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Thread: RT55 vs RT55i

  1. #1

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    Default RT55 vs RT55i

    Hey everyone, I have a great CS245i that I want to pair with some upgraded stuff from e-Bay or CL. As part of my quest, I was wondering how the RT55 compares to the RT55i. There is no information on the Polk Audio website that I can find on the former (but a full specifications sheet on the latter). At what price are the RT55 a proverbial "good deal"? Should I hold back until I find some RT35i or RT55i instead? What do you guys think and what would you do in my situation (I know it's a stupid question, but try for a clever answer anyway!)?

    P.S. I am using a (modest) harman/kardon 147 with "New MiniMonitors" at the moment.

  2. #2

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    Default Some old posts ...

    OK, so I feel a bit stupid now: I did a bit of searching and came up with quite a few old threads (August 2002 - December 2005) mentioning possible differences:
    - wood vs. vinyl,
    - different crossover frequency,
    - blue driver vs. black driver appearance,
    - RT55 may "bottom out", whereas RT55i seems to handle low frequencies better.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...highlight=RT55
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...highlight=RT55
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...highlight=RT55
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...highlight=RT55
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...highlight=RT55

    Review from October 2006:
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...highlight=RT55

    Anything else to add guys, now that it's been almost two years since the last comparison? Thanks in advance!

  3. #3

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    The 245i is best matched with the RT55i model. Each model change will affect the timbre of the line.

    Both 55s were some of Polks nicer sounding bookshelf models since their sheer size helps them lose the boxiness many small speakers possess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Gardner View Post
    The 245i is best matched with the RT55i model. Each model change will affect the timbre of the line. ...
    Thanks Dennis! I was afraid of that. Of course, the "New MiniMonitors" aren't exactly a perfect match with the CS245i either, I don't think, and yet to my ears they sound surprisingly good together (our MiniMonitors have a SL 4000 0.5" tweeter and a MW5505 5.25" composite polymer driver).

    I've found some RT55 in good condition so I'm still tempted ... unless anyone wants to add to Dennis' comment and advise against it!

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    The "55" series are a Polk classic, IMO.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    The "55" series are a Polk classic, IMO.
    Just for the heck of it: how would you guys compare the RT55 (and/or RT55i) to the current (only just) RTi4 and RTi6?

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    I've owned pairs of both RT55 and RT55i and have been pleased with both. Still have the 55's, and have been using them with a CS400i center channel for 5 years or so. While the 55i and the 400i are timbre matched, my ears aren't offended by the match of the 55's and the 400i in my system. AFAIK, the biggest difference between the 55 and 55i is the tweeter; I'm assuming that the change in the crossover would be due to the different tweeter. When I had to choose, I decided to give up my cherry RT55i's over my rosewood RT55's due to the finish only.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

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    After reading Sid's review, I figured I should add how I have my HT set up in regards to the 55's. They're the front L/R, speakers set to small on my AVR and crossed over at 80hz. While I believe he's got a beter ear then I, I don't think I've ever noticed mine bottoming out.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  9. #9

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    Thanks guys! These extra comments are great stuff to help me decide and I do think I'm going to see if I can get these. There's still time for any last minute comments though if anyone wants to add to the discussion.

    Is the CS245i going to be a little weak with RT55s? Should I try and get a CS400i instead, and if so, what price guidelines would you guys suggest? Thanks all!
    Last edited by Kex; 10-22-2007 at 01:33 PM.

  10. #10

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    As fine as the Rti6 is, I prefer the dual woofer/midrange setup of the 55.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  11. #11

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    CS400i would definatly be a better match up for the RT55i's. The 245i is ok...but the 400i is an incredible center- and center is very important too HT! I have my 55i's as side surrounds ....but they have pulled other duties prior too that. Great speakers...as i have two HT's built around the RTXXi platforms.

    good luck and happy hunting
    Peace sells, but who's buying?

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    The RT55s (i or non-i) are just too much speaker for the CS245i. Take it from someone who had that combination. That center just plain bogged down the whole front soundstage. It works well with the RT25i or at most the RT35i. It was not until I mated the CS400i with my RT55is that I was satisfied.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

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    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    The RT55s (i or non-i) are just too much speaker for the CS245i. Take it from someone who had that combination. ...
    That makes a whole lot of sense to me! I'll try and score both RT55 and CS400i if I can, and post back with the results of the hunt!

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    Kex, I'm glad you're asking your questions over here. You're gonna get better responses from a lot more folks.

    Combo rig:

    Onkyo NR1007 pre-pro, Carver TFM 45(fronts), Carver TFM 35 (surrounds)
    SDA 1C, CS400i, SDA 2B
    PB13Ultra RO
    BW Silvers
    Oppo BDP-83SE

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    Ron, you mentioned CP a couple of times over at AVS and I never knew what you meant until I asked you straight out! Anyway, after the success we had with those MiniMons and the CS245i, I decided I was going to stick with the Polk sound (which I like, obviously: not too bassy, not too bright, but just right ... the "Goldilocks speaker"!) so it made sense to finally sign up here and check what was going on.

    I'm still just a "n00b" though compared to AVS, which is rediculous because we've had those MiniMons since new, still have the "manual", and even paid MSRP at the time! I'll never finance upgraditis if I pay MSRP!

