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  1. #1

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    Default Polk vs. B&W -RTiA9 vs. B&W 683

    I am comparing my RTiA9 setup with B&W speakers in the same price range, such as the B&W 683 or 684 speakers (http://www.listenup.com/B%26W+683-p-683-p-floor.html).

    Has anyone done an extensive comparison on these? Since I'm spending a small fortune-- I do want to get the best speakers I can in that pricerange. I'm still not sure about the RTiA9s at low volume, although they excel like crazy when cranked.

  2. #2

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    Just curious what you are driving those A9s with Dan?

  3. #3

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    XPA-5, bi-amped. :) 400watts per speaker. I've tried them in all different ways and bi-amping sounds the best, hands down.

    Using Pre-outs from my Harmon Kardon receiver to the XPA.

  4. #4

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    Have a listen for yourself....but I have a feeling that you're going to feel the same way about the 683's. What's more important to you? SQ or SPL....if you say both, you're may have to spend a bit more.
    Living Room:.................... Zone 2 (Workout Room):
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by curved View Post
    What's more important to you? SQ or SPL....if you say both, you're may have to spend a bit more.
    Sound quality, especially at normal listening volumes. I do like to crank it up, but that is the exception since I've got a 2 year old and an infant on the way.

  6. #6

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    There was one member who went from Rti12s to 683s awhile back. From the thread(cant seem to find it) he preferred the 683s overall. Worth it to compare though, I'm still planning to own a pair of 802Ds one of these days.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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  7. #7

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    Both speakers are great but I give the overall detail to B&W. There speakers are just the next level. Attention to detail B&W gets most other companies. But you never know you may like the Polks more for some crazy reason.

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  8. #8

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    Ok, I just took home a demo pair of the B&W 683. Holy freaking cow, these are amazing speakers. I am returning the RTiA9s to Amazon. Detail, detail, detail.

    If you are looking for a super-loud speaker system to CRANK 90% of the time, the RTiA9 has it. But for subtlety and detail-- the B&W 683s blow them away. I am keeping the Polk sub (DSW 500 pro) but converting to B&W.

  9. #9

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    nice !

    I would like to someday have a pair of 802`s to play with for a while...or maybe a pair of these if they are as good as you say in the detail dept.

    I usually listen at low to medium volume......wonder how they would like tubes ?
    Cary SLP-98L F1 DC Pre Amp (Jag Blue)
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlarson View Post
    Ok, I just took home a demo pair of the B&W 683. Holy freaking cow, these are amazing speakers. I am returning the RTiA9s to Amazon. Detail, detail, detail.

    If you are looking for a super-loud speaker system to CRANK 90% of the time, the RTiA9 has it. But for subtlety and detail-- the B&W 683s blow them away. I am keeping the Polk sub (DSW 500 pro) but converting to B&W.
    lol u changed your mind 2 much

  11. #11

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    If you haven't sent the RTi A9 back yet, I recommend sitting on the decision for a few days. If you "just" brought the B&Ws home, you might not have listened to enough of your favorite material to know if you really prefer them 100%. Esp. given that Amazon extends the return period on holiday season purchases until Jan. 31, I'd consider listening to the B&Ws for a week, then swapping the Polk's back in before you send the Polks back and start wondering "maybe the Polks were better than these" in a few days. They're both excellent speakers, and there might some truth to the RTi A statements that have been tossed around here for years, but there are a whole lot of us who find them to be detailed and involving speakers nonetheless.

    So don't be hasty, but congrats on the new speakers anyway!
    Currently listening to:

    Marantz SR5004
    Sony BDP-S370
    Apple TV V2
    Audio Technica AT-LP120
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  12. #12

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    I agree with both posts 11 & 12.

    All the DETAIL will give me a raging headache after about an hour at normal listening levels I hate to think what would happen to my head if I listened to it even louder!
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  13. #13

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    My first real serious jump into HiFi began with Polk SDA-CRS speakers and Yamaha components back in the '80s. I then bought a pair of the Polk RT20p towers. Many hours of enjoyment yet many hours of probelms (internal amps, speaker coils, etc.) I handed these down to my son and then added the B&W 804N speakers and Rotel seperates. I am a B&W fan and hope to soemday move up to the 803D. I have also become a fan of the Dynaudio line of speakers. So much to choose from yet so little $$ to dispose of. Bottom line is enjoy what you have and can afford.
    Strictly 2 channel
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  14. #14

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    I think i`m going with the B&W 683's.

    They really do sound good, i think with a good subwoofer i`d be happy.
    Carver M-1.0t
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    B&W 683's
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    Cerwin Vega At-15's (Retired 12/24/08)

  15. #15

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    Default B&W's baby!!

    Hi Dave, I recently sold my Polk RTi10's for a set of B&W 683's. They are worlds apart! IMO Polk Audio is trading on the name they made in the 80's and have let die-hard Polk fans down. You will not regret buying the B&W 683's, and you will understand why they are highly applauded in audio circles.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave7310 View Post
    I think i`m going with the B&W 683's.

    They really do sound good, i think with a good subwoofer i`d be happy.

  16. #16

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    Mr. Fleming.

    The RTi10 is designed for a Home Theater application and performs very well in that application.
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

  17. #17

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    Hello Peter, I don't know where you'd get that impression. The RTi A1 received a glowing review in Stereophile where the reviewer felt that Polk kept pushing the line forward with the times.
    Currently listening to:

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    Sony BDP-S370
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    Audio Technica AT-LP120
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    Bic H-100

  18. #18

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    I have to say theose B&W's are on hell of a speaker, esp. for the price. My imperssion is they gave real nice sound even at lower volume. The detail is there for sure without sounding bright. They mate really well with ML subs.

