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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been given a 2000 dollar pot of cash to do whatever I want with by my fiancee. I want to upgrade my home theater speakers (fronts only). I have been looking and have noticed that many of the higher end speakers incorporate a powered sub in them.


For example Definitive Technology BP7002's . They have 1 12" sub powered by a 300 watt built in amp and 2 passive 12's as well. Another example are the Polk LSi25 (out of my price range) which has a built in 10" sub with a 150 watt woofer.


Here are my question(s):


1. Is it better to purchase speakers with a built in sub or purchase a set of speakers and add separate subs?


1a. If separates what sub(s) do you recommend?


2. Is anyone familiar with Definitive Technology speakers and if so what are your opinions on that model or any of their models.


3. What other speakers/manufactures should I look at?


Below is the equipment speakers and sub(s) would be driven by


Receiver: Intregra 5.9 (own currently)

Amplifier: Emotiva UPA-7 (purchasing sometime in the next year)
 

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The problem with built in subs is that many owners I have talked to also have a separate powered subwoofer. I was in your predicament not long ago and went with seperate speakers and sub. Why? I didn't think the powered sub in the tower would do it and figured I would get more out of my money concentrating on the R/L alone.

This subwoofer gets high praise. If you go to the subwoofer forum you can find a bunch of them that will perform really well. They were having issues with their amps, but that should be cleared up by now.


Fronts I would go listen. Definitive Techs are nice, but they are a very small sample of what is available. Hopefully you can get a demo pair to bring home for a few days if they allow.


I would check out: Paradigm, Klipsch, Polk, Infinity, Totem, Monitor Audio, Mirage, Energy, Rocket*, Swan*, etc. There are a ton of companies that make good speakers. all of them sound different and only you can choose as everyone hears different. Internet direct is a great way to find a speaker (couple companies listed above with *).


Good luck and enjoy the search!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbyrnes /forum/post/16978703


The problem with built in subs is that many owners I have talked to also have a separate powered subwoofer. I was in your predicament not long ago and went with seperate speakers and sub. Why? I didn't think the powered sub in the tower would do it and figured I would get more out of my money concentrating on the R/L alone.


Fronts I would go listen. Definitive Techs are nice, but they are a very small sample of what is available. Hopefully you can get a demo pair to bring home for a few days if they allow.


I would check out: Paradigm, Klipsch, Polk, Infinity, Totem, Monitor Audio, Mirage, Energy, Rocket*, Swan*, etc. There are a ton of companies that make good speakers. all of them sound different and only you can choose as everyone hears different. Internet direct is a great way to find a speaker (couple companies listed above with *).


Good luck and enjoy the search!

I do plan on going to listen to them. Best buy is going to start to carry them and I plan to listen to them side by side to some of the above mentioned brands. I also do have a seperate subwoofer already, however it is what I would consider a "entry" level sub. The rest of my equipment is listed below:


My current setup is as follows:


Receiver: Integra 5.9

Fronts: Polk Audio Monitor 60's

Center: Polk Audio CS1

Rears: Polk Audio R50's (also have Monitor 40's that I can switch out with)

Sub: Polk Audio PSW125


Below is a picture (not to scale of where everything is now). I am aware the R50 by the window isn't oriented correctly, however when it is you cannot get past the couch to go into the kitchen. Also my unit does not have the fireplace.

 

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What do you listen to more of in your room? Movies or music? If it's movies I'm a fan of klipsch. They still sound good with music, but you can do better. Klipsch is my pick though.


The problem I have with speakers with built in subs are placement options. Rarely is the best place for a subwoofer the exact same places as your main speakers. That's just one problem. Another problem is the sound, ie. you can get a better subwoofer that's made by a company that only makes subs that has more output/extension/sound quality.


A problem I have with the Def Tech speakers is their Bipolar setup. I think a bipolar/dipolar speaker for surrounds are fine, but this seems to take away from the real sound that is put out for music. Not a huge deal, but just seems to me that this is something extra that is more of a ear pleasing sound than an accurate sound. With that being said I have heard them before and they do sound good, but I think their praise comes from comparing to other speakers that don't have subs built in. Combine other speakers with good separate subwoofers and you will have comparable reviews.


For your money I would spend $1000 on your main speakers and the your other $1000 on building your own subwoofer(s). EP2500 amp that will give you an honest 2000 watts can be had for $300 or less new in box from many stores on the net. Combine that with a single Exodus Maelstrom 18 inch driver or 2 Elemental Designs 19Ov.2 18" drivers and you'll have a kicking system. The rest of the money is left over for building materials and you should still have a good bit of money left over.
 

