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  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Just bought an SRS SDA 3.1, what should I know and watch out for?

    I'm picking up an SRS SDA 3.1 (s/n "SRS 3.1T L1396R" and "SRS 3.1TL 1707L") tomorrow which I paid $325 for the pair from the original owner. Somebody forgot to tell me these puppies are 155lbs each when I looked up the specs! Time to call the moving company :-).
    I have a home theater system with a Yamaha RX-A301 receiver which is a 9.2 speaker config currently using a Martin Logan Quest for the main speakers. I also have a McIntosh MC2500 power amp which is 500W per channel into any load (2, 4, 8 or 16 ohms) which I think should be enough for these speakers. This amp is supposed to have an automatic disconnect from the speakers if it detect any problems (should I trust it?).
    I read through the manual (if all else fails, read the manual) for the 2.3 version (I couldn't find the 3.1 version) to familiarize myself with the hookup and placement.
    What do I need to know based on the serial numbers? Is there anything that's unique about these speakers that I should be aware of other than what's in the manual?

    BTW, I started in audio before stereo was invented. Yes, in the early '50s, so I'm not a newbie in the audio/video field. I just learned many hard lessons which I don't want to repeat with these speakers.

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (9)

    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    First of all, congrats on your new 3.1TL's. They weigh closer to a 100 lbs. than 155 lbs. (the weight of 2.3TL's) Make sure your amp (amps) are a "Common Ground" design before powering up the SDA's. The 3.1's are a 6 ohm. load, so they are fairly easy to drive.

    The set-up and placement are the same as the 2.3 version you have read about. Place them at 6"-12" from the back wall for starters, a little closer to the wall will increase the Bass output, 3' for each corner is ideal also.

    The serial numbers are very seldom close to each other, as in numerical order, so no worries there, as long as you have a LEFT and a RIGHT.

    Did the Interconnect Cable come with the pair? The cable that connects the two speakers together is a MUST to achieve the SDA effect.

    The 3.1TL's are over 20 yrs. old, many members here including myself believe that replacing the original caps/resisters (along with some other modifications) is the only to hear the true potential of these wonderful speakers, you will have to be the judge of that.

    Good luck.
    SDA CRS+4.1TL's/Modded SDA 1C's/Modded SDA SRS 3.1TL's/Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Pocatello, Idaho


    Congrats on your new find and welcome to the club. Read the stickies in the Vintage section of the forum. There are some extremely knowledgeable folks on this site that seem to eat, breathe and sleep these vintage speakers, Your going to have a lot of fun with these, enjoy!
    Home Theater
    Onkyo PR-SC5508 Sharp LC-70LE847U
    Emotiva XPA-5 Emotiva XPA-2 Emotiva UPA-2
    Front RTi-A9 Wide RTi-A7 Center CSi-A6 Surround FXi-A6 Rear RTi-A3 Sub 2x PSW505
    Sony BDP-S790 Dishnetwork Hopper/Joey Logitech Harmony One Apple TV
    Two Channel
    Oppo 105D BAT VK-500 w/BatPack SDA SRS 2.3 Dreadnought Squeezebox Touch Apple TV

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    West Los Angeles, California


    You have just purchased the last set of speakers you will ever need.
    Well, not really, there are always the other different SDA models. "Gotta collect them all".
    And you got them for the lowest price I have ever heard of them going for. Congratulations.
    As other have already said, to get the most enjoyment out of them you need to use the interconnect cable and play around with speaker placement. A few inches closer or farther from each other, and from the wall behind them can make a huge difference.
    And after listening to them for a while consider doing some or all of the "Mods" that others have done.
    I have a set of the 3.1tl as well a set of the non tl 2.3s. And I will be doing the complete mods on the 3.1's before I even consider doing anything electronics wise.

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    +1 on the recap... Just finished recaping my RTA 12c's ( 70 hours on them sofar) and am simply thrilled with the results ( even though them will keep getting better thru about 300 hours) well worth the effort and cost. Congrats BTW
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    YAMMY CDC-665
    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    Congrats on your "steal of the month" . . .

