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Thread: Polk RT-55i

  1. #1

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    Default Polk RT-55i

    Hello,

    Im putting together a second system,how are the RT55is?
    How would you characterize the sound?
    It looks like it has good Bass:D
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    HT or 2 channel? I have a pair i love them they are great for HT and music.
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOOLFORLIFEFAN View Post
    HT or 2 channel? I have a pair i love them they are great for HT and music.
    Music for now,but HT real soon:D
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    The high end is a bit harsh compared to the newer LSis. The crossover has a .47mf cap which is a bypass unit. Remove it to get a somewhat smoother top end. For the price, it was a decent speaker but nothing exceptional...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    The high end is a bit harsh compared to the newer LSis. The crossover has a .47mf cap which is a bypass unit. Remove it to get a somewhat smoother top end. For the price, it was a decent speaker but nothing exceptional...
    Removing the .47mf cap,is that a easy process?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s
    The high end is a bit harsh compared to the newer LSis. The crossover has a .47mf cap which is a bypass unit. Remove it to get a somewhat smoother top end. For the price, it was a decent speaker but nothing exceptional...
    I disagree. IMO they were one of the hidden gems of the late 90s and early 00s Polk line. Very good and tight bass and the Tri-Lam tweeters while not as smooth as the vifas in the LSis, they are not harsh. Between them and the RT25i you had Polk's best speakers of that particular era.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    I disagree. IMO they were one of the hidden gems of the late 90s and early 00s Polk line. Very good and tight bass and the Tri-Lam tweeters while not as smooth as the vifas in the LSis, they are not harsh. Between them and the RT25i you had Polk's best speakers of that particular era.
    Would you say that the RT55i tweeters are smoother than the new
    RTiA series?I prefer warmth over detail:o
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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906
    Would you say that the RT55i tweeters are smoother than the new
    RTiA series?I prefer warmth over detail:o
    No, probably not. The tri-lam may not be as warm as the silk in the RTiA series...but definitely not harsh or overly detailed. I'm listening to my RT55is right now...and have been for the last couple of hours. Nanci Griffith's voice sure sounds VERY smooth and nice as I type this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    No, probably not. The tri-lam may not be as warm as the silk in the RTiA series...but definitely not harsh or overly detailed. I'm listening to my RT55is right now...and have been for the last couple of hours. Nanci Griffith's voice sure sounds VERY smooth and nice as I type this.
    Thanks, Im going to listen to the RT55i here local.
    If I like what I here,I will be an owner of RT55is:D:D:D
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    Have you thought about SDA's

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    Rt55is are awesome speakers.;)

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    You can easily remove the bypass cap will no ill effects. It is the reddish brown cap shown here.... The cap is glued rather well to the PCB.


    The speaker will sound marginally more detailed. After extensive listening, my opinion is that the RT55is have a slight coloration. Pianos and strings do not sound quite right. It's close, but something is different. Listening to the more expensive LSi15 is smoother and more accurate.
    Last edited by jon s; 03-08-2009 at 01:23 PM.

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    Thumbs up Very Good With the Right Receiver or Amplification

    I have four of the older RT55 paired with a CS400 matching center. The differences seem to be minimal and the specifications are identical. The older 55 have the standard, good quality (IMO) oak vinyl finish, whereas the 55i have real wood veneer IIRC.

    These have always been a good speaker IMO, but I recently added a NAD receiver and it has really revealed their true capabilities IMO. I also added a Rythmik sealed subwoofer at the same time. All I can say is that the controlled bass output, especially from the speakers, is outstanding. They blend seamlessly with the subwoofer so that sometimes I forget to turn it on when I come back from vacation and don't even notice for several days, since the speakers do such a good job (and I know that this flies in the face of logic to some extent, and will have some people questioning my statements). I was also able to lower the crossover to 40Hz with excellent results IMO, even though this seems to exceed the specifications.

    They are what I would describe as a fairly mellow speaker, with a sound that is similar to what you might expect if you have heard other Polk products from the same period, and not at all bright IMO. They certainly have plenty of power and I listen frequently to movies near reference level (75dB-85dB) without issue. I haven't had a lot of time to play with music since adding the NAD and the Rythmik subwoofer, but I would say they are good all round performers for this too, at lower or higher listening levels.

    I would not hesitate to recommend them, especially with pricing in the $150-200 range these days. I would consider $250 the maximum reasonable price, although I've seen them sell on eBay recently for about $300. I do think you will need a very good receiver, not just a good receiver, or very good external amplification to get the the full benefit from their potential, even if the specifications show them as easy to drive (quite efficient). Without this, I am not sure you will feel justified with the purchase.

