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  1. #1

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    Default Shootout: RTi vs. Lsi

    Okay, let me begin by saying that in no way do I consider myself an audiophile - So bear with me as I try to give my honest layman's opinions.
    When I purchased my HT/Surround sound system I chose the RTi'12s, CSi5, and FXi5's - Obviously I was in awe with the RTi series compared with my 20 yr old Onkyo 2 channel. They blew me away! I heard things I NEVER heard before! (Like my wife screaming, Turn It Down.....just kidding). Then I discovered SACD's and DVD-A's - OMG!! Talk about a whole new dimension! (I don't mean to 'overuse' the exclamation point, but I can't help it - that's exactly how I felt - and still DO feel). I was simply amazed with the surround sound features and movies really came to life. The first movie we watched on the new system was LOTR/FOTR and we were blown away. The RTi's have great 'punch' in the bass department and sounded excellent overall. I really love listening to music and probably use the system 80/20 music/HT, respectably. After researching further, I decided I would like to upgrade to the LSi series and when Mantis had his lineup for sale, I pounced.

    I could not do an actual A/B side by side comparison, so I played some material that I was familiar with on the RTi's then hooked up the LSi's and listened to them again. What an experience! For music, the RTi's seemed to have a rather 'flat' soundstage with pinpoint accuracy. You could definitely point out where each instrument was coming from. I also enjoyed the bass of the three woofers. On certain material they just really stood out being very tight and articulate. For HT they work fantastic. Coupled with the SVS 16-46+ the system literally shakes the room up!

    Onto the LSi's - After getting them hooked up around midnite on a Friday after work, I sat and listened and finally got the 15's situated to produce a nice sweet spot. One of the comparison songs I put on was Mel Torme's 'Love Walked In' on Concord Records' SACD Sampler Vol 1. This was played in multi-channel and it produced the effect that Mel and the drums & piano were down on the front stage. I could visualize myself halfway up the seats in a venue and that the horn sections seemed to be playing in the balconies. Very Cool! Then when the trumpet solo came, it felt as though he was up in the far left balcony playing right towards me. The next disc I put in was Angela McCluskey: 'The Things We Do' in 2 channel. The first cut on the album is why I bought it, she has a natural 'lilt' in her voice that just draws you in - But it was on track 4: 'Know It All' that REALLY impressed me in 2 channel. My listening chair is an old La-Z-Boy recliner with a swivel base. Maybe it's the fact the my wife rearranged the room to have my chair more in the center or maybe it's the help of the high back of the chair, but I swear I was totally enveloped in sound! It was (and IS) truly amazing! Like being in a giant pair of headphones - only BETTER! I got a chance to demo it for a friend of mine that same weekend and he about soiled his drawers - I even caught my wife cracking a smile when she sat in the sweet spot - and she only listens to music in the background while doing chores etc., for the most part. I could even distinquish the 'layers' of the separate tracks when they were put down - Impressive! Then I put on Pink Floyd: WYWH in 2 channel - I could literally turn a half inch in either direction and the imaging would change with it. It felt as if I was a big compass and I could spin around and zero in on North - Awesome!! Again, like being in a giant pair of headphones - totally enveloped in the music! I could NOT stop smiling! Then on to Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow - back to Multi-channel - Again, the headphone effect! But with crystal high's and nice, tight bass! These are the best speakers I have ever heard and I am totally in love with them! You can probably tell that I haven't gotten out much in the audio world in the past decade or so. I cannot wait to attend one of the Polk gatherings to experience some of the other equipment you guys talk about on the forum. Honestly, I can't imagine it getting much better, but somehow I believe it does! Just can't wait to hear it first hand! Thanks to Mantis for such a great deal and thanks to all of you for everything I have learned over the past few months. You have made my life THAT much happier! What else can I say?

    Dan
    HT & Music System:
    Receiver - Denon AVR-3805
    DVD/SACD Player - Denon DVD-2900
    Outlaw 770 amp
    Polk LSi 15's up front
    Polk LSiC center
    Polk LSi F/X surrounds
    SVS 16-46 PC+ Subwoofer
    Sony Wega KDF-50WE655

  2. #2

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    Kick ass Dan! VERY happy for you!

  3. #3
    Stronzo
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    Congrats on the new gear! :)

  4. #4

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    Congrats & nice write up!
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  5. #5
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    Cool! Felt the difference between my Rti800's and the Lsi15's was very dramatic as well. Glad you're feelin' the love!!:D
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

  6. #6

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    Told ya.

    Like a fat kid loves cake! I love em just the same. Congrats!

  7. #7

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    I consider the RTi vs LSi a no brainer.

  8. #8

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    Doro - I feel the same! Part of the deal with Mantis is that he wanted me to do a comparison write up after I received the LSi's from him - What a great improvement.....

