Why bookshelf type speakers are not high end


This is another MUST READ.

I am sick of seeing bookshelf speakers costing tens of thousands of bucks and are claimed to be high end. 

magico has done very expensive bookshelf speakers. There are many other examples.

Bookshelves obviously cannot reach down to 20hz. Even at 40hz most are struggling to do full output. What do you expect from a 6 inch woofer? The more you try to get more bass out of a small speaker the more tradeoffs there are like lower efficiency, low output and distortion. 

This is not true high end territory. The idea you can have your cake and eat it is a myth. 

Many audiophiles do NOT use their standmount speakers with a subwoofer. Despite this, they think they are enjoying high end sound. 
Human hearing goes down to 20hz. If it cant reach, then it doesnt deserve the high end title. 

The LS50 is an example of a speaker that has achieved rave reviews. I have heard them and can confirm there is no bass. That alone disqualifies them. 

Do not be fooled. If you want high end sound, you need perfect bass down to 20hz. Which by the way opens another can of worms because then you get problems with room modes. 












kenjit
I love it.

"You don’t know what high end is. "

"Everything is terrible."


"I actually don’t have an answer for your."

The trifecta of Kenjit’s dogma continues to get refined and sharpened.
Erik, do you use a sub with your standmounts? Are you one of those audiophiles that I have alluded to?
I got a deal on my ls50s...$900 not tens of thousands. Lucky me!  The subwoofer cost < half that even used.  

Does that make me a bad person?
Were the reviewers using a subwoofer when they reviewed the LS50?
If you want high end sound, you need perfect bass down to 20hz.

I've never heard that said by anyone, anywhere.  Who says high-end sound requires "perfect bass down to 20Hz?"  That's your opinion, and likely ONLY your opinion.  It's like saying if you want a fast car you need to go 0-60mph in under 3.5 seconds.  It's a totally arbitrary number.  Is a Porsche CaymanS then not a fast car?  This is stupid. 

Kenjit wrote: "If you want high end sound, you need perfect bass down to 20 Hz."

Soix responded: "I’ve never heard that said by anyone, anywhere."

Nor have I.

Kenjit, I do not think "perfect bass" is even possible from a home audio system. Do you?

I would not use the wording you have chosen, but do agree that speakers with a single 6" woofer have limitations relative to larger systems.  But the larger woofers I use have limitations too. 

Nor would I try to impose my definition of "high end" on anyone else; good speakers with 6" woofers and imperfect bass can and do provide enormous enjoyment for many people. What’s wrong with that? 

Duke
If you guys keep feeding the Troll he won't go away and of all people Duke you should know better.  
It depends how much you care about high quality sound. I thought being an audiophile meant aiming for the highest possible level and always trying to go even higher. 
being an audiophile meant aiming for the highest possible level

It can also mean enjoying the sonic improvement better reproduction equipment brings, no? And enjoying the journey of improving the sound — the journey, not reaching the end of the journey:)!
I always thought that "hi-end" defines *fidelity* of reproduction, not the frequency range.
But I agree that we should be aware that bookshelves are limited range speakers, i.e. in some pieces of music (say classical orchestra) they reproduce only some of the instruments present...
Kenjit wrote: "I thought being an audiophile meant aiming for the highest possible level and always trying to go even higher."

Nope.

What you have described is a sure-fire recipe for ruining your life. It sounds like something from an overzealous magazine editorial or an overpaid marketing department.  (Like those advertisements for expensive products that say, "Never compromise." Yeah right. Good luck getting through life with that approach.)

Seeking that which you can never find is NOT the road to happiness. Seeking something which you CAN find, is. And then if you want to, you can go on another quest for something a bit better. There is a website called Audiogon which facilitates audiophiles in such quests.

Being an audiophile means caring about sound quality but prioritizing which qualities matter the most to you because nobody can afford to have them all. It means making intelligent and informed tradeoffs as necessary. It means continuing to learning things, sometimes the hard way. It means figuring out how to make the best of what you’ve got. It means realizing that others who care about sound quality are really your brothers and sisters, even if you hate their choices and they hate yours. It means listening to a lot of music, and over time music does indeed soothe the savage beast, such that this hobby is very likely to surreptitiously mold you into a better person without you even noticing.

Imo, ime, ymmv, etc.

Duke
The OP’s extreme biased and selective myopic disdain perspective is clearly challenged in that he never even considered other high-end standmounts options, such as the RAIDHO D1.1 standmounts....at about $25K. 

