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  1. #1

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    Default Another newbie question. Please help!

    I'm new to the home theater world and I am having a tough time deciding on which speakers to use in my home theater (12'x14') arrangement. Here's what I have so far:

    CRT Projector - Sony VPH 1272Q
    Receiver - Denon 3803
    DVD - Sony DVP-CX985V
    Video Processor - Lumagen Vision (yet to be purchased)

    And now I'm looking for speakers (6.1 channel). I was looking at the following from Polk:

    Front - RTi8
    Center - CSi3
    Sub - PSW404
    Surrounds & Rear - RC65i

    I posted on Home Theater Forum looking for some advice. I did get some good feed-back, but now I'm more confused than ever.

    The advice I received was to use the RTi4 in place of the RC65i.

    However, the confusion set in when Swans (5.2, C3, & R3), Rockets, Axiom, SVS for sub,... were also recommended.

    And then I saw the review on the Acoustech 5.1 from Audiophile. And their price! With all of these options, now I'm starting to second guess the system from Polk.

    I really like how the Polk system sounds, but I don't have the ability to audition the Swans, Rocket, Axiom, or Acoustech.

    Is there any advice? Disregarding cost, how do these brands compare?

    Was the original Polk system with the RTi4s in league with the Swans with an SVS sub?

    Thanks for helping a newb!

  2. #2

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    Bill welcome to the forum and the land of utter confusion.

    First off it is very difficult to compare HT systems without actually doing a lot of auditioning. That said, don't get all wrapped around the audiophile axil. Polk speakers may not be the best, Polk speakers may not be the worse but I will say Polk has satisfied me from a price to performance ratio and more importantly from a customer care and support standpoint. YOU have NO worries regarding Polk support if you decide to go that path which is most important to me.

    I do agree with the RTi4 suggestion if you decide to go with Polk and being an owner of an SVS sub system I will tell you their support is outstanding and their products continue to amaze me. Furthermore your selection of a center is good but if you purchase it from CC YOU will probably want an upgrade within a year. The center channel is IMHO the most important speaker in your HT rig and the CSi5 is awesome.

    Bill, take your time and make your purchases based on what you think and don't worry about others perceptions because our senses and perceptions vary as much as our opinions do. Regardless of what path you take you will find the Polk forum and its members very helpfull as emotional as we may get at times ;)

    Good luck bro and by the way I purchased my home theater speakers in the year 2001 and I remain completly satisfied. The upgrades that I have made over the past few years was the SVS subs and electronics and the Polks are still HERE.

    Regards
    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***

  3. #3

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    Well being that this is a Polk forum you are probably not likely to get a lot of folks pointing at non Polk selections for mains, center & surrounds.

    However, I would choose an SVS sub over almost anyone elses including Polk's.

    So that leaves the other 5, 6 or 7.

    Personally I would never choose an in wall speaker even for the back over an on wall, on stand or tower unless hiding the speaker is at the top of your priority list.

    In the RTixx series of speakers that you are looking at coupled with an SVS sub, personally I would choose

    RTi6's or 8's for mains ... Don't discount the 6's just because they're a bookshelf speaker.
    CSi4 or 5 for center.
    FXi3's or 5's for surrounds.

    The alternative for a different sound would be ...

    LSi15's for mains.
    LSiC for center.
    LSiFX's for surrounds.

    As far as how Polk's compare to a variety of other brands, only your ears can answer that question. I would advise against buying anything you haven't heard unless there is a very liberal return policy.

  4. #4
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    BG,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I think Henry hit it when he mentioned price/ performance ratio. It's the reason most of us chose Polk and the reason most of us stay with them.

    That said, you will see many other speakers discussed here with at least as many praised as are dismissed. All-in-all, I'd say we are pretty objective. Sub's are a particular case in point. They have not been Polk's strength, but a couple models have very satisfied owners here and Polk seems to be upgrading their line.

    Can you tell us a bit more about your HT room? I assume that the front stage is on the short wall, but it may not be.

    Where is your primary listening position? Distance from front? How far to rear ch's? to side ch's?

    At what levels do you listen? Does your system double as a 2 ch rig? Multichannel music?
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  5. #5

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    Tour2ma,

    Here's more info on my HT arrangement:

    Front stage is indeed on the short wall (12'). Primary listening position will be theater chairs, 2 rows x 4 chairs/each row, centered so there's a 30" path on either side. Front row approximately 7' from the stage. Second row on a 6" riser, not far from the back wall (maybe 20" from the rear channels). Probably will usually listen with volume at 25%-35%. This area will only be used for 6.1 channel home theater.

    The neighboring room will be for 2 ch. from the same Denon 3803 in the HT, solely for background music.

    Does this change anything?

    Thank you all for your insights!

  6. #6

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    20" isn't very far from the rear speaks ... even the first row isn't all that far.

    I stand by my initial suggestions ... especially for the bi/dipoles in the sides/rear.

  7. #7

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    Doe anyone have suggestions for the sub?

    I was thinking about the SVS 20-39 PCi, but I have noticed several comments on the Home Theater Forum that infer that the Denon 3803 may not have enough muscle to drive it.

    Is this true?

  8. #8

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    The PCI is powered. The Denon will not drive it.

