Monitor Audio GR 10's are great sounding "bookshelf" speakers! Also, heard Revel M20's that sound great. IMHO of course. Listen for yourself. Both of these are in the $1500-$2000 range new.
15 responses Add your response
Does putting "bookshelf" speakers actually on a bookshelf necessarily kill everything a high quality speaker has to offer, or is that only true for bookshelf speakers that arn't really designed for bookshelf or next to the wall applications? It seems to me that there are many instances where the only place to put a speaker is on a shelf or on the wall. Have high end speaker manufacturers totally ignored this marget segment, or is it impossible to design for (which doesn't seem likely)? The Revel M20's mentioned apparently have a "External Placement Compensation Control for optimizing the loudspeakers response for flush-mount, bookshelf, or stand-mount applications". So it seems at least Revel have thought about it. Are they alone?
The worst scenario ... putting a speaker on a shelf inside a bookcase or wall unit or even on top of an armoire, for that matter, will pretty much kill the soundstage of the speaker. Sealed/acoustic suspension speakers will work out better than bass reflex speakers (whether you plug the ports or not) ... but the placement is very far from ideal. I have this situation today with two of my systems. The sound is still good and enjoyable... but I am not taking full advantage of all that the speaker has to offer.
An open shelf makes for a somewhat better situation, but it is still a real challenge for the loudspeaker. Also, most shelves are not at a proper height for "sweet spot" or "critical" listening ... they are usually higher.
Granted this is a real world problem for bedroom or office systems ... but it is not a market segment that many manufacturers have actively pursued. I can name some speakers that may work ... but not many speakers. Granted most audiophile speakers will sound good ... but not great in these types of set-ups. .
I would not spend major dollars. I would still keep with a sealed box design (think NHT SB 2 or SB 3) or possibly, a front ported speaker design. Some of the Gallo speakers (single & double) may work out really well here. They are at least designed for this type of duty.
Good luck, Rich
I don't beleive Lotusm50 or I am taling about placing a spekaer inside a bookcase or on top of an armoire, although I can see the practicality of that placement in many instances.
Rather, I am talking about either directly mounting the speaker to the wall (with either dedicated or generic mounts to do this), or placing the speaker on a dedicated shelf not much bigger than the speaker (and firmly mounted to the wall and at a proper height).
The prognosis, based on your assessments appears dire. Maybe I should stick to the Mirage Omnistats. Simply mounted to the wall (masonary mounting) as per Mirage's instructions, I have a pretty impressive soundstage and imaging. The soundstage goes well outside the bounds of the speaker positions, and there is very well-defined depth. I definately have images out in front of speakers, and sound that seems to come from deep in the wall. Seperation of sounds is distinct, and they all seem to have their own body or volume. I'm sure some of the crossover mods have helped, as has the Kora amp, in creating this. Maybe Mirage's basic design of the Omnistat nails the challenge of how to make a wall-mounted speaker perform. Instead of looking at a set of Revel M20's or similar monitors, perhaps I should just continue to tweak the Onmistats to continue to refine the sound (hmm, a pair of Alpha Core air core foil Inductors might do nicely)...
Any other thoughts on wall-mounted sound quality?
Bookshelves are for books. Not for speakers. Never the twain should meet. There's no setting on a speaker that will save it (sonically) from the deleterious effects a wall of books will have. Don't waste your money on world class bookshelf speakers. Man, how anything can be (sound is the better word) world class sitting on a bookshelf is beyond me. Hey, do you think I feel strongly about this? peace, warren
Warrenh- I'm glad you feel strongly about this, but you aren't really addressingthe situation I talking about. As I pointed out and clarified, I am talking about,
"directly mounting the speaker to the wall (with either dedicated or generic mounts to do this), or placing the speaker on a dedicated shelf not much bigger than the speaker (and firmly mounted to the wall and at a proper height)." Which is different than what you are going on about.
This is not about placing a speaker on a bookshelf with a wall of books. I would also suggest that saying, "Man, how anything can be (sound is the better word) world class sitting on a bookshelf is beyond me." Isn't really very enlightening or helpful. If would be good to know why you feel that to be true. Are you saying that a high-end speaker can not be designed to sound properly mounted on a wall, (or just on bookshelf with books)? What is the basis for your statement? Is there a technical analysis that supports it or have you just heard everything? Are you familiar with all the speakers available and their design goals and criteria? I would really like to know if there is a technical basis for your beliefs. Is there some law of physics out there that says it is impossible to design a speaker to sound properly mounted on a wall? Or is it that since you personally haven't seen or heard one it must be impossible?
Wall? Bookshelf? All the same. Kills, what could be a great sounding speaker. You will get good sound. But, I'm not into good. Sorry if I got off the path. It happens. Technical? What do you need to know that will help your ears discern what they hear. Good is good. Greatness cannot be attained with wall mounting. That's all I'm saying. I won't beat this to death anymore. Good luck. peace, warren
HOW do you know, "Greatness cannot be achieved with wall mounting"? Yes, "let your ears discern", but have you heard EVERYTHING to know definitively? I know that I haven't, that's why I asked. How many speakers have you heard mounted on a wall? How many speakers have you heard DESIGNED to be mounted on a wall? Have you heard all of them, or even any of them? How do you know that it can't be done just because you haven't heard it? So far, you have given NO reason why it can not be done. Just because you havewn't heard any thing convincing in the small set of speakers (and I imagine, VERY small set) that you have heard mounted on a wall (not buried in a bookcase) doesn't mean that a speaker does not exist that can perform well wall-mounted, and doesn't mean one can not be designed. Try to think beyond your narrow set of experiences. People who have sais, "I haven't seen it so it can't be done", have been a drag on society for centuries.