tower vs. bookshelf + sub

Options
Aaron
Aaron Posts: 1,853
edited August 2002 in 2 Channel Audio
I've been looking at a pair of Revel M20 bookshelf speakers for my 2-channel system. I was planning to add a sub like a Rel Storm III later to fill in the bottom end. Is it better to just get a full range speaker like the Revel F30 rather than trying to mate a sub to a pair of bookshelfs? The money would be about the same in the end. The way I see it, if you get a pair of bookshelf's you won't need as much power as you'd need with a tower since the sub will handle the bass. You also gain a little flexibility with the sub in terms of placement, gain, and phase control. Still, I like the idea of a full range speaker. What do you guys think?

Aaron
Post edited by Aaron on

Comments

  • hoosier21
    hoosier21 Posts: 4,409
    edited July 2002
    Options
    In gerneral, given the choice I will always pick a tower. If it was design right, it should give you top to bottom great sound.
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
    Sony DVP-NS999ES - SACD player
    ADS 1230 - Polk SDA 2B
    DIY Stereo Subwoofer towers w/(4) 12 drivers each
    Crown K1 - Subwoofer amp
    Outlaw ICBM - crossover
    Beringher BFD - sub eq

    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."
  • RuSsMaN
    RuSsMaN Posts: 17,987
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I agree on the tower/no sub combo, as my first choice....

    I've heard quite a few setups with the shelf speaker/sub combo, and they just didn't blow my skirt up. The best 3pc demo I had was on JmLab Chorus 706, with the matching sub (11"). I think the hardest thing to 'match' is the speed of the mid-bass, especially as you move up into 'higher' end speakers.

    That's it, I'm not going to rule out a sub, I'm gonna move my best musical sub, the asw500, into the cave tonight, and try to blend it with the Kefs, just for **** and giggles.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • OrangeToupee
    OrangeToupee Posts: 488
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Was going to give an opinion, but until I can wipe all of this Gerber off of my face, open my can of Play-Doh, and break out of this crib made of Lincoln Logs, it's better that I don't.

    Good full-range(or what I consider full-range) speaker(LSi15/25 ... Audience72/82) is where it's at. I know the 25 is a powered tower, but I bet it's balanced and coherent ... and sounds fullfilling.

    $.02 Toupee
  • gidrah
    gidrah Posts: 3,049
    edited July 2002
    Options
    If the money is the same, I'd go for the towers. I think they're easier to set-up once you consider the bookshelfs will most likely be on stands and will take the same space as towers.

    Aside from personal preferrences, the "flexibility" of the subs' gain and phase control is only to compensate for matching with less than full-range bookshelfs.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • shack
    shack Posts: 11,154
    edited July 2002
    Options
    The only real problem I have with towers vs bookshelves w/sub is how many towers are truly "Full Range". I know typically a 2 channel setup does not have the low range demands that are required for HT but there is still some music that goes pretty low. From my limited experience it seems that true full range speakers are not that common and they are expensive. I know we had this thread a while back about a sub in a 2 channel rig and there were differing opinions. While it may be a compromise of sorts I prefer to have a sub in my 2 channel system and would probably do so even if I used towers. I also don't think bookshelves are necessarily a compromise and towers are always better. Having heard the LSi9s vs the LSi15s there is something about the sound of the 9s that I prefer. I guess it is like we always say...it is all about the sound and how it sounds to you.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Its a good debate on which way to go.
    Benifits from both sides of the fence.

    I perfer I tower design speaker,not that I don't like bookshelfs,I have heard amny that blew my face off.But lacking that lower end I can't live without.

    Adding a sub 2 shelf speakers isn't cut and dry.Actually it's very hard to match up a sub.

    I think for the price of shelf speakers,stands for them to sit on, a really good sub to match, you can buy really good towers.

    Id rather own the lsi15's over the lsi9 and a stand/sub combo.

    But on the other hand I d also rather own the rt55i's over the rt800i's..go figure.
    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • RuSsMaN
    RuSsMaN Posts: 17,987
    edited July 2002
    Options
    But yet you own RT1000's, so why a powered tower? I can understand if this was a previous decision, and you have 'seen the light' since, just curious.....

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I have posted many times about the rt1000p's and why I bought them.
    Way back in the day,I was looking to buy new speakers.I wanted the rt16's as I fell in love with them after I heard them.

    I decided if I was going to drop a grand on speakers,I should really listen to everything around and get tuned into the other brands on the market.

    When I was finished the grand tour,the rt16's went disco and The WIZ didn't have any more,but the entire new line of Polks where out.
    The salesman guided me threw the new line as I wanted to listen to all of them.
    My eyes where locked on the rt800's.My ears where not.The rt1000p's had such better mid to high transfer,they sold me on the first listen.The rt800's I hated due to sloppy bass and poor Mid to high transfer.I couldn't Belive the difference.

