Why tower speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Craig_O, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. Craig_O

    Craig_O Agent

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    From the numerous post I've read the best way to run your front speakers is to set them to small for home theatre, then why would anyone want to buy tower speakers if you are not going to use the full range of the tower. It seems the way to go would either be with satelites or bookshelf speakers. I was thinking of upgrading from my Super Duper Bose system (he says sarcastically) to the either the Mirage OM-9 or their new Omniseries bookshelfs. There is about a $500 difference between the two. What do you guys think. Thanks.
     
  2. Ted_Wern

    Ted_Wern Agent

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    Well, first of all we don't all set the mains to small. I just bought the Paradigm Studios 100's and switched them to large. Switching them to large will mean you have to run your amp harder then if the mains were set to small. Like all speaker decisions.....it's a matter of preference. The Studio 100's are a kick ass speaker and I want to use that speaker to it's full potential. I believe there is a thread about "small vs. Lg setting" someowhere.
     
  3. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Also, keep in mind that the crossover filter is not a brickwall type filter. So, if it's set at 80 Hz, then the signal is down 3 dB at 80 Hz, and then depending on the slope of the filter (12 dB/ octave is common) the signal would be down 15 dB by the time you got to 40 Hz.

    So, if you're playing fairly loud levels, and you have bookshelf speakers that can get to 65 Hz solid, but fall off a cliff below that, you will notice some difference between that and some tower speakers that can go lower.

    How much a difference is determined by a host of other factors. But, basically, the point I'm tyring to make is that just because your receiver high-passes the fronts (when set to small) at 80 Hz, does not mean that any capability below 80 Hz is wasted.
     
  4. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    "Why eat applejacks if they don't taste like apples"

    We eat (or in this case listen to) what we like!

    I don't run my mains as small (they are towers) and they
    are Bi-Amped with 100 Watts RMS going to the HF side and
    500 Watts RMS going to the LF Side.

    I guess it's all in what you like. If you go listen to some
    bookshelfs and you like thier sound and you can integrate
    them with a good sub you will most likely spend less money
    than going with a set of towers that are as capeable as
    the BookShelf + Sub Combo.
     
  5. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    First, let me encourage you to opt for the om-9's. I've owned a pair of om-10's (the predecessors to the 9's) for almost 3 years now and love them to death. Mirage makes some absoultely spectacular speakers in their pricerange.

    As for running towers as small, I have been back and forth with my 10's from small to large a couple times now and now and it can be a difficult call. Both seem to have their own merits in theater. I finally opted for large. (since I've put a small sub inline with them, but that's a whole other post).

    The om-9's I think you'll find will do pretty well as large speakers, although I would not specifically have them help with LFE if you have that kind of bass management. Let them take full range for the main music and movie tracks, but let your sub hang on to the LFE specific signals by itself.

    One thing to note though is that a number of people prefer to listen to music without a sub, even if they run their mains as small for theater, they run them as large for music. In this case, towers are a HUGE advantage.
     
  6. Craig_O

    Craig_O Agent

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    The OM-9's were my fist choice until I saw the new Omni Series (not OmniSats) mirage has just released. They sound pretty close to the OM-9's but seem to be a lot easier to place. I plan on going back to my local dealer with a few of my favorite dvds and do some side by side comparisons.
    I should have mentioned that I rarely listen to music anymore but that could be becasue of my current bose system which really lacks in sound quality. I'm about to upgrade my whole system with the following so tell me what you guys thing.

    Either Mirage OM-9's or Omni 60s - front
    Mirage OM-C2 - center
    Receiver- Pioneer 45tx
    Subwoofer SVS 20-39PC+ or the 20-39 Ultra (can't decide between the two).

    Thanks for all your input guys you been a big help..
     
  7. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    It's also important to keep in mind the size of your room. Towers will have much better bass output in a 10'x12' room than in a 15'x30' room.
     