    Phuz - I was thinkin' aboutcha that 1st nite I hooked 'em up - It was probably 3 in the morning and I was feeling hungry - grabbed some leftover pasta dish in the fridge and couldn't help smiling sitting in my chair, thinking to myself: Yep, 'fat dude eatin' pasta'!!:p
    HT & Music System:
    Receiver - Denon AVR-3805
    DVD/SACD Player - Denon DVD-2900
    Outlaw 770 amp
    Polk LSi 15's up front
    Polk LSiC center
    Polk LSi F/X surrounds
    SVS 16-46 PC+ Subwoofer
    Sony Wega KDF-50WE655

  9. #9

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    Polk-a-pops I hope you know I had/have no idea what ya look like and I didn't mean anything by using the saying. It's just a saying! Nothing personal meant by it.

    Glad you are enjoying those LSis. You *might* even get better performance with an Outlaw pre to match that amp, or some different cables. That's all you, and is subjective of course. When I ditched my HK reciever for a Rotel to use as a pre, and ditched my plain old bi-wires and monster interconnects for some nicer stuff I got a pretty significant improvement overall.

    Have fun :)

  10. #10

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    Polk-a-pops,
    nice write up. I 'm very happy your liking them. I knew you would after all our conversations.

    I will have to go and say that this was a really smooth transaction. He is a someone I would buy or sell to again no problem.

    The Lsi series speakers served me very well. I'm very happy they went to a good home.

    Thanks man,

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    I consider the RTi vs LSi a no brainer.

    How about the Rti vs a Lsi 7 or 9?

  12. #12

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    The results would be the same. Lsi is just more detailed and refined sounding.The Rti series while nice speaker can't compete for the Lsi series. IMO.

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  13. #13

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    I guess the term "you get what you paid for" applies to the RTi vs LSi lines.

  14. #14
    Old School
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    Default Not to be contrarian, but....

    ... I like the RTi10's.

    LSi's have never floated my boat... too laid back for my taste. Admittedly I've spent the most time with the 9's, but that impressions carried over to some Tweeter time with the 15's.

    Then again, I am still hanging onto my SL2000's, so what do I know...

    Different gears for different ears...

    Glad you've attained LSi nirvana Polk-a-Pops...
    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

  15. #15

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    I think Mantis put it best a while back.

    The RTi line is like a 67 Chevelle SS. A classic muscle car.

    The LSi line is like a late model Porche. A finely tuned sports car.

    One is a little brute or rough on the edges, but in a good way. The other is more refined, sleek, etc. Both are beautiful, awesome, and go fast. It's just a matter of personal preference.

  16. #16

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    I think that comparisons to another totally irrelevant subject is silly.

    The RTi line is good at what it does, always dependable, always a performer. The RTi line simply dominates the price bracket.

    The LSi line steps that whole idea up a notch, and adds better clarity and imaging, with side effects of warmer mids and tighter bass.

    I've owned both, and while I think the LSi is better....I am not falling over myself to replace my RTi's. Hmmm, why doro?....I'm glad you ask Tommy, as I feel in my application, Home Theatre, that it would be a wasted effort for little gain. I know the HT LSi soldiers will get uptight but it's just my opinion. Oh, and Tommy, F off....and stop talking to me.

  17. #17

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    Oh, and Tommy, F off....and stop talking to me
    O boy....LOL

    It's a matter of opnion. Rti is liked by many as the Lsi is. I would still perfer the Lsi over the Rti for theater any day of the week and twice on Sunday( I watch alot of movies on Sunday).

    I had a full Rt series theater and it didn't compare to the Lsi in any way shape or form.

    doro here feels differently. He seems to like his rti system for theater just fine and finds that spending the money, the gain isn't worth the extra cost. I can respect it both ways.

    I for one use my system for both music and movies. I demand the highest level of sound quality I can with my budget. So a guy like me is going to spend the extra money n a Lsi system over a Rti system.

    phuz,
    waaaaaaaaaaaaa I remember saying something like that. I believe I used 2 different cars but it's the same Idea.

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  18. #18

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    I was at my brother-in-laws a couple weeks ago and he was RAVING about his Bose system. (lifestyle 10 I think - passive bass module) He just kept saying that what drove him to purchase it was just that the sound was "so clean and clear" compared to everything else.

    I think if he heard the RTi or LSi line his heart would stop.

    I guess we all hear/believe what we want to....

    Michael

    Edit - then again, he has heard my LSi's. Maybe he just wasn't that impressed. Maybe if I traded them in on a new set of Lifestyle 25's.... :D
    Last edited by McLoki; 04-13-2005 at 09:21 PM.
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  19. #19
    Old School
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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    Hmmm, why doro?....I'm glad you ask Tommy, as I feel in my application, Home Theatre, that it would be a wasted effort for little gain. I know the HT LSi soldiers will get uptight but it's just my opinion. Oh, and Tommy, F off....and stop talking to me.
    Excellent rendition from "The Commitments"....
    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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