I've had the ST's and STS's in systems as well as several Paradigm speakers and feel exactly the opposite, I like Paradigm for HT and the Def Techs for music more!
I wouldn't worry too much about placing them closer to the wall than 3', since they have integral subwoofers, you can trim the bass to compensate for sub par placement. Fiddle around with it and I think you'll see what I mean.
I have not heard the STS speakers, but I have heard many other Def Tech speakers. They have a big following of loyal owners, so please don't take offense, but to me, they sound excessively bright in the upper-mids/lower-treble range. YMMV, of course, and it is possible that my auditions were with electronics far inferior to yours, which could have been the problem. FWIW, my own speakers are in that price range. The Ohm Walsh 2000 is a completely different approach to speaker design than your Def Techs, so they may not be for you. However, Ohm offers a 120-day home trial period, so you can compare and decide for yourself. If you don't like them, you're out the shipping only. The Ohms's like lots of SS power, so I would expect your Bryston to be a good match. The Ohms do need at least a little room to breath, though, at least 18" from adjacent walls, IME.
I have compared lesser-model Def Techs to Vienna Acoustics speakers, and I much preferred the VA over the Def Techs. Smoother treble, better defined mids and better soundstage presentation, IMHO.
Just my $0.02.
Yes these were designed as a cute speaker first
and to function perform later.
(((Professional reviews are very favorable. Personal reviews are not as favorable stating they are voiced more for HT than music.))
There should be a new speaker review catagory within its own called
Non high end Designer friendly series HT OKed but still handicapped.
This would be your cue to be taken with a grain of salt.
Can Professional reviewer and or Mags resist the avertising revenue that prevails to make such a category its what drives them?
A classic performing speaker like a Vandersteen 2CE sig or 3A Sig is a Form following function designed product that stands the test of time
I strongly suggest you draw you own conclusion with a listen.
I really dont understand many peoples dismissal of DefTech speakers as merely home theater speakers. In my second system, which is a combination music/HT system, my STSs function perfectly. I directly compared them to Vandersteen 3As and Von Schweikert VR-4 HSEs, and they made the Vandies and Vons sound veiled by comparison. Sure, the Vandies had a smoother treble and warmer midrange, but the STSs were very musical as well and a lot more dynamic. The Vons gave them competition in the low end, but didnt quite match them in the highs. The STSs arent gonna win any warmth contests, but theyre certainly very engaging paired with the right gear. Just depends what youre looking for. If you want an awesome HT speaker that also does music extremely well, then the STS is a great choice. My budget wouldve allowed me to spend twice what I spent on the Defs, and I still went for them. Make of that what you will.
FYI, you can place them fairly close to back walls, as the sub output can be adjusted. You probably won't get much depth that way, but it'll work. Mine are 3' from the back wall, and I like it that way.
I owned the ST Supertowers recently and currently own the BP2000TLs. I found the BP2000s were preferable for home theater and the ST's for music. The STs are an excellent design for music and great for HT as well (although I think the 2000s are incredible for HT).
I use the BP-7004 series for a home theater along with the powered center (2003). I NEVER intended to use them much for music and basically considered them "big" and "loud" though still impressively detailed.
Then I tried connecting them to better amps....Odyssey Stratos and quite recently the new Manley Stingray II tube amp. In the room was also a pair of borrowed Totem Hawks.
The Hawks were better in many respects...especially sounding quicker and more articulate. But they also required a lot of work to get them to image as well as the Def Techs, which presented a superior sense of scale and of course really dig down lower. Oddly we found the Def Techs more laid back. Tonally both speakers were very good, but the Totems were a hair better for jazz and small ensembles. Throwing on some Steely Dan and Lyle Lovett...The Def Techs were superior and required no sub. Going back to a Denon receiver and we heard what most people hear; a so-so big speaker that didn't sound all that coherent. Connecting the Totems to the receiver resulted in much less damage. They seemed to hold their own better with lower end stuff....an impressive achievement.
I think the lesson is obvious. The Def Techs CAN be a very good speaker when placed in a better system. But most people aren't likely to hear a pair connected to a 18 watt tube amp or even a good Stratos. They are a mid fi market speaker that can overachieve....but you need to find better electronics to hear it.
Thanks to all of you for your insight & experiences. I learned some things and I'm still willing to learn more.
It's difficult for me to audition different towers in my system. I don't believe it's worthwhile to audition in an audio store for obvious reasons.
My issue is price/performance. The STS's retail at $2999.98 are approx. a little under 4 times more than the Paradigm Studio 20's which were $800.00 retail several years ago. At this stage of break-in I just don't believe the STS's are almost four times better in performance.
Perhaps a better pair of monitors are the only way to go in my bedroom system.
Any thoughts on this?
Well, first of all, what Robbob posted makes sense. It explains why Def Tech speakers get great pro reviews and mediocre user reviews - they are very sensitive to associated gear. That's not knocking them, btw, some of the best speakers made are sensitive to the electronics they are connected to.
