View Full Version : RTA15tl vs LSI help
Years ago I bought a pair of what I believe to be Model RTA15tl speakers. (Anyway they look just like the pictures posted at the Texas get together).
I woke up one day and thought I'd start putting together a home theater. I started "jamming without understanding".
Firt I went and bought a junk receiver due to lack of knowledge. Then I bought an LSIC before I heard the word "timbre".
I now undersand the work "timbre" and now I'd like your help to make sure I don't make anymore stupid moves. Please listen to my assuptions.
Assuption 1. If I stay with LSI I need to move my large floor standing RTA15tl speakers to the back due to timbre missmatch. Question: If I replace these big boys with LSI9'S is that an upgrade or a downgrade? Would it be better to sell the LSIC and attempt to find a timbre match for the old model towers?
2. I think I'll get the new NAD 7 channel receiver since it is 4 ohm compatable. Anyone think NAD is the wrong way to go for LSI? I'm thinking of LSI 9's for front mains and side surrounds with the large floor standers in the back due to timbre mismatch.
I live in an area where is seems impossible to find anyone demonstrating the LSI's. Circuit City at my location doesn't even demo them.
Thanks loads for any and all thoughts.
11-24-2004, 09:03 PM
I'll take a stab at this. One of our members runs 2 LSiC center channels with LSi15's as surround speakers with SDA SRS's as the fronts and he reports a good timbre match. However, the SRS's use a SL2000 tweeter vs your SL3000, so I'm not sure if the same would apply. Generally the larger speaker (RTA 15TL) should be used up front with the LSi 9's in the rear.
Give this some time to let others respond.
11-25-2004, 03:56 AM
Can't and won't make the choice between the 15's and 9's for you. That's your job. Will suggest that whichever pair you like better for 2 ch listening are the keepers.
It sounds like you are heading towards 5.1 and that you have enough room (6' or so) behind your listening position to use direct radiators as rears. Anyway I'll respond using these assumptions.
If you choose the 15's for your mains:
I'd look for used Polk centers. Either the CS400 or CS350 will be a decent match with your tl's as mains. My 400 blended very nicely with a pair of 3.1tl's. Both can be found on ebay although they are a bit fewer and farther between these days. I do not believe any are listed at present, but they'll be back. There was a rash of the 400's within the last month, a half dozen or so.
If you are also planning to get into 5 ch SACD and/ or DVD-A, you are going to have a voice matching issue with them. Finding voice matched surrounds for the 15's is a bigger challenge than finding the center. The smaller RTA 11tl might be ideal, but are scarce. Ditto the 8tl, but you might need to replace their SL2500 tweeters with the new spares Polk is stocking.
Hopefully the LSiC is returnable.
If you choose the 9's for your mains:
Obviously you stay with the LSiC. Choosing the LSi's will make the search for matching voices in your surrounds a snap. Consider some LSi 7's for rears. Taking this route, you'd be selling the 15's for fundage. The one pair I've seen on ebay went for $545.
If funds are not an issue, keeping the 15's for 2 ch use in a dedicated rig, and going LSi for HT is a choice.
As for NAD, you don't state a model, but in general NAD would be a good choice for the LSi's or RTA's. NAD makes pretty potent amps, nice high-current models. I assume the same for their AVR's. Don't know anything about them processor performance-wise.
There are other choices, both for AVR's and separate components. If you are interested, setting a budget will help any responder.
Hope this helps some...
<<It sounds like you are heading towards 5.1>>
I'm going for 7.1, thinking that if I go with LSI I'd have LSI9's for mains and side surrounds and put my old towers to the back?
I'm looking at NAD T 773 for my receiver if I go with 4ohm LSI.
Your reply has been big time helpful. I think I'm seeing a need to take my old towers out of my HT thoughts and start over with all LSI. (Unless you think timbre is less of an issue in the back speakers of a 7.1 system).
I'd like to ask this one more time. It seems you have heard both my old model speakers and the new LSI's. In your opinion, will I have better sound or worse by getting rid of my old towers and replacing them with LSI9's. You've already said I would have to decide that myself but I would like your opinion since I can't hear a demo of the 9's without buying them first.
