Age old question - Floorstands vs bookshelfs + sub (difficult room)

OldSheldon

Novice Member
Hello to all! Long time reader - first time poster here :)

Decided to create an account and start this topic, as after a really long journey and going through tons of headphones I finally have a place to setup a stereo system, but obviously it is far from optimal. I'm hoping to receive some pointers here :)

So to the point - first of all the room - I would say medium sized (9m x 5m), additionally opened to the kitchen which adds additional 10m2. Ceiling is open and reaches 5m. And of course the decor is quite minimalistic - no carpets, drapes, and other acoustic friendly elements :) As a result there is some reverberation. The listening area is rather standard - speakers would be 2,5-3m apart, and about 3m from the listening position. It looks like this:
F4BB690A-52AC-431D-838B-4CAFA8FB704C.JPG

I've tested some equipment in the home (nad c368 + kef 950) and while I love the signature, I think there is a lot to be gained, especially in the lower freqs, as the room was definitely getting in the way. I've shortlisted some equipment I'm thinking about, and would love If you could help me reduce the list even further, as I'd prefer not to spend next 2 years buying and selling equipment (dealers here are not very eager to send equipment for testing in home) - rather listen to music :) My Sources will be TV for movies and games (50% of usage time), and Apple Music for the music part - so no high res requirements. For amp I'm looking into simplicity - HDMI input for tv, airplay for music, preferably one box and that's it :) I've listed following units:
  • Powernode - cheapest one that fits the bill
  • Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 - probably the one I'm most interested in, as it brings also room correction.
  • NAD C399 + BluOS MDC2 - most powerful unit, also with Dirac.
And here comes the main question - given this information what would be more suitable: bigger floorstanding set, or similarly priced bookshelfs + sub combo. I haven't had any experience with bookshelfs, so I'm obviously not sure whether this type of speakers can be sufficient. I'm not listening loud - rather lower volumes, so other people around aren't fatigued. But at the same time there seems to be consensus that a lot of space requires bigger drivers and more of them. What I was thinking to check, and is within my budget:
  • Kefs Q950 and R5/R7
  • Elac Carinas FS
  • B&W 603S2 AE
  • Kefs LS50meta and R3 + KC62
  • Lyngdorf MH-2 + BW-3
  • Buchardt S400 MK2 + sub
I'll definitely try to set up demos of those units, but at dealers rooms everything sounds great... I'm really hoping you can help me shorten the scope ;)
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi. If you go with the Lyngdorf, it's bookshelves and twin subs all day long.
As an aside, I have a very difficult room. Glass at both ends, eved roof etc, and Room Perfect has properly sorted it. Had I bought it first I would have booksheves, but already had my Neats and have no space for a 2nd sub, so have just kept them. They really sing now, and the sub integration is seamless.
My speakers might change in the future, but having a Lyngdorf and subs won't. Game changing.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
As an aside, were I picking from your list it would be either the full Lyngdorf system or Kef R3 + BK subs.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
I have a 1120 with Rega RS1s and BW3 - just don't have the room for another sub nor the wall space for MH3s. Though my sitting room is a 2170 with 2 x MH2 and 2 x BW2. Cannot praise RoomPerfect enough - incredibly simple to setup (all done in 20 minutes) and it transforms the sound with a realism and soundstage that has been missing from any other system I have had, and there have been a few. Can highly recommend the Lyngdorf speakers - they are very transparent and Lyngdorf amps come with ready built profiles for their various speakers. An 1120 with 2 x MH2/2 x BW3 would be a very good setup.
 

gava

Well-known Member
If you go the Lyndorf route I would definitely go full Lyndorf, with their speakers and boundary woofers. I would be very surprised if you didn't love that. Note that the 1120 with Lyndorf woofers you have 400W inbuilt into the woofers themselves and the 1120 is only driving the smaller speakers.

I have a thread here where I compared the 1120 and C399, and I chose the C399 as I didn't find Roomperfect to be to my taste - this may have been specific to my speakers/room however.

I wouldn't necessarily restrict yourself to bookshelf + sub, there is no reason not to choose floorstander + sub if that suits you.

If you went the C399 route from the systems you listed I would choose KEF R3 + subs - but not the KC62, instead perhaps 2x REL T7x or 2x SVS 3000 Micro for similar prices. The extra power of the C399 allows you a choice of a much wider range of speakers compared to the 1120.

