Question Freestanders or bookshelves? Please help decide

falcon1000

Novice Member
Hi,

My current setup:
- Pioneer VSX-LX303 avr - 100w per channel
- 5.1 Klipsch system with satellite style fronts, rears and center
- small 8” klipsch down-firing subwoofer.

This sounds ‘ok’ but not quite great sound, especially not for music listening.

I‘ve decided to make a 5.1.2 system by buying a pair of better speakers for the fronts and relegating two of the satellites to become height speakers. Eventually I may get a better pair of surrounds and make the remaining pair of satellites into height speakers in a 5.1.4 configuration but this is down the road.

Right now I am debating whether to get the Klipsch RP-8000f’s towers or the RP-600m‘s bookshelves. The 8000’s appear to be the better speakers of the two but I have some reservations to pull the trigger on them for the following reasons:

1. my room is 10.5 by 15 feet with 9 foot ceilings and I would have to place each of the towers about 9 feet away from each other, each one very close to the side wall because most of the front wall is covered by the projector screen whose sides I don‘t want to block too much by the towers. The bookshelves might work better in this regard if they don’t suffer from sound degradation as much as the towers, when being placed close to walls.

2. I live on the 2nd floor with neighbors below. In the evenings I lower the volume relatively by a lot and shut off the subwoofer to reduce the noise levels which could bother the neighbors. I have not heard any complaints so far.

Given these constraints I am worried that (1) my room size is too small for the towers and (2) they will be too close to the side walls and (3) the towers will produce too much bass which I will not be able to control as I do now (by shutting off the sub) ? I’ve thought about an alternative solution to control the bass on the towers in the evenings by switching the avr MCACC speaker option for the front speakers from “large” to small” and crossover to 100, therefore directing the bass to the sub whose channel I can simply mute or just to shut off the sub like I do now. Not sure how good of a solution this is. If I get the bookshelves, shutting off the sub should still work, right?

I am also wondering which will sound better/clearer when playing music/home theater at low volumes? Again, my goal is to get a better system for pure music listening 50% and 50% for home theater watching. The home theater will sound fine with either pair I assume. The AVR will have ample power for either pair.

what do you guys think? I tried to give as much details as possible to describe the scenario.
Thank you in advance!
 
Last edited:

gibbsy

Moderator
The receiver will not be outputting 100 watts, that figure is for just two channels driven. The more speakers that are added the more that power is diluted so expect around 60 watts with all channels driven. All manufacturers play fast and loose with their power figures. The 303 isn't particularly powerful so partnering has to be considered.

Klipsch will be a good choice with the 303 because they are very easy to drive with having sensitivities of between 96dB and 98dB. I would stick with standmounts as they will be easier for you to place and as you want a sub then the bass will be picked up by that unit. Your only problem is having neighbours underneath you, some place their subs on a granite slab to help with that.

You should always have the speakers set as small with a crossover of, hopefully with bigger standmounts, of 80hz.
 

falcon1000

Novice Member
The receiver will not be outputting 100 watts, that figure is for just two channels driven. The more speakers that are added the more that power is diluted so expect around 60 watts with all channels driven. All manufacturers play fast and loose with their power figures. The 303 isn't particularly powerful so partnering has to be considered.

brand-dark.svg
About our ads

You may also like
Klipsch will be a good choice with the 303 because they are very easy to drive with having sensitivities of between 96dB and 98dB. I would stick with standmounts as they will be easier for you to place and as you want a sub then the bass will be picked up by that unit. Your only problem is having neighbours underneath you, some place their subs on a granite slab to help with that.

You should always have the speakers set as small with a crossover of, hopefully with bigger standmounts, of 80hz.

Thank you for your insights gibbsy. I did not know 100 watts is 2-channel rated. I did some searching on the forums and did not find much about this pioneer avr’s power distribution. I did find that it can lose power when overheats. However I will not be playing sound at loud volumes so seems the lack of power should not affect me much. I will purchase an extra amp and a cooling system if I find it underperforming. Is there an easy way to measure how many watts are going to each channel?

