Tower or Mini's/Bookshelf Sound quality

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by JustinG, May 21, 2003.

  1. JustinG

    JustinG Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey all! new member here.

    Got a question for the afficianados.

    Currently I have DCM KX12 mains with the DCM CC that I bought back in 1997. I use a couple of KLH 970As for surrounds (dont let the name knock ya, they rock for surround).

    Anyway, the wifey decided that the giant towers had to go when we move to the new house in June. I guess they're way too manly or something. So, I've been researching and auditioning some speakers.

    So, I had my eye on some Klipsch quintets and some comparable Deftech mini's. Both are moderately priced sets. But, when I listened to them, it sure seemed that they lacked definition. They both seemed they had lots of highs, but the mid range was definitely lackluster. Is this a symptom of all small/mini speakers? I would assume it is.

    Will towers fill the mids/highs better than small speakers every time to give a fuller sound stage? I have a JBL 12" sub, so the lows are covered.

    At this time, my DCM's cover the full range for sound really well. I get a great mix of high/low/mids. I'm afraid that by trying to please the wife and get the small speakers, I'll be selling myself short on sound quality.

    So, any comments/suggestions?

    I've pretty much made up my mind on getting the Fluance ES-1's with some of the bipoles for surround and the Fluance center for matching. They fit my price range. I guess I could get a more expensive brand, but I probably couldn't tell the difference, and the new house would be without window treatments.

    Also, for reference, I am running these on a Kenwood 3080 but plan on upgrading to the Onkyo TX-SR800 later. TIA!
     
  2. JeremyJP

    JeremyJP Auditioning

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    Well you know how I feel about the fluances. The Fluance AV-5 mains and the center I got sound beautiful with the TXSR800.

    I didn't audition enough small speakers to give you better feedback about that, however. Soz!
     
  3. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Justin, I think you pretty much heard right when it comes to sat/sub combos. It is really way too dificult, if not impossible to have a complet mid/high end with sat's. Generaly the 3 inch drivers in most sat's will not be enough. This is why most people opt to go to bookshelves. The drivers are generaly larger which in turn will better complete the soundstage. If you listen to a lot of music you will notice a huge difference between the two. Towers will of course complete the soundstage even more but a good sub with bookshelves will do a more than adequate job. Although I personaly opted for towers because I think it souded a bit fuller for music and have sub to handle the l.f.e. There are sooooo many options to choose from that the only real way to decide is to audition for yourself. good luck.
     
  4. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahh, Justin, you have been exposed to the dreaded WAF ("Wife Acceptance Factor"). It is going to be hard to match the sound you are used to with the DCM (I use to own DCM Time Windows, until I foolishly sold them to my Dad), so I know the sound you like. But the hard part is the laws of physics--no matter what Dr. Bose claims, you can't get decent low frequencies info out of a 3" speaker! It can be a bit unnerving to learn that all of the bass info is coming out of the subwoofer which may be behind your seating position!

    I can't comment on the Fluance and anything I would suggest would probably cost more, BUT I can suggest a system or two that would approach the DCM sound in a system that would probably be accetable to your wife. Check out the following:

    1. Aperion Audio-Satellite speakers are about 11.5" tall and they have a DiAural crossover which gives that spacious sound you are used to with the DCMs. Have gotten rave reviews here in the US (see the eCoustics.com website under Product Reviews-Home Theater Speaker Systems). Have a 5 1/4" mid/bass driver, but the cabinet is something like and inch thick, making it very non resonant (compared to the usual 0.6" cabinets). The finish on these speakers is fantastic. Product is strictly mail order/internet(www.aperionaudio.com), but they have a 30 day trial period. Price varies depending upon package purchased.

    2. JM Labs Sib & Cub- a French speaker company with a suitably stupid name ("Sib" is short for sibling which refers to the satellites and Cub refers to the subwoofer), but the product is great. The sound is quite good and and the units are very flexible. Satellites are about 10" high and come with an articulating wall mount. Unlike most small sub/sat systems, these have a large enough mid/bass driver (5") to give you good enough sound that you can easily use two of them for decent listening in stereo. (MSRP $1195-check for a local dealer for a listen).

    These systems are made to impress the wife with their good looks and you with their sound (I understand so well as I too, am in the throes of this same debate).

    Good luck!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JustinG

    JustinG Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,

    Thanks for the link to Aperion. Yes, that Cherry finish is a perfect color. [​IMG]

    WAF is correct. But, you know, she won't be happy with anything I buy, so at least I can be happy, right??

    I'll research the Aperian speakers more.

    And yes, I will miss those DCMs. They served their master well these years. Maybe I can keep them and hook them up to my computer or something down the road.
     

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