View Full Version : Why all the Polk bashing on other sites?
07-02-2003, 09:47 PM
I have been checking out other audio sites and have been reading reviews on different manufacturers. It seems like there is a lot of Polk bashing out there. What gives? I think my set of Polk RTi's sound great for both music and movies. Am I missing something. I'm sure it doesn't help that they are sold at CC, but that doesn't mean they aren't good solid speakers. Has anyone done any listening to some of the highly rated speakers out there to give me some feedback? I'm not talking the high dollar stuff, but comperable prices to the RTi series.
Thanks for your feedback.
07-02-2003, 09:54 PM
Audio websites will have their bashing company, just depends on where you go. You certainly will find few friends of Bose in this forum, so its just that sites flavor of the week. I agree, it is a solid performer and priced in a range that can hit multiple market levels. That is a successful speaker in any bracket. Just drop the dime on them that Polk Audio is one of the largest speaker manufacturers and retailers in the country.
You also find alot of Sony bashers, goes with the territory. We get no love sometimes :p
If you put NHT, KEF, PARADIGM, etc... in mass production stores for any extended amount of time, eventually they would gather the reputation Polk has amongst those who seem to take their audio seriously. Because its mass produced in a store with questionable salesmen, incredibly poor demo rooms, etc.... it must be crap. Indeed, I've heard Polk in the rooms and yes, it often does sound like ****.
Most people spend a few minutes with a speaker and from then on, claim to know it inside and out. Hell, I have been guilty of this at times as well...
Just comes with the territory of any audio product, especially those that are mass-produced.
07-02-2003, 11:04 PM
I would certainly agree with that ATC.
I envision a Home Depot sized store with endless listening rooms....or just a chair you sit in and it shuffles you around automatically........the the bottle drops from my hand onto the floor, and I wake up.
07-03-2003, 12:12 AM
well we all know polk is nice so who cares! haahaa
07-03-2003, 12:42 AM
there is olny boses that sucks
07-03-2003, 12:45 AM
I have to admit, since I bought my Polks I can't listen to my Bose anymore. They just sound wrong. There...now I feel better that I got to do some bashing. :)
Most of the bashing you hear on other sites is basically bashing because they sell in CC, as said above. Most of the bashing you hear some people have not even listened to the speakers.
The fact that they are sold in CC turns people off from listening to them. Bose, I have listened to them many times. Each time I listen, I laugh. Bose sounds good, good (I stretch that term as far as I can without making it look like a rubber band that just broke). Bose is here, we can't get rid of it, we can not boycott it. It is sound on marketing, to the average joe is rules. To us it is the next blemish to our audio enviorments when we walk in a store. Everytime I walk in a high end shop that dosnt sell bose I feel at home. Because I know once I walk in that door I will not see one idiot that dosnt know exactly somewhat what their looking at.
Polk, they make a fine product, but once they went mass-produced, sold in CC - they lost alot of respect. It will take them time to gain it all back. But in the mean time, I will continue on my Bose bashing because Bose completely BLOSE! Besides, what audiophile would admit they spent 25,000 on a speaker when they could of spent 600 and received the same sound? ;)
07-03-2003, 08:40 AM
If being in a Store like CC or BB makes a speaker crapola, than I am going to call Klipsch crap. They are now sold at BB.
07-03-2003, 10:08 AM
Forunately for Klipsch and Polk, their finest models aren't sold at BB or CC....it could be worse :eek:
07-03-2003, 01:39 PM
I'm not knocking Polk for going the "mass market" route. It was a well-executed marketing strategy that probably ensured their survival. I only wish they had maintained a "high end" speaker line and dealer network while they were going mass market. Toyota has a mass market dealer network and a separate dealer network for their luxury brand Lexus.
I imagine that it's kinda hard to regain the trust of the audio specialty shops since Polk turned their back on them in the early 1990s. Those guys hold grudges for a long time. :mad:
It might have been a better marketing strategy to have the LSi line carry a new brand name to further differentiate it from the Polk mass market stuff.;)
07-03-2003, 02:52 PM
I was browsing around in Future Shop (canadian equiv of CC) and when I was around the speakers Section, I couldn't help but notice some music that was playing. I honed in on it and traced it to the source, a Bose HT system. I couldn't resist the urge ... I took a closer look ... I reached forward ..... and turned the damn noise off! The salesman showed up and said "Cool system huh?"
I said yeah ... LOOKS great.
There ... My first post on polk website :-P
07-03-2003, 04:56 PM
Welcome to the forum :)
They should thank you for turning that off....
07-03-2003, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by raife1
I'm not knocking Polk for going the "mass market" route.
With all the revenue they generate they should go public. I would sale all my holdings and by into an IPO.
again the Twin is here!!!
There is a lot of consumers that think Polk speakers are low end quality beacuse thier sold at mass retailer's. The last Monster power AVS 2000 that I sold the customer came over for a demo so I could show him how the AVS 2000 worked. He saw my system & asked my why do you have Polks? You should get real speakers! Oh did that make me upset. ( I have LSi 15/ FX /& Center powered by a Rotel RSX 1065)I told my customer after you hear the speakers than make your judgement on the Polks. I did the demo of the AVS 2000 than did a demo of the speakers playing various jazz, rock & dvd audio cd/dvd's. My customer couldnt beleive how clean & wide the sound stage was. He said he never thaught Polk speakers could sound that good, & said that the speakers could probably be matched up agenst much more expensive speakers. A week later I got in the AVS 2000 & went over to install it. After installing I got to listen to his setup, Onkyo txsr 800 receiver, & Moniter audio silver speakers, It sounded ok but to me it was on the bright side & not as neutral as the LSis. My customer called me about a week later to ask to come over & listen to my system again. After listening he asked how much for a set up like this? I told him joking I thaught you told me to get real speakers, Now you want some of the Polks too? We both laughed & a few days later I saw Moniter Audios for sale in the classifieds!
07-05-2003, 09:08 PM
Some people wait all their lives to convert somebody into a Polk lover....are we a cult? Good work EZC :)
07-05-2003, 10:25 PM
that's how you are winning the battle, one convert at a time! today I saw Polk 4th of July sales over at Fry's, R30 for $168 a pair and sub 202 for $129 brand new, RM6010 for $229! that ought to help Polk's reputation to sell LSi at Fry's in the future! should go with buy one-pair get a second pair for free while at it...
I thought Polk should buy up Good Guys to push their products, it's the chain in trouble right now (shares at $1.45, which give 'em a market cap of a measly $39 MM) That's should be a good takeover, since GG still has the potential of competing head to head with Tweeter. They also add Parasound and give up Boston Acoustics, a perfect opening to bring in LSi to replace BA, powered with Parasound....gotta sound great! Just a thought Paul (DiComo) and Matt, perhaps it's time to bring in the Wall Street boys to do the deal!
*slap, I woke up, sounds like a rerun script from Working Girl - Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, but, hey, it might work!*
07-05-2003, 11:46 PM
Way to go man.
Yes a lot of people (general public) still think Bose is the "BOMB" when it comes to speakers. I had to convince a coworker of mine not to get Bose for his Home Theater system he is just starting to build. He gave me a budget, and I gave him some nice RTi speakers to go demo at Circuit City. He tells me, but isn't Bose the best?? I laughed and told him he should go listen. He then says man I've heard them little cube speakers and they sound awesome plus my wife thinks they look cute....
No update yet on what he's going to buy... Bose does spend millions to market their products well though..
Its funny. Lately more and more people at work are coming to me for audio advice. I've been pushing Polk hard...
Anyhow. I've had some dealings on Audiogon lately too and find that a lot of folks don't care for Polk over there either. Some of the older Polk stuff yes but not the newer stuff you find in CC or Best Buy. None of them (the one's I have dealt with) have ever heard of LSi's either. One guy who sold me a power amp was looking into getting some new speakers and I told him he should really audition the LSi 9 or 15 speaker. He said he would too..
