WHY is POLK AUDIO not respeced??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by kevin_tomb, May 23, 2002.

  1. kevin_tomb

    kevin_tomb Stunt Coordinator

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    Obviously I own POLK speakers (vintage RTA-11T) I must admit I dont think their new offerings are anything spectacular (not counting the new audiophile line which IS SPECTACULAR), but they are not bad in any way. I mean to ask when you guys rip on them are you comparing them to multi-thousand dollar speakers??.... The reason I ask is: Back in the day when I got my POLKS, they "WERE" respected then. What has happened in the 13-15 years since??...Is it because they started saleing at Circuit City??.....I do notice they arent really any better today than my old speakers, in fact I much prefer my older ones. Please shed some light on this......im confused....[​IMG]
     
  2. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    Basically, pretty much anything sold at the large retailers is frowned upon by enthusiasts simply because it's not what they are looking for in most cases. Stuff sold at tweeter and other higher-end chains is sometimes excepted, sometimes not. Don't know why really. For example, I have relatively inexpensive (400/pr) Boston bookshelves I got from HiFi Buys (Tweeter) and never hear anything at all about them. Even so, they sound absolutely incredible to me and I have no plans to upgrade anytime soon.

    I guess Polk kind of put a lot of people off when they made the move to CC and I think the LSi line is an attempt to win back that audience. Personally, I love my CS245 center channel. I actually chose it over a similarly priced Boston.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Tweeter HIGH end? Just because they carry Martin Logan and Sonus Faber? I thought they looked like an A/V only Circuit City when I went in, with the exception of some higher end speakers and receivers (Houston).

    I don't think Polk is no longer respected, it's just that at the price point they are selling the RTi line at is very, VERY competetive these days.

    I auditioined the RTi line, and I was not very impressed for the price. That doesn't mean they are crap, but the speakers I have sound better for the same price, and relatively similar specs. I have heard speakers that cost less and sound even better.
     
  4. John_Bilbrey

    John_Bilbrey Stunt Coordinator

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    A bit off the subject, but....I too have some Bostons that I love (VRS micro surrounds and CRC center). I purchased them at HiFi Buys (Tweeter) in Nashville. When I get the wife approval, I'm going to replace my aging Kenwood towers with some Boston CR85s. There isn't a whole lot to choose from around these parts. Granted, you can audition Paradigm and other mid to high-end stuff around here, but the attitude that most places around here put out is somewhat of a turn-off. They see a guy in his late 20s role in with a buddy, and the prick-meter goes through the roof! I won't deal with somebody who's gonna be a prick to me just because I don't look like their typical customer.
    I also auditioned B&W and Definetive at another place a little closer to home. Guess what? The Bostons sounded just as good, for considerable less cash.
    Oops, rant mode off....

    My dad bought a pair of RT55i. For what he gave for them, they sound great. He's running a stereo setup at his house in a pretty good size living room. Mom won't allow him to go all-out HT. They fill the room with sound and Mom made him kill all of the base on his receiver.....
     
  5. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the CR-8's, the predecessor to the 85's. Nice to hear there are other fans out there. [​IMG]
    I would like to hear the LSi series though but we don't have any retailers round here.
     
  6. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    My guess is because they kinda sold out by selling at CC. I started losing respect for them at that point. Mabye because I also love my RTA11tl. BUT, polks sound quality started going down the tubes with the RT line, especially for the price.
    I'm very seriously considering the LSI 15 or 25s, they sound oh so sweet.
    Hope this random rambling makes any sense...[​IMG]
     
  7. Brian Treinen

    Brian Treinen Stunt Coordinator

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    I, too, own RTA-11t's and at the time - as you mentioned - they were sold and compared right next to Maggies and other pretty damn high end stuff. Got mine in like '85 for $850 for the pair which at the time wasn't (and even still isn't) chump change for speakers. Whenever I read about someone going off about Polk not being high end or that they are crap I pretty much ignore it. I taste tested my Polks with about 6-7 other brands and these were CLEARLY the best from that group. And I didn't hear them at Circuit City next to Bose or Kenwood speakers either. When I saw them being sold there I kinda lost some of the shine for them too - I guess you could LOOSLEY compare it to some Porsche heads thinking that they went slumming when the made the Boxter - the only thing worse would have been selling it through GM dealers [​IMG] Still a quality product - up to the best out there? Maybe not but I know I did my homework and almost 20 years later they still sound great!
    I think this whole issue is part of the trouble with these forums sometimes, the elitism makes you think that what sounds good to you really doesn't and CAN'T because you have crap.
     
  8. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Another off-the-topic post....

    The Boston Acoustics CR8 is one the best bookshelf speaker ever in my opinion, especially at their price point. I heard the CR85, and those are inferior to the CR8, in my opinion.
     
  9. jason celaya

    jason celaya Stunt Coordinator

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    A friend of mine bought the rt800s/CS400 all around (for next to nothing)and they kick ass. I spend so much more time and money on my set up and he just enjoys movies with really good sound.
     