11-25-2004, 04:31 AM
There is NO substitute for large radiating sufaces, but looking at what you're trying to do I'd go with Tour's suggestion, use the RTA 15TL's in a 2 channel rig and use the LSi series for your HT rig. The RTA's would be wasted in the rear.
11-25-2004, 05:24 AM
First, before I forget again, let me say: Welcome to the Club...
OK, 7.1... In general direct radiators are not great choices for side surrounds in 7.1, bi-/di-poles as in the FX series tend to work best on the sides. Exception here would be if the sides will be a good distance to your sides, say 10' or so from your listening positions.
On the other hand, directs can be a great choice for rears, if you have a few feet between where your listening positions and the speakers will be. If you don't, the FX's may be a better choice for rears as well.
7.1 complicates the retention of your 15tl's even more, at least in an HT role.
As for your original question...
I honestly do not like making a recommendation, let alone one upon which a buying decision will be made. There is no subsitiute for the buyer listening for himself. Speaker selection is too subjective to simply go on the opinion of another. So unless you are doing 20 years without parole, get to a dealer.
That said, if you insist upon hearing my opinion, here it is:
I'm not overly impressed by either of your candidates.
This view of the LSi's puts me in a distinct minority 'round here. A lot of folks love them and many have built their HT rigs around them. To me they are too laid back. Here I am mostly talking about the 9's as I've spent the most time with them. In general I like a brighter speaker.
As for the 15tl's, I did not find them to be very well mannered. A bit boomy on the bottom end and somewhat muddy in the middle. I liked their highs just fine, however.
IMO you are setting up a choice between two very distinct ends of the Polk spectrum. If I had to choose between these two options, I'd go with the LSi's.... but...
As i said above, you really need to find a dealer that carries the LSi's, grab a few of your favorite discs and go listen for a good couple of hours. If you have loved your 15tl's all these years, I'd suggest auditioning the LSi15's or even the 25's. Reason for this is if you love your tl's you need to audition something on an equal footing bass-wise to be fair. Doesn't mean you should buy the bigger LSi's (a good sub, nearly essential for HT, will take care of the bass end at home), but audition the bigger models. And while you are there...
Hopefully the dealer will also have the RTi line. If he does, audition the 10's and 12's while you are at it. I spent some time with these, mostly the 10's, about a month ago and was impressed by them. And I had a pair of LSi 9's in the same room I was able to A-B against the RTi's.
I thought the 10's had it all. Nice forward highs, smooth mid's and controlled bass. The 12's were similar except I thought the bass was less tight (the 12's were deeper in the sound room's corners, outside the 10's, however, and this could have been a factor).
So there, FWIW, you now have my opinion(s). No more or less valid than anyone else's on this forum, except for one person... you.
My apologies if I am coming across as irritated in my reply, I'm not. Let me also apologize in advance, if there is some personal circumstance that 100% precludes you from getting to a dealer. I'm just trying to impress upon you that you really have to hear your Polk, and other manufacturer, options in person. It's the only way to not make another mistake, or at least to not make an uninformed one.
Now let me close with a question for you... When you bought your tl's so many years ago, were they a "blind" buy, or did you audition them?
Thanks to all of you for your help. I did listen to my first Polks before buying them. I don't know if that store is even there anymore. It is several hundred miles from my home. I will take your advice and listen first to whatever I end up with. I was about to trust the professional reviews on the LSI 9. The folly in that is they always end glowing reviews of any speaker with a line like "for their size" or "in their price range" which then makes me wonder if I need "bigger" or "spend more money" to really get the sound I'm looking for. I wanted you guys opinion because you've "been there, done that" so to speak. Like Harley owners debating classic with new sport Harleys.
My mind isn't made up and I'm more confused than ever except to say I'm going to do the travel necessary to demo speakers until my ears bleed.
I've spent way too much money already "jammin without understandin".
Thanks again everyone!!
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