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  1. #1

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    Default Polk SDA...Which model is it and?

    Ok, you smart cookies, I picked up a set of full size [44" tall!] SDA's. After all the good hype I’ve read here I just had to get a set.

    They came with the factory cable [pin/slot if that’s the verbiage?] plus a copy of the owner’s manual.

    The manual states it’s for the SDA 1B but the enclosed pictures have the two SL2000 [tweeters] stacked one over the other and sitting on their ends BUT mine are mounted side by side and on a more normal i.e. conventional style over the four [4] 6 1/2 woofers.

    The backs reveal a little info: one speaker has the serial number missing and no other ID type markings other than ‘Right Channel’. The ‘Left Channel’ has this sticker:

    SDA IA 1650

    The ‘I’ looks for all the world to be an alpha character and not a numeric? Is this just a Polk Audio convention and it really is a 1 [one]? The speakers are all dated late April or early May 1985.

    Also the two speakers have two types of binding posts; one being a bit shorter and gold and the other taller with tarnished steel looking metal. Obviously I’m going to change both but; is the binding post hole pretty much a standard affair and is there any type, brand or company binding post any of you guys like and could suggest to me? Anyone have some to sell, 4 posts are needed.

    The speaker wire: Do the SDA’s like silver wire? I have two 10 feet runs [10ga] of wire with something like 258 strands of silver coated copper wire that I know works well with the LSi9 speakers.

    I called Polk Service today and he said a very popular upgrade is the tweeters; to the RD0194-1 @ $48 each. Is this the SL2000T I hear you guys talk about?

    Grill cloth, Polk said they ran out but I can check the web [like speakerworld.com]. Are there any good places I can go that you guys can suggest that carry some good stuff with reasonable shipping? Any of you guys have enough leftover from another project that you would like to sell?

    Sorry to drag this so long......

    Marly421

  2. #2

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    The serial number says which model you have :) The Polk IC isn't consistent with that model, but it doesn't really matter, you have it, and it will work. Alot of vintage Polk's were sent out the door with some "non-standard" issues...Puff the Magic Dragon worked for them around then.

    The "I" is a "1"(One).

    Sounds like someone replaced the binding posts at some point....or at least one set. They are typically red/black, steel grey and feel cheap. The gold is the upgraded set. Vampire Wire makes a very nice set of binders, and their cheaper than Cardas....or just go to Parts Express.

    www.partsexpress.com

    www.vampirewire.com

    Silver wire? That's on you, the speakers don't care.

    The RD0194-1 is the replacement we have talked about, it's not a SL2000T...it's simply a RD0194-1.

    Grill cloth? Any local fabric store typically carries acoustic fabric. Just order it online if you find a good price.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 09-24-2004 at 10:24 AM.

  3. #3

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    Those certainly seem to be 1A's, but the interconnect cable is in question. The 1A should have the twin blade type, not the pin/blade. Look at the back of the speaker where the cable plugs in, what do you have there?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  4. #4

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    If the array is what it is....then it doesn't matter about the IC plug...it's just a plug.

  5. #5

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    Ah, but if he has a pin/blade cable and a twin blade plug on the speakers then it isn't going to work.
    '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."

  6. #6

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    Nevermind, sure it's possible he has been given the wrong cable and/or manual....but I thought most people looked at what they buy? :)

    Oh really? the pin/blade doesn't work in a blade/blade? Let me update my notes :)

  7. #7

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    What, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning??? Without changing the terminals, how is a round pin going to fit into a rectangular slot???

    I'll see your :) and raise you a :)
    '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."

  8. #8

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    No **** old man...I never said it would freakshow. I'm taking away your "Hera" visiting rights :) How you like them apples?

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    Oh really? the pin/blade doesn't work in a blade/blade?
    Yes you did. Face it, you're just jealous that you didn't see that little discrepancy and the fact that Hera likes me. :D
    Last edited by F1nut; 09-24-2004 at 07:16 PM.
    '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."

  10. #10

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    It was followed by an emoticon which was making fun of you. You won't find discrepancies in my jargon. Go educate someone else.

    I have added you to the Hera "No Fly" list along with Cat Stevens.

    Marly don't worry, we're friends. :) and Hera is my freakshow cat.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 09-24-2004 at 11:57 AM.

  11. #11

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    Yeah Yeah........whatever.

    Marly, He says we're friends, but I don't know.....he just shows up from time to time wanting to know about this and that. ;)
    '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."

  12. #12

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    Thanks guys...you're all good nuts (-:

    That SDA cable is in fact blade/blade my bad but it was 3 in the morning when I last looked at it, so I was only half blind!

    I'll check that Vampire wire for the posts. I really couldn't find a thing local for the binding posts or the speaker cloth [checked 4 stores for anything ‘acoustically transparent’ and found nothing…the web is the place to go any more.

    Does most everyone here think the tweeters are a worth while upgrade? I'm more than willing to spent the nearly $200 to get the most out my SDA 1A's.

    They demand so much real-estate I need to be sure I’m getting the best out of these BIG rascals.

    Thanks again,

    Marly421


    P.S. One last question:

    Is a SDA 1B better or improved over a SDA 1A or a 1C better than either a 1A or 1B........or is it just a different in the time it was made or configurations? There seems to be so many different SDA's. I've seen pictures with 2/3/4 woofers and multi tweeters.

  13. #13

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    Yes, it's worth the upgrade.

  14. #14
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    doro... AKA a square peg in a round world... :D

    At least listen to the 2000's. Many find them bright, but there are a few of us who like 'em...

    Here's an old thread somebody or other posted that may be useful...
    SDA Binding Post Upgrade

    Congrats on the SDA's... Got pics??
    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
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  15. #15

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    Talking

    Thanks again everybody. I'll listen to the SL2000 for a while and see if I need to kick them to the side of the road or not.

    Marly

  16. #16

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    Tour - Madmax said the same thing, and has since ditched all his SL2000's.....and he's a hardcore listener.

  17. #17
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    Yup, there's a bunch of 2000 swappers... you, max, Russ.... and more.

    Not saying don't do it. Just saying give the old boys a shot...
    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

  18. #18

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    I understand. I still have the SL2000's in my Monitor 10B's....they don't sound as terrible as they did in my SDA's.

  19. #19

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    Originally posted by marly421
    Does most everyone here think the tweeters are a worth while upgrade? I'm more than willing to spent the nearly $200 to get the most out my SDA 1A's.
    It depends on what your listening preferences are. If you enjoy a little treble boost in your music or just prefer a slightly bright sound, you might prefer the original SL2000. If you like smoother, flatter, response, you might prefer the SL2000T replacement tweeter.

    Originally posted by marly421 Is a SDA 1B better or improved over a SDA 1A or a 1C better than either a 1A or 1B........or is it just a different in the time it was made or configurations?
    The 1C has refinements in the drivers, cabinet construction, and crossover design. It has better overall resolution and less cabinet resonance than the 1B and 1A.

  20. #20

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    Good info...I did order some gold binding posts from Parts Express along with some new gille cloth and something else but can't remember what it was right this minute (-;

    So the SDA 1C might very well of been the speakers I should of been looking for, humm. But I got to deal with what I've got, so I'm still very happy.

    Before the tread dies out, has anyone ever re-veneered these SDA's or seen some that were done?

    A guy at a shop I know thinks 'Cherry' is the way to go. With real wood veneer one can stain to ones personal tastes.

    He had samples but were quite small to look at. What do these SDA speakers come with...darker veneers maybe walnut?

    He had: Walnut, Maple, Ash, Alder, Birch, Mahogany and Oak.

    Marly

  21. #21

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    Polk did offer them in Walnut, looks good. Cherry or Mahogany would be good choices too, all 3 are manly woods.
    '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."

  22. #22

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    Wink

    Correction, that was grille cloth BTW not gille cloth!

    Snip: 'Polk did offer them in Walnut, looks good. Cherry or Mahogany would be good choices too, all 3 are manly woods.'

    I had a pair of Dynaco A50’s that was done in Mahogany I believe and very nice, like them allot.

    At some point I had a pair of speaker that were 'Teak' that were every eye-catching but I haven’t seen any veneers offered in Teak anywhere. Probably will go with cherry or Mahogany.

    Thanks for all the info and opinions, I can and will use them.

    Marly

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    There are plenty of veneer suppliers and most of them offer teak. As a matter of fact, the choices of wood veneer are almost endless. If your guy says he can't get a certain veneer, he's not looking in the right places. A simple Goggle search will uncover many sources and you can find many more in the back of any good woodworkers catalog or magazine, like Fine Woodworking.

    I plan on using a nice figured cherry when I redo my SDA's.
    '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."

  24. #24

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    F1nut,

    Excellent. I only checked in at four veneer websites and didn't see any teak offerings. I'll ask the local shop about the teak. The cherry he had shown me was very nice.

    Are you going to do the project yourself? I'm all butterfingers and really; I'm afraid I would muck it all up anyway.

    I haven't pin down any price yet but if I can get at least an estimate in the next couple of days I'll post & let you know what these westcoasters think its worth.

    Marly

  25. #25

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    Marly,

    Here is one of many companies offering Teak veneer, even PSA backed.

    http://www.exotic-wood.com/veneers.htm

    If you type in teak veneer or teak veneer PSA backed you will find plenty of others to chose from. eBay has sellers of it too.

    Yes, I will do it myself. My business is antique furniture restoration.

    You can't go wrong with cherry, beautiful wood. Ask what kind of stain or dye they will use for color. Cherry can be tricky to do as it tends to splotch. I like to use a dye followed with a glaze to get a even color. A gel stain is also a good choice.