Hey I get that all the time! Why dont you sell or have a bose system? The Bose 5.1 HT system is the bomb! & I also hear cant wait till I save enough to buy my HT system, I ask what are you going to buy? The customer says oh the Bose system from sams club, I saw it there & got to listen it was awsome! Gee I said isnt all five speakers right around you the rear speakers are kinda like hanging on long rods behind you/ He said ya, I told him how do you think that system will sound now spaced 10 ft wide & 15 ft to the rear? He said probably just as good beacuse bose makes expensive complete systems. I invited him to have a demo of our systems so he could see what full range means. He never set up an appointment to demo so I got to think he bought the bose system. I have a sony satalite system in the small room & the main system in the large room so I could show him what full range means. I guess all in all its all about advertising! Bose spends millions & are able to sell to customers who just want small or not know better. I had a customer recently call for Z1 speaker cable & I asked what he was going to hook it up to he said a Bose cube system or somthing like that, beacuse the front sound stage wasnt really what he wanted & figured cables would correct the problem! I dont know if you could hook up Z1 cables to somthing that small, wouldnt it tip over? I have the satalites & I know it would probably tip over with the Z1.
Bose cubes are the perfect fetch toy for a dog. Thats about all they are for. Their FR is that of a 90 year old man that went to to many rock concerts. They suck.
07-06-2003, 04:46 AM
Originally posted by Eastern
I couldn't resist the urge ... I took a closer look ... I reached forward ..... and turned the damn noise off!
Welcome to the fourm
07-06-2003, 07:33 AM
goes from why is polk bashed to bash Bose........
When will you guys ever learn.It's not about being the best or best bang for the buck,it's about people enjoying what they own.
Polk made there bed and they have to sleep in it.The all mighty dollar is what rules this world like it or not.I would love to see polk get into higher end stoeres.I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon.Alot of the higher end shops around here won't even listen to polk.........for there reasons.......sad but true.
Bose sells..........more then you could imagine.There is a really big need for them.There size is what allows most non audiophile men get a surround sound system into there livingrooms with the Wife allowing it.As screwed up as I see what most men go through,Bose is the ticket.
Some people perfer Bose speakers as they actually like the way they sound,trust the company as they had very good dealing with them in the past.
I don't think it's right to BASH any gear in here.You don't know what others may own......show alittle respect or at least some class.If you don't like a product,voice your opnion with class.
In each respect, to all adue. Bose has to be one of the most over-priced/OK sounding speakers I have heard. But in its equals of its price range, it falls short of many. The BOTL Polk RM series has better sound than the Bose cube system. Atleast the Polk RM series actually has tweeters! I mean for real!
I do not care if 3/4 of the American population have Bose in their living room. It does not change the fact they sound like a glorified mono radio. This is how I feel about Bose, bash them with class? How about they make a speaker that isnt worth bashing! Then we wouldn't have to bash them at all.
The Bose cubes use a similar design to computer speakers, filters on everything - you turn it up and quality goes to heck. They are 1,000+ dollar computer speakers with a "Bass Module" that picks up about 25% of the midrange. I am bashing with class for sure! I am laying down the proof they totally suck! They may have their place in peoples homes, but why buy a POS Bose Fullranger that sounds like a 90 year old man that went to many rock concerts hearing response??????? When you can buy a nice cheap Jensen/Sherwood system that smokes it?? Bash with class about something that sounds like it was shoved up someones @$$. No doubt!
If your looking to make people show respect for bose, your not going to get it from me, sorry. Just will not happen, my opinion is my opinion.
Of course I understand Bose sells. When I first got into home audio I was like, BOSE RULES! Then I heard them.......................and it all changed. It was a joke and a half. They deserve no respect......
07-07-2003, 02:20 PM
That I would add my .02 cents in here.
When initially researching a HT system I was a newbie like everyone else. With that said I thought Bose were excellent speakers but very expensive. Bose has done a great job marketing their product. There is a reason people know about Bose. You walk up to the average person in the street and say do you know Bose speakers, the usual answer will be yes, can't say that so much about Polk, but normally you will never hear someone say yeah I know Axiom, Rockets, etc. With that said I did my fair share of research and Polk always came out the best. There support is excellent and after HEARING them I was sold. The only speakers I had up against the Polk's were the Axiom's, which would have been slightly cheaper. I also did not buy the speakers from CC because of their lack of knowledge, rather I purchased them from Crutchfield. Overall an extremely easy experience.
I have had my system setup for over 2 weeks now. Thanks to the people on this board and other boards I have been extremely happy with my setup. Just the other day I said let me crank up some U2 - "Where the streets have no name", I had the system maybe half way cranked up, if that. My wife came home and she said she could hear outside, it was awesome. I was in Heaven, and watching movies in the same feeling.
