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  1. #1

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    Default Polk RTI A9's lacking bass?

    Hey all,

    I have a pair of Polk RTI A9's that I've been trying to break in. They have about 72 hours on them, but I still feel they are lacking bass.

    My setup includes an Onkyo TX-NR5007 with an Aragon 8008x3 external amplifier for the front three channels. I have them all bi-wired for what it's worth.

    I have been testing some bass tests and cannot seem to get strong bass from them, especially considering the specs.

    I also have two PSW505 subwoofers and two buttkickers running at over 1000w each, but have them all turned off for the moment by running Direct mode on the receiver.

    I've been testing this in Direct and Pure Direct modes with no EQ. Speakers are set to full range.

    Looking at the speakers, even at close to reference level, those 3x 7" drivers barely move. You can touch them and they are not *trying* to push your fingers off. They are running, however, just not as I expected.

    Any one else running with the A9's and feel they lack bass? Maybe I'm just a bass freak or it's just the acoustics in my large 1500 sq. ft. room with 11' ceilings???

    I also have an Acurus 200x3 that I was planning on selling, but may attempt a bi-amp setup. I doubt this will work as sensitivity will likely be an issue for bi-amping. The 200x3 is 1.1V for full output while the 8008x3 is 1.68V. As these are both 200W amps, would I see any benefit to bi-amping (could it even be done?) or is the 8008x3 plenty of power? This would give the lower woofers 200W each while midrange and tweeter get another 200 (overkill!).

    Any recommendations?

    On a side note, is the higher sensitivity of the 8008x3 a problem for the Onkyo?

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2

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    They need a LOT of time to break in....probably around 200 hours in my experience.

  3. #3

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    It could be bi-amp. I don't have RTI a9 but I just saw a youtube video of the speakers powering by Emotiva XPA-2 at 75% and there wasnt much excursion.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorokusai View Post
    They need a LOT of time to break in....probably around 200 hours in my experience.
    Would you see any reason to bi-amp these? Or is the 8008x3 plenty?

  5. #5

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    I'm not sure how the Direct and Pure modes work with respect to the speaker size setting (and thus the Onkyo internal crossover settings), but try setting the speakers to LARGE to ensure that you're sending the full spectrum signal to them. I always though direct mode just bypassed any EQ and processing, but didn't change the sub XO settings but I'm not sure.

    At one point during some testing I forgot to turn my sub on and left the speaker setting at Large and I thought the sub was still on--they can pump out some decent bass when properly driven, but they can't compare to a dedicated sub. Also take into consideration that you're running dual subs, so the lack of bass might just be relative to what you're used to.

    Other than that, definitely give them some more break-in time. I never counted but I wasn't fully happy with my RTi12's (RTiA9's predecessor) until after a lot of break in time.


    ***EDIT***
    I just reread your post and see that you said you have them set to Full Range (Large). Another possibility is the large rooms size as well. Perhaps try moving them to a smaller room just to test????
    Last edited by mmadden28; 06-16-2010 at 02:04 PM.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHorne View Post
    ...
    Looking at the speakers, even at close to reference level, those 3x 7" drivers barely move. You can touch them and they are not *trying* to push your fingers off. They are running, however, just not as I expected.

    ...
    I recall getting some excursion on mine-but its been so long---I'll throw some KODO in and try it out again...(the wife is out and about right now so no time like the present right ;) )

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHorne View Post
    Would you see any reason to bi-amp these? Or is the 8008x3 plenty?
    No and plenty. 200wpc @ 8 right?

  8. #8

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    Just listened to those speakers at the Capital Audiofest. They do not lack bass.
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    I went from a 100wpc to a 200wpc and heard only a marginal improvement in bass. When I upgraded by speaker cables to MIT T4's, that made the bass come out even more. I also tried the bi-amp deal with the 2 amps and that didn't do much for me. I think my next step is going to a 250/300 wpc amp.
    THAT should do the trick ;)
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    perhaps the positioning?
    mid-bass they are not lacking!

