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  1. #1

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    Default Should I buy TSi500 or Monitor 70?

    I see both of these speakers on Polk's ebay for amazing prices. Which one should I get? I know the TSI's are a little more money. Is it worth it? Has anyone heard both?

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    Welcome the Club Polk...

    There are a lot of threads about just this topic...take a look around on this site...The problem is that the TSi-500s are a little difficult to get a hold of for a demo so most of us have NOT heard them. They have some similarities to the M70s...same number of drivers a similar tweeter..but have a slightly larger box volume, have a slightly different crossover point, are 2 pounds lighter and are bottom ported--perhaps have a tiny bit more bass than M70s who knows!

    What I can tell you is that I own a set of M70s and TSI-300s and have heard the 400s...all nice speakers...But I mostly listen to the M70s and prefer their sound. Now that said....the TSI-500s may be a little bit better...but I have not heard those.

    I will say that the TSI- series LOOKS a lot nicer!

    cnh

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    +1, I am hoping to put an end to this debate soon. I am on the demo list for the 500's and I plan to test the hell out of them against my 70's so I can finally put an end to this debate, atleast in my mind anyway, lol. Seriously though, the 70's are a great speaker and for the prices they can be had for these days, they are hard to beat for the way they sound. Some people say the TSi's look better, but in all honesty I like the laid back look of the Monitor series myself. Don't get me wrong, the TSi's are a sexy speaker, just prefer the laid back look of the Monitors. If you can get your ears on a set of TSi's that may help a little. Granted you won't have anything to compare them too since it is next to impossible to get your ears on a set of Monitor 70's these days, unless you know someone who has em. IMHO, you can't go wrong either way, but I would recommend the 70's since I have em and have not heard the TSi's (yet) Welcome to Club Polk.

    -Jeff
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    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
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    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

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    For a special edition, I would love to see the Monitor 70's have the same cherry finish as the RTi8's.
    The Monitors never had a good WAF, whereas the RTi's or the RTiA's do.
    The TSi series is a good attempt to improve the WAF, but it doesn't beat a real wood finish.
    The LSi's are of course elegant.

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  5. #5

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    I've auditioned the Monitor 50 and the TSi300, and they're pretty much identical speakers. I'd say the TSi300's were a bit smoother, but it isn't anything significant.

    That being said, if money is your main concern, go with the Monitor 70's...if aesthetics are your concern, go with the TSi500's. I actually owned the TSi300's for a while, and they're beautiful in person. I prefer the real cherry veneer in my RTi8's, but the piano black trim on the TSi's is very classy.

    The monitors are ugly and cheap looking IMO.
    Last edited by mystik610; 11-07-2009 at 11:04 PM.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcapri79 View Post
    For a special edition, I would love to see the Monitor 70's have the same cherry finish as the RTi8's.
    The Monitors never had a good WAF, whereas the RTi's or the RTiA's do.
    The TSi series is a good attempt to improve the WAF, but it doesn't beat a real wood finish.
    The LSi's are of course elegant.
    For the most part I agree, the newer series is more elegant...should have a greater WAF....However..it's all relative. I currently have some really big Bulky JBL's as my main L/R in the main HT room and the Polk M70s and supporting Mcast in my secondary system...When my wife first saw the M70s upstairs she said..Oh, my those would look really nice downstairs next to the HDTV? They're so sleek and slim????

    So there you have it. You don't know until you know!

    When I get back from Asia M70s/CS2/M30s it is for the main floor!

    I also have a set of TSI-300s in my Home Office, and I definitely like the new look! They also have a tad more bass than the M50s (bottom port helps that).

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 11-07-2009 at 11:15 PM.

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    While I can't comment on the TSi 500s, three weeks ago, I bought a pair of the Monitor 70s from Newegg for $169.99/ea (Free freight)! No, I didn't need them, but at that price I didn't have much to lose. If they sounded like crap, I could use 'em as garage speakers.

    Anyway... Currently, I am driving the 70s with an ADCOM GFA-555II amp and a GFP-555II preamp using the tone-bypass outputs. I've put about 100 hours of breaking in time so far, at moderate volumes.

