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Tower vs bookshelf speakers

andreasmaaan

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#21
You will be adding extra electronic components and a couple of terminals per channel to the amp-speaker link, though to be fair it may not be audible.
I think I follow haha. You're considering cases where there is no line out in the original signal path (e.g. where the signal chain is DAC->power amp-> speakers), so a preamp of some kind would have to be added in order to connect a line out to the sub(s)?
 

Frank Dernie

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#22
I have my sub connected right to the speaker outs on my amp. Is that not correct? I don't have a preamp. My sub has high pass on it.
My ancient REL Studio ran like that for decades, it is a very practical solution. I went to an amp with an adjustable sub out connected at line level but now have a AVR with Audyssey
 

tuga

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#23
I think I follow haha. You're considering cases where there is no line out in the original signal path (e.g. where the signal chain is DAC->power amp-> speakers), so a preamp of some kind would have to be added in order to connect a line out to the sub(s)?
My integrated is a single input minimalist circuit affair.
If I don't buy subs which high-pass into mains using hi-level then the alternative is a preamp yes. Or a 4-channel DAC and digital volume from HQPlayer.
I've though of getting a pair of Gallo subs, the older versions high-pass at 80Hz...
 

CDMC

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#24
The differences are simply in bass extension, maximum SPL (volume), and distortion. Larger speakers tend to be capable of higher SPLs at lower distortion and tend to extend to lower frequencies. If you have subs and listen at only moderate SPLs, you probably don't need tower speakers, although tower speakers will (all else equal) still tend to play cleaner at any given SPL.
You forgot one thing, efficiency. Hoffman's Iron Law- Size, extension, efficiency, pick two. In most speakers, the woofer is the limit for efficiency. A larger enclosure allows for greater efficiency with the same extension as a smaller one.

Another factor (and opinions vary on this) is extension below the crossover frequency. In general, you want a speaker that is linear an octave above and below its crossover frequency to have a predicable handoff. For mains with a 80hz high pass, this means down to 40 hz. This can vary, as you can have a main that starts a nice smooth rolloff at 80hz and works as a perfect crossover. A lot don't though. In my experience, having a speaker that gives good extension on its own is easier to integrate seamlessly with a subwoofer (using a high pass crossover for the mains).
 
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#25

Alexanderc

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#26
We've started curating a small list of stereo integrated amps with proper subwoofer support: https://www.sigbergaudio.no/en/blogs/news/stereo-amplifiers-with-proper-support-for-subwoofers

The list isn't very big, but there are a few very high quality alternatives out there.
Happy to add to the list if anyone know of others as well.
You’re not kidding about the length of the list. I know there are a few others out there, but the dearth of options is surprising to me.
 

vavan

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#27

ModDIY

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#28
The advantage over some well-designed columns is often 3-way, and therefore often (but not always) greater definition. I would opt for a column with small woofers, to couple with a subwoofer and cut very low. Also another advantage, as already mentioned, is the increased efficiency, which is a plus for a large room.
 

sigbergaudio

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#29
Yamaha RN803,Bluesound Powernode2i,Denon PMA600NE
Thanks, added the two first ones. The Denon appears to basically have a pre-out, a bit unclear if it has a crossover. There are many amplifiers out there with a pre-out, which will enable you to connect a subwoofer. But the list intended for amplifiers with active support for subwoofers, so active crossover for both subwoofers and speakers. :)
 

sigbergaudio

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#30
You’re not kidding about the length of the list. I know there are a few others out there, but the dearth of options is surprising to me.
Yes, there's not a lot to choose from if you're a stereo purist. The list is longer if you accept basic pre outs of course, but if you want both lowpass for the subwoofer and high pass for the speakers, there's not much to choose from.
 
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#31
We've started curating a small list of stereo integrated amps with proper subwoofer support: https://www.sigbergaudio.no/en/blogs/news/stereo-amplifiers-with-proper-support-for-subwoofers

The list isn't very big, but there are a few very high quality alternatives out there.
Happy to add to the list if anyone know of others as well.
I don't know enough to know if this is one or not, but it's very similar to the Marantz on the list.

https://www.denon.com/en-gb/shop/amplifier/dra800h
 

sigbergaudio

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#32

CDMC

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#33
You’re not kidding about the length of the list. I know there are a few others out there, but the dearth of options is surprising to me.
Sadly, it doesn’t get much longer as you move up in price. Mini DSP SHD and the Anthem STR. It shouldn’t cost much and adds a world of value to include a digital crossover and support for two subwoofers in two channel front ends.
 
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Thread Starter #34
My ancient REL Studio ran like that for decades, it is a very practical solution. I went to an amp with an adjustable sub out connected at line level but now have a AVR with Audyssey
I'm pretty sure that this way of hook up was actually suggested in the SVS SB1000 manual actually.
 

Bombadil

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#35
I think the points made by @tuga are spot on. When someone asks "sub/sat or tower?" I now ask what electronics are available. I have the perfect example going on right now with my casual listening setup. I have a Powernode 2i driving a pair of ELAC debut whatevers (the one Amir likes) and the sound is very good. The ELACs provide remarkable bass but I'd like more however the prospect of adding subs to the Powernode is (for me) daunting. It has a line out but that's only the beginning :eek: Then there the extra cables, moving the lumps around, crossovers, EQ, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love subwoofers, but I think the wiser choice for me is to replace the ELACs with slim towers like the 226bes. I'd get better bass extension with no muss or fuss. On the other hand I have an STR pre amp in my main listening system and there I have two subs beautifully blended with a pair of bookshelf speakers and it sounds superb. The STR or equivalent make it easier, thumbs up to @sigbergaudio for putting together a list of suitable components.
 

Bombadil

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#38
I found some pertinent info re the Powernode2i; I didn't realize it had this degree of subwoofer control. From Bluesound support:

"The POWERNODE 2/2i is roughly 120W at 4 Ohms or 240W at 2 Ohms.

The MQA Decode only happens on MQA Files - Non MQA Files do not include MQA requirements. Filter is really not the right word you are looking for - please see www.mqa.co.uk for more details.

Analogue inputs are not a pass through, they are converted to 24/192 via a Burr-Brown ADC with a >100dB signal to Noise ratio.

On the POWERNODE 2/2i, directly connect the SUB-WOOFER to the Player using a Sub woofer cable to the sub out. On the VAULT 2/2i or NODE 2/2i, it depends on the Amp used and how you are controlling the volume.

The SUB port is always active, but with SUB-WOOFER On then all <80Hz frequencies are diverted from the mains so you can drive them..."

Granted this is hardly Kal Rubinson level subwoofer integration, but it's damn handy for audio-amateurs like myself. and btw, if this OP wants a superb description of integrating a subwoofer into either 2 channel or multichannel I advise a read of Kal's review of the JL 110v2 sub in Stereophile

https://www.stereophile.com/content/jl-audio-fathom-f110v2-powered-subwoofer
 

LTig

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#39
And even better and even more rare (unless an AVR) an adjustable high pass filter for the "satellites" so you don't have to cross at the natural roll off and can shape the crossing flanks better.
I wouldn't buy a sub without internal line level high-pass for the sats.
 
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