Subwoofer placement with towers

gaterose
gaterose Posts: 6
edited June 10 in Speakers
Hi all, new to the forum and hoping someone can give me some advice - I would like to replace my bookshelf speakers with floor standing speakers, but to do this I would have to move my sub to the back of the room, right behind where I sit when watching movies.
I love bass and so I don't plan to replace the subwoofer with the towers but just supplement. Unfortunately I don't have space for both at the front of the room. I was hoping since towers put out a reasonable amount of bass that the sub placement would be less crucial.

I'm curious if anyone could provide feedback on whether this is a bad idea/how bad of an idea it is.

My current setup is Pioneer VSX-23TXH, Polk S15 front, S30 center, OWM3 rears, and PSW1000 (400W dual 10" sub). I plan to go with S50s or S55s to match the S30.

In case it's important, I do use the setup for HT but more frequently I am cranking it up for music and only watch movies at a moderate level. I don't dislike the S15s, but have read that towers would give a more full experience with music.
Den - Pioneer VSX-23TXH, Polk S15, S30, OWM3, PSW1000
Office - Klipsch PowerGate, Polk S10, PSW10
Shop - Sony STR-DH130, Bose 201 V, Polk T15
Tacoma - Kenwood DNX9706S, JL RD900/5, Morel Maximus 6.5" 3-way components, Morel Maximus 6.5" coaxial, Audison Prima APS 10 D

Comments

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,570
    sub crawl or 180 degrees out of phase may help.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,024
    The bigger the towers, the lower the crossover can be set to the subwoofer and make it's output less easy to pinpoint in the room while still producing good bass. A subwoofer can be put anywhere really including along a side wall or behind a listening spot but it's just more common and convenient for cabling to be in a corner of the front wall.

    Use the receiver's processing through auto setup too.
    1. Polk LSiM-707, LSiM-704C, LSiM-702FX; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A31 and A23 amps; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 and JC5; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Anthem Pre-2L SE; Parasound A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S3 cables
  • gaterose
    gaterose Posts: 6
    Thank you both for your feedback! I was thinking that the tower bass/lower crossover might help with the placement.
    Den - Pioneer VSX-23TXH, Polk S15, S30, OWM3, PSW1000
    Office - Klipsch PowerGate, Polk S10, PSW10
    Shop - Sony STR-DH130, Bose 201 V, Polk T15
    Tacoma - Kenwood DNX9706S, JL RD900/5, Morel Maximus 6.5" 3-way components, Morel Maximus 6.5" coaxial, Audison Prima APS 10 D
  • PSOVLSK
    PSOVLSK Posts: 4,475
    I had kind of an odd setup in one of home theaters and had to have the sub behind the theater chairs. I was able to get it to integrate well and I felt (no pun intended) that the visceral effect was even greater which was awesome for movies.
    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.-John Wooden
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,228
    I think your looking at this all wrong. Just because tower speakers can reproduce more bass, doesn't mean they are placed in your room correctly to recreate those frequencies.
    If you want better sound, get better book shelf speakers. You have nice speakers now, you would be amazing what proper placement of the speakers, even more adding another sub or selling off that sub and getting 2 subs that can play down to 20hz clean, have one in the front of the room, another in the back of the room like a mirror setup would do for your overall sound quality.

    Buying tower speakers make sense if you need the overall raw output abilities of a tower over a bookshelf as tower designed speakers typically can play louder. They usually don't sound better coming from the same line. They just play more bass and sometimes sound worse then that matching bookshelf speaker.

    To many people look at the speakers and think they need bigger ones. If your sitting far away and have a huge room then yeah towers make all kinds of sense.

    Why don't we do this, take some pics of your room from different angles and let me help you first place you speakers correctly, Calibrate correctly then deicide if an upgrade is actually needed.

    I would just from looking at your current system, if I wanted better sound I would select a higher end line. You should check out Polks new Reserve line.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • gaterose
    gaterose Posts: 6
    mantis wrote: »
    I think your looking at this all wrong. Just because tower speakers can reproduce more bass, doesn't mean they are placed in your room correctly to recreate those frequencies.
    If you want better sound, get better book shelf speakers. You have nice speakers now, you would be amazing what proper placement of the speakers, even more adding another sub or selling off that sub and getting 2 subs that can play down to 20hz clean, have one in the front of the room, another in the back of the room like a mirror setup would do for your overall sound quality.

    Buying tower speakers make sense if you need the overall raw output abilities of a tower over a bookshelf as tower designed speakers typically can play louder. They usually don't sound better coming from the same line. They just play more bass and sometimes sound worse then that matching bookshelf speaker.

    To many people look at the speakers and think they need bigger ones. If your sitting far away and have a huge room then yeah towers make all kinds of sense.

    Why don't we do this, take some pics of your room from different angles and let me help you first place you speakers correctly, Calibrate correctly then deicide if an upgrade is actually needed.

    I would just from looking at your current system, if I wanted better sound I would select a higher end line. You should check out Polks new Reserve line.

    Unfortunately besides the sub, speaker placement can’t really be changed much. I have limited wall space due to the odd shape of the room. I only have about 95” of horizontal space on which to place all my front speakers and 65” TV. The actual room is ~16x16x10ish (a bit more due to openish concept/non rectangular shape).

    My sub usually sits under my left front speaker. Do you think the s20 would be a worthwhile upgrade?

    I admit I do like the looks and bi amping capabilities of towers but am still open to bookshelf speakers assuming I can get the same performance with music without spending more than the towers would cost. It looks like the reserves are a bit out of my price, especially by the time I add a matching center.

    The speakers are a little off in this picture, but I had previously set them up using an angle measuring app to align as best I could with what should be the best listening position.

