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  1. #1

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    Default SDA thoughts....

    I've been thinking about SDA lately and was recalling the marathon thread that was started by Paul a while ago.

    One of the concerns is the width of the speaker. Is it necessary for the drivers to be completely side by side? What if you offset and staggered them slightly? I was thinking about the LSi9's and how the tweeter is offset. Would that be doable?

    If you were to use the 5.25 drivers and offset and staggered the SDA drivers, it wouldn't have to be THAT wide.

    Just something that I was thinking about.

    BDT
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    Troy,

    I was thinking the same thing in that thread and made a comment on that. If you look at the Polk vintage website I found that the SRS3.1TL does have one of the midbass drivers staggered.

    I've been listening to some SDA CRS+ with the upgraded tweets this morning that I was very fortunate to get and they are some really outstanding sounding speakers. I have been comparing them to Spendors and Dynaudio which I also own. I'll have to post a seperate thread on my thoughts.

    Paul

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    Default It may work just less optimal

    The key is the 3.1tl. Although I have not heard these speakers in the person the picture on plks website show the one mid is ofset from the outside drivers. Because they did not offset the two in the 2.3tl it makes me assume that the SDA affect may be better if the drivers are side-by-side for better cancellation. I think wide towers are something I could live with though for that sake of the sound.

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    Default Re: SDA thoughts....

    Originally posted by TroyD
    If you were to use the 5.25 drivers and offset and staggered the SDA drivers, it wouldn't have to be THAT wide.BDT
    Troy,

    I think Polk has already affirmatively answered this question ... http://www.polkaudio.com/home/technology/srtsats.php ... where they used offset and staggered 5.25" drivers and kept cabinet width to 12" ... hardly obtrusive.

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    I'm just thinking.....what if the SDA and stereo drivers overlapped a little? Where the diameters of the drivers actually overlapped?
    Could any ill effects, ie smear, be scotched with something like the AR acoustic blanket?

    I'm just thinking of ways that an SDA speaker could be built to conform to the slim design.

    Hell, I dunno, there are a million ways you could do this if Polk wanted to.

    They could build a cost and cosmetics-be-damned statement SDA speaker and put it in the esoteric high end shops, however, in a sense, that puts the majority of us out of the loop. The plus is, most common market issues are non-issues. They can be big, ugly, power hungry but if they deliver on sound, fait accompli. Polk has done something like that, the SRT, but at retail, not many of us could afford it. Which would sort of put us on the sidelines of the new SDA. The problem that I see with something like that you negate to a large extent the grassroots SDA revival. We, aren't the target audience of the statement speaker crowd. I don't care how many LSi7's Stereophile reviews, they don't give a crap about listeners like us and sure as hell don't take us seriously.

    What I think, is that it would have to be something that both SDA ignornant consumers and traditional SDA buffs would embrace. To that end, regardless what we think, WAF is a big issue. I think it can be done in a cabinet slim enough to fly on the market. The other things can be overcome. Polk speakers have always been first and foremost, musical, IMO. I think it also holds true that if it's musical, it will work for HT. So I don't see an issue with them being touted as an ultimate HT speaker. What distresses me about this angle is that, just as Matt mentioned, where do you get a decent demo? If a bad demo is harmful to a conventional speaker, it's fatal to an SDA speaker. I'm of the opinion that most of the folks who think SDA sucks, haven't had a good demo. Give 'em a good one and they will have one hand on thier crotch and the other on thier check book.

    Hell, I dunno. I still like the direct, on-line approach. I think that Magnepan is brilliant for coming up with that idea. What better way to expose people to a non-traditional style of speaker?

    Anyhow....I'm just bored to death an my mind is wandering....

    BDT
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    Default

    Originally posted by TroyD

    They could build a cost and cosmetics-be-damned statement SDA speaker and put it in the esoteric high end shops, however, in a sense, that puts the majority of us out of the loop. The plus is, most common market issues are non-issues. They can be big, ugly, power hungry but if they deliver on sound, fait accompli. Polk has done something like that, the SRT, but at retail, not many of us could afford it. Which would sort of put us on the sidelines of the new SDA. The problem that I see with something like that you negate to a large extent the grassroots SDA revival. We, aren't the target audience of the statement speaker crowd. I don't care how many LSi7's Stereophile reviews, they don't give a crap about listeners like us and sure as hell don't take us seriously.

