Small in stature; huge in sound

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Brock, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Brock

    Brock Extra

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    Which speakers defy the laws of physics and deliver a big, full sound in a small footprint? I'm thinking micro-to-bookshelf size. Do such speakers exist, or do you really need a larger cabinet pushing more air to get a full sound?

    I'd like them primarily as fronts for a HT system, but would like to run them separately in a 2-channel music setup (without a sub) and get a nice full sound.

    What's the smallest best-sounding speaker you can think of?
     
  2. glenn.arsenault

    glenn.arsenault Stunt Coordinator

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    ProAc Response 1sc
     
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Brock,

    In principle a speaker really needs a box with volume to be able to emanate all frequencies of the audio spectrum, particularly the lower ones.

    However, the use of the subwoofer-plus-bass-management has lightened the burden of the "normal" speakers considerably. Although some audiophiles will still want their front and centre speakers to be big enough to go very low, you can effectively compromise there. So they will be small in stature and not too huge in sound - but the sub will take hold of that last part.

    So, if you say: no sub, I cannot recommend that. It's one or the other, I think, unless you're prepared to really compromise.

    Unfortunately, I'm not familiar enough with the US market to give you a practical suggestions here, but my message is: don't be afraid to use smaller (e.g. two-way, or even 1-way) speakers for your main channels and consider a subwoofer.


    Cees
     
  4. Brock

    Brock Extra

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    Actually, a sub would be fine; I'm a late bloomer when it comes to 5.1 systems, so I figured the only way to listen to music only is just with the front two speakers. Dumb question here, but can you play audio CDs with a 5.1 system? Maybe what I heard is that you should turn the surround speakers off to avoid echo, but running it through the front two speakers and a sub is okay?

    In that case, maybe I could stick with smaller front speakers and pair it up with a sub for a very full sound. I'm obviously not an audiophile, so whatever gets me the best mix of HT and 2-channel audio is great.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Brock,

    You certainly can play CDs with a 5.1 system. In most of the systems it will go through the PCM input and undergo some sort of Dolby ProLogic decoding.

    Also, a DVD-player will output stereo to a conventional stereo-amp, if you connect it that way.

    When the DPL doesn't sound to well, even people who have 5+ channels, often switch off the rears and (if possible) the centre channel for their pure audio. In most receivers/decoders that can be done through a simple setting change.

    The reason one may want to switch off the centre channel (although in DPL the centre is simply L+R) is, that the DPL decoding may colour the centre sound too shrill. It's a matter of testing and the result you prefer may vary among different CDs.

    Cees
     
  6. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I suggest you check out a couple of models from Paradigm. In the Performance series, check out the Atoms. In the Monitor series, check out the Mini Monitors. I have owned Paradigm speakers for over 5 years and have been very pleased with them. Remember that the best speaker is the one that sounds best to you.
     
  7. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    For a small speaker with "guts," I would check out the KEF Q1 and the Acoustic Energy AE-1. Perhaps a little bigger than you're looking for, but both feature very decent bass for their size.

    If you're going with a sub, the Paradigm Atoms are excellent for their size and price when a sub fills in their bottom end. Could be a tad bright/harsh with the wrong amplification.
     
  8. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Def Tech makes some bookshelf sized models with built in self powered side firing subwoofers.
     
  9. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Every HT reciever I am aware of can change a 2-channel stereo signal to 5.1 prologic and back again with the push of a button (located on the remote and on the reciever face). I wouldn't worry about surround speaker "echo" at all.

    And in my, albeit so-far limited, 5.1 research a speaker with a 5-to-6 inch woofer is sufficient for music when paired with a quality subwoofer (which will handle almost all the sub 100hz "bass").

    Smallest and best? I've personally heard and enjoyed Paradigm, Yamaha, JAMO, and Infinity. I'd like to listen to some Axioms in the future too.
     
  10. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    Look the Totem's, they have a model which can deliver about 30Hz with just a bookshelf, I think that's what you are looking for.
     

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