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Book Shelfs or Floor Standers?

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
Hey All

Currently I have a set of B&W 684 and a Monolith but am wondering if I shouldnt maybe swap my 684s out for the CM5 book shelf speakers to maybe gain a bit more clarity and defined bass by using my sub alone to reproduce the bass?

Is this a good idea as my room is only about 3.5 x 5m I am wondering if floor standers are too overpowering in this room. Obviously I will get a demo first but wanted to find out from other peoples experiences of this.
 
Hey All

Currently I have a set of B&W 684 and a Monolith but am wondering if I shouldnt maybe swap my 684s out for the CM5 book shelf speakers to maybe gain a bit more clarity and defined bass by using my sub alone to reproduce the bass?

Is this a good idea as my room is only about 3.5 x 5m I am wondering if floor standers are too overpowering in this room. Obviously I will get a demo first but wanted to find out from other peoples experiences of this.

I am sure others may disagree but I always find bookshelf speakers sound "small" even if the drivers are the same size.

However, thats based on my own listening, perhaps I didn't listen to good enough bookshelf speakers. It may ultimately come down to cost & quality rather than size.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
I hear what you saying, but I have been feeling lately that too much is going on in my room and I'm having a hard time trying to distinguish the bass between my floor standers and my sub, the CM5 bookshelf are more expensive than my floor standers (if thats what you mean about cost) and apparently have some really good electrics in them. I will also be getting the CM Center to match the two if I do opt for it.

I hear what you mean about the sounding thin though, but I cant help but think that having smaller left and right speakers will distinguish bass better between the sub and the speakers. At least thats how I imagine it in my head, becuse the sub will reproducing the bass notes and not the speakers. Is that how its meant to be anyone?
 

Ys.

Active Member
I've only ever had my systems in one room, ever! :rotfl: Size is 3.5m x 3m! (Small).

Tannoy M3's (FS) - Needed to be played loud which wasn't very "comfortable" in this small room. At listenable levels they just didn't carry enough mid-range weight.

B&W602S3's (BS) - Very warm mid-range and the bass was slightly boomy, difficult to sort out. (that's when I started with room acoustics), sounded very-ok afterwards, though. They did sound too big for the room, actually.

I ran a REL Q100e with the above speakers. Again, room treatment was required to control the bass.. in a small room, the treatment can take up a good % of space. :rotfl:

Quad 22L's (FS) is what I run now and they are sublime! quite or loud, rock or folk.. they sound very good "out the box" and I haven't even got any room treatment set up at the moment. I no longer have the REL but to be honest the speakers provide almost enough bass extension that I don't feel the need to invest in a sub at the moment.

So, from my experience, I'd say floorstanders would be fine as long as they are very "linear" and natural sounding, not too pronounced at any frequency. - that's just my way of thinking but I'm no expert. It's just that getting the sub right was a nightmare so I'd like to stay away from that option.. might be different for you.
 
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mossym

Distinguished Member
I hear what you mean about the sounding thin though, but I cant help but think that having smaller left and right speakers will distinguish bass better between the sub and the speakers. At least thats how I imagine it in my head, becuse the sub will reproducing the bass notes and not the speakers. Is that how its meant to be anyone?
you didn't mention if you were using a receiver with a programmable crossover or a stereo amplifier. however, if you are using a receiver and set the crossover, you shouldn't be sending anything to your current speakers that you wouldn't be sending your new bookshelfs if you get them. fir instance, if you set your crossover to 80hz, then the floorstanders or the bookshelves should be reproducing the same frequencies and one should NOT be playing more bass than the other.

where it does come into play with floor standers playing more bass is where you only have a 2.0 system, and the speakers are trying to go full range however as you have the monolith anyway this isn't the case so i'm not sure you will see much of a difference
 

lbstyling

Active Member
Hey All

Currently I have a set of B&W 684 and a Monolith but am wondering if I shouldnt maybe swap my 684s out for the CM5 book shelf speakers to maybe gain a bit more clarity and defined bass by using my sub alone to reproduce the bass?

