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  1. #1

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    Question Surround speakers: Polk Audio FXi5 or RTi6 ?

    Hello-

    I'm trying to decide on which speakers to get for my rear channel speakers. I'm going to be running a 5.1 system, and I would like recommendations on speakers. The two that I'm looking at are:

    Polk Audio FXi5
    Polk Audio RTi6

    If I go with the RTi6, I'm planning on mounting a wall mount bracket (B-Tech BT77) on each wall to support the speakers. It looks like the FXi5 is designed to be flush mounted to a wall, in which case, no support bracket is required.

    I need to get away from speaker stands as the Wife doesn't want to sacrifice the floor space.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    FX's will provide a defused sound field, which is exactly what you want from your suuround speakers. A direct radiating speaker can cause the surround effects to become localized and that can be very distracting when watching a movie.

    You might want to download a copy of Polk Audio's HomeTheater Handbook, it's full of great info.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Z
    FX's will provide a defused sound field, which is exactly what you want from your suuround speakers. A direct radiating speaker can cause the surround effects to become localized and that can be very distracting when watching a movie.

    You might want to download a copy of Polk Audio's HomeTheater Handbook, it's full of great info.
    Frank Z-

    Thanks for the input. I just downloaded the Home Theater Handbook, thanks for the link.

  4. #4

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    I love running the FXi5's in dipole mode, mounted to the sides of the listening position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PolkThug
    I love running the FXi5's in dipole mode, mounted to the sides of the listening position.
    PolkThug-

    Thanks for the reply. That also answers my question on where to mount them...I'll have to read up on dipole mode...

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

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    direct radiating speakers are the way to go for the newer digital formats. You need full range from them also. Direct radiating speaker are better for the new multi channel audio formats also.
    Klipsch Rock!!!!:D ;) But so do polk :)

  7. #7
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    i like the bipole setting on the fx's personally. IT's a nice give and take of direct sound and diffuse sound. That's what I like for movies AND music.
    To me, SACD sounds better with 4bipolar surrounds than 4 monopole surrounds.
    Imo.

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    I Must Agree With Dantfmly. But Aaharvel Is Speaking Clearly As Well!!! I Choose Floorstanding For Surround, But If I Went The Bookshelf Or Surround Route, I'd Go With The Fxi5 In Bipole For Sure.

    POLK SDA-SRS 1.2TL -- ADCOM GFA-5802
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman1235
    I have no facts to back that up, but I never let facts get in the way of my arguments.

  9. #9

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    Dipoles were originally for plain old vanilla Dolby Pro Logic. IMO in today's discreet full range surround channels formats. a monopole will place the sound where the film makers intended it. YMMV

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    Whatever you do, if you set your speakers up, and you can point directly to where the surround sound effect is coming from, then you have failed.

    Experiment and have fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PolkThug
    Whatever you do, if you set your speakers up, and you can point directly to where the surround sound effect is coming from, then you have failed.

    Experiment and have fun.
    exactly.

    when you go to a concert and you hear music coming from beside & behind you- it's reverb. There's not a violinist behind the audience. Imo Bipoles provide a perfect balance between diffuse and direct.

  12. #12

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    If you can point direct radiating speakers a few feet above and behind your listening position - it works great. (this is how my LSi7's are set up)

    If your room - speaker - listening positions do not allow for that, go for the fxi5's.

    Michael
    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)

  13. #13

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    Well, I got the 'nod from the Better Half to mount speakers on each of the side walls in our family room (my home theater). It looks like I will be going with the RTi6 on the mounts instead of the FXi5s...that is unless I missed the point of the advice from this thread, and the info in the HT Guide.


  14. #14
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    I'm still against Direct Radiating speakers for side surround speakers. You gotta do what works best for you and the wife though.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

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    Agree with Frank, direct radiating for side surrounds is a bit distracting, they work best for rear surrounds - especially for music listening to allow a stereo field behind you as well... as long as you're in the sweet spot of course.

