Speakers: 2 way or 3 way


Apr 5, 2009
Hi folks,

My search for speakers (musical floorstanders) to pair with my recently acquired Yamaha 863 continue. Though I have started observing that the amp has opened up bit more and giving better soundstage with my BPL Floorstanders. :)

Recently I auditioned mission m74i & MS mezzo 8 on side by side A/B comparision with marantz amp. I played Jakir's Tabla, western rock & country. Mission m74i is discontinued 2-way model but sound was clean, open having good details. Mezzo 8 on the other hand was beautifully built,
3-way speakers quite big in size. On comparision, Bass was better in mezzo8 but other things almost similar. Also Mezzo was getting alive on higher volumes and lack punch at low volumes. On price point, these are almost four times the mission.

Now my question is - since 3-way cross over is more complex design, does 3-way loose imaging in comparision to 2-way design. On the other hand, since music is mostly 2.0, a 3-way design gives better bass & frequency range ???
Where is the bottom line...????

Input from Gurus requested.

If you are a purist, at the budget level you are looking at, the best sound can be got from a simple 2 - way bookshelf speaker. 3 way floor-standers at this price point are a big compromise. It is a question of quality vs quantity.

If your need is pleasant sound, go for the biggest 3 or 2.5 way floor-stander you can find.This will be more VFM.

Technically speaking all kind of crossovers can be implemented correctly. None is better than the other. Budget is what matters here. At low/mid budgets, keep it as simple as possible if you value pure sound.
i've learnt not to worry whether a speaker is 2 way or 3 way, whether an amp is ss or tube. no rule holds while comparing different models / brands etc. the only rule to go by is to listen to it and choose which one sounds best to you
thanks a lot. I am asking it because generally 2-way designs have lower frequency range, specially in bass department.
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I like the sound of mission and also they are VFM also.
Now I am getting a pair of old m74i as now. These are 2-way. I may also go for m35i as well, which are 3-way.... but I will have to wait for some time as these are not readily available.

Which one will be better????
im not familiar with the speakers and their specs. i guess while deciding between old and new factors to consider are condition of speakers, age, price, budget etc etc apart from sound
Does it really matter?

I have heard 2-ways that have a better bass than 3-ways and 3-ways that have better cohesion than 2-ways but does it really matter. You cannot really generalize based on this aspect. Technically, yes, a 3-way crossover is going to be more complex but the difference can't be figured out unless you are testing with highly sensitive measuring equipment.

I personally wouldn't bother about how many drivers, how many 'ways' etc. as long as the speakers show the sonic characteristics I am looking for...

but then...a single-driver...thats a totally different beast :thumbsup:
You will not find many discussions on this for the following reasons:

(1) If you search through the forum this has been discussed many times before, and in the recent past, nothing has happened to change different views.

(2) It is a controversial topic with lots of points in favour of and against each side. Ultimately it becomes the speaker designer's belief and his capabilities more than anything else that makes the difference.

If you need to read some discussion, please visit http://www.hifivision.com/amplifiers/2527-audire-system-review-4.html#post25799. Move up and down this thread. And read the link - http://www.hifivision.com/speakers/speakers/4...tiple-way.html - provided by Spiro.

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