Polk R15 opinions?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Ralphie_B, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,

    I've been doing quite a bit of searching for compact speakers to use in my den. I've focused my search on small bookshelf speakers, rather than satellites, and I've taken quite an interest in the Polk R15. Does anybody have experience with or opinions on these speakers?

    These will be used as mains, and I plan to fill in the low end with a small powered subwoofer. The den is not a very big room, and we usually won't be listening at loud levels.

    Due to space constraints and the strong influence of wife-acceptance-factor, I probably cannot step up to the R15s 'big brother' the Monitor 30. And given the sale prices the R15s go for, I can actually buy several pairs of R15s for the price of a single pair of 30's (or any other speaker I've looked at). Do the R15s sound like a pretty suitable compromise for my situation?

    One other question, regarding speaker placement. These speakers will have to go in the top shelf of an entertainment armoire. Therefore, I will only be able to space them about 3 feet apart. At that close of spacing, is there any point to getting a center speaker?
     
  2. Thomas Nichols

    Thomas Nichols Stunt Coordinator

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    I have extensive time in with the R20's and they are an excellent speaker. When I bought them 3 years ago, I liked them better than the R15's. I thought they were a little cleaner. I thought I could hear detail better. Still, the R15 is a nice speaker. Very good for the money. I doubt you can find much better for
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I agree, they are suprisingly good for the price; nothing else compares at the price, IMO. $50/ea? They've been selling for $40 a PAIR, brand new lately (or they were).
     
  4. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    At $100/pr, I personally much prefer Athena AS-B1s over Polk R15s. However, at $40/pr R15s are hard to beat.
     
  5. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I recently tried to use a R15 as a center, but I've since demoted the R15 (along with its unused brother) to surround duty, and use a CS-1 as a center. A very big difference in clarity. Essentially the CS-1 allows me to listen at low volumes, with superb intelligibility, and at high volumes, with no loss of clarity. There may be better center speakers out there, but it was a big step up from an R15. So, I would imagine that the R15s would make for less than spectacular mains.
     
  6. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input everyone! For me, the $40 per pair is a big selling point. However, the compact size is even more crucial. I simply cannot fit anything larger (taller) than this speaker in the alloted space. I like that this speaker has a much broader -3dB frequency response than typical satellite speakers, and better power handling to boot. Not that I'll get to turn them up very often, anyway.
    Also, I should clarify that these speakers will be used for DVD/TV viewing 95% of the time. Only very rarely will they be used for music listening.
     
  7. darek

    darek Auditioning

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    You could also look at the JBL E20. They're about $99.99 at J&R and B&H. Just about the same size and they sound a little better than the R15.
     
  8. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll check the JBLs out too. Thanks!
     
  9. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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  10. John Titan

    John Titan Stunt Coordinator

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    Check these outM-10

    They look better than the R-15's, More like the monitor 30's IMO
     
  11. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Ralphie,

    The R-15s are decent speakers that will serve you well for a price that's all but impossible to beat. I have set up a few systems just as you are thinking with all R-15s except for the sub. The systems sound fine, could you buy better speakers? Of course, but I doubt if you could get three pairs of that quality for around 150 or less. So I say go for it and take them back if you don't like them afterwards.

    BTW the M-10s recommended above are probably R-15s with a few cosmetic changes. I say that because they are setup the same and appear to have the same components/speakers/tweeters.
     
  12. Ron Temple

    Ron Temple Stunt Coordinator

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    For your application they will work fine. They are more laid back than the Monitors which you may like better. At moderate volume with a sub in a den, a great value.
     
  13. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Stunt Coordinator

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    For music, I do tend to like a more forward speaker (like the Klipsch speakers in my basement exercise/video game/music room). But I think laid back speakers will work well in the den, where I'll be using them for movies and TV.

    Now I just have to be patient and wait until the next big sale rolls around for the Polks. [​IMG]
     
  14. JeffreyDurbin

    JeffreyDurbin Auditioning

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    I saw that $40 per pair deal and got two pair for my dad and talked a buddy into getting a pair of those and he later got a pair of R30s for $80 a pair when those went on sale.

    In my dad's situation, I matched them with a CS-1 and I agree with Jeremy above that the CS-1 is far superior.

    My buddy A/B-ed the R15s and the R30s side by side and we were blown away with the superior sound of the R30s. The R15s simply have no bass whatsoever whereas the R30s can at least claim to have some. I know you are planning on using a subwoofer but I question whether the R15s will have enough umpth to reach as low as your subwoofer's upper reaches.

    That being said, $40 a pair for the R15s make them the deal of the century for a cheapie entry-level system provided you can match them with a decent subwoofer. It's an awesome deal for surrounds.

    Get a Radio Shack SPL meter to level-match everything!!!
     
  15. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Any opinion on the Polk R40 bookshelf?

    (Polk is phasing out the 'R' line in favor of the 'M' line. A timbre matching challenge?)
     

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