Is really mixing a Polk Audio center speaker with Pioneer tower speakers a big deal? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently got the Polk Audio CS1 Series II Center Channel Speaker on sale for $59.99 and decided to build my 5.1 home theater around it. I have been recommended the Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker $149.99 a pair or the Polk Audio Monitor60 Series II Floor-standing Loudspeaker $99.99 each as really good and timbre matched speakers to go along with the CS1 center as either front or surround speakers. The thing is that the Pioneer SP-FS51-LR Floor-standing Speakers are on sale often for either $129.99 or $136.99 a pair in Newegg saving me about $125 if I decide to get them over the Monitor60 and that seems to be very attractive to me. That leads me to ask if it's really worth it to spend more money for the Polk Audio tower speakers just because they are timbre matched. Is there really much of a difference between the Pioneer towers and the Polk Audio center that makes the more expensive investment worth it?

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post #2 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 01:26 PM
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Don't mix brands on your front soundstage if at all possible. You are buying new so spend the little extra to match them properly.
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post #3 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, what do you think is better for front: a pair of Polk audio Monitor30 or 40 and a sub or a pair of Monitor60 or 70 with no sub?

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post #4 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Avgass View Post

Don't mix brands on your front soundstage if at all possible. You are buying new so spend the little extra to match them properly.
+1
Timbre matching speakers are ideal - and having front L/R speakers with the same size drivers help too.

But there are other brands that have the same timbre signature. I've owned Infinity speakers for many years - don't have any right now however. I bought a pair of Emotiva ERT towers in 2010 and had no matching center speaker - so I set up my Infinity IL36C center speaker with the ERT's. Turns out the timbre match was better with the Infinity than with the 'matching' ERM-6.3 Emotiva recommended as matching the ERT's. I found that out once I bought the 6.3 speaker for center duty. The only reason I sold the IL36c was the cherry finish didn't match the matte black of the ERTs.

And FWIW IMO the IL36c is a slightly better center speaker.

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post #5 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 01:42 PM
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Monitor 40 with sub would be my preference. Exact same type and number of drivers for the front 3 and having a sub is very important. Don't skimp on the sub
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Will the Monitor30 will be a good surround speaker for the Monitor40?

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post #7 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 02:08 PM
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Yes, almost ideal - but they are rear ported so should not be placed too close to a wall if poss.
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 02:12 PM
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Actually they should do OK on a wall provided they are crossed over above their port tune (80Hz or higher should be ok, but you might need to experiment).
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post #9 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Is just that I'm trying to be happy with the home theater with as less money as possible. If it saves me money I'll try the Monitor30 and a sub as my front speakers to see if I'm happy with that. If I'm, I can get another pair for the surround back. If I'm not, I can get the Monitor40 for the front speakers and move the the Monitor30 to the back. That's why I was asking how they perform as surround speakers. What do you think about the Polk Audio PSW121 as a sub?

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post #10 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually they should do OK on a wall provided they are crossed over above their port tune (80Hz or higher should be ok, but you might need to experiment).


You mean as front or surround speakers?

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post #11 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 02:33 PM
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I mean as surround speakers (often these need to be placed on-wall due to space constraints).

The only issue I see is that the range of speakers you are looking at is discontinued so you may not be able to get Monitor 40s in the future. It might be worth looking at staged upgrades if you are on a tight budget. I reckon you should start with the Monitor 40s so you don't have to worry about them being unavailable, then get a reasonable sub, then get surrounds all as funds become available. It is less critical to match surrounds so you could get a newer series Polk speakers and be perfectly happy for this application. The Polk PSW121 is not a sub I would look at. Maybe a PSW 505 (also discontinued but still available) if it had to be Polk or something like a BIC PL200 (you don't need to match the sub for any reason other than aesthetics).

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post #12 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 02:42 PM
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If you have to go for a cheaper sub then BIC F12 or Dayton SUB 1200 would be the options I'd look at
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post #13 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLouis1971 View Post

What do you think about the Polk Audio PSW121 as a sub?

Skip that one - look at the PSW505 SUB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290130

Or, JBL 150P - $199 with rebate, and it measures good
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665157

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post #14 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I mean as surround speakers (often these need to be placed on-wall due to space constraints).

The only issue I see is that the range of speakers you are looking at is discontinued so you may not be able to get Monitor 40s in the future. It might be worth looking at staged upgrades if you are on a tight budget. I reckon you should start with the Monitor 40s so you don't have to worry about them being unavailable, then get a reasonable sub, then get surrounds all as funds become available. It is less critical to match surrounds so you could get a newer series Polk speakers and be perfectly happy for this application. The Polk PSW121 is not a sub I would look at. Maybe a PSW 505 (also discontinued but still available) if it had to be Polk or something like a BIC PL200 (you don't need to match the sub for any reason other than aesthetics).