Is this a good idea as my room is only about 3.5 x 5m I am wondering if floor standers are too overpowering in this room. Obviously I will get a demo first but wanted to find out from other peoples experiences of this.


its hard to intergrate a sub well with a stereo setup, ive only found 1 ported sub that i could get to realy gel well, thats the one i have now.
-i find that you cant put the sub in the corner and use the room gain, and that you need to place it idealy in the center between your l+r speakers at the same distance as them (idealy actualy a couple of inches infront)
alteast get the distance and dont use the corners and i find it works well with most sealed subs.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
you didn't mention if you were using a receiver with a programmable crossover or a stereo amplifier. however, if you are using a receiver and set the crossover, you shouldn't be sending anything to your current speakers that you wouldn't be sending your new bookshelfs if you get them. fir instance, if you set your crossover to 80hz, then the floorstanders or the bookshelves should be reproducing the same frequencies and one should NOT be playing more bass than the other.

where it does come into play with floor standers playing more bass is where you only have a 2.0 system, and the speakers are trying to go full range however as you have the monolith anyway this isn't the case so i'm not sure you will see much of a difference

I got a Denon 1909 (upgrading to a 4310) and currently have the crossover set to 80hz, I've tried loads of different ones, 60hz, 70hz, even 120hz and I just think that floor standers are too over powering now as they need to be driven alot harder than book shelfs so at normal listening levels the sound is to "all over the show" for me, hence why I am thinking that book shelves will gel more in my room.

Might have to go get a side by side comparison but am still open to peoples opinions of moving from floor standers to bookshelves.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
A home demo should help you decide which sounds best for you.
Ideally the bass from the sub should integrate with that from the other speakers so that it sounds as one cohesive soundstage. You should no be able to distinguish between the bass from your speakers from that from the sub. What do you have the cross over on the sub set too? Maybe this needs to be altered to roll the bass off a little earlier as your floorstanders and sub could be producing the same bass frequencies that are amplifying and over powering the room.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
Ideally the bass from the sub should integrate with that from the other speakers so that it sounds as one cohesive soundstage. You should no be able to distinguish between the bass from your speakers from that from the sub.

Couldn't agree more. It often seems to me that some people prefer listening to the sub, than the overall sound.
 
Having reread the first post and the subsequent post about different crossover settings tried (60 - 120hz), I wonder if its just a case of having the gain on the sub a tad too high.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
A home demo should help you decide which sounds best for you.
Ideally the bass from the sub should integrate with that from the other speakers so that it sounds as one cohesive soundstage. You should no be able to distinguish between the bass from your speakers from that from the sub. What do you have the cross over on the sub set too? Maybe this needs to be altered to roll the bass off a little earlier as your floorstanders and sub could be producing the same bass frequencies that are amplifying and over powering the room.

Sub is measured at 78db (with SMS-1) floor standers at 75db (frequency range on small) , curerntly the crossover is set to 80hz all round, I'm not saying I want to be able to tell where the bass is coming from but more that the floor standers are a bit to over powering in general and am wondering if book shelves wont perhaps help tone it down and keep it in tow, right now its as if I have a rodeo bull in my room that doesnt want to be controlled and I would rather have a nice stallion that goes when its meant to and trots nicely when its meant to if that makes any sense :confused:

I think a home demo might be my answer, I've seen russ.will has moved from PMC floor standers to XTZ book shelves, might go read a bit more into his findings. Thanks for all the help so far guys
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
First your AV amp should be set to Small, and you should be using the amp, not the Sub, to set your crossover frequency. In the AV Amp Setup, set both the Sub and the Fronts to cross at 80hz. If you feel the need to take some of the strain off the front speakers, set the Sub and front crossover higher.

Is sounds to me like you have a poor balance between the Sub and the main speakers. There is no reason why speakers like the B&W 684 should sound strained or overworked in a system like yours.

