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  1. #1

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    Question Polk SDA-2 and SDA-2A/B listening impressions...

    Those who have had both versions (two tweeters/three mids and single tweeter/two mids), what are the differences?
    Assuming tweeters are same SL-2000.
    Does the original have more mid range due to additional mid driver?

    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery View Post
    Those who have had both versions (two tweeters/three mids and single tweeter/two mids), what are the differences?
    Assuming tweeters are same SL-2000.
    Does the original have more mid range due to additional mid driver?
    Nope. I'm thinking that the original SDA 2's SDA driver didn't assist with bass. The original SDA 2 needed the extra mid-driver to compensate. The later 2A and 2B's SDA driver did double-duty by also providing bass reinforcement.

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    ^Bingo^
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    So they are not as good sounding as the 2b's?
    Not worried about bass but extra mid doesn't improve mid range?
    Hmm... I am tempted to try them but will pass then.

    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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    The 2s are every bit as engaging as the 2A/B models, once all the upgrades are done. The only upgrade they cannot be given is the RDO-198-1 Tweeters. The third woofer has a separate circuit on the stereo side, and crosses over much lower. It's purpose is to augment the bass due to cancelation by the dimensional woofer. This was corrected in the 3rd generation, with the "Full Compliment Sub-Bass Drive" circuit. I've done several original 2s in the last couple of months, and compared them side by side with my fully upgraded 2ATLs. They are no slouches. The dimensional tweeters should definitely be disconnected, and doing so will also lower the cost of the crossover upgrade.
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  6. #6

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    I see.
    There is a pair for $150 but I'll pass for now.
    Will keep watching for bigger ones with more mids.

    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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    Mystery, I had these same questions when I was looking for my first pair of SDA's. I noticed you just picked up some 2's but want to keep it in this thread....sorry I'm late to the game.

    I was after some 1C's as well as the 2B's and I was questioning the lack of mids with the 2A etc.

    I can say for certain, the 2B's aren't lacking much in the midrange department. I guess it all depends on room size as more drivers will excite more air but it also comes down to sound quality as well, some prefer the fewer drivers and I will say that TL modded 2B's sound exceptional.

    I haven't heard the 1C's or 2.3, or 1.2 but I'm sure they are amazing. I would like to compare the 1C to the 2B and I would think it sounds better but don't be deterred by the fewer drivers of the 2B, they sound really, really good.

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    Listened to the SDA-2's with DIY IC cable for now and they are seriously lacking on the bass from what I remembered of the 2B's.
    2B's had a lot more deep bass than the 2's.
    Mids on the 2's are more (that I like) than the 2B's and bass is tight but nowhere deep neither loud as 2B's.

    Even the RTA-11T's dig much deeper and are way louder (even after taking the ohm difference in account).
    Woofers are moving pretty good on bass notes but I don't hear anything substantial on the bass side.
    I tightened all the drivers but no improvement.
    I had to use equalizer +5dB on low bass frequency to get closer to bass from RTA-11T's.
    Weird.

    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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    Have you checked all the drivers to ensure they are all in phase? Does the PR push test reveal fast returning mids or slow? If the mids return very quickly to their resting position (about 1 sec) then you are likely looking at an air leak.

    I don't have any experience with the SDA 2, I believe some recommend disconnecting the dimensional tweeter.

  10. #10

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    PR push is good and not too fast.
    I think it's just different sounding speaker due to additional mid driver, it makes the bass not as pronounced.
    Also, from my experience with cone PR vs flat PR, it takes little more power to move the flat ones or the flat ones don't move as much as the cone PR's.
    I can easily see cone PR's move than the flat PR's. Flat ones vibrate but don't move like normal drivers so the bass is there but it's tight and doesn't hang too long???
    That may be why the RTA-11T's have louder (may be not deeper/lower) bass than the 2's.
    I set them up around 8 inches from the wall and SDA effect is obvious on the right side where instruments come pretty much towards the middle but not towards the back neither left.
    Will do more checking and setup.

    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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    Did you positon them closer to the wall, like you have your 11's and Bostons? I think that will change it a bunch..
    Hot Rodded SDA 1.2TL's, SDA 1C's, SDA CRS+'s...
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  12. #12

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    considering the SDA2's have double tweeters positioned horizontally (instead of the vertical arrangement double tweeters have in the SDA 1B/C's), shouldn't the single tweeter in the 2A's and 2B's provide more precise imaging across the 'stage'?
    Dual 1229/Grado Gold/Rotel RCD1070/RC995/RB980BX/Pioneer 7100/Denon DRM710/Monster HTS3600MKII/PolkAudio SDA2B/TL's

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolfan66 View Post
    Did you positon them closer to the wall, like you have your 11's and Bostons? I think that will change it a bunch..
    Yes, I removed the JBL L166's and re-arranged little bit.
    SDA-2 are around 7 feet apart, 4 inches in front of everything and more than 3 feet on their sides.
    My chair is around 8 feet in front so it should be setup right.

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    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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    I would take the SDA's and swap them with the beige inside speakers, bringing them in about a foot or 2, and give them about 8" to the rear wall. Then reposition your chair and I think the change would be very noticeable.

    I just noticed the room continues past the frame of the pic, I would try bringing them out about 8" from the rear wall first.
    Last edited by gmcman; 04-04-2014 at 07:29 AM.

