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Emotiva T-Zeroes
* 4 ohm impedance
* rear bass ported, so must place at least 18" from any wall
* sensitivity of only 87 dB (combined with 4 ohm impedance, playing these loud will heat up your amp.)
* frequency response of 48 Hz to 28 kHz, not really impressive bass response for a tower speaker
* weigh 39 lbs. each, seem kind of light compared to other towers.
Only if running full range w/o a sub, AND while playing at +80db levels. Neither applies to the OP.
 

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No they won't. They simply can't move enough air from midbass up with a small, low Xmax driver. SPL is determined by the volume of air moved and dynamics has much more to do with above midbass than a sub.
What size driver do you consider to be small? 5 inch? 6 inch? 8 inch?
 

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* rear bass ported, so must place at least 18" from any wall
Not even remotely true. Rear ported speakers only need to be a port diameter or more from the wall for the close proximity to have no effect. So, maybe 3"+.

What size driver do you consider to be small? 5 inch? 6 inch? 8 inch?
In what application? Midbass? If so, what's the rest of the speaker consist of?
 

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Well, I tried asking this yesterday and made the mistake of asking about surround speakers instead of saying the left and right speakers that sit on either side of the center channel speaker. So here I am asking again. Does the size of the towers that I choose make a difference if it's purely for a 5.1.2 that will be used 100% for Movies and Games? I'm trying to go with Elac Debut 2.0 (although many have recommended a different sub which is another topic and something I need to research now - suggestions are helpful though if you have any!) But, I'm wondering if it would be ok if I went with the smaller DF52's instead of the bigger DF62's?

I've also heard many people like to use bookshelfs instead of towers but can a smaller bookshelf speaker really be better than a bigger floorstanding or tower speaker for Home Theater use?

Any recommendations on speakers would be greatly appreciated as well. I'm looking at trying to stick around the price of the Elac Debut 2.0 series speakers. I've also been looking at Emotiva speakers...mostly because the C2+ center speaker is huge and looks promising! So any suggestions help! Thanks in advance!
For those demanding theater level dynamics in a larger room with a fair distance from the speakers size indeed does matter.

For most home environments where you are sitting 10-15 feet away and want volume levels that are quite loud, loud enough that you are worried what your neighbors might think but not theater levels of volume options are wider.

My first 5.1 system was in the mid 80s anchored by a then state of the art 15" sealed servo subwoofer, 2 way bookshelves with 6" woofers were plenty.

I think the center was a 2 say with a 5.25" main driver; it was a powered NAD bookshelf laid on its side.

In that same room today, which is my secondary room, I'm doing 3.2 with 5.25" 2 say bookshelves and a dual 4" center with two small 8" subs and at 10 feet it gets louder than I need it to.

In my main room at 15 feet 2 way towers with a single 7" main driver, center has dual 7" main drivers, crossed over to a 15" sealed servo sub and it again gets louder than I need.

In decades of having folks watch movies with us never once has there been a request for more volume the speakers couldn't fulfill.

Would an Elac Debut or Emotiva system with a good subwoofer in the mix satisfy your need?

If you are in the second group, which most of us in this section of AVS seem to be with a few exceptions, then yes.

Keep in mind that 2/3 of folks out there are satisfied with a puny sound bar if not the TV speakers themselves.

In my case I have the money to buy more expensive speakers, but don't bother as I'm happy with what I have and larger cabinets simply would not fit my room size here in the SF Bay Area.
 

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In what application? Midbass? If so, what's the rest of the speaker consist of?
By the way, what frequency range is "midbass" considered to be? 200 Hz to 500 Hz? What driver size do you consider small and what do you consider appropriate if your goal is to have excellent midbass response (but in reality you are crossing over the speakers at 80 Hz so I guess that means good response even below midbass)? As for the rest of the speaker, consider that it is a 2-way design (tweeter + woofer). Does the tweeter "design" (i.e. soft dome, compression driver, ribbon, etc.) make a difference in midbass?
 

