Floorstanders pointless with a sub?


Prominent Member
This has sort of been touched on in a recent thread and it's got me thinking about my own setup.
At the moment I have Mission M74i floor standers as my main LR's which are driven as 'small' from my amp. All frequency's below 80Hz are sent to my B&W ASW675 sub. So are my floorstanders unneccesary and would I be as well off with smaller bookshelf / sat speakers? I'm not convinced I'd get equal tonal quality from sats though.

I have thought I could talk the missis in to letting me get an SVS PB2-Plus, by telling her we would be able to replace my big floorstanders with nice little wall mountable ones if I had a larger sub!:clown:

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
Not in my personal view as there are advantages to floorstanding speakers beyond mere bass response. These include a less resonant cabinet (the plate that the drivers are mounted in extends all the way to the floor with the same characteristics all the way along) and that the greater size of the enclosure allows for (in our experience) better forming of high frequencies as well. In addition, if you listen to music with the sub off, that increased bass response gives a much more natural sound to proceedings.

There is of course aesthetics but that is personal taste :).

Ian J

Ex Member
Originally posted by Stellavision
I'm not convinced I'd get equal tonal quality from sats though.

There are sats and there are sats. I also mentioned in another thread that my M&K speakers may look like standmounts but don't go below 80Hz and are therefore satellites.


Prominent Member
Originally posted by Stellavision
I have Mission M74i floor standers as my main LR's

I believe the problem you will have will be down to budget. How much do you have to change your speakers? Your Missions are decent budget floorstanders capable of much more than just lots of bass. They are pretty good elsewhere in the frequency range too.

So if you are looking for other speakers you will surely want an upgrade in sound-quality all across the frequency range? That's where cash comes in:

If you choose bookshelf, you'll be looking at Kef Q1 levels MINIMUM for a decent improvement, maybe even starting at Quad 11 spec. Forget MA B2's and similar Missions, etc.

For Sats it gets even more pricey - try anything resembling Eggs/VM1 and you will hate the missing midrange immediatly, especially with music. Don't even want to consider their centre speaker limitations.......

Think Gallos or the entry-level M&K's as a starting point.

Others like pretty Monitor Audio Radius will likely be a sideways step, so the wife will be happy, but will you? A fat SVS sub isn't going to help with the problems some new designs will bring further up the frequency spectrum either. :(


Distinguished Member
I'm not convinced that floor standers necessarily have less resonant cabinets,having owned both floor standers and standmounts,and my current speakers probably have the least resonant cabinets I've owned.

I'm sure that Tons of Fun,working for a major speaker manufacturer would agree that making a good non-resonant cabinet is very difficult,irrespective of size.

What can be very difficult also,is integrating any given set of speakers,and a sub,and getting a reasonably linear response in a home environment where other factors(wife/kids etc)have to be taken into account.

The best speakers I've owned in terms of bass extension etc have been a set of triamped active Linn Keltiks,which truly are full range according to relevant active crossover settings,but a move to a much older timber framed house forced me to sell them in order to find speakers that worked better in that setting.

The really important thing,as Tons says,is personal taste...what suits one person won't suit another necessarily,and it also has to work in your own room.


Prominent Member
My budget would be quite low, up to about £300 seeing as I only payed £249 for my M74's last year.
I'm only trying to bull**** my wife really beacuse I fancy a bigger sub and told her we could have small fronts but would need a larger sub. Which is of course rubbish, but where waf is concerned these things need to be done sometimes.
However, I do like my Missions and would only swap them for something smaller which I know would be as good or better.


Distinguished Member
I think at that price level,you'll find it difficult to improve a lot on the speakers you have already,so it may be worth waiting until you can spend a bit more,and get something substantially better.

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
Originally posted by alexs2
I'm sure that Tons of Fun,working for a major speaker manufacturer would agree that making a good non-resonant cabinet is very difficult,irrespective of size.

