Are Floorstanders much better than small satellites? - Mordaunt short

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Noggin1980, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Noggin1980

    Noggin1980
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    Hi

    I brought some Mordaunt Short Genies at Christmas time and have been very happy with them. Due to being disabled my wife and I have been living with my mum and only really had the bedroom to ourselves so I had to go with small speakers. Now that we have worked out solutions to the problems that forced us to live together we can now buy the house and so the lounge is ours to take over :thumbsup: .

    So now we arn't confined to small space and with my wife really likeing some of the set ups in the members home cinema gallery I can look at bigger speakers if they will be a decent improvement.

    I've been thinking of something like this

    http://www.petertyson.co.uk/ebutton...ntshortavantms906ipackage-ms906ipackage.shtml

    MS906i Fronts
    MS903i Rears
    MS905i Centre
    MS309i Subwoofer

    I would continue to use my Yamaha 757SE amp.

    Would a set up like that be a significant upgrade over a MS genie pack? We do alot of movie and TV watching but we also listen to a decent ammount of music. The music is 192kbps or 320kbps mp3's on my squeezebox 3 and into the yamaha 757SE amp.

    I've found lots of reviews that say how good these are and how good the genies are but can't find any sort of comparison between small and bigger speakers.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.

    Edit - going to demo is difficult, being in a wheelchair I'd need my wife to take me and then she'd see the price :nono: and there are many more important things for her to do at the moment than going to listen to speakers.
     
  2. djjimbob

    djjimbob
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    Classic! Love the waggle-finger smiley.

    I'm bumping this because I'd like to know the answer too. I'm moving shortly and am looking at a whole new setup incl. your speaker package, a Pioneer 1016 amp and probably a Sony 40" v2000 telly.

    The MS speakers do look nice though and with the 906 fronts you get the advantage of genuine stereo speakers at the front.
     
  3. Neil Davidson

    Neil Davidson
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    You will a lot of different opinons on the benefit of floor standers over sattelites but let my throw my hat in to the ring first.

    In a system with a sub I aim to set the cross over at 80Hz. This has numerous advantages in enabling the best bass performance without making positioning of the main speakers impracticle.

    80Hz is well within the range of most decent sized sats and therefore there is no gain from having floormounts. Better to use money on some quality stands.

    My ideal preference is to have all of the front speakers (at least) the same model in aligned in the same plane however this is not always practical. This arrangement can give some tonal benefits over even the best matched dedicated centres.

    HTH

    Neil
     
  4. djjimbob

    djjimbob
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    Ceenhad - Would it be fair to say that if you were just listening to stereo music through the system , then 3-way floorstanders would sound better (pound-for-pound) than sats and sub?
     
  5. EddThompson

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    I like big cones, even for above 80Hz, the more, the bigger the cones, the more air being moved, the more dynamic the experience.

    also, bigger speakers are often more effcient, louder for less watts. Infact, they probably go louder anyway :D

    I just find bigger speakers give a "bigger" sound, somthing i like :D

    edd
     
  6. bu5ter

    bu5ter
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    If you are intending on using the music as 2 channel stereo which is the best way in my opinion 2 genuine full rfange speakers will be the best bet so the MS floorstanders would be great.

    I would say 9 times out of 10 that go for the floorstanders as I have lost minbe and sorely miss them but just dont have the space any more.....and thats even going to bookshelf size speakers not sats.

    Saying that though from what I have heard the genies are a superb peice of kit and I imagine would be something i would be very happy with as most of mine is movie watching....

    Tough call you would need to have a demo i imagine as only you know how it would match up you have all the kit there and a great amp too so i think they would have to really impress to beat the genies.

    Good luck and let me know if you ever sell teh genies:lease:
     
  7. Noggin1980

    Noggin1980
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    Thanks for your thoughts so far guys. Not as clear cut as I was hopeing to be honest.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was expecting the extra and larger ports on the floorstanders would make them sound better than the genies.

    Extra volume isn't an issue, the Genies sound great at volumes much louder than we use them at.

    Aesetically while I really like the Geneies I think the floorstanders will look much better in the lounge.