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I was faced with this dilemma when I first started to get back into this. I received some advice from crutchfield on my first purchase. I was contemplating floorstanders and the Klipsch RP-600 with stands to start as a 2.0. I know I’m at least adding a subwoofer and probably more. Based on advice I was given and deducted on my own for a 50-50 Ht-Music if you know you’re adding subwoofers why buy the floorstanders ? Isn’t it wasting some of the purchase price considering the 1 or 2 woofers in the floorstanders and crossover settings ? Am I wrong with that assumption? I already considered if a I am by the way the RP-600 become surround sound speakers and I will add the floorstanders !
 

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I was faced with this dilemma when I first started to get back into this. I received some advice from crutchfield on my first purchase. I was contemplating floorstanders and the Klipsch RP-600 with stands to start as a 2.0. I know I’m at least adding a subwoofer and probably more. Based on advice I was given and deducted on my own for a 50-50 Ht-Music if you know you’re adding subwoofers why buy the floorstanders ? Isn’t it wasting some of the purchase price considering the 1 or 2 woofers in the floorstanders and crossover settings ? Am I wrong with that assumption? I already considered if a I am by the way the RP-600 become surround sound speakers and I will add the floorstanders !
If you have children or animals that could potentially knock a speaker off of a stand then towers are safer. I prefer the look of a tower personally because it's a uniform size in its entirety instead of a small stand with a potentially large box on top.

Edit: also if your setup is near a walkway with a lot of traffic then there is potential to bump them accidentally. I have done this to my towers more times than I can recall. Just not paying attention I suppose.
 

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I was faced with this dilemma when I first started to get back into this. I received some advice from crutchfield on my first purchase. I was contemplating floorstanders and the Klipsch RP-600 with stands to start as a 2.0. I know I’m at least adding a subwoofer and probably more. Based on advice I was given and deducted on my own for a 50-50 Ht-Music if you know you’re adding subwoofers why buy the floorstanders ? Isn’t it wasting some of the purchase price considering the 1 or 2 woofers in the floorstanders and crossover settings ? Am I wrong with that assumption? I already considered if a I am by the way the RP-600 become surround sound speakers and I will add the floorstanders !
No, you are way ahead of the game. People adding towers as a cherry-on-top extra last step in order to afford getting a solid sub and center with bookshelves at first is the smart way to go. There is a good chance that you'll be so happy with the bookshelves up front that you might decide to simply add another pair for surrounds later on.

Cheaping out on the sub and overspending on superfluous towers (and/or the receiver) is an all too common newbie mistake.
 

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Small bookshelf speakers with a single 5" or 6" driver are not adequate for theater dynamics in any typical room. Period. Even when high-passed at 80 Hz, the speaker is still asked to produce significant energy at 60-80 Hz, and of course, all of the energy above that point. You need multiple 5" or 6" drivers in a larger cabinet to provide adequate output in the mid-bass, unless you are listening nearfield. Now of course, some people do not listen to music or movies loudly enough that this becomes an issue. Or they run a much higher cross-over to minimize the problem. But to pretend a single 5" or 6" driver can play anywhere near reference level in typical conditions is just silly.

Not sure why several posters mentioned "bookshelf + sub > tower". That's irrelevant. This is home theater question, a sub is mandatory. The relevant equation is "tower + sub > bookshelf + sub"
 

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By the way, what frequency range is "midbass" considered to be? 200 Hz to 500 Hz?
It depends which subforum you're on. :)

In the DIY subforum where they're building a lot of low tuned monster subs, it starts lower. For everybody else, it's probably around from the high-pass point to 250ish Hz.

We all have different expectations and needs, but A9X-308's points hold.

If the OP is in the "everybody else" category, which it sounds like from the information provided, then the Emotiva towers are a great choice.
 

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By the way, what frequency range is "midbass" considered to be? 200 Hz to 500 Hz?
Above sub, so 60-80Hz to 300Hz or so.



What driver size do you consider small and what do you consider appropriate if your goal is to have excellent midbass response (but in reality you are crossing over the speakers at 80 Hz so I guess that means good response even below midbass)?
In a midbass? A 10 is the smallest I'd really countenance but it depends on the specific driver.
FWIW, my last LR build had a pair of 15's each, and my surrounds 1 each. All are 3 way active. After the move, they'll be rebuilt differently as I have more room and don't need to compromise as much.



