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  1. #1

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    Default HELP!! Monitor 40 to better bookshelf or tower?

    Hello all!

    I am new here but have owned my setup for over a year. I have Monitor40's up front, CS1, Mon30's in rear running off Onkyo RC180. Had the PSW505 sub but upgrading to an Elemental Designs sub. My theater room is 21'x12'x8', but my couch sits at about the halfway point so sound is traveling about 8-10 feet to reach viewers.

    I really would like to upgrade to CS2 and Mon 70's, but I have one minor issue...the wife! CS2 is no problem, she wouldn't notice the size increase of the CS2 over CS1 due to the same shape and color, but going from Monitor 40's on stands to Monitor 70's is going to be a bit of hassle with questions, griping, etc.. I have been researching a lot and will continue to do so, but is there a Polk bookshelf speaker that will come in roughly the same size as the 40's (cherry color), yet offer me a SUBSTANTIAL upgrade in sound? Or are towers like the 70's the only way to get that? I know this will boil down to a tower vs bookshelf debate, but I really value the stealth approach of swapping out bookshelfs versus dealing with explaining why I bought something I don't "need"! lol...

    My listening is 85% Movie/ 15% games...almost NO music. My sub will be pretty powerful, probably a sealed or ported 15'' from Elemental. Again, is there a Polk bookshelf that can best my Monitor 40's or maybe even everyone's favorite value, Monitor 70? Center channel reco welcomed as well! Thanks a ton guys for your input, looking forward to reading a bunch!

  2. #2

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    Budget?

  3. #3

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    Welcome to Club Polk!

    Perhaps you should consider the Rti a3's.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/bookshelf.php#rtia

    I've never heard them but folks here say they are pretty powerful and sound great. I supect that The a3's paired with a nice sub will sound as good as the monitor 70's ( which I have heard).
    I'm sure others will chime in with recommendations.

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  4. #4

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    Budget? Well...as with anything, I'd love to save, but I realize I will have to probably pay more to get the smaller form factor. I love the price of the Monitor 70's and CS2 on NewEgg (roughly $460). As close the that number for a pair of bookshelves and center would be great, but by all means, any suggestions are welcome!

    bklynNupe: Thanks, reading alot on those, seems people are split on if they're better than the 70's if paired with a sub...

    ALSO...SOMEday, I would like an outboard amp, but that won't come for a couple years or so.

  5. #5

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    I have not owned the rt55i but many on this site have. Use the search engine for a review. They come up fairly frequently on ebay, craigslist or you can post a WTB posting on this website. Prices vary but I have seen them for $150-$250 a pair. So add on a matching center and you will be within your budget!

    The matching Center is listed in the Crutchfield Add below.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/p.../recent/rt55i/
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-DzlV23b...55i-Black.html

    There is a lot of value in used Polk Speakers and this is one of the highest reviewed as a big bookshelf for HT.

  6. #6

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    I say just go for what you want! You can always try what I do, "but honey, these carry way more power which will give us way more clarity and sound quality without having to crank 'em so much."

    Let me know if you need me to write you note or anything.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


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    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynNupe View Post
    Welcome to Club Polk!

    Perhaps you should consider the Rti a3's.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/bookshelf.php#rtia

    I've never heard them but folks here say they are pretty powerful and sound great.
    I just installed rtia3's as my L/R fronts, paired with a csia6 and a sub as part of a 7.1 set-up.

    Sound is really - really - great.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 27dnast View Post
    I just installed rtia3's as my L/R fronts, paired with a csia6 and a sub as part of a 7.1 set-up.

    Sound is really - really - great.
    But i would , take the monitors 70 any given day compared to the RTia3 , but i also would take the RTia7 or 9 compared to the Monitors

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almadacr View Post
    But i would , take the monitors 70 any given day compared to the RTia3 , but i also would take the RTia7 or 9 compared to the Monitors
    Why is that? I am actually thinking about switching out of m70s to a3s as potential upgrade/downsizing. The m70s r just too big for my livingroom right now, i feel they clutter the room too much and i want to 'clean' up the look some. I know i will loose some sound stage going from big towers to bookshelves, but i expect for an overall improvement in sound quality, so its ok.

