So as many of you may remember, I was in a good bit of a debate back in May of '10 between Monitor 40s or RTi6s. I ended up buying the brand new RTi A3s...
...As awesome as they were, I have already moved on, and brought another set of LSi speakers into my home. Along with the LSi7s, today I got an HK 3480, Signal Cable 2' Interconnects, and some Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables. I also picked up a Sony SCD-CE595, but I'm not certain if I'll use it. I suppose I'll leave it hooked up in case I would ever want to play CDs or SACDs.
Before I continue, I cannot sufficiently emphasize how much more open and natural-sounding the 7's are in comparison to the A3s. The bass is non-existent, but a sub can remedy that. When I was auditioning the 7s yesterday at AsSiMiLaTeD's home, I brought along my A3's so I could get a comparison of the 7s vs what I'd been listening to for the past 8 months. From the start, I was awestruck by the sound that these little 7s produce. I was met with a very clean, detailed, open sound stage. It was a piece of cake to place musicians in their locations. It makes me even more excited knowing it can be further improved with modifications to the xover. I digress, after listening for 30 or so minutes, we swapped in the A3s, and instantly you could tell that the soundstage had become less open and the clarity, although decent, was not nearly as precise as before. The midbass was lacking as well. I can't just throw the A3's under the bus though. One positive is that the A3's have a surprising amount of low bass for being a bookshelf. For around $450/pr, they're a great speaker. Also, I do realize that manufacturers have to make price points, so I know it's not as if I was comparing the LSi7 to the LSi9. I just wanted to relay my experience with all of you fellow Polkies.
Mooooving forward! (here comes the part where the "Help Needed" tag gets justified)
I'm planning on adding an amp ASAP, hopefully sm88's Rotel RB-1070. I don't know a ton about amps, but everyone and their mom says an external amp improves the sound greatly, and it seems that a lot of people had owned the 1070 or similar model at one point or another, so I figure it wouldn't be a bad acquisition (those opposed, please speak now before I spend more money!). Is this a worthwhile investment? Should I be looking at a different amp? Should I even bother looking at an amp?
To give you something to chuckle a bit about, I'm using my JBL E50's as an impromptu subwoofer system. The 7's just don't have the bass extension that the RTi A3's had. That being said, the "mono sub" L/R outputs on my HK are full range, so I run them into the EQ and drop off everything until 160 Hz and then make a slope somewhat similar to an x-over. I took out the jumpers and hooked the LF drivers to my Kenwood VR-9070, which used to be the receiver for this rig until tonight's complete redo. To be honest, the sound isn't bad at all. It's no SVS or Velodyne or MP4k, but they'll do for now.
I've been looking into Rhythmik Audio's DIY sub kits, mainly the high-powered 15" unit. I'm not a SPL moron anymore, but I do like a generous amount of thump in the room, and since I figured the Rotel would be putting approx. 200 wpc into the LSi7s, 600w RMS of low end wouldn't hurt. Enclosure fabbing and finishing is no problem so I like the idea of saving money with a DIY kit. I've got a buddy who's been in carpentry all his life who does phenomenal work, so I've got that part covered. Here's where my next question comes up... Do you think the Rhythmik kit is a good choice? It seems like it has a lot of potential, especially with the features they have on their amplifier, e.g. adjustable dampening and adjustable infrasonic. I'm just getting my feet wet in the realm of DIY subs, and I know there's a lot out there to be discovered, and that's where you guys come into play. I'm open to all suggestions, ideas, and shenanigans
p.s. LSi speakers make my day. And now I get to enjoy them no matter which rig I'm on