    Fit n finish: For vinyl clad enclosures, these are pretty speakers. For the record, I hate vinyl. But then again, considering the price, I can live with it. The vinyl seaems on the bac of the enclosure have small gaps, but you'd never notice unless you were looking for it. The front titanium colored facade on the front baffle is actually nice and was squared up with the cabinet nicely. The knuckle rap test was a bit dissapointing, especially when compared to my 1 1/2" thick MDF Phase Technology PC-80 bookshelf system. The cabinet is fairly resonant, but I have heard MUCH worse. The five-way binding posts are pretty dissapointing. They are very slippery (Some knurling would be nice) and quite difficult to twist. Also, the holes in the posts could were too small for me to use the bare twisted 12 ga. speaker cable. This would not be an issue for those using pins or banana plug connectors. The grills... Oh boy, the grills... Long, thin and fragile feeling. I cringed as I try to pull them off. I would say that polk will make a few dollars selling replacements. They would have been better if they were made as two separate grills. Then again, I keep considering the price I paid, making all this a bit of nit-picking. Overall, these are well built speakers

    Sound quality: The 70's are a bit on the warm side (To my liking) and female vocals sound wonderful. Male vocals lack any "chestiness" which is surprising considering the fairly resonant enclosure. Imagaing was good, but not spectacular. Compared to my Phase Techs, they might have had about half the depth but were equal in width of the soundstage. Bass extension was dissapointingly weak, which agin is surprising considering the four 6.5" mid/bass drivers and relatively large enclosure. I would say that the "usable" bass was good to about 60 Hz and dropped off VERY quickly below that (I wll play a bit with room placement to see if I can get any better performance). These speakers would certainly benefit from a good sub. Regardless, what bass was there was very tight, neutral and quite pleasant. Treble extension was also nice, neutral and well defined.

    Now here's were things start to fall apart... When driving the 70's hard, everything starts to sound muddy and congested, the high end gets shrill and the soundstage collapses. No, it's not terrible, but if yer planning on rock'n the house, these aren't the speakers to do it. Don't get me wrong, they still play fairly loudly and cleanly, just don't expect to reproduce live concert levels.

    Conclusion: For the money paid, these can't be beat. At MSRP, there are better options out there.

  8. #8

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    I love my M70's and had no issues using 12Ga wire with them. I wouldn't want the holes any larger.

    I drive mine hard without them getting muddy. For the money you can't beat them IMO.

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    I've run a similar configuration and I would not blame the M70s but the Adcom 555II and that pre....that's where your harshness is coming from..

    I've run those M70s off an original Adcom GFA-555....through a Denon as a pre- and they do not break up, nor are they 'muddy' at high volumes unless you mean '[ear bleeding volumes.

    Polks are engineered to play at very high or very low volumes. I'm not sure what you're doing...but something is not right there.

    Now do they sound as good as a much more expensive Phase Tech...nah...

    They are fairlly similar to the TSI-500s so I would also take a look at Conradicles 'superb' review of those which is also extremely positive.

    But, at least we agree these are a great value....Whip an AdcomGFA- 750 pre on there and THEN see what the M70s really sound like then?

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burningcoals View Post
    I love my M70's and had no issues using 12Ga wire with them. I wouldn't want the holes any larger.

    I drive mine hard without them getting muddy. For the money you can't beat them IMO.

    Yup, the hole is too small even when I tightly twist the strands. Possibly I have different binding posts?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    I've run a similar configuration and I would not blame the M70s but the Adcom 555II and that pre....that's where your harshness is coming from..

    I've run those M70s off an original Adcom GFA-555....through a Denon as a pre- and they do not break up, nor are they 'muddy' at high volumes unless you mean '[ear bleeding volumes.

    Polks are engineered to play at very high or very low volumes. I'm not sure what you're doing...but something is not right there.

    Now do they sound as good as a much more expensive Phase Tech...nah...

    They are fairlly similar to the TSI-500s so I would also take a look at Conradicles 'superb' review of those which is also extremely positive.

    But, at least we agree these are a great value....Whip an AdcomGFA- 750 pre on there and THEN see what the M70s really sound like then?

    cnh
    Oh, the ADCOM electronics are hardly harsh. Ya gotta love that warm Bipolar transistor sound. Nutt'n wrong with the electronics :) Not only do they make my Phase Techs sing, but they do a wonderful job with my "notoriously hard to drive" Magnepan MG 1.4s.