    So curious why you would take the m70 over a3, have you compared them both?
    Living Room 7.1 HT Rig:

    M70 | CS2 | M60 | Atrium5 - Surr. | SUB - Emotiva ULTRA12 + Tara Labs sub cable | Pioneer Elite VSX-52 | Parasound HCAs 1000A | Sony BDP-S790 | Belkin PureAV PF60 | MIT Exp2 Wires

    Bedroom 5.0 HT Rig (Music/Movies/Gaming) :

    LSi9 | LsiC | Lsi/fx | Marantz SR7002 | NAD T955 | Sony BDP-S360 | Belkin PureAV PF30 | AQ Blue Racer II ICs & AQ Type 4 wires | PS3

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lietuvis91 View Post
    Why is that? I am actually thinking about switching out of m70s to a3s as potential upgrade/downsizing. The m70s r just too big for my livingroom right now, i feel they clutter the room too much and i want to 'clean' up the look some. I know i will loose some sound stage going from big towers to bookshelves, but i expect for an overall improvement in sound quality, so its ok.

    So curious why you would take the m70 over a3, have you compared them both?
    Yes i did , i audition RTia3 when they were coming for sale on the Canadian boxing day , and toke my favorites cd`s and the Hurt Locker BR to listen to them .I almost bought the RTia3 , but i wanted DI/Bipole speakers

  11. #11

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    What about with added amplification? Rti a3 gain anything from that? I know the mon 70's would but...

  12. #12

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    I would go with atleast the RTI A5's They are a smaller tower but would sound great for home theater. The A7's and 9's would be preferd but if size is an issue the 5's would work.
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
    Amplifier: Carver A-753x 250 watts x 3
    Fronts: Polk RTI A7 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Center: CSI A4 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Rear: FXI A4
    Sub: Polk DSW Pro 660wi
    TV: LG Infinia 50PX950 3D
    Speaker Cable: AudioQuest Type 8
    IC: AudioQuest Black Mamba II

  13. #13

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    Roger that...thanks guys.

    So, pretty much we're at a point where bookshelfs can't or won't hold a candle to the Monitor 70's or better tower from Polk? It would be nice if there was a big bookshelf out there, like the monitor 40's, but maybe with 2 6 inch drivers and a better tweeter. I really do like the form factor of the 40's on my stands, but now it feels like those (as well as the stands) were a waste of $ if I move to towers. I refuse to use my 40's for surrounds, so now I'd have to try and sell them, but they're so cheap on NewEgg, it will be hard to unload them I think. Oh well...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brunt View Post
    Roger that...thanks guys.

    So, pretty much we're at a point where bookshelfs can't or won't hold a candle to the Monitor 70's or better tower from Polk? It would be nice if there was a big bookshelf out there, like the monitor 40's, but maybe with 2 6 inch drivers and a better tweeter. I really do like the form factor of the 40's on my stands, but now it feels like those (as well as the stands) were a waste of $ if I move to towers. I refuse to use my 40's for surrounds, so now I'd have to try and sell them, but they're so cheap on NewEgg, it will be hard to unload them I think. Oh well...
    There are but they will cost you more than you have in mind , Dynaudio or Totem but you also have a price tag on that . One thing i don`t get it why not use the 40`s as surrounds ??? i Would accept if you would tell me that you were selling the 40`s to buy the FXi !!!!

  15. #15

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    Uh, my issue with 40's as surrounds is 2 fold. I would absolutely NEED taller stands in my room, which I don't want to buy when I have 30's as surrounds which are wall mounted in a great location. Just seems like too much trouble/money to use them within my media room. From what I've read, I'm not sure there is too much of a differnce anyway. People claim there is, but I've heard Klipsch satellites as surrounds in a system using an externally driven frontstage with RF-62's and they sounded fine for the surround effects.

    I just feel like the 40's are an annoying size and shape for surrounds...

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brunt View Post
    Uh, my issue with 40's as surrounds is 2 fold. I would absolutely NEED taller stands in my room, which I don't want to buy when I have 30's as surrounds which are wall mounted in a great location. Just seems like too much trouble/money to use them within my media room. From what I've read, I'm not sure there is too much of a differnce anyway. People claim there is, but I've heard Klipsch satellites as surrounds in a system using an externally driven frontstage with RF-62's and they sounded fine for the surround effects.

