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Focal Sibs vs Polk RTiA3


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#1 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 07 2012 - 04:01 AM

Can anyone confirm for me how much of an upgrade, if any, the RTiA3 line from Polk Audio, would be over the Focal Sibs from JM Labs? http://www.crutchfie...ack.html?tp=186 http://www.crutchfie...i-A4-Black.html http://www.crutchfie...ack.html?tp=189 I currently have the Sibs and was originally looking to just upgrade the center but now that I've been reading all of your your posts its making me speaker crazy so I'm trying to get a rough "baseline" based on what I know, which is pretty much just the Focal Sibs at this point. The Polks seem to get great reviews everywhere, but are they going to be an upgrade for me or just a lateral move sideways, in which case should I wait and save up for more? http://www.amazon.co...words=focal sib Gene and some others were quite helpful in suggesting that Paradigm would have been the best match with the Sibs to replace just the center but it looks like getting into a full set of Paradigms might be getting a little above my budget. Any help greatly appreciated, Thank you, Cliff P.S. Is an Onkyo TX-SR507 enough receiver to push the Polks ok?

#2 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 07 2012 - 09:48 AM

Can anyone confirm for me how much of an upgrade, if any, the RTiA3 line from Polk Audio, would be over the Focal Sibs from JM Labs?

They will be twice as good. No. Three times.....Can you really quantify sound quality? The only way to tell is audition both in the same room.

P.S. Is an Onkyo TX-SR507 enough receiver to push the Polks ok?

All modern receivers will push quality speakers to the point of hearing damage. You need to make sure the receiver is rated to handle the impedance of the speaker.

#3 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 07 2012 - 11:18 AM

All modern receivers will push quality speakers to the point of hearing damage. You need to make sure the receiver is rated to handle the impedance of the speaker.

Thank you. That was a perfectly simple answer that I think will make looking at receivers in the future a lot easier. Basically just pick the one that matches impedance and get the features I need. As for the speakers, I suppose my original question should have been worded differently. I'm not really trying to find out if they sound better, more so if they will do a better job filling the room with a bigger sound. I have 18 foot ceilings and the room is otherwise quite large, 24ft by 20ft. I know you guys deal with a lot of noob questions here and it gets redundant. I'm a member of other forums about topics I know tons about and it seems the same questions keep popping up week after week and you just want people to use the search function which I have done but alas, this seems to be topic where everyone elses situation is a little different so I apolgize for not being being more articulate about what I was looking for. I've read that generally speaking, the larger the speaker the easier they will fill the room and I'm hoping someone here will see this and have experience with how capable these are in a larger room or if I should even try to go bigger. If it wasn't for the fact that my tv is mounted over a 7ft wide, floor to ceiling field stone fireplace that has a hallway on one side of it and a closet on the other, I would just get tower speakers and not have to ask about bookshelf speakers. Unfortunately, the tower speakers, unless I could come up with some kind of clever way to mount them above the hall entrance and closet door, would be quite awkward in the room.

#4 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 07 2012 - 01:19 PM

I've read that generally speaking, the larger the speaker the easier they will fill the room

Because larger speakers are more sensitive.

If it wasn't for the fact that my tv is mounted over a 7ft wide, floor to ceiling field stone fireplace

In a few years, I'm waiting for the class action lawsuit against Best Buy because everyone is walking around looking up. Similar to the opti-grab lawsuit that Navin R. Johnson had to write all of those checks for. If you want to fill a very large room with sound, a line array is the best option. Everything else is a compromise. He's a great example - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=301-980

#5 of 31 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 07 2012 - 01:22 PM

The Focals have an SPL (sound pressure level) of 89 and the RTiA3's are 89 so as far as volume is concerned it's about a wash. I think the RTiA's are a more substantial speaker with their wood enclosures but whether they will perform better would be just a guess since I've never heard the Focals. Whatever speakers you decide on make sure they have at least an 87-88 db SPL and are 8 ohms. Another option is the HSU HB-1 Mk-II but it doesn't come with wall mount brackets. It is about 6 inches shallower though. It also has a horn loaded driver which can cause fatigue after a while. http://www.hsuresear...ducts/hb-1.html You're biggest concern should be the subwoofer. That's a pretty big room for most subs to fill. As Robert said just about any receiver will be powerfull enough and Onkyo receivers have always performed well on bench tests.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#6 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 08 2012 - 01:50 AM