    Dave

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave shepard View Post
    I have to say theose B&W's are on hell of a speaker, esp. for the price. My imperssion is they gave real nice sound even at lower volume. The detail is there for sure without sounding bright. They mate really well with ML subs.

    Dave
    That was my impression too when i heard them.

    My old Cerwin Vegas had killer bass, but always too bright when it came to mid-range and highs. The differance was night and day with the B&W's.
    Can't wait to get a pair !
    Carver M-1.0t
    Carver CT-Seven
    Carver SD/A-490t
    Carver TD-1400
    B&W 683's
    B&W ASW610
    Cerwin Vega At-15's (Retired 12/24/08)

  20. #20

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    Y'all need to go and get the 683s. Your wives will appreciate them too... I am keeping the fxi a4 from Polk eBay direct, that saves a bit on the surrounds. I also do like the dsw500 sub as well, I like it a lot better than the $600 velodyne the guy tried to sell me.

    The 683 lists for $1500/pair, but you you should expect to pay $1350 (that's what I paid), it was 1900 with the matching center channel. They use the same technology as the 800 line but are square, not all real wood, and made in china. The sales guy said they sound better than the 700 series.

    Like the others said, there is no comparison with them.

  21. #21

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by dave shepard View Post
    They mate really well with ML subs.

    Dave
    Dave, what sub is that? (ml?)

  22. #22

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    Btw, to be fair, the rtiA9 and the 683 are very different speakers, and probably not the best match-up... The polks win at high volume, but (the A9s) SUCK at low volume. I guess I'm comparing them because they're both the same price, but I can't recommend the A9s after hearing the 683s. I'll bet the A5s or even the bookshelf speakers are a good speaker for the price, but you wouldn't want to spend more on the rti series.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by danlarson View Post
    Dave, what sub is that? (ml?)
    Martin Logan. I have heard them with the Gratto and that sub blended real nice.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by danlarson View Post
    Btw, to be fair, the rtiA9 and the 683 are very different speakers, and probably not the best match-up... The polks win at high volume, but (the A9s) SUCK at low volume. I guess I'm comparing them because they're both the same price, but I can't recommend the A9s after hearing the 683s. I'll bet the A5s or even the bookshelf speakers are a good speaker for the price, but you wouldn't want to spend more on the rti series.
    What amp are you using to drive the speakers in your comparison? I wouldnt say the A9s suck at all. Perhaps they do provide more detail as you imply but for the price point, the A9s are very good speakers. I'll get my hands on a pair of 802ds when I come back stateside, no way Im spending 20k out here for them on the Japanese market.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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  25. #25

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    2 completely different speakers, 2 completely different sounds.

    You happen to prefer the sound of the B & W's good for you, why don't you go join a B & W forum and be happy over there!

    They simply sound different not better or worse than the other just different.

    Quote Originally Posted by danlarson View Post
    Y'all need to go and get the 683s. Your wives will appreciate them too... I am keeping the fxi a4 from Polk eBay direct, that saves a bit on the surrounds. I also do like the dsw500 sub as well, I like it a lot better than the $600 velodyne the guy tried to sell me.

    The 683 lists for $1500/pair, but you you should expect to pay $1350 (that's what I paid), it was 1900 with the matching center channel. They use the same technology as the 800 line but are square, not all real wood, and made in china. The sales guy said they sound better than the 700 series.

    Like the others said, there is no comparison with them.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  26. #26

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    LOL cfrizz... actually, at low volumes the A9s DO sound worse... although they excel at high volumes, with a big-ass amp. At low volumes, the B&Ws win hands down. The B&Ws do lack bass and require a sub-- the A9s don't however, and pack PLENTY of bass. But at low volumes I wouldn't recommend these.

    So I suppose for HT they would be great, but not for your living room.

  27. #27

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    While cfrizz was a little abrasive, she's still totally right - the B & Ws are not "better," you just prefer them. They both list at around the same price and are both made from quality components. Again, we're all happy you like them better, but we're not all going to sell off all our American gear to have British sound in our homes.

    It's a little presumptuous to think that (having heard something you prefer and that suits you as a consumer better) you can come and bring the gospel to those of us here. I mean, we OBVIOUSLY haven't heard or don't own any other company's speakers... or else how could we think Polk makes a good product?

    Again, congrats on the speakers.
    Last edited by RutgersFTW; 12-22-2008 at 12:44 PM.
    Currently listening to:

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    Audio Technica AT-LP120
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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    2 completely different speakers, 2 completely different sounds.

    You happen to prefer the sound of the B & W's good for you, why don't you go join a B & W forum and be happy over there!

    They simply sound different not better or worse than the other just different.

    Totally agree.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by danlarson View Post
    I disagree with Pepi-- I would NOT consider these speakers without an amp. This is after hearing them with and without a dedicated amp. Don't even bother without, go with a smaller speaker and you'll hear more sound. They are freaking beautiful with the XPA-5 however.

    And my conclusion-- I will stick with the RTi-A9s, I'm pretty happy with them with the amp. The entire RTi A setup sounds freaking sweet when it has enough juice.
    I mean, this is you from FOUR DAYS AGO. Take a breath. You seem like a man in the throes of an audio sending binge, and those never end well (for your bank, at least).
    Currently listening to:

    Marantz SR5004
    Sony BDP-S370
    Apple TV V2
    Audio Technica AT-LP120
    Mirage CMD-5 x 5
    Bic H-100

  30. #30

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    It's all made in china anyways... lol

    I'm just offering an opinion-- listen to these both before you buy them-- I hadn't heard either, I just bought the best Polk speaker I could for under $1500 from Amazon. But then I compared, and liked the B&Ws a lot better. I do think I might've liked the A5s better, but didn't get a chance to audition those.

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