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Sometimes when I place my front two Def. Tech. towers in just the right place for great sound-staging and depth, the bass is not there, (everything is in one cabinet),something to think about. Also, Polk and Def. Tech. are similar speakers,(might not be much of an upgrade). I would consider something like this...
http://www.monitoraudio.com GS-10 with matching stands MSRP $2000.00/PR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 /forum/post/16978919


Sometimes when I place my front two Def. Tech. towers in just the right place for great sound-staging and depth, the bass is not there, (everything is in one cabinet),something to think about. Also, Polk and Def. Tech. are similar speakers,(might not be much of an upgrade). I would consider something like this...
http://www.monitoraudio.com GS-10 with matching stands MSRP $2000.00/PR.

THat is the biggest problem with having subs tied to any main speakers, its simply a compromise and really a dumb design in the terms of audio science. Subwoofers need to be moved around the room to find the best in room response.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/16978989


THat is the biggest problem with having subs tied to any main speakers, its simply a compromise and really a dumb design in the terms of audio science. Subwoofers need to be moved around the room to find the best in room response.

It's an affordable alternative.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 /forum/post/16979231


It's an affordable alternative.

I never knew the price of them. There is always compromise but are the subs that good? I would think even the low priced popular sub options are build better then speakers boxes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonnash /forum/post/16978838


What do you listen to more of in your room? Movies or music? If it's movies I'm a fan of klipsch. They still sound good with music, but you can do better. Klipsch is my pick though.


The problem I have with speakers with built in subs are placement options. Rarely is the best place for a subwoofer the exact same places as your main speakers. That's just one problem. Another problem is the sound, ie. you can get a better subwoofer that's made by a company that only makes subs that has more output/extension/sound quality.


A problem I have with the Def Tech speakers is their Bipolar setup. I think a bipolar/dipolar speaker for surrounds are fine, but this seems to take away from the real sound that is put out for music. Not a huge deal, but just seems to me that this is something extra that is more of a ear pleasing sound than an accurate sound. With that being said I have heard them before and they do sound good, but I think their praise comes from comparing to other speakers that don't have subs built in. Combine other speakers with good separate subwoofers and you will have comparable reviews.

I honestly lack the skill to build a subwoofer. I would prefer to purchase one built for me to save the trouble. I realize I give up some options when I do this, however I have neither the tools nor access to them, to build anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 /forum/post/16978919


Sometimes when I place my front two Def. Tech. towers in just the right place for great sound-staging and depth, the bass is not there, (everything is in one cabinet),something to think about. Also, Polk and Def. Tech. are similar speakers,(might not be much of an upgrade). I would consider something like this...
http://www.monitoraudio.com GS-10 with matching stands MSRP $2000.00/PR.

Thats good to know. Overall though do you like the sound? I am not against augmenting them with a sub(s) if it is needed, but from what everyone seems to be telling me separates are the way to go.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/16979256


I never knew the price of them. There is always compromise but are the subs that good? I would think even the low priced popular sub options are build better then speakers boxes?

Well, I'll have to be careful because I own a pair of towers with the built in subs. With that said, I'm not sure that one could actually categorize them as "true subwoofers". The only setting on mine is a gain control on the rear panel. BTW, I do enjoy them, but as usual when the money is there, I'll be moving up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/16979950


I honestly lack the skill to build a subwoofer. I would prefer to purchase one built for me to save the trouble. I realize I give up some options when I do this, however I have neither the tools nor access to them, to build anything.




Thats good to know. Overall though do you like the sound? I am not against augmenting them with a sub(s) if it is needed, but from what everyone seems to be telling me separates are the way to go.

Yes, I like the sound.....but there is this wanting desire..bla...bla...bla....

If you like the Def.Tech. sound, they make towers without the built in subs.

Keep in mind, with the above powered subs, you need have speaker wire runs as well as a sub cable and the ac connection for the built in amp x 2 for your front two spkrs. Lots of wires to dream about
.

A more simpler set up would be a separate sub plugged into ac and the LFE cable, and std. spkr. wire ran to each spkr..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 /forum/post/16980805


Keep in mind, with the above powered subs, you need have speaker wire runs as well as a sub cable and the ac connection for the built in amp x 2 for your front two spkrs. Lots of wires to dream about
.

A more simpler set up would be a separate sub plugged into ac and the LFE cable, and std. spkr. wire ran to each spkr..


Quite a good point and one I had not yet considered. hmmmm....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/16981562


Quite a good point and one I had not yet considered. hmmmm....

.......power conditioner on the list...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 /forum/post/16981709


.......power conditioner on the list...

Why would you want a power conditioner unless you live in on a farm and have crappy power delivery?


To the OP,


I don't think you answered what you plan on using these speakers for. If it's for 2-channel stereo listening you may be better off with nice towers... but for $2k... I don't know. Plan on bi-amping/tri-amping those puppies, unless they have built in amplifiers. The lower you go in frequency the more power you need.