  10. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I respect my Polks in the morning after a good hard night of play.
    I have the RT55s/CS400 and RT25i's. Excellent build quality, great sounding speakers and top-notch CS from Polk all at a low price point. So I bought them at CC, big deal.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  11. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Sorry guys, but you don't have to buy your gear exclusively at a snob shop and pay top dollar. I don't buy this argument at all.

    This is ESPECIALLY true with speakers. Amps and separates are in somewhat of a different category becuase there is more money tied up in engineering and manufacturing and the prices just won't fly at your average BB/CC etc....

    Just because a company decides to expand its distribution model they are no longer making quality equipment? Get REAL........I remember when Klipsch, JBL and Polk were ONLY sold at the snob shops and they were very well respected.
     
  12. joe logston

    joe logston Stunt Coordinator

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    i have polks all round and for the money you cant beat them
    my self i dont care where they sell them , as long as you can get them, thats all that matters,there is nothing worng with polks, they sound dam good. you can spend a lot more money on speakers and wont be as good as polks.the store you buy at is not going to make them sound better.

    what is worng with people, they think that more money you spend on speakers are going to make them sound better.
     
  13. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I agree with Joe, I don't care if Circuit City carries something that I want, as long as it is the lowest price (which often it isn't).
     
  15. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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    Alot of people feel when a manufacturer has to use terms like "Power Port" and "Patented Acoustic Resonance Control Technology" to sell speakers they dont deserve respect.
     
  16. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    I guess that a lot of people are under the impression that a speaker has to cost a certain amout before it is considered to be "Audiophile" quality. Thats their opinion and so be it, I may disagree but thats cool too.
    About 11 years ago I owned a set of Polk SDA-2B'S, and I was the envy of all the folks on my block. After getting laid off from the Aerospace Biz I had to sell all of my Carver seperates and Polk speakers. About $10k worth of gear for pennys on the dollar. Time went by, life got better, I started learning all over again and buying stuff!
    I went back to my favorite speakers, Polk Audio! Key words are "my favorites." There are all types of people with all types of taste in speakers and electronics, so it is not surprising that Polk, or Klipsch, or Paradigm, or Canton, or Martin Logan, or PSB, ETC, ETC, ETC, get bashed! I firmly believe that there is a great speaker for every ear, but not every ear hears the same thing.
    Buy what sounds good to you, and to hell with the S.O.B.'s that tell you that your speakers are not any good just cuz they own something different.[​IMG]
     
  17. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    At CC I always rec'd Polk and Infinity. Both are well-made just different sounds. The infinity has more high-end detail, but less emphasized midrange and extension of bass. I personally wishwash which one I like better everyday... hmm and I work there. I think the Polk's are better for HT. The Infinities are better for certain music. I went to NowAudioVideo in Greensboro, NC, and asked how he thought the Polk LSI line might matchup. He told me Polk never has and never will make a good speaker and he didn't want to talk about Polk.!?! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    On top of this he wouldn't demo crap for me which was fine, b/c I did it myself.
    Basic lesson: Polk is not elitist anymore and they are trying to jump back up there w/ this lineup. One thing I've learned w/ any company is that first gen stuff w/ an agenda behind it is usually pretty solid and a good value. For example, Sony's high-end first gen dvd players were really solidly built and quality. Now they are cutting corners everywhere to cut prices.
    BTW, on my way out I made sure to tell the manager about this particular salesguy. The manager was pretty indifferent. The one in Durham is far superior.
     
  18. John_Bilbrey

    John_Bilbrey Stunt Coordinator

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    Danny, in regard to the CR85s...how were they inferior? I have never heard the CR8s. What would I be missing? I really liked the CR85s, but I might be able to find some CR8s at a better price on ebay. Wonder where I could hear them demoed now?
     
  19. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Second Unit

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    When I bought my Polk 7s in 1979, after shopping for five years (No, I wasn't that picky, I had a case of no-doughitis.), nothing at that price could touch them. At least from what Icould hear. Many of my friends also bought them. After they heard mine.

    But speakers have improved since 1979, and Polk, while probably stillat their pricepoints, are certainly no the only game in town, and probably haven't been for a long time.

    If I were to purchase new speakers, I'd consider Polk, but I'd listen to a lot of others, too. In fact, I nearly bought a set of Polks from CC when I blew a tweeter in one of my 7s. I decided to replace the tweeter instead. Members of this forum were very helpful in helping me find the right replacement.
     
  20. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    *off topic yet again*

    John,

    The 85's are identical as far as I can tell. Same 7" woofer and 1" Kortec tweeter but a different grille. BTW, the CR8 has a die cast grille and it's a pain in the a**. The 85 has a cloth grille which may make a small sonic difference. I couldn't hear it.

    They are rear ported so placement is important. Try to stant mount them (Sanus stands work well) and get them at least a foot from the wall. They produce some nice, deep bass when properly placed.
     

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