Polk RTi10's or Axiom M22's

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Adrian Ferrari, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. Adrian Ferrari

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    I am really torn right now. I have the opportunity to pick up a pair of RTi10's for $283.00 each. I have had a chance to demo them and I really like the sound they produce. However, I have read a lot about Axiom and the M22's and think that they too would be a speaker I would like.

    Has anyone had a chance to listen to both of these speakers and have an "opinion" on which is better. The RTi10's are floor standers of course so a comparison between them and the Axiom M60's would be welcome as well. My absolute max budget for the fronts is $600.00. Feel free to throw in other speakers in that price range.

    One additional piece of information that may help. My receiver is an Onkyo 501. Do you think it has enough juice to power the RTi10s. I am also running a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 8.1 which I find too laid back and flat sounding.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ferrar,
     
  2. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    That is an amazing price for the rti10's. Are they new? I would jump on that in a second. You could probably resell them and make a profit. Wish i had your connections.

    Jim
     
  3. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    i have the m22s and i have listened to polk's rti and lsi collection. the rti and the lsi have a far better lateral midrange than the axiom m22s have - i know... i was surprised too!!

    the rti10 will kill the m22s in the lower notes (duh, floorstander) and the instruments will be a little more pronounced because of this. the rtis are not as transparent as the axioms - but still transparent nonetheless.

    the highs are better controlled with the axioms and although the m22s (in general the axioms) become a bit sibilant at louder volumes ("s" and "t" will sound OVERpronounced)... the rtis were a little more sibilant than the axioms.

    soundstage width = axiom- 0, rti10- 1
    lower notes = axiom -0, rti10 - 2
    transparency = axiom - 1, rti10 - 2
    high end = axiom - 2, rti10 - 2

    which do i prefer? i prefer the axioms simply because the highs are not overbearing like the rtis... i like the wider soundstage of the rti and the lower tune... but, highs on the axioms are sweeter - and to my ears, this is a little more important.

    now, if u are asking about the polk lsi (7 and 9 bookshelf speakers).... then i will tell you this. i own the m22s, but i ordered a pair of the lsi7 - this has a high probability of REPLACING my m22s.... yes, they are THAT GOOD!

    i listened to the paradigm reference studio 20 (and the signature 2s ~$2300/pair) and i still found the lsi7 better than either. i found the polk lsi to be better to my ears than the BW nautilus 805 bookshelf and far better than the m22s.

    the lsi's secret is its VIFA 25xt ring radiator tweeter. yes, the same tweeter on the onix reference and krell speakers! the highs are not as bright as the axioms but just as revealing and clear. the lsi are very transparent - maybe just a notch below the m22s (but i feel that this is due to the fact that the m22s have anemic bass response, even for a bookshelf.. so u only hear the mids and highs). the lsi's cabinets are far better constructed than on the m22s - real wood beats veneer ANYDAY. also, the woofers look far more massive than on the axioms, the surrounds are atleast 50% larger in measurement.

    the lsi destroys.... i repeat... DESTROYS the axioms in soundstage reproduction. the lsi image very very well - in the same league as the paradigms... the center image is very very clear and present, the lsi EASILY disappears into the background and i found myself listening to the music as if there were NO speakers in front of me. switching back to the m22s, it was very apparent that the sound was coming from the two speakers in front of me.

    pay attention, the m22s were spaced outside the lsi speakers in my audition and YET, the lsi still struck a larger lateral soundstage!!

    i have read in many reviews that the m22s are a diamond in the rough... comparable to speakers many times its price. the truth is, in my humble opinion of course, it isnt. dont get me wrong, the m22s are very good speakers... but it lacks the qualities that make a great speaker, needless to say, they shouldnt be compared to the paradigm reference 20s like certain reviewers like to do... the ref 20s are far superior.

    a true speaker powerhouse are the polk lsi 7 and 9 (even more so the 9). these are literally the best bookshelf speakers i have heard under $2500. yes, it is just not me, but my dad and my younger brother thinks so as well... they auditioned with me.
     
  4. Adrian Ferrari

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    Thanks for the thorough response Joey.

    I have a few additional questions if you don't mind. I think I too would probably love the lsi-7s / lsi-9s. I heard they were on sale at fry's for $200.00. Do you happen to know if this is still the case? There isn't a frys around me however but if I could find them for under $300.00 I would probably grab them. Do you think the lsi-7's coupled with a dayton 10" (someday an svs/hsu) would beat the RTi10's? Is the lsi-9 a huge improvement over the lsi-7?

