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  1. #1

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    Default how do our sda-1b /1-c compare to more modern

    floorstanders ?
    I am wondering / pondering a pair of Gallos or Odyssey Loreleis...
    of course these are in the 2.5 range where as my 1-B's I assume are marketable about $475/500 now with the updated silk tweeters.

    has anyone heard these and how do our Polks compare?
    80 percent as good ?
    I know a lot of Polkies like Maggies too and have heard
    Theils are well regarded.

  2. #2

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    I can't imagine another speaker regardless of cost that can project the amazing soundstage SDA's do. In stock form I'd say there are many newer designs that can better them in overall performance, but add the RD0's and some Sonic caps into the mix and I 'd put them against many top contenders.

    That being said there are so many alternate design philosophies and many ways to execute a great speaker that in many cases a great deal of manufacturer's create their own signature sound and performance.

    You'll have to be more specific about what you are looking to get from a speaker because the SDA's have so many virtues that are unique to them that if you are looking to get the same from another more modern speaker it isn't available.

    The SDA soundstage isn't for everyone especially those that really like traditional (what I like to call) 2 dimensional sound from a conventional array of speakers. I can't think of a single fault for my SDA 1C's w/RD0's and Sonic caps other than their large foot print. These will probably never leave my possession.

    Iíve compared them directly with my LSi 9ís which I really like and to me there was no comparison. The SDAís did everything better except I still give a very slight edge to the Vifa tweeter for itís smoothness and itís completely effortless presentation. However, the LSiís sounds like a very closed in 2 dimensional speaker after hearing the SDAís. There are things missing on the LSiís, little sounds in the background which come thru very clear on the SDAís that just canít be heard on the LSiís. The LSiís ďlayerĒ the presentation fairly well (when the recording calls for it) but the SDAís add atleast another 2-3 layers into the music.

    I just canít imagine another speaker with traditional drivers that can create this wonderful layering and precise placement of instruments on really well recorded material. Electrostatic panels or ribbons or planar speakers notwithstanding.

    One speaker I think could best it is the Carver Amazings. Beyond that no other speaker will give you what the SDAís give in spades.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!!

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  3. #3

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    yo H9 , thanks for that thorough post.

    not sure what I am looking exactly 'cept sounding like a live instruments in the room, and just gettin an upgrade bug. I listen mostly to classical and rock. today have spun a Mozart sym and Brahms violin conc.

    Weekend nights might watch a Rush or Roger Waters DVD with friends, etc...so eclectic tastes.

    I've never heard planar speakers or the others I've noted,
    no stereo shops in my area.
    a friend I used to know and repsect music opinions, loved his Vandersteens too.

    I think modern speaks have better xovers than a stock sda-at least the Odyssey Loreleis do. And the cabinet bracing and structure are really meticulous. It seems modern designs tend to be 'narrow and deep' versus wide like the sda. think this has to do with relections off the front surface.

    OldSyc

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    heiney9,
    Well put. I was thinking the same but could not put in words. Nobody can go wrong with SDA's. Sound stage can only be explaned by hearing them.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSycamoreTree View Post
    yo H9 , thanks for that thorough post.

    not sure what I am looking exactly 'cept sounding like a live instruments in the room, and just gettin an upgrade bug. I listen mostly to classical and rock. today have spun a Mozart sym and Brahms violin conc.

    Weekend nights might watch a Rush or Roger Waters DVD with friends, etc...so eclectic tastes.

    I've never heard planar speakers or the others I've noted,
    no stereo shops in my area.
    a friend I used to know and repsect music opinions, loved his Vandersteens too.

    I think modern speaks have better xovers than a stock sda-at least the Odyssey Loreleis do. And the cabinet bracing and structure are really meticulous. It seems modern designs tend to be 'narrow and deep' versus wide like the sda. think this has to do with relections off the front surface.

    OldSyc
    I'm at work and I'd love to go into more discussion (will later) but just don't get rid of your SDA's until you've decided on something else and had a chance to compare. Bracing and x-over's aside I've listened for any coloration or cabinet resonance on my 1C's and so far my 5b's, rta 11's and Lsi's 9 have colored the music. With the 1C's I've listened to problem recordings and they don't seem to have any issue's or very slight issues. Obviously the newer the SDA the better the cabinet, etc. I can highly rec. the x-0ver freshening with Sonic caps or their equivelent because it will take them to the next level.

    The SDA's have to have a wide baffle to accomodate the dimensional drivers and I don't see reflections being an issue with SDA's.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  6. #6

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    that's the burden of someone that owns a good quality used speaker. the amount of money to get a significant improvement (subject to opinion of course) is huge.

    I had SDA 1B's with the RDO tweets but not crossover mods. loved em, but sold them to try other things. I have a couple friends that still ran them highest, or close to the highest in terms of favorite speaker I (or they) have owned. I have to assume it was the soundstage that did it. The Carver Amazings are the only one's that could have been contrued of matching or surpasing it, depending on the music.

    I have an in law with a pair of what appears to be pristine SDA 1C's. I saw them at his house, but hooked up to a sony reciever, so I assumed a demo would not garner much value. I hear how some here consider the 1C a step up from the 1B. I would love to get my hands on them just to get back in the SDA club.
    Theater - Polk LSi15, LSiC, LSi9 speaks, DIY Sub (142.5L box, SVS plus driver, 500 Watt plate amp)...Outlaw 990 pre/pro, Carver TFM45, 2 X Outlaw M200 . Rotel RB980 . PS3, Monster 3600 power center

    2 Channel -
    Anthem Pre 2l, Jolida JD100 CD player, CAL Sigma DAC, Carver m4.0, Polk LSi9 w external modified Crossovers (thanks Trey!)

  7. #7

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    The RDO's do make a hugh difference in the sound from the SDA/SRS's.
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

  8. #8
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    I prefer the bass extension of a 3-way speaker. The MW6503's just aren't the be-all/end-all of driver technology. They are ok. But, modern drivers are simply better.

  9. #9

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    As usual, I'll have to disagree with Ron. Doped paper drivers are still considered one of the finest, having a more natural sound to them. In fact, many high end speaker companies have gone back to them.

    -3dB at 10Hz.....'nuff said about SDA bass response.

    It seems modern designs tend to be 'narrow and deep' versus wide like the sda. think this has to do with relections off the front surface.
    Nah, it has to do with WAF.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    As usual, I'll have to disagree with Ron.
    I think that is something we all have to do. ;)


    I'm sure for $3K+ you can top them in some areas although I'm not sure why you would want to. Just keep putting more and more money in the source and amplification and they keep on responding. Never seen anything like it!

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  11. #11

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    yes with the 1b's I do hear every upgrade to components so far have done a better amp, phono cartridge and some killer IC cables called MAC Palladium. damn these cables are somethin else for the money: much deeper bass , air around the instruments, and brought Roger Waters voice and the guitars of Snowy and Doyle into my room ("In The Flesh" DVD.)

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rskarvan View Post
    I prefer the bass extension of a 3-way speaker. The MW6503's just aren't the be-all/end-all of driver technology. They are ok. But, modern drivers are simply better.

    I'd have to diagree as well. Certainly there are some better technology/designs out there but at what cost? I have never heard bass as clean as those from my 1C's. Beyond the soundstage I'd have to say the bass performance is right up there as far as a strong point for the 1C's. Not only in extension but completely undistorted and natural. I think the bset word I could use is Organic.

    Bottom line is sure there are some speakers of today that could beat the SDA's in certain area's but as Max said why would you want to spend that kind of money; just keep the SDA's and use the funds for better and better electronics.

    H9

    P.s. I though the LSi line was the cats meow as far as driver technology, design and execution and they don't hold a candle to my SDA 1C's. I prefer the 1C's by a wide margin and that's even after hearing LSi 15's. Hands down buying these from Normanality is the best audio decision I've made in a long time.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  13. #13

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    Wow, not much commenting here from the SDA people. I thought this thread might generate a little more discussion.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  14. #14

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    When I decided to try something new for speakers, it took a lot just to best what my SDA-2A's with RDO tweeters could do. I found out real quick that it was going to take a serious upgrade to best them. What I found is that what I liked about the planer speakers, Magnepan's to be specific, were some of the same characteristics I liked about SDA's. Big wide open sound stage, depth of the sound stage that puts the music in your lap, and detail combined with smooth non-edgy sound. The Magnepan's won't shake a room like a pair of SDA's, and if that was what I wanted I would be using SDA SRS speakers. There are a lot of very good speakers on the market, new and used. SDA's are fantastic, but don't be afraid to experiment. Just don't sell the SDA's and you can always come home. Matt Polk will leave the light on for you ;)
    DKG999
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    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  15. #15

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    First, I would like to make a couple of absolutes.

    1st. You will never find a set of speakers with a soundstage as wide as the SDA/SRS series. Polk, if I remember correctly, owns the patent to SDA technology... so unless they build more SDAs, this is as good as it gets.

    2nd. To get the same amount of *controlled* full range sound, the costs would be quite high, my guess is somewhere in the $4k-$5k range, unless you go floorstanders with a very good subwoofer. My SDA-1Bs, which I love, can hit nice and strong at 20hz. With it digging down to 14hz on the 1Bs, you will be very hard pressed to find a pair of towers that can match the overall range, regardless of price.

    You can do better than SDAs in terms of precision, tonality, and overall sound quality, but at what cost?

    That said, I'd say upgrade the rest of your gear, upgrade the tweeters, do some room preparation such as bass traps and acoustic panels.
    Lovin that music year after year.

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  16. #16

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    To get the same amount of *controlled* full range sound, the costs would be quite high, my guess is somewhere in the $4k-$5k range
    Ha! You're too low. I've heard $40K speakers that didn't come close to sounding as good as SDA's.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  17. #17

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    I prefer the bass extension of a 3-way speaker. The MW6503's just aren't the be-all/end-all of driver technology. They are ok. But, modern drivers are simply better.
    I will disagree as well. Especially considering that the 1C's come with 6510's and 6511's. And the 1B's come with 6509's.

    How does the performance of the 6503 come into play?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Ha! You're too low. I've heard $40K speakers that didn't come close to sounding as good as SDA's.
    Sure, that can happen. However, I consider a speaker like the SDA-1C worth $4K-$5K in actual performance value.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  19. #19

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    Yeah, you're right. I got carried away and forgot we're taking about 1C's.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  20. #20

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    As much as I like my SDA1Cs, claims of real 14-20hz performance is a stretch guys, even considering room loading. If someone is really getting that type of bass extension, show me the graph. Polk doesn't even make a sub that will do 14hz................

    I do consider them to be one of the best $500 buys out there in used gear, being a better speaker for small/mid-size rooms than their bigger SRS brothers. Once I got my 1Cs, I spent my upgrade dollars on better sources and power and haven't looked back. With SDAs, its all about soundstage though. Accuracy is good, soundstage is unequalled.

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