Polk owner looking for a change (focus: home theater)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jay Sylvester, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    I just upgraded to a Rotel RMB-1075 (120x5) and RMB-1050 (70x2) for my 7.1 setup. I have an RSP-1066 pre/pro that will be replaced with an AVM 20 version 2.0 this week. I have the following Polk speakers:
    RT800i (front left/right)
    CS400i (center)
    fx500i (right/left surround)
    RT35i (two rear centers)
    PSW350 sub
    When I originally purchased my Polks I was using an Onkyo TX-DS797. I was very pleased with the combo, it being my first home theater setup. While I still like my Polks despite their bright tendencies, I get the impression from the reviews I've read that they won't do my new amp/prepro combo justice (it's also been suggested that my Rotel amps won't do my AVM 20 justice, but that's another upgrade for another time). Since I'm spending so much money on the rest of the system, it seems silly to hook it up to speakers that won't let me hear where all my money went. Anyone here think the Polks are up to the task?
    The theater area is about 17' x 9'. It sounds a bit small, but it's perfect for a love seat and an 80" x 45" projection screen [​IMG] Obviously I can't get huge speakers for this space. I'm already planning on getting one of the smaller SVS subs. What do you think I should budget for the rest of the speaker setup, and what brands do you recommend (keeping in mind what I've already spent on amplification and processing, roughly $4200)?
    I'm not looking for "good home theater" speakers. I want speakers that provide accuracy whether I'm watching a DTS laserdisc or listening to CCR on vinyl. I suppose if I had to choose, home theater is the primary consideration, but I tend to think that if you get the music right, HT will follow.
    So any suggestions? Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Steve-sas

    Steve-sas Agent

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    Those Polks are pretty good speakers for both HT and music. The one weak link is the sub and you are replacing it. The RTi line is very good for the money. I think based on my personal experience with Polk that you would have to spend quite a bit more to get much better. If you liked the Polks a similar setup with the LSi line would run you at MSRP:

    LSi15 - $1,740
    LSiC - $ 580
    LSiFX - $1,060
    LSi7 - $ 810

    Around $4,200 retail and you can probably find them for 30% to 35% less on-line.

    Before I spent more money on speakers (not counting the sub) I'd hook up the Rotels to the RTis and see how they sound. You can always upgrade later.
     
  3. Phil_DC

    Phil_DC Stunt Coordinator

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    I to have Polks and like you I am jumping ship. I am going with M&K 150 THX system but with the 350 THX sub. These speakers are not very big but have awesome sound. In fact they were the studio speakers used to mix sound for the last two Starwars movies!
    http://www.mksound.com/thx_sys.html
    Another Plus:
    The M&K 350thx sub can be used with a SVS 16-46PC-Plus to even further enhance your sub system.
    Check out this review about it by Dr. Robert A Fowkes:
    http://home.att.net/~rfowkes1/SVS16-46PC-Review.html
    I have ordered a SVS 16-46PC-Plus for my setup already.
    BTW, Don't let the prices on the M&K site scare you, you can get them much cheaper than that.
     
  4. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    Steve,

    Is there a big difference between my RTi's and the new LSi's? I do have my Polks hooked up to the Rotel amps/prepro currently. It's a little bright at times but overall it's a good combination. The AVM 20 is supposedly a bit more neutral than the RSP-1066 so that ought to help a bit. I was just wondering if there was something even better out there in the same price range (or close to it) that would really make my AVM 20 and 1075/1050 combo shine.

    Phil,

    Looks like those speakers have been around for quite a while. Are they still as highly regarded today as they were back when the Stereophile review was written in 1997? They also have it organized as a 5.1 setup. How would I extend that to 7.1? Just add another pair of the surrounds? And what are the actual prices of each according to your research?
     
  5. Steve-sas

    Steve-sas Agent

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    I really like the RTi series and currently use them in my HT system and SACD Multi channel setup. I will soon be setting up a dedicated 2 channel system and the LSi will be the speaker (most likely the LSi9 with a sub). If you have not heard the LSis go find a place to demo them. They are significantly better than your current Polks and they are very reasonably priced for what you get!
     
  6. Miklsan K

    Miklsan K Agent

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    Jay and Steve,
    I currently own LSi9s and an LSi center. As you may have read elsewhewre, the LSis are a great sounding speaker and an outstanding value. They like a little juice, and can be a bit of a tough load for some amps, but those Rotels should have no problems. As for the sound compared to the RTi line; there is no comparison. The LSi has a much smoother high end and is a little less forward than the RTi. The LSi is also a much more detailed sounding speaker. The RTis are a great all-purpose speaker, and in my opinion a great value, but the LSi is in a different league by far! You should take a listen.
     