    Any SVS sub can move any room (when matched correctly)
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro

  9. #9

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    If you are interested in a SVS sub then call their customer service and discuss with them your room dimensions and openings, listening volumes relative to reference levels etc. and they'll put you on the track of what's right for you.

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by Bill G.
    Doe anyone have suggestions for the sub?

    I was thinking about the SVS 20-39 PCi, but I have noticed several comments on the Home Theater Forum that infer that the Denon 3803 may not have enough muscle to drive it.

    Is this true?
    I will say that the 20-39 PC something will be fine for your room; however, the Doc will jump in here soon and if he says so then it is.

    Greg how do you like the 20-39 in your room. Seems little wider in your front than 12' so if its good there then I see no issue. I have the dual CS+ and it is to much now but when I purchased my HT room my situation was very different.

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***

  11. #11
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    Bill,

    I think PW and Vr3 have hit the main points.

    6.1 indicates use of one rear channel speaker. If this is what you are planning, then a direct radiator of some kind is called for. Consider using a center channel, e.g., CSi3 or 5, here as well. They will spread the rear image as well as a single f/x. Mounted high and angled downward, a center can do the job.

    If you're looking at 7.1, i.e., two rears, you're close enough to the rears to needing to diffuse the soundstage, and Polk's f/x series will do this. I also think you'd find f/x's on the sides more pleasing as well. Using f/x's for sides is a pretty standard role for them.

    A powered SVS is no load on the Denon. Not sure what the HTF folks were tlaking about... PW's right, Tom and the folks at SVS will steer you true.

    Should you wish to stay Polk, members here consider the 505 to be one of the better choices in their line.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  12. #12

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    These are some quotes from HTF that were concerning me about the SVS sub and the Denon:

    "But for some reason, in his house with his Denon 3802, it underperforms. He has his levels set really high to try and get the output he needs according to the sound meter. I think he needs to get the signal booster that SVS carries. I cannot think of what else he needs to try. I do not think his Denon is putting out the signal he needs to make his subs sing. "

    "I was running dual CS subs with a Samson S-700 off my Denon 3802 and indeed the gain on the Denon's subwoofer out was not sufficient to drive the Samson like it needed. I dropped in the Bass Interface Box and it was night/day."

    I guess I'm not understanding the issue.

    However, from the rest of the thread, it looked like it all worked out in the end.

    By the way, thanks for the suggestion to use the CSi3 for the rear channel. I didn't think of that. I'll look into it some more. You say that the CSi can do the job as well as an FXi. Will it perform as well or better?
    Last edited by Bill G.; 04-11-2004 at 05:50 PM.

  13. #13

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    Bill,

    To me it sounds like the folks on the other board dropped in a Bass management tool to boost the "type of signal" that is being sent to the sub. Basically it sounds like the setup on the denon was done correctly. The denon was sending only a portion of the signal to the sub, ie. 20-80hrz. With the drop in box he is sending the sub 15-120 hrz or so... So....that might be what is going on.

    As I recall you can audition the AXIOMS for 30 days and just pay for the return shipping.

    I do not think that you can underestimate the benefit of actually hearing speakers in the room that will be used in.

    A few people have mentioned the performance to value ratio with the polks. I have to agree. Cost not being figured in to the equation, Check out the LSi series. They will blow you away (IMHO).

    good luck with the choices.....

    nemos2
    Polk LSi 15 Fronts
    Polk LSi C center
    Polk LSiFX Surrounds
    Outlaw Audio 990 Pre/Pro
    Outlaw Audio 755 amp
    Paradigm PDR-12 Sub
    Outlaw Audio Cables
    BetterCables Cables

  14. #14

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    A few suggestions.

    NEVER EVER demo a 5.1 or 6.1 speaker system. There is NO reference point when listening to a movie. Instead, listen to 2 speakers using music. At least there is a reference point in which your ear can determine sounds it has heard before. Namely the way a stringed instrument, piano, and human voice sound. Unless of coarse you've served in Iraq and know what combat sounds like, I'd suggest sticking with 2-channel and listening to music you're very familiar with.

    Once you have determined what pair of speakers you prefer then consider filling those speakers around the same base line. Every speaker manufacture on the planet has matching speakers that are all based on an orginal ideal pair. Fill your system in with those speakers. Use YOUR ears, not ours.

    If the LSi's are black then the RTi's are white, this much I can assure you. They are totally different in harmonics, Imaging, and distortion. Which you prefer is up to you. Let it be known though the differences are striking.

    Finally, all I can do is give you an idea on how to go about buying speakers. These will eventually be in YOUR room, with YOUR movies playing. Don't buy a system and try and convince yourself that it sounds good because a few "forum" people liked this brand.

    Truth be told, (don't flame me, its not as bad on this forum) I have discovered that the Internet can mislead people and that a great many forum writers and readers know very little about how the relationship between music, sound and technology works. Good luck, and trust your ears.

  15. #15
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    Bill,

    Note that at HTF they were discussing the 3802 and you're looking at the 3803. Must be a difference in the models because I've never read of an issue with the 3803 here, and 3803 owners include Dr. Spec, who would never put up with substandard bass.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  16. #16

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    Thanks everyone for all of your help. I am considerably less confused and feeling a little less overwhelmed by the choices.

    I'll let you know what happens when I get everything completed.

    Have a great day!

    - Bill G.

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