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  1. #1

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    Question Audio Newbie - RTi12 ???

    I am a true newbie audiophile about to purchase my first "higher end" surround system and have a question with regard to the RTi12's.

    In our new home I have a media room that is 22x15 (lxw). I went to a number of stores and listened to numerous systems and decided to go with Polk. In fact, the listening room was almost the same dimensions as my media room.

    The system I am going with is:
    RTi12 Front
    CS5 Center
    RC85i Surround (in wall)
    PSW505 Sub
    RCi80i (in ceiling) Rear Center
    Denon AVR 3805

    The folks at the audio store felt I did not need a separate amp to drive the RTi12's. Most posts on forums visited suggest differently, that the RTi12's need at least 200w per channel to sound their best.

    Any thoughts (in laymenís terms), would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Welcome Larry!

    Yes, the RTi12's will sound better with an amplifier (they can handle up to 500w each). These speakers have two sets of binding posts on the back, so you could use your Denon to power the uppers, and an amp to power the woofers.

    Sure, the speakers will sound good with your Denon, but you wouldn't be reaching their potential.

    Regards,
    PolkThug

  3. #3

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    You may want to consider the RTi8's instead, seeing that you'll be running a sub anyway.

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by dcarlson
    You may want to consider the RTi8's instead, seeing that you'll be running a sub anyway.

    Unfortunetly, I only listened to the RTi12's and RTi10's (because. I was able to hear a significant difference in the mid's and highs between the two. I just looked in the brochure and see that the eights have two mids and one tweeter just like the 12's - I can save an aweful lot of money going with the RTi8's - I will listen to them today.
    Last edited by larryp123; 06-16-2004 at 11:24 AM.

  5. #5

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    right save yourself lots of cash go with the 6's and invest in a great sub

  6. #6

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    First, you WILL need a separate amp to power those beasts, 200 watts per channell minimum. I'd look at Adcom, Parasound, Carver, etc...

    Second, what about those speakers did you like over the, say 8's? If it's the bottom end that you're liking better, that's not going to be a big issue if you're buying a sub.

    I've been down the road you're headed, and have a great deal of experience with those larger speakers (I had the RTi150s), so here's my thoughts:

    While a great speaker, the RTi150s I believe are better suited for a 2 channel music setup. In other words, they're intended to be used without a sub (IMHO). They are not, however, suited best for a home theater setup - they don't really go low enough to hold their own in movie soundtracks, but don't work extremely well with a separate sub either.

    I did the EXACT same thing you did, bought the 150s (last year's model of the 12s) and a PSW505. I didn't like it at all and returned the 505 immediately - those two just don't work well together becuase there's alot of cancellation and at the same time just too much boomy low end.

    The RTi8s are in my opinion better with the mids and highs and work much better with a sub. They're not fantastic on their own in a 2 channel setup becuase they don't have the full range that the 12s do...but you're not setting up a 2 channel system, you're building a home theater. When coupled with a sub, the 8s (I now have the 70s, last year's 8s) sound absolutely awesome!

    Having said all that, here's what I would do in your case:

    RTi8 Front
    CS5 Center
    RC85i Surround (in wall)
    SVS Sub
    RCi80i (in ceiling) Rear Center
    Denon AVR 3805

    YOu'll notice that I changed the fronts AND your subwoofer. With the money you'll save on the RTi12s, you can invest the extra cash into a SVS. Check out www.svsubwoofers.com. Not to take any business from Polk, but the SVS subs are quite a bit superior to the Polk counterparts.

    I know you didn't ask for opinions on the overall system, but I wanted to share my experiences...hopefully this will help you out...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  7. #7

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    The problem with going with the 6's is you then need to budget for stands.

    I'll second Mr. Maniac's suggestion. It's very popular around here to run RT800i's, RTi70's, RTi8's on small for HT accompanied by a sub.

    How much percentage of time will you be listening to HT vs. 2 Channel?

  8. #8

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    Your Denon is going to do a great a job with HT, just calibrate your speakers sit back and enjoy. I agree with the others that adding an amp through the Denon's preout for your front speakers is going to help improve things. Whether you want to do that right off the bat is a question for you to decide.

    Some folks like to take little steps, get used to their systems, study some, research etc. then add gear into their rigs. Some look into the used gear market, lots of things available, others prefer new only. If you were to add an amp now I would suspect you might hear the benefit the most when playing 2 ch music through your system. But this only my .02 and I can tell you that how the rig sounds to you is the most important thing.