I'm convince the problem is really a setup problem. Many people find that they have to fiddle with the Setup for quite a while before they finally get it to sound they way they want.

Steve/bluewizard
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
First your AV amp should be set to Small, and you should be using the amp, not the Sub, to set your crossover frequency. In the AV Amp Setup, set both the Sub and the Fronts to cross at 80hz. If you feel the need to take some of the strain off the front speakers, set the Sub and front crossover higher.

Is sounds to me like you have a poor balance between the Sub and the main speakers. There is no reason why speakers like the B&W 684 should sound strained or overworked in a system like yours.

I'm convince the problem is really a setup problem. Many people find that they have to fiddle with the Setup for quite a while before they finally get it to sound they way they want.

Steve/bluewizard

They are set to 80hz in the amp, I'm not saying they sound strained just saying that too much seems to be happening in my room with them and that at my listening levels they arent being driven hard enough (around -20db). I'll see maybe if I fiddle with the crossovers again in the amp and try set it higher, its not a bass problem though as the sub only kicks in when it is meant to be there it sits in the background and only plays when it needs too :devil:

The problem is that the floor standers over power the room to much, I can get away without having a sub even if I am really honest.

I am just finding myself striving for that ultimate sound, hey, isnt that what this game is all about? If I set the crossover on the front L&R to 100z it does tame the floor standers more but then the sub is doing too much work. Ahh well, playing around with all of this is the fun part :devil:
 

deckingman

Well-known Member
Jim,

How far away from the walls have you got them? I found I have to have mine a long way out but it makes a huge difference. Also, have you tried playing around with the bungs? For me, the best compromise seems to be with the rear ports fully bunged and the fronts open but there are all sorts of combinations to try.

Maybe, one approach might be to play around with positioning and / or bungs, in straight stereo mode. Get the best out of them this way, then introduce the sub and play around with crossover.

Just a thought.
 

j0hn

Banned
its hard to intergrate a sub well with a stereo setup, ive only found 1 ported sub that i could get to realy gel well, thats the one i have now.
-i find that you cant put the sub in the corner and use the room gain, and that you need to place it idealy in the center between your l+r speakers at the same distance as them (idealy actualy a couple of inches infront)
alteast get the distance and dont use the corners and i find it works well with most sealed subs.

My sub is in the back left corner crossed over at 80hz and never has anyone said anything or turned around to look where the bass is coming from. In fact for music it sounds like the sound is coming from the front sound stage.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
Jim,

How far away from the walls have you got them? I found I have to have mine a long way out but it makes a huge difference. Also, have you tried playing around with the bungs? For me, the best compromise seems to be with the rear ports fully bunged and the fronts open but there are all sorts of combinations to try.

Maybe, one approach might be to play around with positioning and / or bungs, in straight stereo mode. Get the best out of them this way, then introduce the sub and play around with crossover.

Just a thought.

I have them pretty close to the wall due to space requirements, the best sound I can get out of them is if I bung all the ports closed on the back and leave the front port half open. As you say the should ideally be sitting a bit away from the wall but due to space requirements thats not really possible and will make my room look and feel much smaller.

Just been looking at the XTZ site and reading loads of reviews for their 99.26 speakers, they do a 30 day home trial so might be worth looking into something like that as they seem to be a favoured speaker amoung the reviews I have been reading.
 

deckingman

Well-known Member
Jim,

I'd say that's your problem then. If, due to space requirements, you have to have them close to the wall, then they are going to sound "boomy" and trying to tame this by fitting the bungs isn't ideal imo.

As a long term fan of B&Ws, it pains me to say it, but I'd agree that a trial of the XTZs (or any speakers which are happier close to the wall) has to be the way to go.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
In my previous house I would not have swapped these speakers for anything in the world, but as it stands in my new place I cant do them justice both space wise and volume wise. I too am a fan of B&W speakers and will look into the CM5 book shelves too.

But those XTZ's are looking pretty tasty, hmmm, I wonder what on wall rears will suite the XTZ's?
 

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