Well, the 7.1 upgrade project is done. The 1000's came Friday afternoon.
They were damaged in transit, but still in working condition. A claim has been started with UPS. The right speaker has a crushing injury on one edge with wood damage and splintering, and a corresponding dent in the grill. The left speaker has a ripped grill cloth, a cracked grill frame, and a scuffed anti-diffraction bezel. Whaddya gonna do? Take the insurance money and run, I guess.
I'd like to thank Walter (wallstreet) for a great transaction, and Russ for helping break the ice with a neighboring Club Polk member.
On to the upgrade! My A/V receiver only has a rear surround pre-out. So I used my Harman Kardon h/k870 100wpc amp as the rear surround amp.
I had a spare Monster sub cable, so I bought a Monster Y Splitter (one female, two male) to connect the split pre-out signal to the L/R inputs of the h/k 870. I connected the h/k 870 to dual CS245i lying flat on a bookshelf behind the couch.
I experienced no voltage or impedance mismatch between the pre-out and the h/k 870 - works fine.
I got creative with wiring the f/x1000's and it's pretty unobtrusive. I used 12 gauge since one run was over 50 feet. They are mounted directly to each side of the listening area about 6.5 feet high (per Polk's recommendations) and are running in dipole mode.
The rear 245i's are about 7 feet apart, the side 1000's are about 12 feet apart, and the RT800i's are about 10 feet apart with the 400i splitting the middle up front. All speaks use the tri-lam tweeter and are timbre matched.
All speakers were calibrated to the same volume using a B&K Model 2205 SPL meter on DVD test tones.
For 5.1 signals, I'm running the rear surrounds in "surround mix" mode, which steals a little of the signal from the side surround channels and sends it to the rears with a time delay.
For true 6.1 signals, the AVR automatically terminates the "surround mix" function and processes the rear channel as a discrete signal.
Well how does it sound? In a word awesome - but what else did you expect? The soundstage in di-pole mode is amazingly 3D on panning effects and certain sounds seem to "float" between the front and rear soundstage and cannot be easily localized. The 1000's are big, powerful, room filling and perfectly compliment the RT800i, and CS400i.
U-571 "200 meters" was absolutely amazing - the creaks and groans literally moved through the entire room - including behind the couch, with no loss or drop out in the soundstage. I was very impressed with the "surround mix" function here, as U-571 is not true 6.1.
On 6.1 material, the rear sound stage is stable and large and the discrete sound effects are often startling. So far I've gone through LOTR-FOTR and Terminator 2 in DD-EX and it's been revelatory. Lot's of fun here.
Well that's about it - a great upgrade and a lot of fun. Pics to follow - deliberately low res for quick loading.