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  1. #1

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    Default Modded Monitor 30 vs. RTiA1

    Hi Everyone--I'm brand new to the forum but have been a Polk fan for the last 10 years or so,

    Looking for some opinions for a stereo system.

    Right now I have a stereo setup in my living room with the main TV. Surround has been ruled out--wife, odd shaped living room, etc., but I still like nice stereo sound for watching Blu-Rays and HD TV.

    What I am running now is an H/K AVR147 with Polk Monitor 30s on stands next to the TV.

    I'd like to upgrade, but I'd heard that RTiA1s can be a bit bright to many listeners. My AVR147 also seems very bright to my ears, so I'm concerned that if I go with RTiA1s, the entire setup may be overly bright.

    I'm also no stranger to a soldering iron, so I was thinking I might also upgrade the caps in the crossover of the Monitor 30s if the RTiA1s were unlikely to sound good with my entry level receiver. Maybe for some Dayton or Solen Poly Caps.

    Also, I'm definitely in the bookshelf market. The receiver isn't really powerful enough to power towers or LSi bookshelves. Also, dollars are a bit of an issue (once again the wife doesn't really see the need for an upgrade), so I thought sticking with bookshelves might be a nice way to break into the RTi line of speakers.

  2. #2

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    Greetings and Welcome to the forum!

    I had always read that H/Ks are known for being 'warm' - but if you think that it is bright - well, gotta trust your ears.

    Same as when I read that Yamaha avrs are reportedly being 'bright' - even though reviews of the high end avrs are written as being 'warm' or 'laid back'.... guess you can't believe everything posted on the internet, eh?

    Personally, I don't think that going to RTiA1s from Monitor 30s will be that much of an upgrade - probably too small for the money, imo.

    The xover upgrade might get you a better value for the time and money.

    If you want that next big step up in sound quality, you probably need to commit more $ to your budget and go for..oh..say the new LSiM703s.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  3. #3

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    Welcome to Club Polk!

    Pretty much agree with Erik, above! But I'm assuming that you can't budget 1500 dollars for a pair of new LSI-Ms. So why not try for an older series LSi-7s. I own, Rti-4s (the old version of the Rti-A1s) M-30s and LSI-7s; and I can tell you that the LSi-7s pretty much steal the show from the two lower models. Now the LSi-M703s are even better. But if you can't afford those. Look on the Polk Ebay site and see what the going rate for the LSi-7s are! Definitely NOT a bright speaker, but you might need some more power than the entry level HK AVR?

    cnh
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  4. #4

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    How about a SurroundBar?

  5. #5

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    just scan the local CL. I found a bunch of great deal in the last few months. I bought some speakers that I absolutely don't need just because they were so cheap.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the fast responses guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post

    I had always read that H/Ks are known for being 'warm' - but if you think that it is bright - well, gotta trust your ears.
    It just seems bright compared to the Onkyo TX-SR500 I started with.

    I'll try the crossover upgrade and see how it ends up sounding. I'll A/B it with the speaker that doesn't have the mod yet to see if there is any real difference.

    Anyboy have a specific cap to use or avoid? I was thinking Dayton Polys.

    Thanks,

    Roberto

  7. #7

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    WELCOME TO CLUB POLK!
    Interesting idea. I have never heard of modding the monitor 30s and honestly not sure that it would be worth it considering the build materials of the original speaker. I am surprised to hear you say that you find them bright with the HK, as both components are generally considered on the warmer side. I love HKs as you can see in my sig, and I think that they pair up really well with polks.

    Two thoughts come to mind. First is that your HK is entry level, and even though they tend be honest with their specs, but the low power could still be part of the problem. My second thought is Do you have a sub? That would go a long way towards warming up your sound and solving the power issue since it woud release your receiver from the lowest register. I think that rti a1s and a nice little 8 or 10 in sub would be a great (not too bright) combination with that HK!

    Good Luck!
    HT Rig:
    Mains, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling
    Center - Polk cs400i
    Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling
    Sub - SVS PB10-ISD
    Receiver - Pioneer VSX-1018ah-k
    Server - Logitech Squeezebox Duet
    Blu-ray - Sony BDP-S390
    DVR - DirecTV Genie + AM21
    Display - Samsung PN43E450 Plasma


    Two Channel PC Rig (In progress)
    Dell Studio 540s-->Pangea USB Cable-->HRT Music Streamer II DAC-->MIT AVT1-->Dayton DTA 100a-->MIT EXP2-->Polk Monitor 5 w/Peerless

  8. #8

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    I am surpirsed to hear these guys say that m30 to rti a1 isn't much of an upgrade? My first upgrade was from m30 to rti4 and I thought it was a pretty big upgrade! Before messing with the mod I would pick up a pair of rti6s from newegg if they still have them. That will give you some more bass and at the price they are going for you could resell them for most of what you paid if you decide you don't want to keep them.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravaneli View Post
    just scan the local CL. I found a bunch of great deal in the last few months. I bought some speakers that I absolutely don't need just because they were so cheap.
    This. And eBay. There are some terrific deals to be had, and IMO older often means better build quality than newer, especially when it comes to electronics and audio. I'm still using a pair of Infinity Overture 1s that were built in 1997, which had an original MSRP of $1100. They are still really great speakers. And while they are a bit hard to find in good condition, you can sometimes catch a decent pair on eBay for around $200 - $300 shipped. They are expensive to ship because each speaker weighs nearly 30 lbs.

