What would I be missing with bookshelves?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricE, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. EricE

    EricE Agent

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    For my home theater use only (5.1 only), if I were to buy 4 identical bookshelves + center channcel + subwoofer, what would I be missing vs a setup consisting of 2 towers + center + rear bookshelves + subwoofer??

    It just seems like a much more affordable route for me to take, and placement would be much easier. But if I would be missing something substantial by not getting those near full range towers in the front, I might be inclined to foot the bill for them. And I do think that no matter what I would get a subwoofer, something like a HSU VTF-2 or SVS brand.
     
  2. John Dunlap

    John Dunlap Stunt Coordinator

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    In my opinion that setup would work just fine. As long as you get a decent sub and decent bookshelves I don't think you'd be missing out on much at all. I would'nt recommend that setup for 2 channel listening but it sounds like that is'nt too important to you?

    Which bookshelves are you looking at and what's your price range if you don't mind my asking?
     
  3. EricE

    EricE Agent

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    Actually 2 channel stereo will probably be my main use. Probably 2/3 music and 1/3 home theater use. For the bookshelves that I'm going to get my budget is $400 max. My original thought was to get a pair of bookshelves now, then later on when I can afford it, get the rest of the speakers. The pair I'm probably going to get is the Energy C-1. I've also looked at (or rather auditioned) Mission M71, Polk RTi28, NHT 1.5, Acoustic Energy Aegis One, B&W 601 S3, Infinity IL10, and JBL Studio and Northridge Series'. The ones I haven't looked at that I'm gonna try to audition are Swan Divas, Wharfedale Diamond 8.1, and even possibly something from Klipsh. But I must just stop here and go with Energy.
     
  4. Nick L

    Nick L Second Unit

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    Erice, I have bookshelf speakers for my home theater and they work unbelievably! I have BA VRM50's and the VRMC up front and PSB Image 1b's in the rear. The sound they produce is absolutely jaw dropping. I've had several people over that looked at it and thought I was joking when I said I had a home theater, but when they heard it they were believers. I would not hesitate to get bookshelf speakers one bit, however you will need a good sub.
     
  5. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Eric,

    My first HT rig had bookshelves for the main's (JBL HLS810's) and it was great for home theater but, only ok for stereo. Now i have towers (PSB Stratus Silveri 's) and it covers 2 channel extremely well as well as HT. IMO, go with towers for the front being you'll be listening to a substantial amount of 2 channel. I like the full range capabilities of my towers with, and without a sub.
     
  6. Robertto

    Robertto Stunt Coordinator

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    Personal exp go w/the Axiom m22s and a sub. do a search for my comparo vs the Paradigms, and check out the axiom factory outlet store.
     
  7. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Why would you be missing anything with bookshelfs and a sub?

    I know some audiophiles will state that bass IS directional but you should listen for yourself if there's actually a difference.

    Why would studio monitors in the recording industry use bookshelfs when they are supposedly "missing" something?
     
  8. John Dunlap

    John Dunlap Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    IMO-The more of the full frequency range that your main speakers can handle, the better off you are for 2 channel. Why?? Because most subs sound kind of boomy when you are crossing over the low frequencies at a higher level-i.e. 120 hz. The ideal scenario for 2 channel listening is to have full range towers that can handle all but the lowest frequencies. The bass will just sound much tighter that way.

    By the way-I also have a pair of C-1's. I bought them as rears and I just picked up the C-9's this weekend as fronts. I love the new Connoisseur line and I think you'll be real happy with the C-1's. What are you looking at for subs??
     
  9. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    That's fine. By saving money on the mains and putting it towards a much better subwoofer you will improve all aspects of the sound quality. You won't miss much.
     
  10. Michael Lomker

    Michael Lomker Stunt Coordinator

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    In general I'd recommend towers but you'd have to spend more than $400 for something nice. I also have the PSB Silveri's ... speakers in that league are about 3x the price but the quality will blow you away.

    If I was in your position I'd start scouring Audiogon and Audioweb for a used pair of towers. You might be surprised what you can buy in the used market for 1/2 the price of new.
     
