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  1. #1

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    Default Xover mods for Monitors: worth it?

    Are the drivers and cabinet of the M70s worthy of a xover upgrade? Would it be like adding a performance exhaust to an econo sedan?

    I'm not much of a HT enthusiast, and I think the set-up I have now is great for music. But, will it be noticeably greater with upgraded crossovers?

    Also...

    After doing some thread digging, I find mixed responses in terms of how the power is distributed to the speakers when using a bi-wiring configuration. Do the top two posts pertain to the tweeter only? I was thinking of adding an external amp, and was debating between a stereo amp and a multi-channel depending on whether I decide to bi-wire. I don't see the point of using another two channels if they're going to the tweeters only.

    Thanks.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
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  2. #2

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    First question; XOver upgrade. Give Trey a holler, ask him some questions; Vr3Mods@gmail.com

    Second issue; amping the M70's. Go big man. Grab an Emotiva XPA-2. It's a 2ch amp with 300wpc. The M70 is rated at max 275w.

    The M70's respond to the power like no bodies business. When I sold my M70's, I just swapped out my A9 cables to the M70's.

    Previously, my M70's were amped with 200wpc and was good, when I demoed them with 300wpc, they were quite noticeably a different sounding speaker, and in a better way, more detail, depth and imaging was brought out.

    Save on the Xover, get the amp.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


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    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    First question; XOver upgrade. Give Trey a holler, ask him some questions; Vr3Mods@gmail.com

    Second issue; amping the M70's. Go big man. Grab an Emotiva XPA-2. It's a 2ch amp with 300wpc. The M70 is rated at max 275w.

    The M70's respond to the power like no bodies business. When I sold my M70's, I just swapped out my A9 cables to the M70's.

    Previously, my M70's were amped with 200wpc and was good, when I demoed them with 300wpc, they were quite noticeably a different sounding speaker, and in a better way, more detail, depth and imaging was brought out.

    Save on the Xover, get the amp.
    Yeah I guess there's no getting around feeding the monsters. I was hoping the AVR's rated 125W/Chann would be the end of it, but the M70s sound so anemic with current arrangement when playing in stereo. With Dolby or DTS surround engaged, the current set-up is absolutely fine as far as my expectations go.

    And thanks for the e-mail. I'll be sure to make an inquiry after upping the juice. If he says it's not worth the time or money, then he would be the one to know. He's probably too preoccupied with modding LSI and RTI boards to be distracted by newegg blue light specials.
    Last edited by sponger; 07-08-2013 at 06:20 PM.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by sponger View Post
    the M70s sound so anemic with current arrangement when playing in stereo.

    And thanks for the e-mail. .
    You're welcome.

    I hear you on the "anemic" sounding music. When I ran my 70's in 2ch mode with just my AVR, they were getting 135wpc. I had my kid over to listen to "The best of Stevie Ray Vaughn".

    My son looks at after a short while and says; "Is that it?"

    I hooked them up to an XPA-3, 200wpch and music became more enjoyable. But like I mentioned earlier, when they were fed 300wpch, I put Pink Floyd Animals in and cranked it. I did a double take to make sure my A9's weren't still hooked up.

    I became a firm believer after that demo, that the more you feed them, the better they sound.

    AS it is, I'm picking up a second XPA-2, to use them in bridged mode for my A9's, 860wpc.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

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    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  5. #5

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    Modding the crossovers IMHO is pointless. Sell them, use that money plus the money for upgrade g the crossovers and step into the RTi line. Better sound quality and this series is IMHO worth upgrading the crossover later on.

    Geoff's comment about external amps applies to both.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Modding the crossovers IMHO is pointless. Sell them, use that money plus the money for upgrade g the crossovers and step into the RTi line. Better sound quality and this series is IMHO worth upgrading the crossover later on.