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    I'd say more break in time...It took my A7's quite awhile, just now getting really good, been 4 months with a lot of listening. But at the same time, I can shake the house, all of it...and they dig deep in my opinion in 2 chan or HT. It could be placement or acoustics.
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  12. #12

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    When new, the bass is not as crisp. In fact they are a bit muffled until they break in.
    I went from the a5’s to the a9’s and I noticed the bass right out the box.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorokusai View Post
    No and plenty. 200wpc @ 8 right?
    Yup. And a healthy 200wpc at that. I have this amp on a dedicated circuit running 10ga romex. The circuit holds 120 even under load so according to the reviews, this amp can drive more than that under stable loads.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmadden28 View Post
    Also take into consideration that you're running dual subs, so the lack of bass might just be relative to what you're used to.
    This could easily be true. I used to feel the PSW505 was a powerful sub in my old place, but then when I moved into my new house with the large great room, i got the second PSW505. Even now I still wish they had more bass. When I talk about bass, I'm talking about that in your body kick that you feel with every thump of a kick drum. I would have this using those 505's in a smaller room -- big time.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmadden28 View Post
    Another possibility is the large rooms size as well. Perhaps try moving them to a smaller room just to test????[/COLOR]
    Perhaps. The room is all tile. I have three couches in the room as well as a huge area rug (12ftx8ft). Anything else I can do to enhance the bass regarding room acoustics?

    The room has a slight echo, but really not noticeable when listening to music or watching a movie. You can only tell when talking to someone on a cellphone, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric5811 View Post
    I'd say more break in time...It took my A7's quite awhile, just now getting really good, been 4 months with a lot of listening. But at the same time, I can shake the house, all of it...and they dig deep in my opinion in 2 chan or HT. It could be placement or acoustics.
    I used to literally knock wine glasses from their shelves when watching movies. I had latches on the front of my china cabinets so things wouldn't fall out! Not in the new place :(

    I guess what I need to do is build a dedicated theater!
    Last edited by JBHorne; 06-16-2010 at 03:18 PM.

  14. #14

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    Subs put out unrealistic bass for HT applications. Movie sound tracks are coded that way, for maximum impact. You will never get the kind of over bloated, exaggerated bass from a tower type speaker, even if it's powered. Most likely what you are hearing in the 9's is the true, more natural bass of the the recordings; that and you need another 150 hours or more break in time.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    I was surprised at the amount of bass they put out at the Capital Audio Fest. It may be Marks amp gets the most out of them. But I was impressed.

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  16. #16

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    I have rti12's which are the same spec wise.From my exp. in the direct or pure audio mode(onkyo898)there was very little bass and way to much brightness.So I started running my external amp to the three 7's(parasound 1500 at 205wpc)and ran the avr to the tweets and mids at 110wpc,in stereo mode made a huge difference.Plenty of driver movement and pretty good solid bass.Now they sound pretty neutral.

  17. #17

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    So no one thinks I should try bi-amping them with the 8008x3 for the mids/highs and the 200x3 for the woofers?

    I would have to split the connections from the pre-outs into both amps. Give me a reason not to sell the 200x3! (which is on audiogon right now, btw :))

    That would give me 400wpc :)

  18. #18

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    I would say your room is the main cause...1500sqft of room? wow, requires considerable amount of sound pressure! Tile doesn't help either. IMHO, I would say a lot of room treatment is needed.

    Still more break in time, trust me. And in your case I would bi amp, you need a lot of power for that room.

    But break in time is key, it took a few months for me, I was kinda dis-satisfied at first, no complaints now!

    And those sub woofers don't give a lot of excursion, you really have to push some wattage to get some. I sit amazed sometime when I take the grills off and watch.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric5811 View Post
    Still more break in time, trust me. And in your case I would bi amp, you need a lot of power for that room.
    I guess my question is whether or not you can bi-amp with different input sensitivities. The 200x3 is 1.1V for full output while the 8008x3 is 1.68V. Also, I would not be running an active crossover network but instead be relying on the passive network built in to the speakers.