I've auditioned them at various audio expos, and invariably they are always at the very top rarified air strata of best of high-end speaker  show entrants .... as true contenders and no pretenders against the all the very best of floorstanders.

https://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-raidho-d1-1/



Upset by what you cannot afford?

Why not just enjoy what you have?

Does making these assertions make you feel better?

These are just rhetorical questions so no need to respond please. 


"I am sick of seeing bookshelf speakers costing tens of thousands of bucks and are claimed to be high end. "

Don't look at them and you will feel better.
Post removed 
Small speakers have more limits? Wow! Who knew!!!!!

Good thing there is that thing called progress that enable things that were not possible before like making things smaller and better.
Wow my post lasted 2 minutes LOL
Can you re-state it in a less prone to be deleted manner?
I'll try without the profanity.
Darn bro, my homie has speakers in his ride that goes down to 4hz, you can feel your ? vibrate. And he got this from this dude Roger for only a...
Every new post just solidifies the collective belief that you truly are delusional. If not for your sake, for the sake of all other members, seek help.

Oz
What did he say? I wasn't listening.
"High End" is a coined phrase, it means little if anything of importance. "High Fidelity" is the original and proper term. Enjoy the music which SHOULD be the goal of both the music lover and/or audiophile.

Kenjit remember this "perfect is the enemy of good/excellent = enjoyment. What is your specific goal if I may ask? 
Poor kenjit
Life must be very difficult.
Great responses from several wise members.  The OP would do well to read, understand and learn from the wisdom here on the Gon. 
I always, and easily, ignore kenjit, but very much appreciate the post above by duke, " Being an audiophile means......". Very well put into simplistic words.
After reading posts/threads by @kenjit I always feel thankful and relieved that I'm not faced with the abject boredom and despair that must be required to initiate same.
The Bose 301 came with an 8" woofer (standard).

DeKay
Kenjit - has never bought or sold anything here on Audiogon.

Draw your own conclusions.


Mrdecibel wrote: " very much appreciate the post above by duke, " Being an audiophile means......". Very well put into simplistic words." 

Thank you very much!

Among other things I had written: "It means continuing to learning things, sometimes the hard way." 

Looks like I need to learning grammar. Found out the hard way.

Duke
I’ve had this Audio hobby since 1950. Built mono speakers and amplifiers. Learned long ago that it just isn’t possible to replicate in my home what I’ve heard and experienced in the Musikverein or in a Cathedral with a magnificent pipe organ. IMO, to achieve that degree of "High Fidelity" is an impossible stretch.

The OP might have a pipe dream he’ll never be able to achieve.

George


To all my fellow sane GON members,

Please remember the goal of the Kenjit posting these foolish and repugnant posts are to get negative attention from us.  If we really want to influence him to stop posting this drivel, just don't respond at all, and in a short period of time we will extinguish this child like behavior.

Every time, including my post, we respond to his ranting on some topic he gets what he looking for.


other then Pipe organs what other instrument in regular use actually see's 20hz let alone 30hz. 
lets see from a chart on Freq ranges of instruments I've taken the lowest including the fundamental and harmonic. 

www.zytrax.com/tech/audio/audio.html

Bass 33hz
Bass Tuba 40hz
Contra bass 41hz
Double Bass 41hz
Guitar bass 41hz
Bass Drum Kick 60hz
Toms 60hz
Harp 30hz
piano 28hz
Organ depending but 16hz (rare 8hz)

Now how often of those few, that actually go lower then 30hz , are they played using the lowest notes in music?

So why do I need a speaker that is flat to 20hz if there is little to no music out there that actually needs 20hz produced? maybe I'm missing something. 

I'm not a fan of organ music so that's one person that's satisfied with speakers that hit 35hz - 40hz........ not sure why you think you need 20hz but I suppose you have your reasons...... bet you can't hear 20hz anyway let along 20khz.... well maybe your female and 14 years old.  




I’m with the OP on this one, even though asking for flat down to 20Hz is really asking. How can any loudspeaker claim to be accurate when it doesn’t let you hear everything that’s on the recording? When actually it’s a shadow of the bottom of the signal, if not slicing it off altogether?

The usual example given of the lowest note on a Bass guitar going down to 41Hz should be the standard for all loudspeakers. Not something like -3dB or more down at 41Hz - but flat down to at least 41Hz. Concert music aficionados might go further and demand a loudspeaker that goes flat to 28Hz (whilst Pop music fans would probably settle for flat down to 60Hz etc but that’s besides the point).