  8. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Brian,

    That is a very good point! That could be why my 9's put
    out what I would define as tremendous bass. I could and
    have lived without a "dedicated" sub for a long time now
    and with the addition of more than adequate power the bass
    output has increased (along with the other tweaks I have
    done). And my room is certainly part of the equasion since
    it is 13x16.5 if it were 30x16 or so, the bass would be as
    you said, less than stellar.

    But that is not stopping me from the dedicated sub approach
    either. [​IMG]
     
  9. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,
    I'll second that about room size being an excellent point. For reference, I have my om-10's in a 12x20' room.

    Craig,
    Looks like a formidable combination for a system. I looked very hard at a 45tx a couple weeks ago but finally opted for a Yamaha RX-V3300. It was VERY close. To me, the Yamaha just seemed to open open the speakers up a little more (I was demoing at my dealer on om-9's). You might want to give it a listen if you haven't.

    Also, the C2 is a fanstastic center channel. I'm a little jealous, as I'm running a C3 right now. But I think my next upgrade will be a C2 and shifting the C3 to the center rear for true 6.1. That said, I kind of see the C2 as a bit of overkill combined with omnisats for mains. It would be a better match for the om-9's. Keep in mind that the C2 is meant to be a very capable match all the way up to the om-5 flagships. But the C2 may be a better upgrade path. See below.

    The last thing I noticed was you have no indication of surrounds. I'm guessing you're putting them off till later. In light of that, if you do opt for the omnisat's now for mains, be aware that they make absolutely fantastic surrounds so you could upgrade to a nice pair of om towers later and not feel like the sats were a wasted purchase cause you can move them to surrounds. Going this route would make sense for a C2 and omnisats to start.

    Not matter which of these you opt for, you're going to have a vast improvement over the Bose system. Which I'm guessing is the main goal anyway [​IMG] Good luck and have fun. You can never listent to too many combinations before you buy.
     
  10. Craig_O

    Craig_O Agent

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    Adam,

    Did you have any problems when trying to place your OM-10's as I read on other posts where the OM-9's can be tricky to place. Also the other fronts I was considering are the Omni Seris 60's (i think is what they are called) and not the Omnisats. These are actually a bookshelf speaker with two 6 1/2 midranges and 1 tweeter. I'm going to my local dealer probably this weekend with some of my own dvd's to listen to a comparison with & without a subwoofer to determine how much of a difference there is if any. And I was thinking that with money I saved on the bookshelf's I could also upgrade the surrounds with the same speakers all around. You bring up a good point about using the om-c3 as a rear center speaker. I never thought of that option. It's nice to talk with someone who has the mirage speakers as it doesn't appear to be that many people with them..Thanks again for you input.
     
  11. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig,
    No, there doesn't seem too many Mirage owners on here. There's a few though. We gotta stick together against all those Paradigm owners :wink:

    Now, settle in, this is a long one. [​IMG]

    I keep forgetting Mirage has the seperate Omni series now. (smacks self for not remembering) Most of what I said about the Omnisats will hold true for the Omni 60's except that the 60's will be a little better compromise towards full towers than the sats because of they have a real cabinet and woofer. I checked Mirage's website to confirm and I think you'll find that the Omni 60's still only have a single 6 1/2" woofer. The Omni series doesn't move to two woofers till you hit the floorstanders and those still only have one tweeter (unlike the OM's). The 50's and 60's are basically beefed up Omni sats with better enclosures and a consideraby larger woofer. Likewise I noticed that Mirage has a seperate Omni CC series center channel. This may be a better route to take for more consistent sound across the front than either the C2 or C3 if you go Omni mains. I'm not familiar with he Omni CC though so you'll have to do some listening there.

    As for placement, I really have not experienced the horrors so many people relate about placing bipolar (Omnipolar) speakers. I think the biggest problem is that people don't give them breathing room. They expect to stuff them back in the corners of their theater like every other speaker they've owned and that simply doesn't work. Mirage recommends a minimum of about 15" between the rear of the speaker and the wall and about 18" between the speaker and side wall for the OM series. I'm not sure how this differs for the Omni series since they don't have quite the same radiating pattern as the OM series, but I'd imagine it's something similar.

