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  1. #1

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    Default Hello, I'm New - Monitor 10s

    Hi,

    My introduction. I tend to ramble, so bear with me.

    Just picked up a pair of later Monitor 10s in a thrift shop for $65. Date Seems to be 89/90 from what I can tell. SL2000 tweeters. I'm English - been here 20 years now and am an older codger - was brought up on Leak, Misson, Wharfdale, Kef etc. Modern speakers baffle me - I have auditioned many over the last 10 years and think that they all seem to have some sort of upper midrange "shout", which even hurts my now upper frequency challenged ears. How can they measure flat in the specs the same as older era speakers which measured flat also and sound so different? About 10 years ago I bought pair of Monitor Audio Silver 8i's which sounded good on audition (as they played only exemplary recordings I guess), but make over half of my LP/CD collection sound like cr*p. Tired of them. Shouty, shouty.

    Problem is, my ever loving and I both quit the corporate nuthouse and started our own small business, which is great but money challenged, so whatever I come up with as a replacement has got to be super thrifty. Back to the Monitor 10s at last. Plan to veneer the cabinets with great trepidation as I have zero experience with veneer, damp them with mass loaded vinyl, damp drivers with same (cheapest option), glue magnets, do SL upgrade with Solen caps and Mills resistors (Sonicaps outwith budget) - much more confident with the elecrtnic stuff, but still need a class in how to solder pretty!

    First question is how much are RD0-198's going for these days from Polk, if they are still available?

    Second question is more complex (maybe). I've seen a couple of posts here from people that have removed the capacitor that is in parallel with the resistor in front of the tweeter when doing crossover upgrades. This is appealing to me to save a few bucks. However, this would seem to me to make a fairly significant difference in the overall circuit resistance to the tweeter (goes up). Any thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Part of the issue is most vintage speakers don't show you how bad a recording is/can be. More modern designs can be extremely revealing to the point that its unlistenable. My listening habits changed drastically as I got deeper in the hobby and it is a bittersweet swing.

    RD-0194's are $48 per if you tell them you're a forum member. Can't comment on the crossovers though.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by OleBoot View Post
    Hi,

    My introduction. I tend to ramble, so bear with me.

    Just picked up a pair of later Monitor 10s in a thrift shop for $65. Date Seems to be 89/90 from what I can tell. SL2000 tweeters. I'm English - been here 20 years now and am an older codger - was brought up on Leak, Misson, Wharfdale, Kef etc. Modern speakers baffle me - I have auditioned many over the last 10 years and think that they all seem to have some sort of upper midrange "shout", which even hurts my now upper frequency challenged ears. How can they measure flat in the specs the same as older era speakers which measured flat also and sound so different? About 10 years ago I bought pair of Monitor Audio Silver 8i's which sounded good on audition (as they played only exemplary recordings I guess), but make over half of my LP/CD collection sound like cr*p. Tired of them. Shouty, shouty.

    Problem is, my ever loving and I both quit the corporate nuthouse and started our own small business, which is great but money challenged, so whatever I come up with as a replacement has got to be super thrifty. Back to the Monitor 10s at last. Plan to veneer the cabinets with great trepidation as I have zero experience with veneer, damp them with mass loaded vinyl, damp drivers with same (cheapest option), glue magnets, do SL upgrade with Solen caps and Mills resistors (Sonicaps outwith budget) - much more confident with the elecrtnic stuff, but still need a class in how to solder pretty!

    First question is how much are RD0-198's going for these days from Polk, if they are still available?

    Second question is more complex (maybe). I've seen a couple of posts here from people that have removed the capacitor that is in parallel with the resistor in front of the tweeter when doing crossover upgrades. This is appealing to me to save a few bucks. However, this would seem to me to make a fairly significant difference in the overall circuit resistance to the tweeter (goes up). Any thoughts?
    The only thing that's routinely eliminated is the polyswitch. It's replaced with a 0.5 ohm resistor
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
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    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat & Hurricane Nuts.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Part of the issue is most vintage speakers don't show you how bad a recording is/can be. More modern designs can be extremely revealing to the point that its unlistenable. My listening habits changed drastically as I got deeper in the hobby and it is a bittersweet swing.

    RD-0194's are $48 per if you tell them you're a forum member. Can't comment on the crossovers though.

    Interesting. So you don't listen to questionable recordings anymore? Maybe I got the wrong end of the stick. Having tried to listen to the revealing type of speakers for a while, I think I am ready to put up with less than wonderful on good recordings to make less than good sound listenable.

    I'll order the RDO Tweeters - price doesn't seem to have changed for a couple of years.

