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  1. #1
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    Are floor standing or bookshelf speakers better for a stereo setup?

    I already have a nice subwoofer (20-39 PCi SVS) on the way.

    Would bookshelf or floor standing speakers be better? Space issues and aesthetics is not a major issue. I just want the best performance. My receiver is stereo only, so a surround setup is not possible at this time, but there is always a possibility for upgrading the receiver to a surround sound setup.

  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Some peoplesay imaging on a standmount is better but I don't 100% agree.

    I get pretty good imaging with my towers. Likewise, some say that bass is bloated in a tower. Again, I say that depends on the tower and it's placement in the room.

    I prefer to have my main speakers deliver all the sound possible. By using a full range speaker, you have the option of having the sub come into play only in the lowest registers. You won't need it for the mid/upper bass like witt a standmount. Tht improves imaging overall.

    I had my sub hooked up to my main (stereo) system and had the speakers running full range from the preamp output with another run going to the sub. I used the sub's low pass filter to have the sub cut in only below 50 hz and I found the sound stupendous. Others were quite impressed as well.

    IOW, the sub is very rarely called into play in the stereo and that's the way (uh huh uh huh) I like it.

    YMMV

  3. #3
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    It really depends on your budget. For say 500 bucks you can get a fairly decent set of bookshelves. The same can't be said for floorstanders, 500 bucks doesn't get much quality.

    Give us a budget and you'll get a better answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calegrant
    It really depends on your budget. For say 500 bucks you can get a fairly decent set of bookshelves. The same can't be said for floorstanders, 500 bucks doesn't get much quality.

    Give us a budget and you'll get a better answer.
    I soooooooooo disagree with you, you have been around to many audiophiles.You can find superb floorstanding speakers (Brand New) for 500 bucks ,even a little less.You can also find really great bookself speakers for much less. I dont know what type of sound some people are seeking but if you cant find really great sound in this price range your expectations are unrealistic and you"ll never be totally satified with anything.Just my opinion

  5. #5
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmax
    I soooooooooo disagree with you, you have been around to many audiophiles.You can find superb floorstanding speakers (Brand New) for 500 bucks ,even a little less.You can also find really great bookself speakers for much less. I dont know what type of sound some people are seeking but if you cant find really great sound in this price range your expectations are unrealistic and you"ll never be totally satified with anything.Just my opinion
    What superb floorstanding speakers are you talking about?Dont get much for $500 for towers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    What superb floorstanding speakers are you talking about?Dont get much for $500 for towers.
    Im not going to hardly entertain you with a list of good speakers for 500 bucks because you have already put in your mind that there are none but I will keep my faith in profesional established speaker manufacturers such as Polk, Infinity,Klipsch , Boston ,Athena,and many many more that can be found for 500 bucks if you search for them and not you.Im not going broke to suit your standards whatever rediculous ones those are.Can you build a better speaker than Matthew Polk? If so you should be out making money with your speakers instead of trying to be a snob towards these speaker companies who can and do.
    Last edited by Dmax; 12-22-2005 at 10:14 PM.

  7. #7
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    i dont really have a budget.

    if 1000 is what i need to get a great set of floor standing speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    if 400 is what i need to get a great set of bookshelf speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    its just a matter of time.

    going back to my main question, will bookshelf or floorstanding speakers perform more optimally in a stereo setup with a nice subwoofer (21-39 PCi SVS)?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLiu818
    i dont really have a budget.

    if 1000 is what i need to get a great set of floor standing speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    if 400 is what i need to get a great set of bookshelf speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    its just a matter of time.

    going back to my main question, will bookshelf or floorstanding speakers perform more optimally in a stereo setup with a nice subwoofer (21-39 PCi SVS)?
    Absolutely! And dont become a speaker snob, youll never be happy plus you may go broke in process if you do.

  9. #9
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLiu818
    i dont really have a budget.

    if 1000 is what i need to get a great set of floor standing speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    if 400 is what i need to get a great set of bookshelf speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    its just a matter of time.

    going back to my main question, will bookshelf or floorstanding speakers perform more optimally in a stereo setup with a nice subwoofer (21-39 PCi SVS)?
    While I do not consider myself a "speaker snob," I have not heard many good floorstanders for less than 2K/pr. new. One pair that I *did* like were the Opera Audio Consonance Eric-3s at $1,800/pr. new and $1150/pr. used on Audiogon. Those are the best idea I can come up with anywhere close to $1K.

    Apart from the Eric-3s, I would go sub/sat in that price range, or I would look into speaker kits from Madisound.com and Zalytron.com.

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  10. #10
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmax
    Im not going to hardly entertain you with a list of good speakers for 500 bucks because you have already put in your mind that there are none but I will keep my faith in profesional established speaker manufacturers such as Polk, Infinity,Klipsch , Boston ,Athena,and many many more that can be found for 500 bucks if you search for them and not you.Im not going broke to suit your standards whatever rediculous ones those are.Can you build a better speaker than Matthew Polk? If so you should be out making money with your speakers instead of trying to be a snob towards these speaker companies who can and do.
    I've heard all of the speakers you mention or people I know have them .When they listen to my towers its like day and night.Its not what my ears wants to hear.I've learned and bought lots a speaker in the past .All the money I spent on them could of bought a great pair of speaker.I upgraded 4 time my center channel.The last one was a $700 CND and this one I should of bought the first.

