Bookshelves vs. Towers?

Have two speaker setups. My living room with a 5.1 setup & my bedroom I cobbled together a 2.0 setup with extra parts.

People have told me a high quality bookshelf should be better than a cheaper tower. I have Polk's LSiM 703s (Bi'Ampd) being pushed by a Marantz SR 5011. My towers are Polk's TSx 550T being pushed by the Polk Omni A1.

The towers sounds much better, IMHO. More spacing, more detail. I am pleasantly surprised by them. Bookshelves are ok but sometimes sound muddled

What gives? Is the Omni A1 a better amp? Are towers just better than bookshelves? Did Audessy setup for bookshelves/ subwoofer. Crossover? Master bedroom has vaulted ceiling and living room is only 10 Ft.
AVR: Marantz SR 5011
L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
R: Def Tech
Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
DVD: Oppo UDP 203
TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
«1

Comments

  • Take the bookies upstairs and compare.
    HT- Samsung PN50B860/Integra DTR 30.3/Rt55 Fronts
    Rt35i Surrounds/Cs1000p Center/SVS BP1000 Sub
    2CH - B&K MC-101 pre/B&K EX-442 amp/NAD 2400 amp
    Polk SDA1C, Polk Monitor 7, New Large Advents and Polk RTA 8T
    BR - Yamaha CR800/Polk monitor 5
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,420
    Bigger speakers mean bigger sound, bigger size makes a difference! If you put an amplifier on them you would hear an even bigger difference because then they could operate to their full potential.
    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 10,717
    ^^^^That's what she said...... ;):p
  • motorhead43026motorhead43026 Posts: 3,732
    edited September 2017
    Would you rather go into battle with a knife or a sword.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; S60'S, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    There are three things that give a man a false sense of courage, a keyboard, alcohol and a firearm.
    Motorhead, 4.12.20

    tonyb said " but even socialists can do a good thing here and there

    Social media makes dumb people dumber and smart people dumb and dumber.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,112
    OK my take

    Forget the biamped you're not and very well could be limiting the amount of power to the 703's. That is marketing fo fo the more speakers you hook up to a receiver the less wattage and current most actually have. Make some good jumpers or put the factory strap back on and run just two channel.

    I have heard the 703's and they can get it done with the correct amount of good clean power.
  • I would sell the 703s and buy two more towers.
    With the money pocketed I would buy a tie.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,969
    I would sell the 703s and buy two more towers.
    With the money pocketed I would buy a tie.

    You should buy some common sense instead.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,969
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    Have two speaker setups. My living room with a 5.1 setup & my bedroom I cobbled together a 2.0 setup with extra parts.

    People have told me a high quality bookshelf should be better than a cheaper tower. I have Polk's LSiM 703s (Bi'Ampd) being pushed by a Marantz SR 5011. My towers are Polk's TSx 550T being pushed by the Polk Omni A1.

    The towers sounds much better, IMHO. More spacing, more detail. I am pleasantly surprised by them. Bookshelves are ok but sometimes sound muddled

    What gives? Is the Omni A1 a better amp? Are towers just better than bookshelves? Did Audessy setup for bookshelves/ subwoofer. Crossover? Master bedroom has vaulted ceiling and living room is only 10 Ft.

    For starters you're not bi-amping, secondly you are using an AVR with the less than infallible calibration program. Those speakers need better power to get the best out of them.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,969
    cfrizz wrote: »
    Bigger speakers mean bigger sound, bigger size makes a difference! If you put an amplifier on them you would hear an even bigger difference because then they could operate to their full potential.

    Your post is not very clear. Are you saying he should use an amplifier with the towers or the bookies?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 91
    edited September 2017
    I long stopped caring what you have to say.
    Just so you know, it is the last time I will
    look at your waste of time thoughts and opinions.


  • To the OP:

    Instead of trying to make the 703's into something you like, you
    may be money ahead buying something you like.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,708
    The 703s sound a LOT better with a lot of good, clean power. I never tried them on an AVR. but I moved from a cheap 125 wpc amp to a quality Rotel 200 wpc amp, and man they came alive! Much tighter, more controlled bass, but also wider sound stage and better overall separation.

    They also sounded really good on a parasound HCA-1000, you might try something like that before dumping the bookies...
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Martin Logan Grotto sub; Musical Fidelity A308; Cambridge Azur 851N
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM450; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology StudioMonitor350; ACI Titan Subwoofer; Squeezebox Touch
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,969
    I long stopped caring what you have to say.
    Just so you know, it is the last time I will
    look at your waste of time thoughts and opinions.


    You should stick to posting pictures of album covers, it's the only audio related thing you're good at.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • I would sell the 703s and buy two more towers.
    With the money pocketed I would buy a tie.

    Dick
    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • Can't have towers in living room. There are built in cabinets.

    Still learning about high end audio. Bought the AVR before understanding that a pre/pro is better.
    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • It's not an Onkier Skip. It's a $900 list Marantz. (though entry level)
    I do agree that it is shocking going from an entry level AV receiver
    to a TOTL AV receiver or a new AV receiver + amp w/ good clean power.
    That is a lot of dough if he is still unhappy w/ the 703's.

    OP: Are they set to small or large and what do you have the Xover set at?



  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,969
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    Can't have towers in living room. There are built in cabinets.

    Still learning about high end audio. Bought the AVR before understanding that a pre/pro is better.

    Are the speakers in the built in cabinets?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • I'm not unhappy with the 703's. They are good. The room is not ideal and my sub needed to be upgraded.

    I am just surprised at the TSx 550t. Figured the Marantz (I know it is an AVR) would out perform the Polk Omni A1.