I don't think you can compare the Studio 20s to the STS towers - apples and oranges. Instead, I would want to compare the STS towers with a similarly priced Paradigm tower. Of course, the Paradigm would not have powered subs built in, but it would be a better comparison.
The STS tries to do it all - music, movies, full range, big dynamic capabilities, etc. I don't doubt you get a lot for your $3K. But, a monitor like the Studio 20 has a completely different design goal. The focus on these speakers is usually moderate output capability, excellent imaging and sound stage, clarity and definition in all but the lowest octave or octave and a half. If you want a fair comparison, get ahold of Def Tech's best monitor and compare that to the Studio 20s.
More of my $0.02.
I have run the ST's on ML433 amp and the STS's on a Marantz SR6004 and they both sounded very good, yes they sounded better on my Mark Levinson amp, but they were still very enjoyable on the Marantz receiver.
I'm running the STS's thru the gear mentioned above but with the Bryston integrated instead of the Arcam integrated. The Arcam is out for repair but will be returning soon. When the Paradigm's were hooked up the Arcam produced smoother highs & warmer mids than the Bryston. While I think the STS's mids & highs are tipped to the bright side the return of the Arcam may smooth them out a little. This could be the turning point on whether or not I keep the STS's.
I purchased the STS's primarily due to Roger Kanno's Soundstage review of Arcam's CD37 & A38, both in my system. He thought the pairing of the CD37 & A38 sounded "Intoxicating" when matched with the STS's. He also mentioned this pairing in a review of the STS's. Of, course "Intoxicating" is not the word I would use to describe what I've heard so far but perhaps the A38 will provide more magic than the Bryston. We'll see.
As Bondmanp stated, the associated gear can make a difference when comparing professional vs. user results.
Thank you Kennyt & bondmanp for your continued interest in this thread.
I suspect you will find what you expect when replacing the Bryston amp, they can be a little hot in the upper end, while Arcam is more relaxed and musical.
I also own STS's and purchased them primarily for home theatre purposes but have found them to be really good for music as well. Even though these are considered "lifestyle" speakers the same care is required in set up as any multi kilobuck "audiophile" system. I have had these speakers in two different rooms in my house (the living room at 15' x 20' and a basement room at 15' x 23') but the big difference between the two was I had to place the STS's on the long wall in the living room and the short wall in the basement room. By far the STS's prefer the short wall in the basement which allows for more space behind the speakers. The greater space was allowing for a more spacious sound stage as well as allowing me to "bump up" the bass dial a tad more than in the living room. Doing this gave the speaker more fullness which was one of my criticisms with them being in the living room.
So, to get back to your question, based on my experience only, if the room is too small I don't think you are going to get out of this speaker what it has to offer. While I don't think my living is too small for the STS's being on the long wall they were too close to the back wall (18" or so) to really let the bass response breath. It is correct that you can dial down the bass response on the back of the speakers but I think the fullness suffers in so doing, thereby accentuating the high end frequency response. In my basement music only system they are a much better speaker for music on the short wall with roughly 3'-6" to the back wall. This is all based on my relatively limited experience with this speaker in my systems.
One thing I can say for sure is one should not dismiss this speaker as just a "lifestyle" speaker meant to look good in a room versus sounding good in a room. Properly set up in a good system and friendly space this is every bit a high end speaker as anything in it's price range. Now that doesn't mean YOU will like the sound of this speaker better than any other (definitely on the detailed side of things and bass integration can be tricky) but personally I don't think it makes any compromises for the sake of good looks.
Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, as posted earlier, I'm stuck with my 16' X 10' bedroom. I sometimes wonder about whether they're worth their retail price. I like them and they really appear to be neutral. Some CD's sound horribly bright & others warm and involving. Perhaps your right; I may not like them regardless of room size but it would be nice to hear them at the suggested distance away from the back wall. By the way, I have the bass control set at 12 o'clock. I tried 1 o'clock but it was too much.
I must have overlooked your room dimensions but personally I think 16'x10' may be a little too tight for the STS's, not sure though as I have not tried them in a room that size. In my living room home theatre system the bass control was set between 10 and 11 o'clock. In the basement they are set between 12 and 1. I tried the 11 and 12 o'clock position in the living room system but it was too bloated (18 inches from the back wall) and due to room layout I just couldn't pull them out any further, well I could but my wife would have a cow. I'm really picky with having tight, tuneful bass so maybe I'm being overly critical but that's my musical preference. Definitely try the Arcam in your system and see if that helps with the brightness. If there is any possible way of getting a few feet behind the speakers, even temporarily, give it a shot just to hear what could be possible with the speaker.
My speakers are approx. 15" from wall to back of speaker OR 20" from wall to front of speaker. The bass is pretty acceptable but, like you, I prefer it tighter and more tuneful. It's somewhere between bloated & tuneful.