    What I think, is that it would have to be something that both SDA ignornant consumers and traditional SDA buffs would embrace. To that end, regardless what we think, WAF is a big issue. I think it can be done in a cabinet slim enough to fly on the market. The other things can be overcome. Polk speakers have always been first and foremost, musical, IMO. I think it also holds true that if it's musical, it will work for HT. So I don't see an issue with them being touted as an ultimate HT speaker. What distresses me about this angle is that, just as Matt mentioned, where do you get a decent demo?
    Hi Troy,

    I think Rick got it right when he suggested the SRTs represent the minimum width SDAs even with offset drivers. If you figure that, regardless of whether the drivers are offset, the spacing between the stereo and dimensional drivers must be a head's width apart to achieve interaural crosstalk cancellation. If we consider 5.25" drivers then geometry indicates the minimum width will be about a foot.

    While a narrower speaker might help, obviously the width of the speaker is not the sole determinant regarding your concerns about cost and WAF. As Paul mentioned, the CRS+ were excellent SDA speakers. They represent a compact approach that would both reduce costs and perhaps improve WAF.

    At the risk of bringing up an other compact, but somewhat controversial approach, a satellite type SDA specifically intended to mate-up with a suitable subwoofer, could be designed even smaller than the vintage CRS+s. Such an SDA would likely be the least expensive approach and has the best chance of accommodating WAF.

    Having said that, personally I think it would be a mistake if Polk Audio simply selected the least expensive and most compact approach to SDAs and left it at that. Conversely, it would be an equally bad mistake for Polk to ignore the high-end markets beyond this forum.

    Polk Audio needs to revive an entire new line of SDAs, with a wide range of designs targeted to different markets and sold in a manner appropriate to each market. Perhaps the smaller designs could be sold on-line relying on the Polk name and not requiring demos. The larger higher-end floorstanding speakers would probably require the careful selection of appropriate dealers with properly setup showrooms. In-wall SDAs that would be appropriate to the custom installer market might call for an initial demo, but after that the installers would merely specify the In-walls when their client's needs called for that type of application.

    Just food for thought.

    Larry

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    Oh, I agree that width is not the only consideration to be sure but in the mass market today, there really isn't much out there that is terribly wide. That said, I think that a bookshelf type SDA speaker would be PERFECT for an online-direct approach nor do I think that Polk should leave it at that.

    What concerns me is having lines of products that mirror each other in terms of price, overlapping a little isn't a big deal but let's suppose that Polk released a line that was generally the same price as the LSi's. I don't think it would be wise to do that because essentially, you are competing against yourself. If Polk were to produce and SDA line, which I think is entirely possible, that had some models that were in the LSi price range and then a revamped SRS line that was higher, I think that's doable. The problem that I see, is where are you going to put the SRS's on display? Will the boutique shops carry them? I dunno, these are questions that would have to be answered.

    In the end, I think that SDA could be feasible but I'm not holding my breath either.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

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    Default

    Originally posted by TroyD
    The problem that I see, is where are you going to put the SRS's on display? Will the boutique shops carry them? I dunno, these are questions that would have to be answered.
    BDT
    As much as it pains me to say this, I'd have to say no.

    Every time I go into a "High End" shop and start B.S.ing with the salesguys, the question always will come up, "What kind of speakers do you have now"? I then proudly answer Polk Audio, and get that look. You know the look I'm talking about. They think Polk is a "Circuit City" brand. The salesguy then usually suggests that I listen to some Paradigms or B&W's in the $750-$1000 price range.

    In my experience, high end shops don't have a good impression of Polk Audio. I talked to one guy who's shop quit carrying Polk after the production moved to Mexico. He said the cabinets & crossovers went way down hill when production went to Mexico. I don't know if there is any truth in that or not.....

    I guess what I'm saying is, in my opinion, Polk would have a hard time getting into a boutique shop. I hope if SDA is reborn, that I will be proven wrong about that.
    Bob Mayo, on the keyboards. Bob Mayo.

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    gmorris I tend to agree.

    My fasvorite boutique shop in town has former Polk salemen from a shop which closed about 10 yrs. ago. When the other shop stopped saling Polks they said they felt betryade by Polk going to CC because they felt that at the time Polk decided they wanted money instead of a quality product.

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    I don't blame Polk for going into Circuit City, and I don't feel betrayed either. After all, Polk has been available from Crutchfield for years. From Polks point of view, it only made sense. They sell **** loads of speakers now, that is the point, right?

