subs vs towers w/sub

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brad Newton, Oct 24, 2001.

  1. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which is more desirable? Which is more effective? I know that the wife will appreciate the lesser equipment in the room, but I want to know if the combination setup will perform as well as the separate. Anyone have the tower/sub combination? I heard a set of Def Tech today & they sounded ok, but I want to be able to feel the bass........
    ------------------
    May God Guide and Guard the USA!
     
  2. Ron Stimpson

    Ron Stimpson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 1998
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    "I want to be able to feel the bass........"
    Then you need a dedicated, high-quality subwoofer Brad.
    Do some searches on this forum and I think you might find that generally speaking, powered tower speakers do not provide powerful, and deep bass.
    Fighting words perhaps but for a cost-effective, high fidelity bass system for home theater you really can't do without a sub.
    Natually, I WOULD say that, but it's the truth.
    Ron
     
  3. Hubert

    Hubert Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2001
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I don't know what speakers you heard or how well they were set up and calibrated, but with my Def Tech BP3000s and their built in subs, I can definitely feel the bass. However, having said that, I run my BP3000s down to 30Hz and let my Velodyne HGS-18 take over from there. It all depends on your budget. I prefer towers plus a dedicated sub. Some prefer satellites and a dedicated sub.
    Your room size is also a factor. As for auditioning speakers in a store, it rarely gives you the correct impression of the speaker, because they hardly ever take the time to set them up properly and they don't calibrate the system. Also, the auditioning rooms in stores are pretty poor for a poper home theater demonstration. A few high end stores go to this much trouble to set everything up right. But these stores are few and far between. Also, mating speakers with components that compliment them is key as well. Don't solely bass your decision on what you here in a store. Look at what other people think of a speaker, and listen to a bunch of different setups in a lot of different stores.
    As always, if you can get an in-home trial, do it. But for subs, a high-end dedicated sub provides the bass bass in the lower third octave.
    "Do some searches on this forum and I think you might find that generally speaking, powered tower speakers do not provide powerful, and deep bass."
    I disagree with that statement Ron. As for whether powered towers are as good in the very deep bass region as my Velodyne HGS-18 or your SVS subs, then no, they are not. But they do provide very good bass down to about 30Hz. Problem is most folks don't listen to powered towers properly set up and calibrated. The fact is most single subs can't produce reference level at 20HZ at the listener's position with low THD. My Velodyne can't even do that, and it retails for $3000. It would probably take two to do it. I've never seen a sub that could produce a 20Hz signal at 115dbs at the listener position with less than 10% THD. Maybe your SVS subs can do it. I don't know.
    So I guess it comes down to whether you want reference level bass or not. If you do, you're going to have to spend quite a bit of money to get it. I'm close with my Velodyne, but I'm still not there.
    However, I do agree if you want the absolute ultimate in deep bass at reference levels or close to it, a dedicated sub is the way to go. That's why I bought a Velodyne to go with my BP3000s. But I also want my other channels to be able to reproduce s good amount of bass in the lower octave.
    [Edited last by Hubert on October 24, 2001 at 05:22 PM]
    [Edited last by Hubert on October 24, 2001 at 05:23 PM]
    [Edited last by Hubert on October 24, 2001 at 05:28 PM]
     
  4. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have Def Tech bp2000TL's and the bass is VERY good...extremely tight and tuneful and deep (you do feel the bass down to a certain frequency level). HOWEVER, you will certainly benefit by using a quality external sub even with a powered tower...with a quality external sub, you will get more of that bass below 25-30Hz, and you will be able to reposition the external sub to (ideally) achieve max output in your room.
    For music, with powered towers you may not need an external sub. For movies in particular, you would do well to add a quality external sub(s).
    There are certainly advantages to having a powered tower IMHO. Please see this thread: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/044540.html
    That said, IMHO powered towers + external sub(s) is a really great way to go...you can cross the powered towers usually at or below 40Hz and let the external sub handle the really low material.
     
