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


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.

https://www.marten.se/products/

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.

What would you choose?


Happy New Year! :D 
sangbro
Stand mounted generally have better imaging while floor standing have more bass. The Duo appear to be the better model. So, quality over quantity. It's up to you after that. 
I totally agree with you. 
For me, (who like piano sound in Classical music) I find that more bass often somehow provides deeper piano sound depth. 
Of course I need to hear in person but since it’s relatively minor brand in the US, the situation gets tricky. 
Also, I think that short term impression vs long term impression might be different. (In the long term, which advantage works better? More bass? Better imaging?)

Marten puts the exact same price for both, so it’s interesting. Maybe quality. 
In a small room I have always preferred a stand mount speaker over a floorstander.
Here is a review!!
https://www.stereophile.com/content/marten-oscar-duo-loudspeaker
Thank you!

I basically compare Parker Duo vs Oscar Trio.
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 - 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.
If you buy the Duo, you'll always be wondering what the Trio could have brought. So, in a way, you may have to suffer your own curiosity and need for lower bass. Even if the overall last iota of quality is sacrificed. 
Or...you could go Duo and add a REL T5i sub or two if you needed more low end.
I love the Marten line.  The Parkers have that rear firing passive driver.  The Oscars do not.  
You will find that the Parkers are going to deliver a bigger soundstage above 40hz where most music lives.  You will find deeper classical pieces might do better on the Oscars.  Romeo and Juliet would be better on the Oscars.  Beethoven's 9th better on the Parker.   
i have to agree with @noromance on this one. 
Adding a couple of RELs to the equation will help you on the low end. I went from floors to B&W bookshelves. The one thing on this though that I miss is the ability to move air when I want to.
A stand mount with a REL or good sub would be great for your room. Just spent 6 months trying speakers. I had a couple from Fritz Heiler on loan and did a couple reviews:

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn3h3Tk6PzE&t=28s&ab_channel=DH

Print:
Carrera (the video above): https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/review-fritz-heiler-s-carrera-be-bookshelf-speakers
Carbon 7 SE Mk 2: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/review-fritz-heiler-s-carbon-7-se-mk-2-bookshelf-speakers

Eventually, I chose Salk speakers, but I am sending back the Carreras today to Fritz and I took a last listen. Wow, they really, really compete with everything else I heard, and Fritz is great to deal with on options, price, etc. As others will tell you, Fritz's speakers have been widely reviewed and extolled. They are sold directly; there is no middleman cut, no dealer or distributor cut, no marketing or advertising overhead. These speakers easily compete with others that cost much more. American made (if you care) by a craftsman in the business 40 years. You know the names KEF, Klipsch, ELAC, Polk, etc. Get to know the name "Fritz" because these excel.
Thank you for advice. 
My curiosity haunts me until I get a bigger house and a bigger speaker that has everything. Also this can’t happen... well very unlikely... :(

@verdantaudio since you know marten, I’d like to ask you for this... how about adding REL T5i to parker? Would REL somewhat cover Oscar’s advantage?
Honestly this is my first time hearing the name fritz. Thank you for the detailed review. I’ll check it out!
@sangbro He's just a super nice guy, really listens to people -- no ego. Just a craftsman. He's been well reviewed and making speakers for a long time. He's happy to offer trials and will talk on the phone. I spent 8 months with his Carbon 7's and about 5 months with his Carreras. Just lovely sounding. I put it all in my write ups. Message me if you wish, or just give him a call.
@hilde45 Why are you sending the Carreras back and going with the Salks?

http://www.fritzspeakers.com/sound.asp
Scroll down here to see the current range.  Consult with Fritz directly to see which one fits your needs best.
Bigger is better but it would be hard to choose between the two without an audition. 
I also have a pair of Fritz Carrera BE's.  Outstanding speakers.  Now that I've had them for awhile, I don't know what I would consider an upgrade from them... maybe some Joseph Audio Pulsar Graphenes?  Honestly, I'm done buying conventional box speakers because the Carreras are just so dang good.  My next speaker purchase will be something entirely different and will be a second set of speakers.  The Carreras are going no where.

I don't think the Carreras can be beat for $3500 for a stand mounted monitor...  

Fritz is exceptional to work with.  Easy to get ahold of and his build times are reasonable if he doesn't already have something available.  A few competitors require a 6 month build time; not so with Fritz.  Usually 4-5 weeks in plenty of time if he's doing a custom / fresh build.

Give Fritz a call and discuss with him what your are looking for and see if it's a good fit for you!

Depends how important and how much work you are willing to put into the lowest octave.

The Fritz bookshelves are excellent choices, and with the Scan speak mid-woofers have amazing bass for the size, plenty for a lot of modest listening rooms. 

If you pair them with a good sub, excellently integrated, you'd have a world beating system. However, as I write here, it's not easy:

https://speakermakersjourney.blogspot.com/2020/04/how-to-not-buy-subwoofer.html

Personally, unless you have a dedicated listening room, nothing beats stand mounts plus a sub.  Your ability to locate the sub ideally, and put an EQ in line with it while avoiding degrading your mains results in a wonderful system.
@dadork I listened extensively to both and they were very close in sound. There were two main reasons. Besides waiting 7 months for the Salks to be built for me, my space has some constraints that make the front porting on the Salks work well. Also, the finish on the Salks is quite remarkable and they’re quite "bespoke." The Fritz’s are very nice, too, but you can see on Salk’s website what he does with wood. So, kind of just went with the speakers I had semi-committed to, liked equally well, and were better looking. That said, my Salks were about $4k with shipping and tax, and I think the Fritz’s could (depending on specific factors) come in even $700 below that. Again, doing a head-to-head last night, the following thought crossed my mind when I heard the Carreras: "Damn. That's good."
@hilde45
Fritz allowed you to tryout his speakers for 8 months and another pair for 5 months and then let you return them at no cost? He must be some swell guy!
@donvito I didn't ask for them. He offered them to me to try out. Shows were cancelled, business was slow, and he had read my posts about putting together a system and my speaker quest. He chose me and I was happy to try them out. Maybe you'll get lucky, too!
Of the 2 you posted I would go with the Parker duo. In room response will probably be lower than 36hz. If you consider other speakers you might look at Dutch and Dutch 8c they would be a lot easier to integrate in your room. 
@hilde
Thanks for the info. I just might give him a call and see if I can give his speakers a try!
@donvito He'd be glad to hear from you. Wish you the best and Happy New Year!
@hilde45 Gotcha! I think it was probably you who was talking about the Fritz a couple of months or longer ago. I checked out the site and like what I saw. Maybe someday... a bit out of my price range currently and I need to spend some time with the B&Ws I just got. Happy New Year
I’d be concerned with the bass output of the Trio in your room.  It’s actually a 2-way speaker so both mid/bass drivers are going to reinforce bass.  I had a similar speaker design once and the bass output was surprising and not really suited for a smaller room.  As others mentioned, I’d go for the Duo and and two small subs so you get more full range but are able to better manage the bass in your room.  Another good option would be the Joseph Audio Pulsar 2.
I’ll second the Dutch and Dutch 8c as well, if you could swing a pair.  Supposedly stupid good...
Thank you. 

Yes, bass might be overwhelming since my room is not fully treated but only has limited number of acoustic panels in key points.
I will check out Joseph Audio Pulsar 2.

I really like D&D 8c too. I have a different pretty well made active speaker and see the huge benefit of all in one concept when everything is integrated well. 

The honest part is, there is really no way to change anything in this design. (like amp) And, D&D 8c is very good but not my preference perfectly. Also, when I hear D&D 8c, personally, it reminds me good studio monitor speakers. I can go for studio monitors with dead neutral sound. I tried... maybe the best for music work, but not enough fun for me to bring it home for a leisure purpose.  
Alta IO are on sale.  Might check out reviews on them.

IMO any generalizations about the two types, with respect to bass or imaging, are just that -- generalizations.  Especially the imaging part. The choice is mostly a matter of (a) budget (since bookshelf speakers generally are less expensive than floor-standers in the same product line) and (b) convenience in placement.

It's easy to add bass extension with a subwoofer(s).
Poor imaging is harder to fix (if it's due to limitations in your speakers).
Although, there are floor-standers with excellent imaging.

A bookshelf or table tends to be a bad place for speaker imaging, so for high fidelity you probably want them on stands positioned out a little into the room. This is tantamount to a pair of 2-piece floor-standers.  My floor-standers do weigh 70 lbs. each, so for those times when I need to move them, I'd have been better off with the stand-mounted version. 
Held22, can’t beat the Salks and worth the wait. Love Jim Salk!
I like bookshelf speakers and subs. They're easier to move around and transport and sound very good. I had some original Cornwalls years ago and most recently KEF Ref 3's. I have no regrets not having 100 lb speakers. Just clean up your electricity and play with the connections.
Go with flour standing. With bookshelf ones you need good stands and at least one sub. Yo my taste, subwoofers do not complete the speakers as well as the woofers integrated in speakers. 
I have had four or five monitors and three or four floor standers. Subjectively, I like the efficiency of design in a monitor. I like tiny British sports cars too, so that’s a matter of taste, to me. Objectively, way less money spent on cabinet wood can allow the builder to use better drivers and crossover components. (I would ask.) If you’re looking at top tier brands, I’ll wager towers will provide a big soundstage and image as well as monitors. But listen for it if you get to compare. 

Also objectively, 1. if there is a big price bump within a product line from monitor to tower I’d go with a monitor. 2.  Also, if the (pricier) tower doesn’t go down to 20 hz I would go with monitors, because... 3. Setting up monitors in your room is easier because a variable has been removed—low bass waves. When I finally got a subwoofer (I waited too long) I found that with all the setup tools available these days dialing it in was easier that walking towers around the room trying to kill standing waves. 4. And also, if the tower doesn’t go all the way low, one day you’ll want a sub anyway. (Take a look at SVS, btw.) So you will have paid a lot for that extra 35 - 60 Hz low end of the tower. Have fun! I love upgrade/shopping time!
+1 chuckjones. I would add that your 14'x13' room will augment low bass. 
Possibly of interest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rbTLwPlz-4&ab_channel=AcousticsInsider

Gist: small room can handle either; more flexibility with stand mounts. Main game-changing issue is whether the speakers create an unsolvable bass mgmt problem.
I agree with many here about the long term value of the best monitor you like and can afford and then augment any needed low end with a quality sub or two. I have done this successfully with monitors from Dynaudio, Volant, KEF, Vienna Acoustics and now Evolution Acoustics MMMicro One and REL t9i and t5i .Go for quality internals and a sound that you cannot get enough of. My current speakers are 30Hz - 35kHz. I prefer the extended top end as I have a large collection of higher resolution recordings and SACD titles. Good luck in your search 😀 
I’ve found that narrow floor standers with side firing woofers sound best in a smaller room. Currently using Audio Physic Scorpios. Not new, but everything newer that I’ve tried doesn’t compare. Great imaging, detail and bass.
I have had a number of stand mounts... a few I regret selling .  Even with a good sub there is a lot of content missing down low.    Right in that region where the speaker rolls off and the subs x over meet .   I listened to a pair of Cornwalls a while back and most recently Forte and small speakers just can't resolve something like an upright bass convincingly.   That said I have been gravitating toward larger speakers lately.   The 700 series take up the same real estate.....