Speaker Selection Advice Needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-29-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I own Polk tsi300's and am not pleased:
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-TSi300-Floorstanding-Speaker/dp/B0018QNYIK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1348975300&sr=1-1&keywords=polk+tsi300

I also have the accompanying CS10 center and the PSW111.

Simply put, I'm just not too impressed with the quality.

Should I upgrade to the tsi400's or tsi500's or rti A5's and see a stark difference between the different speakers within the same brand or would you recommend I go with the Klipsch Icon's KC-26's?

I'm running them with a Denon 1612 and I mainly watch TV shows and movies, with some occasional music listening.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-29-2012, 10:27 PM
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My best advice is to get off yer duff and go out and give a listen to as many speakers as you can. How did you come by the Polks you have now? This forum?

If you don't like the Tsi300 you probably won't like the 400 or 500 much either. They use the same drivers and tweeters.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-30-2012, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyedward View Post

I own Polk tsi300's and am not pleased:
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-TSi300-Floorstanding-Speaker/dp/B0018QNYIK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1348975300&sr=1-1&keywords=polk+tsi300
I also have the accompanying CS10 center and the PSW111.
Simply put, I'm just not too impressed with the quality.
Should I upgrade to the tsi400's or tsi500's or rti A5's and see a stark difference between the different speakers within the same brand or would you recommend I go with the Klipsch Icon's KC-26's?
I'm running them with a Denon 1612 and I mainly watch TV shows and movies, with some occasional music listening.

Polk are just BM speakers. So are the Infinity speakers. I see polk and infinity (Primus) recommended all the time. They are just budget speakers and they are not going to impressed a lot of people. So are the KC-26. They are all just BestBuy speakers. You get what you paid for.

You are also going from one cheap speaker to another i.e polk to KC-26. So you are not going to be very impressed. If you move to Klipsch RF62 and RC62, you would be impressed. It depends on your budget and your preference for a specific type of sound. You also need to get a better sub.

If you are comfortable buying used speakers, you can do much better even at the price you are planning to spend on the KC-26 or RTi A5

I would stop shopping for speakers at Amazon or BestBuy and visit some stores to do some auditioning. So you will get an idea as to what is out there. Even BestBuy Magnolia would be a better place. I believe they carry the Klipsch Reference series and also the B&W 685. PSB is another brand that makes decent low end speakers and are worth the money compared to Polk or Klipsch KC-26
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-30-2012, 08:44 AM
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An underpowered 8-inch "subwoofer" is what you have, and it is not really a subwoofer. It is way too small and underpowered to be a true subwoofer.

A subwoofer needs at least 300 watts of RMS power, and a 12-inch driver.

The Polk PSW505 would be a wise investment ($250 or so)

I don't think the TSi300 speakers are all that bad, but you do need a much better subwoofer and center speaker. Those are your problem areas IMO, not the TSi300.

The Polk CSi A4 (around $200) is what you need to match up properly with the TSi300 speakers. The CS10 is not what you want; a strictly marginal el cheapo speaker.

Another issue may be the crossover point. Your main speakers should be set up to operate down to around 50 Hz (full-range), and the rolloff filter on the subwoofer should be set so that it DOES NOT operate above 60 Hz. Do whatever you have to do to accomplish this.

Having said all of this, this line of Polk speakers is never going to satisfy the person who wants some really nice sound quality. To get that, you will need to step up to a considerably higher price bracket.

For $1300, the PSB Image T6 speakers are unbeatable in their price range, and will give excellent sound quality. The PSB Image C5 ($450) is the matching center speaker, and there are several good subwoofers for $500-800.

If you are looking for some superb sound quality, and have the money to spend, that is where you may want to go.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-30-2012, 09:27 AM
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First, if you do decide to upgrade in the same line, the Polk Monitor series and the TSI series are essentially the same (mostly a cosmetic upgrade). Newegg often has great discounts on the Polk Monitors.

Next, what is it that you don't like about "the quality"? Not enough sub bass? Poor dialogue intelligibility? Not enough mid-bass? Overall clarity? I think people can help you better if you can describe what you don't like about them.

Finally, did you run Audyssey MultiEQ on your receiver? That can help improve the SQ.

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-30-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyedward View Post

I own Polk tsi300's and am not pleased:
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-TSi300-Floorstanding-Speaker/dp/B0018QNYIK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1348975300&sr=1-1&keywords=polk+tsi300
I also have the accompanying CS10 center and the PSW111.