    Don't take the review as negative. For the money, I know of no other speaker that offers as much performance, but there are obvious performance shortcomings. However, at MSRP ($918.00/pr), there are certainly more refined and better built systems out there.

    Happy listening!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito View Post
    Yup, the hole is too small even when I tightly twist the strands. Possibly I have different binding posts?
    I can take pics if you want :) I Bi-Wired all my Polks using 12AWG 4 Conductor.

    Of course my speaker wire is new; but they even have some wiggle room still.

  13. #13

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    All I'm saying and you can look this up (heiney9--post) is that the Adcom Pre-amp that you have is KNOWN to be a lesser pre...that many say is 'harsh'....that of the Adcom pres...the GFA-715 and the 750s are really the best....the others.'will' give you grain and some harshness....perhaps your other speakers are more forgiving?

    I'm hardly defending the M70s against speakers that are NOT in their price range...heck my old JBL 12" monitors with their titanium domes put out more nuanced high end detail than the M70s...and have a strong lower end....

    All I'm suggesting is, if you can get a better pre...then try those M70s again.

    The 555II is not as clean an amp as the original 555 either. And that pre-amp is definitely your weakest link....

    You don't have to take my word for it..just search Adcom Pre-amps on this site.

    But basically we agree....at this price range it's hard to beat the Polks...

    Now as we get to 4K and above....I'd have to go with Focal Utopias myself....love their sweet holographic sound field.

    We're cool..

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 11-10-2009 at 10:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    All I'm saying and you can look this up (heiney9--post) is that the Adcom Pre-amp that you have is KNOWN to be a lesser pre...that many say is 'harsh'....that of the Adcom pres...the GFA-715 and the 750s are really the best....the others.'will' give you grain and some harshness....perhaps your other speakers are more forgiving?

    I'm hardly defending the M70s against speakers that are NOT in their price range...heck my old JBL 12" monitors with their titanium domes put out more nuanced high end detail than the M70s...and have a strong lower end....

    All I'm suggesting is, if you can get a better pre...then try those M70s again.

    The 555II is not as clean an amp as the original 555 either. And that pre-amp is definitely your weakest link....

    You don't have to take my word for it..just search Adcom Pre-amps on this site.

    But basically we agree....at this price range it's hard to beat the Polks...

    Now as we get to 4K and above....I'd have to go with Focal Utopias myself....love their sweet holographic sound field.

    We're cool..

    cnh
    I doubt we'll ever agree on this, but that's okay too. At the time, I recall the GFP-555 II was met with very favorable reviews and considered a true upgrade from the GFP-555 (which I owned previously). With simpler signal paths, more robust power supply, etc. It has provided flawless performance since I bought it new back in '93 along with the GFA-555 II power amp.

    As for more forgiving speakers, I can't really answer that. It's far too subjective. However, I can point out the Magnepan speakers are well known, if not notorious, for revealing sonic flaws in a system.

    Neither my "Maggies" nor my Phase Techs exhibited the issues at high levels that the Monitor 70's do. I find it VERY unlikey that the preamp is the issue in this case.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    All I'm saying and you can look this up (heiney9--post) is that the Adcom Pre-amp that you have is KNOWN to be a lesser pre...that many say is 'harsh'....that of the Adcom pres...the GFA-715 and the 750s are really the best....the others.'will' give you grain and some harshness....perhaps your other speakers are more forgiving?

    I'm hardly defending the M70s against speakers that are NOT in their price range...heck my old JBL 12" monitors with their titanium domes put out more nuanced high end detail than the M70s...and have a strong lower end....

    All I'm suggesting is, if you can get a better pre...then try those M70s again.

    The 555II is not as clean an amp as the original 555 either. And that pre-amp is definitely your weakest link....

    You don't have to take my word for it..just search Adcom Pre-amps on this site.

    But basically we agree....at this price range it's hard to beat the Polks...

    Now as we get to 4K and above....I'd have to go with Focal Utopias myself....love their sweet holographic sound field.

    We're cool..

    cnh
    I doubt we'll ever agree on this, but that's okay too. At the time, I recall the GFP-555 II was met with very favorable reviews and considered a true upgrade from the GFP-555 (which I owned previously). With simpler signal paths, more robust power supply, etc. It has provided flawless performance since I bought it new back in '93 along with the GFA-555 II power amp.