What is your overall budget for speakers + subs?
 
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OldSheldon

Novice Member
What is your overall budget for speakers + subs?
5k€ tops, but the lower the better. Don't mind searching for used gear as well :)

I wouldn't necessarily restrict yourself to bookshelf + sub, there is no reason not to choose floorstander + sub if that suits you.
well, that takes space :) bookshelf + sub is an easy sell, 2 subs probably as well, though would need to test - if I'd put them in the corners, the left one would be partially obstructed from the listening area by the couch. Floorstanders with one sub would probably work as well, though over here cost becomes bigger. Second sub with floorstands would not work - either financially, or with space :)

This is I think also the appeal of bookshelf speakers, that you can get relatively better quality components than with floorstands in the same budget (for example over here R3/LS50m + sub combo goes in the same region as a R7 set), and don't need to worry about amp output as much.
 

gava

Well-known Member
5k€ tops, but the lower the better. Don't mind searching for used gear as well :)


well, that takes space :) bookshelf + sub is an easy sell, 2 subs probably as well, though would need to test - if I'd put them in the corners, the left one would be partially obstructed from the listening area by the couch. Floorstanders with one sub would probably work as well, though over here cost becomes bigger. Second sub with floorstands would not work - either financially, or with space :)

This is I think also the appeal of bookshelf speakers, that you can get relatively better quality components than with floorstands in the same budget (for example over here R3/LS50m + sub combo goes in the same region as a R7 set), and don't need to worry about amp output as much.
Obstruction of a sub by a couch doesn't matter much, those long sound waves go round everything anyway, and running Dirac Live or Roomperfect automatically take that into account.

Floorstanders take up the same room as bookshelf speakers on a stand. :) Putting a bookshelf speaker on an actual bookshelf is not recommended.

High quality bookshelf speakers usually require MORE power to drive than floorstanders. I agree though that there is a lot of value in the bookshelf + sub combo as long as you have room correction.

But a pair of R3s and two corner subs with RP/DL will produce a marvellous result.

At the risk of simply recommending what I have the QAcoustics Concept 300 speakers are a wonderful match with the C399.

For the same overall ballpark price you could also go active with the Buchardt A700 & hub, or Dynaudio Focus 60XD & hub.
 
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OldSheldon

Novice Member
Floorstanders take up the same room as bookshelf speakers on a stand. :) Putting a bookshelf speaker on an actual bookshelf is not recommended.
I was thinking more in terms of hanging the MH2s on the wall. This is pretty neat solution space-wise :) Or if we're talking KEF ones, on my RTV stand + some raiser, to reach the optimal height - either way, floor space is not affected.
At the risk of simply recommending what I have the QAcoustics Concept 300 speakers are a wonderful match with the C399.
QAcoustics Concepts 300 are marvelous in terms of looks, and I would get them purely on this matter if only they would be within my price range. Over here they cost 3x the value of MH-2/Kefs. I would have to ditch the sub, and I don't think that's optimal.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Lyngdorf TDAI1120
Kef LS50Meta or R3
Pair of BK Double Gem

If you cross arround 50-60hz this really helps the amp about as you are likely to be above the resonant frequency of the woofers, the Double Gems can be used as stands for the speakers saving a bit of cash on stands. Whether the LS50Metas or R3 are better depends on your ears.

Another option are the Buchardt A700 speakers, large floor standing wireless speakers with a hub that has room EQ. New they are 6000euro but here is a second hand pair for £4000.

 

gava

Well-known Member
QAcoustics Concepts 300 are marvelous in terms of looks, and I would get them purely on this matter if only they would be within my price range. Over here they cost 3x the value of MH-2/Kefs. I would have to ditch the sub, and I don't think that's optimal.

The C300 are superb speakers. The looks are a matter of taste - some people really don't like the stands, though I think they are quite attractive and they get many compliments from visitors.

I am still on the upgrade hunt so I have been auditioning a lot of speakers in the last few months and can honestly say that I have been listening to speakers 2x, 3x even 4x their price and not found them to be significantly better. Sure different speakers may do one thing better, but as all-rounders I have been struggling to find a straight upgrade.

They definitely need subs in a room your size though.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Good kit in there will be wasted, you need carpets. It'll be echoey and sound like a bathroom.