    Anyway, not saying you should necessarily try to get a pair of Overture 1s, but there are plenty of older speakers out there you could buy that perform on an entirely different level and are built much better than your Monitor 30s or the RTiA1s.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rooftop59 View Post
    I am surpirsed to hear these guys say that m30 to rti a1 isn't much of an upgrade? My first upgrade was from m30 to rti4 and I thought it was a pretty big upgrade! Before messing with the mod I would pick up a pair of rti6s from newegg if they still have them. That will give you some more bass and at the price they are going for you could resell them for most of what you paid if you decide you don't want to keep them.
    I didn't mean to imply that the Rti-4s are not an upgrade from the M-30s, they are. But what I found is that the 4s are picky about amplification. For example, they didn't really like the HK receiver I had as much as the Onkyo 604 I have in the bedroom (go figure--that's counter intuitive since everyone says HK is warmer!). You'll definitely have more detail in your highs and tighter bass with the Rtis. It's just that once you get to the Lsi-7s there is another level of detail and musicality that is revealed--with the right power source, of course!

    But, yeah, probably getting some Rtis might be a better idea. Crossovers for M-30s? Kinda doubt that is going to do much. Guys around here put TOO much faith in their crossover upgrades, IMHO. Yes they work, but only if you're starting out with some top quality drivers and a nice cabinet first!!

    cnh
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  11. #11

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    That is a good AVR. I have the same one powering 5 RM series speakers in the kitchen. If I were you, just stick with the Rti series. especially you mentioned that you want to watch movies with it too. To me, it makes more sense to get better speakers to begin with, then if needed, upgrade later in contrast to cheaper speakers then upgrade them immediately.

    ohh yeah, Infinity Overture 1s are very good too. I replaced mine with Lsi9s and still holding on to them.
    Last edited by nhhiep; 06-15-2012 at 01:45 PM.

  12. #12

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    I've been down the incremental upgrade path - learned some things, had fun, but dollar for dollar probably would have gotten a better value if I had waited and saved more to get a bigger upgrade step.

    So, I'm not saying that going up to the RTis is not an upgrade (heck I started with RTi4s and went 'up' from there) - just tossing out some ideas.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  13. #13

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    +1 to everyone above who suggested upgrading to RTi bookies, or even to the Monitor 40, and add a sub (eg. PSW110, PSW10, or my little fave, the PSW111) over modding the Monitor 30s. Sticking with the HK receiver and these changes should give you better detail to your mids and highs with fuller lows and an overall warmer sound.

    Spending time and $$ on modding Monitor 30s is like buying a $2 pair of boots and giving them a $10 shine!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    I've been down the incremental upgrade path - learned some things, had fun, but dollar for dollar probably would have gotten a better value if I had waited and saved more to get a bigger upgrade step.
    +1. Its been a lot of fun, and I am not sure if I would trade the experience of being exposed to different gear. However, it is absolutely true that you would get a lot more for your money if you took the time to do the research, found the best gear that you are willing to save for, and then wait until you can by it. Sit back, enjoy, no regrets.

    I think that what we need to do on this forum is to develop a psychological temperament/character evaluation. I am sure we could take an addiction personality test and adapt it. That way you could know going in whether you can simply buy what you want and be happy with it, or whether you are doomed to go down the rabbit hole...

  15. #15

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    If the RTi's are to bright for you then you could always try modding them as well.

  16. #16

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    Thanks again for all the replies guys! I guess to go with the new consensus, I'll give the RTiA1s a try or try to find some RTi4s that are in good shape. If it is overly bright, I can pad down the tweeter a dB or two or something like that. I know I saw some info on a brightness mod for the RTiA1 on the forums a few days ago. Who knows, I may end up liking the sound anyhow. I could also try them with my older but more powerful AVR230 also and see if that makes a difference. Admittedly, I liked the idea of moving up to the RTi line. I originally had (and still have in the basement) R series speakers (when I was a poor college student), and now Monitor 30s for a while, so it seems the next logical step to move up to RTi.

  17. #17

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    your current AVR (like 40WPC) is more than enough for speakers that you are interested in. These shouldn't need more than 20watts

  18. #18

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    do not spend any money on the monitors, they cost like 89 buck on the ebay site. better get a pair of rti4 or rti6 and never look back. it is a better line all around to the monitor line. there is a pair of lsi7 here for like 235 dollars. i would get that personally instead of the other choices.

    but i do own the rti4 and they are very nice speakers for the money (150 on jr, newegg or even crutchfield, whenever thet have them).
    HT:
    POLK AUDIO RTI4 FRONTS
    CSI3 CENTER
    DEF TECH PROMONITOR800 SURROUNDS
    PSW 125 SUB
    PIONEER ELITE AVR23TXH AVR
    APPLE TV 160GB
    PANASONIC BLURAY PLAYER
    50" PANASONIC PLASMA TCP50C2

    2 CHANNEL:
    KEF R300 THREE WAY BOOKSHELF GLOSS PIANO BLACK
    ROTEL RC 990BX PRE
    ROTEL RB 990BX AMP
    OPPO DV980 (AS CD PLAYER)
    PIONEER PL100 TURNTABLE WITH SHURE MX97E CART
    MIT EXP2 SPEAKER CABLES

  19. #19

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    I'd skip both series and look for a pair of LSI'7 or 9's.

  20. #20

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    Lsi7/9 would be nice consider the current price. But there is a chance that he will burn his AVR running these.

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