Replacing Paradigm SEs w/ Polk RT's or RTi'S?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Stephen Hopkins, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been looking at toning my speakers back a bit before i head back to college for the fall. I currently have Paradigm 5SE MK3 mains, 3SE MK3 surrounds, Mini SE MK3 back surrounds, and a 3SE MK3 being used as a center, all powered by a Sony 4ES. I'm planning on going back to 5.1 instead of 7.1 due to a lack of room in my apartment at school. The room will be apx. 13' x 11'. My sub is a EBS Shiva powered by a PE 272W Plate Amp.

    I was originally considering PSB Image bookshelves all around. I listened to them once briefly and they sounded really good, but upon a second more critical listen they sounded brighter than i like which is really not what i need (slightly bright receiver, very bright room).

    While in VA i was at a crutchfield retail store / outlet center where i listened to the Polk RTi series and was really blown away. I loved the RTi70's and was really surprised by the RTi28's. They also have some great deals on returns and floor models. I can get 4 RTi28's and a CSi30 for around $500. I would probably upgrade to the RTi70's next summer when i get back home and once again have a full 7.1 setup.

    Now while looking on ebay i've found what seem to be some good deals on the RT series. I've found one seller w/ a pair of RT800's (similar size as RTi70's), a CS400, and some FX500s for around $600 total. This seems like a great deal and i'm interested in giving Bipole/Dipole surrounds a try. I also like the fact that the FX500's are switchable between Bipole and Dipole. I like the idea of tower speakers and always have, even though i do 99% HT listening and am EXTREMELY happy with my sub. Will i benefit from the size of the RT800s or the eventual upgrade to RTi70's?

    How would the older RT's sound compared to the newer RTi's? I'm looking for a particularly warm sound to counteract my slightly bright receiver and bright room conditions (thin carpet over concrete, bare walls, open to tile kitchen).

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    The RTixx and the RTxxxi lines will sound almost identical. The only real difference is the silk dome tweeter vs. the tri-lam tweeter and Polk has stated the differences in timbre are "subtle at best".

    Polk's frequent upgrades to the RT line of speakers can best be described as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

    If you can get the RT800i(2), CS400i(1), FX500i(2), in good condition for $600, jump all over it. That is almost too good to be true.

    Otherwise, look at the RTi70, CSi40, and FXi50 as a near identical sounding equivalent.

    Definitely get the CS400i/CSi40 center channel. It is fabulous and room-filling and noticeably better than the CS245i/CSi30.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  3. ShaunLB

    ShaunLB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Go for the Polks...great price you quoted there man! You will love their sound and build quality!
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    If i do end up with the RT800, CS400, and FX500 combination, could I later add RTi28's to complete 7.1 without any huge timbre match problems in the rear soundstage? If so, should i use the FX500's at the sides as bipoles and the RTi28's in the back, or the RTi28's at the sides and the FX500's in the back as dipoles?

    I'm not interested in an overly diffuse (DPL) back soundstage since 80% of my listening is DVD movies w/ DD or DTS which both have content which i enjoy more when directional effects are easily located. This leads me to think the FX500s at the side as bipoles would be the best idea, but i'll definately experiment with it if i get this setup.

    Thanks,

    Shopkins
     
  5. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, you can add the RTi28's later on with a very minimal timbre difference, probably not even noticeable as rear surrounds. As an alternative, you can also use the CS245i as a rear surround and it will be an exact timbre match, if you are really concerned about it. I use twin CS245i's as rear surrounds in my 7.1 set-up, and f/x1000's in dipole mode as side surrounds.

    Use the f/x500i's in dipole mode at the sides, and the RTi28 monopoles as rear surrounds. The bipole mode keeps each tweeter in phase. The dipole mode runs the back tweet out of phase with the front tweet. This lends a more diffuse sound field at the sides, which is usually preferred for HT. You can always switch to bipole mode for SACD and DVD-A if you prefer.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  6. MikeSta

    MikeSta Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Polk RT line is solid and should offer you good sound quality/performance for the price. I would agree that the CS400i or CSi400 is the most important of the speakers to get, the power this center channel has is amazing. I got the following setup over the past 8 months.

    RT800i ($300 for the pair)
    RT600i ($150 for the pair)
    CS400i ($190)
    -------------------
    total $640 = very happy!

    The timber match should work out fine as they haven't made any dramatic changes over the last few years.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Chris Drenner

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys,
    I just want to add my 2 cents..
    I bought this set up RT800I,CS1000P and FX500
    for 900$ on audiogon...local pickup too..so no shipping costs...so I think I lucked out..I couldnt be happier with the polks...I run them with a HK525 reciever..im in the process of getting a set of RT55I bookshelves so I can set up 7.1...
    I love the sound of the polks for music and movies...go for the polks.
     

Share This Page