    I just feel like the 40's are an annoying size and shape for surrounds...
    So if size matters , this is just IMO you can sell the 40`s but instead of getting the 30`s why don`t you save some money and and get some Di/Bipole speakers ??? You know that , for surrounds there are other offers out there .

  17. #17

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    What size have you used on the 40s? Can you use the same stand for the rti a3?

    I am starting to build and am wondering if the rti a3 ($240 used) is worth it over the monitor 40 ($120 new)

    I have also heard I'll be disapointed with the csi a3 and need to buck up for the a6.. so theres an added cost there too

  18. #18

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    Look.. you have to realize that the opinions on here are just that. Opinions. Each listener... room size... budget... everything (!) varies.

    I love my set-up... it's HT only. RTia3's as fronts elevated 33 inches on stands, CsiA6, FXia4's as sides and Monitor 40's as rears.. paired with a 10" Energy Sub with a X-over set at 80hz. Driven by an Elite VSX-21THX avr. The HT Room is 11X17. Very closed in.

    The sound is very rich and deep. The front 3 provide a great sound stage. It might be a tad forward (lacking some exaggerated depth), but that is my only - very minor complaint). The RTiA3's have great highs and mids and the sub more than adequately hammers out the lows. The set-up, in my opinion, is fantastic and I've pushed it right-up to my outer comfort level volume-wise and the speakers don't even flinch.

    If you are considering the A3's, why not order some, install, and listen. If you hate it or aren't excited by it, eat the $25 returning shipping and get rid of them?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by hookem12 View Post
    What size have you used on the 40s? Can you use the same stand for the rti a3?

    I am starting to build and am wondering if the rti a3 ($240 used) is worth it over the monitor 40 ($120 new)

    I have also heard I'll be disapointed with the csi a3 and need to buck up for the a6.. so theres an added cost there too
    You can get the RtiA3's from newegg... new... for 279 shipped. That's a good deal.

    Also, the CSiA6 is also on sale - newegg - for $279 shipped.

    I'm pretty sure that newegg runs this deal every sunday (seems like it has regularly appeared sunday evenings... but is gone by monday... then the prices hike up again until the following sunday evening).

    Anyhow, those two speakers can be found for under $300 new from an authorized retailer.

  20. #20

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    Wow, did not know they run that special

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by 27dnast View Post
    Look.. you have to realize that the opinions on here are just that. Opinions. Each listener... room size... budget... everything (!) varies.

    I love my set-up... it's HT only. RTia3's as fronts elevated 33 inches on stands, CsiA6, FXia4's as sides and Monitor 40's as rears.. paired with a 10" Energy Sub with a X-over set at 80hz. Driven by an Elite VSX-21THX avr. The HT Room is 11X17. Very closed in.

    The sound is very rich and deep. The front 3 provide a great sound stage. It might be a tad forward (lacking some exaggerated depth), but that is my only - very minor complaint). The RTiA3's have great highs and mids and the sub more than adequately hammers out the lows. The set-up, in my opinion, is fantastic and I've pushed it right-up to my outer comfort level volume-wise and the speakers don't even flinch.

    If you are considering the A3's, why not order some, install, and listen. If you hate it or aren't excited by it, eat the $25 returning shipping and get rid of them?
    My room is slightly larger, 21'x12'...with the couch cutting the room in half the longway so sound isn't travelling the whole 21' before reaching listener. I can post a picture once I'm allowed to show you. Good info on A3's and CSi6, very helpful. Do you think they would/could benefit from external amping in the way the 70's would? Eventually will get an amp setup, but would like to avoid getting new speaks then as well.

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    http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b1...-47-47_461.jpg


    You can see the couch in bottom of pic to get an idea how far I'm sitting...about 8 feet. I believe my stands are 24'' or 27'' tall.

    Just sucks that 70's and CS2 are $460 vs almost $600 for A3's and CSi6...so more money for a bit more of an under the wife's radar install...If it was other way around pricewise it would be a no brainer for me to stay with bookshelves.
    Last edited by Brunt; 06-26-2011 at 10:35 PM.

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    how do you rate the sound you get from the current setup? how does it sound at low to moderate volume for regular tv usage?

