Have you moved away from full range to standmount speakers + subs?

I want to know if you have been on a journey moving from a large full range speaker to a smaller one paired wit subs, maybe even four subs.

Maybe you moved away from the big speakers because you had too much bass or you got a better soundstage from the smaller speakers. Let me know what motivated you and if you think it’s better now.

My motivation for wanting to try smaller speakers.

I have the Tekton DI and until a month ago I was using a LM845P SET amp to drive them.

It only sounded good on simple jazz and vocals but on complex music everything was falling apart.

I am not playing loud but I think it was the low 2 ohm load in the midrange that made the LM break down.

I bought a used PS Audio BHK250 and pre and it was like getting new speakers. Never ever had it occurred to me that speaker and amp matching could have such a profound effect.

So I am enjoying my speakers now and listen to music I have avoided like the plague and enjoying it (:

But all of this got me thinking, what if I paired my LM845P with an easy to drive speaker and paired it with some subs?

Then the LM845 could do what it's best at, playing glorious midrange and the subs could play the bass.

So that's my motivation for trying smaller speakers.

I am also hoping that maybe I could get better and more even bass with 2 or 4 subs. Maybe a better soundstage because the small speakers have a very small baffle.

Your speakers are easy to drive. Size isn't the issue. Tekton makes the Perfect SET for a reason, you know? 
You will definitely get better bass with 4 subs. This is always true regardless of speakers and amp.

But the idea you get better soundstage from smaller speakers, I wish you could've been here to experience my giant Moabs disappear into a  wide deep palpable stage better than the tiny stand mounts that cost 3X as much. There's a lot more to it than baffle size, you know?
The idea that smaller speakers yield a better soundstage is a misnomer. It’s also a sales line for manufacturers and dealers. If people really knew that the small speaker yields a compromised soundstage and dynamics, they may not buy them. It is possible to get better imaging, however, with bookshelf speakers, but that entirely depends upon which tower speaker is being compared. Better big tower speakers make nearly all bookshelf/monitor speakers sound wanting, especially if they do not have a subwoofer(s) associated. One of the most telling characteristics of larger speakers is their ability to create a sense of scale that smaller speakers cannot.

martin-anderson, your speakers did not magically change their character, that is in relation to other speakers. All speakers can be changed as dramatically as yours. Audiophiles think they have done something particularly wonderful by pairing a more suitable amp. You can do that with any speaker. The precise same degree of change is available to any speaker. It’s not unique to your current one.

You have demonstrated the fact that everyone who argues that speakers are "easy to drive", thus a lower powered amp is sufficient, is literally directing you to achieve poorer performance in several parameters of sound quality. It’s a good thing you didn’t listen to them and tried a more powerful amp. My guess is that you also don’t sense more distortion, but less. Your speakers were being driven weakly, so the bass was insipid, the soundstage not great, and the tonality poorer. Now, you have a more balanced sounding speaker.

I use the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier following the review at Dagogo.com on all speakers, even the very efficient PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn (reviewed). You bet I put 600wpc on that speaker because it seems like a completely different experience than some pissy 100W tube amp. I have zero interest in such pathetic amplification, which is also noisier than the Legacy amp. Want a downgraded experience? Feel free to go that route. Lower power tube lovers think they’re genius, but they are hearing insipid sound. Whatever.

In regards to pairing your tube amp with easy to drive speaker and subs, you’ll have that same huge spectrum of performance available. There is no assurance that with any given speaker you will love the result. You very likely would have to make a bunch of changes to that rig to optimize it. That’s the way it goes in system building, but it’s fun and worth the effort when you find ideal combinations of gear.

Bottom line: Your desire to use smaller speakers with subs very likely would cause you to lose attributes of larger speaker systems that you would not be able to recreate, and the amp matching would not bring them to you. Feel free to message me to continue discussion, as I currently have the Wharfedale Opus 2-M2 set up with Legacy Audio XTREME XD Subs (all reviewed) in a comparison to the King Sound King III electrostatic speaker. When switching between them the attributes of each system are striking.

Keep trying things. You will begin to have your eyes opened to the vastness of the performance spectrum - for any speaker.

millercarbon, I didn’t know you had Tekton speakers!!!!

