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In Reply to: RE: Huh? posted by Rick W on February 22, 2017 at 10:19:36
In small and medium sized rooms, I'd rather have a 3-way system made from high quality 2-way stand-mounters plus stereo subs. I can usually get smoother bass response that way because of the flexibility to place the subs in the best locations for bass. And it will play deeper. And it will usually sound more coherent because the whole midrange is covered by a single driver, and usually the soundstaging is better too. The main downside is that it's harder to set up. To do it right requires measuring IMO and takes time and experimentation. For people who just plop a sub down in the corner and twiddle knobs by ear, the results depend a lot on luck.
There is also the cost argument. The audible spectrum spans about 10 octaves. Given a fixed budget, you can buy a standmounter that covers 8.5-9 octaves and gives you better performance over 7-8 of them, or you can buy a floorstander that covers 9.5 octaves and gives you better performance over 1-2 of them.
On the other hand, in a big room I'd rather have a larger floorstander. I've tried using small stand-mounted loudspeakers in large rooms and they just don't have enough dynamics. And in a larger room, it's usually easier to keep speakers away from room boundaries, and usually you're listening further away which allows the sound from multiple drivers on a larger speaker to integrate properly.
If I understand you correctly, you're saying "it depends"? ;)
In any case, we seem to agree that, at a minimum, a 3-way is necessary for high quality sound.
Indeed it does. I lived in a small city apartment while I worked in Sydney for a few years, and used a pair of small standmounts, Focus Audio FS-688s. In the relatively close to wall placement I was forced to put them in, they hit their spec of 45Hz -3dB. And that was satisfying enough 90% of the time. So I understand Rick's point.
Back in my house in the US, I had Dynaudio C2s plus subs. The thing I missed the most in Sydney wasn't the bass, it was the soundstaging. When I had them in my downstairs room in my house, the Focus Audio 688s were awesome at soundstaging, but due to the size and unusual shape of that Sydney apartment I just couldn't place them where they could shine.
Now that I'm back living in my house again, I want full range sound. And that definitely requires a 3-way system. But I've come around to the view that there is a right sized speaker for the room. Too small of a speaker in too big of a room is not satisfying, even augmented with subs. And too large of a speaker in too small of a room is not satisfying either. So I guess it boils down to where you put the crossover. In a small room I'd rather go 2.2 and have the crossover in the bass. In a very large room, I'd rather have the crossover in the lower midrange so large woofers are covering the whole bass range. In a medium-large size room, it depends.
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