    Basically, Mirage has all three lines of their Omnipolar speakers positioned in line. Obviously the bottom end Omni series is step up from the Omnisat and the bottom OM model (the 9's) are a step up from the top Omni floorstander. This isn't to pressure you into thinking that you should buy the OM-9's cause they're "better". You're listening has to determine that. This is to say on paper they justify the move up in price. As far as moving air volume goes, the OM-9's could roughly be compared to using two sets of 60's as your mains.

    All the series fall in line without overlap. The really good thing about this is that with maybe the exception of the Omnisats and what would appear to be plastic cabinets, everything should be pretty similar in tone. This should make it relatively easy to blend Omni 60's with a set of OM-9's down the road.

    Keep reading for my own thoughts on an upgrade path. Stop now if you don't want me trying to influence you with what to do. It's so much fun spending someone elses money. [​IMG]

    I think if it were me and budget allowing, I would get the OM-9's and a C2 to start and add some OM-R2's or a set of Omni 60's later for full 5.1. Also figuring in a C3 for 6.1 or a second set of R2's or 60's for for 7.1 For what it's worth, I think you may find the R2's are a little more forgiving for placement as surround speakers since they can sit against the wall. If budget doesn't allow, I would get the C2 and Omni 60's now and move to OM-9's later on, making the 60's surrounds. Of course whether you end up later with 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1, it shouldn't be too difficult to shuffle all these Mirage speakers around in your setup as you upgrade. The only danger is buying a whole set of something like Omni 60's now and then not needing all of them when you upgrade. In my experience, it's better to buy what sounds the best to you even if it means not having a full surround package to start than to compromise what you really like for a full package. The upgrade bug will get you either way, but it tends to ease things if you have a clear upgrade need (like needing surrounds because you don't have any) than if you're starting to replace things (like buying new mains). Might also be less of a fight with the little lady too.

    It all comes down to what **you** (not me) thinks sounds the best or maybe even if you can't tell any difference. (Although I think if you start listening without a sub, you will) If they sound the same to you, why pay extra? Just remember you can never listen too much.
     
  12. Craig_O

    Craig_O Agent

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    Adam,
    I'm probably going to go ahead with the OM-9's as I purchased the om-c2 a coupe of months ago before the the new series came out and boy was it a major upgrade from the Bose center channel I had. I just wanted to get some opinions since the mirage released the new series. I wasn't quite sure how they matched up to the OM series which i fell in love with a few months back. Your last post was really a big help and GO MIRAGE LOVERS!!
     
  13. Jim_P

    Jim_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig:

    Lets get the horse in front of the cart.

    Speakers can be very funny about what you drive them with. The same speaker that you hear at the dealer driven with a solid 200 watts that sounds wonderful is not going to sound the same driven by a smaller amp. Lower frequencies are mostly affected by the amp wattage.

    What you might want to do here at the front end is figure out how much you are willing to spend on your system and go from there as to matching speakers to existing or future amps.
     
  14. Craig_O

    Craig_O Agent

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    The most I wanted to pay for the Fronts (not including center) is around $1,500. Mirage's OM-9s fall in that price range as their next speakers up (om-7's) are around 2k. Just wish I knew where I could find the om-7's cheaper as the look like a better speaker.
     
  15. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    I own the Mirage OM5's and run them on large. They carry a 250 watt amp in them for the lower end frequencies. Mirage make an excellent speaker. I have had no problems with placemnt. In my opinion these omnipolar speakers are very forgiving because of their ability to develop such a large soundstage. When running them on small I lose the high level connection for my Rel sub. Also, with a b&K Ref2220 amp (220 watts per channel) connected to the OM5's there is no drain on due to the lower end frequencies. Have owned Mirage for 2 years now. If you have any questions regarding them repost.

