Unnecessary to have big mains?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by LaMarcus, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Messages:
    1,619
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been thinking a lot about if having these huge, powerful, stupendous main speakers are necessary for HT?

    I don't really listen to any music with my setup, so my mains are really for voice/sound effects in movies. So, how much speaker do I really need? The sub handles all the low's, so what would be the point of me buying some huge tower speakers?

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    With no music and only HT, very small sats with a real mean subwoofer have some advantages on clarity, ect...

    I don't think you will get any real benefit from very large fronts if you don't do any music.

    Others may feel differently though.
     
  3. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use relativly small main speakers for music and movies. I have GR-research AV 1's. They are 3 DB down at 50 Hz which isnt bad at all and my tempest is crossed over at 49 Hz to cover the last few octaves. They blend seemlesly for music and for movies i get the deep bass punch. I have never been a big fan on large main speakers. You going to have to have a subwoofer to hit the low 30's and below anyways. Of course there isnt much music that goes below 30 Hz but some of the stuff i listen to does. All in all If you have a good transparent subwoofer there really is no reason to get large tower speakers. Most the ones I have heard dont have the nice razor sharp imageing of good bookshelfs. so i really go for the bookshelfs more but thats just me.


    Ryan
     
  4. RayM

    RayM Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm about 70% HT/30% Music and I can't really justify getting large towers either when the sub takes care of most the low-end. I feel a good set of bookshelfs would be adequate.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Same as Ray and Ryan. I am about 70% music, and I am a fan of bookshelf speakers, preferably larger ones. I went with 3 GR Resarch A/V-2s up front, and I am very happy. I often listen to music with my sub off, because the mains sound so clean. With a sub, as long as your mains cover low enough to blend well with the sub based on your crossover, I don't see any substantial benefit to towers.
     
  6. Keith Hyde

    Keith Hyde Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    No music?! Ix-nay on the towers. They're mainly for effects - bangs, dings, drive-bys., screaming babies in the side-screen. Car doors slamming doesn't get you picky on "bright" or "soft" speakers or their dynamic range like the keys of a piano, a horn player, an upright bass pluck. You may get a few seconds of "5-channel stereo" (like the Matrix Club scene) where towers may be nice, but for 5 seconds of movie... not worth it. I know lots of folks fully content with a set of Paradigm Monitor 20's or 40's or the equivalent on stands. All you probably want.

    I'd say I listen to 80/20 Music/HT and I if I won the lottery I'd be surrounded by Paradigm Signature to-the-sky towers. But that's just me, and a funny little dream of mine.
     
  7. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    0
    Large speakers aren't just for the bass. Right, Brett? [​IMG]
     
  8. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,370
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd also have to say that it depends on the size of the room and the x-over point. A small speaker may sound good in a small room but will usually sound thinner in a larger room (like my superzeroes I use for my computer, it was very thin sounding in my main theater room). Don't forget to try various speakers before making a judgement,the only axiom that holds in this hobby is that quality, preferrance, and value are all subjective to each listener.
     
  9. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    1,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Room size is a huge factor. I used to run Monitor 5's with an SVS 20-39pci before we went a bought a house; I was in love with this combination. The floor space of the old and new listening areas wasn't that much different, but now we have ceilings that go as high as 18' at their peak. The 5's were totally overwhelmed and washed away by all this space to fill with sound. We went out and picked up monitor 11's, which I was somewhat reluctant to do because I wasn't sure it would really improve the sound quality, but I was wrong. Having twice as many drivers in the 11's made all the difference in the world. They sounded amazing. So when the upgrade bug hit again several months later, going to the studio line meant I was set on only one speaker - the studio/100's. I use the 20's as surrounds, and I have played with them in front just to see if even the higher quality line would have the same problem as the monitor line, and it did. They did a better job than the monitor 5's, but not by much. When you have a large open area to fill, larger speakers can make a huge difference.....at least in my experience [​IMG]
     
  10. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly what Alanz and Robert said. Room size is really ultimately the deciding factor. Bookshelves are great and you can get a lot of bang for the dollar but I needed towers to ultimately get the sound I was looking for. I think if you are in a smaller room and you have a GOOD sub than bookshelves can bo more than adequate. I think a lot has to do with the sub though. Excellent bookshelves with a crappy sub will sound bad.
    Plus I think towers look bad-ass[​IMG] !! It may sound stupid but how my stuff looks really effects the way I think about the system overall. I do not like the look of bookshelves on stands......many people prefer the look of bookshelves. It can become an aesthetic issue too.........I have been married too long [​IMG] .
     
