Question Floorstander v Standmount: which is best?

Costello

Active Member
I‘ve been loving my system (Marantz CD6006 UK as transport, Roksan Kandy K3 DAC, Rega Brio, Monitor Audio Bronze 5) but I have been recently reflecting on floor standing vs stand mount speakers.
I rate the MA Bronze 5 hugely as they combine scale and detail, but they are the baby of the system and was wondering how they would compare with a £750 to £1000 standmount? Would I still get the scale but also the control that I know standmounts are better at? How would, say, a KEF R300 compare? Or a Dynaudio Emit M10? Or B & W 606? How would a more compact floorstander - DALI - compare?
My listening room is a good size (approx 5m x 4m) but not the biggest. It is well furnished and, as such, speakers don’t necessarily have the right room to breath. Photo below. Listening point is approximately 1 metre behind this viewpoint.
I’m not necessarily looking to change, just interested. I know listening is the way forward but I’m just curious about other’s experiences at this point.
Many thanks in advance.
 

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Orobas

Active Member
Generally speaking ... floorstanders have the bass... standmounters have the timing and speed.. this is not gospel though as some standmounts can more than hold their own against floorstanders depending on budgets.. (as with all things) The emit m20 is the better option to the 10 by far...
now.. the main thing with the dyns is they are pretty hungry on power and current and are pretty "nearfield / monitor" in nature compared to the others.. the 606's are quite mid rich in comparison... neither have the bass of the bronze 5's and wont... i would be more inclined to look at the next rung on the MA range with the silver floorstanders if you love the bronze sound.. the silver's will take it to the next level and some of them have that massive 8 inch bass driver too...!


Best thing i could suggest is get a hold of a richer sound or audio t and get some home demo's arranged to compare with your stuff. at least with the demo you can get an idea :)
 
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Costello

Active Member
Thanks @Orobas
There are always compromises, I suppose. My thought process was I’ve got a £600 amp, £1300 DAC (both purchased for considerably less than list price) running a £500 pair of speakers and I know that ratio should be higher in favour of the speakers.
In an ideal world, I’d treat myself to some KEF R300s but they are bigger than the Bronzes and, as you can see above, there isn’t a huge amount of breathing space around them already. Tannoy XT6F are bigger still!
If I were to upgrade, I’d be after a £1000 pair of speakers that I could pick up for about £500. That’s what makes we wonder about stand-mounts and what the trade-off would be.
 

Orobas

Active Member
If I was to stand mount at all.. I'd most likely advise to stay monitor audio and go with the monitor audio silver 100 with its big 8inch mid bass... as the bronze 5 has 2x 5.5inchers... you should get comparable bass which whilst not as overall deep as a floor will be just as authoritative. Very little trade off against your existing and probably actually a better sound ironically... remember you will need heavy stands that don't ring... you should be able to pick the silvers and stand used for around 650 mark
 
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ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I would say that if you was to upgrade to something like the Amphion Argon 1 then you would notice a massive step up in performance over that of the Bronze 5 speakers, but like wise if you was to step up to the Kef Q550 speakers again you would hear more than you would expect. Now if you was to ask me which out of the Kef and Amphion sounds better, I would have to favour the Amphion as they are remarkable speakers. But that's also the beauty of sound as we all have a favourite type of sound which ticks boxes and you may just prefer the Monitor Audio Silver 6 or even the Monitor Audio Silver 300. Then size and room need to be thought about in that case. Now I don't want to take anything away from the Bronze 5 Speakers either are they are a very accomplished speaker, but spending a little more will give you a significant amount more sound and maybe more than you realise.
 

Costello

Active Member
I would say that if you was to upgrade to something like the Amphion Argon 1 then you would notice a massive step up in performance over that of the Bronze 5 speakers, but like wise if you was to step up to the Kef Q550 speakers again you would hear more than you would expect. Now if you was to ask me which out of the Kef and Amphion sounds better, I would have to favour the Amphion as they are remarkable speakers. But that's also the beauty of sound as we all have a favourite type of sound which ticks boxes and you may just prefer the Monitor Audio Silver 6 or even the Monitor Audio Silver 300. Then size and room need to be thought about in that case. Now I don't want to take anything away from the Bronze 5 Speakers either are they are a very accomplished speaker, but spending a little more will give you a significant amount more sound and maybe more than you realise.
That’s my thinking. The Bronze 5s are awesome speakers but I know the system would be even better with next level speakers, in the region of £1000, but which can be picked up for closer to £500. The room sadly doesn’t support bigger floorstanders so I couldn’t go physically any bigger that the Bronze 5s. Standmounts could be a different avenue. I like the Monitor Audio sound but and welcome to other suggestions. The thing is I listen to a fair amount of classical music so would still need the breadth and scale of a floorstander. Of course, I might just end up keeping them ;)
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I suspect you are asking the wrong question. The question is not - which is best? - rather it is - which is best for YOU?

