AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I was wondering if full tower speakers were always superior to say bookshelf speakers or their smaller counterparts? I'm asking because I would love to have full tower speakers but I believe my room is not accommodating enough for them to be positioned in any way right unless they were mounted on the wall



I also heard that side speakers are generally supposed to be a few feet above the fronts. Is this true? If so having all 5 (in my case) speakers at the same level not work at that well?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
30,880 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojita /forum/post/16849770


Hello,


I was wondering if full tower speakers were always superior to say bookshelf speakers or their smaller counterparts? I'm asking because I would love to have full tower speakers but I believe my room is not accommodating enough for them to be positioned in any way right unless they were mounted on the wall

Why would you want to do that? Every speaker is designed for a particular setup and that ain't appropriate for any floor-stander that I know of.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok looks like I might get some Jamo Towers and move the TV and everything to the basement. Makes more sense really (more room for everything). Would you recommend towers for all of the satellites or should book shelfs be used for rears in a 5.1 setup?


Anyone have the answer for this part of my first post?

I also heard that side speakers are generally supposed to be a few feet above the fronts. Is this true? If so having all 5 (in my case) speakers at the same level not work at that well?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,249 Posts
There is ideal set up and then compromises we make to get it to work in our homes. Ideally 5 identical speakers is the best but not practical for most. The sound all the speakers should be similar for all speakers and this easiest to do by buying the same brand and line as the fronts but does not have to be the same speakers. For my system I run enery RC70 towers in front but could not afford ($1250 each) or have space for these all around so bought rc series for the rest including bookself for surround that have the same construction and sound as the fronts. I find that surround speakers (book shelf) sound best at just above ear level. With towers the speakers are set high in the box and should be fine. I have a pair of towers behind my couch for 7.1 that I raised 8 inches to clear my back rest better.


As for as tower to book shelf it really depends. I prefer good towers but would rather have good book shelf than bad towers. Also the price points are different. High end book shelf can be had for ~500 but $500 does not get you close to the quality in a tower. Most book shelf would benifit from a sub for the real low end stuff.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
981 Posts
When crossed over to a sub I couldn't tell my B&W 685's where bookshelf speakers over my 683 towers. The 685's sound so good that I was contemplating going for them for every single channel and dropping the towers. The main difference I could tell was in the FST mids that the 685 lacked (considering I was crossing over to a sub) so I stuck with the towers because of the noticeably better midrange driver.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
3-way towers should do better at high volume levels, because in a sub-sat setup the satellite still has to handle the upper bass and some of the middle bass with a little 6.5" woofer which is also handling the midrange.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojita /forum/post/16872464


Anyone have the answer for this part of my first post?

I also heard that side speakers are generally supposed to be a few feet above the fronts. Is this true? If so having all 5 (in my case) speakers at the same level not work at that well?

Honestly, this is a very minor point. With room correction being standard in even the most entry level AV receivers today, speaker placement is not as important as it used to be in the past. The only thing you have to be careful of is to review the speaker level settings after the auto setup has been run. If you see a speaker being maxed out (usually a +10 or -10 setting), it is commonly a symptom of the speaker being placed in a null. A null is a location in your room where sound over a certain range is absorbed almost completely by the room. If none of the speakers are maxed, you're good to go. If one is, consider moving the speaker or the listening position.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,723 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by cansp6 /forum/post/16902765


Honestly, this is a very minor point. With room correction being standard in even the most entry level AV receivers today, speaker placement is not as important as it used to be in the past. The only thing you have to be careful of is to review the speaker level settings after the auto setup has been run. If you see a speaker being maxed out (usually a +10 or -10 setting), it is commonly a symptom of the speaker being placed in a null. A null is a location in your room where sound over a certain range is absorbed almost completely by the room. If none of the speakers are maxed, you're good to go. If one is, consider moving the speaker or the listening position.

Even with the room correction features, some things still cannot be compensated for, such as the size of the room being much too large for the speakers, or the fact that the speakers have a poor Frequency response, or that the room is too resonant.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs /forum/post/16902922


Even with the room correction features, some things still cannot be compensated for, such as the size of the room being much too large for the speakers, or the fact that the speakers have a poor Frequency response, or that the room is too resonant.