As for the rest of the speaker, consider that it is a 2-way design (tweeter + woofer). Does the tweeter "design" (i.e. soft dome, compression driver, ribbon, etc.) make a difference in midbass?
I've never heard a 2 way I consider great, but one of the 10/12" EWave designs with a SEOS12 or JBL330088 WG or one of the clones and a good CD would be closest to my goals. I did hear a TD15M + QSC WG +Beyma CP380M locally from another AVS member that was really good, but I wouldn't have swapped my Unitys for it.
Domes don't cut it at all for me, so a CD/WG is best, as is a large AMT like the Beyma TPL150H. Ribbons can be good, but typically have too wide a H dispersion and limited ability to play low enough without misbehaving.



In a 2 way the HF choice can be significant as as a designer you'd need to decide if off axis performance is important (it is to me, very much so) so that would affect the choice of MB driver as part of the design iteration. As would baffle width etc.
 

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Small bookshelf speakers with a single 5" or 6" driver are not adequate for theater dynamics in any typical room. Period. Even when high-passed at 80 Hz, the speaker is still asked to produce significant energy at 60-80 Hz, and of course, all of the energy above that point. You need multiple 5" or 6" drivers in a larger cabinet to provide adequate output in the mid-bass, unless you are listening nearfield. Now of course, some people do not listen to music or movies loudly enough that this becomes an issue. Or they run a much higher cross-over to minimize the problem. But to pretend a single 5" or 6" driver can play anywhere near reference level in typical conditions is just silly.

Not sure why several posters mentioned "bookshelf + sub > tower". That's irrelevant. This is home theater question, a sub is mandatory. The relevant equation is "tower + sub > bookshelf + sub"
Quoted for truth.
 
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Three-way tower speakers with more speaker surface area can move more air than a two-way bookshelf speaker. Therefore they can move more air. Therefore they can play louder and be felt more than a two-way bookshelf speaker. It's just that simple. Having a subwoofer should be a given.
 

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If the OP is in the "everybody else" category, which it sounds like from the information provided, then the Emotiva towers are a great choice.
Exactly.
 

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Small bookshelf speakers with a single 5" or 6" driver are not adequate for theater dynamics in any typical room. Period. Even when high-passed at 80 Hz, the speaker is still asked to produce significant energy at 60-80 Hz, and of course, all of the energy above that point. You need multiple 5" or 6" drivers in a larger cabinet to provide adequate output in the mid-bass, unless you are listening nearfield. Now of course, some people do not listen to music or movies loudly enough that this becomes an issue. Or they run a much higher cross-over to minimize the problem. But to pretend a single 5" or 6" driver can play anywhere near reference level in typical conditions is just silly.

Not sure why several posters mentioned "bookshelf + sub > tower". That's irrelevant. This is home theater question, a sub is mandatory. The relevant equation is "tower + sub > bookshelf + sub"

I keep seeing this posted. I have tried to find some REW SPL sweeps of bookshelves vs towers to prove this point but have been unsuccessful. Do you happen to have any data you can link that shows this to be true? I can see why some would believe that but in my limited testing with bookshelves, discrete subwoofer and crossover settings between 80 and 100Hz, I can't perceive any difference.
 

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I can't perceive any difference.
Then let THAT be your final arbiter.

Not what some alleged "experts" and academic theories claim---especially considering wildly varying listening habits as well as age-related hearing loss.
 

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I keep seeing this posted. I have tried to find some REW SPL sweeps of bookshelves vs towers to prove this point but have been unsuccessful. Do you happen to have any data you can link that shows this to be true? I can see why some would believe that but in my limited testing with bookshelves, discrete subwoofer and crossover settings between 80 and 100Hz, I can't perceive any difference.
Perceive any difference between what exactly? How loudly you can play?

Are you honestly going to claim that a single 6" driver in a small cabinet has the same output as two or three 6" drivers in a larger cabinet? Two adjacent drivers playing the same signal is +6 dB in SPL capability. Even if you don't need the ultimate SPL capability, the multi-driver tower will have lower distortion at the same output level. Not to mention, in a true 3-way, you will have lower IMD distortion since the midrange driver isn't playing 80 Hz at loud levels.

As I said above, if you don't listen very loudly or have short setbacks to the listening position, or only watch rom-coms, a good 2-way bookshelf could be perfectly fine.

Edited for clarity
 
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