Greeting! I'm new to the forum and fairly new to the world of Polk speakers. Let me start by giving the history I have with Polk products, and then explain my current system. I have multiple questions but I'm putting this in the Basic Hookup/Wiring Thread because that is my main question. It's just going to take a little time to get there.
In the summer of 2008, I purchased a new PSW125. My first Polk product. At the time the MSRP was $399.95, but I got it on sale for $285.49. The MSRP has dropped to $349.95 and is currently on sale for $249.95. A couple years after my purchase, the sub went dead and the sub hadn't been used much or turned up too high. The fuses would blow as soon as it was turned on. I always unplug my electrical equipment during storms, so lightning is not to blame. Called customer service and found out that the speaker has a five year warranty, but the electronics have a shorter warranty period. The customer service guy was very nice and helpful. He sold me a new amp at a discounted price. It arrived shortly and I received a whole new rear panel, but the amp was completely different. I don't know if there were problems with that particular amp and they changed them or what, but it now works and sounds amazing. But I took a bit of a hit on that purchase. Not the start I had hoped for when purchasing a brand, not previously owned by me.
I recently noticed that my non-Polk front speakers had started sounding terrible. After taking the grills off, I saw that the foam surrounds had rotted. Nice. Replacing the surrounds and fixing them myself would cost about $35, but these were not high end speakers, and I felt it was time for an upgrade. I've always loved the sound of Polk speakers. Even their entry level speakers sounded good to my ears. Bose on the other hand... I always thought their entry level speakers sounded really bad. I'm curious to your opinion as to how long a Polk speaker will last, or at least the rubber surrounds. And when it's time to replace the surrounds, is it worth replacing since the internal components are old, i.e. driver, capacitors, etc. or am I better off buying new speakers at that point.
I started looking at new speakers. My goal was to get a $2000-$2500 system for under $1000 (speakers and receiver). I found two deals on Craigslist that I was interested in...
Four Polk Monitor 60 Towers
Two Polk Monitor 50 Towers
Polk CSiA4 Center Channel
Polk PSW100 Powered Subwoofer
With documentation and original packaging for each speaker.
Two years old with cherry finish, asking $500 (now asking $425).
Two Polk RTi8 Towers
Polk CSi3 Center Channel
Polk F/Xi3 Bi-Directional Surround Speakers
Sanus Euro Foundation EFSAT Stands for F/Xi3 Speakers
Polk PSW303 Powered Subwoofer
16g wire with banana plugs included.
Purchased new in 2004, black finish, asking $800.
I wanted black over cherry, real wood over laminate. Because of the way my room is set up, the only place to put the surround sound speakers is directly to the left and right of the listener. On my old system, you could always tell where the sound was coming from with the surrounds, because they weren't coming from somewhere behind the listener. So I wanted the F/Xi3 Bi-Directional (set to dipole) to make the sound spread out. I ended up getting the RTi8 package for $400 after negotiating over a two week period. They were adult owned and didn't have a scratch or mark on them. The only reason he was selling them is that he just bought a new home and had built- ins put into the wall and ceiling. He thought they would be an easy sell at $800, so he didn't have the movers move them to the new house and time was running out to have eveything cleared out of the old house. I really liked the Rti8 over the Monitors. I'm curious as to what your opinions are as to my choice. The speakers a didn't buy were newer and there were more of them. It's going to be used for a home theater and for listening to music through CDs and MP3s.
I read through the forum and most people don't seem to see an advantage to bi-wiring. I have enough 14g wire to connect the two front speakers and have hoards of 16g wire. So it's not going to cost me anything to bi-wire the fronts. And I know to remove the jumper on the speaker. But here is my main question. Since I have a lot of left over 16g wire, would I get any benefit from doubling up the wire? Running two sets of 16g to the tweeters of each RTI and running a set of 16g along with the 14g to the woofers of each RTi? I don't need anyone suggesting to just go out and buy 12g wire, that's not what I'm asking.
I'm also replacing my older receiver. I bought a six month old Denon AVR-1613 for $160. MSRP $399, but you can find them on the internet for $329. I know a lot of people will argue that I should have gone with a more powerful system with pre amp outs for an external amp, but you have to understand, I'm 42 years old, I don't crank it up until my ears bleed like I did in high school. I listen to movies and music at a moderate level. The Denon should arrive this Saturday.
I know people with higher end Polks can pick apart my system, but I'm very proud of what I have now. I'm going to be using the PSW125 with this system and putting the PSW303 in the bedroom, which brings me to my next question. I've notice that you have to give the RTi's a bit of power before they come alive. But I'd like a set of Polks in the bedroom for listening to music at low levels. I basically want a 2.1 system in there to help romance the ladies in the bedroom. High-five! Any recommendations for speakers that sound amazing at low levels? The choices don't have to be limited to the current Polk lineup. Anything made in the last ten years will work. Thanks for answering any of my questions... I'm sure the ladies will appreciate it. High-five!