    Jesse
    '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."

  26. #26

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    Thanks F1nut,

    I did find many more sites with the Teak veneers...so many choices of cuts and how they are applied, boggles the brain just a bit.

    I prepared and applied some wood filler to the lower sides of the cabinets and to the small installed stands the SDA’s use. I used some Polyurethane Varnish with stain to darken up and fill-in these small areas of repair.

    I’ve been cleaning, oiling, cleaning again, plenty of Old English scratch cover and the cabinet are 1000% better; looking anyway.

    I got the parts express order in [ordered Monday at my door Thursday] and installed the very solid and good looking gold binding posts. Little work to install but look very nice.

    The speakers seem oddly placed to me and I’m very glad I investigated. The woofers had surely been removed but not properly reinstalled. Out of Phase I think might be the word here.

    There is always a white lead to every speaker but the other lead was either black, dark brown or dark blue. Some of the white leads were on the post with the red dot and other were not. The tweeters on both speakers [4 tweeters total] had at least one lead backward, unless someone knows something I don’t ??

    I also had to relocate the damping material as one had it jammed to very top of the box and the other was jammed to bottom of the cabinet.

    I finally got everything worked out enough to at least get the speaker wires connected and fire them up. If I bugged up the internal wiring I can’t find any fault with the sound.

    Those tweeters are really sweet music to me! I think I can hold off on the SL200T’s for awhile. Does the SDA cable cut off two of woofers if not connected? I can hear so much difference, its startling to hear.

    Marly

  27. #27

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    I had two pairs of SDA CRS+'s re-veneered in teak. A local cabinet shop did the work.

  28. #28

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    Does the SDA cable cut off two of woofers if not connected? I can hear so much difference, its startling to hear.
    Two drivers, tweeter/mid, per the schematic.

    I also had to relocate the damping material as one had it jammed to very top of the box and the other was jammed to bottom of the cabinet.
    Normal, depending on model this is the intention. It is an obvious cost saving idea. You should leave it as it was before IMO, but that's your decision.

    There is always a white lead to every speaker but the other lead was either black, dark brown or dark blue. Some of the white leads were on the post with the red dot and other were not. The tweeters on both speakers [4 tweeters total] had at least one lead backward, unless someone knows something I don’t ??
    Normal, they are connected that way for a reason. The
    Dimensional array is wired diffrently than the Stereo array. The Dimensional array is wired of the positive terminal from the + crossover and the SDA interconnect cable plug. The Stereo array is wired like a regular speaker in other words.

    We are talking SDA1 right? I'm mentally drained this evening. Either way, stop fussing internally :) Check here before you go switching things around.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 09-30-2004 at 11:58 PM.

  29. #29

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    Unhappy

    Dorokusai, thanks for the info.

    Yes, we are talk’n SDA 1A’s. I have the classic pairs of:

    Monitor 5 jr +
    Monitor 7B
    Monitor 10A
    RTA 12A
    And now my first SDA 1A

    All the other Polk’s I have normally mount the woofers with the word ‘Polk’ centered and readable on the bottom of the speaker. The SDA’s were mounted on their side and upside down if you will and several had loose mounting screws…so I had to investigate.

    I also wanted to check for damage to any of the drivers, internal seams and bracing. I wanted to check for loose wires, mouse nests and larvae. I had a CS400 center speaker I got used off of eBay about a year ago and on checking it I found most all of the above problems. My son cleaned it up and I got rid of it two days later, Yuk!

    I’ve got to re-read your post dorokusai as I find it interesting but I need more info too…I may have already messed up on the wiring at the speaker.

    My 1A has two SL2000 mounted directly over the upper 6501’s which in turn are mounted directly over the other two lower 6501’s. Normally the + sign and the red dotted speakers are ‘positive’ and the – sign and speakers posts without the red dot are ‘negative’, right? I think that how all my other classic Polk’s are anyway.

    It’s apparent I know little to nothing about SDA’s and that cable. After the physical inspection I simply oriented all the speakers the same, installed new gaskets [from part express again] and re-connected all wires as above. I thought the SDA cable did the rest. My bad I guess because it’s all done now.

    It all sounds good [with doubts now] right now but if the speaker wires are buggered up I’m obviously missing out. I don’t think I have a clue on making it right though.

    Thanks everybody, I’m trying.

    Marly

  30. #30
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    Originally posted by marly421
    It all sounds good [with doubts now] right now but if the speaker wires are buggered up I’m obviously missing out. I don’t think I have a clue on making it right though.
    Schematic time... anyone with a Compendium can get you a copy, but try calling Ken at Polk CS. I'm sure he'd fax a copy to you. Give you something to do this weekend... :)

    Nice Polk collection there, marly.

    Still waiting for someone to step up with the original SDA 1's..
    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

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