View Full Version : SDA: both big and small
07-17-2001, 08:32 PM
To those SDA freaks out there:
1.) What is the best BIG SDA speaker? (SDA-SRS, etc.)
2.) What is the best "small" SDA speaker? (SDA-2, CRS, etc.)
07-17-2001, 09:14 PM
the one you can find and if you find it can you afford it?
07-18-2001, 12:26 AM
I own the 3.1TL. It was #3 in the lineup in 1991.
Its a fine speaker. 95% of the performance of its
big brothers at about half the cost.
Sonically, its not quite as good... but, its much more
the same than different.
07-18-2001, 04:12 PM
Biggest : 1.2 TL
Smallest : Original SDA-1's[B]:p
Of course, they ALL make me happy...............
07-18-2001, 04:36 PM
I would have to venture a guess that the differences between the 2.3TL (which I have) and the largest 1.2TL would be noticable, but minimal at best. I make this assessment based on having owned the 2B (smallest floor standing model) then moving to the 1C (next larger, twice the driver compliment). The differences beteen these two models was quite impressive, but the difference was TWICE the driver compliment. The larger models are much more closely arranged, being the larger only gains 2 more 6.5" drivers and one addtional tweeter. If one could get his hands on either, I'd say the better bargain would be the 2.3's, however that won't stop me from obtaining the 1.2TL's someday if funding allows. When it does, The 2.3's will go upstairs to pull main HT duty, and the 1C's will go the rear and the monitor 10's as secondary side-surrounds.
The CRS's are the smallest and a fine speaker themselves. I am looking to swap my cs350ls for a pair so that I may use one for center ch.
I don't think there really is a "best" small version or "best" large version. The only one I'd stay away from (sorry rskarvan, no offense intended, just going on testimony) is the 3.1TL if at all possible. I was told by the fellow I got my 1C's from that he wished he'd kept the 1C's and not bothered with the 3.1's. He's not the only one who's told me that either. I've read similar reports elswhere too. The concensus is that the 3.1's don't have the midrange clarity of the 1C's nor the bass reach. I don't know personally.
07-19-2001, 10:03 AM
When I purchased my 3.1TL's (NEW), I listened to them side-by-side with the 2.3 and the 1.2.
The biggest difference is between the 1.2 and the 2.3
The 3.1 doesn't have the "power handling" of the other two;
but, it does have that characteristic SRS Polk sound.
If the 3.1 is lacking in any department... its that it only has a minimal (relative) SDA effect. This is becuase each speaker has only one SDA driver.
Depending on your perspective, thats both good and bad.
Positive is that there are 4 drivers (each speaker) for handling the actual signal (like the 1.2). With only one driver in SDA-mode,
the SDA effect is small. I consider this a good thing... as you get some localization disappearance without an "unusual" imaging effect. Perhaps if the 3.1 had had two SDA drivers - that would have been ideal.
The bass on the 3.1's is very tight. I think the cone shaped passive radiator is probably superior to the flat panels of its big brothers. Again, this feature was "introduced" on the 3.1.
The real reason the 3.1's get a bad rap... is because very few were actually made (one year model only). Maybe everyone else is just jealous??? Of course, some people are of the opinion that bigger is always better.
07-19-2001, 10:30 AM
im reading the motley crue book "the dirt" i think bigger is better
read the book you will know what i mean.
07-21-2001, 02:35 PM
Hmm, not exactly...the fellows I talked to said they preferred their former 1C's (smaller actually) to their new 3.1's. The guy I bought my 1C's from said he wished he'd kept them instead. I'm sure the 3.1's are good speakers, I'm not trying to imply they are bad. But being as that Polk did sort of plop them on the market for about one year before pulling the plug on the original SDA line completely, I have to wonder how big a hit the 3.1's would have been anyways. I think they did the same thing at the end of the SDA production as they did at the start. They came up with a design idea and before THOUROUGHLY testing them, shot them off to market and then started making change after change after change to rectify design characteristic flaws, and effect improvements. I realize that as with any product, changes get made to them eventually to keep them current, but what Polk did with the SDA's was nothing short of prematurely dumping them on the market before all aspects of the design had been considered. Like use with mono amps, frequency responces, cancellation frequency requirements, driver arrangements etc. I'm not knocking SDA's.. God knows I love 'em. They're all I've ever used for my primary listening speakers (new 2B's from '89 to around 97, 1C's in 97 (still have) and in 99 2.3TL's) But I do sort of knock they way they went about it. I believe that the 3.1 was their last "tally-ho" in the design ditching dept.