My 2c
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For now I don't worry about the speakers being discontinued because they are supposed to last a few years anyway and a new speaker now will be discontinued in a few years as well. If something breaks I can replace all of the drivers to match everything again.

 

So is more crucial to match the front speakers with the center than the surround speakers or sub-woofer? That makes getting the Monitor40 speakers the next logical step and that's precisely what I'm going to do. then the sub and last the surrounds. Will add the Monitor40 as surround be a unnecessary money investment comparing them with the Monitor30? I heard that you don't really need a big speaker as a surround speaker.

 

I think I know what you're looking for in a powered sub-woofer and that's power. The Polk PSW121 is powered by only 100 watts while the other ones are powered by 475 and 300 watts.

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post #15 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 03:22 PM
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I only made the point because those Polk Audio speakers are already discontinued. They are not a 'current series' on Polk's website.

It is nice to match the surrounds but not critical. In a perfect world you would use the Monitor 40s but I would think you'd be very happy with the Monitor 30s as surrounds.

There is no reason to match subwoofers from an audio perspective.

There is no single metric which defines how good a subwoofer will be. Having a more powerful amplifier does not guarantee a sub will be better as loudness is even more dependent on efficiency than power (measured as sensitivity in passive speakers). The sub recommendations made are better all round subwoofers providing greater output, deeper extension and accuracy.
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post #16 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 03:41 PM
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Don't skimp on the sub

This is very good advice. To really figure out what size and type of sub you should be looking though at we need to know how large your HT room is. If it is large in size the last thing you want to do is waste money on an undersized sub that won't be able to pressurize the room, leaving you with weak bass and ruining all the time and effort you put into setting up the right speakers. This is especially true if you plan on going with bookshelves crossed over above 80 hz. 

 

As far as your question regarding the surrounds, they don't have to be as large as the others, so the 30s would work fine but if you want them larger then that's fine and the 40s would work well. 

 

Yes, it is more important to match your front three speakers than the rest. 

 

As a side note, I would suggest putting most of your budget into the best speakers you can get and the best subwoofer that will work for your room. Build your system around that. Your speakers and sub are the most important part of your HT because they make the biggest difference in the quality of your sound. 

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post #17 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I only made the point because those Polk Audio speakers are already discontinued. They are not a 'current series' on Polk's website.

It is nice to match the surrounds but not critical. In a perfect world you would use the Monitor 40s but I would think you'd be very happy with the Monitor 30s as surrounds.

There is no reason to match subwoofers from an audio perspective.

There is no single metric which defines how good a subwoofer will be. Having a more powerful amplifier does not guarantee a sub will be better as loudness is even more dependent on efficiency than power (measured as sensitivity in passive speakers). The sub recommendations made are better all round subwoofers providing greater output, deeper extension and accuracy.

What about the Polk Audio New Monitor 45B? What will be a good center for those? They are priced a little bit more expensive but they are not discontinued or are they?

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post #18 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 03:55 PM
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The Polk website is kind of strange. They don't show you the Monitor II series or the Monitor B series unless you go to the top and choose the product menu and go down to the choose by category and check bookshelves then you will see that both Monitor II and Monitor B series seem to still be available. Here's the link.

 

http://www.polkaudio.com/shop-by-product

 

EDIT: But if you use the side bar menu you can't find either of these series.

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post #19 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 03:56 PM
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TBH those would probably work fine with your CS1 even if they look a little different, but it would be impossible to say for sure without having a listen. They look like the new version of the Monitor 40s.
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post #20 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 03:58 PM
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TBH those would probably work fine with your CS1 even if they look a little different, but it would be impossible to say for sure without having a listen. They look like the new version of the Monitor 40s.

I agree. I think they would work as well.

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post #21 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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If there's no difference in sound then I'll pick up the Monitor40, they often go on sale for $129.99 and are the same line as the CS1 center speaker.

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post #22 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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This is very good advice. To really figure out what size and type of sub you should be looking though at we need to know how large your HT room is. If it is large in size the last thing you want to do is waste money on an undersized sub that won't be able to pressurize the room, leaving you with weak bass and ruining all the time and effort you put into setting up the right speakers. This is especially true if you plan on going with bookshelves crossed over above 80 hz. 

 

As far as your question regarding the surrounds, they don't have to be as large as the others, so the 30s would work fine but if you want them larger then that's fine and the 40s would work well. 

 

Yes, it is more important to match your front three speakers than the rest. 

 

As a side note, I would suggest putting most of your budget into the best speakers you can get and the best subwoofer that will work for your room. Build your system around that. Your speakers and sub are the most important part of your HT because they make the biggest difference in the quality of your sound. 

The room basically measures about 12' wide X 26' long X 8' tall because the kitchen is contiguous with the living room. There's also a small corridor that measures 3' wide X 6' long X 8' tall also contiguous. I don't really want to play this really loud. I just want the sounds to be accurate and clear.

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post #23 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 04:59 PM
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The room basically measures about 12' wide X 26' long X 8' tall because the kitchen is contiguous with the living room. There's also a small corridor that measures 3' wide X 6' long X 8' tall also contiguous. I don't really want to play this really loud. I just want the sounds to be accurate and clear.

If it sounds good, you will want to play it loud eventually! Trust me on this...wink.gif

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post #24 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 05:42 PM
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The room basically measures about 12' wide X 26' long X 8' tall because the kitchen is contiguous with the living room. There's also a small corridor that measures 3' wide X 6' long X 8' tall also contiguous. I don't really want to play this really loud. I just want the sounds to be accurate and clear.

That's a pretty good size room, 2500 cu ft for the room plus 150 cu ft in the corridor. Here's my suggestion. Consider the ID companies: PSA, SVS, HSU, Outlaw and Rythmik. You will get the most bang for your buck with those companies. 

 

I would suggest looking at:

SVS: PB 1000 $499 or better yet PB12-NSD $769 (shipping included)

PSA: XV15  $799 (shipping included)

Outlaw: LFM-1 EX $649 (not sure on shipping)

Rythmik: LV12R  $599 (not sure on shipping)

HSU: VTF-2 MK4  $559 or better yet VTF-3 MK4 $699 (plus shipping)

 

There's a lot more to good bass than playing it loud. It's key that you have a powerful enough subwoofer to pressurize the room correctly. This is something I just recently learned first hand. I have a room that's about 3250 cu ft and I was wondering why I had such pitiful bass (and I was running two 250 watt subs). I just stepped up to the PSA XV15 and I was blown away at what I had been missing. If I had known about properly pressurizing a room before I would have stepped up in subwoofers a long time ago. I know these might be more than what you planned on spending but I think you you will be happy. Just a suggestion. 

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post #25 of 30 Old 11-14-2013, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks, what do you think is better for front: a pair of Polk audio Monitor30 or 40 and a sub or a pair of Monitor60 or 70 with no sub?

a pair of 60's or 70's with a sub...but there is a lot of compelling logical reasons to use bookshelves up front.

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Will the Monitor30 will be a good surround speaker for the Monitor40?

I've used both as surrounds and honestly there is not much difference that i noticed. now up front I would choose the 40's over the 30's

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Is just that I'm trying to be happy with the home theater with as less money as possible. If it saves me money I'll try the Monitor30 and a sub as my front speakers to see if I'm happy with that. If I'm, I can get another pair for the surround back. If I'm not, I can get the Monitor40 for the front speakers and move the the Monitor30 to the back. That's why I was asking how they perform as surround speakers. What do you think about the Polk Audio PSW121 as a sub?

40's up front with 30's as surrounds makes sense. that sub is not worth buying at any price.

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What do you think about the Polk Audio PSW121 as a sub?

Skip that one - look at the PSW505 SUB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290130

Or, JBL 150P - $199 with rebate, and it measures good
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665157

+1 on the 505. really the only "budget sub" polk makes that is worth buying, however if you can up the budget to $500 or more then there are a ton of really great options.

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I only made the point because those Polk Audio speakers are already discontinued. They are not a 'current series' on Polk's website.

It is nice to match the surrounds but not critical. In a perfect world you would use the Monitor 40s but I would think you'd be very happy with the Monitor 30s as surrounds.

There is no reason to match subwoofers from an audio perspective.

There is no single metric which defines how good a subwoofer will be. Having a more powerful amplifier does not guarantee a sub will be better as loudness is even more dependent on efficiency than power (measured as sensitivity in passive speakers). The sub recommendations made are better all round subwoofers providing greater output, deeper extension and accuracy.

yes the monitor ii's are a current speaker on polks website.

see: http://www.polkaudio.com/products/series/. the orginal monitor series are discontinued. the series ii's are the same just better looking fwiw.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avgass View Post

I only made the point because those Polk Audio speakers are already discontinued. They are not a 'current series' on Polk's website.


It is nice to match the surrounds but not critical. In a perfect world you would use the Monitor 40s but I would think you'd be very happy with the Monitor 30s as surrounds.


There is no reason to match subwoofers from an audio perspective.