  5. #5

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    I honestly think there is kind of a reverse bell curve to the whole thing. Once you get a pair of revealing speakers, it takes a while to get the rest of the system up to par to make those bad recordings listenable again. A revealing set of speakers will show you every flaw in your system, cables/amp/preamp/recording/the whole shebang. Once you start upgrading other pieces in the chain, the recording isn't quite as bad as it used to be. It still gets nowhere near the quality of a well-recorded CD or LP, but it does become more enjoyable than on a modest system. The biggest thing is how apparent compression becomes, but if you can accept that part, the rest should be pleasing enough. I began listening to CD's that I hadn't heard in years after I reached a certain point. Everything sounded better than it used to, but it took me a while and a decent investment to get it to that point.

    Chances are your Monitor Silver's sounded better in the demo because they were running off a better chain. I've got no clue what you're using, but that's my first shot in the dark to explain it.
    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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    [QUOTE=DSkip;1962849]I honestly think there is kind of a reverse bell curve to the whole thing. Once you get a pair of revealing speakers, it takes a while to get the rest of the system up to par to make those bad recordings listenable again. A revealing set of speakers will show you every flaw in your system, cables/amp/preamp/recording/the whole shebang. Once you start upgrading other pieces in the chain, the recording isn't quite as bad as it used to be. It still gets nowhere near the quality of a well-recorded CD or LP, but it does become more enjoyable than on a modest system. The biggest thing is how apparent compression becomes, but if you can accept that part, the rest should be pleasing enough. I began listening to CD's that I hadn't heard in years after I reached a certain point. Everything sounded better than it used to, but it took me a while and a decent investment to get it to that point.

    Chances are your Monitor Silver's sounded better in the demo because they were running off a better chain. I've got no clue what you're using, but that's my first shot in the dark to explain it.


    OK, We're getting a bit off topic about Polk Monitor 10's - :-) But I will say I'm an older hand at this than my first post suggested. My current sources are a Musical Fidelity CD player, a Manticore Mantra record deck (bet you don't know what that is), and a Musical Fidelity Integrated 120pc amp. Good enough, I think, to count as a not a bad chain.

    I agree with what you said, but think it goes further than that. Quoting from my first post:

    "Modern speakers baffle me - I have auditioned many over the last 10 years and think that they all seem to have some sort of upper midrange "shout", which even hurts my now upper frequency challenged ears. How can they measure flat in the specs the same as older era speakers which measured flat also and sound so different?

    This is what I don't get.

  7. #7

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    Welcome to Club Polk!

    And I'd say that a revealing speaker does NOT have to give up a smooth and warmish high end. Though if Usher is your bag, sure they are "bright", very "bright". At least the ones I've heard. Probably why you need all the tubes! I heard them on solid state and I had to turn away.

    I like a warm and balanced speaker. Guys who want to hear everything, I don't get that because you don't even hear everything "live", reflections, bodies, seats, walls, the hall, room? If you could hear everything, perhaps it wouldn't even sound like "music"? But that's just me. And I have to say that one of the speakers I like the least are B&Ws.

    I've found a lot of really great speakers "lifeless" regardless of what was powering them. Yeah you could hear a lot, you could tell where the instruments were, could hear a pin drop and my god how boring they sounded. Bored if not strident. Of course there are also a LOT of so so recordings around.

    To tell you the truth, I often prefer listening to my vintage stuff than the new unless I'm running the "tube amp"! So I can identify with the OB. Heck, I'm no spring chicken myself.

    I spent some time at a local Polk get together a while back where there were quite a number of speakers and some nice equipment, including some Conrad Johnson pieces. doro had brought a pair of LSi-9s as well. Strangely the LSis held their own against a lot better because that better was like ice picks taking out my ears--sheesh. Nothing sounds like that live. Revealing, forget about it...revealing how bad they sound, sure!

    When all was almost done, we put on a pair of SDAs and well, probably 75 percent or more of us thought the SDAs trounced everything else we heard? Were we all mad, did we not understand what new speakers were about? Unlikely as there were decades of experience in that room and members who'd heard almost "everything"!

    I'm not saying there are not some great new speakers around, there are. But some of this old Polk stuff really shines when it comes to just plain "being musical"!

    So I think you'll love your Monitors when you get all that work done.

    It goes without saying that we don't all hear the same thing. Just as "some like it hot". Some like it "BRIGHT"! And then us older dudes, well, we like it "warm". lol

    Have fun!

    cnh
    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]
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  8. #8

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    I'm happy to be wrong on that account then. What have you listened to that really brought that view out? There are so, so many speakers now that are all voiced completely different, so I'm a little lost on the "all" part of the equation. For instance, the RTi/LSi/LSiM lineups from Polk are all voiced VERY differently. The LSi's are so treble-weak that its boring to me, the RTi's are overpowering and give me almost instant fatigue, whilst the LSiM is a fairly balanced voicing between the two. I personally like somewhere between the LSiM and the RTi, hence my fascination with Usher. None of that is probably new to you either.