Just going back to Bose, you know I had to, I also laugh when people say they spend 2000+ bucks on their Bose system and it is awesome. I don't shoot them down, I just say that I am glad to hear you enjoy your purchase. Bose works for some and not for others. Polk's work for me ;)
07-07-2003, 04:19 PM
I think Polk made the right decision to "mass market".
The so called specialty shops are disappearing right and left
(at least in my neck of the woods) which leaves alot of people with very limited choices to audition speakers.....I think in thec next couple of years, other prominent speaker companies will follow the same course...look at Athena and Klipsch..both are now available at Best Buy....
Thats my .02 cents worth.......
10-22-2003, 03:57 AM
Going to Mass market has it ups and downs. Personally, for a while I stayed away from Polks. Because they didn't really have a line of speakers that distingish themselves away from that "mass market". Until the LSi came about.
It's a right move, and I think Polk is ready to get back in to the audiophile stream, but a step at a time. To be a power in the mass market, you must launch everything you got in tthat market. Once you establish the market, than you can venture back to your roots.
LSi is just the beginning of a come-back by Polk. Only time can tell.
10-22-2003, 01:22 PM
The audiophile snobs love to pick at great values. Why? 'cause they had to spend $6000 or better to get the same quality tunes that you got for probably well under a grand. These are the same folks that will pluck-down $1500 bucks for set a of speaker cables. I don't sweat'em, I'm too busy being happy with my $2400 total setup, and concentrating my "audio dollars" on improvements that really matter.
10-22-2003, 08:19 PM
I remeber the convo with my dad, 56 yrs old, about being into HT. We talked about speakers and he was into the Blose as well. I still make fun of him.... The easiest way to win that argument, if they know anything at all, is talk about mid-range, esp mid-bass, and the 2" cubes inability to play it. Most people give you that blank stare.....
10-22-2003, 08:43 PM
Here is my 2 cents for what it is worth. I went shopping today for a set of Bose 701's in cherry. I needed speaker stands for my lsi 9's. Do you think the stains will match? Do you think the are strong enough to support the 9's? I was once a young fool in love w/ Bose but now my eyes are wide open, never to be closed again. To prove my 10% theory here is a true story. A gentleman from Florida purchased a set of 301's from me through Ebay. He paid 160$. Not a bad deal considering they run 320 retail but here is the idiot part. He wanted to drive 800 miles to get them.
What an idiot . Quality representation of a the Bose fan base IQ.
10-22-2003, 08:49 PM
Hope he had family in PA.... otherwise he's a true idiot. Spend more money comin to get them (plus ebay price) than buying them new in store. And it's a long sloooowwwww ride through sw PA. When you guys finally goin up to 65mph? lol
10-22-2003, 08:58 PM
That is all the faster you can go through Pa. We were losing small suv's in pot holes.
10-22-2003, 09:04 PM
Western NY is no better. At least you guys dont use salt :(
"Polk" Paul DiComo
10-23-2003, 01:29 PM
This is a fascinating thread and you all have made some good observations. Let me add another thought. Part of the Polk bashing (and Sony and other well known brands) goes beyond the type of distribution the brand is in. We had plenty of Polk bashing going around pre-Circuit City days when our distribution was strictly specialist dealers. I think it started in earnest when we did a huge advertising blitz in the 80s and went from being a little relatively unknown company to something approaching a big brand name. Some people revel in the joy of uncovering undiscovered gems. They see themselves as the keepers of "the secret truth" and discoverers of secrets unknown to the blind (in this case deaf) masses. What fun or status could be gained from "revealing" to their newbie friends or on-line acquaintances that Polk or Sony sound good? It makes them so much cooler to know something others donít know-like there is some cottage industry speaker brand that no one has heard of that sounds SO much better then well known brands. The first thing these people listen to is the logo.
I used to think the audiophile press suffered from the same phenomenon. They still do enjoy finding interesting new companies and products and I think that is a terrific thing for them to do for their readers. But I've also seen that they (the audiophile mags and websites) are perfectly willing to look past the logo and give Polk our due. Three Polk's have made Stereophile magazine's Recommended components list in recent memory (RT5, RT25i and LSi7), the LSi15 won a Golden Ear award from The Absolute Sound and also was chosen as Product of the Year (2002) by Wes Phillips' OnHiFi.com. So take heart and strength from knowing that the brand you love has the respect of truly knowledgeable and experienced audiophiles. Also take heart in knowing something the Polk-bashers DONíT know Ė that you are living with truly GREAT audiophile sound and you paid a lot less for it. You get the last laugh.
