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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For years manufactures have been making these "Tower Speakers" as their Mains... [they are getting better and better at it]. But they have yet to get as good as a good Bookshelf speaker—by bookshelf I mean 8"–12" drivers.

The Yamaha NS-1000 style speakers back in the day sounded amazing... and they still do. if you know anyone with these still kicking around... Give it a listen. DAMN they sound good!

So why is no one competing in this category anymore?
 

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Few people want these large monsters in their rooms and since many people have subwoofers, the really large drivers are therefore not a "necessity" except for the audiophile, who is relatively rare these days. I have a set of NS-690s with 12" drivers and yes, they do sound good.

Many people with towers (floor standing speakers) choose a thinner profile, so the manufacturers use multiple (smaller - faster reacting) drivers, and or passive radiators, or large drivers mounted sideways, etc)
 

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12" driver is a "bookshelf" speaker? Big bookshelves... Way back they used to call some speakers with 10" drivers bookshelf speakers, and they were huge. But most speakers were back then, and these *were* relatively smaller. I guess "bookshelf" just means "not floor-standing"...

People like towers because they're usually a lot more stable than a smaller speaker on a stand. The wood for the towers and making the larger cabinets costs more, but with smaller speakers they can offload the cost by making you have to buy the stands separately. I do agree that, with the same smallish drivers, the small speaker on a *proper* stand can sound better. Up to a point, and generally only with ~8" or smaller drivers.

Some manufacturers have gone the other way, offering towers because they're more profitable. Paradigm Studio Refs. for example, only one bookshelf model now. I do prefer towers/floor-standing myself, even though most of my speakers aren't, for the fronts or stereo pair that is. I may have a little more tendency to bump into things than other people though, a lot of stuff in too small a space...if a standed speaker fell over it would be disastrous here, and I'm not talking about damage to the speaker itself, rather to stuff it might hit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But these "bookshelf" units are not all that intrusive in a family room. They offer a large surface area to put things on.

I would never put anything on top of most floor standing / tower. they only have a top surface of only 4-5". Yet the foot print for these things often require a heavy Wide stance anyway... often as much a 10" or more.

So if we are loosing almost as much floor space anyway, I would rather gain back that lost surface area.
 

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But these "bookshelf" units are not all that intrusive in a family room
They are when trying to place them on a bookshelf! Good luck putting that 12" woofer on a Billy Bookcase from Ikea...;)
 
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