It's big enough for floorstanders you can fit big ones there no problem, also that means you can run crossover lower ie small 40-60hz. Also tiny speakers in a huge room look weird.

Subs aren't essential in that room (for two channel hifi) if you get big enough speakers, some flagship models like old kef reference model 4.2, that sort of size. Of course you can add a sub or two later that could be done anytime.
 

gava

Well-known Member
Good kit in there will be wasted, you need carpets. It'll be echoey and sound like a bathroom.

I disagree completely.

The listening position has LOTS of space behind, the room is wide enough to get plenty of space to deal with first reflections, and low frequencies have plenty of space to escape into the kitchen area, there will be relatively little problem with standing waves that simple sub positioning cannot solve. Add room correction and IMO you will be fine - acoustically and aesthetically.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Clap your hands, is there a echo?that room looks like a bathroom. Before fitting a few acoustic panels my hifi room was a bit echoey. And it has carpet.

I don't use room EQ, but I wouldn't think you should use it as band aid for a bad room.

If it sounds bad in pure direct, then room needs sorting.
 

OldSheldon

Novice Member
Echo? No. Reverb? yes. Unless you go really loud it's not noticeable (or, I'm just adjusted to it).
Carpets are out of the question :) I'm still in the process of getting things in and decorating, but this will never be an audiophile listening room, or old fashioned acoustic friendly clutter :)
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Splendid looking room sir 👍

I’d echo the thoughts expressed here regarding the Lyngdorf approach. It is a first class method of dealing with room nasties.

The only thing I’d add is that it might be better to consider the Lyngdorf FR-1 speakers.

They are noticeably more efficient and will go loud enough even for a room as big as yours quite easily, without any chance of overtaxing the 1120.

And with a pair of BW-2s taking the strain up to 200Hz you’ll have something quite remarkable, and effortless.
 

Tom @ Cinehome

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Splendid looking room sir 👍

I’d echo the thoughts expressed here regarding the Lyngdorf approach. It is a first class method of dealing with room nasties.

The only thing I’d add is that it might be better to consider the Lyngdorf FR-1 speakers.

They are noticeably more efficient and will go loud enough even for a room as big as yours quite easily, without any chance of overtaxing the 1120.

And with a pair of BW-2s taking the strain up to 200Hz you’ll have something quite remarkable, and effortless.
I would echo Paul's comments. The Lyngdorf TDAI1120 outperforms the NAD options and when combined with Lyngdorf's on-wall loudspeakers and a pair of BW2 subwoofers will give superb results. If you would like an option away from Lyngdorf for loudspeakers, a pair of KEF LS50 Meta's and pair of subwoofers from M&K (the new V+ series is superb) or Lyngdorf will again be fantastic.

A home trial / demo might be the way to go. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if I can assist.

Best, Tom
 

bay73

Active Member
I will add to those suggesting the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120.

I have a difficult room that is an irregular shape with lots of reflective surfaces and RoomPerfect tames it really well.

I cannot help with sub/sat speaker choice.

You do not say where you live that makes dealer home trials difficult?
 

gava

Well-known Member
I am fully aware that there are a lot of very happy 1120 users on this forum, and many of them will disagree with what follows.

I would respectfully disagree that 1120 + other speakers is a good idea. Your room is quite large and I simply don't think the 1120 is powerful enough. It wasn't for my much smaller room.

When matched with Lyngdorf speakers I have no doubt it will be superb. The Lyngdorf boundary woofers are capable of taking most of the load for all bass frequencies (up to 800Hz), leaving plenty of power for the mid/high. Matched with the 1120 - a pair of FR1 on-wall speakers and a pair of BW2 woofers would be a superb and discreet solution, and come in within your budget.

To use Roomperfect in a room your size with speakers/subs from other manufacturers I would want the 3400.

The C399 is a more modern, cleaner and far more powerful amplifier, and has Dirac Live for room correction. If you are not planning on using Lyngdorf speakers, or have the idea that you might like to play with different speaker/sub combos over the coming years as a bit of a hobby then I would suggest the C399.
 

OldSheldon

Novice Member
Gotta say, didn't expect so much Lyngdorf love here :D especially for the speakers - was assuming that bigger sets will be rather the way to go, as the Lyngdorf speakers look rather not impressive at first glance (which obviously might be misleading).