  11. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Messages:
    1,619
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually Evan, I agree with you. I personally like the way towers looks vs. bookshelves. The two could possible be rated exactly the same and I'd think the towers were louder some how. Although I do like the way in-walls look, or book shelves mounted on the wall. I'd take that over towers.
     
  12. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are oversize bookshelves that have excellent bass extension. The thing is, by the time you buy stands for these, you may as well have bought floor standers.

    I was auditioning Paradigm Studio speakers, and as good as the 20s and 40s were, when I jumped to the 60s, there was an improvement in the sound. The larger cabinet seemed to give a more even sound. I don't think it's so much an issue of sheer POWER as it is of SONIC QUALITY. (as it should rightfully be in all audio applications, but I digress)
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's nice to know that some other folks are starting to poin out that room size is a very important factor in choosing speakers for either HT or music. There's nothing like a speaker that craps out in the midbass region because the room is too large for them.

    Remember, the only absolutes in life are death and taxes. [​IMG]
     
  14. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    0


    I think that's what explained my Paradigm Studio phenomenon. The room they were in was about twice the size of where I was looking at putting them. Ended up going Energy Veritas anyways, but hey...
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm a big fan or a superior monitor over a similarly-priced tower. And there are some monitors out there that can really move in the bass department. I listen to a VERY wide variety, and while I have an SVS to fill in down low a little bit, they need to rock out on their own. While with some brands I find I'd prefer a tower because the standmounters are too thin, perhaps bright (i find this the case for B&W often, for e.g.), most of the time I'd prefer the better sound of a better monitor than a tower a line down at the same price.

    The sub does all the heavy lifting for movies, though. And when I want to knock down the walls with music, I turn off s-direct and let the sub do heavy lifting there. There's only so much a 17cm driver can do. I think I'm rambling.
     
  16. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Drew, I am having hard time deciding on whether to go with the Paradigm S2,Energy Veritas 2.2i, Paradigm Studio 60, Energy Veritas 2.3i. How did you make up your mind going with the Veritas, did you find them sound better, in what way, or just cheaper? Thank you in advance.
     
  17. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    I find that I prefer speakers with significant bass extension in as many channels as possible, in my room. I find it gives a much smoother presentation (blend) for either music or movies, than sending all the bass to the subwoofer. It's not that it sounds _bad_ with all speakers set to small, because it doesn't. It just sounds better with the large speakers set to large. [​IMG] It's tricky to describe really, but with seven sources of bass (center set to small), the room just seems more evenly filled with bass, and there are less dead or peaky spots in the response as you move around the room.


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  18. Rogozhin

    Rogozhin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have my SD 300Tis set to large-I wouldn't give up the 40-80hz sweeps that they can do-it makes the movies much more VIVID.

    rogo
     
  19. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Aaron, you get more clarity and take full advantage of the discrete channels when using big speakers in the large mode. I like the sheer slam and air moving abilities of large speakers.
    Being in the retail side of it, I see the opposite being the more popular choice regularly due to a variety of factors; budget, space restrictions and the sound being good enough for most folks.
     
  20. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1999
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Mark Seaton
    Having set up some systems in very large rooms as well as some rediculously(beautifully???) powerful systems, my assertion is that you do not need, nor WANT very low frequency performance from you main speakers. Extension to 50-80Hz should be plenty, and below 40 is just a waste. That said, there is still reason to have larger main speakers. Most main speakers simply run out of gass much below 100-200Hz when it comes to big dynamics and filling moderate to larger rooms. The problem is that manufacturers and consumers need to shift away from thinking that big speakers have to get low. Big can also be used to get louder and cleaner with less power. A good example of this would be the characteristics of efficiency and extension in Triad's Platinum LCR.
     

Share This Page