bookshelves versus floorstanders for mains?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Joseph_ P, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Joseph_ P

    Joseph_ P Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi, just wondering if there are any advantages of floorstanding speakers as mains in a home theater set-up versus using bookshelves.With everyone using subwoofers these days is it worth it to spend the extra cash on floorstanders or do you think bookshelves are the way to go?
    I currently am using bookshelf speakers as mains with a couple of subwoofers, and it seems to work well but some of those floorstanding speakers sure look really nice!
    Any opinions?[​IMG]
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 1998
    Messages:
    2,959
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think that there are a couple of considerations. Many who listen to music on their HT systems critically, prefer floor standing speakers for their two-channel use. Also floor-standing speakers will usually fill larger room more easily than bookshelves (all things being equal, which they normally are not).

    Otherwise, good bookshelves with a good sub work very well.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One more point, crossing over at 80 Hz, it is advisable to get main speakers are flat to 55 Hz-60 Hz, because most crossovers are not binary, but gradual, so that both the sub and mains share sound output a range around 80 Hz.
     
  5. Dom P.

    Dom P. Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, I'm moving into a condo where space will be a concern for the next couple of years, so I'm leaning towards bookshelfs on a nice set of stands for that reason. I guess that could be considered one advantage for the bookshelf option. [​IMG]

    I'm trying get something decent (not true high-end) so I'm leaning towards the mini-monitors.
     
  6. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Not to be argumentative, but putting bookshelf speakers on floor stands pretty much gives them the same footprint as regular tower speakers, no?
     
  7. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Putting a bookshelf on a stand won't really do much of anything... the rubber and everything will just cancel out any sub frequency.

    Towers basically can get deeper frequency responce than a bookshelf, usually includes a bigger woofer and 2 or more where as a bookshelf usually has 1 woofer.

    The bookshelf is good for small spaces where you don't have alot of space and you want something to blend in where it can still reach a good frequency depth of somewhere around 60-80Hz.

    Floorstandings usually go around 30-40Hz to bring out some good subsonic quality and a subwoofer is usually optional at that point whereas with a bookshelf is still pretty much required.

    And of course since the floorstandings are better and usually have bigger, better woofers in them they can give you much more sound, louder than a bookshelf.
     
  8. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wow, I can't believe the answers I'm reading in here. Most audiophiles (into music) will answer that a Monitor speaker is generally superior to a Tower at anywhere near the same price point. Monitors have superior imaging, more rigid construction therefore less cabinet coloration, no 300HZ floor bounce, more flexibility in placement, tighter bass. You do lose some bass extension, but combined with a sub that is no longer a concern.
     
  9. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I side with Steve on this one.

    One thing that I hasn't been mentioned is that floorstanders have more internal volume, usually allowing for better bass extension from the same driver(s).
     
  10. Troy R

    Troy R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm with Steve on this one too and I'm in the bookshelf is better camp too. I think the biggest problem is *most* people haven't heard a truly GREAT bookshelf speaker. I haven't been in too many high end shops that have bookshelves set up, they almost always have floorstanding speakers running in their systems.
     
  11. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Book shelf guy here too. I think one thing to note that has been implied with bookshelves/sub is that you have more flexibility to move the sub around vs. floorstanders which are fixed.
     
  12. Bob Saylor

    Bob Saylor Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm also in the bookshelf camp. Properly placed and crossed over with a good sub they are great.

    I've heard some very good floorstanders but everything mentioned above about that favors the bookshelf speakers is true.
     
  13. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How do you integrate a sub into a high-end 2 channel setup? Do you send the amp output to the sub then to the speakers, or do you do some kind of digital bass management like most HT systems use?

    Mark
     
  14. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm a floorstanding man, I once moved my rears (bookshelf type) to the front and phase them in w/ my sub sounded good. The rears blended well w/ the sub cross at 80hz, but when i moved my floorstanders back nite and day difference in sound. I was hear more snap, punch and greater dynamics. Hey we all hear different and we all have our flavor, i perfer floorstanding speakers for IMO sound more full.
     
  15. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh and for the record, i have heard good bookshelf speakers that blew away some floorstanding speakers as well. Speaker designs keep pushing the envelope for better & bigger sound in smaller packages.
     
  16. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As with most things in life...it depends. In general, I prefer to spend money on quality monitor sized speakers. But if you are like me and have a large room that's open to the rest of the house, a monitor sized speaker just doesn't give me the midbass punch that I like. So for my next project I will be building a large tower speaker. More than likely it will be a 3-way design but with the right drivers could be an MTM 2-way.
     
  17. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  19. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  20. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2000
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Add me to the monitor size speaker camp too. My small 2-way monitors go deep into the 30hz range and sound amazing placed 5' from the back wall. NO sub required here!

    $0.02
     

Share This Page