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  1. #1

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    Default Speakers and more speakers...review

    Doro and I decided to head down to one of the local high-end stores today for a look around. We get there and they are closed, so we head up the "Pike" to Tweeter. We listened to the Vienna Bach's, Martin Logan Aeoni's and the Sonus Faber Grand Piano HB's on a Yammie receiver (the B&K stuff wasn't working!) and the Sony 555ES SACD player. The Bach's were flat, no depth with little to nothing outside the edges.....overall unimpressive. The Aeoni's were light/airy, good soundstage, but no bass....unimpressive. The Grand Piano's......ah, now this is a speaker. Clear/smooth highs, great mids and plenty of nice tight bass. The imaging and soundstage were very good....I might be able to live with this speaker. Next we head to Myer-Emco and demo some of the smaller B&W's (bi-wired) on a Rotel set up. These B&W's have no life, so we move to the B&W 802 hooked up (bi-wired) to a Sunfire Grand II receiver. After much set up we finally get these speakers to sound ok and I mean just ok. They have no mid's, the bass was boomy and the soundstage was terrible......no thanks at about $8000.00. Next we hit the Great Indoors to listen to the LSi15's. This is not a place to demo speakers, the set up is terrible. Anyway, the Lsi15's do have excellent highs and mid's, but the bass was boomy. We thought it had more to do with the set up and the gear (low end Oink reciever) than the speaker. However, the imaging and soundstage were very good. I would love to hear these on my system as I think I might be able to live with them if the bass was tighter. The salesman did say that they planned to redo the demo area. I can only hope that they get a good design person in on the job and some better power/source gear. When I got home I sat down in front of my SDA's and you know what......I'm a happy camper with a sh*t eating :D
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  2. #2

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    F1,
    SF Grand is sweet, isn't it? none of the Vienna can touch SFGP! I went to Great Indoors last week and confirmed their ****ty setup they have. The only authorized LSi in the 50 miles radius, and a very lousy one too!

    The 15 bass is very tight, given the right amplification. It was night and day when I compared my setup and GI, that's why I was dissapointed more on the fact that Polk failed to give them guidelines on what to do to bring the best out of the LSi....oh well, wait till I owned my own shop ;)
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  3. #3

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    I agree with the thoughts from F1, the standouts today were the SF's and the LSi's.

    I was truly disappointed in the Martin Logan and the B&W, immediately dropped them from the list of future speakers for 2 channel. I did listen to a ML center HT setup, and it was quite nice, the center channel is wild looking.

    We didn't listen to the Jamo, has anyone heard them?

    I saw M&K subwoofers that looked pathetic as far as amplification. I don't recall the model number but it was a 12" woofer driven by a 75w amp. That doesn't seem too HT ready to me....made me feel good about my PSW202 :D

    Alot of open box specials on LSi7's for $479.00/pair. at the Great Indoors.

    Someone tell F1 to buy that damn 555ES SACD Changer for $453 at Tweeter!!!!

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    Someone tell F1 to buy that damn 555ES SACD Changer for $453 at Tweeter!!!!
    Someone tell Doro to buy that damn open box LSi7 for $479 at Great Indoors!!!!

    ;) ;) ;)
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  5. #5

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    It just dawned on me....its pretty pathetic when a pair of LSi's driven by a less than desireable Onkyo amplifier, in a less than ideal sound room...sounded 100% better than a TOTL set of B&W's driven by a Sunfire amplifier IN a sound room.

  6. #6

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    Is that a good deal on LSi7's??? I need a new source worse than another set of speakers.....ugh

  7. #7

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    that's pretty good deal from an authorized outfit..but I hear you, source is also critically important in the grand scheme of this hobby!
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  8. #8

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    TOTL B&W 802 sounded just a ok???? I wonder, not to doubt you guys, but I used to own entry level B&W DM110 back in the 80's. I thought they sounded decent for the money, and their TOTL must be tons of WOW effects. I wonder if mating is the issue here? either way, I have not had the privy to hear them...so just curious
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  9. #9

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    polkatese,

    We tried and tried to get something out of the 802's, it's just not there.


    Doro,

    You need the 555ES more than I do.....;)
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  10. #10

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    I guess mating could be a problem, Sunfire just doesn't cut it with B&W's then....It sure would with my RTi's tho' :)

  11. #11

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    Something must have been fubared with the demo / setup. I say this because B&W typically are viewed as having an open, or even slightly forward midrange. To say there was 'no' midrange, something was wrong.

    Love them or hate them, the Bowers and Wilkins do a lot of things VERY well (all the lines, 3 series up to the Nauts).

    Vienna, Martin Logan, and Sonus on Yammie receiver? Why even *have* a demo? Out of those 3, the Grand Piano is my choice hands down, but the other 2 have significant strongpoints also.

    Now, all that being said, ima grab a sixer of MHL, head to the mancave, and enjoy my SRS 2's.

    Cheers,
    Rooster
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  12. #12
    Stronzo
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    Dorok, F1,

    Gentlemen, will all due respect...

    I would tread with caution when attempting to gauge your opinion or feelings about some gear that is obviously horribly mis-matched, using sources that are very inadequate. Such a demo can only give you a vauge idea, at best.

    You mentioned the Nauts are sloppy. Let me ASSURE you this speaker is anything but sloppy on good sources. I listened to them powered by all Musical Fidelity, and also with Mark Levinson. While I have limited experience with hi-fi speakers, they are by far the most accurate I have heard. Incredible stuff.

    True, I dont feel they are worth their asking price. While they are in a complete different league than the LSi's, I dont feel they are 5x the speaker.

    Sorry guys, sounded like you just had ****ty demo experiences.

    Regards,

    Sean

  13. #13

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    Tread with caution? What does that mean.

    Look the Sunfire is rated high.....B&W is rated high, the demo was not as expected, flat out. Don't shoot the messenger. One demo doesn't mean that the equipment is flawed. The thread is just a thread letting you know what we did today, not an advertisement.

    The Tweeter demo was driven by the same pieces. It just showed us how different an electrostatic and two different silk domes can be to the ear. ML was missing bass, but strong in treble. VA was strong midrange, full sounding. SF was all around excellent in all areas for their size.

    The Myer Emco demo was designed better than Tweeter, and it just was not happening. We listened to three lines of B&W, while midrange was present, their was no impact to the music just sound. That was with Rotel and Sunfire, go figure, I sure as hell don't know.

    A demo is a demo, if they get crossed off my list, it doesn't mean anything...its my list.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 07-27-2003 at 10:38 PM.

  14. #14

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    Easy now killer, don't read me wrong, your ears are your ears, and goddamn if anyone else's matters, seriously.

    I'm just saying, and perhaps I read *too* much into it, but F1's initial concise review was, how can I put this, out of the norm, not anywhere near par for course?

    Another note, on the ML center, I think its a VERY funny speaker. An attempt by an electrostat 2ch manufacturer, to tap the HT market (but hell, why wouldn't they want their 'slice' of the pie).

    Whats the funny part? That soft-dome tweeter they felt the need to add, that can be found in NO other ML speaker. To top it off, the speaker is flanked by 2 mid-bass drivers. Is it an electrostat or not? ;)

    Cheers,
    Rooster
    Last edited by RuSsMaN; 07-27-2003 at 11:00 PM.
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    Anyone within close range to a Great Indoors should call them up or stop by to see what they're clearancing out the gear for in their demo rooms. The G.I. here in Phoenix had the LSi15's for $998 for the pair......

    Granted, they're probably not hooked up, and true not connected to great sources,but perhaps that's what they're looking to do with their sound room overhauls. The guy that I spoke with out here at ours didn't seem too sure about if they were even going to be carrying the Polk line any more.......maybe he was just a lil clueless though...
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  16. #16

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    Yea, don't read too much into it....typing is hard to get actual tone across....it isn't meant to sound angry.

    I will certainly agree that the setup may have been to blame. There are too many factors to consider I guess when it boils down to it. It was what it was, that's all.

    Hey I finally got to hear LSi's which is the only speaker that truely interested me.

  17. #17

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    The salesmoron at GI said that they were keeping Polk, and getting the old stuff clearanced to make room for the new. I wouldn't buy anything from this joint UNLESS it was on clearance.

    I asked about the prices for LSi15's, they said the Cherry's went for that mentioned price, but the Ebony's were still $1400....I have no idea why.

  18. #18

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    Gentlemen,

    What can I say? We heard what we heard and we both thought the same thing. As far as the 802's, maybe it was the source or the power or the room or the wire or even, yes, the speakers, all I can tell you is what I heard.

    I'll say this too, as good as the Grand's sounded on a Yammie I would love to hear them on some better gear because they really shine.
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  19. #19

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    brett and doro,
    LSi15 at that price from an autho is a great deal! what are you guys waiting for?? :)
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  20. #20

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    No cherry's at GI available....some other smarter, faster, thinner guys must have grabbed them :)

  21. #21

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    Russ,

    Actually the soft dome tweeter is also on the "Clarity" floor model. They refer to it as a "Natural Ambience Compensation Driver." Maybe they are going for the best of both worlds.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  22. #22
    Stronzo
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    Dorok, F1,

    Alright fella's, my tone may have been rather harsh. Rest assured, I meant no harm or foul. :)

    I will in no way shape or form tell you what to think about what you heard, I only hope that you will lend some degree of openness about certain gear.

    I truelly feel you just did not get to hear the potential of any of the speakers you demo'd, LSi's included.

    Take it easy, its all good guys :)

  23. #23

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    doesnt the new line of ML electrostats have a tweet behind the mylar paneling? firing upward?...the electrostatic speakers did not amaze me, in fact i much prefered the the LSi9's to the TOLT ML. go figure. i listened to them on B&K, acurus and sunfire. dunno, just didnt like them, infact id rather have my rti150s, but hey im just a kid what do i know
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  24. #24

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    Originally posted by polkatese
    brett and doro,
    LSi15 at that price from an autho is a great deal! what are you guys waiting for?? :)
    I should first say that the GI that I saw them at, they weren't connected to anything at all. Regardless........I actually don't like the look of the 15's. They look too anorexic to me. Maybe I'm only dreaming in hoping that Polk bulks up the size of the boxes, and regardless of the bigger box enhancing the sound, I dont' want a waif of a speaker lookin at me. On the other hand, you have the LSif/x's that are WAY too bulky for my tastes for a surround. I wouldn't have thought that dwarfing the f/x1000's was possible, and they did just that AND some (while putting drivers in that are over an inch smaller). Seems kinda backward to me. I haven't seen or heard the LSiC, but from all the discussion of the way that it's crossed, I don't think that I'd use that at all.