I’ve purchased a subdude isolation pad to place under the sub. I can try putting the granite slab under the pad and maybe even a few other layers underneath such as a maple slab under the granite slab and a thin cork layer between the granite and maple.

Regarding standmounts, can you please expand on why you think those would be better and will have easier placement?
 
Last edited:

gibbsy

Moderator
Floorstanding speakers need to room to perform at their best. Having them too close to a wall will introduce boundary issues because of the size of the cabinet. Moving the speakers away from the wall will help the performance and audio in the room.

The standmounts having a smaller cabinet do not have as much of a problem and can be used closer to a wall. I have large standmounts that are just 30cm from a rear wall but well away from a side wall. Using bungs in the bass port also helps and I get good tight bass from them when used with a stereo amp.

It's also fair to say that a standmount will often sound better than the floorstanding at the same price point as production costs are higher in floorstanding speakers for obvious reasons.

You can use a multi meter to test the output of the amp. Plenty of videos on You Tube illustrating the way to do it. Little point though unless you decide to go for speakers that are particularly hard to drive, KEF R Series as an example.

With decoupling the sub a lot depends on the floor in your flat. Bass will find it's way to transmit even if decoupled, often through the walls. Some use granite slabs with half dog balls underneath them. The balls you find in a pet shop not the actual dog's dangly bits. :lesson:
 

falcon1000

Novice Member
Floorstanding speakers need to room to perform at their best. Having them too close to a wall will introduce boundary issues because of the size of the cabinet. Moving the speakers away from the wall will help the performance and audio in the room.

The standmounts having a smaller cabinet do not have as much of a problem and can be used closer to a wall. I have large standmounts that are just 30cm from a rear wall but well away from a side wall. Using bungs in the bass port also helps and I get good tight bass from them when used with a stereo amp.

It's also fair to say that a standmount will often sound better than the floorstanding at the same price point as production costs are higher in floorstanding speakers for obvious reasons.

You can use a multi meter to test the output of the amp. Plenty of videos on You Tube illustrating the way to do it. Little point though unless you decide to go for speakers that are particularly hard to drive, KEF R Series as an example.

With decoupling the sub a lot depends on the floor in your flat. Bass will find it's way to transmit even if decoupled, often through the walls. Some use granite slabs with half dog balls underneath them. The balls you find in a pet shop not the actual dog's dangly bits. :lesson:

I have to place them about 30 cm from the front wall and 30 cm from the side walls, so not to block the screen and to provide about 3 meters between them. I don’t need the sound to be perfect. Will the freestanders sound really bad when this close? Between my listening position and the speakers will also be approximately 3 meters.

Main reason why I am tempted by the freestanders is some reviewers on youtube report better mid-range on the freestanders when they compared both sets of speakers.

Re: granite slab - I think I have those balls. Not the dog balls:D but the balls for raquetball.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If it's at all possible then audition the speakers in your room. I can give a generalisation but I not in your room listening to the speakers, only you can decide on that.
 

falcon1000

Novice Member
If it's at all possible then audition the speakers in your room. I can give a generalisation but I not in your room listening to the speakers, only you can decide on that.

I’ll contact the dealer to see if this is possible.

One other thing I just learned is that rear ported speakers can be plugged with bungs to prevent the bass from reflecting from the wall if the speakers are close to the wall. I’ll need to look at the specs of the freestanders. If they are front ported that may actually work in their favor compared to the RP-600m’s as I know those are back ported. Still, having the freestanders very close to the side walls may be an issue.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I have my speakers half ported for a good and tight bass. In a 5.1 system it's the sub woofer that is going to do the heavy lifting and the bass below 80hz will be directed away from the front speakers. I only use my front speakers alone for stereo music and they are connected to a stereo amp that has HT by-pass. I'm not a lover of deep bass and I find my standmounts go deep enough for my personal taste, as long as it's fast and detailed.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Yes. Fronts are KEF R300s, R200C centre, surrounds R100s and Atmos R50s. My room is bigger than yours but with a lower ceiling. The receiver doesn't drive the R300s, that's left to a stereo amp using HT by-pass when watching films and TV, not for power but for a better performance from stereo music.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: The Best TVs of 2021, plus our favourite & memorable reviews of the year
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom