Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 16 Old 09-05-09, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

I have been auditioning every bookshelf speaker I can. Since I plan to mate the speakers with a sub in a 2.1 system, I have not worried about bass performance.
The Paradigm Signature S-1 has impressed with it's capability in the mid and high frequencies. No other speaker has extended as high as these with such clarity, and I believe they represent an amazing value ($1500 MSRP). It is also just cool to have this much high quality sound coming from such small speakers (they have an impressive dynamic range with a good amp behind them).

However, as I contemplate buying these speakers, I am beginning to second-guess my approach. These small, sealed bookshelf speakers drop off at 72Hz (+/-2dB). Will there be problems properly blending these with a sub? Do I need more bass extension?

Paradigm offers the S2 which uses the same tweeter and should have about the same sound, with a larger, ported mid-bass driver. Unfortunately, at $2300 MSRP it is really more than I'd like to spend on speakers. However, it is better to blow my budget than spend $1500 on the S-1's and not be happy once I mated them to the sub!

FWIW, my receiver includes Audyssey and the application is 100% music.

Thank you for your help!
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-06-09, 12:06 PM
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

Which receiver and which version of Audyssey does it have?

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-06-09, 02:57 PM
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

I don't know how many speakers you have auditioned, but if not too many, I would recommend you listen to a few more in that same price range. While the Paradigm Signatures are their highest line, they are charging a hefty premium.....to me it seems like they are artifically trying to put themselves into a higher category.

This is only to my ears though.

To your question, never underestimate capability in the upper bass frequencies of 80-200hz. That can make or break your whole bass presentation. Talk to anyone who has a monster subwoofer and small bookshelves - there seems to always be a lack of punch.


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post #4 of 16 Old 09-06-09, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

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Kal Rubinson wrote: View Post
Which receiver and which version of Audyssey does it have?
Marantz SR6001. The manual and spec sheet only specify Audyssey MultEQ automatic calibration with no mention of version. Perhaps it is the first version - before they needed to indicate which version?

Last edited by FidelitySeeker; 09-06-09 at 04:29 PM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-06-09, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

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I don't know how many speakers you have auditioned, but if not too many, I would recommend you listen to a few more in that same price range. While the Paradigm Signatures are their highest line, they are charging a hefty premium.....to me it seems like they are artifically trying to put themselves into a higher category.
This is only to my ears though.

>>>>>>>>>Any suggestions on others in that price range to try out? Like I say, the aspect that impressed me was the clarity and extension of the tweeter. I plan to get them side-by-side with some other speakers just to make sure I'm not fooling myself, but, to my ear, the Studio series had the extension, but not the clarity; while Stat Acoustics had the clarity without the extension. Paradigm's tweeter in the S1 seems to offer the best of both without any penalty! I am open to other options, but the high frequency performance of the S1 seems hard to beat.


To your question, never underestimate capability in the upper bass frequencies of 80-200hz. That can make or break your whole bass presentation. Talk to anyone who has a monster subwoofer and small bookshelves - there seems to always be a lack of punch.

>>>>>>>>>Thanks.
Thanks
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-06-09, 06:29 PM
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

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Marantz SR6001. The manual and spec sheet only specify Audyssey MultEQ automatic calibration with no mention of version. Perhaps it is the first version - before they needed to indicate which version?
Nope. MultEQ is what it says: Not as good as MultEQ XT but a world better than 2EQ (which does not EQ the sub at all). Steve's suggestions should be attended to (and no version of Audyssey can compensate for a lack of power handling in the mid- to upper-bass) but, whatever sub you may choose will be helped considerably.

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post #7 of 16 Old 09-06-09, 08:40 PM
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

I do agree that for a budget of $1500 I am sure you can find some speakers that preform better than the Signature S-1 particularly in the lower range. A 72Hz drop-off will mean that if you like to run them at a decent level they wont output very much at 80Hz where most people set their crossovers and is recommended.
Have you looked at the SVS line of speakers?

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-06-09, 11:13 PM
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

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FidelitySeeker wrote:
Any suggestions on others in that price range to try out?
Does it need to be a bookshelf speaker?

I'm partial to Boston Acoustics, so I'll toss the VS 260 out there first.

There is the Exodus Audio Kepler.

Salk SongSurround I's.

Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1.

SVS MBS-01.

Totem Acoustics Model 1.


So many others too. I'm not trying to sway your opinion by any means, all I'm saying is if you are going to spend $1500 on bookshelves, make sure you've listened to as many options as you can.

If you are open to floorstanders, your options have just tripled


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post #9 of 16 Old 09-07-09, 12:35 PM
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

Curious,... what are some of the bookshelf speakers you have auditioned that didn't meet your expectations?

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-07-09, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mating bookshelfs with subwoofer

Yes, I am only looking at bookshelf speakers.

I'm not sure what is considered proper regarding pricing, but it seems too relevant to not state actual prices I have been quoted instead of MSRP:
S-1 @ $1200 (20% off)
S-2 @ $1800 (25% off)

So far, I have listened to the following on an A-B basis (prices are as I remember them):

Paradigm Studio 20 v5 $800 (discounted price)
NHT Classic 3 $850
Vandersteen VLR $1000
PSB Imagine B $1000
Totem Rainmaker $1000
RBH 61-LSE (Discontinued, but same as current RBH 61-SE/R using Status Acoustics drivers $2600).

For me and among these, the RBH had the best sound (not a big surprise). The Paradigm Studio 20 is my second favorite, and Totem the 3rd. The Paradigm actually had more High Freq extension than the RBH, but the RBH was clearer. I believe the beryllium tweeter of the Paradigm S1 v2 provided the clarity of the RBH and the extension of the Studio20's. However, I need to audition the S1/2 v2 with the Studio20 and RBH to verify this.
Thanks!
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