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Home Theater?

If one's prime interest is music then 2.0 reproduction is key and one might wish for 2 beauteous behemoth towers and then a bunch of cheap bookshelves and maybe a sub to allow use in a Dolby configuration.

If home theater is the prime reason--as it is for me--then towers are not the best investment. One should handle the low end with sub(s) that will provide the punch for special effects that no tower can. I prefer 2 asymmetric subs for best value, but one can start with one. (My big sub is from Power Sound Audio, but SVS also has good options in my opinion.)

I do not like bookshelves for the LCR speakers. I think one needs good speaker area for mid-range and a little bit of bass for the 3 most important home theater channels. I prefer on-the-wall speakers (or their mini-tower equivalents) for those. I would make sure they go down to 60Hz for smooth cross-over to the subs. (I use DefTech Mythos myself).

For all the surround/atmos speakers bookshelves or similarly small sized speakers work just great. Even if they roll off at 100Hz, it will be just fine. No need to spend much money on these. (I use Polk Audio mostly because I had them.)

Of course when you mix speakers, you need to have good EQ/room correction in your AVR to balance everything. There are several different systems out there depending on manufacturer. For me Anthem Room Correction has worked better than Audyssey, but there is lots of discussion on that topic.
 

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I used to be of the mindset that why should I buy a tower speaker when I can get the same or better performance out of a bookshelf and a sub. Now I am firmly in the camp of doing towers and subs with the towers set to small and crossed over at 80hz (sometimes I play around with the crossover just to see if I like it set to another value but typically always come back to 80hz). Now let me clarify this, as this is not the case in every room in my home. I do believe that the size of the room has a lot to do with this as well as how loud I listen to each setup. This in turn boils down to the amount of distortion that comes from the speaker. As we all know, the combination of how loud you listen as well as how low of a frequency you are demanding out of a given speaker, the more distortion will go up because that driver has to move more to reproduce either lower frequencies and/or higher frequencies at higher SPL. The more excursion a driver has, the more distortion goes up. Another thing that tends to get glossed over is that the crossovers utilized (be it in the AVR/pre pro, the speaker crossover network itself, or combination of the two) are not a brick wall for frequency reproduction. There is the specification of crossover slope which is measured in dB/oct (i.e. 6dB/oct, 12dB/oct, etc.). This means that even though my tower speakers are crossed over at 80Hz, they are still playing a significant amount of information well below that frequency. So if I am doing some spirited listening at say 95dB avg. with my crossover set at 80Hz and assuming it's a 12dB/oct slope, then I am still reproducing 40Hz information at about 78dB. This is just an example as there are other factors in play here but for simplicity sake let's roll with this. So you can have your bookshelf with your single 4", 5 1/4" or even a single 6 1/2" midrange driver, but push it to the spirited levels I mentioned and you are probably going to run into greatly increased distortion and potential excursion issues (depending on driver xmax) or even damage. I will keep my tower speakers with a dedicated 5 1/4" midrange driver and dual 6 1/2" midbass drivers with higher excursion capabilities and enjoy crystal clear sound loudly if so desired. :D Even crossed over at 80Hz, those 6 1/2" drivers are still dancing. The other benefit is that I am spreading the love over multiple drivers which helps reduce distortion significantly (as well as heat in the voice coil which is major).
This is a thoughtful post and for your situation I agree towers are probably necessary. What is missing from most peoples' analyses about bookshelf vs towers is their SPL requirements at the seating position and what crossover, if any, they will be using. I'm personally a bookshelf and dual subs guy but I wouldn't run a typical 80Hz crossover since they are mostly 2nd order as you said. I actually have an Emotiva processor, which allows for 4th order slopes, but I still use a 2nd order and bump it up to 100Hz because it measures and sounds better that way in my room. I also don't listen that loud, the loudest I go is about 75-85db which is ok for bookshelves. For someone who rocks out at 95db occasionally, I could see going towers. Also, I can see why most people think towers are easier to get good bass, because setting up your subs properly is actually very difficult and requires measurements and the ability to correct room problems. Towers are more plug and play in this regard, even though it's still important to correct for room issues.
 

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If one's prime interest is music then 2.0 reproduction is key and one might wish for 2 beauteous behemoth towers and then a bunch of cheap bookshelves and maybe a sub to allow use in a Dolby configuration.

If home theater is the prime reason--as it is for me--then towers are not the best investment. One should handle the low end with sub(s) that will provide the punch for special effects that no tower can. I prefer 2 asymmetric subs for best value, but one can start with one. (My big sub is from Power Sound Audio, but SVS also has good options in my opinion.)

