I know a lot of you guys have been waiting for this review, so here it is. My apologies for it taking so long, but I wanted to test them in every way I could before making a peep. I started to make this short, but decided to take the time to cover every last detail and leave no stone unturned.
Setup's a piece of cake... if you have two people. The 707s weigh 100lbs. each, so you either better have some muscle or some help to get them where you want them. They're 50" tall, 18.5" deep, and 10.5" wide, and the pair of them nearly completely filled the bed of my Silverado. Getting the speakers out of their boxes and setup in your room is doable if you're alone provided you have a good dolly at your disposal, but I don't recommend the solo bit if you don't have the dolly or have to take them up a curved staircase. I had to take mine up a straight staircase with a 90-degree turn at the bottom, so all I had to do is get the box around the turn and push it right up the stairs. I'm not saying that it was easy, but it's possible. Getting them out of the boxes is a helluva lot easier if you're working with someone, but is manageable by yourself. Spikes are permanently integrated into the bottom of the towers, and rubber covers are included for use on hard flooring. These spikes are less lethal than the ones included with the previous generation, so no more deep gouging from a speaker laying on its side (happened to me almost two years ago when I had one of my 25s on its side to take the spikes out? left a nice permanent scar on my left knee). Adjustments are made from the top of the floorplate via an allen-wrench, so turning the speaker on its side to adjust the spikes is a thing of the past. I never made any adjustments of the 707s while I had them since I didn't have the allen-wrench, but that does make things a lot easier.
The rear has a metal plate with two pairs of binding posts. The top set goes to the tweeter and mid combo, while the bottom set goes to the midbass driver and the 6x9 woofers. Instead of the dinky metal-tab style jumpers from the last series, the two sets are paired up with a set of real jumpers, which are finished with the "polkaudio" logo? a nice, unexpected touch. They can easily be removed for bi-wiring or bi-amping.
Fit and finish:
The set I had for review was cherry, and tbh, in the case of the towers I really prefer the overall presentation of my LSi25 moreso than the 707. The cherry finish doesn't have that real, grainy look of the previous generation. I also liked how the sides of the 25s have the piano-gloss black contrasting the cherry finish, whereas on the 707 it's cherry all the way up. The towers look great with the magnetic grills on or off, and for once in my life I preferred the look of grills-on. I still would kill to have polk offer a "maple", "natural birch", and full piano-gloss black finishs, but that doesn't seem to be in the works yet, and my guess is it won't be ever, but who knows what the future will hold. Maybe polk will figure out eventually that if someone's spending $4k on a pair of speakers, they'll probably want more than two options for colors.
I unfortunately did encounter some quality-control issues with one of the towers. Along the bottom front-baffle seam, the edge was completely unfinished, which I thought was a pretty big lack of attention to detail during the manufacturing process. Also, on the same speaker, I was using a soft cloth to remove my fingerprints and clean it up before taking it over to Walter's, the gloss-black finish chipped around two of the drivers, and it looked like the gloss-black finish was thin in another spot. Also, I could hear the magnets knock against the cabinet when I installed/uninstalled the grill, like they were loose in whatever chamber/compartment they're mounted in. All of that was isolated to one of the speakers, so I'm hoping the problem was just a fluke. The only thing that I didn't like that was on both was where the front baffle was attached to the rest of the speaker. It was like they painted the seam, but not all that well. I don't mean to be anal, but if I was spending $4k on a pair of speakers, they better be pretty damn perfect.
No more tiny, inconveniently-located crossover boards. They're a lot bigger with easy access. Larger speaker holes mean the ability to fit larger components more comfortably, so you can keep it all internal despite heavy-duty hot-rodding. The 707s use separate boards for the HF and LF sets, so you're not trying to moosh as much stuff onto a single board, nor do you have to go about inventing a sister-board that wasn't already there in the original design. Space is a little tighter for the HF board though, but nothing that's not manageable. You might have to get creative if large caps come into play. The LF board is in one of the sub enclosures with plenty of room in every direction, so large caps and inductors will be right at home. The lineup has a great sound as-is, and can (scarily) get even better with high-grade parts. This lineup's crossovers are quite improved over the LSi boards, but there's still room for improvement, so if you're going to upgrade, go with the better/best parts available.