    KM
     
  16. Mike Poindexter

    Mike Poindexter Stunt Coordinator

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    I will also chime in here: I run towers, if you can call them that, and I set them to full range/large. I don't run a subwoofer and feed the LFE back into my mains. I run full range/large on every channel.

    There is a benefit to running your speakers as small and sending all the bass to the sub - it happens when your mains cannot put out the bass they need to. Make sure your mains can put out the bass and get an amp that will drive them properly and you won't want to run your speakers on small.

    If your speakers can handle the bass, then you will find that you don't want to run with them as small at all. If they are really awesome, then you will find you don't even need a sub. Either way, you will find that there are many ways to set up your speakers and not all speakers will be best sounding set up the same way.
     
  17. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Mike,

    I have seen your rig... I don't even call those speakers
    I call those Cranium Erradicators! [​IMG] I would KILL for
    those puppies [​IMG]

    I am very pleased with my little towers that do 30Hz at
    100Db sure they won't do 20Hz at 100.. Thats where the
    stand alone sub will come in.. I debated long and hard if
    I wanted to just bypass the dual 10's in my mains and use
    my single 12" to handle everything from 120Hz down to 19Hz
    but it defeats the purpose of owning towers that are meant
    to run large.

    I will play with all the possible setups when my 12" sealed
    sub is done but I am fairly certain I am just going to run
    my 12 from 30Hz down and let my mains do down to 30 like
    they were meant to do.. At 30Hz they are clean and musical
    even at 27Hz they sound great (though they are down quite
    a bit)

    I guess it all depends on the particular speaker and the
    preference of the owner. I honestly love having near full
    range mains and I couldn't imagine having a bookshelf for
    a main even if it was the best dang bookshelf on the planet.

    Some people prefer the Bookshelf/Sub setup and that's cool
    but I love towers... (I love your "towers" Mike) [​IMG]
     
  18. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig,
    The OM-7's are a better speaker but with a price tag to match. If you find them cheaper (once in a while you see a set go on ebay) go for it. I'll envy you :wink:

    As far as driving them or the 9's go, these are all bi-amp/biwire capable. If you have a good solid reciever (you mentioned the 45tx) you will not be disappointed for now. That's not to say you won't want to amp them seperately later, but don't think you need some 200 watt/channel external amp right off to make these things sound good. More than likely, your dealer demoed them off a midrange receiver anyway. I mean these are nice speakers, but we're not talking $10k/pair Martin Logans here.

    Point being, spend the money on the speakers now. They will sound good on even an average receiver (just not as good as they could). Later on, when you have more money burning a hole in your pocket and you want to buy an amp or a top notch receiver or whatever, these OM-9's will have no problem stepping up to the challege.

    Jim,
    I'm not trying to poke you in the eye in regaurds to your post. There's no doubt in the truth you mention. But I don't want Craig thinking that he's wasting his money on speakers like this because he can't/doesn't want to go with seperates or large external amps right now. I think in the begining, especially for someone that's trying to get the Bose monkey off their back, really good speakers are the far greater concern than phenominal cosmic power. Good speakers will move on up with external amping or moving to sperates. It would be a shame to save some money now only to have to replace the whole setup later.
     
  19. Craig_O

    Craig_O Agent

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    Too many decisions, what's a man to do?
    Here's some options of what I'll have the funds for so tell me what you think:

    1. Om-9s, SVS 20-39plus and Pioneer 45-tx (all next week)

    2. OM-7's and SVS 20-39 Ultra (next week) Pioneer 45-tx (next month).

    3. Omni 60's bookshelf's (front and rear), SVS and receiver.

    I can't decide as my brain has left the building.
     
  20. Craig_O

    Craig_O Agent

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    I forgot to add the receiver I have now is a Sony str985. It has dolby 5.1 and cost around $300.
     

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