    I think the only answer is to try and see! I would run the 8008x3 for the mids/highs and the 200x3 for the lows as 1) the 8008x3 is a better amp where it really matters and 2) the 200x3 is less sensitive and should provide increased output for the lows (yes, I realize this would change the flat response -- but I'd do this anyways in the EQ). I do not know if both gains conform to the THX standard (28db). Any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric5811 View Post
    And those sub woofers don't give a lot of excursion, you really have to push some wattage to get some. I sit amazed sometime when I take the grills off and watch.
    Do you mean the 3x 7" woofers in the A9's or my 505's?
    Last edited by JBHorne; 06-16-2010 at 06:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHorne View Post
    I guess my question is whether or not you can bi-amp with different input sensitivities. The 200x3 is 1.1V for full output while the 8008x3 is 1.68V. Also, I would not be running an active crossover network but instead be relying on the passive network built in to the speakers.

    I think the only answer is to try and see! I would run the 8008x3 for the mids/highs and the 200x3 for the lows as 1) the 8008x3 is a better amp where it really matters and 2) the 200x3 is less sensitive and should provide increased output for the lows (yes, I realize this would change the flat response -- but I'd do this anyways in the EQ). I do not know if both gains conform to the THX standard (28db). Any ideas?



    Do you mean the 3x 7" woofers in the A9's or my 505's?

    The 7", Polk considers them sub woofers. At least in their tech specs relating to the crossover settings.


    As far as your amp situation, I would think you would be fine. I would just try and see.
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  21. #21

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    I would just run them off the amp and see what happens. I have the 12s and they were a tad stiff for awhile. I would almost say around 60hr mark they come around and sound great.
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  22. #22

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    Like Doro mentioned, these require LOTS of break in to fully loosen up.

    but on a side not you may be a bass freak, perhaps you need a 36" woofer and a 10k watt amplifier to give you the bass levels you are looking for :P

  23. #23

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    It's been a long time ... but I am chiming in now. I have had mine for a week now ... Guess how I got here.
    I don't feel the bass, and I don't hear it. I feel like there is something missing from some of my favorite pieces. Grover Washington: A Secret Place - Definitely lacking Bass, and sounds nothing how I expected it too. I have heard this song over the last 30 years on everything I have ever heard; this made my heart sink immediately. I have bi amped with straight runs from cd source and then from a preamp; even with the bass turned up it sounds off. My room is 18X13 and the ceiling is vaulted to about 18. I am using an Adcom GFA 555 a B&K Reference 20 and a plain ole sony reciever to run the highs. It sure sounds clean, I can tell you that. mid bass has some punch, I like that, but the low end is M.I.A maybe even P.O.W. lol. I even moved them to a smaller room 13X16X8.

  24. #24

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    First welcome, and second let them break in,third if your using the sony as a pre amp try a dedicated pre not a integrated.. sounds like your using these for music?? I have a set of these as well and I am always shocked when someone posts that they lack bass..

    Give them some time to relax and break in..

    Larry.

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    Can you better explain how you have them bi-amped? That could be the casue of your frustration, specifically this passage:

    I have bi amped with straight runs from cd source and then from a preamp
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetblac View Post
    It's been a long time ...
    What speakers were you using before? Perhaps they were/are some bass monsters more deserving of a dorm room or frat house? You may be experiencing a finer, defined bass which MAY not be what your used to. I'm not at all certain I agree with you splitting the signals the way you are but it may require you to revisit your wiring scheme.

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  27. #27

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    ... Oops my bad! the preamp (B&K reference 20) was doing something funky, I think the previous owner had bass management on; it does not have bass of treble settings, but I changed the surround setting from stereo to Lt Rt, and suddenly the speakers started to go boom boom. However, the bass is still missing something, I don't know what. I have to play around with everything a little longer to figure it all out. Just picked up another GFA 555; This should be fun. I plan to run one to the left and one to the right, maybe I will still bi-amp the speakers running the highs to my receiver. Thanks Folks, I'll be back.

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