    As for more forgiving speakers, I can't really answer that. It's far too subjective. However, I can point out the Magnepan speakers are well known, if not notorious, for revealing sonic flaws in a system.

    Neither my "Maggies" nor my Phase Techs exhibited the issues at high levels that the Monitor 70's do. I find it VERY unlikey that the preamp is the issue in this case.

  16. #16

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    I have the Monitors 70's that I am running just in stereo ,I have a complete home Theater system with monitor 70's as the front and monitor CS2 for the center and Monitor 60's for the surround and a PSW-505 for the sub.I kept hearing that the monitor 70's lack bass,so I turned off my sub and I am just running the monitor 70's in stereo.I have a Onkyo TX-SR707 and these have a very good sonic quality ,the bass was very surpriseing since I had never just heard them by thier self.The mids and mid-bass is quiet good and the tweeter is smooth and not harsh like some others I have heard.I have my audyssey set to on and the bass and treble at +6 and at full volume they are loud ,but I have no distrotion and the are very clean ,I have no harshness in any of the mids or highs and the bass just blew me away on low notes.I have heard the TSi500 in a demo room and to me the way they had it set up I could'nt really tell much difference between the two.But I did'nt have them at my house to compare on my system against my monitor 70's.If money is no object then they do make better speakers .But if you are like me where money is a object ,then it is very hard to beat the monitor 70's at the price you can find them now ,I got my at newegg.com when they had a one day sale and I got my pair for $320 with free shipping.Even now you can get them at newegg for $179.99 a piece,which is a great deal.The TSi500 are on sale if you buy two at $538 a pair.The TSi500 are in a bigger box but weighs 2lb lighter then the monitor 70 makes you wonder where they made them lighter at if they both have .75" baffles.But since they do have a bigger box and if I had them at home I imagine they have just a little bit of deeper bass.But if you can buy a pair of Monitor 70 speakers for under $350 a pair ,you are not going to find a better sounding or looking speaker at that price range.
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    I am one of the (evidently) few people that have been able to hear both....they are both very similar, although I think the TSi's are smoother in sound, and can take a higher volume without distortion than the Monitors, but they are similar....imo of course, and I also think that the TSi's sound, how to describe it, clearer perhaps....
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    I'll take your word for it....but both can handle the same amount of power according the specs and my Adcom can put out 200 watts/channel at 8 ohms....I've never heard the M70s break up or strain under its power!

    I don't doubt that there may be some subtle sound differences between the two series.

    What I have heard side by side are the M30s and the TSI-100s. I preferred he 100s mostly because they have a much larger box, better port and dig deeper than the M30s. They really do have more bass!

    Anyone interested in a cheap two channel should check these guys out!

    cnh

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    Man, I really need to get my hands on those 500's floating around here fast!! I am next on the list, and I am dying to be able to put this debate to rest. Atleast in my mind. Having said that, I agree 100% that the Monitor 70's are hard to beat for what they cost, very good speaker.

    -Jeff
    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
    Blu-Ray- 80 GB PS3


    2 CH rig (in progress)
    Polk Audio Monitor 10A's

    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

  20. #20

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    Smile Intrigued

    I am also curious about finding out the answer to this question, I see I can get a pair of M70's for a very reasonable price, but I'm willing to pay a little more for the Tsi500's if I'll see a improvement, has anyone had the chance to test these side by side yet please?

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    man those Tsi's look nice
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito View Post
    While I can't comment on the TSi 500s, three weeks ago, I bought a pair of the Monitor 70s from Newegg for $169.99/ea (Free freight)! No, I didn't need them, but at that price I didn't have much to lose. If they sounded like crap, I could use 'em as garage speakers.


    Now here's were things start to fall apart... When driving the 70's hard, everything starts to sound muddy and congested, the high end gets shrill and the soundstage collapses. No, it's not terrible, but if yer planning on rock'n the house, these aren't the speakers to do it. Don't get me wrong, they still play fairly loudly and cleanly, just don't expect to reproduce live concert levels.

    Conclusion: For the money paid, these can't be beat. At MSRP, there are better options out there.
    I'm a noob but i have NEVER once heard any harshness on my monitor 60s and they have the same tweets as the 70s. AND i have a POS amp.