    Lastly, and probably most importantly, can my Onkyo 501 properly power any of these speakers?

    Thanks again!

    Ferrar
     
  5. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    yes adrian -

    the thing is, i just got my aunt to buy them from fry's and ship it to me. i dont exactly HAVE the lsi7 in my possession right now, it should be coming in a few days - and i will once again post on how they sound in direct comparison with the m22s in my own system.

    i listened to the polks, paradigms, and bw at the dealer by my house.

    the lsi7 is WORTH the 699 retail... and i am sure u can easily ask for a discount to approx 550-599$, i would get these over the rti10 ANYDAY for music applications (and a not so large living room)... however, the rti10 ARE floorstanders and may emit a fuller sound more suitable for HT applications.

    the rti 10 seemed to lack the control the lsi7 and 9 had... with a decent dayton 10" sub, i would rather go with the lsi7.

    the lsi9 has more midrange presence and seems a little more airy... but not by much at all... i will be hard pressed to buy the lsi9 since i can get another pair of lsi7 for approx 300$... but i am very much considering buying the lsi9 from the store locally at $900! yes, they are THAT good.

    very balanced sound, no holes, midrange is clear, very detailed highs but yet, never overbearing... the lateral soundstage is wide... very very wide, imaging far surpasses the m22s... cant go wrong here.

    but... the lsi's vifa tweeter cannot be beaten by the rti's tweeter... not even close.

    as for your receiver powering the lsi.. im sure they can - i have seen sony receivers (4 year old) power the lsi speaks.. maybe not to reference level, but enough for you to enjoy the sound.

    i may want to invest in separates later on, but for now, my yamaha will have to power the polks.. i have contacted yamaha and they have given me the go ahead.
     
  6. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    lastly, i dont understand why you are putting a 300$ limit on the LSI7... u shouldnt my friend, u should understand that these speakers are worth the 700$ they are asking... and getting for approx the same as your rti10 (approx 580-600$) is INSANELY great.
    [​IMG]

    i am hoping to round out my computer speaker system with the polk lsi 9 as mains and the lsi7 as rears. =)
     
  7. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure how the Onkyo 501 would far with the 4 Ohm loads of the LSi7/9 speakers from Polk. I guess Adrian should have a good idea if the receiver will drive these speakers, before pushing on with a decision to get the LSi7s.

    I have the Polk RTi8s - and love everything about them. Never heard the LSi series for an extended period, though. Finally, if Adrian is going to go for the LSi7s, then he should also factor in some $$ for a good set of stands to set these on.
     
  8. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    wayne is correct... 4ohm load on the onkyo would likely mean that you wouldnt be able to play at reference or anywhere near it. separates should be the next upgrade in mind, considering we are beginning to hit the real hi end stuff.

    another thing wayne is right on... stands - u need some good stands to base the lsi7 (or 9) on. consider something that you can fill with sand over regular wooden stands. go over to buy.com and there are many for exceptionally cheap.

    lastly, the rti series are good, no doubt, but the lsi take everything i found good on the rti - made it even better, and removed the tweeter in lieu of the vifa tweet. excellent!
     
  9. Ben Stern

    Ben Stern Stunt Coordinator

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    i have the m22s and i have listened to polk's rti and lsi collection. the rti and the lsi have a far better lateral midrange than the axiom m22s have - i know... i was surprised too!!

    Joey_V - Would you please explain to me what lateral midrange is.
     
  10. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    ben - i use the term lateral soundstage not midrange! lol... eh... always great to crack a smile!! [​IMG]

    anyway, i mean lateral like wide across the wall... horizontal soundstage is probably a more accurate term for it.

    i know man... i was freaking surprised... i came into Tweeter with my axioms (i felt all proud and what not), i felt that the axioms was going to RIP the polks and sonus fabers a new one... but i left feeling sad that i bought into the overhyping of the m22s.

    m22s are good speakers - but by no means do i find it a great speaker.

    btw, didnt u love the highs on the lsi??? that tweeter - i love that tweeter - u know that the same vifa tweeter is being used in the krell 10,000$ speakers and on the onix reference line of speakers? lsi is one sweet deal man.
     
  11. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    With decent electronics, interconnects, and adequate clean power, it is absolutely scary how good the LSi7 sounds.
     