07-21-2001, 03:14 PM
Is bigger ALWAYS better? Not hardly. I don't think anyone really believes this. However, in the case of "SDA SPEAKERS" it sure doesn't hurt one single bit to be bigger. It does make them better.
The obvious choices for the SRS series is with the 1.2s, vanilla or tl.
The smaller SDA series, the later 1Cs get my vote.
You can use all these speakers with an AI-1.
One would be happy with any of the SDA line, as they're all really fine speakers. Choice depends on your prefered listening level, budget (for speakers and their power supplies), and the availability of models in good condition with their cables.
Oh, BTW, on the "just jealous?" note... not in this camp.
07-22-2001, 02:49 PM
Seems strange how Polk pulled the plug on the SDA concept so completely. I'd love to hear the rhetoric that went on in business meetings regarding THAT decision. I'm not saying that every polk speaker should be SDA... but, to drop the option entirely was very wrong.
I guess the only thing that compares (sort of) is the tricks used in dipole speakers to non-localize the sound.
You do bring up a good point though.... the 3.1TL didn't get the advantage of design tweaks from year to year. It would seem that design departments would be able to "get it right" the first time - continuous improvement upgrades are acceptable (fixing design mistakes aren't).
07-22-2001, 04:27 PM
Bear in mind one strange thing too....Polk used SDA in their flagship SRT system. Kinda makes ya wonder about it even more doesn't it?
07-22-2001, 08:05 PM
Good point on the SRTs. Polk did use the SDA design in their flagship system up untill last year. They just priced the systems a bit on the high side. Albeit they were actually introduced as a limited edition that ended up having a long production run, and in most cases goods that are limited editions demand somewhat higher prices.
08-04-2001, 07:34 PM
I have a set of the old SDA-SRS 2B's. They are VERY big, but sound really cool.
08-04-2001, 08:14 PM
It's nice to see another SDA fan and owner.
You've got my curiosity up though... seeing as how Polk made the models SDA-SRS 2 ('86-'88); SDA-SRS 2.3 ('89); SDA-SRS 2.3tl ('90); SDA-2 ('83-'86); SDA-2A ('87); and SDA-2B ('88-'89), I was wondering which model you actually have.
Is the SDA-SRS 2B a typo? If not, where did you get this model number from?
The back plate on each speaker will have part of the model number, (the main prefix, but most often not the version) with a bit more information we can fix you up with the proper model of your SDAs.
For starters: What is on the back plate? What's the driver complement of your speakers? Is your interconnect cord a pin/blade or a twin blade type?
08-04-2001, 08:45 PM
If anyone hadn't noticed, there is a pair of the old SDA SRS 2's for sale on E-bay. I think they are located in Texas. Neat old speakers. They have four mid-bass' and the 15" passive, and of course, two tweets.
08-04-2001, 09:14 PM
They're the 2.3's. I thought sure that there was a letter in there. It wasn't easy getting them around. They weigh over 100 lbs. ;^)
08-04-2001, 09:32 PM
Nope, they're not light. !55lbs original shipping weight each and 145lbs net weight each. I can remember carrying mine into the house wearing their original boxes. Alone. Talk about having your hands full! Not only are they heavy, they're bulky, ...huge!
Enjoy your 2.3s, they're terrific speakers.
08-05-2001, 07:17 PM
We had to have the speakers unboxed to get them into the minivan. My wife and I carried them into the house and were sweating like anything. I joked that if we caught somebody carrying both speakers out at once, they could have them, and I'd hold the door!
08-06-2001, 12:19 AM
I hear ya, that'd be one big dude!
08-10-2001, 04:57 PM
A local guy has a pair of SDA-SRS 2.3 for sale. Do you have any idea at a fair price for the pair? Thanks.
08-10-2001, 07:58 PM
I've seen 2.3's (TL's although a TL is not necessary) go for $700 to $1600. I paid $1500 but they were absolutely perfect and purchased from someone who I knew I could trust. My collection consists of 'CRS, 1c, 2.3TL, SRS and SRS 1.2's. (no 1.2 TL's yet) I have to say my most favorite audiophile quality ones are the 1C's while my "most fun" pair are the SRS. The 2.3 TL pair is the most acurate and the 1.2's are "the virgins" whatever that means. My 1.2 virgins have not received the same abuse as all my others because I received them "only used for a few songs" and I am saving them for "something"?
The 1c's would have my vote if polk was to go back in time and only make one pair.
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