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Floor-standing vs Book-shelf from upper line up?


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Hello, 

I’d like to ask your general opinion and experience.

Of course, I plan to hear (if possible) both to make the final call, 
but would like to know possible long-term experience.

A room is about 14ft x 13ft, a dedicated listening room with couple acoustic panels.


My question is, (specifically or generally)

- Floor stand speaker vs A book shelf type speaker from the upper line up

What would be the better choice? 

Technically, the bookshelf would provide enough sound for a room, and it’s from the upper line up, so I think this might be the optimized solution.

At the same time, I personally prefer floor-standing design (not that important), and though there might be slightly more power than I need, I think having slightly more power would not sound like a bad idea.

Products - Marten 

I compare Marten Oscar Trio vs Marten Parker Duo

Both are relatively new, and the price is basically same...  
“This price factor” (assuming you pay for what you get, especially from the same company) is a tricky thing.

If this were B&W 805 vs 704 decision. It would be a lot easier. (But it’s not. Same prices make things tricky.)

What would you choose?


Happy New Year! :D

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I'd choose the floorstander, b/c I'd prefer more/lower bass. Do you listen loud at all? The FS probably plays louder, with more dynamics, if that matters to you.

 

Stereotype is you will get better imaging with the bookshelves.

 

What kind of music do you listen to? Orchestral, rap, modern electronic - the floorstanders b/c of the bass and dynamics. Jazz and Rock - less dynamics, small groups, generally don't have much bass below 40hz - the bookshelves might be more suitable.

 

I think both will be fine in your room. Listen and see which one will be better for long term listening to you.

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Thank you for the advice. 
Perfectly nailed it, and that’s actually why I have a trouble choosing one. I’m curious what advantage (FS’s more bass or BS’s better image) will be usually satisfactory in the long term. 
 

I exclusively listen to Classical Music (especially Piano) and some Piano Jazz (Bill evans). 
 

Does Piano, in general, require more bass and dynamics? Below 40hz?

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13 minutes ago, firedog said:

I'd choose the floorstander, b/c I'd prefer more/lower bass. Do you listen loud at all? The FS probably plays louder, with more dynamics, if that matters to you.

 

Stereotype is you will get better imaging with the bookshelves.

 

What kind of music do you listen to? Orchestral, rap, modern electronic - the floorstanders b/c of the bass and dynamics. Jazz and Rock - less dynamics, small groups, generally don't have much bass below 40hz - the bookshelves might be more suitable.

 

I think both will be fine in your room. Listen and see which one will be better for long term listening to you.

How about Piano?

In general or in theory? 
 

It would be difficult to listen both as A/B, yet I’ll do my best. New year’s big plan. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, firedog said:

Piano is a tough one. Really depends on the specific speaker more than the type.

 

If it was me, I'd less A/B and more just listen to a cross section of the kind of music I listen to with each one and get a feel if I like/enjoy one more. That overly critical listening doesn't reflect what we hear under normal circumstances, IMO. It's good if you specifically are trying to find small differences; less useful in simply judging what sound good/is enjoyable.

Thank you. Yes, it’s a tough one. (Unless I had tons of money. ;) - not happening)

 

Technically my curiosity is how different frequency spec would affect in the long term though I know it’s just number and actual sound may vary. - Especially Classical music / piano sound that I’m fond of the most. 

 

Parker duo (36-40khz) +-2db

Oscar trio (27-20khz) +- 3db

 

Lower bass part puzzles me. Parker duo is better made overall and has a higher coverage. But Oscar has pretty decent 27hz lower coverage. 

 

Technical range of Piano starts from 27.5hz(some is lower) so Parker duo would “theoretically” lose some sound. Still well made speakers with higher bass range often sound better than cheaper&bigger (w/ lower bass range number) even in low hz territory. 

 

This is from same brand, and same price(unlike B&W situation) - this makes “number vs reality” really tricky. 

 

I thought that if there’s anyone listening classical music / piano / organ sound a lot, then one would be able to tell me which direction (better made but some bass loss vs inferior build but more bass) is usually more satisfying in the long term. 

 

I wish I had a bigger room and money. 
 

