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Thread: 2 way vs. 3 way

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Sidney NE.

    2 way vs. 3 way

    I have been considering purchasing new tower speakers. I have been looking at the difference in price, between the 2 vs. 3 way's. Seems to be a little bit of a jump. Therefore I am wondering, if there is a big (noticeable) difference in the way sound is reproduced. I don't have a store where I could go and listen to any speakers. I am looking at AudioPro, and Polk. I have a 5.1 Kenwood system. Can someone help me with this predicament?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I think the first thing people will tell you here is that you should listen before buying. I'm no expert, but i believe a three way system is inherently more complex, and will tend to cost more (all other things being equal) due to the complexity. However, just because it's more complex (e.g. adding an extra variable like a second crossover) doesn't make it better. It's the implementation that counts the most.
    Last edited by brulaha; 06-12-2007 at 07:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?
    Simply having three speakers doesn't necessarially make a better speaker, particularly when comparing two systems, one of each design, that are around the same price.

    There are both excellent and horrible examples of each design but, IMHSHO, I find three way bookshelf systems to be a waste of money.

    Likewise, if you're planning on using a sub I believe a well designed two way will be more than adequate.

  4. #4
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Listen, don't worry about how many drivers it has. I auditioned bookshelf and floorstander models that were two and three way and I bought a two way pair of bookshelf speakers. It all depends on the drivers and driver implementation, more isn't necessarily better or worse when comparing a similar level of speaker.

  5. #5
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Let your ears decide...

    I personally hate reading about speakers and/or looking at stat sheets and spec sheets on them...who cares? That really doesn't mean much because no matter how many times I read a rave review or look at the data, nothing is going to tell me what a $150,000 MBL system sounds like or other reference systems, but when I've heard similar systems at shows and such I can't articulate the exprience and the take-away is that you need to let your ears decide things for you.

  6. #6
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    depends, a 3 way will sound different, but that doesn't mean that it will always be the better side of different...

    as others have said: let your ears decide.

    Good luck,
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  7. #7

    You can have the best of both worlds and greater versatility as well......

    Great thread guys.

    Just to point out I indeed have both types of speakers in my modest system. I use my 4 way somewhat vintage Pioneers which are actually more like a 3 way speaker with extra super tweeters as speaker stands under my 2 way Celestion bookshelf speakers. Now I know that sounds odd but the reason they make great stands is my Pioneer speakers sitting flat on the floor are the exact height recommended by my 2 way speaker system manufacture as suggested in the manual.

    I really don't us them together for many and obvious reasons. Now with some source material DVDs I have used them all together and had a great phantom center experience for movie watching, but not really that often. Larger and older Pioneer's I use when watching DVDs and when playing heavier rock style music all alone because of there amazing bass leaving no need in a small room for a sub woofer. My smaller 2 ways are used mostly on classical, jazz, ballads and some lighter pop music that needs less bass bringing greater detail and depth of realism that better sources of music can offer.

    I have the best of both worlds without adding to much junk in a single guys studio apartment.

    Listening room is my small hillside studio apartment below and behind a cottage house, size is 11x11 feet on a beautiful green private canyon in southern California. And I have an older 27 inch Mitsubishi television which I run better video/audio cables to obtain better picture and sound quality. In closing, with this speaker set up in my small space I've great sound using both 2 way and 4 way speaker systems.

    I hope this puts a great spin on this thread ?

    SuperDougieFreshNess - San Diego, Heaven on Earth - with June gloom

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Central Ohio
    I have two way bookshelf speakers due to room size. Three way and more drivers sometimes need to be a greater distance away from listening position so the drivers sound patterns can integrate. I would consider your room and listening position. One advantage of three ways is they can usually handle more power having an extra driver. Of course the downside is more complex crossover and as mentioned greater expense.
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  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Anywhere but here...
    I have mostly found that 3 ways are more fun.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #10
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Anywhere but here...
    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I have mostly found that 3 ways are more fun.
    Oops, wrong website again.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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