Bookshelf & Sub v. Towers. Jul 10, 2011 9:19:28 GMT -5
Post by theresa on Jul 10, 2011 9:19:28 GMT -5
Jul 9, 2011 19:36:01 GMT -5 @chuckienut said:Jamrock, IMO you have it correct. That is what I've been preaching for years including here.
The sub should normally be crossed over between 70-80Hz for the mains depending on the speakers and the individuals ability to localize the sub. 80Hz and below is the generally accepted as the point at which folks cannot identify the location of the sub. Thus one sub can in some cases do the job of the tower speakers while being able to be moved around the room for the best performance. As we know more than one sub can smooth out the bass performance throughout the room.
Matching a very high quality sub with a very high quality bookshelf speakers when properly blended can produce excellent sound. The blending process is critical and one of the reasons many folks get poor results. Lots of them make the mistake of setting the L&R as large (full range).
A must with this type of system is a high quality bookshelf speaker that is -3dB at 80Hz or lower (actual not specified). The sub I agree should be -3dB at or below 20Hz if possible for best performance with movies and some music. Specifically the bookshelf speaker should be of high power handling ability. This is one factor where many speaker brands disappoint. As their speakers get smaller from the tower models to the bookshelf models the power handling suffers. Emotiva is one brand that has excellent power handling in their bookshelf speakers such as the ERM-6.2.
Having a sub handle 80-70Hz and down enables one to move the sub around the room to get the best low bass response. This is not possible with the tower since it needs to be placed where the upper bass/mids/highs sound the best. This position is most times not the same place where the tower performs best in the 80Hz and lower range.
Many folks like the bass heavy sound from running the towers at full range or crossing them over too low at their -3dB point. Those that prefer flat and detailed bass will find this way too boomy. Some for example will cross over their tower to the sub at 40Hz because the tower is specified at -3dB's at 40Hz or 35Hz. This is a big mistake IMO! A high quality sub will perform much more effectively in the 40-80Hz range. This is exactly what it is designed for. Many tower drivers are on their last legs below 80Hz. A top sub should be quite flat up to about 100Hz or higher, -3dB.
I see so many people buy what they think are great towers. They go down to 40Hz or so at -3dB's so they don't think they need a sub for music. This doesn't mean that tower is producing the same low distortion at 50Hz as it is at 250Hz. Then they take the few pennies they have left over a buy a sub-standard sub (pun intended).
Buying a Emotiva ERT-8.3 is just fine as long as you still have the bucks to buy a great sub (I mean a great sub). Just don't cross it over at 40-50Hz because the specs show 45Hz at -3dB's. Well, why even buy the 8.3 then if the Nut says cross it over at 70-80Hz. The 8.3 will still have incredible slam from 70Hz and on up which few bookshelf speakers can match. If you have a few less bucks then for a great system get the 6.2 or 6.3 and match it with a great sub or two. Just don't get the 8.3 and match it with a $200-$400 sub.
Wonderful post, exactly what I have been struggling to put into words.