  15. #15

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    Checked the phase. All drivers are in phase.
    They are exactly 8.5" from back wall.
    This setup have them little over 6 feet apart from cabinet to cabinet and add another 16" if measuring from center to center.

    As per SDA handbook, they should be at least 6 feet apart and if I move the Bostons on the far side, they become not even 5 feet apart.
    I did test that way as well that brings the SDA's around 5 feet apart but not any improvement on SDA effect.
    I'm liking the bass now, especially on the tracks with heavy bass. RTA-11t's kinda over do the bass on those tracks.
    Here is a pic with Boston's on the far side but that didn't work better so moved it back as it was.


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    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

  16. #16

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    How far back are you sitting from them in the pic above? I have found(at least for mine) that the sweet spot is just a few inches behind the distance between the cabinets as per the manual. You can poke your head in front of that spot and hear the vocals all over the place, but just behind they become centralized and that's about where mine sound the best. I can move father back and they still sound great, but the sweet spot is where that magic seems to happen.

    Someone mentioned this a long time ago, forgot who it was but they suggested to turn out the lights and close your eyes in the sweet spot. Then the band is right there....very cool.

  17. #17

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    Also I take a measurement between the cabinets from both the front edge and the rear edge, when they are the same there is no toe in, or out, make sure they are level vertically as well. These measurements need to be exact and the more exact they are the easier it is to pinpoint any issues and they also make a difference in the imaging.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcman View Post
    How far back are you sitting from them in the pic above? I have found(at least for mine) that the sweet spot is just a few inches behind the distance between the cabinets as per the manual. You can poke your head in front of that spot and hear the vocals all over the place, but just behind they become centralized and that's about where mine sound the best. I can move father back and they still sound great, but the sweet spot is where that magic seems to happen.

    Someone mentioned this a long time ago, forgot who it was but they suggested to turn out the lights and close your eyes in the sweet spot. Then the band is right there....very cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by gmcman View Post
    Also I take a measurement between the cabinets from both the front edge and the rear edge, when they are the same there is no toe in, or out, make sure they are level vertically as well. These measurements need to be exact and the more exact they are the easier it is to pinpoint any issues and they also make a difference in the imaging.
    All checked.
    I tried few different placement settings and they sounded good but I enjoy other speakers more so I passed them on.

    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery View Post
    All checked.
    I tried few different placement settings and they sounded good but I enjoy other speakers more so I passed them on.
    Yeah your Boston's killed them IMO!!
    Hot Rodded SDA 1.2TL's, SDA 1C's, SDA CRS+'s...
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolfan66 View Post
    Yeah your Boston's killed them IMO!!
    Yes, they did and by far.
    Glad you liked them as well.

    In fact, in contrast to most Polkie's, I find RTA-11T's more listenable and enjoyable than the SDA-2/2B's and don't mind keeping them a while but had to put up for sale due to space issue.
    I acquired a set of KG4's and Genesis 3 recently.
    Genesis 3 need few things done like fixing a tweeter and re-foaming woofers/PR's.
    After that's done, we can have another session as they are TOTL of the Genesis Physics and could challenge the A400's. ;)

    Here is my current setup: That wall is my audio wall. As soon as I can't fit speakers in that wall, something needs to go. That's my own rule so not set on stone...

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    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

  21. #21

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    I don't know how you can get a true feel for any of them in that best buy demo setup. Not knocking you since there probably isn't anywhere else to store that many speakers, but none of them are going to excel in that crowded room. Looks like a fun room to have some drinks in whilst swapping through speakers. Quite a collection for sure.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  22. #22

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    DSkip,
    Yes and no.
    I do have space but 3 of those in there are up for sale and I'm just enjoying while I have them even though they are crammed in there for now but nothing is blocking each other.
    I have listened to speakers on their own in the room but you'll even like a KLH after listening to them for a while.
    Our ears get used to the sound unless there is something wrong with the driver.
    The only time I found difference was if they miss some detail that other speakers revealed and I remembered playing the same track before.
    I got frustrated as by the time I disconnect speakers, move them and put another speaker there, I don't remember exactly what the other speaker sounded to compare.
    When I have them where I can switch back and forth, that is a better comparison.

    I did set up the SDA's as per SDA handbook with enough space in between, from the back wall, in front of everything, enough space on their sides and proper listening distance. It's not like I crammed them behind other speakers.

    Also, I really doubt if I can ever meet a person who can detect change in sound when other non-playing speakers are present in the room unless of course they are blocking the speakers that are playing.
    It'd be interesting if a pair of SDA-2 for example are playing and a blindfold listener can tell, "Hey there is a Klipsch speaker in the corner that's not playing". Then we remove that Klipsch and put in a JBL and the same listener now can detect there is a passive JBL now in the room instead of Klipsch or none at all.

    Also, I'm not yet that audiophile where a speaker needs total room for itself and I have to sit like a rock within a few inches of sweet spot.
    I test them to the best of my conditions.
    If a speaker doesn't sound good in my room as per my setup, out the door it goes.
    It's like a very demanding guest who complains on everything until it's perfect. This food has more salt, it's more done, the drink is too hot, too cold, it's too spicy, that one is too soft etc... they don't last too long and I'm not taking that much time to make everything perfect for one speaker as if that's the only speaker left in this world.
    Nope...

    Boston A400, DefTech BP10,BP-2, Klipsch KG2.5,KG4,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3,L166, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C,RTA-11T, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690.
    SUB:PF15TL+, Energy e:XL-S8, Optimus SW-10P, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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