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#123217 - 01/06/06 06:12 PM Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
XLcomm Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 2
Hi all - New to the forum and HT and speaker buying, well at least for 15 years. In looking over the offerings of Axiom, and others, a question keeps coming to mind.

Is it preferably to buy a quality floorstanding speaker, like the M60ti, or a quality bookshelf like the M22ti and sink the savings into a better sub?

The argument, it seems to me, for the bookshelf/better sub is that I'd probably cross over to the sub at 80 in either case. The M22, for example, specs to 60 so I suspect the overlap is sufficient.

Now I have everything above 80 covered by the M22 and a better sub handling below. By "better" I mean goes lower and /or is more musical (quicker startup and shutdown).

However, the M60 has some advantages. First, it specs to 37 which gives more room in the handoff from speaker to sub. Plus it has a dedicated mid-range with 2 cross over points. The specialization of the drivers must aid the sound.

The downside is the floorstander is more expensive and thus less money is available for the sub.

Which approach is better? Or is there a 3rd way of looking at this?

Of course I could just double my speaker and sub budget

But then I could always think - why not go to super expensive brand X and buy their bookshelf instead of a less expensive floorstander. And round and round we go.

In any case, which approach do you prefer and why?

Thanks in advance.

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#123218 - 01/06/06 08:07 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
I agree with the notion of buying M22's and getting a better sub.

Shoot for the EP500!
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#123219 - 01/06/06 08:30 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8125
Loc: Tacoma
Greetings, and welcome.

Well, I'll take a swing at it...

There are many board regulars that have owned both models that are qualified to describe the differences in sound. I am not one of them. I have heard only the M60, and am very satisfied.

You may wish to consider not only specifications, but also lifestyle. To get good sound from bookshelf speakers, they must be placed on stands. Personally, I disliked not only the expense and aesthetic of stands, but also their potential to be knocked over by my idiot dog or only-slightly-less-dangerous children. The cost of speaker stands closes the price gap somewhat between the two.

Some people believe that smaller speakers allow better imaging. They certainly are easier to move and somewhat easier to place. Some people believe that floorstanders present a bigger, fuller, richer soundstage. I generally agree with that camp.

While 80Hz is a generally accepted crossover point, you may find (like I did) that - for your ears in your room - 60Hz makes the bass more difficult to localize and provides a somewhat smoother response with the M60's. There are few absolutes, especially since the room is such an important factor. How big is your room, anyway? And what proportion of your use is devoted to music vs. movies?

Those are important considerations. If you are primarily interested in movies, you absolutely need a sub sooner rather than later. Even though the M60's provide excellent bass response, you really need a sub to produce meaningful LFE for movies. With music, in most cases, the differences are much more subtle.

I bought my M60's and used them without a dedicated sub until I could afford a good one. Doing so allowed me to enjoy music fully right away without fear of future upgradeitis, but adding a sub was a very dramatic improvement for movies.
_________________________
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#123220 - 01/06/06 09:02 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
F107plus5 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2034
Loc: Fla. Orig. Mich.
Hi; XLcomm and welcome!!

Looks like Tom took a swing at it and hit one over the fence!

I agree with him 100%

I have my floorstanders crossed at 60hz and couldn't be happier!

While my sub is finally becoming quite musical, I vastly prefer the sound of my Axioms down to 60, rather than letting the sub produce those all-important frequencies between 80 and 60.

So, in my opinion, unless the sub is equal or better than the mains, better to let the higher quality speaker handle as much of the frequency spectrum as possible.




...uh...I should probably add something here; and that is WHY I choose to cross at 60hz....I believe that I am likely the only individual in the Axiom Forum community, and perhaps the entire Sol solar system as well as our particular quadrant of the galaxy who has a complete Axiom speaker system(less sub)exactly like mine.

With bookshelf center and surrounds, I find myself the proverbial "square peg"

But, since all my speakers are fully capable and happy to be crossed at 60.......why not!?


Edited by F107plus5 (01/06/06 09:32 PM)

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#123221 - 01/06/06 09:24 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7373
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
It is a very tough decision. Are you planning on just a two channel set-up, or gearing more towards a home theater rig? The general consesus is floorstanders for two channel and bookshelves for multi channel. Again, that is generally speaking.

There are pluses and minuses to both. As Tom stated, the need to buy stands for bookshelf speakers lessens the gap between floorstanders. They are generally easier to place than floorstanders--not because of physical size (when placed on stands they use the same amount of space), but their lower bass output makes them less susceptible to ugly room nodes.

