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  1. #1

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    Default Finally got to hear RTi vs LSi

    Finally drove the hour to the nearest Fry's (the only place in Portland area with the full Polk lineup).

    First, Fry's did have a dedicated listening room of just Polk's. Second, it was being powered off I believe an HK 85 watt/channel AVR.

    I started by bringing in Joe Jackson's Body and Soul cd. For those who don't know the entire album was recorded in a sound hall using minimal miking. I consider it to be an excellent choice of testing depth, imaging and frequencies.

    I began by listening to the RTi6, as it sounds very close to my Celestion SL6si with a deeper low end. I then switched to the LSi7. The first thing I noticed was a volume drop. The 6 Ohm load did have a small but noticeable impact. The 7's bring forth a deeper sound stage and a lower bass. Jackson's voice was less harsh and warmer.

    The LSi9 were next. Another drop in volume was obvious. As has been stated before, as good as Hk is, a dedicated quality amp is needed to drive the 9's. It sounded like the speeakers were tying to play through a curtain. In comparison to the 7's the extra drive does add detail and avoids the roll off of certain frequency points. The depth and instrument placement was muddled. Only during a solo piano passage did the 9's exhibit the true quality they are known for.

    Next, I asked to switch to the RTi8, which were placed much farther apart than the 9's. The first thing i noticed was the brightness. not overbearing by any means, but forward for sure. The 8 ohm load allowed the HK to make these cabinets sing! The soundstage was huge. instruments came from all over the room. I imagine this is what both the 9's, 7's would sound like with a quality separate amp like Adcom, etc.. The highs did have a tendency to dominate the mid frequencies a bit. Turning down the treble a bit I imagine would assist in masking this flaw.

    Continuing forth, I turned to the RTi10's. The 10's give a fuller low end with a bit more detail. But I suspect that they are truer to being a 6 ohm than an 8, as they suffer from the same volume drop.

    I switched back and forth several times over the first five songs of "Body and Soul". my final thoughts for choosing my new speakers are these:
    if I want to truly enjoy the LSi's or the RTi10's, my HK AVR 75 receiver needs to become a preamp. This was something I was hoping to avoid. Second, i need to return to Fry's when I have a good 90 min. with a compilation CD of all types of music. Third, I must make sure that my salesperson, Roy, is around, his patience in repeating track sections and understanding that with me, the less said, the better. Fourth, the stain cherry finish on the RTi8's is absolutely gorgeous. The best looking piece of speaker cabinets this side of the Tyler Acoustics. The cherry veneer on the LSi's look downright fake in comparison, though i know they are not.

    Ok, everyone. Agree, Disagree.

  2. #2

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    you finally got to listen to them, but you didn't HEAR the LSi's... ;) :D
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

    Home Setup: Sony VPL-VW85 Projo, 92" Stewart Firehawk, Pioneer Elite SC-65, PS3, RTi12 fronts, CSi5, FXi6 rears, RTi6 surround backs, RTi4 height, MFW-15 Subwoofer.

    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  3. #3
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    i agree with Toxis.

    I have a H/K 235- and some rti4's. Even after I bought Adcom amps and relinquished the h/k to pre/pro duty- the Rti-4's came alive.

    I can only imagine how much better the LSI's would sound if connected to a separate amplifier.

  4. #4

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    Toxis, aaharvel:
    No truer words were typed. Do you think my assumption about the RTi10's being closer to a 6 Ohm are correct? One other thing I noticed about the 10's was the midrange seemed a bit muted. The detail was greater in the low end which I did appreciate. Any thoughts?

  5. #5
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    i'm sorry i have no experience with the 10's or 12's.

    I've only heard the 6's and the 4's- because i'm a bookshelf speaker guy over floorstanders, and even then I thought the 4's sounded better.

  6. #6

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    aaharvel:
    Normally, I am a bookshelf fan myself. But those cherry cabinets and full sound hasleft my mind open to the possibility.

  7. #7

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    I appreciate your observations, but I don't agree with your assumption that the relative volume drop when going from one speaker to the other is due to a lower impedance. For that to be the case, the H/K amp would have to be truly---, I mean really, gutless-- and in my experience, that's not the case. I think the volume differences could only be attributed to actual differences in the sensitivities of the speakers in question. Even given two speakers with equal rated sensitivity, it's not going to be unusual for one of them to be perceived as louder than the other one. There are lots of factors involved, from placement issues, to overall tonal balance.

    There's a lot more to impedance of a speaker system than the "nominal" rating would have you think. Just a guess, but I bet that all the Polks you aduitioned could be rated 4 Ohms, depending on who is making the call, and their interpretation of the impedance curve. As far as I know, there is no set-in-stone standard for rating "nominal" impedance. All of them would sound better connected to a beefier amp.

    Jason

  8. #8

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    Jason:
    You bring up an interesting point. First, I am a 25 year owner of HK equipment and I swear by the stuff. Be as that may, from my knowledge, HK ultrawide bandwith/high current in receivers is not continuous but available in quick punches for low ohm moments.

    Taking that into consideration with the fact that the LSi series are all 4 ohm rated (although the 7's were tested at 6 ohm by an audio magazine), and hearing the similarity of the output. I feel compelled to agree with the majority in here that point to the need for a separate amp to drive the LSi's and the RTi10-12's.

    Anyway, I hope this all leads to an interesting and thorough discussion.

    Mark

  9. #9

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    While I am glad you got your listen on, Fry's does a phenomenally piss poor job of setting up any of their equipment. Speakers and TVs both.

    So, I further emphasize, you really have not heard them yet. Its unfortunate. I think they can sound amazing, but, alas, not at Fry's. I could be wrong in your particular situation, though.

    Bring a pair home to demo if you can.

  10. #10

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    I wish I had a highline store to properly demo, unfortunately, no such dealer exists here in the Portland area. Having been involded in audio for 25+ years including sales, Fry's setup though far from ideal, is serviceable. Their biggest weakness is simply they do not carry separate amplifier components.

    I'm guessing this is the after-effects of going with CC, etc. for retailing. If I was with Polk Audio, I would search out retailers new to the game and offer select deals to get the LSi's in the door. Audiophiles/enthusiasts won't give Polk a chance unless they get to A/B them against high quality competition.

  11. #11

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    I posted similar findings before, even the AVR430 could not do justice to the RTi10, but the AVR630 could. The RTi10 is rated 8 ohms but with so many drivers, it will need a lot of current. HK receivers can provide high instantaneous current but not on continuous basis. Their power supply may be huge but their amps may not be able to handle low impedance, or inefficient speakers with multiple drivers such as the LSI (low impedance) and the RTi10/12 (multiple drivers).

    If you are serious about those RTi10 or LSi9, either go separates, or get an AVR7300 (the 3805 is ok too if you want to spend less). The AVR630/635 should be fine but may still be marginal, and will likely run hotter than you want them to.
    Last edited by shiu; 06-23-2005 at 09:14 PM.

  12. #12

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    As far as higher end dealers, you may want to take a trip to Clackamas or Beaverton and check out Magnolia Hi-Fi. They have some really great amps and speakers.
    Amps: B&K, Primare, McIntosh (in OR and WA), and Krell for the higher end stuff. B&K is actually not quite the heft or build of Krell and McIntosh, but their amps are still awesome and would have no problem running the LSi speakers. Even their receivers would do it fine ($3100 for the 5 channel, $3300 for the 7 channel).
    Granted they are expensive, but shouldn't it be for better speakers?
    And as far as the argument that there is no volume increase betwen Rti and LSi, that is absolutely wrong. There is definitely a volume increase on speakers with lower impedance. I hear it all the time. Go from 8 Ohm to 4 Ohm speakers, and it is definitely louder due the added wattage. Most amps put out more watts for lower impedance, thus the bump in volume. It's just the basic realtiy.
    Current System:

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  13. #13

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    ah, but when you have an LSi that is much more inefficient than the RTi's, doesn't that come into play as well? ;)
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

    Home Setup: Sony VPL-VW85 Projo, 92" Stewart Firehawk, Pioneer Elite SC-65, PS3, RTi12 fronts, CSi5, FXi6 rears, RTi6 surround backs, RTi4 height, MFW-15 Subwoofer.

    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  14. #14

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    Gregure:
    Magnolia is a nice shop, but they have cut back on their audio offerings, choosing to focus on video. I will probably upgrade to Adcom within a year, as it is affordable and when I was younger I had a GFA-555 hooked into a Conrad Johnson PV-7.

    Who knows what will happen at this point, I do know I'm having fun right now.
    Mark

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