tom vodhanel, about power towers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by felix_suwarno, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    "Thus, the most accurate audio reproduction is usually goinbg to result from NOT using *powered* towers or even full range speakers on any channel. Highpassing all channels in the 60-100hz range and having one quality sub(or even two placed near one another)will usually result in the most accurate audio reproduction. Of course,accuracy might not be the goal...and all bets are off then..."

    since you are the V on SVS off course i have tons of respect to you. but if that is so, why would speaker manufacturers keep producing powered speakers? and there was someone who said even dolby suggested full range speakers on all channel.

    and i CANT trust my ears. i CANT go to a dealer and ask them to demo the speakers. simply because there are people who said ( and they made sense ):

    - the showroom acoustic is different with your living room

    - even a slightest difference on the volume would steer you to believe that the louder speakers sound better

    etc etc etc etc. I CANT BELIEVE MY OWN EARS! and off course I CANT demo the speakers at home since i have to break em up before i can hear them critically. too many parameters, confusing me.

    please explain in greater detail about the minus points of using powered speakers.

    thankssss
     
  2. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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  3. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    yea, but that means there are still 2 subwoofers on the 2 main speakers. what about the bass cancellation issues? if the manufacturer knew about that issues, i think they wouldnt have created powered speakers in the first place. or maybe they could get rid of the bass cancellation issues with their tower speaker design?
     
  4. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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  5. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    why are cancellation issues not important to these people?
     
  6. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    Here is the most recent thread about powered towers to which felix is referring to:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=49377
    I don't think that Def Tech's marketing should be of any major concern here, because we all should know by now that a powered tower is NOT an external sub, but rather is a near full range loudspeaker.
    felix, to answer your question as to "why would speaker manufacturers keep producing powered speakers?"...well, I disagree with Tony here. I feel that these manufacturers keep producing powered speakers because they truly feel that these speakers represent a large jump in performance. Adding a powered woofer to a speaker allows the manufacturer to have complete control over the blending process, which is ideal I would say. It gives the user more control for the lower frequencies of each main channel. It also takes some strain away from the power amps, which are only required to drive the high and mid sections of the speakers. Finally, it gives you a near full range main channel loudspeaker which can be effectively crossed between, say, 40-80Hz when used with an external sub.
    Having lived with some quality powered towers for over two years, I can assure you that there are some benefits to having a powered tower which I feel cannot be matched by running everything below, say, 80Hz to a corner-loaded external sub. These benefits involve a coherence of soundstage and a blending between highs/mids/lows which are generally superb with well-designed powered towers (provided that they are given some room to breathe). Of course, we also know that there are benefits to using a quality external sub corner-loaded. These benefits include enhanced output associated with the design and with the placement (corner-loading) of a quality external sub, as well as arguably flatter frequency response at multiple seating positions. Even so, I feel that one should not compromise on the ability of his main channel loudspeakers to reproduce bass, especially if the system is used for music and movies. That is why I say near full range speakers + external sub(s) could lead to an "ideal" setup in the long run for a music/movie system (provided that the speakers work well in the room).
    You can look at "high-end" speakers from many well-respected speaker manufacturers such as Dynaudio, ACI, nOrh, AV Reality, Def Tech, Mirage, Paradigm, NHT, etc. and you will find speakers which, in essence, serve as "powered" towers. And of course, there are countless other manufacturers of the likes of Wilson Audio, Revel, Sonus Faber, B&W, Martin Logan, VMPS, Von Schweikert, etc. etc. etc. who make "high-end" speakers which are near full range loudspeakers. So why does it seem that pretty much ALL of these guys are not concerned about "cancellation"? Probably because they feel there are benefits to having near full range capability from your main channel loudspeakers that far outweigh any theoretical downsides. Just my humble opinion though.
     
  7. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    "Probably because they feel there are benefits to having near full range capability from your main channel loudspeakers that far outweigh any theoretical downsides. Just my humble opinion though. "

    that is why i want to ask tom v, since i am sure he KNOW the exact answer. how come there was a "benefit" of having cancellation? or what is the factor that outweigh these cancellations?
     
  8. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "why are cancellation issues not important to these people?"