    Geoff's comment about external amps applies to both.
    I've given the RTi line many hours of careful consideration. On top of that they sound real nice in the demo room. They remind me of the way MB Quarts sounded back in the car audio days -- sparkly bright detail without excessive harshness. But, while there are some detractors, it seems like the consensus is that the monitors - when properly powered - are preferable to the RTi for music listening purposes. As I'm not into home theater all that much except for concert vids, I've passed on previous opportunities to grab a hold of RTis for that reason. But, your input is appreciated.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Modding the crossovers IMHO is pointless. Sell them, use that money plus the money for upgrade g the crossovers and step into the Lsi line. Better sound quality and this series is IMHO worth upgrading the crossover later on.

    Geoff's comment about external amps applies to both.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratster View Post
    Fixed it for ya
    Since you mentioned it, I had a couple of LSi configurations in mind. First there's the Polk Direct NIB LSi25 on Ebay for $1,299. But, then I'd need a center channel to match, and that would put me over budget.

    For the same dough I could do a pair of 703 refurbs again from Polk Direct and keep my current sub with which I am content, but that still leaves open the center channel question, which also puts me over budget.

    Either way, I'd be stuck with my current surrounds. And while timbre matching isn't crucial for surrounds, I think I'd still be left with a nagging inclination to match them up anyway.

    The monitors don't sound bad -- just malnourished. I suspect that more power is the answer. If a xover mod adds even more of an impact, then that's another option worth exploring.
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    The LSiC center channel for that series seems to be a pretty hard to find item if you decide to go that route.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sponger View Post
    it seems like the consensus is that the monitors - when properly powered - are preferable to the RTi for music listening purposes.
    Don't get me wrong, I definitely prefer my A9's over my M70's all week. But an M70 owner could count the cost, it would be cheaper to add the XPA-2 than purchase a new set of speakers and in turn, drastically improve the dynamics of the 70.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  11. #11

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    And to take Geoff's comments one step further, if you ended up with a pair of bigger RTi or RTiAs, then you would still need the power to drive them properly...definitely a catch 22.
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    I may have an addiction... RTA-15TL, SDA 2, LSi25, LSi15, LSi9, LSi7, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LS/FX, RT/FX, DSW MP2000...and that's just the Polks...

  12. #12

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    While the M70'S are good speakers for the coin, they have their limits that no amount of power can overcome. In my opinion, doing crossover mods is a waste of coin for these. How about saving that coin for when a deal comes up on different speakers. Seems like you have a few hundies in your pocket your looking to burn. Maybe invest elsewhere in your system, the lack of SQ may not be totally at the feet of the speakers.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sponger View Post
    Since you mentioned it, I had a couple of LSi configurations in mind. First there's the Polk Direct NIB LSi25 on Ebay for $1,299. But, then I'd need a center channel to match, and that would put me over budget.

    For the same dough I could do a pair of 703 refurbs again from Polk Direct and keep my current sub with which I am content, but that still leaves open the center channel question, which also puts me over budget.

    Either way, I'd be stuck with my current surrounds. And while timbre matching isn't crucial for surrounds, I think I'd still be left with a nagging inclination to match them up anyway.

    The monitors don't sound bad -- just malnourished. I suspect that more power is the answer. If a xover mod adds even more of an impact, then that's another option worth exploring.
    Here is my thought on the LSi LSiM RTi decision, and how I would narrow things down for the OP.
    The LSi series in on sale for a very deep discount, but here are is something you need to remember when looking at the LSi (not LSiM):

    They require an amp channel per speaker. You cant get by with driving these with most AVR's (Pioneer SC models being the lone exception), they will either blow your AVR, or sound like they are gasping for power (because they are). So you will need a AVR with pre-outs, and then one channel of amplification per speaker. Add in decent interconnects and your up there price wise.

    Finding a LSiC center, or the LSi F/X surrounds is near impossible. The centers are VERY hard to come by and will sell at pretty high prices simply due to NO supply anywhere. The LSi F/Xís are the same, but you can substitute a LSi 7 or 9 for them so its not as big a deal. Technically you could use a set of 7ís for a dual center channel (as some have done) but that again requires 2 channels of amplification rather than just 1

    So personally unless you have amplification already or plan to buy it ASAP, the LSi's are speakers from a cost perspective I would rule out for the OP in this instance.