    If I was doing side surrounds I'd go with FXi's in a heartbeat. And you could probably go with the FXi3's and save some cash unless you have money that needs spending. The 5's give extra bass output, but that's just more surround distraction in my book.
    Dodd Audio ELP [ Tubes ] // Harman Kardon AVR330 // Parasound HCA-1203A // Denon DVD-2900
    Polk Audio LSi9, LSiC, LSi 7 // HSU STF-2 // Signal Cable Interconnects (SG BW/A2/MP)

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    lomic's right. anyway, crossed over at 80hz, how big could the improvement possibly be from going to an fxi3 to an fxi5.

    I love my 4 f/x speakers. I wouldn't put monopole to the sides or rear for anything, not even for SACD playback.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by lomic
    ...you could probably go with the FXi3's and save some cash unless you have money that needs spending.
    FrankZ/lomic/aaharvel-

    Thanks for the reply...money that needs spending...now THAT'S funny.

    I think that I'll take your guys advice, and look into the FXi3s for the side surrounds.

    Thanks again.

  18. #18

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    Go to hometheatermag.com as there is an article about a test they did with a panel of 4 or 5 people about this very subject. You can do a search and find it in the archives. In short, the majority of the panel like bipole/dipoles at both side and rear positions, and if a monopole (or direct radiator) has to be used, put them on the sides. That having either one or two monopole direct radiating speakers in the rear was the least favorable option of the panel out of the four possibilities of combinations (direct sides/dipole rears, all monopoles, all dipoles, or dipole side/monopole rear).

    Here is exactly what the four people in the panel said (notice how 4 out of 4 picked rear dipoles

    Face Off: Surround-Speaker-Configuration Wars: Page 6

    What Do You Think?
    I've always been big on clear, distinct, directional sound. I want to hear exactly where sounds are coming from. Once the terms monopole and dipole were explained to me, I assumed that monopole speakers were for me—they shoot the sound right at you, so you can hear where it's coming from. This is why I was so surprised with the results of this blind test. I consistently preferred configurations that included dipole speakers. Ultimately, I preferred the all-dipole configuration; however, having at least one set of dipoles (either on the sides or in the back) still filled in the gaps and made me feel like I was a part of the action.
    When it came down to picking between one surround back speaker or two, I definitely preferred two. I still want distinct, directional sound, though. With the rear monopoles, sounds that I thought should be directly behind me often seemed to come from one side. I was pleasantly surprised to find that using dipole speakers in the rear eliminated this problem.

    Of course, the sound is also affected by the listener's location. I happened to be sitting in the exact middle of the room, and the room was a perfect rectangle with no open doorways or windows. (These people at HT take their listening seriously.) From this location, I definitely preferred all dipoles with a dual-rear-speaker configuration. However, I also thought the sound was good with monopoles on the sides, as long as dual dipoles were used in the rear.—Brandon Dahl

    I showed up at the studio on a sunny Saturday afternoon, ready to sacrifice my day to the cause of better sound. After eating a Carl's Jr. Superstar and fries (Mike's bribe to get us there), I was ready to sit back and let my ears do the work. We compared the common 5.1 speaker setup with 6.1- and 7.1-channel configurations and then compared both dipole and monopole versions of those arrangements.

    Unlike the other listeners, I liked having just one speaker for the back channel, although I did like the sound of the dipole more than that of the monopole. With two speakers in the back, there was almost too much going on. Sound seemed to bounce around. In a room larger than the one I was digesting in (which was 21 feet by 15 feet), two speakers may be necessary. But in a room the size of HT's listening room (or smaller), one speaker was just fine. With one dipole, I thought the sound was clearer, but not to the point of being distractingly obvious. It seemed to add a more even flow when sounds traveled from the right surround speaker to the left. I'd say that you can't really go wrong either way. Two surround back speakers are better than none, but, in my opinion, one was simply more satisfying.—John Martorano

    Apparently, we didn't have any die-hard Quadraphonic fans on our listening panel. Whenever I espouse the benefits of dipole speakers for surround sound, I'm usually yelled at by some older (or, shall I say, more chronologically experienced) gentleman who says that Quad was the best. These folks always insist, sometimes violently, that surround systems should, like old Quad systems, consist of five identical full-range loudspeakers. These people seem to forget that five full-range speakers are impractical for the vast majority of users and that Quad was, like 8-track, a colossal failure.

    That being said and having witnessed the outcome of our direct-versus-diffuse, single-versus-dual Surround EX speaker configuration Face Off (by far the most wordy Face Off title ever), I can continue to recommend dipole speakers for the majority of installations. Sure, for the handful of action movies that utilize discrete effects for a small portion of the film, monopole speakers might be better. However, to me, the benefits these speakers may add to those scenes don't outweigh the distractions they cause with other, more-ambient sounds. Dipoles, on the other hand, only soften the more-discrete effects while enhancing the majority of diffuse sounds. Besides, since the people who like the bizarre or, as Jason put it, "creative" mixing of some 5.1 music CDs are likely the same people who liked Quad stereos, I don't care if they complain. They were going to anyway, assuming they even made it past the first paragraph. For the rest of us, dipoles will offer enveloping sound that won't distract from the action onscreen. —Mike Wood

    Of the various surround setups we listened to, I preferred the dual rear Surround EX speakers, as opposed to the single one. I liked the fuller, more-enveloping sound. Even though the EX channel is a decoded mono channel, the two rear speakers seemed to create a rear stereo effect.

    In the dual-rear-surround speaker configuration, I preferred monopole side surrounds with dual dipoles in back. This seemed to offer the best of both worlds on software that has discretely placed surround information and software that has diffused ambient surround sounds. However, the all-dipole surround system came in a very close second and seemed to do almost as good on making the discrete/localized information just as aggressive and exciting. More tests with other EX software might be helpful.

    I preferred monopoles for the multichannel music software that was "creatively" mixed with a different instrument in each channel and dipoles for the traditional "ambient/audience/ reverb" surrounds.

    All things considered, I'd go with the monopole side surrounds and dual dipole back surrounds, as this setup offers more flexibility. And, if you can switch your speakers like the M&Ks, all the better.—Jason Koehler

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

  19. #19

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    That is a huge, but informative post there, Sexy. ;) It would have taken me an hour to type all that. :D

    IMO, the RTis would be wasted in surround mode, so I would go with the FXis.
    "SOME PEOPLE CALL ME MAURICE,
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    I copied and pasted it, believe me I would not have spent the time it would have took to type all that out!

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsexy1
    I copied and pasted it, believe me I would not have spent the time it would have took to type all that out!
    bigsexy1-

    Thanks for posting the comments. I found it to be a very informative read.

    Thanks again.

    ND13-

    Thanks for your input as well. I think that I am going to go with the FXi3 surrounds.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ND13
    That is a huge, but informative post there, Sexy. ;) It would have taken me an hour to type all that. :D

    IMO, the RTis would be wasted in surround mode, so I would go with the FXis.
    http://www.hometheatermag.com/loudsp...25/index1.html

    there you go. 2 seconds with Google. ;)

  23. #23

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    Great post BigS.

    I have never seen a setup where there were direct in the side surrounds and dipole in the rear. Will definately be worth checking out when I am ready to make that jump. I do wish the LSiFX speakers weren't so darn HUGE though.....

    Michael
    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)

  24. #24

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    Hey Frank.....

    Was looking at your showcase and noticed that you are running LSi7's in your surround rear positions and LSiFx in your surround side positions.

    Based on the article that BigS listed, the best effect (if you like action movies) would be from reversing those 2 positions. (7's on the side, Fx's on the back)

    If it is not to much trouble, could you try it that way for a movie or two and report back which method you like better and why? It looks like both of yours are mounted from the keyhole slot on the speaker so switching them may not be to hard. If I am incorrect or you just dont feel like trying it - thats fine as well. :)

    Thanks,

    Michael
    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)

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