  11. EricE

    EricE Agent

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    Well my original thought was to get a pair of bookshelves now and use them as my mains. Then later when I can afford them, get a matching set of towers for the fronts and put the bookshelves in the back as my surrounds. Somewhere in there I would get the matching center channel and nice subwoofer. BUT I keep looking at the cost of towers and wonder if I'd be perfectly happy with bookshelves all around.

    John, where did you purchase your Energy speakers? Did you get them retail at Good Guys? or were you able to get them cheaper online?

    As for subs, I was thinking of getting the HSU VTF-2 or one of the cheaper SVS subs. Something under $500, but something I wouldn't want to upgrade later.
     
  12. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Eric,
    If the cost dissuades you from getting some decent towers and you do go with bookshelves, definately try and pick up a good sub. I run an SVS 20-39PC and love it! [​IMG]
     
  13. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    Same here chip...Grab a svs 2039 pci sub for 549, and grab some decent bookshelves, and you'll be good to go...I'm looking at the axiom m22's...and 150 center...looks like a win win situation...check them out at http://www.audioshop.on.ca/
     
  14. Myki Cantero

    Myki Cantero Stunt Coordinator

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    If you will be getting a sub-woofer, i guess satellites for the front would be fine.

    I initialliy had Wharfedale Diamond 8.3's at the front, and 8.1's at the rear and it sounded great! I didn't need a sub-woofer because the 8.3's had lows of around 40hz anyway. But it lacked some ooommmph for home theatre so I purchased a B&W ASW-300 sub.

    And It made me very happy. :) Later, I tried setting the front speakers to "Small", the receiever now redirects the lows to the subs more... the 8.3's now have cleaner mids and highs. I'm even happier now.

    So, if instead of getting the floor-standing 8.3's, I got the 8.1's with the sub, my hunch is that it would sound the same.
     
  15. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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  16. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Eric, the problem with most bookshelves is that they don't play very low. There are only a handful of bookshelves that can play down to 50hz within your budget.
    The PSB Image 4T Towers are on the web for ~$450 http://800stereo.org/psbim4ttow.html - a little above your price range but will be worth it in the long run. I recommend you go to www.psbspeakers.com, look for a dealer in your area, and go take a listen to them.
    IMO, you should build your speaker system s-l-o-w-l-y with the best speakers you can afford. Don't sacrifice quality just to get all your speakers and sub at once. Ask around and you will find that many folks try to get quality mains and a quality center channel first and foremost. Then you save a little more money and fill out your system with a sub and surrounds. I had towers that were solid down to ~35hz which allowed me to delay purchasing a quality sub until I had the money.
     
  17. EricE

    EricE Agent

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    Well since I will be getting a subwoofer no matter what, I figured I wouldn't need floor standers. But I wasn't sure, which is why this thread exist of course. I'm not in a rush to figure this out though since the bookshelves will be my surrounds which I'll buy first. I'll probably then get the center channel, then the subwoofer but possibly in reverse order. At that point I could decide if I really needed towers I guess.
     
  18. John Dunlap

    John Dunlap Stunt Coordinator

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    EricE-

    I got all my Energy speakers from a local dealer that I've been doing business with off and on for the last 6 years. I live in MA. and there are precious few Energy dealers in this region so my options are limited. If you're comfortable buying online you may try acousticsounddesign.com or sounddistributors.com. Both of these guys seem to have ridiculously low prices on the Energy stuff. Just watch out for shipping!
     
  19. John Dunlap

    John Dunlap Stunt Coordinator

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    Evan-


    You're right. A real good bookshelf like the Boston Acoustics VRM-60 or Paradigm Studio 40 will play real low down to 50 hz. and beyond. But the problem here is that anything in the $400 range (at least that I've heard) will sound kinda thin unless you're crossing over at a much higher frequency. I find that it takes quite a bit of tweaking of the sub to find a perfect balance. That's why I prefer to have a good pair of towers and set them as large. Just a personal preference.
     
  20. John_Bilbrey

    John_Bilbrey Stunt Coordinator

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    For $300, you can get the Boston CR85s. These girls will wail for music, with plenty of punch....sounded better than the Klipsch towers I auditioned them next to. As for home theater, get a good sub with these and you WILL NOT be disappointed.
     

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