I used to run bookshelves in a two channel set-up by themselves--no sub. I tried both and found I liked the sound better without it. That was after a lot of trial and error and trying different crossover points. I found the sound to be a bit smoother through the midrange. Luckily, the bookshelves played pretty well down to about 40Hz. I'm not saying it's impossible to integrate a sub into a two channel system, just difficult for me in my set-up. There are many on the boards who wouldn't think of listening without a sub. Nothing wrong with either way. It's all about what you like, not what others say is best.

For home theater use, though, I think a sub is a must. And it will work equally well with a bookshelf or a floorstanding speaker. I use bookshelves in my HT set-up, and still get great impact with a sub. I'm not so concerned about fluidity through the crossover point as much, just so there is not a gap.

XLcomm, hopefully more will respond and offer more viewpoints. It's tough finding a combination that works. It took me a few years of tinkering and trying many different things to find out what I like and dislike. And I'm not even close to being done!

One thing is good--you're looking at Axiom speakers which excell at whatever you want to throw at them.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#123222 - 01/06/06 09:35 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
XLcomm Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies thus far.

To answer a few questions - I plan to use the system for both HT and 2 channel music listening. Probably 80% HT to start. However, music usage will likely increase over time.

The listening area is about 1500 cu feet or so. However it is open on two sides.

Whether with bookshelves or floorstanders I would be using a sub. Which sub depends in large part on the speakers I chose based on expense.

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#123223 - 01/06/06 09:44 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7373
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Here's a thought--go with bookshelves and a good sub. Later, if you decide, and save a bit more, buy the floorstanders and move the bookshelves to the rear. Just a suggestion.

Also, take a look and see if there is anyone near you for a home demo.
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_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#123224 - 01/06/06 10:42 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
SirClyde Offline
local

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 212
Loc: Cedar Park, Tx
So, in my opinion, unless the sub is equal or better than the mains, better to let the higher quality speaker handle as much of the frequency spectrum as possible.

What do you consider equal or better? Is there a big difference between setting the crossover to 60 vs. 80?

_________________________
M60's VP150 QS8's EP500 Denon3805

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#123225 - 01/06/06 10:51 PM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13309
Loc: Iowa
Some people like using a 60hz crossover for music. I have experimented with various combinations and found that I think 80hz gives me the best overall performance for HT and music. At 80hz, my M60's have supurb bass music.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#123226 - 01/07/06 12:16 AM Re: Bookshelf vs. Floorstanding
F107plus5 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2034
Loc: Fla. Orig. Mich.
I suspect that my sub puts out sound that is in some ways not up to the standards set by my Axiom floorstanders.

......no surprize really since my sub box was originally manufactured in 1946 of some of the highest quality 3/8" plywood then available.

The box has sentimental value, which is unfortunately beginning to pale next to the obvious improvement in sound quality I should gain by moving my new driver into a "Real" sub cabinet!

But yeah, even if I had a top notch sub, I can't help but notice that I can, in fact, hear some sonic information below 80hz, and since I'd like to have my center match my mains, and my surrounds match the rest, then I'd also like to have the low tones match the higher. So the lower I can get with my Axioms, the better off I feel I should be with cohesive tonal qualities.

I have an odd system: I use Axiom bookshelf speakers for center and surrounds that are capable of getting down to 60hz pretty much right along with my floorstanding mains. So crossing at 60 is easy.

.......but yeah, I gotta do some sneaky EQin' too....

There are two things that I like about crossing at 60: The first is loosing the little bit of voice component that sometimes used to sneak into my sub when I previously crossed at 80.

The second I noticed when I removed my old "rated 80 and above" center channel speaker and replaced it with one happy to 60; I noticed more stuff that I hadn't heard before in some of the more familiar DVDs. The same in the surrounds when I placed new lower frequency rated bookshelves out back, much more presence back there, as well as with the bigger center up front.

My system is not for everybody, however; there are serious trade-offs: First of all there are the direct radiating surrounds.

....I'm stuck with 'em for movies as well as music. Not everybody can swallow those constraints.

And my center is a vertical and inverted bookshelf speaker.

...not exactly the most favored design concept, but not exactly without some supporters as well.

Bottom line: Although I'm now extreemly happy with my current sub integration(less the times when the driver overpowers the cabinet during a few scenes of "War of the Worlds"!!)And while the sub is pretty well invisible("Is the sub turned on?"...Ka-Boom!!!..."oh,..yeah it is!")I still prefer to hear my mains produce the sounds down through the range I'm capable of hearing, and let the sub add the augmentation and not set the tone.

It's just us.



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