It is very tricky (especially to very tight tolerance). However, if the same limitations are applied to bookshelves (the amount of internal bracing that "should" go into a decent cabinet) coupled with the cost of really decent pairs of stands- Partington Dreadnoughts are pretty much a minimum standard and they are £100, it isn't any easier to produce an inert platform from there at a sensible price.
Inert cabinets is something of an obsession for our designer and I can promise that our forthcoming Performance series takes a new approach towards achieving it- admittedly at a higher price.


Distinguished Member
The internal cabinet bracing on the Nautilus speakers is superb,and results in a very rigid case,but at quite a price,and obviously as you say,that will also be the case with your new range.
For a combination of small,and with an inert cabinet,and good sound quality,the Wilson Puppys take some beating,but then again,so does the price... one day....maybe.


In my own personal opinion for two channel music floor standers and a sub is a nice option. A sub is designed for sub (below) normal bass. If you get the crossover frequency right and the phase right a pair of floor standers with a sub can sound superb.

Now for home cinema use. I think a lot of people ignore timbre matching .they use whopping floor standers as front L/R a different brand or same brand with completely different sounding speakers as all the other speakers and wonder why it just doest sound right!
Some so called speaker packages with floor standers when you play just the amp/receivers test tone through the package it sounds completely different in tone now in pro logic days that wasn’t acceptable but now in digital days that’s inexcusable .These are not Packages but cobbled together speakers from a range so they look the same. Part of the success of satellite/sub packages is often all the speakers are the same so are timbre matched

If you listen to mainly home cinema it is often Better to use 5/6or7 of the same type timbre matched smallish high quality speakers and a sub than a big pair of floors standers and different other speakers.
I was really surprised when I ran DVE test disc frequency sweep on my floor standers. They don’t go as low as I had imagined or the spec sheet quoted.

Floor standers GENERALY but not always are often better sounding in most cases as they are further up the manufacturers range. As you go up the range the bass is better but so is the rest ,better mid and treble this justifies there price.

Just my opinion .and Stellavision you should never need an excuse for a better sub my answer to my Mrs. Is we you just do !:D


Prominent Member
As someone mentions earlyier...the only prob i could see with useing floorstanding speakers for HT is not everyone can put a 3rd one for the center speaker, so you would get a slight tonal missmatch, but to have floorstanding speakers and then setting your crossover to 80hz does seem a waste of them.

I use mackie active standmounts for my front 3 and these are rated at going down to 47hz.
I also use a SVS 20-39PC+ for the low end, because of the size of my room and the amount of stuff that is in it, i am restricted to where i can put it.......it is in the corner next to where i sit and i get good low end bass there, but as soon as i move away, the bass disappears untill i go over to the opposite corner.....i can only get it working in these to corners...the rest of the room get's nothing from it.......
So i have my mackie's set as large and the crossover set to 40hz....with a freq sweep there is no gaps...a few highs and lows but no gaps....and i can get bass everywhere in the room, down to around 40hz, then the SVS cuts in and i get bass in 2 corners and then everything starts to die, below 30 and i dont get much from anything.
I know this is just my major probs, but i have been thinking of getting some floorstanders so i can get a bit more bass in the whole of the room.

I think this makes sense.......:zonked:


Prominent Member
Using a sub helps a great deal in my system, set the crossover to where my floorstanders roll off which is 50Hz. It's hard to listen to it now without the sub frequencies. I think having all speakers the same size really only applies to multi-channel music from SACD/DVD-A.


Prominent Member
Originally posted by FazerThou
And dont forget you would have to budget for stands as well.
I would put them on the well. This would be quite benefitial in itself because at the moment I have to have my floorstanders slightly closer together to avoid the rhs one playing into a 2 seater on the side wall. With elevated fronts they would obviously have a clear line of site of any furniture obstacles.


Prominent Member
I've decided to get an audtition of the B&W VM1's.
I know they are probably sonically inferior to my M74's and M7C2, but they look very nice and their specs seem quite good for the size.
I've searched the forum and they seem quite popular.

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