I'm sorry, but how does speaker placement compensate and/or affect any of those things? My response was to the speaker placement question from the OP.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,505 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryCowboy /forum/post/16872923


There is ideal set up and then compromises we make to get it to work in our homes. Ideally 5 identical speakers is the best but not practical for most. The sound all the speakers should be similar for all speakers and this easiest to do by buying the same brand and line as the fronts but does not have to be the same speakers. For my system I run enery RC70 towers in front but could not afford ($1250 each) or have space for these all around so bought rc series for the rest including bookself for surround that have the same construction and sound as the fronts. I find that surround speakers (book shelf) sound best at just above ear level. With towers the speakers are set high in the box and should be fine. I have a pair of towers behind my couch for 7.1 that I raised 8 inches to clear my back rest better.


As for as tower to book shelf it really depends. I prefer good towers but would rather have good book shelf than bad towers. Also the price points are different. High end book shelf can be had for ~500 but $500 does not get you close to the quality in a tower. Most book shelf would benifit from a sub for the real low end stuff.

So you can get better quality with towers, but dollar for dollar (up to good / great Towers) the book shelf speakers are more worth it -- is that what I should take away from your post?


So if that is the case how do one find that spot where the money are better spent on a Tower / the point where to buy book shelf speakers


Thanks!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
I believe that for a similar price range, towers will outperform bookshelves, not only for bass extension, but spacial quality as well. I've recently been listening to bookshelves to buy a set for my bedroom office since there is no room for towers. One night I decided to pop in the CD I've been using for shopping and crank it in my living room and it sounded much better on my 24 year old towers (DCM QED 1A, $400 closeouts which were MSRP at $800 back then) than any of the high end bookshelves I've been listening to including $1599 Vienna Accoustics, $650 B&W 685, $500 Definitive Technology 350, or Klipsch. My towers had a live quality and much wider sound stage and clarity that just couldn't be duplicated by the limited enclosure of a bookshelf. Cranking the towers to reference levels just made me appreciate them more (and validate my hesitation to replace them with a 5 channel setup for years now) while doing the same with bookshelves had more of a harder sound, not quite as pleasant. And my towers are only 2-way ported with 8" woofers, not some monolithic 3-way with multiple drivers composed of exotic material. I think physics just make it too hard for a 1 foot tall bookshelf to generate the same sound field that a 3 feet tall tower can.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
So buy two more pairs used (saw some on craigsklist for $150 a pair) and build a 6.1 system from that.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojita /forum/post/16849770


Hello,


I was wondering if full tower speakers were always superior to say bookshelf speakers or their smaller counterparts? I'm asking because I would love to have full tower speakers but I believe my room is not accommodating enough for them to be positioned in any way right unless they were mounted on the wall



I also heard that side speakers are generally supposed to be a few feet above the fronts. Is this true? If so having all 5 (in my case) speakers at the same level not work at that well?

the simple answer: #1-NO, towers are NOT always superior.


#2-NO, side speakers should not be placed

a few feet above the fronts. In fact they

should be placed to the same level as your ears.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,297 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojita /forum/post/16849770


Hello,


I was wondering if full tower speakers were always superior to say bookshelf speakers or their smaller counterparts? I'm asking because I would love to have full tower speakers but I believe my room is not accommodating enough for them to be positioned in any way right unless they were mounted on the wall



I also heard that side speakers are generally supposed to be a few feet above the fronts. Is this true? If so having all 5 (in my case) speakers at the same level not work at that well?

Are you talking about towers with built in separate subs, that would hook up separately from the the rest of the speakers within the cabinet? Are you planing to use a separate subwoofer? IME, the subs built into towers, (I have Definitive Technology 2002TL) are not true subwoofers/ they only have a gain control setting vs. the many control settings on the rear of separate ones.

