bookshelf vs tower

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by justinDreyer, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. justinDreyer

    justinDreyer Auditioning

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    I want to spend about 1000 to udgrade my surround sound
    I live in a house that wont support large towers but I will be moving in a year or two should I:

    A. buy all bookshelf speakers ? or

    B. Buy new sub, center, and rear and wait untill I have more room to replace the front 2

    Should I buy all the same brand or can i mix brands and be ok ?

    I want a good sound for sure can I get it out of a bookshelf speaker ?
     
  2. Tu Pham

    Tu Pham Auditioning

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    Do a search.....
     
  3. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    The answer is...it depends. If you listen to music frequently then maybe towers. If you are going to use it for primarily home theater then the best solution would be to use a good bookshelf and sub combo. At least use speakers from the same company for your front sound stage to get a tonal match. Check out the SBS-01 system on this forum all for under a grand.
     
  4. GregUVA

    GregUVA Auditioning

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    The bottom line is, yes, you can get great sound out of bookshelf speakers, and in fact many people prefer the sound of bookshelf speakers over towers (I'm a tower man myself, though). As mylan noted, it may also depend on what you're going to be listening to mostly. It would be helpful to know what your room is like, what equipment (speakers etc.) you have now, and what you'll be using them for.
     
  5. Eric Hargrove

    Eric Hargrove Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Justin,

    The first question I would have is... What do you have so far? Perhaps you have something currently that would not need replacement. If that is the case, you could afford to spend a bit more in areas that might make the biggest difference.

    Not knowing what you have currently, I would recommend this:
    http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs.cfm

    Or this:
    http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merch...Code=PPLR-1000

    Either system is very high bang for the buck. I might lean towards the SVS combo due to its lower price.
     
  6. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I prefer bookshelves myself. I feel I get a better speaker for the same money this way, but a good sub is essential. With this arrangement, I feel I have better control of my room's acoustics. I can put a sub in the best place to produce bass and use an eq to get reasonably decent bass response. In my room, I get better bass with my sub in a corner while I get the best midrange and treble performance with me being between the speakers in the traditional type set up.

    I'm not hating on the ID brands... I own a Hsu sub, Swan speakers, and some outlaw electronics, but I highly recommend listening to main speakers before you buy. I would go to as many brick and motor stores and listen to as many different speakers as you can. Then make your decision. Try the ID brands, but some aren't necessarily the bargain they seem to be. Hsu subs are a bargain. The Outlaw was a good deal. The Swans were worth what I paid for them, but they have not lived up to all the hype.

    I would listen to the brick and mortar brands first so you won't be out any shipping charges.
     
  7. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    I'll pretty much copy Mackie.....With the one exception being when I have a very large room, I almost always prefer a monitor speaker over a floorstander. I don't know what it is, but the smaller speakers just have a much greater tendency to disappear. My ears (or maybe it's a brain issue lol) seem to always get much more excited when they hear a couple high quality monitors with a well-placed, well-integrated sub.

    Like Mackie, I too prefer to buy speakers from a B&M if at all possible. I've never minded paying a tad more than what I'd pay for an internet brand, mainly because I get to spend hours in their shops, listen to all their gear, and pick their brains mercilessly [​IMG]
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Bookshelf speakers paired with a good sub can offer some tremendous sound at a great price. I've had a few pair of tower speakers, but now use bookshelf/monitor speakers. With quite a few systems being crossed over @ 80Hz, you'll lose some of the benefit of using the tower speakers, even though they might have more of an extended low range.

    Would I go back to towers? Possibly, in the future, but not in my current home. The couch would block the lower drivers in my listening position. However, if I had a clearer listening path, towers become more possible.

    If one goes out and listens to just the bookshelf speakers alone, the sound might not appear nearly as full as the towers. So, it's essential to listen to the full setup of what you are going to buy - (e.g. bookshelf speakers with a sub) so you can get a good idea of what kind of sound you'll achieve in your home.
     
  9. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I agree with you on this. If I had an acoustically treated room where I could control the bass response, I would consider it for 2 channel music.
     
  10. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    That's another good point you guys make.....I've been toying with the idea of finding a good stereo preamp with HT bypass to incorporate into my HT rig....It would be much easier to do that (with regard to bass management in particular) with full range mains. I've been playing with different speakers lately, in addition to my beloved Maggies.....but I still think I like the monitor/sub configuration best of all.
     
  11. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Alan - I like the monitor and sub combination best too. I have a pair of towers that I really don't like. I could've spent that on a good paid of bookshelves and an inexpensive sub and gotten better results. I've got a major peak in the lower bass area in the room with the towers and without adding major room treatments I'm stuck. If I was using a sub, I could at least throw a BFD into the mix and have decent bass response at the listening position.
     
  12. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Mackie, You could have utilized a BFD to correct some of the bass issues with the tower speakers, too. It's quite a flexible product.
     
  13. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    BFD?????
     
  14. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Behringer Feedback Destroyer. It's a an inexpensive way to eq subs. It can pretty involved to set-up, but once you get that hang of it things moves pretty quickly.

    http://bfdguide.ws/
     

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