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  1. #1

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    Default Compare some Polk Speakers

    After doing additional research and also having talked to a CSR at Polk, I am confident that the following speakers would work fine with my amp. That being the case, I'd like to get anyone's personal opinion and perspective on each of the following speakers. I'd like to find out what the strengths and weaknesses are of each and which might offer the best bang for the buck.

    The CSR I spoke to recommended the LSIM 703. It does appear to be a good match for my amp but I am concerned about a couple of things. First, if I am going to use Bookshelf speakers I will need to do a wall mount. I won't mount speakers on stands because ultimately they are going to end up on the floor. I don't see any provisions to wall mount this model. Second, it is quite new and I cannot find very many reviews from existing users.

    The next model is the RTIA 3. This Bookshelf does seem to be wall mountable. Price for a pair is great and seems to offer a similar sound to the more expensive LSIM model.

    The RTIA 7 is next. Appears to be the next best tower speaker from the model 9 and again will offer sonics similar to the LSIM towers minus the price tag.

    I don't want a harsh sounding speaker like you get with Klipsch. I get listening fatigue after an hour or two of listening to those. I am looking for a warm, neutral or natural sound from a speaker and one that can accurately recreate a live sound stage. No Home Theater setup either. Just two speakers and my amp, tuner and cd and tape players for this system.

    What say yooze?

  2. #2

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    The RTIA any model sounds nothing like the LSIM 703's.

  3. #3

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    LSiM is where you want to look. You might consider the LSi15's if you want a floorstander. It's an older model and comes at a pretty steep discount now, but still a damn good performer for the money. The RTi series offers nothing tonally similar to the LSi/LSiM. The RTi line is exactly what you're not wanting. All things said, LSiM-703 is the way to go if you can get some nice stands and secure them.


    What is the rest of the system?
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  4. #4

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    Odd. The second CRS I spoke to said the RTIA line had a similar sound to the LSIM.

    I also use a Cambridge Audio CD player (circa 2001) and have a Carver TX11a tuner (1985) and an Onkyo TA-RW505cassette deck circa the late 1990's.

  5. #5

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    Pre-amp? Amp?

    We aren't employed by Polk.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  6. #6

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    Qinpu A3 integrated tube/solid state amp. 8 watts per channel. Works great with my Mirage OM 10 towers. But I need a new pair of speakers for a second. May instead use the MK6000 which is the larger version of the A3 at 16 watts per channel.

    Spoke to two friends about this and the tube design needs a speaker that is light on bass. Something to do with the damping factor of the amp makes it easy to over load the mid range of the speaker when it is bass heavy. Will add a subwoofer later if I buy a Bookshelf speaker instead of a Tower.

  7. #7

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    I have both the A7's and the 703's as already said they sound nothing alike, for music the A7's tweeters are way to bright and they lack midrange, the 703's tweeters are tamer and they have a sweet midrange.
    I do like the A7's for movies and so far they have better bass but I've only had the 703's for a couple weeks.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will62 View Post
    ...I am looking for a warm, neutral or natural sound from a speaker and one that can accurately recreate a live sound stage....
    Sounds like you're looking for the LSiM. I think the 703's are the best bang for the buck of all the LSiM's.

    So what's the problem with stands? There are some very nice stand designs out there.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Sounds like you're looking for the LSiM. I think the 703's are the best bang for the buck of all the LSiM's.

    So what's the problem with stands? There are some very nice stand designs out there.
    I have a bad knee and have a tendency to stumble into things at times. While tower speakers won't fall when I have to grab onto one when I am near it (have done that more than once) a bookshelf on a stand is very likely to end up on the floor. Plus, I have a couple of pets that will likely bump into it while running around and send a speaker onto the floor.

  10. #10

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    Just found the following review about the RTI A3 speaker. Someone that seems quite experienced with tube amps said the LSI series (and logically the LSIM since it has the same tweeter) "don't play well" with tube amps.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R1QQXPT...wasThisHelpful

    I've read several very good reviews of the RTI A line when coupled with the Qinpu amp. At this point, that seems to be the best speaker line that Polk has that will match up well with my hybrid tube/solid state amp. I think if I had a straight solid state amp, then the LSI or LSIM lines would be best.

  11. #11

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    To me RTi A series sound better than LSi. and I did a side by side test. the LSi tend to get crazy when they are pushed hard!
    My vote goes to RTi!!!
    Make it simple...Make it better!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lanchile View Post
    To me RTi A series sound better than LSi. and I did a side by side test. the LSi tend to get crazy when they are pushed hard!
    My vote goes to RTi!!!
    Can you expound a bit on by the description of crazy? What kind of amp are you using? I have not read one single bad review from someone using a tube amp with the RTI A line of speakers yet.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by lanchile View Post
    To me RTi A series sound better than LSi. and I did a side by side test. the LSi tend to get crazy when they are pushed hard!
    My vote goes to RTi!!!
    I owned and A/B'd the RTiA's vs. the LSi's, and the LSi's were superior, hands down, in every aspect of musical reproduction. If, in your test, the LSi's "got crazy", I would attribute that to the shortcomings of the amplifier that was used, given the LSi's present a hard to drive 4ohm nominal load.