    I do, though, agree that Polks reputation has suffered by going into Circuit City. I mean, you can go to CC and look at an RTi series speaker sitting right next to some POS from Cerwin Vega or Bose.

    In the end, for a product like an SDA speaker to sell in big enough numbers, it would need to be regarded as a "high end" product, thusly sold thru a "high end" dealer network. Most people who could afford such a product probably don't want a speaker brand that is also available at Circuit City. (that last statement is a gross generalization, I know, but holds some truth non the less) The SDA line would need to compete with the likes of Paradigm, B&W, Def. Tech., PSB ect.... None of those brands are available from mass market stores, i.e. CC or Best Buy.

    Polk could certainly re-establish itself as an audiophile brand, sold in audiophile boutique shops. It used to do just that. But, they have a HUGE market by selling in CC & Crutchfield. I don't think they would want to create an esoteric speaker line just to sell in boutique shops.

    To summarize all this, SDA is not about technology, but it is about marketing. Marketing runs the show, & it just doesn't look good.:(
    Last edited by gmorris; 08-03-2004 at 08:22 AM.
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  11. #11
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    To answer the original question, go take a year's worth of control theory courses ;) SDA stuff is VERY dependent on driver location on the enclosure, the circuitry, listener placement, and the demo room. If you start chaning any of these slightly, everything can go out of whack.

    In college, we built a set of noise cancelling headphones (well, took existing headphones and added the circuitry). If you took a frequency response while the headphones were on your head, you would be amazed at how much change was apparent in the response just by moving your head 45 degrees to the left or right. It was also fairly different for each person's head. It proved to be a very difficult project, but luckily, we weren't looking for audiophile quality... the teacher just wanted to see how much suppression we could attain over a large bandwidth :)

    As for Polk going to CC and places like that... its sort of a necessary evil. Having a mass market store like CC selling Polk product gains Polk more money. More money means more research dollars which means cooler products, products like SDA stuff that you can't exactly simply copy from another company's design.

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    Originally posted by bknauss
    To answer the original question, go take a year's worth of control theory courses ;)
    What are control theory courses part of, in terms of a major? Are you an engineer?

    I'm not trying to break your balls, I'm just interested in what kind of courses would do something as cool as noice cancelling headphones.
    Bob Mayo, on the keyboards. Bob Mayo.

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    Probably EE stuff, maybe an acoustics course in ME. In fact, sounds like something they'd make sophmores do at GT.

    Wes
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    Depends on the application, but there are a good amount of controls courses in ME and EE (or at least there are at bigger engineering schools). At my alma mater, ME applications were more vibration/acoustics... while EE applications were just about anything you could think of that could be controlled by electronics.

    And if GT is doing that kind of stuff at soph level, it definitely shows why they're one of the best engineering schools in the country.

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    One way to look at it is if places like CC don't sell it you will be forced to pay MSRP which will probably be about double what you would expect.
    madmax
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    Originally posted by TroyD
    The problem that I see, is where are you going to put the SRS's on display? Will the boutique shops carry them? I dunno, these are questions that would have to be answered.
    Originally posted by gmorris
    I guess what I'm saying is, in my opinion, Polk would have a hard time getting into a boutique shop. I hope if SDA is reborn, that I will be proven wrong about that.
    Originally posted by gmorris
    Polk could certainly re-establish itself as an audiophile brand, sold in audiophile boutique shops. It used to do just that. But, they have a HUGE market by selling in CC & Crutchfield. I don't think they would want to create an esoteric speaker line just to sell in boutique shops.
    Originally posted by madmax
    One way to look at it is if places like CC don't sell it you will be forced to pay MSRP which will probably be about double what you would expect.
    Hi Guys,

    I'm not sure I know what a "boutique shop" is, but why couldn't Polk use the same retailers to sell a new SDA that they are using to sell it's LSi line? And why would they have to abandon the consumer market? It seems to me that the LSis are selling well, even though Polk's consumer lines are selling at Circuit City and Crutchfield.

    As for being forced to pay MSRP at higher-end retailers, I recently purchased a pair of LC265i with performance enclosures. These are the In-Wall versions of the LSis and are sold through the same retail stores that the LSis are sold at. I was able to obtain a very good price that was hundreds less than MSRP. I would expect that the SDAs could be marketed through these types of retailers, but I doubt you'd call them "boutique shops".

    Larry

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    How's this for a "boutique" shop. LSi in there with the likes of Dali, Thiel, Wilson, JM Labs, Spendor, REL... and some very impressive electronics to go with those speakers as well:

    http://www.audiovisionsf.com/?page=loudspeakers

    Perhaps just an isolated case? Or a sign of things to come?

