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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Greetings everybody! Long time lurker, first time poster. Long story short, I would very much appreciate advice on 1) towers vs bookshelf and 2) some personal favorite brands and 3) help on setting this room up for optimal listening pleasure. 

 

Currently I'm looking at purchasing the SVS Ultra Towers and Center and running a simple 3.0 setup, possibly adding a .1 to the equation. All I have currently is a Sony soundbar which has done well, but I am looking at moving on. This will be my first set-up so if you have any suggestions that would be fantastic.

 

Below you will see a rough 3d sketch I did of my living room area. Currently it has tile floors and no room treatments. I have also included the actual layout of the home for reference. 

 

 



 

I generally watch 80% TV/movies and 20% music. I have reviewed (but not listened too) Paradigm and Ascent which I have not ruled out, but am leaning towards SVS due to their look and reputation. I am planning on purchasing the Denon X4000 for XT32 and for the future capabilities of adding surround sound and exterior speakers plus eventually utilizing the 3rd zone for bathroom speakers but am open to a pre/pro route.

 

My currently budget is around 4k for everything. Any advice on this endeavor would be GREATLY appreciated as I am still very very much a beginner.
 

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Floor standers have exactly one advantage over book shelves, and that's better low frequency response. That advantage disappears if you have subs, because then the floor standers aren't working in the lows anyway.

As to whether floor standers without subs are preferable to bookshelves with subs, the simple answer is no. In terms of low frequency extension and output the average floor stander falls well short of the average sub. So short that for serious HT use most floor stander users have to use subs anyway. More important is the issue of placement. For best results sources that operate above 100Hz and those that operate below 100H, ie., mains versus subs, will almost never work best sharing the same foot print. With floor standers putting the high and low frequency sources each where they work the best isn't an option.
 
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You can take advantage of SVS' 45 day in home trial, with free shipping both ways. As Bill pointed out, bookshelves and a sub offer better value, I would recommend the Ultra bookshelves and something like a PB-2000 to start if SVS interests you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24508260


Floor standers have exactly one advantage over book shelves, and that's better low frequency response. That advantage disappears if you have subs, because then the floor standers aren't working in the lows anyway.

As to whether floor standers without subs are preferable to bookshelves with subs, the simple answer is no. In terms of low frequency extension and output the average floor stander falls well short of the average sub. So short that for serious HT use most floor stander users have to use subs anyway. More important is the issue of placement. For best results sources that operate above 100Hz and those that operate below 100H, ie., mains versus subs, will almost never work best sharing the same foot print. With floor standers putting the high and low frequency sources each where they work the best isn't an option.

I agree with you on the tower vs book shelf speakers benefit, but would add that with towers also give you flexibility with the x-over points . When crossed at 80 Hz, my sub, which sits nearfield, can be localized at times. Reducing the x-over to 60 hz has greatly improved the bass integration with my Sierra Towers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahjd2000  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24508443


When crossed at 80 Hz, my sub, which sits nearfield, can be localized at times.
There are two reasons why that can happen. One, the sub is just plain too loud. That's exacerbated if you're pushing the sub hard, which creates a higher level of THD, 'H' being harmonics that are directionally locatable. Another is when insufficient slope of the low pass filter in the AVR is letting too much above bandwidth content through. That can be addressed by lowering the sub amp low pass filter, cascading the filter slopes to get closer to a brickwall.

My sub is as nearfield as it gets, one foot in back of my head. I cross at 80Hz, and cannot locate it.
 

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Sorry I forgot to add a speaker recommendation.


I can only speak for speakers I've heard and/or own, so I'd suggest Ascend Acoustics. The new Sierra-2 is getting rave reviews (haven't heard it though) and their tower speakers are a fantastic performer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24508773


There are two reasons why that can happen. One, the sub is just plain too loud. That's exacerbated if you're pushing the sub hard, which creates a higher level of THD, 'H' being harmonics that are directionally locatable. Another is when insufficient slope of the low pass filter in the AVR is letting too much above bandwidth content through. That can be addressed by lowering the sub amp low pass filter, cascading the filter slopes to get closer to a brickwall.

My sub is as nearfield as it gets, one foot in back of my head. I cross at 80Hz, and cannot locate it.

Thanks for the tip. I should try that, raising it to 80Hz but lower the low pass filter on the sub. Out of curiosity, do you recall where you set your low pass filter on the Sub amp? I think you're right, it's probably those higher frequencies bleeding into the signal.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahjd2000  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24508896


Thanks for the tip. I should try that, raising it to 80Hz but lower the low pass filter on the sub. Out of curiosity, do you recall where you set your low pass filter on the Sub amp? I think you're right, it's probably those higher frequencies bleeding into the signal.
I have both the AVR crossover and sub amp LP at 80Hz.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24508260


Floor standers have exactly one advantage over book shelves, and that's better low frequency response. That advantage disappears if you have subs, because then the floor standers aren't working in the lows anyway.

