It took me a while to figure out that as a newbie to the forum, there is a dedicated place to post and we can't post on the active threads. Not sure if anyone with experience will be here, but if so, I'd be really grateful for your insight.
I gave my adult kids a Polk Audio Monitor 60-based surround system with a Yamaha receiver for Christmas, and that has motivated me to want to replace my own system. I'm considering a replacement of my current setup - a 10 year investment if you will. Currently I have R50's, a basic Polk center channel speaker and a Denon AVR-1802. I listen to about 50/50 music/home theater. My living room is about 15X20 with a high ceiling.
I am down to the LSI15's or the RTI 12's, both available as refurb on Polk Audio's Ebay site- that's where I bought the Monitor systems for the "kids." It's clear from reading the posts that I need a hefty amp to drive the LSI15's. And it looks like even the RTI12's would benefit as well- so I'm pretty much convinced I'll get an amp either way- such as the Emotiva XPA-5.
If money were no object, I'd probably go all LSI based on what I know (front soundstage only now- will move R50's to the rear for now). I'm trying to figure out where the "break points" are in spending vs. sound.
1. Use the CSI 5 with LSI 15's ??
Here's the issue for me- is the LSIc the only center channel speaker option if I go to the LSI15's? It seems to be nearly $1000, i.e. twice the Polk Ebay store price of one LSI15!! Could I use a CSI5 instead? The Polk writeup for the CSI5 claims that it is "timbre-matched" to all Polk series. Yet I've read a lot about how the LSI series has a different timbre from the RTI series.
I am not an audiophile (yet- LOL). But I have a strong musical background and a very discriminating ear. Would I be terribly disappointed that I didn't spend another $500 to get the LSI center? Seems like the law of diminishing returns to me...
2. Are the RTI12's too bright for a music lover?
I've read a number of posts suggesting that the RTI12's are on the bright side. I'm not clear whether this mellows out after break-in or if they are just plain fatiguing to listen to. For example, would they do a poor job of rendering finger-style guitar or other music with subtlety? I ask because since they are discontinued there is no way to listen in advance. But I've seen other reviews from music lovers that think the are just detailed enough without being too bright. I'm even wondering if this difference of opinion might be a result of whether they are using a power amp or not.
3. How would you compare the bass response of the LSI15 to the RTI12?
The RTI's have three bass drivers and everyone reports that they do a great job with tight mid-bass, and most recommend a subwoofer for the very low end. The LSI15's are typically described as smooth and consistent performance across the spectrum- some difference of opinion as to whether a subwoofer is needed in both cases. Would one or the other be in greater need of a beefy subwoofer? Trying to anticipate how big a subwoofer budget might be needed in each case?
I'm sorry for the long post - Thank you for any suggestions or insight you can offer into these trade-offs.