Okay, now I can see how this gets really old. Such a weird phenomena to make sure everyone knows what kind of speakers you have and to only talk about those speakers, over and over and over…….

Take a well deserved break man!  It’s boarder line psychotic after a while.  
"...The idea that smaller speakers yield a better soundstage is a misnomer..."

I agree.
"...The idea that smaller speakers yield a better soundstage is a misnomer..."

And here I was thinking for decades now that this was a truth.

I've listened to the bookshelf version and the tower version of the same speakers with the same drivers in rooms before and every single time the bookshelf had a larger soundstage.  Just my experience though.
I agree with Douglas Schroeder in the effects of underpowered speakers. My experience that poorly controlled woofers is a more common issue than the old and overemphasized sensitivity/watts/distance/SPL calculation. Generally, the more compact the speaker, the more power it requires to sound normal. My opinion is that subs alone will not make up for that. 
I wemt the other route. I started out with B and W bookshelves and a pair of subs on the recommendation of someone. They couldn't move enough air to fill the room without driving them hard and I think it's why I had such a hard time integrating my subs. Ended up getting a pair of Dali Opticon 8 and voila! Happiness.
Big speakers WITH subs is the way to go. 
Listen to Douglas Schroeder he is one of the few good reviews left. 

Look at what JBL does with their active M2 horn speaker. They put crazy amounts of power on it on a very efficient speaker. 
For me it was bass and space.  With a separate sub, I have much better control over the bass and integration with the room than I would have with a full range.
I use a full size narrow baffle speaker cabinet, but it's NOT a full range speaker.  I could never get the mechanical timing correct, so I split the cabinets.

100hz and below OB servo plates with 12" HE drivers.
100-300hz Mid Bass Columns with correction and direct driver coupling.
300hz and UP NB Small Planar/Ribbon columns, valve driven.

To tell the truth, one of the BEST systems I've ever heard was a stand mount speaker AND Servo subs.. The ROOM was still 50% of that great combo though.. 16 x 20 x 9. It had a built in gear rack (LOW) into the front wall. It was tube driven monitors and GRs OB servos.


TRY to find a pair.. They are like gold when they are set up right..
First time I ever saw and understood the reason for bearding a stand mount speaker.. GR OB servos and super fast planar/ribbons..

Time to feed the chickens..

I'm with Doug and James on this unless you are in a very small room.
as in 12 x 10 or less.

I just bought a new sub this week from REL. I plan to add more subs as $ allow. They will go with my bigger speakers. 

Small speakers-say under 8", just sound small. You can not achieve the same amount of air movement. Physics. You will get a tighter, faster sound with the smaller sizes so it is all a trade-off.

Multi subs add a dimension to the soundstage you will not achieve without them.

Nuff said.
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There are significant advantages to reducing cabinet size with almost all speaker designs. Narrow baffles, etc. Cabinets can do nothing but detract from your experience and the design of the cabinet itself is just an exercise in minimizing problems. Having separate subs, especially with bass arrays, gives you incredible flexibility that you will never have with larger speaker systems.

So you may get a larger sense of scale from large speakers, but you will lose a great deal of other equally important things from large "mirror image" designs like the PAP. It is very difficult to design an accurate, neutral large speaker using dynamic drivers in particular. 

random consonants writes:
millercarbon, I didn’t know you had Tekton speakers!!!!

Okay, now I can see how this gets really old. Such a weird phenomena to make sure everyone knows what kind of speakers you have and to only talk about those speakers, over and over and over…….

Take a well deserved break man! It’s boarder line psychotic after a while.

And I also have integers, and tubes, and a Pods and mass, and well frankly there is a rather long list of things that I have. One notably absent from the list is patience with obnoxious arrogant types, especially ones not contributing anything but insults to the conversation. And I know what you’re thinking but don’t bother, there is another list you don’t know about and you just made it in near record time.

I agree 100% with blkwrxwgn. These shameless shills do nothing but overshadow anything of merit which you have ever said. You using the words arrogant and obnoxious concerning another member is a laugh. Enough already!

hahahahaha this is coming from a TEKTON owner!!!!

You won’t find me making up for my lack of whatever it is that you have issues with, I don’t need to talk about the speakers every damn day.