  5. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 1998
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    8
    Definitely go with a seperate quality subwoofer or two.
    Powered towers generally don't produce much clean bass >>I disagree with that statement Ron. As for whether powered towers are as good in the very deep bass region as my Velodyne HGS-18 or your SVS subs, then no, they are not. But they do provide very good bass down to about 30Hz. Problem is most folks don't listen to powered towers properly set up and calibrated. The fact is most single subs can't produce reference level at 20HZ at the listener's position with low THD. My Velodyne can't even do that, and it retails for $3000. It would probably take two to do it. I've never seen a sub that could produce a 20Hz signal at 115dbs at the listener position with less than 10% THD. Maybe your SVS subs can do it. I don't know.
     
  6. Hubert

    Hubert Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2001
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not going to get into this argument, especially with people that sell dedicated subs and won't give any credit to powered towers, mainly because they have to compete against them for the consumer's dollar. I don't hold that against you. It's simply competition. I also never said the DTs were in the the class of the Velodyne, SVS, or M&K subs. That is your misquoting me, or at least implying that's what I stated.
    As for what I buy, that's my decision. I'll spend my dollar on what I want. I also didn't pay $4000 dollars for my BP3000s. I paid $3200. I don't like bookshelf speakers because they don't offer a decent amount of bass at each speaker location. Go to Dolby and they recommend full range towers plus a dedicated sub. Towers offer a fuller sound, rather than a thin sounding satellite setup. That's just my opinion. I used to own identical Klipsch satellites and 2 M&K MX-300 subs. My current system outperforms that system. But then my Velodyne is bigger and more powerful than the M&Ks were, and my DTs are a much higher end speaker.
    As for the specs, how long are you gonna quote measurements on a DT 2002, and compare them to a bigger Velodyne sub? Not really and equal comparison. Especially considering the bigger interior cabinet volume of the Velodyne and the 15" driver compared to the 12" driver in the 2002. Besides I don't own a DT2002. And I certainly didn't buy the BP3000 simply for it's sub. I bought for the total package and the sound. I only run my BP3000s down to 30Hz.
    I agree that a dedicated sub offers the ultimate level of performance in deep bass. I own one. You don't have to sell me on the advantages of a seperate sub. I know the advantages. My single Velodyne gives me all the deep bass I really need.
    This is my last word on this subject.
    [Edited last by Hubert on October 24, 2001 at 07:49 PM]
    [Edited last by Hubert on October 24, 2001 at 07:57 PM]
     
  7. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    quote: If you want to compare the FSR18 at 20-25hz to the DTs?
    well, an easy comparison would be the 2002TL and the FSR15 as both were measured by tom Nousaine at 25hz.
    the FSR15 hit 102.1,the 2002TL hit 80.[/quote]
    I do not think anyone is arguing that a powered tower will outperform a quality external sub, particularly below 25-30Hz. This comparison is also apples to oranges...if you are going to compare the low frequency ranges of a 2002TL to an FSR15, then you might as well compare a paradigm studio 100, NHT 3.3, Dynaudio Audience, etc etc etc to the low frequency ranges of an FSR15, and then talk about how the performance pales in comparison!
    I understand that this is the only data we have to work with for the 2002TL's...but let me tell you, wiring makes a significant difference for the lower frequencies for these DT powered towers. I know I cannot quantify it, and I do not know how exactly TN tested them...but with the 2002TL/2000TL/3000TL, when wired "full range", you DEFINITELY get cleaner bass (i.e. lower distortion)...again I cannot quantify this, but I know of many many people who have noted improvements in bass "quality" by: using "better" interconnects, by wiring "full range", and even by using different power outlets and power conditioners. Another point to note is that powered towers should NOT be corner loaded! Maybe TN tested them this way (?) but this is not how they should be used...they are side firing and get boomy if they are too close to a side wall. Generally, maybe some of this can be said for external subs too...but I just wanted to point all of this out because it is possible that the test results could vary depending on what wiring method is used (please note that even with wiring changes, a powered tower would not outperform a quality external sub below 25-30Hz).
    quote: Instead of spending $4000(ish) for powered full range speakers and then another $2500 or so on a 18" servo...and then noting you still can't approach reference levels...
    I'd go with some nice $250-$300 each bookshelfs, and then get twin 18" servos...6dB more headroom down low...and likely flatter,deeper,cleaner response for the entire HT room.[/quote]
    I have heard this argument before...I think discounting powered towers is too simplistic IMHO. John H at this forum compared the bp30 + external subs to the bp2000TL + external subs. Now, the bp30 and bp2000TL supposedly have the exact same drivers (other than the sub in the 2000TL). Interestingly, John found that he got much better results with the 2000TL's vs. the 30's.
    The more I think about it, the more I think that a well designed powered tower (+ some quality external subs) is the real deal for a combo music/HT system, IMHO.
    [Edited last by Bob_A on October 24, 2001 at 08:02 PM]
     