    HOWEVER:

    The original LSi's are not the same as the LSiM's! The LSiM's are a much easier to drive 8ohm load, and, even though they use a SIMILAR tweeter, the sound signatures and different, with the newer LSiM's being livelier and less laid-back.
    Last edited by falconcry72; 04-01-2013 at 09:55 AM.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will62 View Post
    ...Someone that seems quite experienced with tube amps said the LSI series (and logically the LSIM since it has the same tweeter) "don't play well" with tube amps...
    Why did they say that LSi's don't play well with tube amps? Because of the sound, or because of the load? The original LSi's are a difficult to drive speaker, so I can see how they would not play well with low-power tube amps. (or any amp that's not designed to handle low-impedance loads). The new LSiM's have a completely different electrical signature and are much easier to drive. The original LSi's are also a pretty laid-back speaker, whereas the newer LSiM's are livelier.

    For 2-channel music, I'd take the original LSi's over the RTiA's all day everyday, and I'd take the new LSiM's over both all day everyday and twice on Sunday.
    Last edited by falconcry72; 04-01-2013 at 09:56 AM.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will62 View Post
    I have a bad knee and have a tendency to stumble into things at times. While tower speakers won't fall when I have to grab onto one when I am near it (have done that more than once) a bookshelf on a stand is very likely to end up on the floor. Plus, I have a couple of pets that will likely bump into it while running around and send a speaker onto the floor.





    I can certainly relate to your knee problem. I have one pair of speakers on stands made by Paradigm that have three circular columns that I've filled with lead shot and they are almost impossible to knock over by kids or pets. I've bumped into them a few times without having them fall over.
    TO ERR IS HUMAN. TO FORGIVE IS CANINE.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Why did they say that LSi's don't play well with tube amps? Because of the sound, or because of the load? The original LSi's are a difficult to drive speaker, so I can see how they would not play well with low-power tube amps. (or any amp that's not designed to handle low-impedance loads). The new LSiM's have a completely different electrical signature and are much easier to drive. The original LSi's are also a pretty laid-back speaker, whereas the newer LSiM's are livelier.

    For 2-channel music, I'd take the original LSi's over the RTiA's all day everyday, and I'd take the new LSiM's over both all day everyday and twice on Sunday.
    From what I read in his post, apparently something to do with the Tweeter. Since the LSIM line uses the same tweeter I am now leary of the 703's compatibility with the tube type amp. Certain designs in speakers work well with tubes and others do not. But since I prefer the tube sound to the solid state amp sound I am willing to make concessions in order to achieve the sound I desire.

  17. #17

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    Thanks. This is a great idea. I will see if I can find a hollow stand that I can use and do something similar.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will62 View Post
    From what I read in his post, apparently something to do with the Tweeter. Since the LSIM line uses the same tweeter I am now leary of the 703's compatibility with the tube type amp. Certain designs in speakers work well with tubes and others do not. But since I prefer the tube sound to the solid state amp sound I am willing to make concessions in order to achieve the sound I desire.
    It's not the same tweeter; it's a similar tweeter.... but you must understand that the crossover is completely different, so the sound signature ends up being VERY different. The LSiM's are much livelier than the original LSi's. I have spent a lot of time with the speakers in question here, and the LSiM's are flat-out head and shoulders above the RTiA's for all types of 2-channel musical reproduction. Not sure what else I can add...

    You should find a way to listen to these speakers. You can read opinions for days on the internet and not have learned a thing. Listen to them for yourself.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  19. #19

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    There are no showrooms in my area or for that matter within at least a 200 mile radius that carry this model. That poses another problem. Unless I can actually listen to this speaker with my amp, I am hesitant to spend that kind of money.

    What you need to understand is that I've already spent $1200 on one set of speakers that work great with this amp but unfortunately they are no longer in production. I now own a pair of speakers that cost $2000 that are not compatible with this amp and I don't want to run into this problem again. So, unless I can find a way to listen to these (a place that will allow me to bring my amp into the store and test it out) I just can't justify the cost. And at this time I don't even have a credit card with a credit limit that can handle the cost of these.

    Bottom line. I need to live within my means and budget. It's not a new concept and more people need to try it especially if they want to stay out of debt.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will62 View Post
    ...I just can't justify the cost. And at this time I don't even have a credit card with a credit limit that can handle the cost of these.

