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  1. #1
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    Great set of bookshelfs vs medicore set of floorstander

    I would like to you your opinion on the following, all hyperthetical :

    I have $1500 to spend on loudspeakers. Would it be better to spend $1000 on excellent bookshelfs and $500 on a subwoofer, or the full $1500 for floorstanders? I've heard Elac 203.2 without a subwoofer at $1000 and they're BRILLIANT! If I went that route, I'd spend $500 on a subwoofer for the extra bass.

    However, it's so much easier to justify spending $1500 on a floorstander .. something large ... it feels more valuable! Plus, they won't be too bad at that price either! So ... floorstanders or bookshelves?

  2. #2
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    I would definitely...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolby
    I would like to you your opinion on the following, all hyperthetical :

    I have $1500 to spend on loudspeakers. Would it be better to spend $1000 on excellent bookshelfs and $500 on a subwoofer, or the full $1500 for floorstanders? I've heard Elac 203.2 without a subwoofer at $1000 and they're BRILLIANT! If I went that route, I'd spend $500 on a subwoofer for the extra bass.

    However, it's so much easier to justify spending $1500 on a floorstander .. something large ... it feels more valuable! Plus, they won't be too bad at that price either! So ... floorstanders or bookshelves?
    ...put the money into a very good stand-mount speaker. Actually, I would forget about the sub for now - get the mids and highs as right as possible.

    Also, lower priced subs often do more damage than good... saver yer pennies. I heard the de Capos with a Hsu sub, and I thought the Refs were better on their own.

    A floorstander might have some advantages such as being a bit more efficient, as well as having more bass than their bookshelf counterpart (within the same line of speakers), but, again, I would get the midrange and HF the best you can... can't fix that later! There are a LOT of great speakers for $1500. A sub is usually more placement friendly than two large speakers as well.

    Oops... gotta budget for stands.

    My $.02...

  3. #3
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    It depend how much bass you want .My towers goes down to 28 hz so I could get away without a sub ,but living in a house I added a sub ,there a difference for listening to movies and music.The receiver (7.1) send all the lows to the sub and you get all the effect .It all depend on living space (apt ,single house ,semi,)In an apt I would say not to get one ,neighbours might complain.Pat.P

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I think you're asking "do I want a speaker that is sonically superior for 80% of the spectrum or a speaker that is louder, kicks harder, and has better sounding bass"?

    It's not an easy question to answer, there's a definite "fun-factor" with fast, hard hitting tower speakers. But you'll probably get a bit more resolution and a more realistic presentation if the bookshelfs are of better quality for the same money.

    Most speaker product lines or "series" I've heard seem to produce their best speaker in the smaller packages. You often have to pay a rediculous premium for a bit more cabinetry and an extra driver or two...and while it can play louder and a bit deeper, I don't find them to be the greatest value. Sometimes there's exceptions though.
    Factor in the cost of a good stand to help make your decision.

    I like the idea of adding a good sub to the standmounts. Crossed over low, to me it's a better way of having the best of both worlds. But there's a price point where subwoofers just aren't very good for music, hopefully you'll have an opportunity to test a few out.

  5. #5
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    One thing to remember about subs.

    When properly implemented, all they can ever do is extend the low range of whatever speaker they are married to.

    They don't do squat for the rest of the range. If you start out with a great speaker that could use a little help in hte low end, then a sub will be great.

    If you have a mediocre speaker and add as ub, all you will get is a mediocre speaker with a great low end.

    The caveat here is to make sure that your main speakers can go low enough (say 50 - 60 hz or so) so that the sub concentrates on the low/sub bass only, not on the mid/upper bass.

  6. #6
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    It depend how much bass you want .My towers goes down to 28 hz so I could get away without a sub ,but living in a house I added a sub ,there a difference for listening to movies and music.The receiver (7.1) send all the lows to the sub and you get all the effect .It all depend on living space (apt ,single house ,semi,)In an apt I would say not to get one ,neighbours might complain.Pat.P
    28Hz is great if you can hear it.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolby
    I would like to you your opinion on the following, all hyperthetical :

    I have $1500 to spend on loudspeakers. Would it be better to spend $1000 on excellent bookshelfs and $500 on a subwoofer, or the full $1500 for floorstanders? I've heard Elac 203.2 without a subwoofer at $1000 and they're BRILLIANT! If I went that route, I'd spend $500 on a subwoofer for the extra bass.

    However, it's so much easier to justify spending $1500 on a floorstander .. something large ... it feels more valuable! Plus, they won't be too bad at that price either! So ... floorstanders or bookshelves?
    For me there is no question but that getting a good speaker is the way to go, whether standmounts or floorstanders. The deep bass really isn't nearly as important in the long run. You might get a very good deal on the PSB Stratus Silver in your price range, for example, although it lists for $1899. PSB apparently doesn't make the Stratus Bronze anymore, but that would be a good floorstander in your price range.

    Some standmounts have pretty good bass response, too. The Paradigm Studio 40 is one such listing at $1200. The Studio 20 lists at $800, which would leave room for a good subwoofer. We already had a big subwoofer, so I knew that monitor speakers would work well for me. When I was shopping for new speakers, I auditioned some floorstanders and some monitor speakers and ended up with some monitors that we like.