Keep in mind that my two listening areas are less-than-ideal but not horrible either, and despite them being quite different from eachother, my results in each room where somewhat similar. The first listening area I used was my HT room, a glorified 12'x14'x8' bedroom that's completely closed with the exception of two doors. Next was my living room which is considereably larger in every dimension, measuring 20.5'x19.5'x12', and opens up to a dining room and hallway to the rear and rear-left.
In short, they carried over the smoothness of the 703s, but I felt they weren?t quite as buttery-smooth as the 703s. There were a couple shortcomings. The 703s put me in this... state of tranquility... for lack of better description, like they?re a magical ?instant-grin-machine?, whereas the 707s seemed to be a little feisty and took a bit of work to get them to finally sound good, and even then I wasn't content to the extent that the 703s gave me. The imaging is still great, as the same LSiM HF setup is used across the board, but the 707s don't have a ported midbass section (really would've loved that), whereas the 703s did. I think that took away from the impact a little. "But they have dual 6x9s Jim...", I can picture some of you thinking that same thing as you finished reading that last statement, but the 6x9s are tuned for the "sub-bass", so they don't lend much help toward the the midbass which charmed me so adamantly on the 703s. The 6x9s are tuned independently from each other, with one using a much longer port that's slightly smaller in diameter, the other using a shorter but larger port. They do well on the lowest bass, but the higher bass was just not nearly as punchy and present as I would?ve liked, and the bass overall was quieter than I?d anticipated
I was just really let down by the missing midbass and lack of smoothness. I would gladly blame it on my environment or gear if I experienced this with any of my other speakers combined with my PSW1000, but it?s isolated to to the towers. I'm not begging for a Cerwin-Vega-esque sub-bass boom to shake the rafters, but I expected more of a floor-stander with dual ported 6x9s. I also kept incurring this quirky phasing issue in the bass regions when listening to my reference sources, which wasn't remedied by the larger room nor multiple MCACC tunes (FYI, I used the MCACC to make adjustments for distance, level, etc. but left signal manipulation such as the EQ out of play). The only desirable result I found was to cross them at 50Hz and let my PSW1000 supply the lowest bass from a single source with out competition from other sources. Something worth noting which I also experienced with the 703s is that the MCACC in my Elite detects the speakers as ?out of phase? until the LF drivers? polarity is swapped. Weird stuff?
As far as power requirements go, these speakers need a good bit of juice to perform sufficiently. I tried them in 4 different configurations: using the SC-37's on-board amplifier, 2-ch & "bi-amp", and then I tried a single Operetta followed by two Operettas vertically bi-amped. Anything with 150wpc will work in a bedroom, but definitely use an amplifier capable of 200wpc @ 4-ohms or greater for a larger room to reach reference levels. The two Operetta amplifiers were more than enough when I had the high-pass crossover active, as was the receiver in bi-amp mode, but in full-range either one is cutting it a little close. Setting my receiver at -18.0 dB was plenty of volume to fill my room without being overbearing.
I feel that with some minor equalization I could've replicated the sound I was hoping for. More power would've been nice, but not a necessity. Hopefully the crossovers will be revised to bring the whole LF setup into play a bit more. It might all chalk up to a lack of synergy, but that wasn't issue whatsoever with the 703s, so I suspect it's more than just that. Hopefully Walter will discredit my negatives and it was just a weird synergy anomaly that carried throughout my home.
Pioneer Elite SC-37 receiver, two Operetta AV-AP2140P-SO amplifiers, PSW1000 + Aurapad, Monster Cable interconnects, Cardas power cables (for the Operettas), AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cable, Monster Cable speaker cable, iPod Video via USB, iPhone 4 via USB, one handle of Forty Creek whisky.