    I'm sadly quite audibly challenged as well, being half deaf in one ear. High five for the audibly handicapped!
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Welcome to Club Polk!

    And I'd say that a revealing speaker does NOT have to give up a smooth and warmish high end. Though if Usher is your bag, sure they are "bright", very "bright". At least the ones I've heard. Probably why you need all the tubes! I heard them on solid state and I had to turn away.
    To be honest, after all the room treatment/mods, they lost a lot of sparkle and are a bit lifeless right now. In an untreated room they can be overbearing, especially on SS. I'm actually quite depressed at how good the Maggies sound on the Marantz. The overall SQ is not as high, but the tonality and richness it offers is absurd. I also think the M10's will be a great speaker for Ole, I'm just curious what is killing the new stuff for him.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  10. #10

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    I find speakers especially on the upper end have been voiced to specific genre's.

    Like my MD2's shine with jazz, blues, and classical. As my Dyn's do well with almost anything they don't shine in the Jazz category they do well.

    This is why I think the LSiM's are pretty cool as they are neutral through most genre's giving MOST consumers a well rounded product.
    Home Theater:Samsung8000-55LED,Pioneer SC35, Pioneer DV-79AVi, Sunfire TGA7201, LSi25, LCi RTSc, LC80i
    2chnl system:Melody 101 tube pre, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, W4S Dac, MG Audio Planus2 speaker cables
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  11. #11

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    Sorry to hear that. It's interesting to see how some of us differ in how we process auditory information. For example you place the Ushers between the LsiM and the Rti and I would say Ushers sound as bright or brighter as/than Rtis.

    I think the new LSiMs are an example of a speaker that is NOT too hot up top but still delivers tons of detail, more than enough to satisfy most. I like the LSiM sound because it is not too forward, it's not the warmest speaker I've heard either but neither is it cold and analytic. I even like horns if they're on "tubes", that's a killer combo.

    I'm also "extremely" sensitive to highs. Though I have lost a some of my high frequency range I still have quite a "musical" ear. Almost everyone in my family has a musical ear (we can all futz around with instruments we've never played and put out a song of some sort in a fairly short time--play by ear, that is). My daughter, 16, has one of the most impressive voices I've heard for someone her age and is a wonderful mimic. We just started paying a professional for private voice lessons for her. --it must be getting late because, boy, am I rambling!
    Back to the issue:

    There are a number of members here who love Ushers and that includes doro whose tastes I've had a couple of opportunities to compare to mine. They are not that far apart but there is a little difference.

    In the end, well, it's so subjective. And I would never argue that my own ears represent some kind of Truth or absolute scale or standard. That's just not true.

    And besides, you're running those Ushers with some nice tube pieces. And to be honest, I've never heard any Ushers on tubes. I bet that does something for what seems a somewhat bright speaker to me. I know my Jolida does wonders for the titanium domes in a set of JBLs I have that can get a little rough on other amps.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 09-13-2013 at 11:46 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
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  12. #12

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    Interesting conversation, skip and cnh. I like reading this kind of banter.
    |Fronts - Peerless RTA-12B | Center(s) - Peerless Monitor 5 | Rears - Peerless Monitor 4 |
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    I've taken note of a few things Mark has said and the Usher's and Maggie's were both up there. They are both staying around for a long, long time now, so I'm guessing we have similar tastes. I've heard the RTi's on tubes and they still caused instant fatiguing. I will say though that the RTiA1/A9 are not as bad as the A3/A5/A7. If the Usher's you heard were DMD or Be versions, then yeah, they can be piercing. With proper treatments and the right amplification though, they transform into an incredible solution. I've thought about the MD1 for a long time and ended up passing because I was scared of the brightness that might come with them. It wasn't until recently (most importantly the dynamat in the amps/pre) that they lost some life in the upper range and got me thinking about that DMD/Be tweeter again. I feel like I've reached a point where the chain is calling for a little more top end. Now that I think about it, I think all Usher's I've heard have had tubes in the mix.

    The LSiM"s are a great product and the 703 would've been the speaker I went with had I not found an excellent deal on my 6311's.



    To expand on the point I think Ron was trying to make, the issue might be ill-fitting speakers for the genre the OP listens to. After all, that is one of the key components of choosing a speaker. Those M10's should sound pretty damn good on anything, as they have a very middle of the road voicing for me and aren't ultra-detailed.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

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    I'm pretty sure that was the tweeter in those I heard on SS amps.