    I am not at all familiar with Elac speakers. If you have listened around a fair amount and have concluded that these are far and away the best for you in the long term, then go for them and get a subwoofer. There are some quite capable subs in the $500 range from Hsu and others.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    28Hz is great if you can hear it.
    I could hear it .What I like of these is when I want to listen at night and everybody is sleeping my Yamaha lets me to get the lows from the front.Not like the sub ,but wont have a screaming wife at my throat.Pat.P

  9. #9
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Whats the difference in 28Hz from your mains and 28Hz from a sub?
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  10. #10
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Whats the difference in 28Hz from your mains and 28Hz from a sub?
    About 10 decibels.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I have to vote for stand mount speakers. IMHO the cabinets being smaller are less apt to vibrate and color the output. It takes a lot of money to build a large cabinet that would not contribute its own sound. I have also had better experience integrating stand mount speakers in various rooms. Achieving smooth low bass can be very tricky in some rooms.
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  12. #12
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    About 10 decibels.
    Thats what i'm talking about.
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  13. #13
    Up & Coming Bottlehead jt1stcav's Avatar
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    I'm happy with my bookshelf monitors (Loth-X Audio Amaze single-drivers) in my small room, which sound way better than the Athena AS-F2 towers and monster Klipsch Cornwall horn speakers in this same tiny room. IMO, use stand-mount monitors for small rooms, and floorstanding towers for large rooms. Usually the simplest solutions are the best!

    Just my two cents...
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  14. #14
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    Most everyone has said to go with quality first, and I agree. My only issue with 2.1 systems is with music, bass is stereo too. Since you listen to jazz you can appreciate that the string bass is either on one side or the other. If your mains don't go low enough you're going to lose this placement. My guess is that $1500 bookshelves won't have this problem, or at least, they'd better not.

  15. #15
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Heck,something like the Polk RTi/6 go down to like 50Hz for 340 bucks apair fron crutchfield.
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  16. #16
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    That depends on how low low is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timn8ter
    Most everyone has said to go with quality first, and I agree. My only issue with 2.1 systems is with music, bass is stereo too. Since you listen to jazz you can appreciate that the string bass is either on one side or the other. If your mains don't go low enough you're going to lose this placement. My guess is that $1500 bookshelves won't have this problem, or at least, they'd better not.
    The laws pf physics apply to speaker design.

    Generally you have three things you consider in their design and tradeoffs are done in these three areas in order to meet design objectives.

    1) physical size
    2) efficiency
    3) bass extention

    The laws are set up so you can have two, not all three. Choose two and go for it.

  17. #17
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Another vote for the monitor/sub combo over the floorstander at that price point.

    I would recommend taking a look at the Opera Audio Consonance Eric-1s at 1K a pair, and then maybe throw in a sub from SVS. Pretty good bang for the buck in my book... But there are a lot of good monitors at that price point.

    Good luck,

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  18. #18
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    I join the chorus recommendingthe bookshelf. Depending on room dimensions good quality bookshelf's + sub should meet all your demands. I have seen a lot of rooms with top of the line floorstanders in them but (bass issue aside) when you look at the size of the room they are in it is usually overkill. The larger floorstanders are never really used to their full capacity and their size in relation to the rest of the room has that "hey look at me" affect. ( No offense to do those who are trying to achieve the "hey look at me effect") My personal preference is to integrate the speakers into the room and so when I have company over and put on some tunes the effect is "hey where is this music coming from?". IMO if you go with bookshelves sacrifice a little in the bass area because has been noted most of your listening is on the mid-higher ranges and you can use a sub to get the additional bass. Choose the sub carefully! I have a budget bass at this point and while it is great for the "rumble effects" of HT it is not ideal for music. I do not know the vendors in your area but if they are like mine most of the demos are set up to show performance of the system in the HT setting so it is difficult to determine how good the sub is with music. Trust me there are differences out there and IMO sub specs can tell you alot about what the sub will deliver but they don't tell you how well they deliver it.

  19. #19
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Cheap sub would be better suited for music as it doesnt need to go as low.
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  20. #20
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Shokhead-
    You are right about the range of most cheap subs re music the point I was trying to make was not to get caught up in the technical specs. Subs like other speakers should be listened to before you buy.

  21. #21
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Yes but even then,the sub or speakers only gives you an idea how they will should in a showroom because they will be wayyyyyyy different then your home. For my sub i went on reviews and spec's,no problem,best deal i ever made. Plus at SVS i e-mail them my room size and what i listened to and my equipment. They are very good at telling you the right one.
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  22. #22
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    You're paying for size with Towers....

    ...If I had $1500 to spend on speakers, I would be looking at bookshelfs, where your $1500 is going towards higher quality sound and less of the "perceived" value people ascribe to Towers.

    If you've got the power for em, the Polk LSi 9s (20-200watts into 4 ohms) are a great bookshelf speaker at $1000 that may or may not require a sub for your applications. In my opinion they trounce the twice as pricy B&W 805s, even when the 805s are mated with a sub.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    I strongly suggest that our members buy/borrow a in room frequency response measurement device. Specs dont tell the whole story, and most speakers wont come below 40Hz. I myself have a speaker here (not the DIVA) that supposely plays to 26Hz @-3db and you can push that speaker anywhere you want in the room and it wont ever reach below 35Hz at my listening area. Those measurements are usually taken by a distance of 1m in a chamber. The real in room responce is a lot worse in reality.

    -Flo

    PS: If you look at new speakers, always ask what "enviroment" those specs where measured in.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

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