bookshelf vs floorstanding [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-11-2004, 03:46 PM
What you guys opinion for these 2 options?
For a small room? For music? for a large room? for home theatre?

02-11-2004, 03:49 PM
If you have place for them use towers. Stands are a pain and if you can get away with not using them do it!

02-11-2004, 04:18 PM
When making this judgment, factor in the cost of stands for the floorstanders. The price differential shrinks somewhat then.

02-11-2004, 06:19 PM
Without the cost...which one sounds better in terms of music?
will standups still sound great without a sub?

02-11-2004, 07:24 PM
There are many bookshelves out there that sound much better than some floorstanders. As stated earlier, you will need to factor in stands or some type of heavy duty swivel wall mounts for bookshelves. IMO that most bookshelves only get down to around 55 to 60hz so you will want to get a subwoofer at some point. Also some floorstanders only go a smidgen lower than bookshelves. The wife also plays a factor in your decison if your married. All in all you can create a HT system will both types of speakers which can also be used for 2 channel stereo listening. It really all comes down to what you want.

02-11-2004, 07:43 PM
Dollar for dollar a standmount is better all across the board - up to a point.

Yes they sacrifice bass response, generally, but they also tend to be free of box resonances - sounded faster more detailed, articulate, punchy, and smoother. SOmetimes this is not the case because some are just too light in the bass department and can sound shrill. But for example I would buy the B&W 602S3 over the 603S3 floorstander. It is true that stands eat up some money ~$150.00US for great stands(Skylan is a veritable bargain out of Canada).

It is also true that you will eventually need a subwoofer preferably 2 subwoofers for a proper stereo image but you also have the control of where to place those subs...the best place for bass as Woochifer often states) is not always the best place for the midrange and treble.

I said up to a point. If you can afford the mega dollar set-ups then the basiclaly come with their own dedicated subwoofers - Willson's Watt/Puppy, the ML Statements, Reference 3a's La Suprema's, or Gershman Acoustics X1/Sub1. Otheriwise you have to mix and match possibly with a sub. But there is no floorstander I can think of off hand that I would want to own under 3kCdn. Though I would like to hear the Audio Note Zero Two and Zero Three speakers.

Many floorstanders really need a subwoofer as well. What is the point of paying more for the B&W 603 or the Paradigm Studio 80 or 100 when none really produce deep bass - if you can save a whole pile of money get the standmount advantages and use the difference to get a sub you need anyway for the 602S3 or Studio 40. You'd have more money for a WAY better sub or two subs that will provide FAR more bass than any sub 5k floorstander would dream of.

The trick is you have to integrate the sub into the set-up so that the sub is not directional or has a suckout between midbass of the front speaker and where the sub kicks in. It's not easy and very rarely is it successful.

Still it can be done obviously...because an all in one speaker has to do it.

02-11-2004, 10:21 PM
I use standmounts exclusively. They work better for me in small-middlesized spaces than floorstanders.

If you purchase a set of quality standmounts, you are likely to get the following compared to a similar priced floorstander:

*Less baffle area to interact with the sound

*Less cabinet- pretty much resonance free by compare


With a competant sub, or pair of subs, you can have a seamless system, that has deeper, better quality and far more powerful bass than a similar floorstander.

If I were going all out on a system, and I had an enormusly large space, then a high quality floorstander maybe, but it would still have to have minumum baffle. I don't like the idea of a coffin (like dunlavy for example) where the tweet or mid is in the middle of a wide baffle. I am not saying they sound bad, but I think they would sound and image better in a different configuration. I simply don't like the idea of a tweet and mid in the same big box as a 10, 12 or 15" woofer.

Finally, think about kef 107, vandersteen 2ce,3a, 5, B&W 801. They are essentially minimum baffle systems with drivers isolated (to a great degree) from each other. This is as close to a sub/sat you can get in one box. It illustrates why sub sats and minimal cabinet work.

Good cheap example: Try a set of monitor audio GR 10 and a nice 12" or 15" sub. Then try the GR 60. The GR10 and a good sub clobber the 60's IMO.

02-12-2004, 03:14 AM
What you guys opinion for these 2 options?
For a small room? For music? for a large room? for home theatre?

It actually depends a lot on the room area that you are talking of. Would you elaborate on the term "small room" - about what area in sq. ft would you estimate?

I would always vote for the floorstander - they are value for money - they add to the aesthetic appeal of your room, they dont need special stands and they cost just a tiny bit more than equivalent bookshelves.

As far as music goes, I would say a sub is a definite requirement. I had a pair of floorstanders from Sonodyne along with a powered sub and in my 110 sq ft room they sounded substantial and clear - so much so that the furniture squeaked and ratteled at high volumes. I later moved to a much bigger room of 300 sq ft and the same sub sounded so inadequate and localised. So I had to buy a pair of floorstanders from a DIY enthusiast with two 8" woofers incorporated into a 4 way speaker pair. You know DIY coz I didnt have any dough left to spend on another pair of branded speakers. It has a deep and full bass but then the peerless fabric dome tweeter is not crossed over too beautifully - though it does regular duty - extreme patches of heavy rock - do bring out this inadequacy in the tweeter department.

So it's really upto how big your room is and how much greenbacks can you shell out for the purpose - and then how much clarity can you appreciate - its worthless falling for a critics view of music if you cant appreciate that detail yourself.

Any brickbats for me , anyone?

02-12-2004, 03:57 AM
Without the cost...which one sounds better in terms of music?
will standups still sound great without a sub?

For music? A good tower can do wonders, particularly in a larger room. Generally, they will have a fuller low end, all else being equal. A standmounted speaker can sound, well, small in a large room.

For HT, you're gonna need a sub.

02-12-2004, 04:56 AM
To be perfectly honest, I haven't heard many floorstanders under $1000 a pair that would top their $600 bookshelf cousins and a sub-woofer. Energy, Paradigm, Mirage, and B&W immediately come to mind.
Most sub $1000 floorstanders I've heard tend to have some cabinet resonance issues, or charge way too much extra for a rather small increase in low frequency response.
When I was shopping for my last speaker upgrade I had my heart set on the floorstanders, and almost bought Studio 100's. They had a noticeably stronger, deeper bass punch to them, and they just looked really nice. In the context of my complete system, however, they weren't adding much value. After much time listening, and an honest salesperson, I settled for Studio 40's. Not only did I save a couple hundred bucks, I honestly feel I walked away with a better speaker.
I already had a decent subwoofer, which took care of the lower frequencies better than any floorstander I'd heard, the floorstanders didn't make a big enough difference for me to justify the cost.
I built my stands out of MDF for about $11 dollars and 4 or 5 hours of enjoyable labor.
If you do a bit of shopping, you can find stands reasonably priced. I don't like the idea of factoring in the cost of the stand to arrive at your decision. Make a budget and judge for yourself what you feel sounds better, then go that route.

02-12-2004, 06:06 AM
In terms of baffle, I own BP7000SCs and the baffle is as narrow as most monitors. You can get some decent towers that will take up no more room than monitors on stands. It will always come down to what YOU like in terms of sound though. Get out there and shop around. You may be suprised at what you come across.