I do not like bookshelves for the LCR speakers. I think one needs good speaker area for mid-range and a little bit of bass for the 3 most important home theater channels. I prefer on-the-wall speakers (or their mini-tower equivalents) for those. I would make sure they go down to 60Hz for smooth cross-over to the subs. (I use DefTech Mythos myself).

For all the surround/atmos speakers bookshelves or similarly small sized speakers work just great. Even if they roll off at 100Hz, it will be just fine. No need to spend much money on these. (I use Polk Audio mostly because I had them.)

Of course when you mix speakers, you need to have good EQ/room correction in your AVR to balance everything. There are several different systems out there depending on manufacturer. For me Anthem Room Correction has worked better than Audyssey, but there is lots of discussion on that topic.
Your quote stating subs can handle low-frequencies better than any tower speaker can is incorrect. Speakers such as JTR 215 speakers will trounce most mid-range subs and budget subs That includes the Powersound subs and Deftech subs you listed.
 

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Your quote stating subs can handle low-frequencies better than any tower speaker can is incorrect. Speakers such as JTR 215 speakers will trounce most mid-range subs and budget subs That includes the Powersound subs and Deftech subs you listed.
That's quite an extreme example to prove your point don't you think lol? 2 15's per Cab? I'm not even sure what the point of towers with 2 15's would be, considering you lose the benefits of optimal placement with them in your towers. The main benefit of subs isn't just that they outperform most other speakers in the bass department but that it allows you to tune the bass separate from the midbass and higher frequencies.
 

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Budgets matter

Your quote stating subs can handle low-frequencies better than any tower speaker can is incorrect. Speakers such as JTR 215 speakers will trounce most mid-range subs and budget subs That includes the Powersound subs and Deftech subs you listed.
Near as I can tell from the specs a $900 PSA sub has the same low end as those $7000 towers. So you are correct that they are not better in pure performance, but I believe you made my point in the price-performance metric. If one has at least $25K to spend on home theater speakers then go for reference towers. I didn't and I am guessing the original poster didn't either. I spent less than a quarter of that on a 7.2.4 setup with the same range. I probably have a lot less power than those towers can produce, but I have more than I need for the space I have.

If budgets matter then towers are not the way to go--and that was my point.
 

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If budgets matter then towers are not the way to go--and that was my point.
Yep, spending $3200 x 3 for that JTR front stage would be immediate grounds for divorce with my missus, before even considering their refrigerator-like 215 lbs size! :D :D :D
 
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Near as I can tell from the specs a $900 PSA sub has the same low end as those $7000 towers.
I don't think this is correct. At least not if you run full rated power (2kW each) to the JTR 215s and are talking about any of the PSA subs measured on data-bass. And it does not look like its really even close based on low-end burst, short term average, or long term average measurements. The 215s are a pretty unique animal and compete even with JTR's high end subs like the $3300 Captivator S2 (although the S2 comes with power/amplification and the 215s are passive and require huge amps to get to their full bass potential).

https://data-bass.com/systems

https://data-bass.com/data?page=systems&type=1

https://data-bass.com/data?page=systems&type=2
 

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That's quite an extreme example to prove your point don't you think lol? 2 15's per Cab? I'm not even sure what the point of towers with 2 15's would be, considering you lose the benefits of optimal placement with them in your towers. The main benefit of subs isn't just that they outperform most other speakers in the bass department but that it allows you to tune the bass separate from the midbass and higher frequencies.
I agree with most of this: the 215s are an extreme example and you do lose placement flexibility. But they are pretty freaking impressive nonetheless. :)
 

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Near as I can tell from the specs a $900 PSA sub has the same low end as those $7000 towers. So you are correct that they are not better in pure performance, but I believe you made my point in the price-performance metric. If one has at least $25K to spend on home theater speakers then go for reference towers. I didn't and I am guessing the original poster didn't either. I spent less than a quarter of that on a 7.2.4 setup with the same range. I probably have a lot less power than those towers can produce, but I have more than I need for the space I have.

If budgets matter then towers are not the way to go--and that was my point.
The PSA sub's low end performance is nowhere close to the performance of the JTR 215 speakers. As stated before in this thread, the bass output from the 215 from JTR can compete with the higher end subs from JTR.

And it does not take anywhere near $25,000 for a quality set of large front speakers. I don't know where you guys pull these exaggerated numbers to try to prove to yourself that you're not compromising performance with bookshelves and satellite speakers. Nothing wrong with doing what's best for you, but spreading misinformation is another thing.
 