    And I completely agree about the LSiM 703s (definitely in my future). As well as on your take on the Monitor 10s. I have a set of those and your description of their sound is spot on. I run them on a Marantz 2265 and they make almost anything sound good (but one definitely can't say they have the most resolving top end--though, I have to admit, I just love those Peerless tweeters for what were/are).



    cnh
    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]
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    Oleboot i hope your enjoying the 10's. I know i am enjoying mine
    RANDY
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  16. #16

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    OleBoot, you said you're using a "Musical Fidelity Integrated 120pc amp."

    "Recommended Amplifier Power 20-250 watts per channel"

    http://www.polkaudio.com/products/monitor10

    I have no experience with Monitor10s; but recently went up the wpc ladder with my RTiA9s. I started with a Pioneer SC-07 w/140 wpc ICE amps & found them to be fatiguing for music, as mentioned above.

    I then swapped in a QSC-GX7 amp, said to output 725 wpc into an 8 ohm load (H topology). The fatigue with 2 channel listening was gone.

    I have since moved on to a Yamaha P7000S rated @ 700W x 2, 20Hz-20kHz [using Yamaha's EEEngine (Energy Efficient Engine) Technology]. The attenuators are set 3 steps down from 0 dB.

    To quote VR3Mods "I love the crazy amount of power! :)"

    The Wife Approval Factor of the pro amps has been positive (other than the GX7's fan).

    I've had my hearing tested in 2011 & 2012 (borderline candidate for hearing aids). Audiologist says I'm lacking in the softer frequencies of female voices (BIG SURPRISE after 30 years' of marriage).

    I'll toss out that giving the Monitor10s 250 - 350 wpc might change their tune. WARNING: mentioning professional amplifiers is frowned upon hereabouts. I'm under the impression that guitar shops may rent out such an amp.

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    I run my 10's with 120wpc Yamaha cr2040 & it does a wonderful job. Small room - not so good placement with stands & easy listening music. more wpc will make them sing ^^^,but they do very well with alot of vintage receivers & amps for the moderate listener. To go up the chain it would bring out much more of what they can do
    RANDY
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    ~SDA1c Denon POA2200 Yamaha RX-V1(gold) HK25 AT-LP120tt-HT 4/rs Cs400i/cc Premier Acoustic PA-150 subwoofer
    ~Marantz 2252b 5025b 6300tt Tech-a4010s monitor 7b
    ~Yamaha cr2040 Advent2 Monitor 10a
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    Only thing I noticed was BOTH the RDO-194's AND -198's were mentioned at the top of the thread: make sure you get the -194's or you'll have to modify crossover values. If it were me, I wouldn't "skimp" on XO parts, because it's not something you'll want to re-do later and it makes a big difference. I've had my Monitor 10's for so long I don't know what anything else sounds like; you can read about my XO upgrade experience earlier this year here: http://www.audioholics.com/diy-audio...ver-polk-audio
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    I see this thread's come alive again!


    To give a few answers -

    4xoddic - I'm not complaining about my Monitor 10s! I haven't gotten round to starting mods yet, but have enjoyed them pretty much just as they are, SL2000s and all up until last week whan I disassembled them. My gripe was about the Monitor Audio 8is which I have lived with for a number of years now, which are so intolerant of anything but stellar recordings that I want a change. My MA integrated seems to do just fine with the 10s, but I am keeping an eye out for vintage bargains. Have zero experience of pro amplification gear. Love your comment about the hearing los - I have pretty severe high frequency loss and what my MD described as a moderate loss in the voice frequency area. A lot like what you described, although mine doesn't appear to be female voice specific. I think the symptoms are psychosomatic - after years of mentally tuning out a voice on purpose, it becomes permanent.

    StantonZ - I mentioned the RDO-198s only, and intend to do the SL3000 mod. I'm going back and forth on what my budget is for this project, so I think I'll try and unload my Monitor Audios first (which have been up on CL for six weeks to no avail with mostly time wasters),see what I get for them and review the the crossover plans. I've also been toying with the idea of building a hard wired version on a new board, but the jury's still out on that one also. Your link to the post on your upgrade is bookmarked.

    I'm taking my time on this and have just taken out the drivers. Interesting note on the variations in polyfill - mine had the a roll of polyfill wedged above he brace filling the space behind the tweeter, and a second piece, double thickness, running down the back and across the bottom of the cabinet from the brace down. It has about an inch above the brace, and is then cut all the way down the middle so it goes around the brace. It had definitely been placed as I found it, and hadn't fallen down. Same both speakers. Interesting in as much as most of what I have read on here advises stuffing behind both mids and tweeter, with none behind the PR. The arrangement I found seems in line with the approach used in many ported designs of using polyfill (or foam on the walls) in the port area, but leaving an open tunnel between the bass drivers and port.

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