I’d say the vast majority of loudspeakers on the market, say 90% of them, are not flat down to 41Hz. Far too many renowned bookshelf designs start losing bass as they get south of 100Hz and artificially (via crossover tricks) put in a slight boost between 60 and 80Hz to give the impression of a full, albeit somewhat leaden, bass. It’s not enough to simply be able to reach the frequencies a loudspeaker needs to remain responsive at those frequencies to prove that old adage that Bass can play notes.

The purist might argue that before you can claim true High End status you need to get down to 20Hz flat (the lower limit of human hearing) but hardly any loudspeaker ever built can even pretend to do that.


Post removed 
Duke, I was referring to your entire paragraph. Thank you, and Enjoy ! MrD.
whilst Pop music fans would probably settle for flat down to 60Hz etc but that’s besides the point).

pop music can easily go down to at least 30hz. 

Most recordings will contain signals down to 20hz unless somebody has applied a high pass filter at 40hz. 


" Most recordings will contain signals down to 20hz unless somebody has applied a high pass filter at 40hz."

That is silly talk. What signals go to 20hz?
if i tap the microphone that would contain some 20hz. Its mostly rumble 
Don’t tap the microphone while music is playing. Problem solved! 
Bookshelf speakers can be very expensive but they most certainly 
disappear in the room better then a big speaker and use a pair of Svs 3000sb , or ultra 16 Subwoofers and you have a great full range speaker with a quality standmount , if you are willing to pay 
there are standmounts way over priced, also some great values under $10 k.
The adults must not be paying attention. The OP, AKA Golden Ears, got ahold of the computer again...
As soon as i saw your I post... ugh!

”Stop it you”ll hurt your voice” FZ 
Bookshelf speakers can be very expensive but they most certainly
disappear in the room better then a big speaker and use a pair of Svs 3000sb , or ultra 16 Subwoofers and you have a great full range speaker with a quality standmount ,
You are missing the point I'm making. Bookshelf speakers are marketed as self contained products in their own right. Some manufacturers may even discourage using a subwoofer and claim its unnecessary. Do the reviewers use a sub when reviewing bookshelf speakers? No they dont, they deliberately judge the bass performance of the speaker by itself. The reality is, its a compromise and people are being disingenuous. Audiophiles that  buy bookshelf speakers often do not pair it with a sub. 

Its disingenuous to say a bookshelf speaker is high end when it is designed and marketed as a self contained speaker. A bookshelf speaker is mid fi at best not high fi. The extravagant prices are not justified by what youre getting. 






" if i tap the microphone that would contain some 20hz. Its mostly rumble"
Maybe not ...https://www.mediacollege.com/audio/microphones/frequency-response.html

What does that have to do with music?
Isn't it fun to debate someone who makes things up as needed in order  to support their opinions?
   The range of human hearing is 20 to 20Khz. That's for perfect hearing of a young person who has not been subjected to an early hearing loss due to disease or damage due to exposure to high levels of sound. A few may exceed those limits on either end but except for dogs and woodchucks most of the readers here probably some hearing loss due to age, especially on the high frequency end.
   Pipe organ sounds go quite low. Do you want to hear or feel the sound or both? That's a question unto itself. Reminds me of the teenager who drives by your house in a Honda Civic with the trunk loaded with mega watt amps and an array of subs that makes your beer rattle off you home table. So, is it about mega bass or the most full sound across the entire frequency spectrum?
   There's no end to this discussion that can convince anyone of anything.
" Isn't it fun to debate someone who makes things up as needed in order to support their opinions?"
Map, are you trying to make this political ... ;-)
Anyone starting their thread with:
"This is another MUST READ......really should be ignored unless they have some life changing facts to share with the rest of us.

I do not understand your point of view!
is it that you have discovered there are bookshelf speakers that are way too expensive or that they are overpriced?....
Well....there are full range speakers that are also very expensive and those that are reasonably priced. does that mean because they all reach way down low that they are all High End?

The answer is obviously No.
All products need to be judged on how they sound and not on how much they cost.

However, before you misunderstand my statement (!) it is the usual expectation that if you pay a lot of $$$ for something then you expect higher performance.

I leave the technical reasons why your argument is invalid to others here.   
Maybe not
If the microphone cant respond to 20hz then it needs to be fixed. The point is, real life sounds do contain 20hz even if its at a low level. This should be in the recording and then reproduced by the speakers. Ive also already said that pop music does contain bass to at least 30hz. 
The solution for you is simple...Don't buy them...