I’ll keep in mind the points that you mention. It would be really hard for me if I can hear only one of them for enough period of time. 

 

 

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One could integrate a sub with bookshelves to get the lower end and get the wonderful imaging of bookshelves.

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+1.

 

We faced the same dilemma last year. We bought the bookshelf-speakers. They are easier to place (most of the time), and, to my ears, a little bit faster and more detailed. It helps I am no bass-head (ts et moi share the same musical taste, no desire for a sub).

 

But if I were you, and willing to spend 11k on a pair of speakers, I would certainly want to hear them in my room (and with my amp). 

 

 

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Between these two, the floor standing speaker would be my pick.  Better bass extension, better efficiency, better power handling, better resale results (if that matters), better flexibility.

 

I am using Alta Audio FRM bookshelves.  When these are gone, I will be switching back to a floor standing speaker.  

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1 hour ago, botrytis said:

One could integrate a sub with bookshelves to get the lower end and get the wonderful imaging of bookshelves.

Yes that’s a great option too. 

 

Honestly, if this brand made the sub by itself, then the choice would be easier. 
Still if they made one in the future, with the total cost, I would be able to get a bigger model that doesn’t need a sub with overall better performance. ;)

 

I think it’s like choosing options for a car. If you could afford one, then everything. But this speaker is already seriously over spending compared to my initial  budge. So Decision, decision. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, WAM said:

+1.

 

We faced the same dilemma last year. We bought the bookshelf-speakers. They are easier to place (most of the time), and, to my ears, a little bit faster and more detailed. It helps I am no bass-head (ts et moi share the same musical taste, no desire for a sub).

 

But if I were you, and willing to spend 11k on a pair of speakers, I would certainly want to hear them in my room (and with my amp). 

 

 

I don’t need bass that what people usually talk about. I only hear classic and jazz. 
 

The tricky part is, piano sound needs lower frequency requiring bass support. 
 

Without bass support, many speakers, I often experience a piano performer’s left hand is suddenly becoming missing when a performer plays low parts. (I can only hear right hand playing part, and left hand sound becoming too thin or vague.)

 

- This is why piano is hard. 
(technically pipe organ is the worst, extremely demanding, but I can live without this, at least.)

 

Still well made speakers overcome this problem too, there’s possibility. 
 

You’re absolutely right. I really wish I can hear them. The reality is not sure that’s possible. Will do my best. Thank you for the advice.  

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45 minutes ago, Kimo said:

Between these two, the floor standing speaker would be my pick.  Better bass extension, better efficiency, better power handling, better resale results (if that matters), better flexibility.

 

I am using Alta Audio FRM bookshelves.  When these are gone, I will be switching back to a floor standing speaker.  

That makes sense. 
When manufacturer puts the same price, I honestly think overall performance capacity is almost same, but depending on where I’d like to focus on more. 
 

One of the very difficult decision. 
Personally I really don’t like when very good speakers miss 25hz-30hz range. (My obsession with piano sound.) 

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In my mind, until the speakers are in the room, and you’re listening in the seat, you don’t know how the bass will sound as you don’t really know what bass frequencies are going to be accentuated and what would be troughs. But yeah, in general, I think the more deep bass the better. 
 

But more importantly, I think all high end systems should have a digital way to remove the bass peaks, at least parametric EQ, if not a full convolution filter.

 

Marten Oscar Trio is a 5-figure pair of speakers. MiniDSP UMIK-1 microphone is $75. Room EQ Wizard is free. I guess playback software would range from JRiver $60 to Roon $700. That said, I know it can be tricky to learn for some people and with specific system setups, it’s harder to implement, e.g. if you mostly use AirPlay

Roon (convolution filter using Acourate) > ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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39 minutes ago, Sangbro said:


 

One of the very difficult decision. 
Personally I really don’t like when very good speakers miss 25hz-30hz range. (My obsession with piano sound.) 

 

I just think that a small floor standing speaker generally will offer better value.  Takes more time and money to build a book shelf and then build the matching stands.

 

Large "book shelf" speakers, ala JBL, may be a different story.  

 

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@Sangbro hello and happy new year

I would look into Legacy Audio(Springfield Illinois) the book shelf Studio HD monitors or more expensive Calibre monitors will give you as much 'bang for your buck' as floor standing speakers and are less intrusive. I had for more than 15 years Henry Kloss's CambridgeSoundWorks towers and my Studio HD monitors(hand made in pairs/balanced as pair) blow them away. bobbmd

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On 12/31/2020 at 6:45 AM, firedog said:

Piano is a tough one. Really depends on the specific speaker more than the type.

 

If it was me, I'd less A/B and more just listen to a cross section of the kind of music I listen to with each one and get a feel if I like/enjoy one more. That overly critical listening doesn't reflect what we hear under normal circumstances, IMO. It's good if you specifically are trying to find small differences; less useful in simply judging what sound good/is enjoyable.

Agree.  My wife has been playing piano for 48 years. Plays her baby grand every day.  A few years ago she commented on a recording by Charlie Haden Nightfall and noted it sure sounds more realistic on the Vapor speakers than the Salons. More clarity, more natural. . We also tried a bit of music by Bach on a Steinway / Jeffrey Biegel.  Not sure it the RAAL tweeter and the sub had a lot to do with that but she likes the book shelf's.

The Truth Is Out There

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I think initially, I didn't appreciate that Parker Duo is actually a higher end line of Martens than Oscar Trio.

 

First, I agree with @firedog that if you can't hear it, you really don't know what you'd prefer. In general, within the same speaker company's line of products, the higher end line would usually have better transparency and less distortion and hence better clarity but the price jump is generally quite significant (like luxury cars). But since I hang out at my dealer's store quite a bit, I would say that most people who don't know what they're looking for would choose more bass over the higher end line bookshelf speakers. Usually, the people who prefers the bookshelves are the ones who just listen to the bookshelf and then the lower end floor standers and can immediately point out how the higher end bookshelf sounds better to them that is completely independent of the deeper bass. And I think in general, that's may be 1 out of 10 customers.

 

Second, I really don't think there is a blanket bookshelf vs floor stander answer. Having listened to other people's systems and their preferences, I find that these are the primary factors that drive people's insistence of their preferences:

1) Some people really hate low and mid-bass. They just don't like bass. So you see them preferring a lower-end bookshelf speakers over a higher-end floor standers. 

2) Low to mid-bass responses are extremely room dependent. I would say even more so than the speakers. Meaning that you can have a pair of bookshelf speakers that goes down to 40Hz but because the room resonance is around 34Hz, those pair of bookshelf speakers sound super smooth from 26Hz to 20kHz and the owner says, these bookshelf speakers are the best thing in the world. On the other hand, you can have a perfect pair of speakers that goes down to 27Hz and the small room, e.g. 13x14 has so many room resonances that it suddenly gives you large 35Hz and 70Hz peaks that are 15dB above all the other notes. As a result, the owner swears by a bookshelf speakers that only goes down to 80Hz and say that bookshelf speakers are way better than full-range speakers in his room.

 

I know @Sangbro is just looking for a simple answer. So in answer to the original question I would say:

1) I wouldn't buy Martens because I've never heard them before. I personally only like Magico speakers in your price range so I would just get Magico A3 in your price range. In fact, I'm still debating whether to upgrade my bookshelf speakers + subs system to Magico S3 Mk 2

2) If I have no means of measuring my system and I have no way to DSP the music, I would probably get the bookshelf speakers in a 13x14 room because I suspect the bass frequencies to be all over the place so I would bet that the Parker Duo with less low bass is a safer choice.

3) If I have the means to measure my system but no way to DSP the music, I would measure the current speakers I have now, and see where the bass peaks are. Based on that, I would choose or I would post the frequency response I get from my system and re-ask the forum what people think I should get.

4) If I have the means to measure my system and to DSP the music, I would buy the Martens Oscar Trio. But then truth be told, I would probably DSP the music first and see how I like it. Maybe I would no longer feel the need to upgrade my speakers. After all, nobody ever complains about having an extra $10,000 in the bank.

 

 

 

 

Roon (convolution filter using Acourate) > ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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