    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • F1nut wrote: »
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    Can't have towers in living room. There are built in cabinets.

    Still learning about high end audio. Bought the AVR before understanding that a pre/pro is better.

    Are the speakers in the built in cabinets?

    703s sit on top of cabinets about sitting ear level. Sub is underneath in cabinet.
    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,969
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    F1nut wrote: »
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    Can't have towers in living room. There are built in cabinets.

    Still learning about high end audio. Bought the AVR before understanding that a pre/pro is better.

    Are the speakers in the built in cabinets?

    703s sit on top of cabinets about sitting ear level. Sub is underneath in cabinet.

    Ok, in that case try using them with single run speaker cables with the jumpers in place. If they are really close to the back wall pull them out as far as possible. Those calibration programs are not infallible, so tweak the settings yourself.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Kingkwas wrote: »
    I would sell the 703s and buy two more towers.
    With the money pocketed I would buy a tie.

    Dick

    dang. o.k. Good luck sir.

  • It's not an Onkier Skip. It's a $900 list Marantz. (though entry level)
    I do agree that it is shocking going from an entry level AV receiver
    to a TOTL AV receiver or a new AV receiver + amp w/ good clean power.
    That is a lot of dough if he is still unhappy w/ the 703's.

    OP: Are they set to small or large and what do you have the Xover set at?



    I need to check tonight. Don't remember off hand.
    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,708
    Single wire them.

    Try running them in pure direct mode, which will automatically set them to large and turn off all calibration.

    this is how I listen to music in the bedroom and I had a similar receiver with the same speakers and an external amp and it sounded really good...
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Martin Logan Grotto sub; Musical Fidelity A308; Cambridge Azur 851N
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM450; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology StudioMonitor350; ACI Titan Subwoofer; Squeezebox Touch
  • You need good power for the 703s to make em good.

    We opened up my B&K 200.5 on them and they got LOUD! Surprised me as I’m not normally a fan. They were at on what level and then a single increase in volume and it wasn’t like WHOA! Made you take notice....

    Am I alone on that one @pitdogg2 @lightman1, @indyhawg, @deronb1 ?
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 2,326
    Don't BiAmp or Biwire with an AVR.

    I have an SR5010 and when it comes to music it's "pure direct" always.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN75RU710DFXZA,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk LsiM 705
    Center: Polk LSiM 704C
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk S15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES AVR, Sony DVP-NS3100ES for disc
    Cerwin Vega AT-12 (blasters) Advent Prodigy (listening)
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 10,717
    V
    You need good power for the 703s to make em good.

    We opened up my B&K 200.5 on them and they got LOUD! Surprised me as I’m not normally a fan. They were at on what level and then a single increase in volume and it wasn’t like WHOA! Made you take notice....

    Am I alone on that one @pitdogg2 @lightman1, @indyhawg, @deronb1 ?

    Vouched for it. Eyes were wide at what those little "bookies" could do with proper amplification.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,969
    At CAF we had them and the 707's driven with Bel Canto mono blocks. A good number of people thought the 707's were playing when in fact, it was the 703's.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • deronb1deronb1 Posts: 5,094
    You need good power for the 703s to make em good.

    We opened up my B&K 200.5 on them and they got LOUD! Surprised me as I’m not normally a fan. They were at on what level and then a single increase in volume and it wasn’t like WHOA! Made you take notice....

    Am I alone on that one @pitdogg2 @lightman1, @indyhawg, @deronb1 ?

    Nope, you are not alone. They certainly sang with that juice. OP, if you like the sound sig from the TSX series, maybe try that series bookshelf or some A3s. They can be had very reasonably
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,480
    Point to all this is....better speakers need better quality electronics to bring out their potential.

    1.- Stop bi-amping with a receiver, your doing nothing and may in fact be making things worse. Put the jumpers back in and use a single run of wire.
    2.-Your speaker wire can also be contributing to the bad sound your hearing. Make sure it's a decent quality wire. As you up the quality of speakers, so should you also up the quality of electronics and cables.
    3. Move the 703's away from the rear wall as much as possible. Stands would be better, if it's an option.
    4. what's the source material like ? Lossless, MP3's, CD's, played on what ?


    Set the receiver in pure direct 2 channel also for music. Any of those other wonky settings will only muddle up the sound. Everything in the chain plays a role in what you'll hear, some to a bigger degree than others, but it all matters. Don't be too quick to blame the speakers.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • tonyb wrote: »
    Point to all this is....better speakers need better quality electronics to bring out their potential.

    1.- Stop bi-amping with a receiver, your doing nothing and may in fact be making things worse. Put the jumpers back in and use a single run of wire.
    2.-Your speaker wire can also be contributing to the bad sound your hearing. Make sure it's a decent quality wire. As you up the quality of speakers, so should you also up the quality of electronics and cables.
    3. Move the 703's away from the rear wall as much as possible. Stands would be better, if it's an option.
    4. what's the source material like ? Lossless, MP3's, CD's, played on what ?


    Set the receiver in pure direct 2 channel also for music. Any of those other wonky settings will only muddle up the sound. Everything in the chain plays a role in what you'll hear, some to a bigger degree than others, but it all matters. Don't be too quick to blame the speakers.

    1. Gotcha. I need an amp but keep putting it off. This all started with a move. So many many expenses last 12 months.

    2. 99% sure cheap speaker wire is contributing. Company that installed appears to have used cheap wire. Problem is that it is not easy to replace. Under my house via a crawl space to circumvent a fireplace.

    3. As far off wall was possible. But not far.

    4. Tidal HiFi. Supposed to be CD quality. AirPlay direct to Marantz or wired in via front USB.
    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
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