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This is about surround

Th
And it does not take anywhere near $25,000 for a quality set of large front speakers. I don't know where you guys pull these exaggerated numbers to try to prove to yourself that you're not compromising performance with bookshelves and satellite speakers. Nothing wrong with doing what's best for you, but spreading misinformation is another thing.
As stated before this is for home theater. If those towers are $3500 each and one needs 7-11 of them it adds up quickly. Just using them for LCR is $10K and then you need you still need 4.1.4 worth of additional speakers to match.
 

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As stated before this is for home theater. If those towers are $3500 each and one needs 7-11 of them it adds up quickly. Just using them for LCR is $10K and then you need you still need 4.1.4 worth of additional speakers to match.
No one said anywhere that you have to have matching speakers around the room. As I stated before, you guys continue to create exaggerations and exaggerated situations to prove a point. There is a market for bookshelf speakers and satellite speakers. However, they are a compromised design. If the compromise fits your life situation then it's fine. But once again, you guys need to quit spreading misinformation to try to prove a point.
 

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The PSA sub's low end performance is nowhere close to the performance of the JTR 215 speakers. As stated before in this thread, the bass output from the 215 from JTR can compete with the higher end subs from JTR.



And it does not take anywhere near $25,000 for a quality set of large front speakers. I don't know where you guys pull these exaggerated numbers to try to prove to yourself that you're not compromising performance with bookshelves and satellite speakers. Nothing wrong with doing what's best for you, but spreading misinformation is another thing.


One downside to going that route is you can’t reposition your low end woofers in the room to get a more even bass response across seats without moving your tweeters too.
 

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No one said anywhere that you have to have matching speakers around the room. As I stated before, you guys continue to create exaggerations and exaggerated situations to prove a point.
And JTR 215's aren't an exaggeration of YOUR point?



There is a market for bookshelf speakers and satellite speakers. However, they are a compromised design.
This is JTR's version of a "bookshelf":

(2) 12" woofers, coaxial mid-tweeter in a wooden horn, handles 2,000 watts, puts out 134 dB. Is that a "compromised design"? Of course, it only goes to 60 Hz and requires the use of subwoofers(s) so it must be compromised. :rolleyes:


If the compromise fits your life situation then it's fine. But once again, you guys need to quit spreading misinformation to try to prove a point.
They're not spreading misinformation... you are. Bookshelf/LCR-type speakers PLUS subwoofers are not compromised designs. In fact, they have multiple benefits over towers, even if the towers have equivalent LF extension and output capabilities as the subwoofers.



In fact there are multiple advantages to LCR speakers PLUS subwoofers in "system design."

  • Subwoofers can be placed where they optimally interact with the room and listening position. Towers can only be placed where they need to be placed for the purposes of imaging and soundstage.
  • Subwoofers can be easily EQ'd separate from the speakers. Towers can be EQ'd individually, but that doesn't guarantee that their COMBINED response will still be the desired response.
  • Independent subwoofers have independent amplifiers. These amps can have hundreds to thousands of watts, far more than the amps that drive full range speakers.
  • Using Bass Management to re-direct the bass to the subwoofers free's up the main channel amps to apply ALL their wattage to just the HPF'd main channels and speakers. This allows the entire system to play back with more headroom and/or less distortion.
  • While you have certainly provided an example of a tower speaker with equivalent extension and output to a good subwoofer, the vast majority of towers don't come close to the deepest extension or highest output capabilities of even modest subwoofers. Even the example you gave would require extreme amplification to get to the output levels of of subwoofers with dedicated amplification.
  • Speakers designed for use with subs can be designed with higher sensitivity since they don't need to reproduce the deep bass.
Bottom line, LCR's, (bookshelf speakers), are not a "compromised design" when used appropriately with subwoofers. Give me a room and a budget and I can virtually always design a higher performance system with LCR's and subwoofers than with towers. Of course, one can use towers with subwoofers, but then you're paying for bass response that won't be needed or used. Why do that?


Craig
 
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And JTR 215's aren't an exaggeration of YOUR point?




This is JTR's version of a "bookshelf":

(2) 12" woofers, coaxial mid-tweeter in a wooden horn, handles 2,000 watts, puts out 134 dB. Is that a "compromised design"? Of course, it only goes to 60 Hz and requires the use of subwoofers(s) so it must be compromised. :rolleyes:



They're not spreading misinformation... you are. Bookshelf/LCR-type speakers PLUS subwoofers are not compromised designs. In fact, they have multiple benefits over towers, even if the towers have equivalent LF extension and output capabilities as the subwoofers.



In fact there are multiple advantages to LCR speakers PLUS subwoofers in "system design."