    Cancellation issues are important for most everyone with an audio system, but as was stated before, some people truly have no choice but to own powered tower speakers. I personally know of four couples that have powered main speakers in their systems. Why? Because the significant other wouldn't allow them to have big black boxes or "water heaters" in their homes. These people represent a large portion of the powered tower purchasers.

    Michael
     
  9. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    duh. after all this debate, it comes to wife acceptance factor in the end???!!! aaaaaarggggghhhh
     
  10. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "duh. after all this debate, it comes to wife acceptance factor in the end???!!! aaaaaarggggghhhh"
    It seems you refuse to accept what those manufacturers of powered tower speakers have determined, that indeed spouse acceptance is an issue. And this is true not just for subwoofers, but for most of the audio components as well. It is a reason why Bose and other small speaker manufacturers are so successful.
    And while it really doesn't matter, it was the husband that wanted the powered tower speakers (Canton Karats) in one of the four couples I mentioned before.
    Michael
     
  11. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    okay, got it. thank you verrrry much. originally i wanted boston vr965, but if i had svs ultra, then boston vr950 would suffice.
     
  12. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    "Having lived with some quality powered towers for over two years, I can assure you that there are some benefits to having a powered tower which I feel cannot be matched by running everything below, say, 80Hz to a corner-loaded external sub."

    Bob, I know you said you "feel" this to be the case and closed with "in my humble opinion" etc, but don't you think it might be worth noting, for the uninitiated, that you have zero experience with the very scenario you are discussing? I mean of course that you are hypothesizing about potential disadvantages using a subwoofer when you have never even heard a subwoofer in your system. (NOTE: Before you start typing I KNOW you didn't use the word "disadvantages", this is however what you implied, that despite what Tom has said, you feel there are disadvanges to running a sub. If only you would base this on a some simple old-fashioned experience.)

    Sort of a self-licking icecream cone you have going here it seems. You feel there are "sonic benefits" which "cannot be matched" with quality powered towers, yet have not even tried a sub (and seem to think this is not even worth mentioning to our fine readers here?).

    I know you are just trying to help discuss the merits of "powered towers" but it's this sort of strawman arguement that has led to one pointless debate after another, involving you and "powered towers". This is not the sort of useful advice (you know, the sort of typically based on actual experience) folks seeking basic information need. Unless you are trying to convince folks about the merits of big Def Techs like yours based on your use of very selective information (and humble opinion) that is.

    PS, continue on Bob. I'm sure you'll have a pithy response filled with lots of quotes and counter-quotes and crys of "foul"; but I just felt there were enough new folks around that deserve to know your creditility in dispensing advice about subwoofers is suspect at best.

    Ron
     
  13. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Felix,
    I don't have the answer you're looking for (and this thread is destined to go downhill from here)- but I don't entirely agree with Tom or Ron or Bob's statements on the matter... and aside from that I can say this:
    Manufacturers have marketing people, and as they are in the business of making money, they offer products to suit their customer's needs. This doesn't always mean the best quality product, or most logical design- rather it means serving the needs and the wants of the customer.
    I don't think the merit of powered towers as audio devices have any influence at all on WHY they are made. The same way you and I know that DVD players with built in receivers and tiny sat speakers wired to a "bass cube" are not the best approach to quality- manufacturers still offer these systems. Even respected manufacturers often offer products which are not ideal in terms of performance or quality to meet the demands of their customer.
    The examples one could provide are endless. Think of the auto industry: performance often takes a back seat to safety and often styling-- and all of those take a back seat to what people want to buy. Do you think a Lincoln Navigator is the best way for my Aunt Mary to get to-from the bank? Hell no. That doesn't stop her from wanting on, and doesn't stop Lincoln from making one.
    The examples go on and on and on- every type of market has products which are serious about ideal performance-- and some are created simply to meet price points or lifestyle demands of their customer. Look around your house- I'm sure you could find 100 things that are a compromise to how it "should be" done in the eyes of a purist.
    I personally feel "powered towers" can offer excellent performance overall- and with careful configuration, placement and room acoustics can be used without cancellation issues. For the majority who want a simple system to go together without help from NASA and sound good when watching a film- a single sub with satellites is going to offer the best performance.
    However, even if that is/isn't the case- my buddy Nate would still have his Paradigms with powered subs simply because he doesn't have room for a dedicated sub in his apartment. Companies make money by giving customers what they want, not always what they need.
    -Vince
     
  14. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    thanks vince, i should have asked this in the beginners forum.
     
