Those bookshelves speakers in the picture are only for me to use as fuse when I first bring up a new amp I designed and built. I don't want to blow my real speakers.
Tower placement in a room is a compromise between mids/highs and bass response with respect to the listener position. A sub can be more readily placed for smoother response independent of the source of mids and highs. I like towers too but they are no match for good bookshelf + sub.
 

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Tower placement in a room is a compromise between mids/highs and bass response with respect to the listener position. A sub can be more readily placed for smoother response independent of the source of mids and highs. I like towers too but they are no match for good bookshelf + sub.

I think that depends on size of room...larger room...harder for bookshelves to be as great. also, smaller rooms, harder for towers to be great.
 

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Tower placement in a room is a compromise between mids/highs and bass response with respect to the listener position. A sub can be more readily placed for smoother response independent of the source of mids and highs. I like towers too but they are no match for good bookshelf + sub.

But it's better to have towers and sub!!!


The point here is you have $1200 budget, my opinion is get the best floor stander for the money that can cover to 40Hz and forget the sub until more money is available.
 
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Can't agree more, even on 4 sting, hitting the low E sounds like farting already!!!
You need a better bass and/or strings.


I never even hit lower than low G. I don't know what frequency is that.
I play in a wide variety of keys, so I need the low B string on my 5/6 string basses.
 

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well not all music is the same. cannons in 1812 go under 10hz
Very true!

Always entertaining to throw at bit of 1812 Overture into some of the car audio sub builds--because cannon fire always is a good stress test. :eek:

Always thought it was a bit odd that people would proclaim what frequency determines if you are "good enough" or that a "hi-fi" system could be considered accurate if it cut off below 40Hz. Granted, Ozzy drop tuned the bass guitar 40 years ago and even Enya with the song "only time" has notes that rumble down to 19Hz--it all depends on what music you listen to. The last time I checked, the low key on the 88 key piano was 27.5 Hz sooo...I don't know about you but I prefer any music system to at least cover the piano. You have contra instruments, pipe organs and all sorts of electronic systems that push the bass down low--the Japanese pop music (J-Pop) regularly goes down into the teens in frequency.

So if anyone asks, I tend to default to at least the full piano as being a measure of what fidelity means. The 88 keys seem to be as popular as they were the last several centuries never mind synth and electronic music. Sure, there are natural limits--I'd love to get my system down to 8 Hz for the oldie but goodie Telarc disc but the sheer size of such a beast is a bit much. My subwoofers are fairly flat to 18Hz then roll off before hitting the high pass filter at 15Hz. It would be fun to have a system that could do the big pipe or 8Hz on the monster pipe organs, the sonic boom rumbling down to 8Hz with the 1812 Overture or the 9Hz blast at the beginning of Edge of Tomorrow--max entertainment. Realistically, I don't have a system that can do that--well, in a car I was able to but my house is completely different.

Maybe if I listened to music primarily recorded in the LP era, good ol' analog and was perfectly fine with classic rock, folk music and country but I'm not. Rather entertaining to throw on some pipe organ music or the tune "No time for caution" from a movie soundtrack with considerable energy in the 18 to 25Hz range--feel the power! :cool: I go to Sound Cloud and listen to all sorts of interesting music, the stuff that the AVS guy uses to test subwoofers can really stress the system.

The younger folks love to amble by and play their phones through the garage system, the dual ported 24Hz subs really start pumping serious air flow through the 6 inch ports. Not exactly my favorite music but the system will play it--well, it is high passed at 21 Hz to protect the subs but it WILL play whatever insanity they throw at it. Bass I Love You with the 8 Hz tones does not come through--blame the high pass filter for that but for the most part, whatever EDM, rap or autosound tunes thrown the systems way it makes an honest effort to follow the waveforms. It is impossible to claim that "real music" cuts out below 40Hz when a six inch port is moving serious air to get the pants flapping and it is tuned to 24Hz. When playing the old classics, that port basically does next to nothing but there is serious air flow out the slot (the subs are push-pull slot loaded with a 2.2 to 1 compression ratio)

It all depends on what music you listen to--and how old you are. IF you only play the music that you like and it does not go below a certain freqency--enjoy! If all I listened to what the Beatles, the Eagles, country music and pop music from the analog era--no point in having 24Hz tuned subwoofers in the garage. My main house system is HT so the subs are there for more that music, special effects being what they are. However, it depends on what is really "high fidelity" so I default to at least getting all the keys on the piano as a minimum. Sure, I'll miss out on the cannons of the 1812 Overture, the contra instruments, the huge pipes on pipe organs and some electronic music but most of the time I'm set. For this reason, I don't even entertain the concept of a "subwoofer" that does not at least cover the piano--or consider a pair of speakers without subwoofers that don't cover the 88 keys.

Still, I find it odd when someone proclaims some sort of fidelity with the bottom octave missing. That is the octave that classical music hits, the same for pop music back in the 90's and music from this century has a ton of deep bass content. For PA systems, the systems become HUGE when you demand that it plays 25Hz--my back aches just to think about it. Most 18 inch PA subs don't do much if anything below around 32 Hz, at least the most common ones you'd pick up at the big box retailers. It is not tuned that high because music does not contain information below 32Hz, it is the sheer size, weight, cost and transportability factors limit deep bass extension for portable PA systems.

Classical music and pianos lived long, long before classic rock and will live much longer than classic rock--so I tend to peg systems to perform that music long term. Yes, the soundbar and sub I spec'd for an older lady does go down to 28Hz fairly cleanly--with a soundbar! She said she listened to classical so I told her that "Sub X covers the full 88 keys" and it made sense to her to go with the larger sub to cover the piano. Yes, she listens to a lot of music from the 60's and 70's (she is 73) but also listens to classical and musicals which contain bass information far lower than the classic rock. She did remark that the subwoofer is very active during some of the TV Shows and movies she watches--kind of scared her when she first heard it.

Just because you are strictly 2 channel with no subs does not eliminate the need to cover the bottom octave. Even back in the hey day of 2 channel--the 1970's--the very large speakers rolled down at least below 30Hz. I know the monster speakers of the 1980's before the Bose AM5 did it's damage would all go well into the 20's to be considered high fidelity. Although the subwoofer rolled out in 1968 and there were subwoofers available to consumers in the 70's, the Bose AM5 and subwoofers in cars really pushed that technology by the mid-80's. Yes, subwoofers became rather common 35 years ago!

So for real world with real people sound recommendations to family/friends etc. I tend to go with--if you want 2 channel, go with large towers that can cover the piano. If using small speakers/soundbars--go with subwoofers that at least cover the full range of a piano. That means 27.5Hz and most people understand a piano so a good standard. If you want HT, then here is the link to the Dolby site--give it a read and determine what you desire. This removes my OPINION from the equation, a piano is a piano and Dolby is Dolby--what I think does not matter. After all, for those of you that have family and friends can atest--once you give an opinion to them they will hold you to it for the rest of your life. ;) For this reason, I tend to avoid taking personal responsibility for whatever my family/friends/inlaws think is reality and default to the piano and Dolby.

After all--how can Ludwig Von be wrong? :D (Yeah, THAT movie) Just ponderings from this dark corner of the internet. :)
 

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I can listen and enjoy music with my focals that do a decent job down to 40hz...but kicking on my subs can make some songs totally change for the better. just depends...but if dont own subs that go down low...ignorance is bliss. and if dont listen to music that goes low...just saved a bunch of money.
 

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You need a better bass and/or strings.


I play in a wide variety of keys, so I need the low B string on my 5/6 string basses.
Precision and Jazz bass through out the years.
 
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