Comparison of Polk's RTi10 and RTi8 Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Joel McIntosh, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Joel McIntosh

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    I wanted to take a few moments to offer my impressions the new Polk RTi10s. I'll also discuss how these speakers compare to the RTi8s. I just used my Circuit City upgrade to move from the RTi8s to the RTi10s. I have been using RTi8s since October 2003, and I want to say up front that I think the RTi8 is a fine speaker that, when combined with a good subwoofer, can provide a solid HT experience. Having said that, the RTi10s offer a superior listening experience to the RTi8s.

    The two speakers have several physical differences. The 8s have two mid-range 6 1/2" drivers whereas the 10s have only one. The 10s, however, have two 7" woofers that the 8s lack altogether. Also, the 10s have a more pronounced bass venting system (Polk calls it Power Port Plus). The tweeters on the 10s and 8s are the same.

    First, let me address the high sounds produced by the tweeters on both the 8s and 10s. I find the highs produced by the Polk’s 1" silk dome tweeters to be sharp and clean. I felt no fatigue from the highs of either speaker. Next, I’ll address the mid-range sounds. I've been listening to the new 10s for two days, and, to my ears, I can't identify a difference in the mid-range sound produced by the 10s' single mid-range driver and the 8s two drivers. The 10s mid-ranges seem pronounced and unforced. The 10s midrange sounds seem as crisp and clean as those produced by the 8s. Now, let me speak to my impressions of the bass from these speakers. Bass is the area where the 10s truly shine. Bass with the 10s is full and more pronounced than with the 8s. You can hear and feel the accurate, large bass produced by these speakers. To get full bass response with the 8s, you have to supplement them with a good subwoofer. I can only speak from my personal experience with this, but there is a clear difference between using the RTi8s set to "small" and supplemented with a subwoofer and using the RTi10s set to "large" (given the 8s lack of a woofer, setting them to "large" really isn't an option). Being able to fire all of the bass to the 10s brings the bass in-the-room and in-your-face in a pronounced and accurate way that the speaker/subwoofer combo doesn’t (at least a subwoofer in the price range of the $499 HSU VFT-2 subwoofer that I own – a higher-end subwoofer might offer a different experience).

    I do want to add here that I am running 10s with a 225 wpc NAD amplifier. I am sure that the two 7" woofers on the 10s require some juice, I don't know if my very positive experience with the 10s would be the same with a system powered by a weaker amplifier. Also, I am using these speakers in a room that is approximately 14' x 14'. The two woofers on the 10s are perfect for a room this size or slightly larger.

    ______________________
    Fronts: Polk RTi10
    Center: Polk CSi5
    Back Surround: Polk CSi3
    L/R Surround: Polk RTi6
    Subwoofer: HSU VFT-2
    Receiver: Marantz SR7300
    Amp: NAD 218 THX (225 wpc to fronts)
    DVD/CD/SACD/A-DVD Player: Marantz DV-8300
    Turntable: Rega P3
    Sony Wega 40"
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Great write-up. Your experiences mirror many of those over at Club Polk, especially with the RTi70 vs the RTi150.

    Clearly the RTi8 high passed to a VTF-2 will be outgunned by RTi10's on large. The 10's simply have more overall woofer radiating surface and air moving capabaility.

    And yes - any full range speakers with four 7" woofers is going to require a LOT of amp current to run the show.

    The one area where the RTi8 would have the edge would be in the midrange, where it has the dual mids vs. the single in the RTi10.

    While opinions vary, I'd take the RTi8 and a great sub over the RTi10 alone. That combo I think ultimately offers more peformance potentional in the mids and the bass. You'd need more sub than the VTF-2 to make it happen, though.
     
  3. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I am very impressed with the Polk line. I have been demoing the CSi5 for the last few days and I cant believe how well the tweeter handles (all) the material I have thrown at it. If I go with Polk it will be the RTi8 up front along with the 5 center and the RTi6 in back.

    I have Klipsch running now and I am finding this a very nice option also. If I go this rout it will be the RB-75 up front with the C-7 and the RB-35 in back. Either option I go with I win[​IMG] The boxes are piling up though.
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Steve:

    I thought you couldn't find Klipsch stuff locally? Sounds like you landed some really nice stuff.

    That RC-7 is a real monster, that's for sure. How does it stack up against the CSi5? And I thought you had another center floating around the house too....how does that one compare to the Klipsch and the Polk?

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  5. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Ok Ed! I'll have to reprimand you in private on this one[​IMG] I at least want to wait until I get my $$ back:b I will say that the other floater could use a little more fuel imo and did not work out. Very nice people to deal with though.

    GoodGuys are in the neighborhood but they do not have the C-7 in stock. I went ahead and picked up the C-5 with the intent of ordering the C-7 in April and trading up if I go the Klipsch rout? The 5 will serve the purpose of my demo for now along with listening to the C-7 GG have on hand in one of their demo rooms.
     

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