    The RTi and LSiM lines are speakers you can drive from an AVR to start with. You can and should still add a power amp to them later on to get the most from them, but you dont need to do it from the get-go. You also dont have to drive all the speakers with an amp, so you could in theory either get a 3 channel amp for all three fronts, or a 2 channel for your left/right and use your AVR for the rest of the channels. This wouldnt cause any problems and would save you cost wise on interconnects, and on the amp itself.

    Both the RTi and LSi line are good for music, however the LSiMís are more geared toward music than the RTiís (RTi standing for Reference Theater something or other). So from a pure sound perspective the LSiMís would be what I would recommend.

    However as you pointed out the LSiMís are MUCH more expensive than the RTiís model to model. However many of us feel the 703 is a VERY good speaker and would run them as fronts all day long if you have a decent sub. The center channel will still run you but if your patient you can wait for Polks ebay site to put up a refurb model at a discounted rate. Cant say how long you might be waiting for that however. Same with the surrounds as you pointed out, they are quite expensive new and hard to find used or refurbíd since they just came out.

    So personally the RTi line might be your ticket as they are on Polks ebay site often, and are on sale via Newegg fairly regularly as well, are VERY good at HT and quite good at music (maybe 80-90% of the LSiMís). Itís a compromise but not as much of one as trying to piece together a LSiM setup IMHO.

    You can get a set of the RTi 7ís (the 9ís require LOTS of power and if you have a good sub already just skip em) or the RTi 5ís, the RTi A6 center (get the bigger one for sure) and RTi A1ís for a very decent price pretty quick, and at the best price/performance ratio of all 3 of these lines IMHO.

    But thatís just my .02
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZLTFUL View Post
    if you ended up with a pair of bigger RTi or RTiAs, then you would still need the power to drive them properly...definitely a catch 22.
    Well said ZLT, well said!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post

    But thatís just my .02
    Really Enders, that was more like a dollar
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  15. #15

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    It's really about your budget. I can tell you that M-70s will sound much better when fed with a 200 x 2 watt power amp or more. They open up phenomenally. And since you can get a good used two channel that will do that for about 300. That IS your cheapest solution until you get the upgrade bug and want to move up the food chain.

    I run M70s in my main HT system and in a mid-sized room for Blu-ray/DVD sound they're more than "good" enough!

    Two channel is where you want to throw your money at, IMHO. HT has its LIMITS. Personally, I think people who throw unlimited amounts of money into HT are wasting dollars. Unless their system is doing DOUBLE DUTY. In which case more money is warranted!

    I've heard 10K-50K HT systems and, to tell you the truth, the law of diminishing returns was OBVIOUS. The differences in the higher end systems were more and more subtle to the point of making me shrug my shoulders and say 50K? Really?



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    Last edited by cnh; 07-11-2013 at 03:12 PM.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Really Enders, that was more like a dollar
    He only wishes he had one!!!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by codyc1ark View Post
    He only wishes he had one!!!
    I got my discount double check so I have more than a dollar


  18. #18

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    Yeah I forgot to mention that an amp would be a part of any scenario that I entertain. I guess I think of an amp as being a "sunk cost" in that it isn't so much an option as it is a necessity.

    The implied funding exists in hypothetical dollars, but they're dollars that are tangible enough to warrant speculative budgeting.

    Rtis and LSIs would be nice. I suppose that goes without saying. But really the monitor 5.1 isn't bad at all. Just the other day I heard Dark Side of the Moon in SACD 5.1 and was stunned to say the least. That's an album I've heard at least 100x. 99 of those times were through a mediocre pair of headphones while riding the bus to and from school as a teenager, but I think it's safe to say that I'm familiar with the aforementioned rock masterpiece.

    Even with this entry-level set-up of mine, I was able to experience a whole new dimension to that album. I think if the Monitors were substantially lacking in any way, then I wouldn't be able to enjoy them as much as I do. So, for me it's more or less about expanding the capability of these speakers than replacing them altogether. Lots of power is apparently the way to go.

    Thank you for all of the advice.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
    Monitor 70s 30s CS2
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