I?m really excited about these "new" speakers! Feel free to skip to the next post where I start talking about the upgrades, and pass on my little soliloquy here.
My SDA journey began in 1989. I remember it so clearly. I had a dj business as a teenager, but I became less and less active with it as I progressed through college. I had some decent pro-gear, but was using it as my stereo as my dj activity went by the wayside. By my junior year, I was thinking it was silly to have decent value tied up in that kind of pro gear, when it could be sold to fund some good hi-fi equipment. I found a buyer fairly quickly for the dj gear, and headed to a stereo shop that was right around the corner from my apartment. This was a great store, with a proper listening room, where they would take the time to set up the speakers that you wanted to hear properly, with a listening room that had good damping, and it wasn?t just a wall of 50 speakers. It was empty of other speakers, other than the ones that they were demoing for you by properly placing them in front of you.
That was the first time I had ever heard of Polk Audio. The salesman got a feel for my budget (I was buying a receiver, cd player, and speakers) and then introduced me to the SDA 2B's. I still remember the cd that he put on, which completely blew my mind - Caverna Magica by Andreas Vollenweider. If you have SDA's and don't have Caverna Magica, you need to get it. Talk about a cd that shows off what SDA is all about!.
Long story short, I was sold on Polk. However, I just couldn't squeeze the budget far enough to get those 2B's, as much as I wanted them. I was set on a Harman Kardon receiver and cd player, and there wasn't enough left over to afford the SDA's. However, the stereo shop had an amazing deal going. Buy a pair of speakers, and you could upgrade them within a year and get back 100% of your purchase price towards speakers that were at least twice the cost of the ones you were returning. They didn't offer the same deal with the receiver or the cd player, only with speakers, so it only made sense to make the speakers fit the budget and upgrade later.
So I left the store with my first pair of Polks - Monitor 5's. And I loved them! But I still had SDA on my mind. I couldn?t wait to do the upgrade. Along came senior year, though, and I had moved back on campus and my room in my apartment was quite small, I just didn?t know how to fit those big SDA's in the room. Not to mention, I still didn't have the money for the upgrade.
Well, along came my 21st birthday. I opened my mailbox and what do I find in there on my birthday! My very first... credit card! BINGO!!!! I drove straight to the shop to put myself in hock for the first time!
But I explained to the salesman who I'd been dealing with there that the 2B's were going to be a tight fit in my dorm room. He said he had just the answer for me, and he showed me the SDA-CRS+. He told me that they were basically the exact same speaker as the 2B, except in a smaller cabinet, but that I shouldn?t be put off by their small size. Bass is omnidirectional, as he explained (first time I'd ever heard that word!), and these just have the passive subwoofer on the back instead of the front. Wow! I knew I could definitely make these work in my dorm room. Happy birthday to me! So it began, I brought home my first pair of SDA's on that day in 1989.
And they served me well! I'm actually glad that I ended up with the smaller CRS+'s over the 2B's, because in the years that followed I was pretty transient. From college, to an apartment in NYC, to grad school, to another apartment, to a condo, and then to my house. Moving CRS+'s around is a lot easier than moving 2B's, so it was the right move at the right time for me.
I had those CRS+'s for 16 years. But in 2005, not coincidentally the time I found my way to this forum, I found a pair of 2B's on eBay for $200. They were in great shape, but the seller figured correctly that it would be a fortune to ship them, so he?d need to sell them fairly cheap in order for the total cost to be appealing. But these were only about 40 miles away from me, so I could pick them up myself. So 16 years later, I had the 2B's that I originally wanted, and I sold the CRS+'s to a friend at work.
A few years later, having been reading the Polk forums and learning all about the upgrades that could be done to the SDA's, I decided to get my solder-geek on. So I got busy on those 2B's! I did the TL upgrade, put 198?s in, and upgraded the caps and resistors. I was simply amazed at how much better they sounded! I could have easily stopped right there, but...
I was perusing CraigsList, and happened on to a pair of 1C?s not far away, listed for $250. I couldn?t resist! So up the chain I went, a bit more. I passed the modded 2B?s along to Mike (BigDawg), and started modding the 1C's. And I used those for several years after that.
But my wife and I have been hatching a plan lately to sell our house when our son goes off to college in two years, and drastically downsize. In the back of my mind, I knew the 1C's wouldn't fit with the downsized lifestyle, and I'd have to go smaller again. And then what do you know? Good ole Sal (Lasareath) posts a pair of CRS+'s and stands for sale, and he only lives about an hour away! So I grabbed them off of him, which was great because I got to meet him and get a demo of his incredible 1.2TL's that he did such an amazing job restoring.
It's a good thing I bought those CRS+'s too, because they came to the rescue of my 1C's. I fried one of the 1C's pretty badly with a dc spike, the photo of smoke coming out is the highlight of a pretty funny thread. The drivers from the CRS+'s went into the 1C that I smoked, and saved the day.
I replaced those drivers with new-stock Polk replacements fairly quickly, but the CRS+'s sat as a pile of parts (Sal had started doing some upgrades, but didn?t want to finish them). But I finally got motivated to start moving these recently, and just put the finishing touches on them (well, almost? more to follow) and got the stands cleaned up and set them up in my 2-channel system. I sold the 1C's over the weekend to another friend at work, and have now gone full circle. I'm back to the speakers I bought myself for my 21st birthday in 1989. The ironic part is... today is my birthday! 23 years to the day after getting my first pair of SDA CRS+'s, here are my newly restored CRS+'s, but from here on, of course, referred to as 4.1TL's: