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  1. #1

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    Default Choosing an amp and deciding b/w Tsi500 and Tsi400.

    Hello,

    I'm looking to setup a personal music lounge (approx 13' x 11') with a stereo system (not planning to expand into a home theater). I've been looking around for options and have narrowed in on the Tsi400 or the TSi500.

    I'm not going to be able to crank them up but still think they will be my best choices in my budget range for clarity. I'm looking to build a system with a good amp to drive these speakers (mainly for clarity rather than loudness).

    Given the above constraints, I'd love to get some advice / suggestions from people who have a lot of experience with sound system designs on here. I've read through a number of related threads (which have been very helpful), but am still not quite able to make that critical decision.

    FYI: Looked at the thread on the ADCOM GFA555 Amp, but I think i'm a little too late since they only seem to be making newer (and more expensive models) nowadays.

    In essence, my question is "will a pair of Tsi400s + A good Amp" be a bad choice when compared to be able to spend an extra $500 - $700 for a "pair of Tsi500s and a great amp" (in which case, I'll have to acquire these components over a longer period of time). And, will either of these options *need* a subwoofer if only used for music.

    Thank you in advance!

    -arj.

  2. #2

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    Since you're just starting this system, I think you would probably want an integrated amp. That Adcom only supplies power, current. It doesn't send a musical signal, if that makes any kind of sense. To make that work, you would need a preamp, to send signals where the are supposed to be sent, along with whatever it is you wish to play, source. The source could be cd player, or fm tuner. An integrated has the preamp and power amp combined in one box.

    As far as those speakers go, they sound a little different from one another. Of the 2, I personally like the 500's a little better, but that's subjective. I think you'll be happy with either, and neither is really hard to drive, so 125 watt or above integrated will probably work with both of them. More power would be better, but that should get you by.

  3. #3

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    I would stick to the TSi500's. The 500's will give you the extra "umph" you want if you are choosing to wait on a sub purchase.

    The 6.5 inch mid/base will assist in the extra bass also you will be able to use a decent amp without harming the speakers due to the 275watts it can handle vs the 200 with the 400's.

    Comparisons:
    400
    Tweeter
    Quantity 1
    Diameter 1" (2.54cm)
    Type Silk dome Dynamic Balance
    Mid / Woofer
    Quantity 3
    Diameter 5 1/4" (13.34cm)
    Type Bi-laminate organic fiber cone

    Electrical

    Total Frequency Response 34-25KHz
    Upper -3dB Limit 24KHz
    Lower -3dB Limit 44Hz
    Nominal Impedance 8 ohm
    Efficiency 91 dB
    Recommended Amplifier Power 20-200 watts per channel
    Inputs Dual 5 way binding posts


    - 500
    Tweeter Quantity 1
    Diameter 1" (2.54cm)
    Type Silk dome Dynamic Balance
    Mid / Woofer
    Quantity 4
    Diameter 6 1/2" (16.51cm)
    Type Bi-laminate organic fiber cone

    Electrical

    Total Frequency Response 28Hz-25kHz
    Upper -3dB Limit 24KHz
    Lower -3dB Limit 38Hz
    Nominal Impedance 8 ohm
    Efficiency 91 dB
    Recommended Amplifier Power 20-275 watts per channel
    Inputs Dual 5 way binding posts

  4. #4

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    13x11 Does this room have four walls? Or is it open to somewhere rlse? If your room is closed, the tsi500 will be way too much for that small space. You'll never get the clarity your after. The tsi400's will be pushing the envelope as well. I would suggest the tsi300/monitor 50 for that space since "clarity" is what your after. Don't think they're too small the bass will be nice and tight in that small room.

  5. #5

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    http://stores.ebay.com/Polk-Audio-Direct

    There is a pair of sweet Cherry TSi 400's from Polk direct for $399 with free shipping... That is if you want to go with 400's and save a few bucks towards the sub/amp.

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    Also dont worry about overpowering any of the mentioned models. Its unlikely you'll pull much that wattage given the space.

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    Wow, thank you all (rpf65, Poolgod69, jeremymarcinko) for the really quick and detailed replies - extremely helpful!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremymarcinko View Post
    "13x11 Does this room have four walls? Or is it open to somewhere else?"
    The room is actually a tricky design - It's a "Loft" with a spiral staircase that leads up to it. It has walls on 3 sides, and the 4th side is open (with a railing), below which is the living room. I'm hoping to sort of "fill" the house with music by placing the speakers in a direction that points to that opening - may be acoustically too complicated, but I was hoping it would create some natural reverb as a result of the really high roofs (> 20').

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolgod69 View Post
    http://stores.ebay.com/Polk-Audio-Direct
    There is a pair of sweet Cherry TSi 400's from Polk direct for $399 with free shipping... That is if you want to go with 400's and save a few bucks towards the sub/amp.
    So I do need a separate sub (independent of which of the Tsi300/400/500 I get ? And the integrated amp - any recommendations for this ?

    I've been looking at something like:

    (a) Emotiva UPA-200
    (b) Stellar Labs SLA250

    Thanks again for all your help and time.

    -arj.

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    So I do need a separate sub (independent of which of the Tsi300/400/500 I get ?
    I would say, "no" if you get the 400 or 500's especially since you are just looking at it for music and not high volume. The 300's would be questionable depending on the music you are playing.

    Are you located near a Fry's? If so, they have all these speakers on display and will move then into their demo room.

    Pretty good deal for pick up at Fry's right now for the RTi8 http://www.frys.com/product/6895286?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG
    149.99 each (pick up only)

  9. #9

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    Sadly, there is no Fry's around here (Orlando). In fact, I can't seem to find a demo showroom within a 100 miles of where I live (maybe I haven't looked hard enough).
    Gathering all the advice on here, it looks like I may pick up the Tsi400/500s, since I don't want to have to buy a separate sub. Any recommendations for the amp? Thanks!

  10. #10

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    what are you paying for the 400/500? Personally, I'd recommend the monitor 60/70 from polk direct. Just offering another option.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-Monitor...item5aee3ee58e

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Monitor-70-B...item5af003e734

  11. #11

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    road trip!!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Polk-Audio-L...item3cd194e433

    Are you only looking to buy new amps and speakers?
    Last edited by plainoledave; 05-13-2013 at 11:10 AM. Reason: added a question

  12. #12
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    More power is better than less, even with smaller or more sensitive speakers; especially if your speakers point toward an open area like your loft. The 500s would be my choice if they fit your budget; what's your amp budget?

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    Quote Originally Posted by plainoledave View Post
    road trip!!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Polk-Audio-L...item3cd194e433

    Are you only looking to buy new amps and speakers?
    I've had a couple of bad experiences with this before - things that aren't immediately obvious, but cause trouble over time - I'm in this mode now where I'd rather just pick up something new, and have the cushion of warranty.

    To answer your other question - a few people have expressed a concern over the monitors not having enough bass response (I don't want to pick up a sub) - and added to that, I don't want to change this stereo system for a while (like do upgrades etc.) - given the options that are out there (and all the advice on here), it almost appears that the Tsi500s are my best bet - I might pick those up very soon, but I want to make sure I can get a good AVR to drive them.

    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    More power is better than less, even with smaller or more sensitive speakers; especially if your speakers point toward an open area like your loft. The 500s would be my choice if they fit your budget; what's your amp budget?
    Still waiting on suggestions for those - budget-wise, I wouldn't mind spending the extra $100 if one amp is significantly better than the other in the context of the Tsi500s.

    And if I understand correctly, buying an integrated amp is more budget-friendly that getting a pre-amp and adding a power amp (if I'm ever in a larger space, that would probably be my upgrade ) ... ?

    Thanks!

  14. #14

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    Arjun,

    List your budget for the speakers and the amp. It's tough to tell what your budget actually is. Someone on here might be in your areaand be willing to let their hoarded set go for a decent price. I know you said new is your comfort level and you referenced a bad
    experience, but the members on here are pretty straightforward. My post count is rookie, but I've been peeping for years.

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    I didn't notice any weakness in bass response with my monitor 70's but I had 150 wpc continuous running them (500 dynamic tone burst on tap). I think there is very little, if any noticeable difference in the tsi vs. monitor series aside from cosmetics. You'd be better served using the extra $$ by purchasing the monitors and putting it towards an amp.

    Don't skimp on the amp! It makes a huge difference even when powering little speakers like rtia1's!

    I hope none of this came off as being pushy/bossy. Feel free to disregard my suggestions, as that is all they are. I hope you get things straightened out.

  16. #16
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    There are some very good integrated amps out there, so I wouldn't count that out depending on budget.

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    I wouldn't be afraid of buying speakers used.check your local Craigslist too. I bought a pair of cherry monitor 70's last week for only $180. They look and sound brand new. Just check them over good.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by D_M View Post
    List your budget for the speakers and the amp. It's tough to tell what your budget actually is.
    I've set aside about $1300 - $1500 for the entire stereo system (Of course, I'd like to stay on the lower end). But I'm also keen on buying a really good pair of speakers first, and using the balance for a decent amp, before heavily investing in a great amp.

    Again, I'm after clarity - subtleties / nuances / crispness that I can hear on recorded tracks that I would most likely miss without a good stereo system. Loudness isn't a huge factor for me (and the systems I'm looking at should be loud enough for the loft and living room in any case).

    What about an AVR - something like Yamaha RX-V473 AVR?

    The problem with "budgets" is that you could end up investing the wrong ratios into the amps and speakers - this is why I'd rather get one thing that is really good, and the other that is 'decent' for now. From the thread discussion here, I'm leaning towards the Tsi500s being a good investment.

    BTW, I don't have enough posts to respond to private msgs.

  19. #19

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    Arjun,

    What equipment do you currently have? What are you using to play music right now? Will that be your music source going forward? If your only setting up a music lounge, you probably don't need a AVR. I didn't see any connections on the V473 for an outboard amp.
    AVRs do an adequate job of powering speakers, but the addition of an outboard amp usually yields better results.

  20. #20

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    If you like yamaha, get an aventage series. Whatever brand you buy, make sure it has pre-outs. It will be listed in the specs. It's better to spend a few extra dollars now, because if you ever want to upgrade, it will be less expensive. The most extreme application will be using your avr as a preamp, and not have to start from scratch.

    Most Best Buys, and all with Magnolia, have the TSI series in store. If you want TSI/Yamaha, I would look at 500's matched with the 10xx or above series. Best Buy price matches Amazon and Newegg pricing.

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    For the amp, get yourself a Peachtree Decco or Nova - whatever you can afford in your budget, new or used. It is an integrated with a DAC, tube preamp and amp in one package. It's a fantastic value and will blow you away.

    For speakers, I know you do not want used and you do not want to modify the speakers, but for clarity, I'd go with large Polk bookies. My personal favorite in the recent lineup for clarity was the RTi6. They have an equivalent in the latest RT series for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D_M View Post
    What equipment do you currently have? What are you using to play music right now? Will that be your music source going forward? If your only setting up a music lounge, you probably don't need a AVR.
    I have nothing with me here (long story) - I'm starting from scratch. Source could be one of the apple products, but I'm sort of shying away from this (don't want compressed formats playing on this system) - I'm probably going to pick up a stand-alone CD player at the very least. And yes, I want this to be solely a music lounge.

  23. #23

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    if you're looking for intricate details of recordings, i would recommend you buy some closeout lsi7's from polks ebay store for $399 for the pair. Make sure you get some power behind them, though.

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    Arjun,

    $1300 - $1500 is a tough ball park to be with no equipment. Holding off or focusing on strictly used is probably your best option. Having said that, I would follow Plainoledave suggestion. A number of us have bought LSis from polk's ebay store and the items appear to be new, so they are doing an excellent job with their reman process. Accessories4less has a Denon RCD-N7 for $380. Others have bought from there with good luck as well. The RCD-N7 has pre-outs, wi-fi, ipod, and a built in CD player. Here is a review from stereophile http://www.stereophile.com/content/fifth-element-68. The LSi 7s are known to be 6 ohm speakers, so the RCD-N7 should be fine, but you can add an outboard amp later. Someone on e-bay is selling a PSW1000 for a buy it now price of $500 with free shipping. Polk had a recall on the amplifier for this sub, so ask the seller whether they got a replacement from polk. My suggestions naturally have risk associated with them, but $1500 is tough.

    LSi 7s $400
    PSW1000 $500
    Denon RCD-N7 $380

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    *Update*

    This is so odd - I bought the Tsi500s less than an hour ago - woke up this morning and Polk Audio Direct just put out a refurbished pair for under $600 (including taxes and shipping) - was a no-brainer at that point! They should arrive in 4 days !

    Thanks everyone for suggestions on here - the price drop + advice to look at refurbished / used stuff helped tremendously.

    Now that we have fewer variables, its time to start looking at amps (and speaker wires) - I'll read through this thread again and try to narrow-in on options.

    -arj.

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    Ok, I seem to be finally working on something given my budget constraints. I'd like to pick up an AVR with Pre-Amp outs for the time being, and over the next few months, purchase a power amp to match the setup.

    I was looking at the HK 3490? Any advice from people who may have used this / anyone who has opinions on the choice?

    The other one was the Yamaha RX-V series although I couldn't tell if this had pre-outs from the images. Is the Audio-Out that I see on there the pre-out ?

    Any other models I could be looking at ? Is this even a good idea - thoroughly confusing!

    -arj.

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    The bass ports fire down on the Tsi's, and outwards on the Monitor 70's, just like the RtiA's which is better downward port or forward port? I'am curious somone please chime in, is there an advantage of one over the other?

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    Congrats on your purchase but I'm curious as to why you chose TSI500 over the monitor 70's?

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    As far as the bass waves go they are non directional and you do not need to place them where you can have the waves come directly at you as in a normal speaker. My issue would be about the absorbsion/reflection of the sound by its surrounding's. If you have a rear firing sub much of the sound will come straight out and reflect of what ever it hits and possible filling the room a little more. If you have a down firing sub the same could happen but will will depend on the surface it is placed upon. On a rug, you will have almost no reflection and much can be absorbed into it. Where as on a solid floor you can obtain the reflection. If you have no choice to place on a rug and want some reflection you can find something to place it on i.e. nice piece of tile or granite ect.

    My limited 2 cents of input....
    Kenwood KR-V8070
    Kenwood DR-V5070
    Polk RTi A9- Mains
    CSI A6- Center
    Energy 10 Sub
    Panamax M4300-PM Power Conditioner

    Working on updating my set up

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    Quote Originally Posted by plainoledave View Post
    Congrats on your purchase but I'm curious as to why you chose TSI500 over the monitor 70's?
    I read a few threads on this forum about the two in detail, and there were at least a few comments that said the Tsi500s edged the Monitors ... and that sort of got me thinking. Then the price-drop that I got on the Tsi500s pushed me all the way.

    Thanks again for all your suggestions and advice - it has really helped me understand a lot more about these systems in general (and also broadened my knowledge on how much is out there)!

    Any quick pointers on my thoughts about the AVR as Pre-Amp / Line of Amps I'm looking at ? I'm still a little lost/confused ...

    Thanks,
    -arj.

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