  12. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    indeed ed, how come no one told me about polks before? i always thought quite lowly of them - especially since the only polks i have ever witnessed are those in circuitcity... polks certainly make great speakers and for a good price.... the lsi are truly a secret in the hifi arena.. once again... WOW.

    i wonder how the rocket r250s compare to the lsi7.. same tweeter and approximately the same enclosure size... would be a good match dont you think?
     
  13. Adrian Ferrari

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    Hey Guys,

    Man I hate the upgrade bug. It makes you lose all sense of reason. I think that if someone were to offer me $8,000 dollars to either upgrade my home theater, or buy my girlfriend a boob job, I would probably walk away with a nice set of martin logans rather than a nice set of... [​IMG]

    Anyway, I am really intrigued by the LSi series. However if I can't run them with my amp do you guys think I would be better off looking into some higher sensitivity speakers? Given a budget of $850 (I know, I upped my budget... see above) can I get a pair of decent floor standers from the likes of Polk/Paradigm that would run on my amp? Should I take this money and buy a better amp. The Lsi 7's can be had for $350.00 near where I live. That would leave $500.00 to buy a better amp.

    I don't think the Onkyo 501 has pre-outs. Would that leave me unable to add an external power source?

    I guess the simple question is, given my setup and budget, how would you go about upgrading your fronts?

    Thanks Again

    Ferrar-
     
  14. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    i think upgrading the amp and getting the lsi7s would be a nice gesture - given the fact that the lsi7s are just great at what they do... music. i feel though, for ht, u might benefit better from the rti floorstanders (i.e. rti10). but, in my ears atleast, the m22s are not in the same league as the lsi7 - keep that in mind... this suggests that the lsi7 are truly great speakers.

    if u want an extension of my review of the 7s... here it is (from the polk forum)...
    ------
    oh... and i listened to the lsi7 versus the lsi9 extensively today.... the lsi7 seemed to project a more forward soundstage, especially at lower volumes. the 7s had a more up front vocal tone, while the lsi9 i felt, were a little more laidback - perhaps due to the extra bass that was being reproduced by the speaker.

    certain songs sounded better on the lsi9... especially ones with a lot of lower midrange like jazz.. but songs that had a lot of vocals tended to excel on the 7s more so than the 9s.

    i did feel that the 9s were a little more airy than the 7s, and im sure that the 9s would keep together better at higher volumes due to the second driver... but for my purpose of not having to reach reference levels at all (in my dorm)... the 7s sounded better to my ears... and better to my wallet as well....

    the 7s had a more balanced sound, whereas i felt the 9s had holes in it unless turned up higher... soundstage was pretty much equal and the overall transparency im sure was the same - yet due to less bass reproduced on the 7s... the 7s sounded a wee bit more transparent (surely an audio trick).

    u may be interested that i compared the lsi7s to the boston 900/pr speaker, the two sonus fabers that tweeter was carrying (@ 1500 and 2000 pair)....

    the bostons were def. a little brighter - sounded a little boxy at times though - like maybe i was hitting compression.... but it lacked emotion at times. the tweeter was def. a little more detailed, but at the same time, overly sibilant at above average volumes.. and needless to say, the tweeter completely blanketed the audio at high volumes - i couldnt make out the soundstage or get a clear pic of the midrange imaging at this point. lsi 7 wins.

    the sonus lacked the ability to grab me.. but yet, they had better midrange reproduction than the 7... so good infact, that i felt it had better soundstage depth than the 7s. the highs, however, were very laid back....the song remained at an arbitrary curtain right infront of the speakers and never had the ability to grab me. the lsi7 gave a bit of extension up to the bigger 2000$ sonus', but i still felt that it won out in the end.

    i could comment on the lsi7's weakness - being the midrange - but i feel that if the midrange were bumped up to the level of the sonus - it might result in a not so balanced speaker. the thing i like the best about the lsi7 is its balance - mids, highs, and bass are just right in my ears. the lsi7 are indeed a rare find.... and althought it is indeed impossible to find the ultimate speaker for under $1000 - i found that it was very refreshing to know that the lsi7 are by far, the best bookshelves to my ears for under 2500$ (maybe except the onix reference 1 bookshelf from av123.com ~ 1500/pr - same vifa tweeter and better 5.25inch driver atohm).

    ----

    hope this helps adrian! [​IMG]
     

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