2 smal towers + sub or 2 big fronts?


I am looking at upgrading my speakers (I want to use them for stereo listening), and I was thinking of 2 directions: either to have 2 small towers 3-way 6.5" woofers + an active sub 8-10" or have 2 big floorstanders 10-12" woofers with no sub.
My question is, which set-up would be the better direction ?

The two large floor standing speaker will sound better, especially the sizes you mention.

The downside to floor standing speakers are: Size and Expense (especially a 6.1 system). High frequency imaging and woofer placement don't always agree but sheer bass volume are thier advantage.

Hope that helps.

I would even go one step further. Two quality bookshelves on quality stands and a sub. This would give you more flexibility for placement and room to grow into an HT set-up later.

I don't want to upgrade to HT I want stereo.
Derek, I must tell you that my friend owns a pair of small JAMO towers with only an 8" powered sub and the sound is awesome, in fact it is much better than a lot of big floorstanders I've heard?
is it a matter of placement with the 2 big floorstanders more crucial that the small towers with sub? or what?

It realy depends upon the room.

I was more commenting on; all things being equal, 2-10 or 12 inch drivers will be louder and play with less distortion than 1-8 or 10 inch driver.

If you have the power to bring those 12s to life the larger drivers should sound better. If you dont' have enough power, the active sub might sound better. Using active subs is actually Bi-amping which lowers distortion.

Hope this helps.

Derek,thanks for the help
Isn't the actual design of the active sub what makes it sound so rich, I mean it has it's own amp, does it deliver a sort of loudness effect? and the small box with down-firing woofer?
thanks again

derek, please just one final responce :-)

It depends on the quality of the self-powered subwoofer and the quality and loudness playing ability of the speakers you own. Driving woofers in towers or large bookshelf speakers take far more power than do midrange and tweeter speakers.

If you have good quality speakers that can play loud, almost all the time they will benefit from having a quality self-powered subwoofer (such as a HSU VTF-2 or VTF-3) take over for them in the frequencies below 80 Hz. A few speaker companies make tower speakers with a self-powered woofer/sub-woofer in the same speaker--Def Tech for example. For those that want deep playing full range speakers these are generally the best choices.

Ideally all speakers would be self-powered and people would just buy a pre-amp/tuner. But so far most people do not want that because they have receivers. The Paradigm Active 20's and Active 40's were a couple of the best bookshelf speakers ever made but Paradigm discontinued them because most people didn't want speakers with their own amps. But it certainly makes total sense that the speaker company could most perfectly match the best amplification with THEIR OWN SPEAKER.
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