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Monitors vs Towers


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave Nelms

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Posted March 15 2005 - 04:24 AM

I am looking for opinions here so please feel free to be biased.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using bookshelf/monitor speakers over tower speakers? I have heard debate on both sides but I was looking for some real peoples experiences.

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   WayneO

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Posted March 15 2005 - 04:41 AM

Bookshelves just sound "small" over their respective towers by same manufacturer/model line. But then there are many good bookshelves that sound better than crummy towers of a lessor brand.
If the best advice is "listen for yourself", then why offer your opinion?

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted March 15 2005 - 04:44 AM

Often it is low end range. But you can't really generalize.
Sometimes, bigger speakers can handle more power but once again you can't generalize.

I tend to not like speakers with much less than 8" woofs, 6" is absolutely the smallest I would buy. But I use what are considered larger bookshelf speakers, attempting to sort of get the best of both worlds.

In the end you should buy speakers you like the sound of.


I would imagine a $2000 Satalite type monitor would out perform most $300 towers in most performance areas.

So really the only generalized comparison you can make is that Sat / Monitor speakers will be smaller in size. Posted Image

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted March 15 2005 - 05:17 AM

This is the same "argument" as DD vs DTS or Coke Vs Pepsi.
If you do a search you'll find quiet a few threads that tackled the same issue over and over again, and find a wide vareity of opinions. Happy reading!Posted Image

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted March 15 2005 - 06:02 AM

Yes, please do a search. This is covered about every other month.
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#6 of 16 OFFLINE   AlanZ

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Posted March 15 2005 - 08:09 AM

Back in the early 90s, I heard a pair of Monitor Audio bookshelves with dual Vandersteen subs.....even since that time I've preferred this arrangement to towers UNLESS I have a large room to fill with sound, then my preference defaults to the larger speakers. I just feel that in general (and to my ears), smaller speakers do a better disappearing act.
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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Kenneth Harden

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Posted March 15 2005 - 04:24 PM

IMO, for raw musical power, I like floorstanders.

I am just never happy with sub/bookshelf combo's, there always seems to be something missing between the sub and speakers.

Something about the massive mid-bass slap towers can give you that I like.

Not a big deal on movies, but when I listen to music (lots of electronic music and the like), there is a LOT between 50-100 Hz. and thats the 'danger zone' where the speakers hand off to the sub.

A single, or few well-designed woofers per speakers (15" woofer on my Klipschies Posted Image ) seem to do the trick.

Just my experience.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Max F

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Posted March 16 2005 - 01:15 AM

With the use of subs, the main benefit of towers is that they can fill a larger room with the extra (not necessarily bigger) drivers. Bookshelves with a sub in a smaller room is a beautiful thing.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Gralen

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Posted March 16 2005 - 06:06 AM

This may not be a qualifier, I had both towers and bookshelfs. In home theater I think the book shelf have a slight edge. But in music I think towers are king. Then again the towers I own are mirages and celestion and the the bookshelf was bose 301. It is a matter of opinon. I heard Sonus Faber bookshelf out perform a high end Boston Acoustic towers . Then I heard the B and W 600 out do the Fabers Again it is a matter of personal taste
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#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave Nelms

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Posted March 17 2005 - 03:36 AM

Thanks for all of the great opinions.

I remember reading (I think in an old copy of Stereophile) that monitors would tend to image better due to less cabinate vibration, blah blah blah ....

I was just looking for some personal opinions and the like.

Perhaps I should take a weekend and compare the two?

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted March 17 2005 - 03:57 AM

Oh man, on speakers in general.. They are so subjective, demo demo demo demo demo... and then demo some more. Posted Image

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted March 17 2005 - 06:31 AM

Yes do a search, been covered beyond reason.

That being said I've moved further towards the position that there is no good reason to go with floostanding speakers. small monitors I will choose every time.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   MikeHU

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Posted March 17 2005 - 08:01 AM

And just to show you there are 2 sides to every coin, I went from bookshelves to floorstanders (RB-35's to RF-5's to RF-7's - all Klipsch), during the last year. I could never be more satisfied with those towers, for both music and movies.Posted Image
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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave Nelms

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Posted March 18 2005 - 03:49 AM

Thanks for all of the good info and opinions.

I will have to try the search. I have aquired some very similar bookshelf and floorstanding speakers. PSB Stratus Silvers and the PSB Stratus Minis. I have the Minis set up noe to see how they sound, then I will switch to the floor standing Silvers in a while.

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted March 18 2005 - 03:56 AM

I would think that an awesome example of test products to see which way you would really like to go with it.

Post back with your experiences please. Posted Image

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave Nelms

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Posted March 18 2005 - 04:12 AM

Well it is supposed to rain on Saturday so I may be able to dodge yard work and hang out in my room playing with speakers.

Hopefully my wife is not reading this post or she will find some indoor 'Honey-Dos' for me this weekend.