RCA Linaeum tweeter speakers @ Radio Shack

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt_P, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. Matt_P

    Matt_P Second Unit

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    Greetings, all.
    The most recent Radio Shack flyer advertizes their "best RCA bookshelf speakers" at a drastic reduction. They are the model with the Linaeum tweeters, and a 5 inch woofer. I believe they used to be under the Optimus brand name. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with these speakers. How do they perform?
    Thanks.
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    "Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts." - Leonard Shelby, MEMENTO
     
  2. John GB

    John GB Stunt Coordinator

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    I had them when they had the Optimus label on them. Very nice little speakers (especially at the sale price). I paid a lot more for them.
    I was using them for my surrounds early on. They are IMHO, descent sounding speakers, with good high-end dispersion. I don't know if they have changed since the RCA logo went on them.
    Now that I have B&Ws backing me up, I have given them to my Mom. They sound very good in her living room.
    You may want to take a pair home and audition them in your environment. Radio Shack has a descent return policy.
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  3. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    Both my mains and 4 surrounds are Optimus speakers with the Lineaum tweeters. Low/mid performance is good, but the highs are clear, wonderful and wide. Couple those RCA bookshelfs with a decent sub you have the best budget HT system you can buy IMHO.
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    Derek
    Surround EX FAQ: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/P...urroundex.html
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    They are usually $150 and several times used to go on sale for $75 and currently with the RCA label I believe they are on sale for $49.97 each. At $75, they are a great value for the money. For a period I picked up a pair and used them for the left and right channel in the bedroom system and subsequently got my system together and gave them to my brother. They are an unbelievable value at $75 each and a steal at $50 each. The tweeter is excellent. My main system consists of Thiel 7.2s as the left and right (www.thielaudio.com) and I can find no fault at the price point for these speakers. A friend not that long ago wanted something reasonable and he grabbed 5 of them when they were on sale for $60 each. I almost was going to keep them and try to find a better driver for the woofer but decided I did not have the time. Linaeum I believe also makes high end speakers. There are one or two reviews at www.audioreview.com.
     
  5. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    I had a friend who had these for his mains for the longest time(he had the Optimus branded ones though). My opinion of the speakers is that they work really well for Home Theater, but I felt that they were lacking for music playback. However, since they're really cheap, you can't really go too wrong with them [​IMG]
     
  6. Matt_P

    Matt_P Second Unit

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    Thanks for the responses.
    Any other opinions?
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    "Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts." - Leonard Shelby, MEMENTO
     
  7. James Pann

    James Pann Auditioning

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    Excellent High, but bass shy for a 5" woofer.
     
  8. Eric S

    Eric S Agent

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    These speakers are pretty decent. As a side note, I believe they have always been RCA speakers, and Radio Shack paid RCA to put the Optimus name on it. Radio Shack does not manufacture very much, so they've been putting the "Radio Shack" and "Optimus" label on other manufacturer's products for years.
    Anyhow, they sound pretty good, but I have come across an article on how the make them better. The first method replaces the crossover, the second method replaces the woofer and the crossover.
     
  9. Steve Peterson

    Steve Peterson Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got 5 of those things (2 MK1 - metal screen tops 3 MK2 current type). Good little speakers. Here are a few things you need to know about them:
    * Radio Shack has signed a contract with RCA to brand all their stuff RCA instead of Optimus/Realistic. That means you can get a Pioneer receiver at Rat Shack labeled RCA. No joke! These speaker are (or were) made by Aura(sp?), same company that makes the bass shakers popular around here.
    * The RCA and Optimus models are exactly the same, except for the badge change.
    * They are ported, but have such a horrible response that you are better off getting cork "plugs" and plugging up the ports. I also stuffed the interior with poly-bat.
    * They can be used for music listening, but they will require alot of work to get the proper placement. I've found that because of the 360 degree-ness of the tweeter, they need room to breath. At least 18" away from the nearest wall. They would suffer if sitting in a bookshelf.
    * Their bass response is poor (only to ~90Hz) so you WILL need a sub to go with them.
    * The MK2 models (the one with the cloth top instead of metal) have a poorly designed speaker grill for the tweeter. The entire top is plastic with holes punched in it like this: (ignore the .'s)
    O.O.O.O.O
    .O.O.O.O.
    O.O.O.O.O
    As a result, a fair bit the the highs get lost in the speaker grill. Taking it off will quickly show what you are missing, but it puts the tweeter out in the open.
    Two things that I want to do with mine are the crossover upgrade listed in the link above, and build a new speaker grill that is more like the original.
    Steve "Good luck" Peterson
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  10. Carol Curtis

    Carol Curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    www.soundandvisionmag.com has a review on the OPTIMUS speaker that I think is the same as the one with the RCA name on it.
     
  11. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    My neighbor has the Kenwood HTB 503. The center channel is the weakest link. Therefore, we went last night, picked up one of these as a center replacement, and the moral of the story is: for 49.97, this is a steal. A definite improvement in sound quality, and a step up dynamically. It goes louder, and stays smoother at higher volumes than did the original from the HTB 503.
    The sound is a little diffuse, perhaps, but a definite step up. For anyone with the HTB 503, I'd say go grab three of these and replace everything across the front. For 150.00, you can't go wrong. The biggest gripe about these speakers seems to be the bass, but if you're using a sub crossed over at 80 or 100 Hz, who cares?
     

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