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  1. #1

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Default rti4 vs tsi100 - not convinced rti4 is better

    I need help making a decision. Got the Tsi100's, less than a month ago, when they were on sale for $109 (ordered them from Saw the Rti4's for $119.0 on, looked up some reviews and comparisons and decided to grab a pair ($127.00 after taxes).

    I am not an audiophile and I dont think I can tell subtle differences. I did a comparison in the store, the Rti4's seemed clearer more pleasing to the ears. The Tsi100's were definitely louder at the same volume setting. Both speaker pairs appeared to have been abused in the store as I could hear distortion from both sets of tweeters. I was still not sold on the Rti4;s but I bought them anyway because of the reviews.

    Came home, hooked them up, didnt notice anything that would impress me over the Tsi100. I was disappointed that I had to increase my volume by 2-3 points to get to the same level as the Tsi100's (similar experience in the store).

    My setup is:

    Sony STRDH130 in A+B mode ($119)
    A speakers (Tsi100 / Rti4) ($109 / $127)
    B speakers (Pioneer SW8 subwoofer) ($69)

    I went ahead an requested a return label for the Tsi's since I was about to hit the 30 day window. So, I need to make a decision whether to pack the Tsi100's or return the Rti4's to Frys. Maybe, I am expecting too much from the Rti4's? Maybe my setup/position is not optimal? Some help in this regard ?

    I will post pictures of my setup. Apologize for any typos, typed in a hurry.


  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Alexandria, VA


    Quote Originally Posted by dapolk View Post
    ...I was disappointed that I had to increase my volume by 2-3 points to get to the same level as the Tsi100's...
    Why are you disappointed by this? All speakers have different sensitivity ratings, and it's not a "good" or "bad" thing. My Maggies are MUCH less efficient than either of your speakers... that's just how they work.

    As far as which is better... let your ears decide.

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
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    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's


    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
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    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Descending toward the moon in the CLEM (Chinese Lunar Excursion Module), looking for Chang'e


    Welcome to Club Polk!

    The Rtis have a different tweeter in there. Crossovers as well. They tend to be a little brighter and have more "detail" than what's in the 100s.

    They also have a power port in the back which tightens up the bass over the 100s. But it is possible that the looser, seemingly, greater bass coming from the 100s might be more to some people's liking. There is no rule that says everyone has to like "tighter" "flatter" sound!

    As falcon says. Listen to both. How loud something plays off a receiver is NOT the best criteria for evaluating the "quality" of the sound. If that were the case EVERYONE would buy some old Cerwin Vegas and call it a day.

    You should try to play BOTH speakers at the SAME volume in order to better judge them! In fact, good showrooms can make adjustments so that a speaker's sensitivity does not shine through at the expense of the way it actually sounds.

    It is a well known fact, that people tend to buy the speaker that sounds louder when they are in a showroom. Then they get home and wonder "where" that sound went?

    Last edited by cnh; 04-03-2013 at 03:20 PM.
    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

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    It's really up to personal preference. If you're comparing speakers you need some good test material. Take music that you like and play the same song on both speakers and see which one you like the most.

    you might want to play with placement. I found the RTI4 sounded better when I placed them back close to the wall. Also the front really has to be clear of obstructions. That one should be obvious but when I first placed them on my tower speakers to test, I had them about an inch back and it really messed up the sound. Pulled them forward and it was much better.

    i only listened to the Tsi100 at Best Buy, and couldn't do a direct comparison as the only other polk they had was the T15. They sounded ok, acceptable by all measures. The T15 were terrible, but I suspect they had them hooked up out of phase.

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Springboro, Ohio


    You don't need help choosing, you've made your choice but you want backup? If you like the Tsi100 better keep those and be happy.

    The Rti4's obviously don't sound as pleasing to your ears so ditch them.

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