Shelf speakers with stands vs towers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by neeeb, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. neeeb

    neeeb Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium
    I know it all depends, but as a general advice, what would recommend, for the same price range: bookshelf speakers plus stands or towers.
    My room size: about 3500 cubic feet (5 on 7 meters with 3 meter ceiling), I'll be sitting ~ 3 meters from speakers, there is no problem with space for the speakers.
    I like warm sound, but not super bassy (mostly soft-rock like Pink Floyd), loud enough, but not super loud.
    I was considering Monitor Audio Bronze 2, but then read that you need stands with shelf bookspeakers and they can cost about half the price of speakers, so now thinking maybe go for towers directly ?
     
    The Pinhead likes this.
  2. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Be aware that prince of tower speakers is often per speaker. And Standmount are more often sold as pairs. So, you really have to read the fine print when comparing prices. Really the reason you would go for towers is they generally have more range as the larger cabinet allows the use of drivers that can reach the lower frequencies. Some include subwoofers within the cabinet for even more range.
     
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  3. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    Do you have kids? Pets?
     
  4. mark_j

    mark_j Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Small listening space and/or near-field listening (my personal situation btw) I would go with stand mounts. If you have a larger space then floor standers make a lot of sense. I tried floor standers in my small listening space and they were overpowering and sounded "disjointed" compared to my LS50s, but they sound great in my much larger downstairs tv room.
     
  5. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    In that budget range I'd stick with standmounts and later add subs.

    The problem I notice with most tower speakers under $2K is cabinet noise. The cabinets are no better constructed than their stand-mount counterparts, and as a result, you end up with large resonating surfaces that cause imaging and resolution to suffer. And while they produce greater bass output, the bass is often not of good quality and may only extend deeper by a few Hz.

    If you shop within the same brand, a $1K budget for bookshelf/standmount speakers can get you into the intermediate performance tier where the speakers will likely have better drivers and crossover parts. When the same manufacturer has to spread the BOM to include larger cabinets, they're forced to make concessions elsewhere and those come in the form of parts quality - drivers and crossovers account for a big chunk of a speaker's sound quality. Personally, I'd rather sacrifice the lowest octave for better midrange/treble/soundstage/imaging performance.
     
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  6. neeeb

    neeeb Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium
    Thanks everyone for replies. I'm going today to listen to Monitor Audio Bronze 2 in an audio shop. Their listening room is same size as my living room, hopefully I'll understand if shelf speakers will be enough for me.
    One more thing to notice about shelf speakers vs towers is that towers are usually more powerful hence need more expensive amp, from the other hand shelfs are usually good with sub, which is also additional cost.
     
  7. neeeb

    neeeb Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium
    That's a good point, I don't have kids yet or pets, but I have tendency to knock things with my big clumsy feet, so +1 towards towers.
     
    The Pinhead likes this.
  8. neeeb

    neeeb Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium
    After listening to Bronze 2, unfortunately I realized that shelf speakers probably won't do it for me, the bass was almost absent, so now I'm leaning towards towers, something like Bronze 6 (much more expensive, so I'm preparing to give a lot of foot massages to my wife to help convince her).
    The closest they had to Bronze 6 in the shop was Dali oberon 5, which already sounded to my ear much better than Bronze 2, so I'll try to find Bronze 6 somewhere to listen.
     
    Wes_in_va likes this.
  9. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Agree with this. I will also add that there are standmounts that sound bigger than some towers. It all depends what models we are talking about. But yes, if you stay within the same line, you can expect the towers to have more bass and scale than the standmounts.

    As some here have said, in a small room standmounts plus a sub or subs might be the best bet.

    Also, if you heard the Bronze 2 in a large room or not close to the back wall, in your room they might sound bigger than they did in the store. This is unfortunately part of the problem with store demos - you won't get the full picture until you try a set of speakers for yourself in your own room. That said, 5m x 7m is not that small a room. A pair of floorstanders should work in that space, with you sitting 3m back.
     
    Helom likes this.
  10. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SLEAZY SOUTHAMERICAN CAVEMAN

    Don't give it a second thought; floorstanders have so much more and better bass. Plus, you don't need a sub with most recordings. I'd resort to bookshelves only if I moved to a mini-home or apartment.
     
  11. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SLEAZY SOUTHAMERICAN CAVEMAN

    My floorstanders are nowhere near the 2K mark, and they don't resonate, at all. You can place your hand on them while they're pumping insane amounts of bass, and not feel the slightest vibration. Resonating cabinets ? Sure, el-cheapo Technics speakers used to have this problem.
     
  12. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    If you want super focused, pin point imaging, stand mounted speakers might be better. For rock around 40 hz is deep enough bass 99% of the time.

    If you want the lowest possible bass delivered with authority and wide symphonic sound stages then big floor standers might be best.

    The most sensible thing to do is to take some music you love and go out to the dealer and listen to the speakers you are considering.

    Let us know what you end up buying, good luck.
     
  13. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Count yourself fortunate then. I can not only feel it, but also hear it in nearly every floorstander in that range, that even goes for my Heresy IIIs.
     
    The Pinhead likes this.
  14. Guth

    Guth Music Lover

    Location:
    Oregon
    I am of the opinion that anyone who presents one option or the other as being superior in absolute terms is doing you disservice. I have enjoyed both in the context of my system and room. Generally speaking I have had the best results from standmounts on the slightly larger side of the spectrum (not huge) and with floorstanding speakers on the smaller side of the spectrum.

    Much of this will have to do with your system, room and personal preferences (we aren’t all looking for the same thing when it comes to music playback). I hope that you find something that makes listening to music all the more enjoyable for you. Good luck!
     
    Dream On likes this.
  15. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Stereophile frequently finds resonating cabinets in their measurements. How audible that typically is I don't know (likely that varies), but clearly it is something that is quite common.
     

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