  8. Ron Stimpson

    Ron Stimpson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 1998
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Do some searches on this forum and I think you might find that generally speaking, powered tower speakers do not provide powerful, and deep bass."
    "I disagree with that statement Ron."
    Hubert, I had you in mind when I said it. Someone interested in this topic only need search on your name.
    Folks that drop mucho bucks on powered towers expecting to get the same sort of bass a quality subwoofer can provide are bound to be dissapointed. If they are happy with "so-so" bass, well have at it.
    The fact you got a Velo HGS, despite those "awesome built-in powered subwoofers" (Def. Tech's words, not ours, and not yours) speaks volumes I think. Towers alone just didn't do it for you I guess?
    We don't give a rip if anyone with Def. Techs. ever buys an SVS, but when consumers want an honest appraisal of the concept of powered towers our opinion is just that. An honest one, one that is given without regard to us ever selling him, or anyone for that matter, a subwoofer. Some companies are capable of that sort of honesty, hard as that may be to believe. We never say ANYTHING, simply to "sell" subwoofers. The truth is engough it seems. If you have a problem with the Nousaine data (and I get the sinking feeling you will) go ahead; but arguing model types and why various test data doesn't exist has been played out before. (New members really can just go to discussions on this same topic that go back several months, though they may have been purged by now).
    We're a small company that speaks its mind, will even recommend another brand of sub if SVS isn't for a given customer, but we rarely if EVER will recommend anyone get "powered towers" (regardless of the brand there either) if they clearly want "bass they can feel". Towers just are not a cost-effective way to achieve that.
    Powered towers are useful if you simply can not, for whatever reason find room for a sub. I can't imagine where anyone can find the space or budget for the whopper Def. Techs. and NOT have some left for a sub but I suppose anything is possible.
    Ron
     
  9. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now, I'm not questioning TN's methods...but will someone please explain something to me:
    DEF TECH BP2002TL Tower - 92.3 / 25hz ~80(single tower)
    DEF TECH Pro Tower400 - 89 / 25hz~81d (single tower)
    The Pro Tower was measured to go louder than the 2002TL at 25Hz???
    The Pro Tower has two 6 1/2" cast-basket subwoofer drivers w/125-watt RMS Infinite Power Source amp, one 6 1/2" cast-basket upper bass-midrange driver. The bp2000TL has one PowerField 12" subwoofer w/250-watt RMS Infinite Power Source amp and four 5 1/4" cast-basket bass/mid range drivers.
    Am I missing something here???
     
  10. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ron, let me post it again:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/044540.html
    Please take a look at this thread...believe me, there ARE some advantages to having powered towers (even when using external subs).
    Above, say 25-30 Hz, there is plenty of shake with my powered towers...but yes they have their limits.
     
  11. SkiingNinja

    SkiingNinja Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    0
    There was a very similar thread several months ago for those who remember... Same protagonists. I think some of the heat from that is still around.
    --
    Holadem
     
  13. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sean which powered towers did you have?
    Again, no one is arguing that it is not worthwhile to add an external sub(s)...a powered tower should be looked at as a complete, (in some cases near full-range) loudspeaker...
     
  15. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1999
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's entirely possible for a powered built-in sub to be built to have as great an extension and bass output as a dedicated sub. It might make for a very imposing speaker, but I don't think anyone will argue that it can't or isn't already done. The addition of a separate subwoofer however allows one to solve a problem which is nearly insoluble with a built-in subwoofer - that of room mode interaction.
    At the low frequencies involved, room dimensions, speaker placement and listener placement have horrendously large (15 dB or more) effects on bass response. Judicious design of room dimensions and positioning can be used to greatly reduce these effects. So why not just position the powered built-in sub/towers such that they are in positions ideal for reducing the uneven response? Simple, they have midrange and tweeters attached to them and those must be positioned so they also properly interact with the room and listener. It won't be often that the positioning that creates perfect imaging and high end response will also coincidentally be ideal for bass reproduction. A separate subwoofer allows one to have ones cake (imaging) and eat it too (good bass uniformity) - something much more difficult if one only has the positioning of the mains to work with.
    There is another consideration when it comes to bass reproduction for home theater use, that is a desire to cleanly reproduce very very low bass frequencies. Those are very difficult for a subwoofer driver to produce at high volumes. Often, it would be impossible to reach the high levels without room reinforcement. A separate sub can also be placed into a corner to intenionally be reinforced by the room to achieve greater effective output. This does create an uneven bass response due to modes, but can be tamed with appropriate equalization so the peaks are controlled and you get maximal reinforcement.
    ------------------
    Guy Kuo
    www.ovationsw.com
    Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD
     
  16. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gary I know what you are trying to say...no one is saying that a powered tower should take the place of an external sub...
    But what everyone must realize is that, if you are not going to recommend a powered tower, then you might as well not recommend ANY near-full range speaker. If you are going to "slam" a powered tower, then slam Paradigm Studio 100, NHT 3.3, Dunlavy SCIV, Revel Salon etc etc etc
    [Edited last by Bob_A on October 24, 2001 at 09:39 PM]
     
  17. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1999
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, I think we're pretty much in agreement. Full range capability in the mains is still a laudable effort. Even with a sub present, there is still an overlap range in which both mains and sub should perform well to achieve a seemless blend.
    ------------------
    Guy Kuo
    www.ovationsw.com
    Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD
     
  18. Nick G

    Nick G Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    On the ten point system I had the debate scored:
    Hubert & Bob: 3
    Ron & Tom: 7
    However since Bob brought into the debate power cords, line conditioners, outlets and speaker wire, play automatically stops and Ron & Tom win by default and I can go to bed.
     
  19. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    quote: On the ten point system I had the debate scored:
    Hubert & Bob: 3
    Ron & Tom: 7
    However since Bob brought into the debate power cords, line conditioners, outlets and speaker wire, play automatically stops and Ron & Tom win by default and I can go to bed.[/quote]
    LOL! Good one Nick, but I will have to respectfully disagree on the score...it should be the other way around. I have had many of my statements unanswered...and of course this forum does have a bias in favor of S and V [​IMG] (just kidding).
    In talking about cables, power conditioners, etc I just wanted to share my experience with these speakers...many others have tried what I have done and have gotten excellent results. Believe me, wiring method and cable choice truly do make a difference with these speakers.
    [Edited last by Bob_A on October 25, 2001 at 01:10 AM]
    [Edited last by Bob_A on October 25, 2001 at 01:12 AM]
     
  20. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 1998
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    8
    >>>I do not think anyone is arguing that a powered tower will outperform a quality external sub, particularly below 25-30Hz. This comparison is also apples to oranges...if you are going to compare the low frequency ranges of a 2002TL to an FSR15, then you might as well compare a paradigm studio 100, NHT 3.3, Dynaudio Audience, etc etc etc to the low frequency ranges of an FSR15, and then talk about how the performance pales in comparison! >I understand that this is the only data we have to work with for the 2002TL's...but let me tell you, wiring makes a significant difference for the lower frequencies for these DT powered towers. I know I cannot quantify it, and I do not know how exactly TN tested them...but with the 2002TL/2000TL/3000TL, when wired "full range", you DEFINITELY get cleaner bass (i.e. lower distortion)...again I cannot quantify this, but I know of many many people who have noted improvements in bass "quality" by: using "better" interconnects, by wiring "full range", and even by using different power outlets and power conditioners.
     

Share This Page