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    Uh, well...it's the best HT setup I've ever had...but that says sh*t because it's my first house and my other HT setup years ago was an Onkyo HTIB. Moderate volume for tv is okay...nothing spectacular. Sports sound decent when turned up a bit, but nothing on TV compares to a Blu-Ray obviously. For movies, I find it quite good. I feel like I can turn it up almost louder than my ears can tolerate (especially something like a Metallica DVD with 5.1 sound) before hearing distortion, if that means anything.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almadacr View Post
    So if size matters , this is just IMO you can sell the 40`s but instead of getting the 30`s why don`t you save some money and and get some Di/Bipole speakers ??? You know that , for surrounds there are other offers out there .
    I already have 30's right now hanging as surrounds...

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brunt View Post
    It would be nice if there was a big bookshelf out there, like the monitor 40's, but maybe with 2 6 inch drivers and a better tweeter.
    That is what I would call RTI A5's. Only they come with their own stands built on. How tall are your Monitor 40's now? Are they on stands? RTI line up is awesome for Home Theater and would be a good upgrade.
    Last edited by jbooker82; 06-27-2011 at 03:50 AM.
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
    Amplifier: Carver A-753x 250 watts x 3
    Fronts: Polk RTI A7 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Center: CSI A4 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Rear: FXI A4
    Sub: Polk DSW Pro 660wi
    TV: LG Infinia 50PX950 3D
    Speaker Cable: AudioQuest Type 8
    IC: AudioQuest Black Mamba II

  27. #27

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    When compaired to RTI A3's the RTI A5's are roughly 1 1/16 in wider, and 4 1/4 inch deeper.

    RTI A5's are 40 1/4 inch tall
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
    Amplifier: Carver A-753x 250 watts x 3
    Fronts: Polk RTI A7 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Center: CSI A4 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Rear: FXI A4
    Sub: Polk DSW Pro 660wi
    TV: LG Infinia 50PX950 3D
    Speaker Cable: AudioQuest Type 8
    IC: AudioQuest Black Mamba II

  28. #28

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    When compaired to Monitor 40's RTI A5's are only 1 7/16 in wider, and 3 3/4 inch deeper.
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
    Amplifier: Carver A-753x 250 watts x 3
    Fronts: Polk RTI A7 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Center: CSI A4 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Rear: FXI A4
    Sub: Polk DSW Pro 660wi
    TV: LG Infinia 50PX950 3D
    Speaker Cable: AudioQuest Type 8
    IC: AudioQuest Black Mamba II

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brunt View Post
    My room is slightly larger, 21'x12'...with the couch cutting the room in half the longway so sound isn't travelling the whole 21' before reaching listener. I can post a picture once I'm allowed to show you. Good info on A3's and CSi6, very helpful. Do you think they would/could benefit from external amping in the way the 70's would? Eventually will get an amp setup, but would like to avoid getting new speaks then as well.
    To tell you the truth, I don't know. I guess it all depends on what kind if avr you are using.

    Just as a correction, I'm not using monitor 40's as rears... But Rti4's. Had a little bit of monitor in the brain! :)

    Check out this review of the RTiA3 setup witha csia4.
    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/tes...speaker-system

    I get the fact that every level of speaker is slightly different - good or bad - over the model below... I read comments like "I would take xxx over xxx all day long" and I get what the poster is saying, but that kind of statement implies that o e speaker is like a clock radio while the other is like a speaker stack at a concert. But I wouldn't get I overly concerned... Keep in mind, these are all really nice speakers fir the money... And its not like you'll be switching between speakers and the being asked to take the lesser one. Your ears will be very - very - pleased with rtia3's and up. Very pleased. All of them are great speakers for the money. Read the review and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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    n/m, I read a little more of the posts which made my original point moot. Hope you enjoy whatever you decide on
    Last edited by tommyboy; 06-27-2011 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Too lazy to read
    AVR: H/K AVR240
    Fronts: Monitor 50s
    Center: CSI3
    surrounds: R15s
    Sub:Velodyne DPS10
    Dvd/Cd: Samsung HD upconverter (for now)
    TV: 50" Sammy Plasma
    game hardware: 360 and gcn.
    Gamertag: kovster27

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