    Please ignore the makeshift cat playhouse (the box)..
    u0dovdtlvyz8.jpeg
    Den - Pioneer VSX-23TXH, Polk S15, S30, OWM3, PSW1000
    Office - Klipsch PowerGate, Polk S10, PSW10
    Shop - Sony STR-DH130, Bose 201 V, Polk T15
    Tacoma - Kenwood DNX9706S, JL RD900/5, Morel Maximus 6.5" 3-way components, Morel Maximus 6.5" coaxial, Audison Prima APS 10 D
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,228
    I think the S20's might be a small upgrade due to them being 6.5 over a single 5.25 mid bass driver. And they could go right on those wall shelves.
    Your placement is a huge issue for stereo imaging. I'm wondering since your room is 16x16x10 height I assume that you would have a better place to place the system.

    Just for starters the left and right ideally should be about 8 feet apart and you would sit about 9 feet away or so give or take. At 8 feet apart and 9 feet away you now have the ability to dial in the speakers to your seating position and really create a very nice stereo effect.
    For Movie playback placement is everything and the more you have to compromise the worse your system sounds. Buying better equipment and speakers don't help poor placement. You actually start throwing money away at this point.

    I'd like to see the entire room , It feels like you crammed your system into a corner, maybe that's the only place you got but maybe not. If so the S20's IMO are a better choice then towers. They would have to be crammed all in that space. I'm not feeling that move.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • gaterose
    gaterose Posts: 6
    Ugh.. think I accidentally deleted my post.

    Pretty much the only other option would be to switch AV and seating, cramming guests (and us) into that small area from the picture. The side walls are oddly shaped and have openings/doorways that make it difficult to place furniture or AV gear there.

    The S15s are right at 6’ apart, if I switched to towers I could probably stretch it closer to 7’ since I’m not reliant on wall studs.

    I actually think the current setup sounds fine. I think I may have liked it a bit better with the 6.5” speakers I had before vs the 5.25” S15, which makes the s20 appealing. I just thought towers could improve it, would look better, and would let me utilize the two extra channels of power I’m not using (although the more I read about bi-amping the less certain I am whether this is useful).
    Den - Pioneer VSX-23TXH, Polk S15, S30, OWM3, PSW1000
    Office - Klipsch PowerGate, Polk S10, PSW10
    Shop - Sony STR-DH130, Bose 201 V, Polk T15
    Tacoma - Kenwood DNX9706S, JL RD900/5, Morel Maximus 6.5" 3-way components, Morel Maximus 6.5" coaxial, Audison Prima APS 10 D
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,570
    edited June 12
    Bi-amping is not the answer, just let that idea go. That roo
    that position is terrible and non conducive to your goals. Towers will not help your goal in that position.

    Going towers will then show the shortfall of the center channel.
  • ken brydson
    ken brydson Posts: 8,025
    I switched recently to S20's from large towers (LS90's). I was concerned I'd be losing out but paired with a capable sub I'm very happy with the results. They play way above their price point IMO.
  • gaterose
    gaterose Posts: 6
    edited June 12
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Bi-amping is not the answer, just let that idea go. That roo
    that position is terrible and non conducive to your goals. Towers will not help your goal in that position.

    Going towers will then show the shortfall of the center channel.

    I agree, it's a terrible shape for home theatre but my wife loved the interesting shape so here we are... One thing is I was thinking with towers I could pull them into the room a little more, so the woofers are in front of the wall to the next to the right speaker and bring the left out in front of the TV console slightly, as shown in the photo below. I'm not sure what you mean about the center, shouldn't the towers only be playing full with music where I don't care about the center and most of my movies be coming from the center with the towers quieted down by the audio calibration software?

    This is pretty close representation of my layout, except that I think I made the recliner too big. Oh and the speaker size is not even close, I have about 16" on each side of the TV console. Even with the feet towers won't be quite this big. You can see there's really no other option without all but eliminating guest seating, not to mention I have power and ethernet on the wall where it is now.

    q6pnn31vodau.png
    Den - Pioneer VSX-23TXH, Polk S15, S30, OWM3, PSW1000
    Office - Klipsch PowerGate, Polk S10, PSW10
    Shop - Sony STR-DH130, Bose 201 V, Polk T15
    Tacoma - Kenwood DNX9706S, JL RD900/5, Morel Maximus 6.5" 3-way components, Morel Maximus 6.5" coaxial, Audison Prima APS 10 D
  • gaterose
    gaterose Posts: 6
    edited June 12
    I switched recently to S20's from large towers (LS90's). I was concerned I'd be losing out but paired with a capable sub I'm very happy with the results. They play way above their price point IMO.

    Thanks for the feedback! I have S10s in my office and have been blown away by how well they play for the price and size but then I got the S15s and have been a little underwhelmed. I’m sure I would like the S20s better than these but I have always wanted a set of towers and finally got the wife to agree so it feels like settling lol

    With that said, based on the input I’ve gotten so far I am now leaning toward the S20s.
    Den - Pioneer VSX-23TXH, Polk S15, S30, OWM3, PSW1000
    Office - Klipsch PowerGate, Polk S10, PSW10
    Shop - Sony STR-DH130, Bose 201 V, Polk T15
    Tacoma - Kenwood DNX9706S, JL RD900/5, Morel Maximus 6.5" 3-way components, Morel Maximus 6.5" coaxial, Audison Prima APS 10 D
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,570
    If you feel you can make'em work out into the room for your needs go for it.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,318
    If you can find stands that match the height of the cabinet they are currently on and you move them forward so they are flush (at least) with the front of the cab you will eliminate a lot of unwanted reflections. Then with a properly set up sub it should sound decent.
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
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    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
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    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

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