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  9. #9

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    Originally posted by dcarlson
    The problem with going with the 6's is you then need to budget for stands.
    DC, you smokin crack? Sheesh.......please quote whomever you saw talking about the 6's.....;)
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  10. #10

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    True , sorry didn't factor in the stands...cause I think of the deal I got on 4...paid 75 tax in for 4 last years models covered in dust in the stores basement....had a couple scuffs nothing a black magic marker couldn't fix and the manager seemed to really like my wife !!!

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by Willow
    right save yourself lots of cash go with the 6's and invest in a great sub
    Right back at ya bud. ;)

  12. #12

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    I was talking about the 4 speaker stands not the rti4's

  13. #13

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    Sorry Willow, I meant that for Brett. :o

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    Wow.... I'm glad I didn't slap down all my hardware cash last night!!! You all bring up some very interesting points that I need to consider. This audio stuff is a tougher decision than deciding to give up the bachelor life and get married!!!

    In answer to some of your questions posed.

    1) The audio salesman did a nice job of letting me listen to the speakers in two-channel mode and surround and the RTi12's blew away the RTi10's. I would imagine that 30% of the time my family would listen to the speakers in two channel mode and the rest of the time would be watching movies and music DVD's.

    2) Unfortunately I did not get a chance to listen to the RTi8's, but will do so this evening. May sound weird but my wife is adverse to speaker stands - but I got her to buy into floor standing speakers (her ascetic taste - so the RTi6's are out) After 15 years of marriage I've learned to compromise when I have too!!!
    Last edited by larryp123; 06-16-2004 at 11:50 AM.

  15. #15

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    No prob !!;)

  16. #16

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    Rti8's, a Csi5 and PSW505 mate nicely...

    (also good suggestion to get SVS for sub)

    Regards,
    PolkThug

  17. #17

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    Larry,

    IMHO if bookshelves are out then it's the 8's or 12's ... as the 8's & 12's are better than the 10's or the 150's for that matter in the highs & mids.

    I don't agree with all that's been said about the 12's not being very good in HT in the low end as when properly powered they have no trouble moving things around in the room, but it is clear that the 8's and a VERY GOOD sub will be better than the 12's by themselves.

    You MAY also want to wait and see and hear the new Polk Monitor series that has either just or will shortly hit the streets.

  18. #18

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    Originally posted by larryp123
    May sound weird but my wife is adverse to speaker stands - but I got her to buy into floor standing speakers (her ascetic taste - so the RTi6's are out) After 15 years of marriage I've learned to compromise when I have too!!!
    RTi8s instead of 6s, sounds like a good compromise to me:D :D

    You'll hear a great deal on this site and many others about SVS subs and how great they are - it is all true and then some.

    If you email SVS with your room dimensions and budget, they'll be able to help you out, and they won't oversell you. Hell, a friend of mine wrote them a couple of weeks ago and said they actually advised him to get one of the HSU subs...odd enough...

    Anyway, I just got the PCi 16-46 last weekend and just can't say enough good things about it...truly amazing.

    HSU Research also makes a good sub form what I hear.

    Also, Polk is coming out with an LSW sub soon that is supposed to be excellent...

    RTi8s instead of 6s, I think you're making a good decision there, personally.

    Also, I don't want to come across saying that the RTi12s are not good for HT, hope that is not how you took it. My point is that they're not BEST suited for HT and that a combination of smaller fronts and a great sub will wound better for that purpose...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  19. #19

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    Actually I think the 12's are more suited for HT than serious 2 channel.

  20. #20

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    All good advice here. Any reason you can't go with externals for the sides and rear?

    Here's the system I like with externals:

    3805
    RTi8 x 2
    CSi5 x 1
    FXi5 x 2 (on shelves or hung on wall in dipole mode)
    RTi4 x 2 (on shelves or stands in the rear)
    a killer powered sub

    The 3805 won't break a sweat running all seven speaks set to small and the powered sub will have all the built-in power it needs vs. the RTi12's requiring external amps.
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

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  21. #21

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    I also concur with the external speakers approach if you can swing it...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  22. #22

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    Good luck in your HT pursuits. A bit of advice, stop by Circuit City before anywhere else. They are phasing out the RTi line. CSi5 is on sale for $200, RTi 12's are only $800, or $500 for RTi 8's. I've never seen FXi 5's at CC, but for the mains you can't beat those prices. Those are the prices in San Diego, anyway. Have fun.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  23. #23

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    Default Question for Polkwannabe....????

    Polkwannabe... can you expound on why you believe the Polk RTi12 with a subwoofer will give you a better listening experience than the RTi8 with a high end sub. I truly understand that speaker sound is subjective - but I was just curious if you went through the same progression that I'm going through. The main response has been to go RTi8's w/sub and I understand the groups reasoning.