As to whether floor standers without subs are preferable to bookshelves with subs, the simple answer is no. In terms of low frequency extension and output the average floor stander falls well short of the average sub. So short that for serious HT use most floor stander users have to use subs anyway. More important is the issue of placement. For best results sources that operate above 100Hz and those that operate below 100H, ie., mains versus subs, will almost never work best sharing the same foot print. With floor standers putting the high and low frequency sources each where they work the best isn't an option.
 

Would this be the case even if the SVS towers can go down to 28hz? I realize that a sub would still be optimal, and it won't sound as good without the sub extending down towards 17hz, but wouldn't a tower that could extend that low sound exceptional (on paper at least)?

 

Also, I understand the SVS does fairly well separating the low and high source within the tower. I'm not arguing about your point, just simply trying to learn and understand since I still know very little about theory etc. 

 

With all that being said, I am very open to the bookshelf idea. Would they operate normally if placed on a TV console or would it be optimal on stands? Also, if I went the bookshelf route, would it be better to use another bookshelf as the center or use the designed center? I keep reading arguments that goes both ways. 

 

Jahjd, thank you for the Ascend recommendation, those are still very much in the running.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiocorpse  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24511597


Would this be the case even if the SVS towers can go down to 28hz? I realize that a sub would still be optimal, and it won't sound as good without the sub extending down towards 17hz, but wouldn't a tower that could extend that low sound exceptional (on paper at least)?


Also, I understand the SVS does fairly well separating the low and high source within the tower. I'm not arguing about your point, just simply trying to learn and understand since I still know very little about theory etc. 


With all that being said, I am very open to the bookshelf idea. Would they operate normally if placed on a TV console or would it be optimal on stands? Also, if I went the bookshelf route, would it be better to use another bookshelf as the center or use the designed center? I keep reading arguments that goes both ways. 


Jahjd, thank you for the Ascend recommendation, those are still very much in the running.

While a tower may extend that low, the output at this point is very low also. A sub will pretty much always do a better job with bass.


They would do fine on a TV stand as long as you keep them at the front edge of the stand to take away the reflection off the top of the cabinet. However you want them at ear-level when seated, so stands usually do a better job of getting that tweeter lined up.


An identical speaker for your center is the most ideal scenario. The horizontal centers are a compromise in sound quality for the sake of placement. They still sound good, but to get the best imaging, three identical vertical speakers is the way to go. If you do go with a horizontal center, look for one where the tweeter and mid-range drivers are not on the same horizontal axis, so as to reduce lobing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiocorpse  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24511597


Would this be the case even if the SVS towers can go down to 28hz? I realize that a sub would still be optimal, and it won't sound as good without the sub extending down towards 17hz, but wouldn't a tower that could extend that low sound exceptional (on paper at least)?
Are you prepared to cut them into two pieces so that the high frequency and low frequency radiators may both be optimally placed? That's an option, but for the work involved you might as well just use a separate set of speakers for the high and low frequency duties. That is what a sub/book shelf system is.
 

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Buy three book shelf speakers. With the money saved, buy two subs. Two subs will help even the bass response. So not only would you have a more powerful low end compared to towers, you would have a smoother low end, due to the two subs. If we can help you, give us a call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

I'm pretty much sold on going with the bookshelves. Now I'm struggling with getting the Ascend Sierra-2's and Horizon center paired with a FV15HP or going with the SVS UBS/center and stepping up to the PB13U. Any experience here between the two sets? I see that the S2's have a S2 center but not sure if that is a vertical speaker or horizontal; a vertical center has 0% WAF. Would going down to a lesser sub between Rhythmik/SVS but getting dual be better than (1) larger one? 
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiocorpse  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24516911


I'm pretty much sold on going with the bookshelves. Now I'm struggling with getting the Ascend Sierra-2's and Horizon center paired with a FV15HP or going with the SVS UBS/center and stepping up to the PB13U. Any experience here between the two sets? I see that the S2's have a S2 center but not sure if that is a vertical speaker or horizontal; a vertical center has 0% WAF. Would going down to a lesser sub between Rhythmik/SVS but getting dual be better than (1) larger one? 

I'm almost positive the S2 center lays horizontal. It's basically the same speaker as the S1 except its designed to lay on its side. Here's a like to the S1 page where you can see it sitting horizontal (the S2 is just an upgraded S1) http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1C/srm1c
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiocorpse  /t/1523491/well-here-it-goes#post_24516911


I'm pretty much sold on going with the bookshelves. Now I'm struggling with getting the Ascend Sierra-2's and Horizon center paired with a FV15HP or going with the SVS UBS/center and stepping up to the PB13U. Any experience here between the two sets? I see that the S2's have a S2 center but not sure if that is a vertical speaker or horizontal; a vertical center has 0% WAF. Would going down to a lesser sub between Rhythmik/SVS but getting dual be better than (1) larger one? 

I would go with the Sierra-2 over the Ultras, and the Rythmik FV15HP is an impressive sub. The PB13 Ultra probably hits a little harder, but unless you are in a huge space, the Rythmik will do very well. I personally would stick with one better sub right now, you get better extension and accuracy, and have the option to add a second down the road. Plus going with Ascend and Rythmik gives you a discount.
 
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