If you want serious bass that goes very low in the Hz range, you're pretty much forced to go separates given your budget. If this is for a 5+ channel setup, you'd want to go separates, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ///3oris /forum/post/16981784


Why would you want a power conditioner unless you live in on a farm and have crappy power delivery?


To the OP,


I don't think you answered what you plan on using these speakers for. If it's for 2-channel stereo listening you may be better off with nice towers... but for $2k... I don't know. Plan on bi-amping/tri-amping those puppies, unless they have built in amplifiers.


If you want serious bass that goes very low in the Hz range, you're pretty much forced to go separates given your budget. If this is for a 5+ channel setup, you'd want to go separates, etc.

These will be used almost entirely for Movies and TV (from HD cable box). The subs in the BP7002 are powered by built in amps (300 watts each), so I would only need to power the other speakers (still a tall order).


In really looking at this I think I may have decided to step back and purchase seperates. I currently (as shown above) have an all Polk setup. I might just purchase a set of Polk RTi A9's and upgrade slowly to a 7.1 system based on it.


In pricing out a full 7.1 setup from Polks RTi A9 recommended systems (adding another set of the recommended surrounds) nets me a 4,000 dollar system. Doing the same for the Definitives net me a 7900 dollar setup.


Of the two I think the more palattable one long term (both for me and the fiancee) is the Polk and as I already have their stuff and have listened to the A9's I think that getting them and then a seperate sub (either the recommended DSW 600 or something from another manufacture) is my best bet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///3oris /forum/post/16981784


Why would you want a power conditioner unless you live in on a farm and have crappy power delivery?


To the OP,


I don't think you answered what you plan on using these speakers for. If it's for 2-channel stereo listening you may be better off with nice towers... but for $2k... I don't know. Plan on bi-amping/tri-amping those puppies, unless they have built in amplifiers. The lower you go in frequency the more power you need.


If you want serious bass that goes very low in the Hz range, you're pretty much forced to go separates given your budget. If this is for a 5+ channel setup, you'd want to go separates, etc.

Perhaps you overlooked post #1 and post #11
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am reconsidering the LSi 15's as they have passive sub's built in. Besides being harder to drive (due to the amount of speakers) would they sound better than the RTi A9's? I have done some checking and there are no local dealers that sell the LSi series (besides Fry's and they dont have the Floorstanding models).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/17035418


I am reconsidering the LSi 15's as they have passive sub's built in. Besides being harder to drive (due to the amount of speakers) would they sound better than the RTi A9's? I have done some checking and there are no local dealers that sell the LSi series (besides Fry's and they dont have the Floorstanding models).

The RTI-A9 is an 8 ohm speaker with 90 DB sensitivity (easy to drive). The other speaker is 4 ohms, with 88 DB sensitivity, (harder to drive). Just make sure your receiver will drive the 4 ohm speaker, if that's the one you choose.

Also keep in mind that if you use a separate subwoofer, you will most likely set the crossovers to around 80HZ, and use the small speaker setting for the front and rear speakers, (the recommended way).

So, if you are going to do a 5.1 set up with a separate subwoofer, the question is, do you need the tower, or would a nicer stand mounted speaker work better for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 /forum/post/17036751


The RTI-A9 is an 8 ohm speaker with 90 DB sensitivity (easy to drive). The other speaker is 4 ohms, with 88 DB sensitivity, (harder to drive). Just make sure your receiver will drive the 4 ohm speaker, if that's the one you choose.

Also keep in mind that if you use a separate subwoofer, you will most likely set the crossovers to around 80HZ, and use the small speaker setting for the front and rear speakers, (the recommended way).

So, if you are going to do a 5.1 set up with a separate subwoofer, the question is, do you need the tower, or would a nicer stand mounted speaker work better for you?

I believe it will drive 6 ohm max for the North American models, 4 ohm would be for the European models of the reciever. I am honestly back and forth on this. I like the idea of passive woofers, but I cannot hear the sets side by side to see what the sound differences are.


The RTi A9's would as you say be much easier to drive, and I plan on purchasing a really really nice sub seperate, so I guess the question becomes, are 3 7" woofers better than 1 8" woofer?
 

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I had a full Def Tech setup 3-4 years ago. They were the 2006tl, 2300clr and BP2x surrounds. I found in my room it was very difficult to get subs to work well and found with music the Bipolar design was not very accurate. I went with Rocket 750s with the Rocket RSC200 center and found them to be a much more accurate speaker for both HT and music.


I feel that speakers with built in subs are very limited for placement options and even then you might not get the best SQ. I believe as well that the sub or subs should be seperate from the R&L speakers not only in SQ benefits but for placement as well.


Bill
 
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