  • Subwoofers can be placed where they optimally interact with the room and listening position. Towers can only be placed where they need to be placed for the purposes of imaging and soundstage.
  • Subwoofers can be easily EQ'd separate from the speakers. Towers can be EQ'd individually, but that doesn't guarantee that their COMBINED response will still be the desired response.
  • Independent subwoofers have independent amplifiers. These amps can have hundreds to thousands of watts, far more than the amps that drive full range speakers.
  • Using Bass Management to re-direct the bass to the subwoofers free's up the main channel amps to apply ALL their wattage to just the HPF'd main channels and speakers. This allows the entire system to play back with more headroom and/or less distortion.
  • While you have certainly provided an example of a tower speaker with equivalent extension and output to a good subwoofer, the vast majority of towers don't come close to the deepest extension or highest output capabilities of even modest subwoofers. Even the example you gave would require extreme amplification to get to the output levels of of subwoofers with dedicated amplification.
  • Speakers designed for use with subs can be designed with higher sensitivity since they don't need to reproduce the deep bass.
Bottom line, LCR's, (bookshelf speakers), are not a "compromised design" when used appropriately with subwoofers. Give me a room and a budget and I can virtually always design a higher performance system with LCR's and subwoofers than with towers. Of course, one can use towers with subwoofers, but then you're paying for bass response that won't be needed or used. Why do that?


Craig
If you bothered to read the thread in its entirety instead of jumping in at the last minute you will clearly see the poster I responded to stated no tower speaker can match the low end output of a good subwoofer. He didn't say "some" tower speakers. He didn't say a "few" speakers. He said NO tower speaker. This is why I brought up the example of the JTR 215 speaker.

Bookshelf speakers are compromised designed with limited low end output. The compromise in most cases is that subwoofers will be necessary. You assume people have space for subwoofers scattered throughout a room when many people do not. Especially in today's society where purchasing a house is becoming less attainable for many people and cramped apartments/condos are becoming the norm.

Now having large speakers with the low end capabilities of the JTR 215 come with their own compromise which is room placement. But no one said you can't use JTR 215 speakers with dedicated subs placed around the room for best room response.

Thanks for your barebone explanation of bookshelf speakers and subs. It will be good for a noob but certainly not I.
 

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Bookshelf speakers are compromise designed with no low and in most cases in limited output. It is what it is. Now having large Maine's with woofers capabilities of the 215 come with their own compromise which is room placement. But no one said you can't use JTR 215 speakers with dedicated subs placed around the room for best room response.
Bookshelf speakers are capable of playing up to 90db or so no problem with bass management so towers aren't necessary unless you listen at levels that cause permanent hearing damage.
 

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Bookshelf speakers are capable of playing up to 90db or so no problem with bass management so towers aren't necessary unless you listen at levels that cause permanent hearing damage.
Try having bookshelf speakers which play up to 90db while watching movies with a large projector screen and let me know how enveloping the audio is.
 

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Try having bookshelf speakers which play up to 90db while watching movies with a large projector screen and let me know how enveloping the audio is.
Not sure what a large projector screen has to do with the audio but like I said earlier, I never listen at 90db. I still have as good of hearing as most children and I'd like to keep it that way. But if permanent hearing damage is your thing, all it takes for bookshelves to play cleanly at higher levels are slightly higher crossover points around 100-120Hz and they will play clean.
 

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If you bothered to read the thread in its entirety instead of jumping in at the last minute you will clearly see the poster I responded to stated no tower speaker can match the low end output of a good subwoofer. He didn't say "some" tower speakers. He didn't say a "few" speakers. He said NO tower speaker. This is why I brought up the example of the JTR 215 speaker.

Bookshelf speakers are compromised designed with limited low end output. The compromise in most cases is that subwoofers will be necessary. You assume people have space for subwoofers scattered throughout a room when many people do not. Especially in today's society where purchasing a house is becoming less attainable for many people and cramped apartments/condos are becoming the norm.
Yeah, subs won't be necessary with the JTR RT 215's, but a massive amount of floor space, as well as room volume, will be required. Of course, that works really well "in today's society where purchasing a house is becoming less attainable for many people and cramped apartments/condos are becoming the norm." :rolleyes:

Seriously, bookshelf/LCR's + subwoofers will almost always be a more efficient use of space than towers. That is a misguided argument, not to mention totally off-topic for this discussion. I thought we were discussing whether bookshelf/LCR's are a compromised design.


Now having large speakers with the low end capabilities of the JTR 215 come with their own compromise which is room placement. But no one said you can't use JTR 215 speakers with dedicated subs placed around the room for best room response.
See above x2.