    I figured I could handle the powered towers as I could tailor the bass as I seen fit.Boy was I wrong.

    Over the last 4 years or so,I was all but to learn more about speakers,amps ,wire and what the hell.......more speakers.
    The up hill battle with the rt1000p's was a rocky one to say the least.I did however get them to where I felt they where the best sounding they could be.

    Over the years other speakers came into my life and today I sit here typing this thinking about which one's are comming home with me for good.

    This time I upgrade,I want it to be or last of a long time.I got bank waiting for the big purchase,not to mention a new house being built to welcome them.

    If I could have done it all over again,I still would have picked the rt1000p's over the rt800's.The rti70's are a different story.There nice.

    I got a few more speaker demo's to complete before I upgrade,in the end The LSI15's are looking real good,with a couple of speed bumps in there way.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Russman,
    to answer your question,yes I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and the powered towers aren't in the light but in the dark.
    I never really considered a powerd tower nor did I think about it before I purchased.I 'm glad in one sence I have owned them.It was a fun experience.
    They are fun to listen to though.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • RuSsMaN
    RuSsMaN Posts: 17,987
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Good deal, I can't wait to see you upgrade, and find out what your final choice is.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I can fill you in on some progress that I have made.
    I listened to the Vienna mozarts again as well as the Beetovens.A they are very fine well made speakers,they aren't for me.I found a couple of flaws I couldn't live with.They are bass heavy and are hard to correct.
    You'll like this.....my last demo had me liking the Sonus Fabers Grand Piano's over the Vienna Mozarts.They seemed this time around overall a better sounding speaker in the sound room I was in.The cymbals sounded more pronounced and the voice was clearer.Lows where more controled and natural sounding.
    My last demo of these 2 fine speakers the results where completely different.
    The Dynaudio audience 72's and 82's I think will have there way with both speaker lines.The Dynaudios are so much better in everyway but built cabnet quality.
    Tweeter just doesn't have a speaker line that I would be completely happy with.I thought the Vienna was the way to go,but after being around the Dynaudio's so much, they now seem like a lesser of a speaker.
    So now it's coming down between the Dynaudio's and they Polk LSI15's.
    I believe one of these will be coming home with me very soon.I just need to make up my ever so picky mind.
    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    OrangeToupe,
    Dynaudio will be offering real wood veneers on there Audience line very soon,no magic there.Last I heard was 2 months,and that was over a month ago.I'll keep you posted with any new info I come across.
    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Aaron
    Aaron Posts: 1,853
    edited July 2002
    Options
    my last demo had me liking the Sonus Fabers Grand Piano's over the Vienna Mozarts.
    Hmm, imagine that. Sonus being better than Vienna.....;)

    Aaron
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Remember that sound of a speaker is personal.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • OrangeToupee
    OrangeToupee Posts: 488
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Mantis, how much more, if any, will the price of the Audience increase? Specifically the 82? Let me know after you've spoken with either the elves or the wizard. Thanks,

    Toupee
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    OrangeToupe,
    Wizards?Elves?Not sure where you are going ,I betting your into cloak and dakkar or something.
    I can find out for sure.I'm sure theres going to be in fact I know there is an upcharge.Currently you can get the speaker in silver if you like.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • OrangeToupee
    OrangeToupee Posts: 488
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Just being stupid with the elves talk.

    I'd like to see how these new wood veneered Audiences look. I'll ask you again when you get the word on the new prices.

    Toupee
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Its cool
    As soon as I know you'll know
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Aaron
    Aaron Posts: 1,853
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Mantis, have you heard the Dynaudio Contour 1.3 SE's yet?
    Yes, he has. I've heard them too. They're an excellent speaker, but I question their value at $3400; I think you could do better for the money. I'd have to listen to them a bit more to make a final judgement call.

    Aaron
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I can answer that,
    Yes they outclass everything Polk has ever made in a bookshelf and possibly could outclass everything else they have ever made.

    Dynaudio Contour series is a high end speaker line that can pretty much put everything on the market to shame.You got to sit and liten to believe how good they are.Don't take my word for it.

    When I build a 2 channel rig in my office,The Contour 3.0 have a home there.I gotta rebuild the theater before I venture out on a 2 channel rig.I'm thinking next year.

    If I where you ,Id find a Dynaudio dealer near you and prepare to get your socks blown off,or your skirt bown up.They are an amazing sounding line.If I had the extra cash,Id do my theater in Contour,but There alittle out of my reach for such a bold move(I can dream though).

    Krell,Mark Levinston mates extremely well with this line.Tube amps make them alittle soft, but some people perfer that sound.