What kind of space are you working with? If large, that set up is not so good, no wonder you're not impressed. That sub, not the way to go in my opinion.

The Monitor line or TSi as you have can make some pretty decent sound once properly driven. I had M70's, 40's, 30's and a CS2 to make a nice little 7.1 set up. The 70's and CS2 were driven with a separate amp and that made all the dif in the world.

After an upgrade to an RTiA set up, I sold my Monitor set up and demoed my 70's on an even bigger amp I used for the A9's and it opened up the 70's even more, even I was very impressed with how they sounded esp for music. I sold the monitors for what I was asking without any bargaining from the buyer.

You can get a great sound from the Polks but you have to have them set up.

Spinning the rear tire at 150mph while at 3/4 lean angle will put wrinkles in your seat
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-01-2012, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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My room is not so big, maybe 10x15.

To answer some of your questions...

I'm not impressed with the dialogue intelligibility at all, and I'm also not impressed with I asume is "sound staging." This may not be correct, but I feel like I can tell each sound coming out of each driver. The room simply does not fill the room. I was advised by a friend to turn off Audyssey and set everything to 75 dB with a SPL meter.

So, to those advising used speakers.. any examples? I, unfortunately cannot spend tons. I'm a BB employee (as you could probably suspect) and so I get the Klipsch Icons for $120, and the Polk A5's for $120 as well (each).
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-01-2012, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyedward View Post

I'm not impressed with the dialogue intelligibility at all, and I'm also not impressed with I asume is "sound staging." This may not be correct, but I feel like I can tell each sound coming out of each driver. The room simply does not fill the room. I was advised by a friend to turn off Audyssey and set everything to 75 dB with a SPL meter.

I think your friend gave you bad advice if you did not try configuring Audyssey correctly first. Did you run the measurements for the correct number of positions and listen to it? Audyssey MultiEQ does more than simply set the channel levels. It also EQs the speakers and the sub to flatten the response for the room. So run Audyssey for the multiple listening points. Then if you want, adjust them with your SPL meter with Audyssey still engaged (although I would write them down first).

While that might help a little, going with a better front set of towers and center could certainly improve the soundstage. The CS10 is not known for being a particularly good center.

If you want to stay with Polks, Frys currently has the Polk RTi8s for $188.50 + shipping. Get those and the matching CSiA6.

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-01-2012, 12:28 PM
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^^^^^^^^
+1 on that post.

For what it's worth, I'm of the opinion that it could be a combination of speaker placement, and Audyssey settings. Sure, those Polks aren't top of the line, but they're not that bad.

For your center, make sure it's not near imediate reflective surfaces. I had mine on top of my entertainment unit and it was pushed back leaving about 10 inches before the edge of the top of my unit. Brought it forward in a way that the speaker was right at the edge of the unit. Made a big difference.

Subtle things like that can make a big difference in a particular room. Maybe you could post pics of your room?

cheers
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-01-2012, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so maybe I'll try Audyssey again. However, from my reading on this forum, it seems as if I should run it and then tweak several settings.

Is there a good guide for that, or could someone tell me what to set my subwoofer, towers, center, etc. at?

Update:

I went to King's and bought a 12" Pinnacle subwoofer for $80. I know it's probably not the best subwoofer in the world, but it'll handle the lower frequencies much better than the PSW111. Also, at King's I was shown the Klipsch reference speakers. How about replacing my tsi300's with a pair of Klipsch reference bookshelves? Thoughts? Thanks everyone for your help! The subwoofer by itself has made a great improvement.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-01-2012, 05:25 PM
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Before you buy other speakers, give yours another chance.

1. Make sure your speakers are placed appropriately. This is a very good starting point. Make sure your speakers are a good distance from walls.
2. Rerun Audyssey. Make sure to measure the 6 position starting with the MLP and no more than 24" apart. I strongly suggest to read this from a very well known AVS member.
3. After Audyssey is done, the first thing you should do is go set your speakers to "small" in the menu's speaker setup. Audyssey probably set them to "large". This is common for most room correction software.
4. A good place to start with your crossover setting is at 80Hz. This is the most common and used setting.

Also, some members here, including myself, find that when you set your Dynamic Volume to "Day" the dialogue seems to be "louder". I only use this settings for watching tv personally.

All of this should take you no more than an hour.

Let us know your impressions

cheers
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-02-2012, 08:58 AM
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Hi, sorry to hijack the thread. I too need some help in deciding the speakers. Any help/suggestion will really be appreciated.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432033/new-home-theater-setup-suggestion-please
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