I thought I would create a new thread instead of threadjacking Jim?s 707 review. For those looking for his review, here's a handy link.
I wasn't as concerned with the finish as Jim. These are pre-production speakers after all. They've been boxed and unboxed several times. Bottom line is they look gorgeous. I own some nice furniture and these speakers will look nice in any decor. Polk does need to have other options on the finishes though. Some people just don't like cherry wood. My neighbor came over and commented, "they look great but I need black".
One test I always like to perform is the knuckle test. A quick rap to the side of a speaker gives you an idea of what's inside. Although as Jim mentioned earlier, the sheer weight of these behemoths make my reference LS-90's seem bookshelvish. Needless to say, these speakers sounded solid. Even with music playing at substantial volumes, there were barely noticeable vibrations coming through the sides of the speakers.
Polk has finally upgraded the patch plate to link the bi-amp speaker posts. I believe Club Polk can take direct credit for this improvement. The improvement in sound using of a high quality wire to patch the speaker posts is well documented in the forums.
I have a dedicated media room (15x25) so setup was a breeze. First remove two sixty pound LS-90's and then replace with two one hundred pound 707's. It really is a chore to move these speakers. The spikes on the bottom plate have rubber covers for wood and other hard floor surfaces. I left the rubber covers on my carpeted floor. I originally placed the speakers about 18 inches from the wall and left them there. Based on my reference speakers, this has been the sweet spot for my room. For amplification, I used a B&K AVR-317. This is the upgraded AVR-307. It offers 150x7 WPC. For two channel listening at 4 ohms, the B&K outputs 229 WPC at clipping. After twenty minutes of listening, the B&K was very hot. I grabbed a small fan to improve the flow of air and the unit quickly cooled down. This is plenty of power to run these speakers in a two channel setup. A full blown 7.1 system may be a different story. I turned the sub off and set my fronts to large and settled in for some listening pleasure.
The good. The first thing that strikes you about these speakers is detail. These speakers are very revealing. I had a CD of jazz music encoded at 256kbps playing for several minutes before I had to move to the original CD's. DVD audio, SACD, or any of the newer CODEC's will shine with these speakers. Analog folks, go upgrade your cartridges. I noticed detail in well-worn recordings I hadn't noticed before. I had the same impression the first time I heard these speakers. The depth and imaging are amazing. You really start to appreciate the effort that goes into mixing a quality soundtrack. The bass output almost matches the output of my SVS 25-31 (which is tuned to 20hz). I consider this an amazing accomplishment given the size of the woofers. An added benefit of small woofers is improved sonics. These woofers can keep up with the fastest transients adding to my listening pleasure.
The not as good
About an hour in I dropped in a CD from Gota. When I got to track 2, 'Time There Will Always Be', I felt like something was missing. On this track there is a synth groove that goes up and down with the song. It was there, it just wasn't as prominent as it was with my reference speakers. I believe this is the same issue Jim was referring to in his review. Given the differences in our room dimensions, I would have to contribute this as a characteristic of the speakers. I did not notice this with the 703's, but I didn't spend as much listening time with those speakers.
I have been in the buy a quality bookshelf and good sub camp for the past couple of years. The idea of buying a bookshelf with higher quality drivers and integrating with a capable sub is still a good idea. The fact that Polk can build a speaker with everything I need in one tidy BIG package has me rethinking my position. All in all, the LSiM is a worthy successor to the LSi line.