2-channels Listening

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Hung Nguyen, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. Hung Nguyen

    Hung Nguyen Extra

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    I would like to ask opinions of different people regarding 2-channel music listening.

    Is it better to listen to music with good bookself speakers and a good sub or a good pair of floor standing speakers?

    I'm leaning toward buying a good set of bookself speakers and a good sub, since i like the bass coming from the sub.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I don't think there's a best answer in this case since both setups have pluses and minuses. I like bookshelf speakers and subs.

    - Quality bookshelves cost less than tower speakers.

    - Subs have their own power source which relieves my receiver's workload.

    -I have more placement options using a sub.

    -I use my system for both music and movies - subs make movies more fun.

    Just my opinion...
     
  3. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    Why not get a good pair of floor standing speakers and a sub? If money is no object, and you have the room for them, in my mind that would be the best option. In my opinion a good floor standing speaker sounds better then a good bookshelf speaker.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    For me it depends on what I am listening to. Certain music I prefer with a good tower and no sub. Other times, I like to have the sub, so I think David's idea is not a bad one, and for a music only system, that's what I would do.
     
  5. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    Quality stands (like Target R2) are not cheap either $300+.


    It's a matter of preference. Decide what aspects of the presentation you like best: soundstage, vocals (male/female), "air", mid-bass, deep/loud bass, imaging, clarity, warmth, dynamics, etc. You can't have it all, so you pick the setup that delivers the most to you.

    Me...I'm used to medium sized floorstanders. My sub provides the foundation. Most of the bass comes from the mains. The sub is barely noticeable in mainstream pop/rock recordings, until I turn it off cuz then something's missing or crank it way up.
     
  6. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    i prefer bookshelves with a sub given the two choices. NO tower speaker can come close to producing the bass that a good sub can.
     
  7. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Quality stands (like Target R2) are not cheap either $300+.

    There are good stands that cost much less than 300 bucks. Money saved on going with bookshelves can be used toward a better sub.

    It really is a preference. I really enjoy the impact my sub adds to music.
     
  8. Hung Nguyen

    Hung Nguyen Extra

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    This is what I thought all along...that's why i'm posting the question since i've always thought a good quality sub can produce good bass.
     
  9. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    ideally, a really, really big pair of floorstanders would be best.
     
  10. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    this is an out and out fallacy that keeps being propagated (i can only presume) but people who enjoy loud, unnaturally boomy bass.

    in regard to the original poster, i prefer to use a set of tower speakers as i have never been able to find a sub that blends well with bookshelves. granted, i've heard some that come very close. however, to me it still sounds unnatural. a good set of bookshelves, a decent sub, and a pair of stands will likely run you about the same or maybe a little less than a good pair of tower speakers. without knowing your budget, it's hard to give suggestions. for tower speakers, i'd suggest gershman acoustics avant garde rx-20 (mainly because i own a pair). they have excellent bass reproduction and you can find them used in the $2500-$3000 range on audiogon.

    kevin t
     
  11. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    If this is a fallacy, could you give me some models of tower speakers that have the frequency response and range (say < 50Hz) of a good sub? How do these models eliminate the inherent bass cancelation that results from having two sub sources that are not colocated? In my experience, the towers with built in subs I have heard suffer from bass bloat (a hump in frequency response around 40-50Hz) and cancellation problems; the quality subs I have heard tend to have very flat response down to 16Hz and naturally can be located anywhere. This flat response is hardly what I would call "boomy" compared to a hump at 40-50Hz. Also, loudness is basically a function of calibration and volume level, so any bass source can be made too loud compared to the other channels, whether it is a seperate sub or towers does not matter.
     
  12. CarterT

    CarterT Extra

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    I posted a similar situation last week re: JBL "S38II and S312II breakin". I have yet to get my S38's (large bookshelf) to come even close to sounding as full or as good as my S312's (towers), with or without the SVS PB10 sub running. They are both 3way, have the same 1" tweeters and 4" mid's but the woofers are 8" vs 12".

    So, my input is go with towers then add the sub of your choice. The SVS PB10 is working out very well for my needs.
     
