Polk Choices

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Brian Moore, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Auditioning

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    I'm in a bit of a quandry and I was hoping I might gather some of the expert opinions here. I don't think I can go horribly wrong whichever way I go from here. There may be some that think things have already gone horribly wrong, but...

    What I have so far: HK 525 receiver, Polk RTi150 fronts, Polk CSi40 center (soon to be ordered - I'd ask if it is worth the $ over the CSi30, but I think I already know the answer). Sub: I have an AR that will do for the moment. Saving my pennies for a passive SVS to team with my orphaned Carver cube.

    What I need: Two pair of speakers to complete the system.

    Here are the choices and the prices I would pay:

    FXi30 ($72/ea)
    RTi28 ($80/ea)
    RTi38 ($100/ea)
    RT35i ($75/ea) one pair available
    RTi100 ($150/ea) one pair available

    Which would you choose for the surrounds and rear surrounds to complete the system and why? Room size is 24 x 14'. I suppose I should mention that I'm not very keen on floor-standing surrounds, but the price on the 100's hard to ignore. Thanks in advance for your expertise/opinions.
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    I hate to say it, but my first recommendation would be to deep six the 150's in favor of the 70's.

    Join and search Club Polk for details ad nauseum, but the bottom line is the 150 is a hard to drive, power hungry, impedance reactive speaker that demands a lot from the amplifier. It has a reputation of sending most AVRs into protect mode at moderate to higher volumes and really needs a beefy high current external amp to shine.

    Buying the 150 is a moot point unless you are going to run it on large, and if you do, it will suck the life out of your fairly low-powered h/k at higher volumes. Most HT applications high pass all the speakers on small at around 80 Hz, and the 70 is actually a better choice than the 150 above 80 Hz due to its two midrange drivers.

    If you are going to keep the 150s and run them on large and your h/k has pre-outs, the Carver cube would probably work well as an external amp for the 150s, and you could buy a powered SVS instead.

    The 40 is a fine choice for a center - no arguments there.

    Of your choices, I would get the FXi30 for side surrounds, and the RTi28 for rear surrounds. All would be timbre matched to your front stage.

    If you can find the FXi50, then I would prefer that over the 30, and in that case an upgrade to the RTi38 in the rear would also be in order.

    If you keep the 150's and get a powered SVS, your bass management settings should be: L/R mains to Large, all other speakers to Small, and sub to On/Yes.
     
  3. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Auditioning

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    Thanks for the thoughtful comments. They prompt a few more questions.

    I couldn't find fxi50 speakers at comparably low prices, so that is out.

    Also, even though I understand your reasoning, I'm leaning toward keeping the 150's for now. The idea of using the cube to power them is a good one, although I don't believe it is a "high current" type amp. I'll try it. Do you think there would there be noticeable tonal differences between the two amp sources? A bridged HK PA2000 might be an option at some point.

    If I run into power issues in some applications, I could possibly run only the top section (looks like the rti38) and leave the rti woofers unpowered. I assume they're the power hungry ones. That might seem silly, but I can't seem to make myself take the 150's back and pay extra for the "lesser" model (not lesser soundwise I take it). I may regret this thought process.

    Do you believe the fxi30 and rti28 combination is preferable to using 4 rti38s? Why are the fxi series preferable on the sides?

    Again, thanks for the thoughts.
     
  4. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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  5. Rob Grim

    Rob Grim Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Brian, I'm currently running the FXi30's (sides) and the RTi28's (rears) along with the RTi70's, CSi40 and a SVS PB2+. You will be just fine. If you would like to see pictures of my H/T try go to PolkAudio.com, click on the club polk line, at the top of the page you will see "System Showcase", look for Grimster74.
     
  6. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    You see? All these Club Polk guys got it goin' on!

    While dyed in the wool audiophiles claim to hear differences in amps, I think at the level of your equipment and speakers, you will hear more of a difference between pre/pro sections than you will differences in solid state amps, provided each has sufficient power and current to adequately do the job. I don't see a problem using the Carver; it certainly has a lot more power than your AVR.

    You could always run the 150's on small and avoid the requirement of an external amp, but that is sort of defeating the purpose of owning the 150 in the first place.

    IF the HT source material for the L/R channels has a lot of bass (this will vary greatly from DVD to DVD), then the 150's will place a very high demand on your AVR. For two channel music, it is almost a given they will require a separate amp.

    Owners of 150s over at Club Polk are feeding them anywhere from 200-400 watts in two channel applications with great results. Adcom, Parasound, and Rotel seem to be popular choices. The h/k bridged should work great too; h/k external amps have always had beefy power supplies. I have an older h/k 870 with almost 60,000 uF of capacitance and it can pass 60 amps for short periods. Current capacity and the ability to drive low impedance loads should be the most important consideration here when selecting an amp. While the 150 is rated at 8 ohms nominal, preliminary measurements from owners suggest otherwise and we suspect impedance might drop down to around 3-4 ohms in the bass region.

    Regards,

    Ed
     

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