Splendid looking room sir 👍

I’d echo the thoughts expressed here regarding the Lyngdorf approach. It is a first class method of dealing with room nasties.

The only thing I’d add is that it might be better to consider the Lyngdorf FR-1 speakers.

They are noticeably more efficient and will go loud enough even for a room as big as yours quite easily, without any chance of overtaxing the 1120.

And with a pair of BW-2s taking the strain up to 200Hz you’ll have something quite remarkable, and effortless.
Thank you for kind words, and for the FR-1 proposition - didn't know it existed. Gotta ask at the shop whether they can get it for testing (they have the amp, subs, MH2 and other bookshelfs/floorstanders I've mentioned). Looks like the strongest speaker in the Lyngdorf lineup, they even claim that it doesn't need a sub. Could start with them, and the later add subs when funds will refill :D

The C399 is a more modern, cleaner and far more powerful amplifier, and has Dirac Live for room correction.
This is interesting - could you elaborate on the modern/cleaner part? I was under the assumption, that the C399 while obviously more powerful, and newer to the market is the 'classic' D amp construction, and out of the two it's the Lyngdorf that has more unique/modern construction with its lack of analogue section.

While I love what C368 produces at my friends better room, and would like to give a C399 a go, problem with NAD in Poland is that they have only one distribution ring, and the company that sells them isn't very open to lending them out - you can listen to them in their perfect rooms and that's it. So would probably start with tests of 1120 and different speakers, and if that doesn't work then I would go the NAD path.
 

gava

Well-known Member
This is interesting - could you elaborate on the modern/cleaner part? I was under the assumption, that the C399 while obviously more powerful, and newer to the market is the 'classic' D amp construction, and out of the two it's the Lyngdorf that has more unique/modern construction with its lack of analogue section.

Check out this amplifier SINAD list:



SINAD of course is not the only measure of an amplifier, but the C399 scores a very high (but not state of the art) 94dB, whereas the 1120 scores 69dB, which by itself is okay but not competitive with the current Class D technology. There have been rumours that the entire Lyndorf line is soon to be updated with newer class D modules from Hypex or Purifi, but those have been floating around for some time with nothing currently in sight. I would say waiting is not a great idea.

I certainly believe I could hear the difference between the C399 and the 1120 - having had the 1120 only on trial, but that is by no means to say that the 1120 is poor as an amplifier - it's fine. Similar results were obtained for the 3400 at ASR, though obviously it has a lot of power and more features at more than twice the price.

The point of the 1120 is that it gives you a bunch of features and an entry into superb DSP/room correction system, which taken as a whole will outperform systems with better measurements but lacking Roomperfect. And in my view when combined with the Lyngdorf speakers and boundary woofers will tie it all together very nicely.
 

gava

Well-known Member
Thank you for kind words, and for the FR-1 proposition - didn't know it existed. Gotta ask at the shop whether they can get it for testing (they have the amp, subs, MH2 and other bookshelfs/floorstanders I've mentioned). Looks like the strongest speaker in the Lyngdorf lineup, they even claim that it doesn't need a sub. Could start with them, and the later add subs when funds will refill :D

Huge mistake to wait IMO, get the boundary woofers as part of the set. Note that the Lyndorf boundary woofers are not subs, they are capable of handling all the bass frequencies up to 800Hz. No doubt you will find the right crossover in your room, but you will almost certainly cross them much higher than a normal sub.
 

Shocked

Active Member
I own a Lyngdorf 1120 with two Lyngdorf BW-3 subwoofers, combined with Dali Menuet SE bookshelves.
Seeting distance is approx 8-11 ft (3 meters).
Before buying the two BW-3 subs, I used a B&W ASW610 subwoofer, crossover set at 80 Hz.
It sounded nice, with a wonderfull midrange.
Intrigued about the benefits of dual subwoofers, I bought two BW-3, ran RoomPerfect via bypass (Lyngdorf will sort out phase, crossover, reflections etc.), I first didn’t quite understand the sound. It was totally different from what I used to hear. It was complete, like a wall of sound with the tonality of the wonderful midrange of the Dali Menuet SE.
And don’t think it cannot play loud, it’s like you have two big B&W 802 D3 in your house. Two intergrated subwoofers is truly something different and I think you should demo it.
 
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