    Is my yamaha 757SE amp capable of doing those speakers justice?

    It would probably be a couple of months till I sell the genies if I decide too, we have to wait for my mum to move out before ripping out her lounge:D I'll let you know in case you are still interested then.
     
  8. Neil Davidson

    Neil Davidson
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    In my experience this is not the case, however it does imply careful and correct sub setup and good integration between sub/sats.

    I need to reiterate though, that this approach relies on the sats retaining full performance at 80Hz and this is not always the case.

    Neil
     
  9. unique

    unique
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    i have the 906i's with a 905i centre and 309 sub (i got it just before the new i models). i have wharfdale diamonds for rears at the moment, and will shortly upgrade to 902i's (rather than the 903i)

    i've had this setup for a few months now, buying bit by bit over time, upgrading from a mixed bag of different speakers, but bigger than the genies

    i'm well chuffed with the sound/performance and looks. with the matching centre and floorstanders you get a great sound. last nite i was playing some music from my pc via optical out to my amp, which is just a yamaha rx350 or something (£120 richer sounds job), put it on music prologic to have it coming out all the speakers, and i was surprised by the amount of bass coming out, particularly the full range centre speaker. i previously used the smaller MS 304 speaker and never got anything like the range from that, so i would imagine the genie would be a bit similar

    the advice i got at the time from this site was to get a better amp, but it seems to be more than sufficient for normal use, so i would imagine your more powerful amp will be fine. last nite i was just blasting a few 80s tune for a laugh and turned the volume up a bit, but for movies it's nowhere near as loud. i only have the sub at about 1/3rd volume, with the amp at -5, so the sub can kick out a helluva lot more if you really hated your neighbors

    i'd definately say it was a great package
     
  10. dingwall

    dingwall
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    They are much, much better. Go for it without hesitation.

    Ceenhad's caveats are pie in the sky, and there's much more to sound than a flat bass response, quite obviously. I don't know anyone who believes speakers which measure the same in frequency response sound the same...

    The only things which should stop you are the possibilites of the floorstanders being a different sound and being a more difficult load for your amp.

    Those Mordaunt Short speakers are great value though. My friend sold many thousands of pounds worth of Lexicon/Snell/Revel gear for them, and still raves about this life-changing moment to this day. When he first told me, after my shock had died down, I asked what sub he was using suspecting his B15a was still doing its magic. "None", was his reply!
     
  11. chrisgeary

    chrisgeary
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    Ceenhad's comments are most certainly not "pie in the sky" and I would have hoped that a retailer might have received a little more respect than that. Nor did he mention once anything about a 'flat bass response'.

    There are pros and cons to floorstanders and sub/sats. Neil implied that, done correctly and carefully, a sub/sat system should outperform floorstanders - and I would agree with that. I have owned floorstanders and standmounts in a variety of rooms and by far the best result, for me, was the sub/sat combination.

    Floorstanders are much easier to live with - no integration required! However you will find them much more location sensitive when it comes to bass response and how the room affects it. If you are lucky, it will sound great without any effort. If you are unlucky, you will have big peaks and troughs in your sub 80hz bass response and this will have the effect of making your music sound like a night club or a boomy box.

    Arguably floorstanders are better looking, but this isnt always the case.

    I always recommend a home demo, if you can, because speakers never sound the same at home compared to the dealers shop. Room acoustics again!
     
  12. dingwall

    dingwall
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    I never said they were.

    I respect people's opinion based on what they say, not what they sell.

    And I think that particular opinion warrants zero respect. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Noggin1980

    Noggin1980
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    Thanks everyone.

    I'm a little confused Chris, I'm not trying to compare floorstanders to a sat/sub combo. More Floorstanders + a sub + 2 bookshelf rears to a sat/sub combo, does that change your advice?

    I must admit I'm surprised, I thought I was making a bit comprimise when I went with small speakers at Christmas time, maybe that wasn't the case and I should just be happy with what I have.

