Q: Bookshelf or Floorstanding Speakers??

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by ChrisKula, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Hello all,
    I am new to the forum and just wanted to say how great all the info on this forum is. It has answered all of the questions I had and even some of the ones that I never would have thought about!!
    Now to my question, What do you prefer/use/recommend; bookshelf+sub or Floor-standing (with or without sub) for both music and HT?
    I would appreciate any and all opinions from the experts our there, thanks!
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I am very biased towards bookshelves because I am big on the two-channel, and you have to pay a lot more for the floorstanding equivalent of small speaker X. And for that much more money you're mainly adding bass (which can be done well and can be worth it), but you are usually entering the budget range of bookshelves that are even better, so why not go with that instead. And plus you can add a sub and place it properly, and a solid bookshelf will have enough extension to match well with a quality sub.

    HT, IMO has similar merits towards going bookshelf-sized, because you can cross everything over as small, which is almost always the best way to go, and let something like an SVS do all the heavy lifting, relieving the need (IMO) for large floorstanders.
     
  3. Andrew*L

    Andrew*L Agent

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    You'll get many good responses advocating both sides of this issue [​IMG] , so I'll offer a different perspective on your question.

    Instead of deciding whether to get monitors or tower speakers, first try auditioning to identify which manufacturer's products you prefer the most. Speaker manufacturer go to great lengths to achieve a characteristic signature sound, in an effort to develop brand differentiation and a customer following. The more expensive models from any given manufacturer will tend to refine this sound, and will probably come with more expensive finish work as well. Once you've narrowed down your choices to a couple of manufacturers, then you can decide which speaker form factor, monitor or tower, best suits your listening and aesthetic requirements.[​IMG]
     
  4. Will d s

    Will d s Stunt Coordinator

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    I prefer floorstanding with a sub. You get a fuller soundstage for music and better effects for HT. If your budget or space will not support it. You can get quality sound out of bookshelf speakers with a sub.
     
  5. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Thanks for the advice and info everyone, it is much appreciated.
    I have auditioned several different brands, both floor and bookshelf, at a local retailer and have found several that I like.
    On other posts I have read that some believe that 2-channel music is better experience through foorstanding speakers rather than bookshelves and a sub....I realize the is just probably personal preference but any thoughts??
    Thanks again!
     
  6. Nigel Hooper

    Nigel Hooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Book shelves tend to image and soundstage better and there are less resonances.
     
  7. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    As always, it depends. Most people almost never ask about room size. In my room, which is my living room, the only monitor-sized speakers that have worked well were a pair of ACI Jaguars, which are well over $2K/pr and unfortunately not mine. Anything less from a monitor speaker just didn't have enough midbass output to blend well with my sub. So I'm using a pair of two-way towers with 8" woofers until I get a nice 3-way tower that will give me the midrange quality I like from a monitor while adding the midbass quality I get from a larger woofer. These damn open floor plan houses can be a real PITA sometimes! [​IMG]
     
  8. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Brian,
    You mentioned not finding a speaker capable of "blending" with your sub. I have heard of speakers matching (ie. center and L/R) but never a sub...this is probably because I am new but can you clarify what you mean by the blending of a sub into your system. Sorry if this is a dumb question!!
     
  9. Will d s

    Will d s Stunt Coordinator

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    You want to have your main speakers go low enough to let the sub take over without thier being a gap in the frequency. 80hz is standard but a lot of people like to cut off thier sub lower than that and with small speakers you usually do not get enough spl in the lower Hz to blend well with the sub.
     
  10. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Chris,

    First question to be ask is what line of speakers are you looking at? From there people could give you the info you seek, since within different brands bookshelves/floorstandings will have different characterisitcs. Personally I use the Paradigm Studio(v3) 40/20/570/PW2100 in my setup. The next step up would have been the 60's but if you look at the specs the only differences are how low the 60's go vs the 40's(30 vs 36hz), frequency response(46-22 vs 62-22) and sensitivity(91db vs 92db). Since both speakers would be set to small on the receiver/prepro both would blend just nicely with a sub. Now that brings you to another problem. Proper placement of said sub. Either speaker would work just fine without a sub as long as their not driven too hard. For me I like the look of bookshelves on stands over floorstanding.

    Kevin
     
  11. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Kevin,
    I was actually looking at several paradigm models including the studio series as well as some klipsch models. I personally preferred the paradigm's sound. Are there any other brands that I should put on the audition list??
     
  12. Andrew*L

    Andrew*L Agent

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    Chris,

    It sounds like you've narrowed down your choices to a few speaker manufacturer's. If this is the case, I'd suggest some serious listening to find out which model, within a manufacturer's lineup (bookshelf and towers), sounds the best to you. [​IMG]

    I normally start by auditioning the less expensive speakers first, and work my way up. Normally, this also means working up from the smaller (bookshelf) to larger speakers (tower). What I look for is the first speaker that comes across as sounding full range, where the music sounds natural along the entire frequency range; high frequencies aren't harsh and fatiguing, and low frequencies aren't hollow or loose. Music is the ideal medium for auditioning with, since most music material does not contain information at extremely low frequencies (
     
  13. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Thanks Andrew for your help...I will keep all of it in mind when I go auditioning!

    You assume correct that I will also look for a sub to complement the rest of the system. I have been inpressed with all of the good reviews SVS is getting but buying without having a listen is a big step!!
     
  14. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    Chris, I listened to floor standers including the Paradign studio 60, 100, Mirage OM-7, Polk Audio LSI15, RTI10, and the Energy V2.3i, and then the bookshelves including the Paradigm Signature S2, B&W 805, and the Energy V2.2. I really like the sound of the book shelves, especially the Energy V2.2 but I ended up with the V2.3i because when I listen to 2 channel stereo music, I usually use the "direct" mode and the subwoofer is not in the loop. To me, floor standers (at least the V2.3i in my case), sound better in music, without the subwoofer.

    I do agree, bookshelves such as the Paradigm S2, Energy V2.2i, are better looking than the floor standers.
     
  15. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Shui,
    I will have to look into the mirage, Polk and Energy models you suggested. Where did you listen to these brands/location of your store of choice?
    Thanks Chris
     
  16. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    Mirage: Gibson Sound in Waterloo.

    Polk Audio LSI: G&G Electronics, Kingston Road, East end of Toronto. I was not impressed with the SQ but they used a Sony DVD/Receiver combo to drive those 4 ohm LSI speakers. I thought those speakers sound best with separates.

    Energy Veritas, Connoisseur C-9, or B&W 805: London Audio in London Ontario, or Sound Stage Fine Audio (no B&W), in Waterloo.

    The Paradigm Studio 40 is a great buy too, but if you need those beautiful stands, you have to pay another $500! The Signature S2 looks most beautiful, but expensive for a 2-way bookshelf.
     
  17. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Chris where are you located? In the Hamilton/Burlington area you have East Hamilton Radio, Hills TV&Audio and FairviewHifi

    PSB would be another line to look at. Personally I'm bised towards Paradigm.



    Only if you can't negotiate the stands into the sale. When I picked up my Studio(v3) setup, they had just came out. I was still able to get 15% off and Premier S-series stands for FREE.

    Kevin
     
  18. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Chris,

    Will described perfectly what I was talking about. Even with an 80Hz XO most monitors (I hate the term, 'bookshelf') I've tried don't have enough output in my room.
     
  19. ChrisKula

    ChrisKula Agent

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    Thanks for all of the input everyone...I will try to put it to good use!

    Kevin, I am familiar with EHR, that is where I bought my receiver from about 2yrs ago..friendly and helpful staff. I think they just had their yearly speaker sale too...to bad I missed it.

    Shiu, it looks like you are well traveled when it comes to HT stores in Ontario!! I will have to stop into these when I am in the area. Thanks.

    Brian, Thanks for the explanation, it is something else to think about.
     
  20. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but Brian, I have a question regarding this and would love your opinion.

    I have a 19' x 19' x 8' room. My sub currently is more than enough to fill this room. Currently I have small bookshelves that have two 4" midrange woofers and a 1" tweeter. I know it is small for that size room, but it is where I am at right now. I am planning on going to a much bigger speaker down the road, but for now I have the opportunity to exchange what I have for mains that have a single 5 1/4" woofer. Do you think that the dual 4's outway the single 5 as far as output and blending, or vice versa.

    Greg
     

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