As for the side surrounds, some people get good results at ear level if they have the space to accommodate them. I enjoy lots of DVD concerts and most of the info in the side surrounds is ambient noise, audience noise etc..For that reason, I like the surrounds placed 2 to 3 feet above ear level. The speakers "get out of the way", "disappear", which results in a convincing listening experience for me. I've heard convincing surrounds at ear level, but they were 10 or 12 feet away. Most of us simply don't have the room for all of the gear, speakers and entertainment cabinets, not to mention the WAF.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,297 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by budkole /forum/post/17008304


the simple answer: #1-NO, towers are NOT always superior.


#2-NO, side speakers should not be placed

a few feet above the fronts. In fact they

should be placed to the same level as your ears.

Why do many surround manuals suggest high placement?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,297 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter /forum/post/17004807


I believe that for a similar price range, towers will outperform bookshelves, not only for bass extension, but spacial quality as well. I've recently been listening to bookshelves to buy a set for my bedroom office since there is no room for towers. One night I decided to pop in the CD I've been using for shopping and crank it in my living room and it sounded much better on my 24 year old towers (DCM QED 1A, $400 closeouts which were MSRP at $800 back then) than any of the high end bookshelves I've been listening to including $1599 Vienna Accoustics, $650 B&W 685, $500 Definitive Technology 350, or Klipsch. My towers had a live quality and much wider sound stage and clarity that just couldn't be duplicated by the limited enclosure of a bookshelf. Cranking the towers to reference levels just made me appreciate them more (and validate my hesitation to replace them with a 5 channel setup for years now) while doing the same with bookshelves had more of a harder sound, not quite as pleasant. And my towers are only 2-way ported with 8" woofers, not some monolithic 3-way with multiple drivers composed of exotic material. I think physics just make it too hard for a 1 foot tall bookshelf to generate the same sound field that a 3 feet tall tower can.

My tower spkrs are simply mids and tweeters positioned on top of 12" woofers, all in one cabinet. The mids and tweeters could do the same job placed on stands. You can't compare the sound of towers to bookshelves without assuming that you're going to use a subwoofer with the bookshelves. Many of the finer bookshelves are capable of reaching over 100 DB. A recent look at a "monitor silver or gold" bookshelf indicated 112 DB,If I'm not mistaken.

Monitor gold GS10 108 DBA
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,637 Posts
 Here is what Dolby says . Ideally you want all of your speakers at the same level. If this is not possible (which happens to most) you want to aim the speaker at the listener.


I am a tower guy. I am big on 2.0 music. I have small bookshelves for a second room and they do a fine job, but they are not towers. If you buy good bookshelves that can go to 50hz or so, they can sound good being crossed to a sub. Many satellites can barely hit 80hz and I always find a null in the sound when crossed to a sub. If you select your bookshelves (45hz-50hz) and sub (sub forum) carefully, they can sound as good and/or better since most subs can go far deeper than a tower.


Many believe every speaker under $5,000 is a compromised design where a speaker has "flaws". Almost all speakers have compromises to attain a certain sound, no matter the price. If bookshelves were so bad sonically, high end manufacturers wouldn't make them right? The Revel Gem 2 bookshelves are $10,000! It really comes down to taste and what a speaker sounds to you.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter /forum/post/17004807


I believe that for a similar price range, towers will outperform bookshelves, not only for bass extension, but spacial quality as well. I've recently been listening to bookshelves to buy a set for my bedroom office since there is no room for towers. One night I decided to pop in the CD I've been using for shopping and crank it in my living room and it sounded much better on my 24 year old towers (DCM QED 1A, $400 closeouts which were MSRP at $800 back then) than any of the high end bookshelves I've been listening to including $1599 Vienna Accoustics, $650 B&W 685, $500 Definitive Technology 350, or Klipsch. My towers had a live quality and much wider sound stage and clarity that just couldn't be duplicated by the limited enclosure of a bookshelf. Cranking the towers to reference levels just made me appreciate them more (and validate my hesitation to replace them with a 5 channel setup for years now) while doing the same with bookshelves had more of a harder sound, not quite as pleasant. And my towers are only 2-way ported with 8" woofers, not some monolithic 3-way with multiple drivers composed of exotic material. I think physics just make it too hard for a 1 foot tall bookshelf to generate the same sound field that a 3 feet tall tower can.

I am a tower guy myself, but I think that because your towers are older DCM, they speak for themself.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top