    P.S. as you can see, I've got some good responses already, and found some excellent "historical" threads too!

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    I have cherry 55i`s and cherry 38i`s for sale soon...if your close enough you can get your ears on `em


    minty fresh I says
    Cary SLP-98L F1 DC Pre Amp (Jag Blue)
    Parasound HCA-3500
    Cary Audio V12 amp (Jag Red)
    Polk Audio Xm Reciever (Autographed by THE MAN Himself)
    Magnum Dynalab MD-102 Analog Tuna
    Jolida JD-100 CDP
    Polk Audio LSi9 Speaks (ebony)
    SVS PC-Ultra Sub
    AQ Bedrock Speaker Cables (Bi-Wired)
    MIT Shotgun S1 I/C`s
    AQ Black Thunder Sub Cables
    PS Audio Plus Power Cords
    Magnum Dynalab ST-2 FM Antenna
    Sanus Cherry wood Speak Stands
    Adona AV45CS3 / 3 Tier Rack (Black /Gold)



  17. #17

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    Beardog I'm down in L.A., but maybe that's close enough for your 55i and 38i to be a backup if the hunt goes awry! The one's I've found are black (I would have preferred cherry, but if the price is too good to refuse, I might end up with black anyway).

  18. #18

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    good luck on your search...hope it all works out for you..

    These are put away in the closet....I haven`t officially posted them yet
    Cary SLP-98L F1 DC Pre Amp (Jag Blue)
    Parasound HCA-3500
    Cary Audio V12 amp (Jag Red)
    Polk Audio Xm Reciever (Autographed by THE MAN Himself)
    Magnum Dynalab MD-102 Analog Tuna
    Jolida JD-100 CDP
    Polk Audio LSi9 Speaks (ebony)
    SVS PC-Ultra Sub
    AQ Bedrock Speaker Cables (Bi-Wired)
    MIT Shotgun S1 I/C`s
    AQ Black Thunder Sub Cables
    PS Audio Plus Power Cords
    Magnum Dynalab ST-2 FM Antenna
    Sanus Cherry wood Speak Stands
    Adona AV45CS3 / 3 Tier Rack (Black /Gold)



  19. #19

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    Default Hunting expedition

    Well, the hunt has been successful! The RT55s were in pristine condition: as close to new as any used speaker can be AFIK. I bought all four, and the center, which turned out to be a CS400.

    I really like the sound of these. They are rather large, but on stands, I bet they look less "massive" than equivalent floorstanding models. I ran EzSet/EQ and it set everything to "large" and "40Hz" for the crossover. I played around a little with large and small, 40, 60 or 80Hz. I actually think I prefer 40 or 60 and "large", even though I understand that would not be the CW on this. I just don't like bass to get too boomy, even if it does have to be strong for LFE.

    I have listened to one of my favorite CDs (using Logic 7 "enhanced") and Pirates of the Carribean II in Dolby Digital. I have been very impressed overall.

    One other thing that is impressive IMO is the performance we were getting from our MiniMonitors and CS245i previously. In comparison, this set was doing an amazing job, especially the modest little MiniMons.

    In Conclusion: I'm not entirely sure I really want to keep these (they really are rather large in a SoCal sized living room: about 20' x 15')! In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy them as a great purchase and a great setup.

    Thanks to everyone for their help, and long live the MiniMons!

  20. #20

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    The 55s are big, but you should be noticing quite an improvement in soundstage, imaging and midrange definition. 20x15 isn't large, but you should see what I've got crammed into my midsized Norcal space. Welcome to the upgrade path...

    Combo rig:

    Onkyo NR1007 pre-pro, Carver TFM 45(fronts), Carver TFM 35 (surrounds)
    SDA 1C, CS400i, SDA 2B
    PB13Ultra RO
    BW Silvers
    Oppo BDP-83SE

  21. #21

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    Default Upgraditis

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post
    ... Welcome to the upgrade path...
    It is great fun doing it this way, getting such great speakers at such an amazing price thanks to CL. I could never afford to go down this road purchasing new: it would be like buying a new car every six months and losing the difference between new and used value every time.

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    You will enjoy those speakers, one of the best speakers Ihave ever heard for the price !

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    You're only 4 years late, walleyeny.
    Display: Sony KV-34HS420 34" CRT
    Sources: Harman Kardon DVD-27,
    Panasonic DMP-BDT110 blu ray player
    AVR: Pioneer Elite VSX-53TX
    Fronts: Polk RT1000p
    Center: Polk CS400i
    Surrounds: Polk RT55
    Subwoofer: SVS PB10-ISD

  24. #24

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    Lol.
    LIVING ROOM: Pioneer PDP-6070HD, Pioneer Elite SC-25, Pioneer Elite BDP-05FD,
    Emotiva XPA-5, Emotiva USP-1, Polk LSI15's, Polk LSiC, Velodyne 12", Mirage Nanosat Prestige rears, MIT AVT Speaker Cables, Audioquest King Cobra Interconnects, Panamax M5300pm Surge Protection/ Power Conditioning
    BEDROOM: VIZIO 32" LCD, Pioneer Elite VSX-23txh, Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD, Parasound HCA-2205A, Mirage Nanosat Prestige Speakers 5.1, Mirage S8 Sub, Monoprice cables, APC Surge Protection.

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