    That place in San Francisco just recently picked up the LSi line in the past couple of months.

    Anybody near San Fran want to go check that place out?

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    Hi PJ,

    Maybe that answers my question...

    Any place that sells at MSRP is a "boutique" shop. ;)

    Larry

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    Not neccesarily(sp),

    Boutique shops are shops that sell esoteric equipment. You're just NOT goint to find equipment of that caliber in a CC, Crutchfield, etc. you might find some of it at Tweeter (we don't have one near me). When you go into one of these shops for a demo you have a seat in a "sweet spot" the salesman turns on the equipment and leaves you to listen for a while and you are usually not in a room full of Speakers 20 or so like CC. There may be 2 pr. for comparison and there are huge expensive amps and CD players attached in the chain. When I listened to the 1.2tls in '92 they were the least expensive components in the system at 3400. The CD Transport and DAC cam as a kit for 4k. Those used to be the only places you found Polk Audio was in places like this.

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    When I listened to the 1.2tls in '92 they were the least expensive components in the system at 3400. The CD Transport and DAC cam as a kit for 4k. Those used to be the only places you found Polk Audio was in places like this.
    Roger that. My point is that if LSi are to be found in one of these "hi-end" shops then it is not out the question about the SDAs doing the same.

    The problem may be that some of the "hi-end" shops that have been around for a while still feel "sore" about what Polk did to them in the 90s when Polk moved from "hi-end" shops to more commercialized speakers after the SDAs. This may have been a move that was deemed necessary for the survival / propagation of the company but some of the shops here in town still are sore about this move.

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    Originally posted by pjdami
    The problem may be that some of the "hi-end" shops that have been around for a while still feel "sore" about what Polk did to them in the 90s when Polk moved from "hi-end" shops to more commercialized speakers after the SDAs. This may have been a move that was deemed necessary for the survival / propagation of the company but some of the shops here in town still are sore about this move.
    Exactly.
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    Kind of amazaing that even though we are across the country here on this forum the "local shops" in each respective town seem to have a similar consensus. It doesn't mean that something isn't doable though. Where there is a will there is a way?

    The economic conditions right now aren't that optimistic either. I have seen other stores dropping higher end equipment because of the economy and actually quoting this on their websites. The majority of the people just aren't buying high end audio anymore in these times. Some limited edition 25th anniversary SDAs would be cool though and a huge hit with the hardcore 2 channel crowd.

    Here's a disheartening example of the signs of the times with the economic conditions:

    http://higherfidelityaudio.com/specials.htm
    Last edited by pjdami; 08-04-2004 at 08:15 AM.

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    -------------------------------------------------------
    quote: Originally posted by LarryChanin:

    Hi PJ,

    Maybe that answers my question...

    Any place that sells at MSRP is a "boutique" shop. ;)

    Larry
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Originally posted by xsmi
    Not neccesarily(sp),

    Boutique shops are shops that sell esoteric equipment. You're just NOT goint to find equipment of that caliber in a CC, Crutchfield, etc. you might find some of it at Tweeter (we don't have one near me).
    Hi xzmi,

    My point was meant to be tongue in cheek. Notice the wink. ;)

    Larry

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    Originally posted by pjdami
    Roger that. My point is that if LSi are to be found in one of these "hi-end" shops then it is not out the question about the SDAs doing the same.
    Hi PJ,

    Exactly. Furthermore, it's not absolutely necessary for either the LSis or a new SDA line to be sold exclusively in very high-end boutique shops that only sell at list price. Places like Tweeter, who are "higher-end" (if that's a word) than Circuit City is all that is needed.

    The problem may be that some of the "hi-end" shops that have been around for a while still feel "sore" about what Polk did to them in the 90s when Polk moved from "hi-end" shops to more commercialized speakers after the SDAs. This may have been a move that was deemed necessary for the survival / propagation of the company but some of the shops here in town still are sore about this move.
    You are no doubt correct. However, if a line of well-made, well reviewed Polk speakers turned out to be very successful in places like Tweeter, these "high-end" shops might just change their tune. After all they are in the business to make money. And if it doesn't change their mind, personally I don't care, because very high end shops don't catter to my needs, nor are they needed to make the SDAs successful.

    Larry

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    Larry, I'm sorry.
    I read it at 5:00 am and under the influence if Tylenol 3.

    xsmi:)

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