There is no single metric which defines how good a subwoofer will be. Having a more powerful amplifier does not guarantee a sub will be better as loudness is even more dependent on efficiency than power (measured as sensitivity in passive speakers). The sub recommendations made are better all round subwoofers providing greater output, deeper extension and accuracy.
What about the Polk Audio New Monitor 45B? What will be a good center for those? They are priced a little bit more expensive but they are not discontinued or are they?

the 45B's are part of what polk calls the New Monitor series. I thought they were going to replace the series ii's but the ii's still keep coming up for sale, this tells me that they are not discontinued at this time. the matching center for the 45B's would be the 15c and 25c. however the new monitors, monitor ii's and tsi series are all from the same family and will all timber match each other well enough without any negative affects.

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TBH those would probably work fine with your CS1 even if they look a little different, but it would be impossible to say for sure without having a listen. They look like the new version of the Monitor 40s.

yup...updated 40's

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Quote:
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The room basically measures about 12' wide X 26' long X 8' tall because the kitchen is contiguous with the living room. There's also a small corridor that measures 3' wide X 6' long X 8' tall also contiguous. I don't really want to play this really loud. I just want the sounds to be accurate and clear.
That's a pretty good size room, 2500 cu ft for the room plus 150 cu ft in the corridor. Here's my suggestion. Consider the ID companies: PSA, SVS, HSU, Outlaw and Rythmik. You will get the most bang for your buck with those companies. 

I would suggest looking at:
SVS: PB 1000 $499 or better yet PB12-NSD $769 (shipping included)
PSA: XV15  $799 (shipping included)
Outlaw: LFM-1 EX $649 (not sure on shipping)
Rythmik: LV12R  $599 (not sure on shipping)
HSU: VTF-2 MK4  $559 or better yet VTF-3 MK4 $699 (plus shipping)

There's a lot more to good bass than playing it loud. It's key that you have a powerful enough subwoofer to pressurize the room correctly. This is something I just recently learned first hand. I have a room that's about 3250 cu ft and I was wondering why I had such pitiful bass (and I was running two 250 watt subs). I just stepped up to the PSA XV15 and I was blown away at what I had been missing. If I had known about properly pressurizing a room before I would have stepped up in subwoofers a long time ago. I know these might be more than what you planned on spending but I think you you will be happy. Just a suggestion. 
+1 to any and all of those sub suggestions. a pair of 40's and cs1 or 2 upfront with 30's or 40's as surrounds all crossed at 80hz and paired with any one of those subs would be a pretty awesome set up.wink.gif

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post #26 of 30 Old 11-15-2013, 12:55 PM
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+1 to any and all of those sub suggestions. a pair of 40's and cs1 or 2 upfront with 30's or 40's as surrounds all crossed at 80hz and paired with any one of those subs would be a pretty awesome set up.wink.gif

Yep, that's what I would be looking at putting together if I were the OP in this case.

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post #27 of 30 Old 05-02-2014, 01:07 PM
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Finally finished replaced my front sound stage with all Polk speakers, up until now I had PCB towers and a Paridigm center. Now I have Polk Audio Tower Speaker RTIA7s and a Polk Audio Centre Channel Speaker CSI A6. Wow already even before break them in I am noticing a difference in quality but also timbre, they sound like the belong. Maybe that is crazy but I swear that is how it sounds. lol

I am curious if anyone has these speakers BI amped, I am only running 5.1 on my 7.1 AVR and am trying to decide if i should bi-amp or get rear surrounds?

James Reid:D
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post #28 of 30 Old 05-02-2014, 01:41 PM
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I've never heard of anyone realizing any difference through biamping. I would do it until you get your extra set of rear surounds. I biamp my RP3's, but only because I have no rear surrounds in the LR.

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post #29 of 30 Old 05-02-2014, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardoski View Post

Finally finished replaced my front sound stage with all Polk speakers, up until now I had PCB towers and a Paridigm center. Now I have Polk Audio Tower Speaker RTIA7s and a Polk Audio Centre Channel Speaker CSI A6. Wow already even before break them in I am noticing a difference in quality but also timbre, they sound like the belong. Maybe that is crazy but I swear that is how it sounds. lol

I am curious if anyone has these speakers BI amped, I am only running 5.1 on my 7.1 AVR and am trying to decide if i should bi-amp or get rear surrounds?

I had my RTIA7s biamped for a while and noticed absolutely no difference. In my experience biamping doesn't work and I've seen it explained why in more than one thread here in AVS. 

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post #30 of 30 Old 05-02-2014, 04:21 PM
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All right thanks, I suspected as much. Instead of buying more speaker wire I will just save for rear speakers.

James Reid:D
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