    But then there are a few extreamly positive comments about the package I'd plan to buy (Thanks Dingwall and unique).:thumbsup:

    If Ed Selley happens to read the thread I'd love your opinion on which is better the Genies or the package I outlined above. Thanks

    Never simple is it :D
     
  14. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    I've heard all those speakers and the 902 as well.
    The floorstanders are better, simple, IMO.
    They have much better dynamics and as has been said a much "bigger" sound.
    Whilst the 902 are extremely good, going very low for the size, they don't touch FS for midrange.
    I used 903 at the back and whilst I liked the diffuse sound, I prefer more directionality.
    The 905 is the best centre I've heard at the price, bar none.
    It's slight brightness makes it superb for vocal stuff in films, IMO.

    Summing up, go for the FS at the front, no question, IMO.
    EDIT:
    Oh and it will eat the genies :smashin:
    The 309 is very nice too.
     
  15. chrisgeary

    chrisgeary
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    Not really - although it depends on how you choose to set your floorstanders in your AV amp (large or small). Even if I had floorstanders, I would still set them to be small and use the sub for all bass duties. That's my preference. It allows me to EQ out much of the room induced peaks and troughs in the bass response. It also removes subsonic frequencies from the main speakers drivers which also have to reproduce vocals etc. The result is a much clearer sonic image.

    For the record, I don't have a flat bass response - that is as the title indicates, flat. I prefer a bit of a house curve.

    Not always the case - as always though, it is all about how it sounds to your ears.
     
  16. Neil Davidson

    Neil Davidson
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    Hi dingwall - I would be grateful if you could explain exactly which of the caveats you are referring to. It is not my desire to misinform people and the benefit of your obviously superior knowledge of acoustics would be appreciated.

    I would also be grateful if you could point out my reference to flat bass response. Again if I have implied this unwittingly to the readers of this thread I would like to know as this would certainly fly in the face of the many other threads I have posted on the benefits of NOT aiming for a perfectly flat frequency response.

    I thank you in advance

    Neil
     
  17. dingwall

    dingwall
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    Of course, Neil.

    Why the caveats don't apply in this case:
    The Genies can do nowhere near 80hz at -3dB.
    The Genies and sub are not just smaller versions of the floorstander package, they are a far inferior speaker.

    Flat bass response:
    You said that so long as you could crossover at 80Hz and integrate the satellites with the subwoofer well, then they will not be outperformed by floorstanders. The very meaning of integrating and the purpose of a crossover is to achieve as flat a bass response as possible in the crossover region.
     
  18. Noggin1980

    Noggin1980
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    Thanks guys, I asked Ed Selley who works for Mordaunt short I belive and he said that for movies "very little difference between the two if I'm honest. The 903 has fractionally more dispersion but this isn't night and day."

    For Music he said "there will be far more detail in the "phantom" 100-150hz point of proceedings. Whether this is in itself enough to encourage a change is up to you!"

    Not really sure what he meant by "phantom" but after looking through the hundreds of pages of "Get your plasmas out for the lads" and through the members home cinema gallery forum we have definatly decided to go for the floorstanders. Both of us much prefer how they look in a decent size lounge and my wife didn't seem to bothered that there may not be a huge improvement, though I quietly hope those of you that say there will are correct.

    Out of interest where do you put Bipoler rears? Do you put them in the same place you would normal rears? or would you put them on side walls but still behind you? Is placement of them a bit less important than it is with normal rears? It just seems if you put them where you would put normal rears the speakers won't be pointing at you. We have stairs not far behind where we will sitting so finding a good place could be tricky. Maybe we should buy Floorstanders again but the cheaper 904i would that be a good solution? I assume they are the same as the 902i rears but with a base?
     
  19. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    The 903 go on side walls behind you and a couple of feet above your head.
    They're difficult to demo and the sound may not be too your liking.
    My advice is try to get them on trial on the condition of if you don't like them you'll swap for 902 or 904. IMO, the 902 will be plenty for surrounds.
    If you think about it, the 903 don't point at you anyway, they are spread 45 degrees, which is the whole idea.

    By the phantom area, I assume he means the area between the subs top end and the surrounds bottom end.
     