    Not to mention they can play ANY kind of music well,they don't shine with some types and crap out with others like most high end speakers do.

    Get your listening on.
    DAn
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I forgot to mention,
    for bookshelf's they play low.But they are no match for the Contour 1.8 mkII.There as clear and open but they can't play as low and hit as hard.

    The sound in the Countor line doesn't change from speaker to speaker(it's kind of freaky),they just play lower.
    You will find they contour line is one of the most balanced lines ever made...as a line.

    I was shocked when I demo'd them speaker to speaker.Well I can't say enough about them ....so I'll let you form your own Opnion..........................................................................................
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Amps you should look into Krell and Mark Levinston.

    Tell you what Mark Levinston makes a super killer Integrated Pre Pro amp called the no#383.It makes perfectly with the Dynaudio's.It's around 6 grand.Wire Id only use Transparent with Dynaudio, they have a way of showing off poor wire.

    Monster signa retro's are ok but it makes the system sound...hi fi.But not bad to say the least.

    Transparent Musicwave super's is where it's at with a system like that.

    Another cable company that would work well with your new system would be Nortist.They wire is real close in quality to Transparent.It's goofy looking,like a ribboncable, but the sound benifits are worth the freaky look.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Aaron
    Aaron Posts: 1,853
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Yes they outclass everything Polk has ever made in a bookshelf and possibly could outclass everything else they have ever made.
    Agreed. But hey, for $3400 they should!

    Aaron
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Different world by freind
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • nascarmann
    nascarmann Posts: 1,464
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I think you have to be ____(fill in the blank) to put $3400.00 in a bookshelf speaker.........where I live that would be $3,697.50 after tax and still would need stands and wire....yah right

    Mark Levinston makes a super killer Integrated Pre Pro amp called the no#383.It makes perfectly with the Dynaudio's.It's around 6 grand

    So now we have about 10 grand in an intergrate and bookshelf's.....? Man it sucks being a poor hillbilly from Tennessee...
    Oh, the bottle has been to me, my closes friend, my worse enemy!
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    Thats why Polk sells my friend,
    good stuff at a hillbilly's price point.Believe me when I tell you this,not everyone can get into high end gear.It's scary what you can spend.This little system where currently talking about is..well lets just say its low end for high end...if that sounds right.

    I never untill lately could even possibly be able to even touch a system like that.Still with everything else in life,it seems so far away.

    Enjoy what you can my friend,it's nice to dream.......maybe someday.....................................
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • TroyD
    TroyD Posts: 13,077
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I dunno.......Obviously, to each thier own, but I just don't believe that good audio has to be astronomically expensive, especially if you take in to consideration the amount of great used gear out there.

    I think that as gear goes up in price the placebo factor increases exponentially while the performance per dollar ratio plummets.

    For example, one of the best demo rigs that I've listened to was with Russ, a B&W/Krell rig that probably tipped in at, roughly 25 grand, all in. The demo rig that I listen to most often is a Maggie 3.6/ CJ rig that rougly runs about 10 grand. Then you have my 2ch rig that cost me less than a thousand dollars.

    Now, the B&W rig was just plain awesome but was it 15g's better? Depends on who you ask. If you won the lotto or are a CEO of a now bankrupt company, maybe.

    The Maggie rig, now that's something that I could realistically handle down the road. 10g's is a lot of dough but in a few years, I could probably manage that. For now however, I am not one bit dissatisfied with any of my gear, right now, I'm listening to some Chris Rea on the Dave with my new Boston A40's and I'm digging it large. My 2ch rigs are nothing short of bliss for me as is my HT rig.

    The point I make here gents, whatever floats your boat is fine but it's supposed to be a hobby that you can enjoy whatever your fundage level is. The minute that I stop enjoying what I have because of something that I don't have is the day that I will sell all of it.

    Sorry for the ramble, just something that kinda popped into my skull.....

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
    edited July 2002
    Options
    I personally think it's a crime what some companies want for there stuff.
    To each there own I agree totally.If you got big bank and cn life with speanding that kind of bread..by all means.Me I just want better sound then what I currently got.
    I like to upgrade,it keeps it exciting.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Aaron
    Aaron Posts: 1,853
    edited July 2002
    Options
    All I ever wanted in life was the best audio system money can buy. Is that too much to ask?

    Aaron
  • jdavy
    jdavy Posts: 380
    edited August 2002
    Options
    I think you need two systems. You need a great 2 channel system to fill you room with great music. For that I choose towers like my SRS's. For home theater you need different speakers and amp. Often they are with a seperate sub channel. Ie: Dolby 5.1 or DTS ES 6.1. The .1 is the sub channel. It would be interesting to hear educated opinions from the guys at Polk.:)