  11. #11
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Bookshelf speakers aren't by themselves better in isolation. If you were to take a simple 2 way speaker with the same drivers, decent construction, and put one in a 10 L box and the other in a 30 L box, you'd have mostly the same sound quality, only added bass extension with the towers (at the expense of some power handling possibly).

    I think you have to look at your budget and see what speakers you can by. Most people I know who make this statement tend to qualify it with a budget. Below $2000 my favorite speakers are all large standmount speakers, tower speakers are just too often overpriced for the sound. Even after considering the cost of stands. Most of my favorite speakers above $2000 are towers though.

    Imaging and soundstaging can be helped a bit by smaller cabinets, though I can't say the differences between are that big, especially in product families like Paradigms Studio or PSB's Stratus lines.

    My biggest beef with most manufacturers, both large companies and small regional shops, is that the cost often doubles or triples as you add one or two drivers and double the cabinet volume, even though the material, work and development costs just don't justify it. It's almost like they charge you per cubic inch or something. So quite often there's just a better value in stand mounts.

    For a 2-channel stereo in medium to larger rooms, I would think most would prefer larger speakers, probably floorstanding. That's what I use in my 2-channel system. Home theater is a bit different.

    Go with whatever floats your boat.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLiu818
    i dont really have a budget.

    if 1000 is what i need to get a great set of floor standing speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    if 400 is what i need to get a great set of bookshelf speakers, then thats what i will save up.

    its just a matter of time.

    going back to my main question, will bookshelf or floorstanding speakers perform more optimally in a stereo setup with a nice subwoofer (21-39 PCi SVS)?
    Audition some like Energy Viritas,Totem,Paradigm(high-end model)and the list goes on.Better save if you have time then to upgrade every year just my 2cent.If you have a sub you would be better off looking for a great pair of bookshelf (most time your sub takes everything below 80 hz).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    I've heard all of the speakers you mention or people I know have them .When they listen to my towers its like day and night.Its not what my ears wants to hear.I've learned and bought lots a speaker in the past .All the money I spent on them could of bought a great pair of speaker.I upgraded 4 time my center channel.The last one was a $700 CND and this one I should of bought the first.
    I guess. Another man wanting to go to the moon (for no logical reason) but to waste time and money because he can. Join us on earth,it can be wonderful if you make it .
    Last edited by Dmax; 12-23-2005 at 06:01 AM.

  14. #14
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    In my experience I find the previously stated price point of below $2,000 = better with bookshelves and above $2,000 = better with floorstanders to be pretty true as well. However, I don't doubt that Dmax's view is also correct.

    The reason there are so many different types of speakers from so many different companies is that they all sound different. Everyone hears audio differently and has different prefences (hence terms like rolled-off, neutral, bright, etc.). Since you have no set price, you shouldn't arbitrarily set one first then try to find something that fits in it. Instead you should audition what's available and set your price based on what sounds best to you.

    Pick a few CD tracks and listen to them until you think you know them like the back of your hand. Then take those same tracks to your local audio stores and listen to what's available. When you find the speaker that has the perfect sound, you'll know. If it's a $160 pair of floorstanders or an $1800 pair of bookshelves, so be it.

  15. #15
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    a bit harsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmax
    I guess. Another man wanting to go to the moon (for no logical reason) but to waste time and money because he can. Join us on earth,it can be wonderful if you make it .
    Most of the people on this forum are passionate about music reproduction. If they are around 50 as I am, they have been through many purchases of name brand stereo gear as their budget allows. Sooner or later you just want more from your music. In Hi-fi this sometimes means spending some big bucks. So it is not a "waste of money" to advise people to spend wisely from the start, only recommendations from experience.

  16. #16
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmax
    I soooooooooo disagree with you, you have been around to many audiophiles.You can find superb floorstanding speakers (Brand New) for 500 bucks ,even a little less.You can also find really great bookself speakers for much less. I dont know what type of sound some people are seeking but if you cant find really great sound in this price range your expectations are unrealistic and you"ll never be totally satified with anything.Just my opinion
    So do you think the best $500 floorstanders will be better/worst then the best $500 booksahelfs you can find?
    Look & Listen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lensman
    In my experience I find the previously stated price point of below $2,000 = better with bookshelves and above $2,000 = better with floorstanders to be pretty true as well. However, I don't doubt that Dmax's view is also correct.

    The reason there are so many different types of speakers from so many different companies is that they all sound different. Everyone hears audio differently and has different prefences (hence terms like rolled-off, neutral, bright, etc.). Since you have no set price, you shouldn't arbitrarily set one first then try to find something that fits in it. Instead you should audition what's available and set your price based on what sounds best to you.