10-23-2003, 01:50 PM
GREAT post, I concur 100%
I'd also say that Carver may have been a victim of the same type of thing back in the day as well.....
10-23-2003, 02:49 PM
If you think about it, a LOT of this has to do with the need some people have to make themselves feel good, and feel better than they do currently. And it is absolutely human nature, at least for the human's who have this need, to achieve that "feel good" by putting other people (or their possession) down. It happens with audio, it happens with cars.. it can happen with *anything* that someone holds dear if that person needs justification for their decision and fails to have the self confidence to just be happy and forget what others may think.
Why bash ANYTHING if you're happy with what you have? Years ago my father-in-law came to me for audio advice, and you bet I would have directed him to Polk. But before I could even get going on the research, he made an impulse buy... Bose Acoustimas 5.1 setup. He was impressed. He was happy. He spent a ****load of dough on something that *I* certainly would not have purchased... but I had/have my reasons for buying or not buying something, and he has his.
Lest you forget, we are a very select group of individuals here. We are very much into audio, we have prioritized having a good audio/video system, we spend crazy amounts of money and fill our homes with gear and speaker after speaker to fulfill our lust. But you know what? There are a lot of people who simply don't give two ****s about it. They couldn't comprehend why anyone would ever buy anything more than a minisystem at Walmart. And each one of us has SOMETHING, multiple things, that we really don't care about, but which is some OTHER select group's passion. My family goes fishing with about $30 worth of gear... some people spend $30 on a single fly. I have subscribed to Stereo Review/Sound&Vision for over 20 years. I can't even IMAGINE getting a magazine that is about NOTHING but running, or fishing, or guns and ammo, or computers even, for that matter.
When you're used to two 3" television speakers, Bose does indeed sound pretty good. And if you don't have the motivation or passion to shop store after store, audition piece after piece, put together THE system, then taking home one box or just a couple of boxes is great. And if you don't carry the passion for audio, and don't desire all the shopping, then you are indeed going to listen to the salesman who supposedly knows. There are plenty of times *I* listen to some salesman's advice on something for which I'm not that passionate... like a muffler.
You can state your preference, you can describe why you bought Polks rather than Bose or Paradigm or whatever. But you don't *have to* also bash those who disagree. And if you DO feel the need to bash, then I think the problem lies in you, not them or their decision.
10-23-2003, 03:10 PM
You guys might want to push the next possible Bose purchaser towards a 5.1 computer speaker setup. Better quality, same size, 1/4th the price. Am I the only one who sees this comparison?
10-23-2003, 03:28 PM
Damn nice post there Burdette! Amen to all of that.. Totally agree. ;)
Yes to each there own.. If they ask for your opinion give it.. if not its best to not bash theres.
10-24-2003, 05:10 PM
They are not considered(remember this is the key word considered) "elite" or "audiophile" type speakers any more becuase as others have said they can actually readily be found in "normal" electronics stores. Its not that they are a bad product, its more that they don't have to be found in a "stereo shop" only anymore like they used to be. I rememebr when JBL and even Infinity were audio shop(not mass chain)available only and had the "reputation". I really think if you put any product PSB,Paradigm,Definitive Technology,Acoustic Research, ETC... in say a Wal-Mart/Circuit City/Best Buys/ or a mass market place they would within a few years have their reputation drop off too becuase they are not hard to find/listen to/get anymore and have lost some of their "rarity". The only stuff that I can audition where I am is the stuff CC carries and Klipsch,Boston Acoustic,Def Tech all brands carried by the local stereo shop. So unless you want them if say you had a PSB system I think guys consider it a prized posession and a rarity cause you cant just get it down at the local store. Polk used to be that way back when I got my S4's no one carried them but the local "high end" shop so guys used to be like WOW nice system nice Polks they sound great. Now even though they are the same speaker its more like oh just Polks you can get those anywhere you should hear my Atlantic Technology system even though it would not sound any better than a comprable Polk system its perceived to cause it was bought in a shpo for stereos not CC.
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