  20. Noggin1980

    Noggin1980
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    Thanks Badger that's what I hoped you would do with the 903's. I think we would struggle to put the 902's in the correct place because of the stairs but we can do the 903's in the correct place.
     
  21. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    Noggin,
    I should qualify that, before I get pounced on :rolleyes:
    I have seen that they should be on side walls in line with your lugs.
    This, IMO, threw too much to the front, hence me saying behind you some.
    A metre would probably be sufficient, depending on your room.
     
  22. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    just to throw my tuppence in....

    if you want a cinema sound, go for the floorstanders.....purely because they will have large drivers, which at a similar price point to a satellite can happily shift more air, whether you cut at 80 or 100hz.....the majority of sounds you hear are not bass sounds believe it or not...lol....

    you go in a cinema, they have massive cone drivers behind the screen.....on a scale comparison, using them against the surround speakers you get in a cinema, it would equate to using floorstanders for fronts and standmounts for rears......

    all satellite systems certainly have their place, they can hit reasonably good SPL levels (remember we talking cheaper ranges here, not good quality M&K stuff) for their size, can sound remarkebly good as well considering.....but they just cant give you the sheer sense of scale that speakers with larger drivers can....not for the same price point....

    but the satellites often give you almost the same but without being intrusive, which usually means WAF or easier to keep away from kiddies....

    now there are occasionaly exceptions to the rule, mainly being when you head up to the more expensive stuff like M&K where their 5.1 setup sets you back around £2.5k...these setups will rival a similar price floorstanding setup for SPL, but thats because they have been fully designed to do so for that purpose....music wise they are pretty good, but to my mind lack the compassion music deserves and replace it with clinical life like reproduction which is what you want in movies...

    the main thing is, go with what you think will make you happiest overall, looks and sound......if the floorstanders will fit in better, then go for them, to be honest at the price point there isnt going to be increase in quality between the setups, just a different kind of sound perhaps.....if you end up not being happy, sell them on...ok you lose a lil bit but no point not being happy..heh...
     
  23. ttree sound

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    I have used a couple of different sub-sat systems plus a bookshelf-sub system, neither comes close to a "full range" floorstander plus sub. I am on my second front stereo pair. Each step up has been an improvement.

    Music in particular benefited hugely from using floorstanders plus I could drop the sub's crossover to a much lower setting allowing it to perform where its best able to, not up in the upper bass region.

    If I were in your position - don't hesitate its floorstanders all the way.
     
  24. jon smith

    jon smith
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    Can I ask which sub-sats you tried as a comparison?
     
  25. ttree sound

    ttree sound
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    kef 1005, 2005
     
  26. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    Neither of which are on a par with decent bookshelves, let alone floorstanders, IMO.
     
  27. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    I've started reading the thread again.

    I have to take issue with this.

    Since when is a 80Hz crossover best?

    Because THX says so?

    I've run MS 902 fronts, which go down to 35-40ish hz (very well too) but an 80 hz crossover sucked, big time.
    I was using a SVS PB10 sub and it whupped the MS, by a long chalk at anything up to about 160hz. My crossover was set at 110 or 120Hz, I can't remember exactly.
    Why does everyone go for this 80Hz holy grail?
    It's rubbish, IMO.
    My current SVS 5.0 jobs go down to 80 Hz, again with great linearity.
    The crossover is still around 110hz.

    To have a crossover of 80hz, you have to have a great set of speakers, IMHO.
    I honestly feel you should aim for the best crossover for the setup as opposed to 80Hz mate.
     
  28. The_Scotty

    The_Scotty
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    What is a good height for satellites?
     
  29. crobo

    crobo
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    I would echo a couple of the above comments: floorstanders/standmounts are the best way. I had Energy Take 2's (~£6-700) which I preferred over the Kef 2005 eggs, and then went to Mordaunt Short 914s with the matcging centre and dipole rears (can't remember model nos.). The floorstanders sounded much more natural and for music there is a particularly big improvement.

    Next evolutionary step was used Mission 753F and 75C - I would recommend trying some of these if you get a chance because they are very good value for money nowadays.
     
  30. ttree sound

    ttree sound
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    precisely ;)
     

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