    Pick a few CD tracks and listen to them until you think you know them like the back of your hand. Then take those same tracks to your local audio stores and listen to what's available. When you find the speaker that has the perfect sound, you'll know. If it's a $160 pair of floorstanders or an $1800 pair of bookshelves, so be it.
    Very well said and im sorry if I offended anyone in this forum, I just wanted to voice my personal opinion. Opinions are like buttholes,everybodies got one .

  18. #18
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    Your choice

    Why use floorstanders for a minimal ammount of bass extension when your using a good sub like SVS? Unless you like the look of floorstanding speakers, i personally thought at one time that they presented some kind of authroity over standmounts because of their size, bigger looks badder. But in reality, through researching different speakers, i discovered that standmounts vs. standing aren't that different (im talking same speaker company & same series). For example, Paradigm studio 40's vs. studio 60's 16Hz difference in frequency response, also the floorstanding models sound a little different, if that means alot to you, pull the trigger on floorstanding. I would suggest looking at different speaker companies until you find a sound you like, then do a comparison between their floorstanding vs. their standmounts, and see what you like best, and what meets your needs. I also recommend going to a hifi shop instead of a mega store, places like future shop will baffle you with bull**** into buying exactly what THEY want to sell you, or they won't be any help at all.

    Goodluck!

    Wayne

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayner86
    Why use floorstanders for a minimal ammount of bass extension when your using a good sub like SVS? Unless you like the look of floorstanding speakers, i personally thought at one time that they presented some kind of authroity over standmounts because of their size, bigger looks badder. But in reality, through researching different speakers, i discovered that standmounts vs. standing aren't that different (im talking same speaker company & same series). For example, Paradigm studio 40's vs. studio 60's 16Hz difference in frequency response, also the floorstanding models sound a little different, if that means alot to you, pull the trigger on floorstanding. I would suggest looking at different speaker companies until you find a sound you like, then do a comparison between their floorstanding vs. their standmounts, and see what you like best, and what meets your needs. I also recommend going to a hifi shop instead of a mega store, places like future shop will baffle you with bull**** into buying exactly what THEY want to sell you, or they won't be any help at all.

    Goodluck!

    Wayne
    I would advise getting floorstanding speakers and mating those with a subwoofer. Floorstanding speakers are easier to integrate with subs. Bookshelf systems are more suited for smaller rooms where they can get at least some bass energy.

    It also depends on what speakers you are comparing. If you compare one bookshelf with a woofer and tweeter to the same speaker model in tower form with the same drivers, then the bookshelf will play cleaner because the woofer in the tower will be pushed harder in the bigger volume box. But if the tower has added extra drivers for the bass and left the mid and tweeter alone, then it should sound the same but with added bass. If you go for a tower system, get at least 3 way system; the mids and highs will be relieved of the bass duties and give you the standmount type sound and almost full range sound, or you can go even further and crossover those into a subwoofer and get a quasi 4 way system.

  20. #20
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    I respectfully disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana
    Floorstanding speakers are easier to integrate with subs. Bookshelf systems are more suited for smaller rooms where they can get at least some bass energy..
    The faster natural acoustic roll-off of a standmount (again, assuming the same speaker line/family) would actually provide for easier integration with the subwoofer. Assuming you run these as "large" speakers off an a/v receiver.

    If you set your speakers to small, thereby employing the receiver's crossover, the transition is smoothly done, and there is no real advantage to either.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmax
    I guess. Another man wanting to go to the moon (for no logical reason) but to waste time and money because he can. Join us on earth,it can be wonderful if you make it .
    But to venture and find knowledge is a greater essence in life .Some like the Merry- Go- Round ,I would prefer the roller coaster because there more excitement.BTW Im 46 and Im still learning and want to learned.This is a great site to hear and listen .

  22. #22
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    I like floorstanders. I always seem to hear a slight lack of midbass in bookshelf / sub systems. In my opinion, the crossover frequency is too high for best results when a receiver is set for "small" main speakers, although you shouldn't have to use that setting with higher quality bookshelves. A big advantage of having larger mains and a lower crossover frequency is that the system will be capable of playing louder (higher power handling on the mains, subwoofer wattage applied to a narrower frequency range). Subs also seem to roll off the lowest frequencies a little less when the crossover is set lower for some reason.
    Last edited by royphil345; 12-23-2005 at 01:43 PM.

  23. #23
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    But wont a good sub let those bookshelfs min bass open up?
    Look & Listen

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    But to venture and find knowledge is a greater essence in life .Some like the Merry- Go- Round ,I would prefer the roller coaster because there more excitement.BTW Im 46 and Im still learning and want to learned.This is a great site to hear and listen .
    JFK Jr. found flying his own planes to be more exciting and look at where he ended up . I like Merry-Go-Rounds and prefer to just fly letting Delta(The Pros) guide me

  25. #25
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmax
    JFK Jr. found flying his own planes to be more exciting and look at where he ended up . I like Merry-Go-Rounds and prefer to just fly letting Delta(The Pros) guide me
    This is one bad luck family your talking about.They drive in a car and get shot,go ski and hit trees.

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