    Bottom line. I need to live within my means and budget...
    Hey man, if you don't want to pay for the LSiM's then you don't want to pay for the LSiM's. I get it. Everyone "allows" themselves different audio budgets... but if that's the case, then why have us debate the merits of speakers that you have already decided you aren't going to buy?

    So what models are you actually trying to decide between? The RTiA3's and RTiA7's???
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Hey man, if you don't want to pay for the LSiM's then you don't want to pay for the LSiM's. I get it. Everyone "allows" themselves different audio budgets... but if that's the case, then why have us debate the merits of speakers that you have already decided you aren't going to buy?

    So what models are you actually trying to decide between? The RTiA3's and RTiA7's???
    The idea that I purchase this speaker was given to me by one of the Sales Rep's with Polk. I wanted to see if I could somehow justify the cost of the speaker when compared to some of the other models. At this point, while I would say it does appear to be an excellent speaker, I am not certain that it is going to be completely compatible with my amp (after reading the tweeter still is similar to the one found in the LSI models) or that the sonic character of the speaker will offer the sound that I desire with this amp. If I had a solid state amp then I would be inclined to find a way to purchase it after hearing it because I am certain it would work just fine in that case.

    I've read some additional reviews and it appears the RTI A1, A3 and possibly the TSI 400 would match up well with my amp. Heavy bass in a speaker will likely damage the midrange (just like has happened in the Conway 3 speaker) and so, I need a good high end and midrange but a milder bass section. I can always add a subwoofer at a later time if need be since that I will not wipe out the midrange of the main speakers. The A7 appears to be bass heavy if what I've read in reviews is correct, I need to avoid that.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will62 View Post
    ...Heavy bass in a speaker will likely damage the midrange (just like has happened in the Conway 3 speaker) and so, I need a good high end and midrange but a milder bass section...
    Why is this???
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  23. #23

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    I power my LSiM 703s with tubes and it sounds heavenly. I used to own several pairs of RTis. Trust me for two channel duties, you want the LSiMs. There's no comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgfish View Post
    I power my LSiM 703s with tubes and it sounds heavenly. I used to own several pairs of RTis. Trust me for two channel duties, you want the LSiMs. There's no comparison.
    Which amp are you using? At least the LSIM series is 8 ohm impedance which matches my amp. The old LSI are 4 ohm and according to a friend with considerable experience in electronics, won't match up well with my amp.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Why is this???
    It has something to do with the downward firing port on the Conway 3. The heavy bass is wiping out the midrange. Somehow the design of the speakers that have a port with heavy, low bass response will muddy the midrange. This is according to two friends of mine. One is a broadcast engineer and the other has decades of experience in electronics. Certain designs of speakers that are not bass heavy will work fine with this amp. Any box without a passive port is likely to work fine. But the Power Port design of Polk may work OK since it has a smaller area of open space compared to most other ports I've seen.

  26. #26

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    If what Dawgfish says is accurate, I may be willing to part with the cash for the LSIM 703 provided that I can figure out a way to demo it with my own amp. I'd have to do this on a payment plan though.

  27. #27

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    I use/have used an Anthem Amp1, a Rogue Eighty Eight Magnum, a Primaluna Prologue 4, and Anthem Amp2 SE tube/solid state hybrid with the LSiMs and they all sound great with them.

    If your worried about bass interfering with midrange response the LSiMs have a tweeter/midrange module that is sealed and separate from the rest of the cabinet that houses the woofer. I think that whole deal about bass interfering with the midrange may have been true with older speakers, but not with most more modern speakers with better designed cabinets and drivers. There are always exceptions, but this is not going to be an issue with the LSiMs.

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    What tube amp will you be using and where are you located? Perhaps a member may be willing to bring their LSiMs over to try if they are in your area. I know if you were in my area I would be more than willing to do so.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgfish View Post
    What tube amp will you be using and where are you located? Perhaps a member may be willing to bring their LSiMs over to try if they are in your area. I know if you were in my area I would be more than willing to do so.
    The Castle Conway 3 is 10 years old. You may be right about the new design of the LSIM series.

    I live in the Kansas City area though I will be relocating to Kentucky, near Cincinnati later this year. Will probably make a stop over in St. Louis for a few months first.

    I use a hybrid tube/solid state amp. Qinpu A3. Only 8 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Works great with my Mirage OM 10 towers but I am going to build a second system and need new speakers since I can't purchase OM 10's anymore. Used is very hard to find these days.

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    Gotcha, I used to do a lot of work in both the KC and SL areas. I'm not very familiar with that amp, but it looks nice and I'm sure it sounds good too.

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