Question Floor standing vs Book shelf

Dom

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Aug 6, 2011
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I tried to leave the question as open ended as possible sorry, so for the same money would you get floor standers or stand mounts?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
It depends. I was pretty close to moving from my perfectly good ATC SCM40 passives to their Active brother, having used floorstanders since 1997 as my main speakers. But then a rare chance arose to get some classic Sonus fabers, which are nominally bookshelf designs - though they come with a very tall stand (and the Mafia would probably be round double-quick if you even thought about putting them in a bookshelf!). So I’m the exception, as any sane person would’ve bought the ATCs. And they naturally do different things better - as you’d expect given the compromise that all speakers are.
 

painter24

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May 31, 2021
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I have limited experience but, I've moved from Bookshelf to small Floorstander a few months ago. It was a total punt and a blind (or deaf) buy as I couldn't audition in store or at home. But the price was good, as were reviews and forum consensus.

This is my first ever floorstander, but all things such as sound character, specs etc aside, even though the LF on the floorstander has a similar response as the bookshelf, the scale of music reproduction is significantly fuller, and for me more satisfying. I still have my sub connected, as my floorstanders are nowhere near full-range, but i don't have it dialled up as much in volume or crossover as I did.

Not sure if I could go back now, but maybe I just haven't heard or owned good enough bookshelves. Used to own Epos 11's back in the 90s, but that was a different life 🤔😉
 

Dom

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Thanks nopiano, I like what you said about compromise, speakers cant reproduce sound as if you in the room with the band.

Nice one painter24, I can't go back to standmounts either, as you said they have a fuller sound.
 
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D

Deleted member 160668

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Can a book shelf speaker do what a floor stander does?
Yes. That was easy.

My recent brief was to listen to loads of stuff up to near £6k. There's a very long thread about this on the Wam. I started only listening to floorstanders. Then the dealer threw a curve ball and set up some Harbeth C7XD standmounts.

I think you may have even contributed to that thread?

Anyway, my comments from within my ramblings about the C7XD was they were the most complete speakers I've ever heard.

I then bought some Harbies (not C7XD, but older ones) which I've now sold. And went back to floorstanders.

Volume of course plays a factor. You cannot get decent deep clean bass from a small volume box. But a bigger boxed standmount loses little to a floorstander imo.
 
D

Deleted member 160668

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Thanks nopiano, I like what you said about compromise, speakers cant reproduce sound as if you in the room with the band.

Nice one painter24, I can't go back to standmounts either, as you said they have a fuller sound.
Mine get very very close to this.
 
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twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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In my opinion yes they can. Take the Linton for example, it’s technically a stand mount speaker. But has more internal volume and surface area than many floorstanding speakers. But in general these are few and far between in regards to examples like this.

On the other end of the scale you can get “floorstanding” speakers that have a base added to them but are effectively just standmount speakers “bolted” to a cabinet with cabinet sealed off from the drivers above. Mission used to do this eg 702 v the 701. Complete waste of time and all there doing is charging you more a bit con really.
 
In my opinion yes they can. Take the Linton for example, it’s technically a stand mount speaker. But has more internal volume and surface area than many floorstanding speakers. But in general these are few and far between in regards to examples like this.

On the other end of the scale you can get “floorstanding” speakers that have a base added to them but are effectively just standmount speakers “bolted” to a cabinet with cabinet sealed off from the drivers above. Mission used to do this eg 702 v the 701. Complete waste of time and all there doing is charging you more a bit con really.
But that bit of wooden stand might have been cheaper than buying some good metal speaker stands though..... :)
my Partington Super Dreadnoughts are now £250
 