I’m sorry man but you are ridiculous.

I used to stand up for the owners but just a few weeks of this crap and I’m at my last nerves already. You guys think it’s bad here, go to the Facebook page for Tekton.

I asked a question once and people would give answers that had NOTHING to do with what I asked but they would talk about how their speaker was so good, even when it had again nothing to do with the questions I asked. It’s a weird cult.
While I have heard small monitors in confined spaces sound good. My experience is that the best sound is achieved by good quality towers. The tower speakers have been designed for coherence top to bottom. Ample amplification makes for fully fleshed out sound. Additional subwoofers can extend the sound stage and fill in the lowest registers. 
Yes a excellent pair of subs the SVS 3000 micro for $1500 which has dual  apposing 8 inch drivers , and high current mosfet  800 watt amp.
a no brainer with a great extensive control app you can use with any phone or tablet Highly recommended, if you want even more the Svs SB 3000.good  stand mount speakers disappear better 
as well as image better-then big floor-standers , and these subs are very fast and tuneful.
Take a well deserved break man!  It’s boarder line psychotic after a while.   Report thisNow ya get it,lol...its easier to  just flag his post and maybe at some point the site will remove him for bad behavior
Millercarbon “One notably absent from the list is patience with obnoxious arrogant types, especially ones not contributing anything but insults to the conversation.“

dear kettle, you’re black. Love, pot.
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I went the opposite direction.  I've had dynaudio C1's for years.  I recenlty bought dyn conf 30's, which are a floor stander.  The 30's beat the C1's in every way, including sound stage.  I also regularly listen to the 30's at very low volumes, and they sound fantastic in that setting too.
I think it really boils down to room size and what it will accommodate. I have a 13’ by 17’ room with sloped ceilings and a bit of an irregular shaped rear wall and full size speakers just flat out over power the room. I sort of did the exact opposite of tanglewood and recently purchased Dynaudio C1’s and the bass is the best I’ve had in the room yet though I’m having issues with what seems to be a closed in high end with those speakers but that’s a different story. I also have two subs but frankly in my room with the C1’s I don’t need them. As far as staging the C1’s are excellent but I’ve had large speakers that are nearly as good if not as good.

Maybe a better soundstage because the small speakers have a very small baffle.

Imaging and soundstage can affect each other. It’s not always clear what is being described. Sometimes, a wide sound stage is confused with diffuse imaging. As @arch2 stated above, the results are based on how the speakers and the room interact with each other.

My first experience with ‘pinpoint’ imaging was with the Audio Physics Virgo speaker - playing Leo Kottke’s ‘Peculiaroso’. It was like listening to Leo playing a live acoustic set - in a small club – with no amplification. The ‘size’ of the musical notes from the acoustic instruments sounded as if they were coming from real instruments – in a real room. The sound stage was incredibly deep – but not so wide. The imaging was very defined. It sounded very real.

Playing ‘Peculiaroso’ on Maggie 3’s, the SQ was the complete opposite. Leo’s voice was 5 feet wide. The musical notes from the acoustic instruments floated from different locations in the mix – but had no definition. The sound stage was very wide - but not so deep. It sounded very nice – like a really good stereo.

Much depends on how the listener interprets what they’re hearing - and how they communicate it to others.

   I've had setups of both kinds in different rooms. ROOMS..that's the key. A lot to read and learn about room treatments. But that's for another post. There's no way to determine whether tower or stand mounts will sound  best, worse, or the same in your room. But, I have learned that subs are necessary with stand mounts. The more..the better. Two subs may sound perfectly adequate for your room but, in most cases, four are better because room modes are more easily dealt with.
   I'm not familiar with your amp but, to incorporate the subs, some type of bass management is key.

Excellent points steakster and my comment above just proves your point. In my last sentence I should have referenced imaging, not staging. 
blkwrxwgn - you must be new to ago, MC does this sort of thing many times a day. He comes to the rescue of any post regarding his speaker brand (I'm not going to mention it because it will wake him) to state how arrogant or ill informed the poster is by not having an away welcome toward his speaker. Many of us have ignored him for quite some time.

As for stand mount or towers, it depends on the room. What is a tower but some woofers/mids/tweeter in 1 box, so if you break up the combo into 2 separate boxes, IMO you would have more flexibility in placing your speakers. Placing the woofers in certain areas for the best sound might not be the best location for the midrange/tweeter, or vice-versa.
I went from floorstanders to high performance monitors and sub years ago,  my room was the deciding factor.   Recently I went the other way, large speakers , with and without sub.   I'm glad I did , I now have a room that is well damped , so well that my Velodyne SMS 1 barely applies EQ in auto mode.   No more standing waves.   Compact systems can sound great but lack the weight and body of good floor standers.    I had a serious room mode at 40 Hz in my old house that made any large speaker sound boomy,  which is why I went the sat/sub route.

When you think about it, many speaker stands take up the same real estate as many floor standing speakers.....so if the room allows I'll take floor standers any day
Yes, I have been temporarily forced to either listen full time to headphones or purchase a near field speaker setup because I could no longer access my big stereo system due to construction. I tried listening to headphones only for a while but missed speakers so badly I decided to put together a small stereo system. 

My primary goal was low distortion and secondary was a good balance of remaining characteristics.  I went into this thinking It would be very affordable because everything will be much smaller, but I quickly discovered that this was no easy feat without nearly as much amplifier power as my big system to drive small speakers that cost way more than I had imagined.  I found that I really liked the sound of Wilson Audio Tune Tots but after listening for a week at home the missing low end felt like the loss of a family member.  What I finally ended up with wasn't the affordable system I thought it would be, but fortunately also wasn't the most expensive.  I bought two Wilson Audio Watch Dog subwoofers and I am driving them with a Dan D'agostino Classic amplifier and the Tune Tots are being driven by Dan D'agostino M400 amps.  The lesson I learned was the smaller the stereo system, the harder to achieve great sound without increasingly bigger dollars.  Almost inversely proportional it seems like to me.  

My best advice is to buy at least two subwoofers that are designed for music and not for movie LFE to go with your main speakers.  Best of luck to you and try to enjoy the journey.
   First...I realize that some may see posts from MC as offensive I, however, do not. He has a wealth of experience and usually contributes in a constructive manner. His preferences are his own.
   From my previous post I mentioned the use of stand mounts with a sub(s) and added that bass management is also important. Stand mount speakers come with many features and in many price ranges. Some can rival the performance of some towers. The "deep" bass would probably elude most. That's where bass management comes in when using stand mounts with subs.
   A stand mount speaker is capable of delivering sound in a range of frequencies. The lower frequency (bass) of those speakers have a certain limit. Below that frequency is where the sub(s) come in. Relieving the frequencies below the capability of the mains makes the mains (stand mounts) better at delivering their best performance. Bass management can be achieved different ways...whether built into the amp, HT amps, DSP, active crossovers, and others. The best performance of stand mounts and subs must take this into account.
You may be able to use small amps on the main speakers with a sub woofer but only if the sub is powered and if it has a high pass filter to take energy out of the bottom of the main speakers.

But I always recall my friend George Bischoff(Melos electronics that were hundreds of tube triode watts) who believed that a good big one beats a good little one every time.
In my case, I was deciding between B&W 705 and 704 (KEF R3 is also in the mix).  BestBuy has them side by side, so I can compare.  I didn't notice any advantage from 705, however, the base quality from the 704 is quite obvious to me.  Driven by Hegel H120 with the right source, the 704 sound stage can be huge.  I doubt I will ever want a even bigger stage. 
From the physics side, bookshelf share one driver for mid and base.  Floor stander have a dedicated mid range.  I would guess a dedicated one will do the job easier and better than the double duty one.
What is with that mc guy and the Tekton love affair?
Few speakers really reach that magic full range level
Tekton…. Well their not on that list. Mine are…opps can I say that Lol 


is Diana Krall really 10’ tall ? Now that we know Leo Kottke is 5’ wide, it’s all starting to make sense…

Big baffle is an excellent mechanical averaging machine, just like a horn is an excellent multiplier…… think that thru.

The burr under saddle  is the BHK amp woke up the OP speakers…

Note - I have heard the subject Line Magnetic amp in my room on 87 db speakers. It did fantastic…because the full range speakers are DESIGNED w bespoke drivers….and a filter network designed to be an easy load…..
wrx it took u a while to tumble to reality…. rest assured he has never heard a Bascom King designed amplifier…..he is a voracious reader….

heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend…who read about it…online….

"Full Range" speakers are generally small speakers in the same box with larger speakers...sometimes with separately powered woofers. That's it. 
Someone mentioned Leo Kottke. I had the pleasure of seeing him play at the Paramount Theatre in Austin probably 20 years ago and he is simply incredible. If you close our eyes you would swear there are 4 people playing guitar on stage. Laura Brannigan opened for him. She was superb as well. So sorry she is no longer with us.
What is with that mc guy and the Tekton love affair?........Simple,he is a shill for the company.Continually trying to keep the conversation going to promote sales...the question that should be asked is why the site allows it?

Thanks all! Lots of great comments.

Going to try the Buchardt S400 Mk2 they have a 45 day return policy.

Also a friend of mine has two REL 10” subs I can have on loan for a month. So all is set up for a great hifi experiment (:

Maybe smaller speakers will fit my room better. They also have a waveguide so less reflections.

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The OP felt his Tektons may have to go because they don't work well with his favored amp. MC offered a possibly solution with his experience with his ... TEKTONs. This is what the OP asked. Funny, Jesus was overly persecuted too! 😄👍
Unless you just joined a few days ago, you need to understand that MC has been shilling Synergistic Research, Raven, Townshend and Tekton for months if not over a year. These shills go far beyond the casual acknowledgements of a satisfied customer. 
I've moved from smaller speakers and subs to full range speakers. But I think that's because I now have more space but I was also influenced by the misinformation about smaller speakers having better imagining.

I think the more important thing is amp/speaker matching. 

For my first set of true hi-fi speakers, I chose Salk Songtowers. Partly because they seemed like a natural progression from bookshelf/subwoofer set up I was accustomed to. They were also well reviewed.

I recently sold my Salk Songtowers. They were driven by a Primaluna Evo 400. The person buying it wanted to hear them first before committing to the purchase. He was concerned about bass response. 

I cued up UB40 Red Wine. I took him 2 seconds of the needle drop to commit. He was super impressed and asked 'no subwoofer, right?'.

The Salks are easy to drive. But there is a very slight impedance dip below 4 Ohms in the bass. They were 88db efficient. Not bad.

I currently own Tannoy Turnberry. These are 93db efficient and 8 Ohms (never dips below 5 Ohms). What has been a revelation is that I'm hearing things 'up front' that were pushed to the back in the Salks. Also I now know what effortless bass sounds like.
This is simply a very good speaker/amp match. I think that is more important than speaker type.

I would not have been able to tell you Salks were missing anything until the switch. They were great speakers that needed a different amp.

However, I think I will not buy anything less efficient than 91 db or, more importantly, anything that dips below 4 Ohms impedance. Because it starts to limit the options for a suitable amplifier.
The Constant product BS can be an opinion, I guess you have to allow that. What’s annoying is the look at me crud. Most do…once ! That Company could advertise painting their product in lead paint to help with noise transfer… you’ed see it in Buddies sound room..cause it all helps and that’s the best way….
What ??

Buchardt S400 MK II are excellent speakers, but at 88dB/4 ohms, they’re not an ideal match for a LM 845 P SET amplifier. For an SET amplifier you want speakers with high sensitivity (above ~93dB) and a flat impedance curve that ideally averages 6 ohms or above.

A push-pull tube amplifier with high quality output transformers would drive the Buchardt S400 MK II better (also 4 ohm Tekton Double Impact), in my opinion.

A pair of 8 ohm Tekton Double Impact would likely match the LM 845P better than the 4 ohm DI version (you don’t state if yours are 4 ohm or 8 ohm, but I assume 4 ohm since that’s the standard configuration).

Also, a pair of Tekton Perfect SET (96dB/8 ohm) would match the LM 845P well. Very well, in fact.

It will be interesting to read your impression of the Buchardt S400 MK II with LM 845 P SET amplifier.

audition_audio, with MC's high post count in a short period it seems he just post's a whole lot, (many times being helpful) but not just about those few brands mentioned. Jesus was overly persecuted too! 😄👍