  13. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    that is an issue you'll need to address with the speaker designers. i have not noticed any cancellation issues with my gershmans. the bass of the gershmans is very well defined. so much so that i stopped using a subwoofer several months ago. granted, the pod race scene from the phantom menance will sound more dynamic being pumped from a svs or hsu mega sub. however, i don't expect my speakers (being powered by tube amps) to compete with these super low end monsters which are often being fed 400+ watts. it's all a function of priorities. i care much much much more about musical reproduction than i do about shaking my drywall loose.

    kevin t
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    IMO, you don't NEED a floorstander that is 20Hz capable, as most music does not dip that low. A speaker that is good to about the 40Hz-30Hz range, with some output below that, is fine. If you want good 20Hz performance, you will need a sub. I like using my sub most of the time, but for certain types of music, I turn it off, set my speakers to full range and enjoy just as much, and they are only -3dB at 55Hz.
     
  15. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Then why would you say it is fallacy that no tower speaker (even ones costing $5000 to $10000 a pair) can compete with a good sub, if you do not expect them to compete? An SVS that costs around $1000 can be ordered flat to 16Hz -3dB. Compared to your examples at 5 to 10 times the price that are flat to 24Hz -3dB, I'd say the sub fares quite well (depending on your priorities - mine are accurate, flat, low bass, which does not mean loud and/or boomy).
     
  16. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    “Generally” in a given price range, the bookshelf speaker will outperform its equivalent floor-stander in its price category. Less cost goes into building the cabinet than for a floor-stander; also, resonance is harder to control in a larger cabinet if the cabinet is not constructed of top quality, in my experience this has always been the case with the $5000 and under crowd with the exception of a few smaller dedicated hi-fi companies.

    So why do I prefer bookshelves?

    a)Diffraction is better on bookshelves
    b)Performance/Cost ratio is better
    c)Imaging is better
    d)Leaves more money for a dedicated sub that will handle the lower octaves a lot better.


    A lot of people complain about integration of there sub with there mains, for me entering the new year this in no longer an issue…running a Velodyne DD-15 with it’s Digital Drive room management technology hopefully other subwoofer companies catch on.
     
  17. Hung Nguyen

    Hung Nguyen Extra

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    I agree with Arthur on this point. I'm an average person that wants an average system. I don't want to spend $5-10K or even more to listen to music. From what i've heard, it's "nice" to have a pair of floor standers and add a decent sub to listen to 2-channels music...otherwise it's also good to just get a good pair of bookselves with a good sub for the above reasons mentioned by Arthur.
    I haven't decided which route I'll go but more than likely I'll get a pair of bookselves and a good sub. Speakers i can always upgrade...but a good sub...I'll prob keep for awhile..bass is bass[​IMG]
     
  18. Max F

    Max F Second Unit

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    a) Not sure about diffraction
    b) I found some good floor models for cheap
    c) I don't agree, floorstanders often have wider imaging which is important for a large room
    d) Get a sub with floorstanders!

    If you have a large room, you cannot beat floorstanders with a sub. The best scenario, IMO, is to have floorstanders and a sub set at a crossover as low as possible.
     
  19. ArthurJ

    ArthurJ Second Unit

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    a)this is a common fact
    b)cheap floor-standers with superb build quality are few and far between
    c)speaking from sole experience and the experience of friends this is hardly the case
    d)this defeats the whole argument as to why floor standers are better???

    Size of room is ultimately my deciding factor as to go with floorstanders over bookshelves, for me I prefer a fantastic bookshelf over a mediocre floorstander…music is an intimate experience for me; I prefer listening in smaller rooms.
     
  20. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    because it is false. just because i don't expect my personal setup to do it, doesn't mean that i can't configure it to compete (or even possibly outperform) with a bookshelf / sub setup. when i was powering the gershmans with 400 watts from a pair of aragon monoblocks, the bass was very strong and authoritative when i cranked it up. in the cost / performance ratio, you are better off (financially) to purchase a bookshelf / sub setup versus a comparable tower speaker. since i'm old fashioned, i consider two channel to be two channels not two channels and a sub.

    kevin t
     

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