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Bookshelf vs. Floorstand

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by teeman, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. teeman

    teeman
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    What is the difference between bookshelf and floorstanding speakers. There are lots of very expensive bookshelf speakers... do they perform better than cheaper floorstands?

    I know it is usually the bass that is weak for bookshelf speakers but what if you have a sub? Will that make them comparable to floorstands? Can high end book shelf speakers from say focus or sonus fill in a big room as good as say hmm... paradigm 100s?
     
  2. ji_

    ji_
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    I would always go for floorstanders if you have the required space (behind and to the sides as well as in front) for them - the bass is usually easier to tweak (by bungs and placement) than for bookshelve speakers.

    Bear in mind too that bookshelf is a bit of misnomer - they realy perform at their best on proper stands that take up nearly as much room as floorstanders and increase the costs too! Many bookshelf speakers from the likes of Mission are just cut down versions of the floorstanders - but cabinet size and construction really does have an impact on sound.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. buns

    buns
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    Ive had a few of each...... for a cinema system i am almost certain that a smaller speaker is better. With floorstanders you have low frequencies from alot of sources so it makes the system integration very very hard, especially with a sub simply because of phase variations from the various low frequency sources.

    However, i prefer a floorstander for music alone..... i would tend towards a big floorstander well driven, thats a personal preference of course. A sub and bookshelf set up is also very capable, just a wee bit more difficult to set up.

    However, I would hasten to suggest that like priced bookshelf and floorstanders are far from an easy comparison. The bookshelf is quite likely going to be a better speaker giving a less coloured, more balanced and better sonic image..... however the floorstander will almost always have a deeper bass response.

    Of course, this all changes depending on the money you are talking about. At the low end i think that a book shelf is the best buy despite a floorstander being a bigger and probably more first off impressive speaker.

    As an example..... i had a pair of tannoy M3 floorstanders. They were far from poor, however, when i heard a pair of mordaunt short ms20i bookshelf speakers, i changed almost immediately. If you can see past the bass...... there is often alot more to your music which a bookshelf can bring out.

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  4. naturally

    naturally
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    I agree with buns. After demonstrating many speakers and checking reviews etc, I settled for Kef Q1 Bookshelves. Now I have 4 pairs of them (7.1 setup) and a SVS sub. I cannot be happier with the combination.

    The Kef Q1's perform better than many floorstands. Including (IMO) other Kef Q series speakers.

    My advice, is to listen to all, and then decide. If you have a capable sub, then speaker size is not important. You will have a dedicated box for LFE.

    My 2 cents.
     
  5. teeman

    teeman
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    Good thoughts.... I personally was looking at floorstanders before I audition the Sonus Auditor by chance and I changed my perception. The mids of the Auditor is plain amazing. It lasks in bass but I thought that I could address that by adding a sub while the mids comes with the speaker. My other options were the Sonus Grand Piano and the B&W 804 or 803.

    Confused! he he he
     
  6. teeman

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    Plus space is not an issue. my av room is 22' x 20'
     
  7. nathan_silly

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    Anyway, the good thing with using floorstanders in a (AV) setup- you have the ability to set to either small 80hz, or maybe 40hz or whatever.. perhaps if you have a macro or the processor has the ability to use 80hz for AV, 40hz for music- you can tweak it to whatever you prefer.

    I do prefer floorstanders myself, but being in a small room- I'm using standmounts for a music system, and floorstanders for a AV system (set to small, 80hz)- as main speaker bass boom is a problem - especially for music (if I had floorstanders in the music system) as I have no way of filtering out the LF into a subwoofer; I have to send full-range audio to the music speakers.
     

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