    Welcome to CP, Bananas!!
    Mains Polk SDA SRS 2 (modified) Sub M&K MX-100
    Power Pass Aleph 30 & Adcom GFA 5802
    Power Conditioner Furman Elite 15 PF i
    Rears Definitive Technology BP-2
    Center Definitive Technology C-1
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    Pre Cary SLP-98 Hot Rod
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Source Oppo 105
    Wires MIT S3.3

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    Great speakers,Fantastic speakers once you do the mods.
    You'll get all the help you need here except for the $$.

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    The Mars Hotel


    SDA SRS 3.1TL - Weight (each) 101 pounds.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2012


    Welcome to CP & enjoy your new to you speakers :)
    HT-SDA1c Yamaha-RXV1-Denon-POA2200-HK DVD25-Cs400i-Monitor4's-Premier Acoustic150
    2ch-SDA2b-ADCOM GFA-555-565-600-555-YaQinCd2-Pioneer PL-630-AKAI GX210d

    Yamaha-CA810-CT810----- No Speakers Yet
    Marantz SR1000-Pioneer PM120 workbench set up

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Upstate NY


    Welcome to CP.
    You got some great speakers at a fantastic price!
    Enjoy them!
    Polk SDAs are incredible speakers!
    Last edited by pglbook; 09-22-2013 at 10:52 PM. Reason: typo

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Upstate New York


    that MC 2500 is plenty to drive those Polks but I would confirm if it is common ground first. Maybe give Audio Classics a call.

    As others may have mentioned, the first thing I would do is purchase the tweeter upgrades from Polk, part number RDO-198. Call customer service and tell them you are a club member to get a discount, $48 each I believe. After that, there are plenty of great mods to do little by little and IMO they are all worth it.

    Congrats on the purchase of some great speakers and welcome to the Club!

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Central NC


    Congrats and welcome to CP! Mods rule - spend some time with them as they are and then start the upgrades.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (14)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    Hi there. A common ground amp certainly makes your life easier, but it is not necessarily a show stopper. You can't use the stock SDA cable if you don't have a common ground amp, or you can cook your amp, and probably do some damage to the speakers as well. But you can use an isolation transformer based interface that Polk used to sell called the AI-1, which one of our members DarqueKnight did some incredible work improving. Search for the 'Dreadnaught' on this site. I am pretty certain, but others will correct me if I'm wrong, that 3.1 TL's can use the AI-1. You should do the research regardless of your amp choice, because many of us have come to the conclusion that the AI-1 Dreadnaught offers sonic improvements compared to the straight SDA connection, and would advise you to use it regardless of whether your amp is common ground or not.

    I've been up and down the SDA's over the last 24 years, never got as high as 3.1 TL's, but I've settled back down to the CRS+'s, which are the smallest in the SDA line. I can tell you that if I'd ever stumbled across your speakers at that price, I would have owned them.

    As others have said, if you've bought them from the original owner and he's never done any improvements to them, you should seriously consider doing some. At a bare minimum, you should do the tweeter upgrade as others have mentioned. You don't even need access to the inside of the cabinets for that, you just swap them out. But you should seriously consider upgrading your crossover electronics, particularly the caps and resistors. The caps degrade over the course of time, and at ~25 years old, they are well past their intended lifespan. They can degrade to the point where the electrolytic leaks out, and the corrosive material can do damage to your circuit boards. The resistors are relatively inexpensive, and are a great upgrade to do while you're already into the crossover boards. There are much better components that can be acquired today, and good quality caps and resistors will give you a noticeable boost in sound quality. And if you're not well skilled with a soldering iron, one of our members has lots of happy customers on this forum, and can build them for you.

    Make sure to ask lots of questions at every step of the way before you touch anything, as we have plenty of experts here who have been through the grind with these speakers for many years. And if you do head down the upgrade path, apologies in advance for the impact on your checkbook....
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    central Jersey,08859


    Good luck w/ your new speakers. I still can't believe you have a Mac 2500.A 2300 would do me just fine.

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