Gene, Robert, Thank you for the replys and help. Going back and looking at tons of threads over the last several years it dawned on me that you should both be ordained saints on this board. I noticed you are both in almost every thread I visited trying to help and give advice. Thats a lot of typing over the years! Kudos to both of you. In my search efforts, I found several other posts, articles and such that are a big help also so I'll link them here for anyone else that runs into this same problem and finds this post. I started coming across a lot of useful information when I stopped googleing what brand of speaker and simply asked about speakers for a large room. http://www.crutchfie...reo-choose.html http://www.hometheat...or-a-large-room http://www.hometheat...home-large-room http://www.hometheat...ellites-and-sub http://www.hometheat...-for-large-room There are a bunch more, but that should get someone started in the right direction and google, using the correct search query can take them further. Someone in the third post actually tells the op that Polks are the "chevy malibu" of speakers haha. I got a kick out of that especially since I've been looking specifically at Polk, but also that was the exact kink of candid opinion that I can appreciate. I'd rather have someone just tell me that the car I'm looking at will get me from "a" to "b" but that I may want to consider looking at something else if its what Im going to be driving every day. :D Also Nick Reed, aka Winniw, went out of his way to help the op in the the last link. Pretty impressive bit of legwork he did there.

#7 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 08 2012 - 02:00 AM

Oh by the way, thank you for the tip on HSU Gene, and nice reference to "The Jerk" Robert. Got a kick out of that. :)

#8 of 31 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 08 2012 - 10:18 AM

If Polks are Chevy's then the RTi series are Camaro's. Monitors are Malibu's and LSi's are Corvette's. Not a bad line-up. I've always thought this thread was informative, and entertaining. Not especially suited for just large rooms but still a good read...if you have some time to kill. http://www.hometheat...uy-new-speakers
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 08 2012 - 01:14 PM

Gene, Robert, Thank you for the replys and help. Going back and looking at tons of threads over the last several years it dawned on me that you should both be ordained saints on this board.

As long as you aren't my manager and you're trying to determine if I should have been working when I was posting. Really, it's one of my hobbies and I like to help out. I hang out at some car audio sites as well.

#10 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 10 2012 - 07:07 AM

So I was pretty excited that I got to demo some speakers at a local shop here. I listened pretty intently to klipsch, paradigm and Sinclair audio. After hearing what I would call a warm full sound from the paradigms, which I absolutely loved, everything pretty much went downhill from there, with Klipsch being at the bottom of the list, for me anyway. I am sure they are great quality speakers but the ribbon tweeters made a noticeable difference to me, sounding what I would call much "brighter" or higher treble. Very bright in fact. I could tell after just a couple of minutes that they would give me fatigue listening to them. I was pretty impressed with the Sinclair audio, but still preferred the Paradigms. Not really sure if its because I could tell a huge difference in sound or I was just biased because I was already familiar with the Paradigm name. :D Then again I was directly comparing them to Paradigms Atom series and haven't had a chance to listen to the higher end Paradigms yet, but the Sinclairs definitely did not sound bad and were very reasonably priced. The sales guy who has been there for many years (I bought a receiver there 7 years ago from him and another about 3 years ago) said they are a newer co. that was being very price competitive to make a name for themselves. Otherwise they seem to get a warm welcome from the reviews I could find online. I'm going back next Wednesday to hopefully try the Paradigm Studio 20 Series. Which reminds me, does anyone have any experience or have heard of NewAudioVideo to buy speakers from online? They seem to have fairly reasonable pricing although I'm considering just buy from the local shop at they have always been good and are also discounting the Paradigms and the shipping vs tax I would have to pay are kind of a wash. With the package I am looking at getting it would save me about $500 or $600 to purchase from Newaudiovideo which is not chump change to me. The package I'm throwing around right now would be 2 Studio 20's for the L/R, a cc-490 for the center (largest center that will fit my setup) and 2 Paradigm Surround 3's for the rears. Any thoughts or things I should be considering by mixing this group of speakers together? With a sub I'm still totally up in the air. I am very open to suggestions on a sub in the $500 to $600 range. Also, on one of their Paradigm displays with the Cinema 200 series, as soon as they started playing I was immediately impressed with the subwoofer and I when I asked it turns out it was a Sunfire SDS-8 and was a new line they were thinking about getting in to sell. Has anyone heard of or have any experience with this line? It sounded to me like a much more expensive sub but take that with a grain of salt as I may very well be the guy that when asked to do a blind test would pick the crappier sub anyway. For what its worth, it did sound really tight and natural, although I know that is set up in a great sound room set up by people that know how to set them up right and I think I am looking for something a little larger than that for the room that I am. By all means I would be eager to hear your thoughts on a sub to go with this set up. By the way, these Paradigms would currently end up being driven by an Onkyo TX-SR507 if that matters at all. Any thoughts greatly appreciated, Thank you! Cliff

