This product is a vintage Polk model and is not available for sale, but it may still be available in some stores as a closeout or used product. The following text is taken from the original sales brochure for this product and does not reflect current availability. If you happen to have any question or concerns about this product, or any other Polk Audio product, feel free to contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-377-7655 Monday - Friday, 9am - 5:30pm EST
Classic Polk Full Range Floorstanding Loudspeakers
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Polk's Classic Signature Reference Series: The Very Best of the Best
What Makes a Legend Most: The Paradigm Shift of SDA Technology
You're familiar with "stereo," the basic two-channel left-and-right channel separation of audio information. What you probably don't know is that reproducing "stereo" from a pair of loudspeakers is less accurate than it seems. In fact, it can be downright inaccurate. This is the problem that Matthew Polk and the engineers at Polk Audio set out to remedy in the mid-80s, just as the audio industry was transitioning from "boutique" brands, popular with a handful of hobbyists, to more mainstream popularity. It was a time of great innovation, and Polk Audio, already an established innovator, was on the forefront.
The problem with "stereo" was that it didn't really work. You sat in front of a pair of speakers, and your left ear heard stuff and your right ear heard stuff, and both ears heard information from both channels, left-and-right; each ear hearing information from both channels. It's called "interaural crosstalk." Interaural crosstalk occurs when left-channel (left speaker) information is heard by the right ear, and right-channel (right speaker) information is heard by the left ear. You can't avoid it, that's just the nature of sound. But it results in a completely unrealistic and inaccurate reproduction of sound, reducing the soundstage to a narrow "sweet spot," with muddy "stereo separation," and unrealistic "imaging."
To more accurately reproduce sound as it was originally created live, with lifelike imaging and separation, Matthew Polk realized the vital importance of maintaining the integrity of the channel separation. To do it, he had to defeat interaural crosstalk. So Polk Audio engineers designed a complex passive-circuitry crossover network for a new set of multi-driver loudspeakers. It would use patented algorithms and innovative sound-phasing to effortlessly cancel interaural crosstalk between the stereo pair. They called it Stereo Dimensional Array Technology, and it produced "True Stereo," a completely new kind of sound, where the left channel information is delivered to your left ear, while the right channel information is delivered to your right ear, and never the twain shall meet. Each ear hears what it is meant to hear, with full stereo separation, as if the performance you are listening to is live.
SDA Technology changed the sound of home audio loudspeakers. It delivered a dramatic, dynamic, broad, accurate, lifelike soundstage with pinpoint imaging and realistic reproduction. And Polk Audio's flagship SRS Series loudspeakers were built to deliver it at the most extreme, lifelike volume levels. Home audio would never be the same.
Today's Polk Audio Benefits from Yesterday's Innovations
That was then, this is now. We've never stopped innovating. The changing nature of entertainment media (vinyl to CD to digital download) demands changes in reproduction technology. So we've miniaturized, digitized, redesigned, reformulated and re-engineered many of our original, patented groundbreaking technologies to better serve your entertainment needs and desires today. Many of our loudspeaker models still use variations on the original SDA Technology, along with other classic patented audio innovations like Dynamic Balance material tuning and innovative driver array designs, so you can still experience the classic warm, realistic, lifelike Polk Audio sound. Hear the difference a history of audio innovation makes. You'll understand why we're still "The Speaker Specialists."
5th Generation SDA Series, circa 1989-1991
Features the SL3000 Tweeter and the flattest, broadest, most accurate frequency response of any SDA speakers to date.
"Mind-boggling... Astounding... Flabbergasting! The best SDAs yet." - High Fidelity Magazine
"Among the crop of new and innovative speaker systems [at CES], probably the most impressive was the Polk SDA SRS, which shook the walls of the Americana Congress Hotel." - Stereo Review Magazine
"Literally, a new dimension in sound." - Stereo Review Magazine
"They truly represent a breakthrough." - Rolling Stone Magazine
"Breathtaking... a new world of hi-fi listening." - Stereo Buyer's Guide
"True Stereo" with SDA Technology
One of the original breakthrought technologies patented by Polk Audio, SDA Technology allows a pair of loudspeakers to deliver an overwhelmingly wide, realistic soundstage with no interaural crosstalk, revealing the full impact of true stereo separation with pinpoint imaging accuracy. You will find this incredible, paradigm-changing technology in today's Polk Audio products, too.
Line Source Array Technology
The Line Source Array minimizes the damaging effects of unwanted sound reflections by controlling the vertical dispersion midrange frequencies. It's an exclusive Polk Audio engineering design, and eliminates blurred imaging and tonal coloration caused by floor and ceiling reflections of these important midrange frequencies. Line Source Array Technology "opens" the soundstage, reduces the effects of undesired room interactions, and achieves a more realistically-placed audio image, with a wider range of optimum listening positions in any room.
Progressive Point Source Technology
As performance frequencies increase during sound reproduction, the SRS Tweeter array actually adjusts its radiation area, becoming an ideal point source at the very highest of frequencies, eliminating high frequency interactions and reflections between the multiple drivers. Progressive Point Source Technology maintains a Constant Vertical Directivity of the mid and high frequencies, which prevents undesirable "beaming," and delivers astonishingly realistic "you are there" imaging.
Internally Braced Enclosures
The enclosure is an integral part of the design of the SRS Speaker Series. At a time when speakers were becoming more and more popular, many companies opted for the economy of cheap, flimsy materials. Polk Audio knew that the build-quality of the enclosure is just as important to the sound quality of the speaker as the material used to construct the driver cones. SRS Series speakers were constructed of heavy-duty MDF, and internally braced for additional stability and efficiency even at lifelike volume levels. Check the specs: these speakers weighed as much as a 6-year-old child. Reinforced baffles and a unique Low Diffraction Grille design virtually eliminated performance-robbing resonances, for less coloration, more efficient operation, and the most realistic sound reproduction possible. Today, Polk Audio loudspeakers continue this tradition of heavy-duty enclosure construction, producing the same excellent and efficient sound.
Dynamic Balance Material Design Technology
Dynamic Balance is Polk Audio's patented micro-analysis of a speaker's entire electro-acoustic and mechanical system. It was developed to help us select better materials and more efficient geometry when building the SRS Series to meet our extraordinary performance standards. Dynamic Balance analysis allowed us to pinpoint and eliminate performance-robbing resonances right on the actual driver material, long before they might become a part of the finished product. We were able to tune out offending sounds before you hear them! The performance of the Trilaminate Polymer driver material used in the SRS Series far outstripped the more traditional vacuum-formed plastic cones of the time. Using the Dynamic Balance process, the Trilaminate Polymer material was tuned to produce flat, uncolored frequency response. This true transparency revealed a wider dynamic range, with sharper details, and no hint of strain. Every driver and tweeter Polk Audio designs and manufactures today is tuned with the exclusive Dynamic Balance process.
Trilaminate Polymer Mid-Bass Drivers
For the kind of realism and deep bass response that you can actually feel, each SRS model features an array of Polk's exclusive Trilaminate Polymer Midbass Drivers. Designed and engineered in a proprietary process using three complementary materials, SRS Drivers deliver performance far beyond the reaches of conventional speaker drivers. The first laminate material was chosen for its structural strength combined with its light weight. The second laminate is extremely stiff with an unusually high speed of sonic wave transmission. The third laminate boasts a uniquely effective damping property that removes sonic coloration. Combined, these materials contribute to a driver that's light and fast, with low distortion and superior transient response and detail, even at truly astounding volume levels. Supported by a rigid motor structure, with high temperature aluminum voice coils to assure reliability even with extended playing at maximum output, and durable Butyl Rubber Surrounds allowing for more accurate cone movement, many of these drivers have survived since the SRS Series was first introduced and still play perfectly. This kind of material perfection can be found in every current Polk Audio model as well.
Critically Tuned Bass Radiators
The SRS Series Mid-Bass Drivers are acoustically coupled to the speaker's Critically Tuned Bass Radiator. A pair of SRS speakers with 12" Bass Radiators has a low frequency driver system of 178 square inches. This is deep bass that is both emotional and physical, and has been described as thunderous. And yet this is a system designed from the start to be clean and tight, with virtually no distortion. The SRS Series has been found to yield less distortion at 25Hz than many audiophile quality tube amplifiers. SRS Series speakers included "Bass Brace" hardware to anchor your speakers to your floor, for the ultimate in efficient, exhilarating deep bass reproduction. We have gone on to use this extraordinary Bass Radiator technology in the development of our current line of loudspeakers and Powered Subwoofers, proving our company-wide dedication to the deepest, most thrilling, realistically musical bass response possible.
SL 3000 Tweeter
At the time, this was possibly the world's finest 1-inch dome tweeter. In the SRS Series, it set a new standard for flat, extended high frequency response, free of peaks, to beyond 26 kHz and increased power handling capacity with high efficiency. Polk Audio engineers worked with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Non-Destructive Testing, utilized Laser Interferometry Technology, to test a vast number of tweeter designs and materials in their search for high frequency perfection. (Dynamic Balance Tuning Technology was a direct outgrowth of this fundamental audio research.) They developed a revolutionary new dome design that would produce perfect motion without the sonic degradation of standing waves. An exclusive process of "vapor depositing" stainless steel and aluminum on a polyamide surface made the new SL3000 dome stiff enough to push standing wave resonance to beyond audible range (20khz), yet light enough for higher efficiency and superior transient response. Backed by a custom-engineered voice coil former pre-formed to follow the exact contour of the new dome, with a surface contact area 10 times that of a typical voice coil assembly, the SL3000 eliminated the "hinging effect," a major cause of standing waves in contemporary tweeter designs at the time. To facilitate the extreme output expected of the SRS Series, the SL3000 Tweeter is cooled by rare Ultra Low Viscosity (ULV) Magnetic Fluid, nearly as thin as water, which vastly improves this tweeter's power handling capacity without compromising efficiency or the reproduction of imaging detail. The SL3000 makes an audible improvement at frequencies below those produced by previous generations of Polk tweeters, and the elimination of performance-robbing peaks audibly enhanced Midrange reproduction in the SRS Series as well. The accurate performance of every dome tweeter Polk Audio has designed and engineered since the SRS Series has benefitted from this fundamental research.
High Efficiency Amplifier Compatibility
The SRS Series was designed and engineered to be driven well by practically any electronics available at the time, even the most modestly-powered amplifer or receiver. They present an "easy load." We recommend that a high quality amplifier or receiver of at least 50 watts per channel be used for the best performance. (If you're using separate mono amplifiers without a common ground, Polk's AI-1 interface is available separately to ensure a proper connection.) You don't need an expensive high powered audiophile rig to enjoy the warm, clear, realism of the SRS Series.
For even greater dynamic range and lower distortion, the SRS loudspeakers may be connected for Bi-Amplification using the two sets of inputs provided on each loudspeaker. No electronic crossover is necessary. When you use two different amplifiers to reproduce the high and low frequencies separately, SRS loudspeakers achieve their greatest sonic potential.
"Bass-Brace" & Floor Spike Floor-Coupling Hardware Included
To enhance the full impact and dimension of Polk's low frequency performance, SRS Series speakers may be physically coupled to your listening room wall or floor with their specially designed "Bass Brace" hardware or Spiked Feet in place.
|Type||SL3000 trilaminate dome tweeter|
|Diameter||6 1/2" (16.51cm)|
|Type||trilaminate polymer drivers|
|Type||sub bass radiator|
|Total Frequency Response||15Hz - 26kHz|
|Upper -3dB Limit||25 kHz|
|Lower -3dB Limit||32 Hz|
|Nominal Impedance||8 ohms|
|Recommended Amplifier Power||50-500 watts per channel|
|Width||15 3/4" (40.01cm)|
|Depth||13 3/8" (33.97cm)|
|Product Weight (each)||101 pounds|
|Unit of Measure||each|
|Total Shipping Weight||202 pounds|
|Speaker Warranty||5 years parts and labor (original purchaser)|
Specifications, dimensions and features subject to change without notice. For more information call us at 1-800-377-7655 (USA and Canada). Outside of North America call +1 (410) 358-3600.
7 reviews with an average of 5Write your own review
by Greg Shaw, May 4, 20082 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
Solid performance, clean, brings out the music into the room.
I've never run them with their grill covers. I find the brightness much better with the grills off. I've also disconnected the SDA interconnect, as
I've LOVED these speakers since the first time I listened to them. I've a funny story though about how I got them. I was living in an apartment when lightning from a thunderstorm destroyed my entire stereo setup. Luckily, I had renter's insurance, and was auditioning replacement components. In the "oh-my-god" room, I was auditioning a Sony ES CD player (this was a LONG time ago :-) and the wife said "let's try those speakers" pointing to the SRS3.1's. We hooked it up, and suddenly the ES CD player was forgotten. The wife said "How much are those speakers?", to which I replied "Too much for our budget." But the price card was face-down on the speaker. I looked at the price and jumped - it was $300 per speaker, marked down from $1500 per speaker. It turns out that a customer paid a down payment on the speaker and never came back to get them. I almost jumped out of my clothes finding the salesman to buy the speakers. These are by far the best speakers I've ever owned, and I've owned quite a few. I use mono amps (150watts, hope to move to 250+ one day), but found that using Kimber Kable 8VS opens the speakers up nicely even with a < 250w amplifier. For the really deep bass, add a high quality sub. Put it inline (downstream from the speakers via speaker wires), as that uses what the speakers are not using to build the signal. In short, LOVE the speakers.
by Ron Skarvan, July 16, 20020 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Nothing compares to the detail of the SL3000 tri-lam tweeter. Polks very best. Speaker is capable of VERY instense spl's.
Requires 250+wpc to wake up and really sing. Speaker works best up loud. Sounds a little muddy when played softly.
This is one of Polk's rarest speakers. It was only produced in 1991 before the SDA line was discontinued. Some people call this the most audiophile Polk speaker. It is considerably different than its two bigger brothers. The line array of 4 mids with the centered tweeter produces a very full sound. The one sda driver nicely images the sound field. This is probably the best SDA-TL speaker to own - for real life living. The two bigger brothers are just too monsterous for most homes.
by David Niemann, July 27, 20020 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Pure, clean sound. Close your eyes and you are there. Fantastic!
I've owned these since new and never looked back. Hands down, these are the best sounding speakers I have ever owned period...
by Jack Taguiam, September 12, 20020 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
The imaging is exceptional. The highs are free of harshness and the lows are tight and accurate.
No weaknesses that I have encountered.
I am the second owner of these speakers. The sound is so natural and mind boggling. I can spend hours just listening to music and not get fatigued. The imaging is such a delight, that you know where all the instruments and singers are coming from.
by Gunther Gillat, July 21, 20030 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Impressive clarity, soundstage and speed. Capability of handling high power and volume.
Lacks some of the low end punch which is easily remedied by addition of sub.
This speaker is the most audiophile of the SDA lineup. Having compared this to its bigger brothers I had no second thoughts on purchasing this speaker. Never looked back since. Impressive sound with clean highs and acceptable lows. Even to date after auditioning newer speakers I always decide I cannot get any better unless I spend a fortune. Best of the best and can compete with speakers several times its price range. Its SDA technology brings listenening pleasure to a new level. Requires a lot of power to really shine.
by Paul Stubbs aka stubby, February 21, 20090 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
A beautiful sounding and looking speaker. One would have to spend an exorbanent amount of money to get better balanced sound.
They LOVE current. It does take a STRONG amp to make them sound their best. Maybe not a weakness, just good to know.
I've owned these speakers for almost 2 years, 3rd owner. Mine are not stock (upgraded caps, resistors, RDO's and binding posts) and have a sound of their own. These have probably the best balance of sound I have heard from an affordable speaker. Depth imaging is outstanding, and width is nicely handled by SDA. Dynamic range is also incredible, rivaling it's bigger brothers.
by Michael C. Evans, January 23, 20130 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Great power handling capabilities! True stereo! Flawless sound stage!
Boy they are heavy built,but just get a buddy to help move them when you are ready to.
I have owned these speakers since their inception and i am driving them with a pair of Adcom's GFA555's wired mono and quite frankly i havent heard anything that comapres to them in their price range. They will compete with many speakers costing three times as much. I auditioned them at Modern Music Audio in Memphis Tn. and i had a chance to compare them to B & W and KEF which cost much more and with the Adcom 's powering each set of speakers. Polk's SDA technology produced True Stereo and nothing else compares to that technology period. Thanks for building a great long lasting product! Mine still perform flawlessly! 20 + years old!
This product is considered a "Recent" or "Vintage" Polk Audio model. It is not a part of our current product lineup. It may still be available in some stores as a "close out" or "used" product. Information provided here about this product may not reflect current realities and does not imply availability. If you happen to have a question or concern about this product, contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-377-7655 M-F 9am - 5:30pm EST. Chances are we remember it.
SDA SRS3.1TL Media
SDA SRS3.1TL Literature
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