Buying floorstanders or adding subs to shelf speaker?


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Aug 10, 2019
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Good day,

I currently have a Morudant Short Mezzo 2 + Cambridge Audio S90 sub combo and would like to go to 5.1.

So I am thinking about 2 set-ups:

1) Using existing speakers for the back and adding Morudant Short Mezzo 8 for the front while removing the sub (space constrains)

2) Using existing speakers for the front and adding 2 good subs to complement them + 2 speakers for the back.

So the question really is given whether 2 floorstanders or 2 bookshelf + 2 subs combination is better? Price is the same and I won't have space to use 2 floorstanders + sub combo.

Many thanks for all the answers!


Keep the bookshelves, don't add another sub, invest in a center (you want 5.1, do you?) and good dipoles on the side or bipoles/straight direct on the back. As you said you did not have much space, I don't quite see the use of another sub. If the Cambridge Audio doesn't do the job, on the other hand, just replace it with a new sub. This should meet your budget, perhaps even less, and remaining money will surely be of use along the road, even more if you intend to get a professional installation.


Thanks for the answer!

I will invest into good centre anyway and will buy the same speakers as now for the back (or they will become the back).

Effectively my front speakers and subwoofer location is decided - will be on both sides of the TV stand and I would like to it to be symmetrical.

So idea is whether just have 2 floorstanders or 2 subwoofers with 2 bookshelf speakers wall / shelf mounted above?

Would much appreciate your views on this basis.


Ok then, I will address your initial question directly : 2 subwoofers with 2 bookshelves, and try to avoid shelf mounting if the TV stand is of average built, meaning unwelcome vibrations of all the structure, and boxy sound. If you wall mount with two subs, and if your bookshelves have a rear port, I would advise port bungs. They sometimes can help with shelf mounting too, but in definitive, you can't overcome the laws of physics there, it all comes down to the shelf they sit on.

You can't build a decent 5.1 system with no sub, even if the floorstanders are great with bass. On one hand, the bigger the cone is, the more bass extension you'll get. Average subwoofers are 8 inches or more, and you can hardly find that size on floorstanders. On the other hand, regarding movies, you have to take the Master track into account. Within its parameters, bass is not simply output as a "leftover" of the original signal under a fixed frequency (like an integrated amp), it has its own track, called LFE (low frequency effects). And just like the name says (effects), this track is not only mastered as a low frequency leftover of all other tracks neither, it is made up effect by effect, calculated at a variable crossover as needed for the LFE to take the right amplitude, and to adjust itself smoothly with all the other tracks. That is why a standard subwoofer often has a "Bypass" function, meaning that the sub amp is not controlling the crossover anymore, a job left to the receiver as required by the LFE track. Other subs, like Monitor Audio BXW10 for example, have the usual right/left input, and also a separated LFE input, and the only way to bypass the sub's crossover is to plug into the LFE input only. The other workaround, if the sub doesn't have a bypass, is to set the sub's crossover at the maximum to ensure that all the LFE track is reproduced by it - keeping in mind that the receiver won't output more than the required crossover frequency anyway.

So in your situation, there's really only one option, in my opinion.


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