    One flaw they do have, however, in common with many Polk speakers with that design, if what I have read elsewhere is correct: part of the vinyl trim on the front of the speakers - not the oak vinyl on the sides, but a smooth vinyl trim all around the front edge, on all four sides - is subject to heat damage from the sun's glare: it can get melted, distorted, and come unstuck. This happened to me on one of them after we moved in June last year, so they were placed in an unfamiliar location in the new house. I paid attention the first few weeks, in the Summer heat of Southern California, with no issues whatsoever ... but when the Winter sun came in at a lower angle, a few warm days were enough to do the damage before I noticed what was happening.
    Last edited by Kex; 03-08-2009 at 01:53 PM.

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    I picked up a pair of RT55is today for $150.00:D:D:D
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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906
    I picked up a pair of RT55is today for $150.00:D:D:D
    Nice deal. I know I wouldn't sell mine for that. I hope you enjoy them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    Nice deal. I know I wouldn't sell mine for that. I hope you enjoy them.
    Im using the RT55i for the rear channel for now,they seem to go just
    as low or lower than the A5s.The RT55i also seem warmer thru the
    midrange
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    Here's the RT55is:D:D:D
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    I've a pair of RT55i with the vinyl coming off the edges sitting in the basement. It has been a while since I've listened to them. Think I'll try them in the 2 channel rig this week. Maybe respark that old Polk magic I may be missing!

    Gordon
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    what got me t ostart this thread was I had picked up a pair for $75. The grilles are shot but the rest of the speaker is fine... i am planning to upgrade the crossovers to see what improvements can be made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    what got me t ostart this thread was I had picked up a pair for $75. The grilles are shot but the rest of the speaker is fine... i am planning to upgrade the crossovers to see what improvements can be made.
    Let me know how they come out,you can make a good thing better
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    Default Upgrading

    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    ... i am planning to upgrade the crossovers to see what improvements can be made.
    You might consider shooting an e-mail to Polksaladanni ... he hasn't been around much lately, but he did this modification already on some RT800 and RT55 (the 800 is the floorstanding twin of the 55) and was quite pleased with the results. I don't think he's around much any more, so a PM might not get a reply for quite a while.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/member.php?u=90969

    I was considering this too, but I'm going to try a ceiling speaker setup instead later this year, so I'm not going to bother with the crossover upgrade on the RT55 I own any more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906 View Post
    Here's the RT55is:D:D:D
    Good solid stands, they need that! These actually make my RT800 floorstanding equivalent models look somewhat smallish IMO!

    With the h/k I was using previously, as well as the Emotiva setup I tried for a few weeks, there was no obvious difference between the RT800 and RT55. I want to try the RT800 with the NAD though, especially since I lowered the crossover from 40Hz to 60Hz (it just sounded better to me, which was not the case previously). Like I mentioned earlier, I just love the bass punch I get from these when paired with the NAD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I've a pair of RT55i with the vinyl coming off the edges sitting in the basement. It has been a while since I've listened to them. Think I'll try them in the 2 channel rig this week. Maybe respark that old Polk magic I may be missing!

    Gordon
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    The high end is a bit harsh compared to the newer LSis. The crossover has a .47mf cap which is a bypass unit. Remove it to get a somewhat smoother top end. For the price, it was a decent speaker but nothing exceptional...
    you can't do a fair comparison between an old RT55i series speaker and a newer more refined LSi tweeter.... different animals. totally different.

    I still use the RTXXXi series of speakers in my home theater.. they are much better for home theater than they are for music IMHO.
    Last edited by danger boy; 03-09-2009 at 12:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danger boy View Post
    you can't do a fair comparison between an old RT55i series speaker and a newer more refined LSi tweeter.... different animals. totally different.

    I still use the RTXXXi series of speakers in my home theater.. they are much better for home theater than they are for music IMHO.
    I agree Polk speakers are Awesome on Home theater:D
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    After living with the Rt55is for a couple days-Not Bad-Me Likes:D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I've a pair of RT55i with the vinyl coming off the edges sitting in the basement. It has been a while since I've listened to them. Think I'll try them in the 2 channel rig this week. Maybe respark that old Polk magic I may be missing!

    Gordon
    Did you hook those RT55i yet????
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    My RT-55i speakers may be for sale soon;)
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    Are the RT-55is and the top monitors of the RT3000p the same?
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    Quote Originally Posted by danz1906 View Post
    Are the RT-55is and the top monitors of the RT3000p the same?
    No. They have different crossovers and dimension wise the 3000 sat is a smaller enclosure too.

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