    I'm having a difficult time getting over the mindset of paying less and getting more....(doesn't happen very often)

    I will go listen to the RTi8's w/sub this evening and listen and compare.

  24. #24

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    When comparing, make sure you listen to the 8s with a good sub. If all they got is a 202 or 303, don't even bother.

    If you're headed to CC, I believe they carry the Velodyne CHT-12...that's the one you want to audition these with.

    Just keep in mind that IF you go the route of the 8s, you WILL need a good sub, but that shouldn't cost much mroe than the original setup you were looking at...

    Also, I don't think PW was saying that the 12s with a sub would be better than the 8s with a better sub...I think his point was just that the 12s can still sound good for theater...but still not as good as the 8s and a GOOD sub:

    but it is clear that the 8's and a VERY GOOD sub will be better than the 12's by themselves.
    Don't wanna speak for Rick though, so I'm sure he'll chime in here soon...

    I just wouldn't ever pair the 12s with a sub unless you just want to cross them over to not play the lows stuff...but then what's the point of the extra woofers in the 12s...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Question for Polkwannabe....????

    Originally posted by larryp123
    Polkwannabe... can you expound on why you believe the Polk RTi12 with a subwoofer will give you a better listening experience than the RTi8 with a high end sub.
    Larry,

    I didn't say that ... what I said was ...

    ... " but it is clear that the 8's and a VERY GOOD sub will be better than the 12's by themselves. "

    I'm having a difficult time getting over the mindset of paying less and getting more....(doesn't happen very often)
    I'm not sure this is exactly true either ... By VERY GOOD sub I was implying for example one of these ... none of which are cheap, but they are however more than worth it ... http://www.svsubwoofers.com/

  26. #26

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    Default Re: Question for Polkwannabe....????

    Originally posted by larryp123
    I'm having a difficult time getting over the mindset of paying less and getting more....(doesn't happen very often)
    I have the problem of getting my head wrapped around swinging slower to hit further in golf terms......

    (sorry, totally unrelated but it just came to mind) :D
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  27. #27

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    For the price difference of the RTi8's and RTi12's AND an external amp, he could pick up a very good sub. SVS PCi line or for even cheaper HSU STF-2 ($350 at CompUSA). Purely for high sounds, the 8's sound much better IMHO.

    I traded my SVS and RTi70's to PolkManiac for RTi150's and other stuff. I will be using the 150's for living room 2ch rig without a sub. This will be for casual listening so they will do ok job. Unless someone wants a pair of RTi150's? I also have one RTi70 for sale, is currently used as a center for the 150's. Just a feeler, I haven't posted these for sale.

  28. #28

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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by PolkWannabie
    [B]Larry,


    I don't agree with all that's been said about the 12's not being very good in HT in the low end as when properly powered they have no trouble moving things around in the room, but it is clear that the 8's and a VERY GOOD sub will be better than the 12's by themselves.

    Rick...

    One more question. If money is not the object, what is your opinion of 12's with a sub vs. 8's with a very good powered sub?

    Do you think you loose much of the mids and highs because there are too many base drivers in the 12 w/sub configuration?

    Thanks....

  29. #29

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    I know you didn't ask for my opinion...but I'll give it anyway:

    12s even with a sub IMO won't be near as good as 8s with, say, an SVS. The mids and highs in the 8s (mids esp) sound far superior to the 12s setup...

    again, just my $.02...

    Ultimately, it's what sounds best to YOU that matters the most. Opinions on this site will vary (i.e. Rick and I are in disagreement on this issue) becuase everyone has different tastes and scenarios...

    Best of luck with the purchase, keep us posted on how it goes...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  30. #30

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    I agree with PM's comment that it's what sounds best to YOU that matters.

    However, that being said ... imho the 12's are a better all around speaker than the 8's and IF PROPERLY POWERED will not use it all up in the low freqs thereby affecting the mid/high freqs.

    By properly powered we are not talking about a 100 wpc receiver or for that matter imho even a 100-200 wpc amp. I have a set of 12's that I use in a secondary HT setup without a sub that I am driving with a Sunfire 600+ wpc amp and they sound very good although they are no match in any frequency range for my main setup but then there's also a substantial difference in cost.

    I would say that for those not planning to spend a ton of money to reach a desired goal that the 8's or even the 6's with a high quality sub are probably the best choice up front in the RTi line as they can be driven much more inexpensively.

    If you haven't purchased anything yet I'd also give the LSi series a listen as well as you may well prefer the 15's or 9's up front to the RTi's.

    As far as the sides and rears go, personally I would stay away from the in wall/ceiling choices for a variety of reasons not the least of which is that these assumedly won't be the last surrounds you buy and upgrading in wall/ceiling speakers will be a royal pain.

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