YOU are the big deciding factors. What are your circumstances? What is your budget? What do you prefer sound-wise from your system?

Obviously, a £1000/pr Bookshelf is better than a £1000/pr Floorstanding in some respects.

Let's take an example from a Series of speakers, all built around the same drivers -

Monitor Audio Bronze 1 Bookshelf = £229/pr
Monitor Audio Bronze 2 Bookshelf = £279/pr
Monitor Audio Bronze 5 Floorstanding = £549/pr
Monitor Audio Bronze 6 Floorstanding = £699/pr

Now let's move up one Series to the Silver -

Monitor Audio Silver 100 Bookshelf = £649/pr

That implies relative to general sound quality, the Silver 100 is better than the Bronze 6. But in other aspects like bass, the Bronze 6 is going to win. Though the Silver 100 is an 8" Bass driver, so it should still kick pretty good.

Within a Series the general tonal and sound characteristics are very similar, but as each bigger speakers comes on line, the bass gets deeper with more impact.

But the sound quality improves when you move up to one Series higher. And in that new higher series, the general tonal characteristics are the same, but with each bigger model bass and impact increase.

So, that bring us back to specifically what you want to do, what it is you are hoping to accomplish? What will work within the limits of your space?

It is more about YOU than it is about specific speakers. Focus on what you want to do and what speakers/equipment it will take to do that job.

Steve/bluewizard
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I think the one area that needs to be remembered is that not all speakers are not equal, even when price is a factor and I'll pick two speakers that @BlueWizard mentioned regarding the Silver 100 and Monitor Audio Bronze 6 speakers. Yes the bass will be more pronounced on the floorstands and to that point, they will usually cause a detrimental effect to the sound stage too (especially the mid-range) whereas the Silver 100's will allow more of its musical sounds to shine through. It's the same in my opinion when comparing musical performances with the Bronze 5 and Bronze 6 speakers. In my opinion the Bronze 5 speakers are way ahead of the Bronze 6 speakers in this arena whereas for cinema, its the other way.

Finding a high quality, balanced speaker is more than just looking at the differences in size hence why I mentioned the Amphions. These are tiny speakers, yet they run rings round the Silver 100 speakers without even breaking into a sweat and the level of detail with a reasonable amp really just means you will enjoy them more

Now the tough speakers in my selection regarding ability will really come down to your personal taste and expectations plus room. Between the Silver 100 (I'll these in just for reference) and Kef Q550. I would say the the Q550 will deliver more mid-range, but comparing the Q550 to the Monitor Audio 300 would deliver a commanding musical reproduction over that of the Q550. Ordinarily you may have expected the Silver 200 or Silver 6 (old range) to deliver more mid-range and the Silver 300 and maybe act a little bit like the Bronze 6 speakers, but this doesn't happen until you get to the Silver 500 with all three speakers bringing a level of improvement over the Bronze 5 Speakers

A real issue for large speakers are the rooms we keep them in together with the partnering of poor electronics. If the room cannot work with the speakers, the reproduction is going to sound worse than it would in a speaker friendly room (this is true with any speaker though), but adding an amp which hasn't the headroom to really grab hold of the drivers can create a sluggish and boomy effect too which will eat into other areas of the speakers ability. This is why some people really prefer standmounts over floorstands as you are usually able to hear more without the large speaker bass eating into the sonic's when the room doesn't want to be your friend.

Now the Silver 500 and Bronze 6 are really designed for large rooms and were originally designed for other territories outside of the UK. I don't want you to think this is just a Monitor Audio issue either as almost all speaker brand have certain produces which cause issues. One other thing to add is that Montior Audio have been refining these speakers and with every generation they are getting better at working in smaller rooms too, but in my opinion they will never better some of there smaller sibling for pure musical ability as they'd be no point in moving up to the next level.

The other side of the above comments is it could be seen as absolute nonsense if you really enjoy big bass and at that point you will think that the Silver 500 and Bronze 6 speakers are simply outstanding. This is the beauty of how we perceive sound as its so suggestive. No-one is ever right or wrong with what speakers they prefer as its just a personal treat which we all indulge in
 
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Costello

Active Member
Thank you all for your thoughts.
Going on sound alone (all that matters) I’m very happy with the Bronze 5s. My query was based on the fact that they are (possibly) rather outgunned by the rest of the system and I was wondering what improvements would be made by placing £1000 speakers in the system and how a £1000 stand mount compares to the Bronzes or a £1000 floorstander.
I know there isn’t a simple answer to this and the only person who can answer it is me. Seeing the Bronzes in situ made me think about standpoints from a placement point of view.
I’m not into upgrading for the sake of it. Whatever comes next, if at all, needs to be future proof.
Lots of food for thought. My understanding - probably mistaken - is that standmounts offer a tighter, more controlled sound whereas floorstanders give you scale and bass. Was just wondering whether this was a fair summary these days. I suspect not....
Thanks again for the replies.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I still think as a standmount, you’ll struggle to find a more accomplished speaker as the Anphion Argon 1
 

Costello

Active Member
Well, I’m still loving my Bronze 5’s so no need to change anything at the moment. Yes, one day I will upgrade but this will have to be a £1000 layout so I’ll just have to get saving and, in the meantime, just enjoy my music :thumbsup:
 

Costello

Active Member
So.... having sourced a lovely pair of KEF R100s from these forums for a friend’s first system, I’d thought I’d give them a good listen last night Compared to my MA Bronze 5s. Thought I’d share my thoughts. Please feel free to make of them what you will.
Did they sound different? Of course they did but not as much as one would expect. Of course one is a floor-stander with 2 drivers and a tweeter and one is a standmount with KEFs Uni-Q driver arrangement but there was not a night/day difference. Curiously their original retail prices are very similar £549 v £600.
How did they sound? I really rate the Bronze 5s for scale and clarity and I was impressed what a big sound the KEFs make; they can’t match the Bronzes for scale but they are very impressive for a small standmount. The Bronzes are very dynamic and a very involving listen. The KEFs by comparison sound very much “in control”. They have a sweeter, more refined sound and what they lack for in scale they more than make up for in detail, imaging and resolution. They don’t have the weight of the Bronzes but that isn’t a bad thing; the sound is much more natural from the KEFs.
Build quality: both are extremely well built and finished. I guess it comes down to personal choice between wood and piano black gloss. I’d say the KEFs look and feel like a more expensive product. They’re also far more discrete in a home environment.
Conclusion? Not fair to say, really, as they are two opposing products and much of it is down to personal opinion and priorities. I was surprised that they were so close and they are both very, very good speakers. I really enjoyed swapping and comparing them but, if I’m honest, I kept swapping from the Bronzes to the KEFs far more and they were the ones still plugged in the following morning. Interesting..... my friend might be out of luck. ;)

(This has been a What HiFi production) :D
 

Orobas

Active Member
If you're interested as per an earlier suggestion.... Have a chat with a richer sound or an audio t and see if they'll do a home demo.. its a no pressure thing you can do if you want to continue to experiment with different speakers. What i will say though is the bronze 5 is more geared for AV as opposed to dedicated Hi-Fi use which is why you have the scale there.
Check out the next level of Silvers and see just how much better they are :)
 

Costello

Active Member
One thing I should have mentioned is how easy it is to get speaker size wrong compared to listening room. My listening room is approximately 5 x 4 metres so assumed I needed floorstanders. But that’s 5 x 4 before sofas, coffee tables, foot stalls etc all of which cut down and affect space and acoustics. The Bronze 5s looked big, hence the scale, and it’s interesting what @Orobas says about them being more for AV. Sure the KEFs aren’t producing the scale but they’re not lacking any either, but they win you over with the sweetness of their sound. I’ve always coveted the R500s but, in my room, they would be completely oversized, probably leading to bloated bass.
I’ve spent this afternoon doing more auditioning and comparing and in my room, with my music, to my ears, the KEFs have it. These KEFs will keep me very happy until I’ve got the money for the next step, which I expect will be north of a grand.
Long story short, my friend is grumpy that I’m keeping his speakers and a pair of Bronze 5s are going up for sale ;)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It sounds as though the R300s would have fitted into your room, especially with what you have said about your observations on the 100s. The 300s will give the scale that you felt lacking with the 100s which is something I found when upgrade from the 100s to the 300s as fronts.
 

Costello

Active Member
It sounds as though the R300s would have fitted into your room, especially with what you have said about your observations on the 100s. The 300s will give the scale that you felt lacking with the 100s which is something I found when upgrade from the 100s to the 300s as fronts.
Yes, on reflection, they would have been the perfect speaker and size. Sadly, they’re the one model which is the most difficult to find. I’ll keep looking but, for now, the R100 is the way forward.
 

password1

Active Member
the silvers and golds are in a different league to the bronze..

i have a pair of old monitor audio gold gr10 standmounts and they are in a different league to the bronze. they have the same rst come technology as newer monitor audio speakers.
 

exponential

Well-known Member
Going off the size of your room, you'll get room modes at around 40hz and 90hz so you'll suffer with boomy bass. That's the downside of floorstanders in a small room.
You're speakers port tune is 37hz and will play right into one of the room modes you're going to have.

If you can't pull the speakers further away from the wall, then a pair of standmounts/bookshelf speakers with less bass output will suit you better.
You could get a small sub with high level outputs and use a sub to take over where the bookshelf speakers roll off.

If your capable of using REW with a measurement mic, that will help you dial it in. Of course, you can do it by ear. Measurements don't tell you the full story as what you're ears hear is what is important.

I think bookshelf with lower bass output is the way to go for you mate. Just my 2 cents. 🖐
 

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