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  1. #1

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    Default SDA1C vs. Polk's latest

    As a longtime SDA lover/owner, I am curious about the current Polk lineup vs. the SDA sound. More specifically, what are the benefits of the RTi and LSi speakers? How do they sound compared to the traditional SDA sound - are they warmer, more detailed, have better transient response, etc?

    If anyone who has extensive listening time to these different speakers could comment it would be much appreciated.

    Kevin

  2. #2

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    Do a search on "LSi15 vs. SDA 1C".

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight
    Do a search on "LSi15 vs. SDA 1C".
    I got no matches on the above. However, I entered "LSi SDA' and got some hits.
    Last edited by dbnh; 04-19-2006 at 06:06 PM.

  4. #4

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    Try it without the period after "vs".

  5. #5
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    Man that search made me empathize with anyone, newbie or vet, trying to use the site's search engine... 8 pages of garage... three nuggets...

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hlight=lsi+sda

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hlight=lsi+sda

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hlight=lsi+sda

    I'm betting DK was thinking of the one in the middle.
    More later,
    Tour...
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  6. #6

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    Thanks for the help although using the search function only really turned up good information from DarqueKnight and Mantis. I was curious if anyone had done extensive listening to any of Polk's current lineup (LSi, RTi) and the something from the SDA era speakers. In the end though, and this is probably more true of speakers than anything else, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I will try to find some places to listen to the new Polks to see how they compare to my 1Cs.

    Again thanks for the review DK.

    Kevin

  7. #7

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    You'll keep the 1C's and wonder why they ever stopped making them.
    '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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    I certainly do!!!!! yea I know, to big, to this, to that. What can I say, I am stuck on old, but then I am aging, like good wine with a bit of gas now and then.

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  9. #9
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    Everything is relative... Compared to you big daddy, even the SRS's aren't that big.

    Ditto on the old... ;)

    Kevin,
    You seem determined to hear for yourself, and that's the way it should be.

    There are a ton of LSi lovers here. There are a ton of SDA lovers here. And there's a fair number in both camps, but not all that many... at least I'm having trouble thinking of "many" off of the top of my head. Hummmmm... might be time for a Poll...

    Me? I've demoed all the LSi's some spending the most time with the 9's, and I'm lukewarm on them. They are just too laid back for my tastes. I don't feel as involved in the music, get bored and feel like moving on in relatively short order.

    Why? Surprisingly I think it's less of an SDA/ non-SDA issue than it is tonal. Given that the bulk of my time has been with the 9's, you might think it's a bass issue, but that's not the case either. Best I can describe is that the LSi's tweeter is just a bit too "soft" for my ears.

    But that's me, and your results may vary... Have fun...
    Last edited by Tour2ma; 04-21-2006 at 02:34 AM.
    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

  10. #10

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    Tour,

    Those are exactly the type of comments I was looking for. Although I do intend to find some LSi's to listen to I now have some other input on what to look for in terms of differences between the speaker types. I find that I like many speakers but only a select few "involve" me in the music as you put it. The SDA's have always done this (and much more so than any other speaker) but I am always interested in hearing other speakers, particularly from a company (Polk) whose speakers all tend to please me.

    Kevin

  11. #11

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    I used to own a pair of polk rt1000,s. They had a 6" woofer that was integrated with the tweeter on the top. On the bottom it had a 6" amplified sub. The 2 stereo places that I went to said this was their best sounding speaker in the house. Like a fool I bought em and wow was I dissapointed. The only thing good thing about them was getting rid of them. Lost a fair amount of money in the process by selling those stinkers on the used market to. It soured my stomach on polk products for a looong time. Along comes a good deal on some sda 2.3's and I kinda forget how bad those rt's treated me and take a chance. Wow am I glad I did. The big sda's are in a class of their own. Anything any normal speaker can do I feel the sda's can do better. So my 2 cents worth is the sda's are by far the best of the polk speakers I've heard. I haven't bothered with hearing lsi's or any other newer polk product because I already know it won't hold a candle to the older sda's.

  12. #12

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    MotorStereo,

    Thanks for the info, however, I am still curious about the RTi/LSi sound. As someone pointed out above, I wonder why they discontinued the SDA line and can only assume it was for something better sonically. However I do realize that some people weight how they select a speaker differently - for me its all about how it sounds and the amount of impact and involvement the speaker brings to the music. But the SDAs do tend to run big, are somewhat finicky about how they are placed, are not video shielded, and seem to be overkill to many casual listeners (you can guess who I am talking about here and if left to her my beloved SDA1Cs would be in the garage with the pickup that she loves as much as the speakers). And having never heard the LSi's (and only casually listened to the RTi's) I am curious how they would sound.

    Plus, I just love to demo speakers. Both home and car (I spend far to much time sitting in the garage in said pickup listening to my Polk MM6's and fiddling with my time alignment and parametric EQ but that is one place I seem to be able to get some peace and music).

    Kevin

  13. #13

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    Sub/sats, and Wife Approval Factor or the lack of killed the SDAs. Simple as that.

    Everyone and their dog bought the ridiculous marketing that Bose did for big sound out of tiny speakers. Polk jumped on that bandwagon and did well with their own sub/sat models that extended into the surround units well known throughout the world today.

    I like the SDA sound even though it isn't the most accurate speaker made. The SDA did many things well including tight controlled bass due to the passive radiator design, that really is the best of both worlds.

    I agree with Bruce on the SDA being a more lively, involving speaker than the LSi line and part of that is due to the use of the silver coil tweets we still use.

    I do like the LSis that I have heard, and my house is full of RTis in theater usage, so I guess each has its place in my heart.

  14. #14

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    As someone pointed out above, I wonder why they discontinued the SDA line and can only assume it was for something better sonically.
    Not even close.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  15. #15

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    I own/enjoy both LSi's and SDA's.

    I own LSi9's and SDA SRS 2.3tl's. I've previously owned LSi7's and SDA 2b's and CRS+'s

    I find the LSi's more detailed, more crisp with smooth, laid back highs. I agree with Tour that the highs are smooth to the point of being unemotional.

    The SDA's exhibit good (especially considering the driver arrays) top to bottom coherence. Bass is more natural sounding. Soundstaging, well, that's a given.

    Essentially, IMHO, the LSi is a more analytical speaker where the SDA is a more forgiving and just plain FUN speaker to listen to. I prefer SDA, however, YMMV.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  16. #16

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    Another thing that sped the demise of SDA's....the Home Theatre movement.

    I don't think much could be added to the previous comments regarding SDA vs LSi. I prefer the LSi7 & LSi9 over the larger models. I'll always keep a pair of each in the closet but I don't really prefer one over the other, as they are completely different speakers.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinLWhitaker
    I wonder why they discontinued the SDA line and can only assume it was for something better sonically.
    You know what they say about assuming something don't you?;)
    polkaudio speakers: SDA-SRS-2.3 (modified) SDA-2B SDA-CRS+ RT3000p CS400i LF-14 Monitor 7B

  18. #18

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    Doro nailed it. The demise of SDA had nothing to do with the speaker itself...market forces killed it.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  19. #19

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    Here's my thoughts on LSi9's.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...highlight=lsi9

    Wes
    Link: http://polkarmy.com/forums

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  20. #20

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    Default If SDA's Were Sooooooooo Great.......?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinLWhitaker
    I wonder why they discontinued the SDA line and can only assume it was for something better sonically.
    I wonder why people automatically assume that the SDA series was discontinued because something was "wrong" with them or because the company "abandoned" them for something "better". My favorite is the tired old "Well, if SDA's were so great, why did they stop making them?". It is as if nothing that was good was ever discontinued. As other members have mentioned, there were a variety of factors that contributed to the SDA series discontinuance. None of them had anything to do with any real or perceived "quality" issues. If you are a producer of goods or services, whether it is shoes, automobiles, television programs, widjits, or speakers, there simply comes a time when you have to move in a different direction and do something else.

    Sure, the SDA series was not perfect by any measure, but nothing conceived by the mind of man and made by the hands of man ever has been or ever will be. Nevertheless, consider the fact that SDA's have stood the test of time and still enjoy a sizeable and enthusiastic following 24 years after their market introduction. How many other products, either within or outside the field of audio, can make such a claim to fame?

    The SDA series enjoyed a very successful nine year production run (1982 - 1991). That was an extremely long time for a series of specialized consumer electronics products. Even after the series ceased production, Polk Audio did not abandon it. The company still provides parts (and even improved replacement parts), technical support, and customer support for the SDA series 15 years after the series official discontinuace.

  21. #21

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    I've had most of the SDA's and most of the LSi's. While the LSi's are extremely good, they didn't give me the reality of sound that the SDA's do. Real life performance is what I'm talking about. The LSi's seem to be more acurate but sound more like reproduced sound rather than sounding like the instruments are physically in your listening room like the SDA's. Just my opinion.
    madmax

    Edit: Just thought I would mention that I also liked the LS-90's a little better than the LSi's too.
    Last edited by madmax; 04-22-2006 at 06:04 PM.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

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  22. #22
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    Since the thread was initially LSi v SDA, I stuck to that, but since it's opening up now... in part due to a post by the thread starter, here goes...

    Agree theat the LS-90 is an often overlooked, non-SDA gem in the Polk line. Another oft mentioned gem is the Monitor 7, and especially the earliest ones with the Peerless tweeter. AS RuSsMan has more or less put it many times here:
    "It's the speaker that took Polk Audio out of the garage and into the bigtime."

    On the demise of the SDA... Kevin it's a question we've pondered here on many occasions, and have talked adnaseum about to any Polk Exec foolish enough to attend one of the Fest's. We've also plotted the SDA's reascension to the Polk Audio throne. In part it's why many of us cheered at the emergence of the SurroundBar... at least the technology is back in play.
    Here are a couple links, FYI:
    Why don't Polk make the SDA's anymore?
    Why did Polk abandon the SDA approach?

    On RTi's... While they're generally considered more of an HT speaker, they are my fav's of the current lineup. They are considered by most to be brighter sounding than the LSi's, and therefore less desirable. However, for those like DG and I, who are clinging to our old, silver-coil SL-2000's, the RTi's sound just fine.

    Of the RTi's the 10 is my favorite. Had I the need for a pair of modern Polks, I'd snap a pair of these up without hesitation.
    Last edited by Kris Siegel; 04-24-2006 at 02:02 PM.
    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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