Crossover affecting clarity of Polk Monitor 30s - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-13-2013, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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To whom it may regard:

I have a pioneer vsx-921 and I have noticed that when the crossover is set to 80 Hz, the monitor 30s lose a great deal of clarity in the mids and detail in the highs. The subwoofer (Polk PSW110) is set up properly and is in phase. I am wondering if my speakers' performance suffers because they cannot produce multiple frequencies at once since they are bookshelves with a single 5.25" midrange driver and 1" tweeter.

So I am forced to set the crossover to 150 Hz to maintain sharper mids and detailed highs.

Is this because the speakers are rated to handle only 100 Watts and the added bass is too much power for them?

Or is it because they are bookshelves and do not have the advantage of multiple woofers and a large enclosure size just like tower speakers?


2nd Issue

I personally do not have an ear for polks (I have auditioned rti28s and csi3), they do not effectively convey an emotional response from music.

So I am thinking of getting a pair of BIC DV64 towers. I think moving from bookshelves to to towers (with dual 6.5" woofers, and dual passive radiators).

Either that or I will swap the monitor 30s for Infinity P163s 6.5" bookshelves and hopefully I will like the way they sound better tyhan the polks.

Both the BIC towers and Infinities are very well reviewed, have good specs, and are right in my price range.

I know everyone loves polk and the monitor series is hailed as the best speaker series in its class but they are not for me.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-13-2013, 09:11 AM
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Polk rates the Monitor 30s to 63Hz @ -3dB, so an 80Hz crossover seems appropriate, although 100Hz could work better. Since you're setting your crossover to 150Hz to have your sub deliver mid-bass, you may have:
- defective speakers;
- a placement or calibration issue that is affecting the sound the Polks are delivering at your listening position;
- an expectation of sound that the Polks cannot fulfill (i.e., they're not for you).

If the latter is the issue, sell the Monitor 30s and buy something that is for you.


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post #3 of 11 Old 01-13-2013, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukebox305 View Post

To whom it may regard:

I have a pioneer vsx-921 and I have noticed that when the crossover is set to 80 Hz, the monitor 30s lose a great deal of clarity in the mids and detail in the highs. The subwoofer (Polk PSW110) is set up properly and is in phase. I am wondering if my speakers' performance suffers because they cannot produce multiple frequencies at once since they are bookshelves with a single 5.25" midrange driver and 1" tweeter.

So I am forced to set the crossover to 150 Hz to maintain sharper mids and detailed highs.

Is this because the speakers are rated to handle only 100 Watts and the added bass is too much power for them?

Or is it because they are bookshelves and do not have the advantage of multiple woofers and a large enclosure size just like tower speakers?

Here's a good example of what my simplified and optimistic speaker model means in the real world. Here's what I get for a 5" woofer:

Hz dB SPL

10 60
20 72
30 79
40 84
50 88
60 91
70 94
80 96
90 98
100 100
110 102
120 103
130 105
140 106
150 107
160 108
170 109

Note that my model suggests that this speaker is probably close to or beyond being pushed for all it is worth at 120 Hz. At 80 Hz it is very limited.

My suggestion is something, almost anything with a larger woofer.

Even a single 6 1/2 woofer looks quite a bit better:

Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB

10 68
20 80
30 87
40 92
50 96
60 99
70 102
80 104
90 106
100 108
110 110
120 111
130 113
140 114
150 115
160 116
170 117

Add 3 dB at all frequencies for 2 6 1/2" woofers....
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-13-2013, 09:41 AM
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Sounds like you should get the BIC towers. From smaller bookshelf speakers of the Polk's level, you can't expect too much in the way of bass. Those towers, crossed over at 80hz from the receiver will sould great all the way down to that 80hz level. Upgrade time for you! smile.gifbiggrin.gif

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-13-2013, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukebox305 View Post

I am wondering if my speakers' performance suffers because they cannot produce multiple frequencies at once since they are bookshelves with a single 5.25" midrange driver and 1" tweeter.
That's possible, if they're pushed to levels higher than what they should be. With only one 5.25 that's not all that loud.
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So I am thinking of getting a pair of BIC DV64 towers.
Don't you have a sub? If so there's nothing to be gained by going to towers.
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is this because the speakers are rated to handle only 100 Watts and the added bass is too much power for them?
That 100 watt rating is the stuff of fantasy. Crossed over at 80Hz a typical 5.25 is good to about 25 watts, tops.
Bottom line, you don't need towers, but you do need at the least dual 5.25 bookshelves.

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input!

I am not concerned by the bass response of the monitor 30s, I want to know why when the crossover is set to 80hz the mids and highs lose alot of detail. When the crossover is set to 150 Hz or or 200 Hz, The mids and highs sound much better and the sub handles the low frequencies so there is no lack of bass.

My subwoofer is in phase and all is set up properly.

I am guessing one woofer can not produce sounds from three frequencies at once so I lose some clarity.

I like the BIC towers they would really improve the sound of my system,

In the meantime I am going to try connecting the speakers through the sub so I can adjust the crossover to a more exact value that sounds best instead of choosing between the few options the receiver has to offer.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukebox305 View Post

Thank you for the input!

I am not concerned by the bass response of the monitor 30s, I want to know why when the crossover is set to 80hz the mids and highs lose alot of detail.
That's an illusion. The mids and highs seem to have more detail because there's less low end coming from them. When you change the crossover frequency the mids and highs are unaltered.
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I like the BIC towers they would really improve the sound of my system
No more so than going to dual 6.5 driver bookshelves would. For the same price you should be able to get a higher quality bookshelf than floor stander.
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In the meantime I am going to try connecting the speakers through the sub so I can adjust the crossover to a more exact value that sounds best instead of choosing between the few options the receiver has to offer.
It doesn't work that way. The low pass frequency knob on the sub amp only adjusts the low pass frequency of the sub amp. It does not adjust the high pass frequency to the mains.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 07:22 AM
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The BIC speakers are unlikely to solve your problem; they are not very clean-sounding IMO.

I suggest that you consider the Polk R300 speakers which are selling on Amazon for only $100 each

I think they will sound much better than anything you have considered so far.

I also suggest that you get rid of that underpowered subwoofer and get a real subwoofer; that is a big part of your problem.

A Polk PSW505 would be a huge improvement.

The Monitor 30s will make good rear/surround speakers.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Well unfortunately my Pioneer VSX-921 broke. (overheated now stays on for just 5 seconds before powering off).


I did hook the speakers up through the subwoofer so I have precise control over the crossover.

The bass response is MUCH cleaner, stronger, and lifelike. It also matches the tone of the speakers a bit better.''

I don't know why the LFE channel did not produce the bass I wanted, but I will be getting a new sub soon so I can experiment with that later.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-26-2013, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
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Well unfortunately my Pioneer VSX-921 broke. (overheated now stays on for just 5 seconds before powering off).
Does it do that with no speakers plugged in? If so the AVR is toast. If not you probably messed something up with how you're wiring the speakers and the impedance is too low.

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post #11 of 11 Old 01-26-2013, 07:11 AM
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You may have connected things wrong.

Disconnect everything except the front pair of speakers, and hook them direct to the receiver (not through the sub connections).

I bet it will work OK then. If not....oops.

I suggest that you get a pair of Monitor 40s for the front and disable all crossover / filter settings on the receiver.

Set the subwoofer's low-pass filter to 50 Hz, so it does not operate any higher, and use the Monitor 30s as rear speakers.
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