    Compared to all the other speakers i have heard magnepan, paradigm, klipsch, and definitive tech. The Polks where the most laid back with the Silk dome tweeters. From a n00bs POV i think you might be doing something wrong, the monitor speakers are very laid back even at high volumes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruiner13 View Post
    I am also curious about finding out the answer to this question, I see I can get a pair of M70's for a very reasonable price, but I'm willing to pay a little more for the Tsi500's if I'll see a improvement, has anyone had the chance to test these side by side yet please?
    Welcome to the Club Ruiner. I have yet to demo the 500's (I was next but they went to a closer location than me to save on shipping costs) I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on these so I can put that question to rest, lol. In all honesty though, I can't see how they would make that much of a difference to justify the cost difference. The 70's are a very solid speaker, and for the prices they can be had for these days, IMHO they are hard to beat.

    -Jeff
    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
    Blu-Ray- 80 GB PS3


    2 CH rig (in progress)
    Polk Audio Monitor 10A's

    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

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    Please forgive a slight digression, but I wish someone had steared me to 'vintage speakers' back when, before I bought my Mon 50/Mon 30's (about $800+ back when I got mine)...When I got my Monitor 7's, I packed away the Mon 50's and never looked back. AND mine are not even upgraded yet :D

    Since no one has said it yet, you will get a heck of alot more bang for your buck buying used speakers, unless you have your heart set on those. I doubt I will ever buy brand new speakers, unless I win the lottery......Heck, there are a pair of RT2000p's on CL here in Seattle for $520 and I bet you could get them for less.
    I have not heard the RT2000p's (and can't afford them right now, some day...lol) but I bet they would knock the **** out of the M70's or TSi's.

    Or Some SDA's :D :D :D whoop whoop...

    Just my 2 cents....I am sure you will be happy with whatever you get :)

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ele/1539308818.html

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    Yeah you're right...this is off topic and I really don't disagree. We're not really talking about Monitors or SDAs here. I do own a pair of SDAs and hey they were in a different tier from Monitors or TSIs in their own day...they were Polk's best so the appropriate comparisons would be to LSI towers not Ms and TSIs.

    And yes, you can get more value buying on the used market. Here we're just debating Ms vs. TSI..no one, I think would compare M70s or TSI-500s to, let's say LSI-25s?

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Here we're just debating Ms vs. TSI..no one, I think would compare M70s or TSI-500s to, let's say LSI-25s?

    cnh

    Not in a million years, which is why my answer stuck to the OP's question. The more suggestions the better though right?

    -Jeff
    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
    Blu-Ray- 80 GB PS3


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    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

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    Yeh, I mostly just skip these posts, but I felt like throwing my hat in this time.
    Like I said, I WISH someone had opened my eyes to what else is available...that's all.

    And in no way can you try and compare those with LSi-25's...totally different cost structure...that comment just doesn't make any sense.

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    So, who is the clear winner Monitor 70 or TSI 300?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcpolk View Post
    So, who is the clear winner Monitor 70 or TSI 300?

    Monitor 70 hands down. The TSi 300 is half it's size, if you meant the TSi 500, then that is still open for debate, lol.

    -Jeff
    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
    Blu-Ray- 80 GB PS3


    2 CH rig (in progress)
    Polk Audio Monitor 10A's

    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

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    I have tested the two and there is a slight difference in sound quality. some of the of the things that were updated for the TSI 500 is the tweeter (Now silk vs cloth compound), more advanced crossover, and slightly larger box. They also have a bit more modern look to them. The sound for the TSI 500 is a bit cleaner particularily in the higher frequencies. It is most noticable in scenes with breaking glass hitting the floor, strong female singing voices, and some instraments if you listen to claissical music at all. Most people will not notice a difference. If you are choosing between the TSI 300 and the monitor 70's, go with the 70's, but between the TSi 500 and the 70's it depends on how important a slight improvement in sound quality really is.
    ___________________________
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    Receiver: Denon 3311 - Amplifier: Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 7 Series
    Center: Polk cSi A6 - FR&L: Polk Rti A9's
    RS&LS: Polk Rti A7's- RR&RL: Polk Rti A3's
    SUB: Rythmik FV15HP X2

    Living Room:
    Receiver: Panisonic SC-1522 - Amplifier: Sherbourn 5/1500A
    Center: Polk CS20 FR&L: TSi 500 RS&LS: Polk TSi400 - R
    R&RL: Polk TSi200 SUB: HSU VTF 15H x2

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