    If I was to go with anything from the LSi line, it would be the 9's, and ONLY for a 2 channel system. I don't want a speaker that I have to baby because of finger prints. Not that I'm all molesting my speakers, but I don't want to ever see a fingerprint on them. The 9's having the colored wood on both sides eliminates most of that problem and it would only be the top that really needed to be baby'd. Also, with the cherry wood on the sides, it looks like a much larger speaker even though it is just the 15 without the bottom part......

    EDIT: One more thing.....I don't like the beveled top on the 15 at all. The seams weren't as tight as I'd have expected them to be, and I could just see over time for those angles to open up a bit and start grabbing at cloths, or feathers or whatever that you try to clean them with.......Probably over reacting, but I don't even like that bevel on any of the other current lines out either......
    Last edited by brettw22; 07-27-2003 at 11:50 PM.
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  25. #25

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    F1,

    Just hit the ML page, and i'll be damned, new model 'Clarity' with a soft dome tweeter.

    Sad really if you ask me, sacrificing detail and that ML tonal signature, all for a larger HT sweetspot. But hey, someone will buy them, I'm sure.

    Cheers,
    Rooster
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  26. #26

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    This is a great thread to emphasize how important it is to do your own demos as much as possible. I know all of the good things said about B&W and I have never had a demo that would influence me to buy a pair. I have tried to like B&W...I really have...but after every demo (various models on different amplification and sources) I come away with the fact that I just don't like the sound of these speakers very much. I know they are good, well respected speakers...just not for me.

    On the other hand every demo I've had with Vienna Acoustics, I come away liking this brand more and more (again, different models, amplification and sources). If they were a little more competively priced with Polk these would be in my 2 channel system.

    SF is also a brand I generally like, but I find the low end lacking in some models. However the mid to upper ranges are usually superb.

    Everyone hears things a little differently...which is why it is so important to do what F1 an Doro have done...go and listen to as much as possible!
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  27. #27

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    Hey, I also agree that this is a great thread and something that I am always interested in reading. Specifically, what is the competition out there for Polk and how does it stack up.

    Recently, I demoed some B&W 604 v3 speakers on some Transparent wire and a B&K AVR 507 in a dealer "living room setup" with couches and a tv and the whole nine yards just like home. I thought they had a good midrange like Russ has stated and smoother highs than my Paradigm Studio 40s. For the same money though I bought the LSi 15s and I'm happy with my decision. The LSi's to me have a better ambience to the highs and killer midrange that I really enjoy and I don't find them boomy at all hooked up to an amp with a high damping factor like my Rotel RB 1070. Good wire also helps to tighten up the bass too.

    Another thumbs up for the Sonus Faber. I have never listened to them personally but I don't ever recall a bad review or listen from anyone who has heard the Grand Pianos. But these are in a different league at like $3,000 + / pair? I believe.

    So doro and F1 thumbs up for the experience you guys had. It gives us all an idea of what sounds good on what equipment and the potential out there. It's a starting point for people who are in the market for new speakers for listening auditions and that is a good thing.

  28. #28

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    brett,

    Like the old saying, "different strokes for different folks"..

    I really like the look of the LSi 15's. When I first opened the box and stood them up the first thing that came to mind was the monolith on "2001 Space Odyssey". I don't know why but that's what I thought of and when they are staring at you from the listening position slightly toed in, I think the same thing. They look cool. They look futuristic. Not as cool looking at Martin Logan's with the Easter Island statue look thing going (what is it with me and statues I don't know).

    You are correct though. The black ebony is a dust / fingerprint magnet. But I can live with that. I've had several comments already from some guests. Like wow you got new speakers AGAIN? What are those? Those look cool... and the best part... those sound awesome! You drove 100 miles to pick them up too! Wow..

    See, I'm not crazy after all.... check out the resemblence...
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    hmmm,

    No that I think about it and look at that picture some more...

    I'm thinking "Mancave" totally... just look at all those rocks...

    I know. I'm a strange one but that's me... I think on a different wavelength sometimes and its past midnight.

    The real kicker is that the monolith made this strange humming noise in the movie too. It made sound in the first mancave... the origins of mankind

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    the electrostatic speakers did not amaze me, in fact i much prefered the the LSi9's to the TOLT ML.
    Hmmm, I'll put this in the weird department if anyone's looking for it and wants to borrow it.

    Russ, I completely echo your thoughts regarding ML; if they begin dumbing-down their products I'll begin to feel despair, nervousness ... perhaps what folks felt when SDA's began fazing out.

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