do i need tower speakers if i have top of the line subs in the room?

A

audioboy9317

Enthusiast
Im setting up my theater with two 13" Monolith subs (2000 watts per sub). From everything Ive read, this will provide more than enough bass output to fill my 16 x 25 ft room.

My question is do I need to buy tower speakers for the left and right front channels? I know towers have high, mid range, and bass output. Do i need the bass from my towers? Can I put speakers that just have high and midrange output and use those in place of tower speakers?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Depends more on the specific speaker than a very general classification like "tower". Subs just cover the lower bass frequencies, still good to have a capable speaker in addition, and that can be in the form of a tower/floorstander or standmount/bookshelf speaker. Some towers are less capable than some bookshelf models. Few towers are as capable in sub bass frequencies than separate subs (and you don't get the superior placement possibilities that separate subs can provide). You've got some good subs to start with, tho. In my largish living room I prefer the towers I use for mains and surrounds, used a good set of bookshelfs before that and they worked well enough, but the towers are a bit more capable while the bookshelfs work better in my smaller bedroom. What speakers are you considering?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Well imo, towers are about more than just bass. They’re many times easier to driver since they’re usually more sensitive. Also, they have larger/more woofers and midrange drivers. That gives them the ability to be more dynamic, and share amp and thermal loads. This also gives them more midrange ability where most of the power comes from. My listening area is about the same as yours and I use three subs. Plus I use towers that have 12’s in them. So imo, towers are the way to go. You don’t NEED them though, and depending on listening habits, there are bookshelf speakers that might satisfy you.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
A good Tower will give you much better dynamic range than most any Standmount.
Likewise, a 3-way speaker, designed well, will give you much more clarity in your mids… not so much output rather the dedicated driver will be working within its ideal band for audio reproduction.
As for bass in the tower, if you cross at 80, the tower will still be reproducing usable output at 60Hz and even below. On the flip side, a stand mount that may have an F3 at 60Hz will need to be crossed up around 120 in most stuations. That doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t work, it just changes thing.
Subs can start to be localized up around 120Hz, for example, and many don’t like pushing them that high if it can be avoided.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
I'm setting up my theater with two 13" Monolith subs (2000 watts per sub). From everything Ive read, this will provide more than enough bass output to fill my 16 x 25 ft room.

My question is do I need to buy tower speakers for the left and right front channels? I know towers have high, mid range, and bass output. Do i need the bass from my towers? Can I put speakers that just have high and midrange output and use those in place of tower speakers?
You can look at it in terms of frequency response. The most common crossover point for subs is around 80Hz. While towers tend to go a little deeper than bookshelves, a good bookshelf can have decent output down to 60Hz or maybe 50Hz. Towers might get you down to 40Hz or lower depending upon budget. Both towers and bookshelves will be capable of producing quality sound above the 80Hz crossover point.

You need to consider how loud you expect to be playing things and whether this will be for home theatre, music or both. Towers are usually a little more efficient and thus will play a little louder with the same amount of power. Bookshelves on stands will be up and away from kids and cats. :) Like mentioned above, I would lean towards towers in a room that size, but that's a personal preference. There are some killer bookshelves if you have the budget.
 
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A

audioboy9317

Enthusiast
ive considered:
-Klipsch 8060's
-Monoprice THX 465's
-Polk Reserve R700's
-SVS Prime Pinnacle's

My thought was......do I need to buy these expensive towers or buy speakers that just have high and mid range? i will be using either a Marantz, Yamaha, or Denon receiver.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
The distance you sit from the speakers is important. If you are only 10ft from them there are plenty of bookshelves that will work. As you described a room 25ft long, you may be a lot further away from the main speakers so towers make sense in that scenario….
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
@Pogre loved his ultra BS. He also had the towers too. I know he’d love to share his opinion.
Brotha Bill!
SVS makes an Ultra Bookshelf speaker ($600 per speaker). Would someone mind looking at the specs and giving your opinion? I will be setting approx 12 feet away from the front left and right speakers.

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speaker | Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000 (svsound.com)
Yup, I think SVS makes a great bookshelf speaker. They can handle some power, get pretty loud and with capable subs like the ones you picked I don't think you're missing too much over towers. I think the Ultra books give you all the goodness of the Ultra towers minus the bass extension, which is where your subs come in. They're also easier to place as the towers (Ultra towers, I haven't had a chance to check out the Pinnacles yet) can be a little bit finicky.

I'd start with the bookshelf speakers first and put 'em through the paces. If you feel like you need more then you can always move the books to surround duty and order the Pinnacles. OR... with SVS' generous audition period and return policy you can always send the books back or trade up for the towers. It's really risk free for you to try them out. Hell, we've seen guys order up a pair of practically everything from SVS, try them all out at home, kept what worked and sent the rest back on their dime.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
It's going to be tricky finding bookshelf speakers that can match the dynamic range of two 13" THX Ultra subs. I would suggest a pair of RBH PM-8 speakers for something in a bookshelf form factor that could keep up. Of course, those are expensive. The Monolith towers look very good and aren't too expensive. Paradigm Premier 800Fs would be good too- if you can find any. You might look at some Arendal 1723 THX Monitors.
 
K

kini

Full Audioholic
Beat me too it. Split the difference and get these-

Though something like the prime pinnacle would work well too. If I had a choice I'd go with Arendal.
 
L

latapx

Enthusiast
ive considered:
-Klipsch 8060's
-Monoprice THX 465's
-Polk Reserve R700's
-SVS Prime Pinnacle's

My thought was......do I need to buy these expensive towers or buy speakers that just have high and mid range? i will be using either a Marantz, Yamaha, or Denon receiver.
Remember that its not just bass and highs (or else it'll sound like a BOSE satellite system). My vote is towers, and always has been because they are typically capable of delivering a broader range of frequencies AND i like to listen LOUD. The more you push the sub (higher crossover point) the "worse" it'll sound and the more you push your main channel speakers & amp (lower crossover point) the "worse" it'll sound. There is a "happy place" for all components.
As it has been mentioned, your subs will provide excellent bass below 80Hz or so, you would need a main speaker capable of filling in everything else. A bookshelf speaker may be capable of 60-20,000 HZ, but only handle 80w or so where as a floor stander would handle 150w+...this will play into how YOU listen to music/movies. At the end of the day, it seems like we are all on the same page...you have massive amounts of sub available, don't sell yourself short on the main speakers or the amplifier driving them!

Good luck!
 
Kingnoob

Kingnoob

Audioholic Field Marshall
Towers always win , but a higher quality bookshelf speaker Beats a lower quality tower. Pinnacle towers might be another good option.
You get less for your money with bookshelves but are usually half the price and get two pairs for the price on one tower , although this is not always true.
If you’re 5 feet or less it probably doesn’t matter but Tower will have more depth.
Or get bookshelves first and put them to surround duty an add towers later. Does Best Buy sell SVS why did the magnolia never have any on display? Shame I never got to hear what they sound like.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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