podknocker

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Feb 5, 2021
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I have a pair of Q Acoustics 3030i on the matching stands and although lacking a bit at the top end, the bass is quite full and deep. On some tracks, there is too much bass and I sometimes wish I'd bought the 3020i model. I owned a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 230 floorstanders, but sold them, as they were far too bass heavy, for the size of my living room. I had them away from walls and corners, as much as the space allowed, but they had a very annoying upper bass sound, that killed the music. I hate that upper bass region and it's so difficult to get speakers to work, in a typical sized living room, without producing these bass frequencies. Most normal sized speakers seem to create nodes, in the 60 to 200Hz region and it's a pain. I can't afford Dirac correction and there's not much I can do with the living room furnishings. It's not just the speaker volume to consider, but the crossover point and the associated impedance curve. I think many speakers are designed to have a lower impedance, in the upper bass region, to make them sound more 'impressive' and give the illusion of a bigger sound, with more bass. It's always been quality over quantity for me and I'm still trying to find a pair of floorstanders, which give a quick, clean and detailed sound, even a bright sound, without that honking upper bass thump. It's so annoying. My old KEF Q35.2 floorstanders broke, many years ago and I wish I could get another new pair of those. They were the best speakers I've ever heard and were 91dB also. Bass should be quick and textured and underpin music, not overwhelm and dominate it. I don't understand why people are obsessed with a full, warm bass sound. It's not a good thing, unless you are trying to reproduce the sound of droning car engines, sat outside your window. My QA speakers sound OK, most of the time and I do prefer them to the big Wharfedales I had a few years ago. I read many good things about Harbeth speakers and I can imagine how they sound. These speakers are outside my price range, so I will have to wait until a cheaper alternative arrives. I think I will have to stick with standmounts, screwed into stands. Anything really, without that upper bass reinforcement.
 
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podknocker

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I would say room size and its acoustic character, are the most important factors. You can listen to speakers in the shop and be impressed, but getting them set up in a normal sized living room, they will sound different. The interaction between the baffle and the mass of air being vibrated around this, will produce a different sound, depending on the size and shape of the listening room. Standing waves and nodes can be generated, at annoying frequencies and you are stuck with them. Also, some bookshelf speakers have larger bass drivers and have a larger volume, than many slim, squat floorstanders. RTL and rear firing ports, will also change the overall sound and its relationship, within the listening room. My living room is average sized and will always give a slight lift in the bass. I have a carpet, but no curtains or drapes, so it's not an overly bright, or dull sounding room. I'm fairly happy with the system I have, I just wish I could get the sound I had many years ago, with less expensive kit!
 

bigfish786

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Jan 29, 2013
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first Time I heard floorstanders was the last time I listened to standmounts.
that was the impact they had on me.
on my 3rd set now, and can’t see me changing these in a rush.
 
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CheshirePete

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Oct 12, 2020
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Can a book shelf speaker do what a floor stander does?

There is no replacement for displacement. So get really big stand mount speakers.

I have KLH model 5's and they easily compete with a comparably sized floorstander suitable for my listening room.
 
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AJM1981

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As a pro having floorstanders one could argue that you get more natural stereo bass extension. You would need 2 subs to have the same effect for a small speaker.

The cons list is a little larger
- Floorstanders are generally more expensive in their series than the small versions and you still need a sub for most of them since the extension doesn't reach most bottoms.
- Placement options are more limited
-Can become to large or not fitting that well with the interior when moving. Whereas there is always a space for a bookshelf speaker
- Personally I think the design of the speaker is somehow a bit lost in the form factor.

One point often not mentioned is that the value of a floorstander on the second hand market seems dropping rapidly. Most popular speakers are the compact bookshelf ones up till the standmount formats. I can't recall seeing any sought-after floorstander when looking around.
 

Fidelity dom

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My listening room is 7m x 7m, and my speakers have the aforementioned room to breathe. No contradiction.
Strange my room is 5 x 6 m, but you didn't ask......still ultimatly the importamt issue is that we who actually listen to the music & are aware of the individual nature of the room accoustics, including it's construction etc are happy with the sound......i love the sound of my system & that my friend is all that matters........😁
 
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I didn't ask, and that's a suitable room size. It's just that your photos show speakers rather crammed into smaller parts of a room/very close to walls etc - the second one in particular. But of course all that matters is what you think of it.
 

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