Thanks for your barebone explanation of bookshelf speakers and subs. It will be good for a noob but certainly not I.
Your welcome for the education, but I didn't write it for you. I wrote it for those reading along, to contradict your claim that only towers can work for HT, and that Bookshelf/LCR + subwoofers is a compromised design. Clearly it is not, as any noob can see from reading my "barebone" explanation. :rolleyes:


Try having bookshelf speakers which play up to 90db while watching movies with a large projector screen and let me know how enveloping the audio is.
That JTR "bookshelf" speaker I posted earlier is actually an LCR speaker with ultra high sensitivity and ridiculous max SPL capability. Nonetheless, it is a compromised design because it requires subwoofers for "full range" response.


Bookshelf plus sub systems have never impressed me when it comes to midbass. There's normally a hole in the mid bass region with bookshelves or sloppy midbass from budget subs crossed over too high with bookshelves. And bookshelf speakers will never give you the wide, enveloping soundstage that large towers will give you for home theater. There's no getting around that.
A hole in the mid-bass is often corrected with an adjustment of the subwoofer Distance setting. Of course, I would have to provide another "barebones" explanation of that topic, and I really don't feel like it. However, if one is trying to use bookshelf speakers that don't have deep enough LF extension for use with an appropriate crossover frequency, that, in and of itself is a system design flaw. One always needs to use bookshelf/LCRs with adequate output to the crossover frequency or slightly below.


Try having bookshelf speakers which play up to 90db while watching movies with a large projector screen and let me know how enveloping the audio is.
Curious... what speakers do you own? Do you own subs? If so, how do you Bass Manage your system? What amps drive your speakers?

For reference, you can see my system in my signature.

Craig
 
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Yeah, subs won't be necessary with the JTR RT 215's, but a massive amount of floor space, as well as room volume, will be required. Of course, that works really well "in today's society where purchasing a house is becoming less attainable for many people and cramped apartments/condos are becoming the norm." :rolleyes:

Seriously, bookshelf/LCR's + subwoofers will almost always be a more efficient use of space than towers. That is a misguided argument, not to mention totally off-topic for this discussion. I thought we were discussing whether bookshelf/LCR's are a compromised design.



See above x2.



Your welcome for the education, but I didn't write it for you. I wrote it for those reading along, to contradict your claim that only towers can work for HT, and that Bookshelf/LCR + subwoofers is a compromised design. Clearly it is not, as any noob can see from reading my "barebone" explanation. :rolleyes:



That JTR "bookshelf" speaker I posted earlier is actually an LCR speaker with ultra high sensitivity and ridiculous max SPL capability. Nonetheless, it is a compromised design because it requires subwoofers for "full range" response.



A hole in the mid-bass is often corrected with an adjustment of the subwoofer Distance setting. Of course, I would have to provide another "barebones" explanation of that topic, and I really don't feel like it. However, if one is trying to use bookshelf speakers that don't have deep enough LF extension for use with an appropriate crossover frequency, that, in and of itself is a system design flaw. One always needs to use bookshelf/LCRs with adequate output to the crossover frequency or slightly below.



Curious... what speakers do you own? Do you own subs? If so, how do you Bass Manage your system? What amps drive your speakers?

For reference, you can see my system in my signature.

Craig
I've owned over 60 speaker setups. I won't bore you with all the particulars. I've also followed your posts for many years going back to the days when people were confusing you with CraigSub. So I'm well aware of your current setup and your previous setups.

If you want to confuse a JTR pro monitor with a bookshelf speaker then by all means do so. We both know the budget bookshelf speakers that people mention here do not have high output capability nor do they have very low frequency extension.

A bookshelf speaker with no low-frequency extension to speak of under 80 Hertz is a compromised design. It needs a subwoofer to complete the frequency response range. Speakers such as the JTR 215 speakers do not need a sub to complete the frequency response range down to 25 Hertz. That is not to say that the bass you get from them will be optimal in all locations in the room however the speakers themselves do not need an additional component to complete the frequency response range.

The JTR 215 speakers could be corner loaded or placed in a part of a room where their low end bass response could be maximized. If people choose not to do so based on aesthetics, soundstage, sweet spot, imaging,and other variables that is their personal choice. But that is not to say the design is not capable of playing from 20 khz down to 25 hz. It is only limited by the room placement and wishes of his owner.

No matter what you do with a bookshelf speaker that does not have low frequency output under 80 Hertz, no room or placement will fix that. It has no bottom end without a sub. This is a very definition of a compromise.

Calling a speaker a compromised design is not the same as calling a speaker a flawed design. Which goes back to my point which is some tower speakers are capable of playing the full spectrum range without needing help from other pieces of equipment. A bookshelf speaker is not capable of that hence it is a compromised designed and it needs other equipment to fulfill all of the sound spectrum range.
 
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