#11 of 31 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 10 2012 - 07:30 AM

If Sinclair is "what I think it is"... Good product... But who knows how long the brand will be around.

#12 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 10 2012 - 08:31 AM

With a sub I'm still totally up in the air. I am very open to suggestions on a sub in the $500 to $600 range.

$500 - http://www.epiksubwo...com/legend.html $550 - http://www.rythmikaudio.com/FV12.html Slight more than your budget but this includes shipping - http://www.powersoun...x/products/xs15

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 10 2012 - 11:04 AM

"Which reminds me, does anyone have any experience or have heard of NewAudioVideo to buy speakers from online?" I think it's a scam website based in the Ukraine according to a quick search. Be carefull.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#14 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 10 2012 - 11:34 AM

Good looking out Gene! I thought it a little fishy that it was the only site I could find that was selling Paradigm speakers as a non "brick and mortar" store. There is no way I would risk ordering something from the Ukraine just to save a few hundred bucks. I looked a little also and found the same stuff. They should just rename that country Ushady. :D Robert, although I've never heard of any of those brands you recommended I'm inclined to take your word for it. If someone asked me about which watches to buy for the money, (Oddly, I know a lot about watches) I would be dropping names they never heard of in the utmost confidence they will not find better craftsmanship for the money. Thank you, I appreciate you sharing the links and will investigate further. The one thats a little out of my price range, I'm assuming, is worth the extra money in your opinion or you would not have mentioned it so I'll probably be looking at that one. I figured someone would list the "a little out of the range option", which is, in fact pushing my budget, but I'm willing to step up so that at the end of all of this I have a smile on my face. Thanks again for the help guys! I feel like I'm narrowing down the options to what will hopefully be a setup that sounds awesome and is more than just a lateral step from my current set up. All the best, Cliff

#15 of 31 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 10 2012 - 11:39 AM

Here we go with two more...appropriately named... http://www.earthquak...nd.com/CP8.html (I love the name of this sub) And be sitting down when you see the pricetag on this one... http://www.wilsonaud...duct_thor.shtml

#16 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 10 2012 - 11:47 AM

Hahaha, you can buy a Toyota for that. A new one. Less even! I'm probably going to look to see what goes into making those just for fun.

#17 of 31 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 10 2012 - 11:48 AM

If you have basic woodworking skills... You can make a $600 sub for $250.

#18 of 31 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 10 2012 - 11:51 AM

You could make a serious sub with these... http://www.ebay.com/...=item460891e443 Musical? Ehhh Shake the house? You bet.

#19 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 10 2012 - 01:25 PM

They would work as a mid-bass module like Hsu's MBM - http://hsuresearch.c.../mbm-12mk2.html . There are a lot of people going with 2 way subs. Sometimes a monster driver isn't capable of playing the higher bass frequencies while still pushing a lot of air so it's best to divide the work up. I've thought about going that route with a few of these - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=293-650 that I have laying around. The TC2+ motor is known for its clean sound and the ability to play higher than your average sub. In fact, Salk Sound used a version of them in their 3-way speaker.

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   chupacabra

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Posted October 11 2012 - 12:58 AM

You could make a serious sub with these... http://www.ebay.com/...=item460891e443 Musical? Ehhh Shake the house? You bet.

Sam/Robert, the funny things is that I actually have advanced carpentry skills. I grew up building houses when I was younger and even moved on to do doing trim carpentry specifically for a while and still have all the necessary tools. I'm just not so confident in the fact that I know nothing about acoustic properties or what is necessary to build a good sounding speaker. Maybe its something to look into. All the best, Cliff




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