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  1. #1

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    Default Polk Lsi15s or B&W 804s

    Hi guys! Hope you all are well!

    I know this is a Polk forum, but wanted to see your opinions on how the Lsi15s compare with the b&w 804s?
    Unfortunately no stores here in Miami have both speakers so I can't compare

    Please any inputs on this

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Apples to oranges comparison. I have NEVER heard a pair B&Ws sound good. I HATE metal tweeters!
    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

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    I like the sound of 802Ds but I also enjoy the sound of my RTi setup from Polk. I would say bang for buck would be the LSi15s as they perform very well without the premium price.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    Apples to oranges comparison. I have NEVER heard a pair B&Ws sound good.
    +1...

    Not a fan of B&W at all, including their TOTL models with the diamond tweeter.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5
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    LSi 15......

  6. #6
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    Since both the Polk's and the B&W's are competent performers, your decision will likely hinge upon two things; how you like you're sound, and the gear that you plan on using. For example:

    If you find yourself saying "I like to listen to a bit of everything", then you may want to give the LSi-15's a serious look. The LSi-15's can dig deeper, hit harder, and go louder than the B&W's. Their fairly "natural" voicing also lends themselves quite well to a huge variety of music. Rock. Pop. Classical. Jazz. Electronic. R&B. And so on, and so forth. If you like slight warmth in the midrange, smooth treble, and commanding bass - the Polk's may be for you.

    So whats the compromise to all of that? Well... while the speakers themselves are inexpensive, getting them near optimal performance is not. Because the Polk LSi series uses very thick drivers, it takes an amp with a lot of power and control to keep the speakers from sounding slow and sluggish along the midrange and bass. The problem is that there aren't too many budget amps that have that kind of current capacity the LSi-15's need while at the same time sounding good enough to give the speakers justice.

    The B&W's are an entirely different flavor. Though both speakers tend to present the music in a more laid-back fashion, the B&W's tend to sound less robust, instead erring to the more agile and delicate side of the spectrum. The 804's are pretty popular among the crowd that listens primarily to classical, jazz, acoustic, vocal, and folk music. Their ability to unravel complex passages and to present the music in a wide and deep sound-stage is one of the many things that draw people into the 804's.

    So whats the downside? As mentioned above, you may find yourself not liking the metal tweeter they employ. Nearly all metal domes have a distinct sound that in some (ok, many) instances will call attention to themselves. So while you get tons of detail and air from them, the trade off is a sometimes brittle sound that can become very apparent with poor recording material. Also, while the B&W's produce good bass for their size, it won't be on the level of the LSi-15. This will be particularly true in medium to larger sized rooms.

    However, the good news with the 804's is that I could show you an integrated amp under $1000 that will sound freaking exceptional on them. They do not require gobs of clean current like the LSi's do, so in a way, this counter balances the cost difference between the two speakers.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

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    2 very different leagues man. The 804's are a much better speaker then the Lsi's. Depending on what you wanna do with them is the key here.

    Dan
    Dan
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    I never tried the lsi15 and in my case I think I took a big big jump. I went from rti6's to B&W 804s.
    Let just say I am done looking for main speakers. I only wish I had the money to by the center channel.
    And that is all I can say about that.....
    Current HT setup
    Mains: B&W 804s
    Center: Polk CSi5
    Surround: Polk FXi3
    Sub: Velodyne DLS-3750R
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    TV: Sony KDS60A2020
    DBP: Sony DBP-S350
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    Interconnect cables: SignalCable analog II
    speaker cables: SignalCable Ultra Speaker Cables Bi-wire

  9. #9

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    Welcome to the Club!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    2 very different leagues man. The 804's are a much better speaker then the Lsi's. Depending on what you wanna do with them is the key here.

    Dan
    Agreed,once again we have an $4000.00 speaker(804s) vs an $1700.00
    speaker.The LSi15 is a very good speaker,but not in the same class as
    the B&W-But I could be wrong;)
    Linn AV5140 fronts
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906 View Post
    Agreed,once again we have an $4000.00 speaker(804s) vs an $1700.00
    speaker.The LSi15 is a very good speaker,but not in the same class as
    the B&W-But I could be wrong;)
    Your not wrong . If you listened to the 804's then the 15's you will clearly hear the quality difference. The lsi 15's are loose down low and the 804's are tight everywhere. They can be a truly work of art in the art of sound. The Lsi's are just good for the money all around nice speakers. They don't shine anywhere. they probably shine more at music then theater. That was how I felt about them when I owned them. I have friends who own 804' and they are very good at both. They excel at god recordings.

    4k speakers are a step up from most all lower priced speakers. There are exceptions to this as this is not a rule but a opinion. I have heard many 4k speakers and the Lsi's will struggle with any of them that I have heard. Even paradigm who I feel struggle to make a uniform floor standing speaker would dominate the lsi's. But when you look at it from a dollars standpoint , it makes sense. My main speakers are also 4k speakers and they sit in there class well. They double duty better then most , better then most for theater and can hang with the best for music.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

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    I almost pulled the trigger on a set of 804's. They area fine speaker and very fast. I would like to say that they are more "refined" than other speakers. British speakers tend to be on the polite side. You will need a nice amp to run the B&W's also as they tend to dip in ohms. I would not worry about the metal tweeter as the "S" version is pretty smooth. I would say that loud rock and rap would be a weak point for the B&W's, but they make it up in speed. And a sub will fill in the gaps.
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  13. #13

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    I would like to use the speakers for all types of music and HT......
    I currently have the LSI15s but never heard the B&Ws, I have the urge to upgrade!
    Basically i would look for a deal in ebay or audiogon for the B&Ws. Its just there is only one store here in Miami that respresent B&W but they have nothing in stock to listen
    I have two sunfire amps currently running my set up. The fron three channels are used with a sunfire signature 5 amp 425 watts per channel into 8ohm and the rears are run through a sunfire TGA5200 which has 200 watts per channel into 8ohms
    Any advice

  14. #14

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    Linn AV5140 fronts
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  15. #15

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    I wouldn't buy a pair of B&W's without demoing them first. They're not for everyone.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  16. #16

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    I think the sound of the LSi's are comparable to the B&W's, but that is mainly because I like the LSi - laid back sound better.

    A better direct comparison to B&W to save money would be the Paradigm Studio series as I think they have a simial sonic signature.

    The LSi's just sound completely different and if you like the sound of the LSi's - they will compare well to the B&W's... If you like the sound of the B&W's much better - you will think the LSi's suck.

    Personally - I think you owe it to yourself to demo some LSi's (especially with upgraded crossovers if you can find them). You may be surprised how good they sound.

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
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