  7. Phil_DC

    Phil_DC Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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  9. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    For those of you with LSi's, can the speakers be flipped so that they mirror one another? Or do they come in mirrored pairs? I notice the tweeter and ports are pushed off to the side a bit.

    Phil,

    Thanks for the info. I'll ask those guys for a quote and try to find a dealer around here. Mind if I ask how much you paid, and what exactly you got? You can PM me if you like.

    Please keep the suggestions coming!

    Thanks,
    Jay
     
  10. Steve-sas

    Steve-sas Agent

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    The LSi series comes as a dedicated pair with each speaker designated as left or right. The tweeter is always nearer to the center.
     
  11. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Phil_DC

    Phil_DC Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    George doesn't own THX anymore.
     
  14. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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    Methinks that Georgie isn't paying for a SINGLE SPEAKER from anyone! Must be nice. I'm waiting for the JBL NSP1's to be heralded as the official restroom fart masking speakers of Lucasfilm Lavratories![​IMG]
     
  15. Steve-sas

    Steve-sas Agent

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    He is still involved but it has been spun off from Lucasfilms. HERE is the press release.
     
  16. morrisjones

    morrisjones Agent

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    I'm also about to jump ship from Polk.
    I have a pair of RT600 and a CS400 (no 'i'), driven by a four-year-old Sony ES receiver.
    I'm replacing them with a B&W CDM surround set with 7NT fronts, and probably the Rotel 1065 receiver.
    Should be interesting. I had several good years of movies from the Polk speakers though. [​IMG]
    Mojo
     
  17. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    Well when I went to my local dealer to pick up my AVM 20, I checked out the demo room while I was there, and it turns out they had the M&K THX setup there. I went back today for a demo with some hardcore material (LOTR, Fight Club, and Saving Private Ryan DTS).
    The M&K's are sitting in my living room now [​IMG]
    Just got done watching We Were Soldiers, and I have a new appreciation for the soundtrack. The sub made me feel every incoming shell and mortar. I now know what I was missing with my Polk sub. The tripole surrounds are phenomenal as well. I've never felt so involved with a movie before. These speakers are so good, they make me want to go back and watch all of my DVDs again just to hear the soundtracks. I have a feeling I'm going to be pulling out a lot of old titles to see what I've been missing.
    The only bummer is that the center channel speaker has a bit of a ding in one of the corners. Nothing major, but it should be perfect considering the price. I'll be calling my dealer for a replacement tomorrow. I'm surprised at how little damage there is though when looking at the styrofoam from the box. It looks like UPS played soccer with it in the hub.
     
  18. Phil_DC

    Phil_DC Stunt Coordinator

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    Awesome!
    Did you get the 350THX sub?
    Next, pickup either, the Eagles "hell freezes over" DTS DVD or Fleetwood Mac "The Dance" DTS DVD or Diana Krall " Live in Paris" DTS DVD and hear music like you never heard it before!
    Then again don't because between your DVD movies and these music DVD's you might not ever leave your HT room again.[​IMG]
     
  19. Jeff.bart

    Jeff.bart Stunt Coordinator

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    I've listened to the M&K and LSi speakers in the past month. The M&Ks, in my view, had the edge in home theater, but the LSIs did a fine job too. Musically, the LSi cannot be beat in their price range. Clear, detailed, warm, punchy, and they go deep down.

    If I had to fault the LSis, I'd say the bass wasn't quite as tight and fast as I would find optimal. But that's really splitting hairs. They are now at the top of my list. The only thing holding me back is price. They slightly exceed my modest budget, though I have seen some good prices online. Given a choice, I'd take the LSi15's over the LSi9's (assuming it's paired with a good sub). Midrange is a little better.
     
  20. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    Phil,

    I got the 150 sub, which is more than enough for my small apartment theater (18' x 9'). I could not believe the kicks from this thing. I know now what people mean by bass you can feel. Thankfully, I live in such a well-constructed building that I can crank it without fear of bothering the neighbors.

    Thanks for suggesting these, otherwise I never would have considered them.


    Jeff,

    While I originally posted that I wanted neutral speakers good for home theater and music listening, I definitely use my system much more often for movies than I do music, and since the M&K's are great at both while having an edge in movies, they were a good choice for me. It's the tight, fast bass from the M&K's that make sound effects really jump out and grab you, and I really appreciate their neutral sound. I will say that I always liked the "musical" qualities of my Polks; I might even keep the surrounds and sub from my 7.1 setup and put together a basic music-only system for my office.
     

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