  15. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    felix, if you had no intention of upgrading your sound system in the future, then you should go with the 950 + external sub. If you do have some intentions of upgrading in the future, and particularly if you listen to a lot of music and if you can give the speakers some room to breathe, then IMHO you should seriously consider getting the 965 and add an external sub down the road when convenient. If you get the feeling that 965 + external sub will be more satisfying vs. 950 + external sub over the long run, then it may be worth it to consider the 965.

    __________________________________________________ _

    I have listened to many different setups in local stores where an external subwoofer has been used (including quality external subs like the Mirage BPS-400 and the Martin Logan Descent)...and I have not found any such setup using a corner-loaded external sub which seems to blend as nicely as my setup at home. I could probably say this about any well-designed near full range speaker vs. speakers with less "formidable" low frequency response + corner-loaded external sub (crossed over at 80Hz). If someone doesn't believe me, then listen to some bp2000TL's in a proper setup, and compare them to some nonpowered towers + corner-loaded external sub (crossed over at 80Hz), and then tell me that blending on the bp2000TL is not ideal. You really need to hear them to believe it.
     
  16. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    thats the problem, bob. i dont want to think with my feelings. i want a fact. i cant even trust my own ears, since i am really unexperienced. i just want to get the best i could get. lets say, i want the ultimate weapon that can destroy as many migs effectively. so i want AMRAAMs, not SIDEWINDERS, even though people say sidewinders would be more effective in such and such situation, etc etc etc. i want a fact, not some assumed situation.

    i listen to 80 percent music, 15 percent dvd, 5 percent videogames. but that doesnt mean movies and videogames are not important to me. i just dont have the time to watch and play videogames the way i used to be.

    i just wish i could demo all systems, but off course that is not possible. based on what people said, it would be better for me to just get vr950, with at least an svs ultra. i have no "wife acceptance factor" to be considered.
     
  17. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    felix, what is your budget for main channel loudspeakers? What will you be driving them with? How big is your room, and will there be any major placement restrictions? How much space in between, to the rear, and to the sides do you think you will be able to provide for your loudspeakers in the room?
    Since you are 80% music, you should seriously consider starting a new post here or at www.audioasylum.com or at www.audioreview.com and ask for opinions on "musical" subwoofers...I think you will find the results to be helpful.
     
  18. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i cant answer those questions bob, but thanks for your willingness to help. i am moving to a new house sometime next year, so i dont want to purchase a new system now. but off course, i am doing the research from now. the bostons make me drool.

    but about budget...it depends on what i want to get. i want vr950, vr910 center, denon avr2802 and outlaw 750. should be just under 2500.
     
  19. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    I like Boston Acoustics speakers as well...I think you should be happy with them. Good luck!
     
  20. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    I have a quick, honest question for you, Bob. I'm not taking a shot. We PM'd each other about an "agenda" issue before, and I really am just curious. It seems you speak of a properly calibrated powered tower setup versus a sub/sat(or less than near full-range speaker) setup. When speaking of sub/sat setups, you say you have heard many in stores, and they don't sound as good as your Def Techs at home. Well, we all know that store setups are, for the most part, very far from ideal. Just as I'm sure your Def Techs sound better (with all your proper setting up) than they do in just about 99% or more of the stores selling them, I would think that a properly calibrated sub/sat system would similarly put to shame most store setups (the sub/sats may be even worse as far as in-store setup).

    So the question is: Have you heard a sub/sat system that was properly set up? It just doesn't seem right to compare your properly set up Def Techs to sub/sat systems that are most likely far from the best setup. I was honestly curious, because you seem to honestly believe that a powered tower can compete with a sub/sat system. That may very well may be the case, but how much tweaking goes into that? It just seems, from what I've read, that it's almost always easier to get better sound using a sub and crossing over the other speakers at 50 to 80 (maybe even 100) hertz.

    Steve
     

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