Polk RTIA vs. EMP Tek - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I am a newbie and I recently purchased my very first speakers...a pair of "demoed" RTIA9 tower speakers for $825 from Fry's.  I have 3 weeks left to audition them before the 30day return expires for a full refund.  I have a budget of $2500 but also used $600 towards a Harman Kardon 3700 receiver.  I will be purchasing the remaining center and surround speakers from Polk's ebay store.  After all is said and done this is how my system will look:

 

$600 HK 3700

$825 Polk RTIA9

$300 Polk CSIA6

$360 Polk FXIA6

$500 BIC PL-200 (2) OR SVS PB-1000

 

$2,585 TOTAL

 

However, I am reading good things about the EMP Tek Impression Series and I really like the look of them too!  They are having a sale until the end of the month (November 30).  If I go that route, this is how I would be spending my $2500:

 

$600 HK 3700

$580 EMP Tek E55Ti

$315 EMP Tek E56Ci

$330 EMP Tek E55Wi

$500 EMP Tek E1010i (2) OR SVS PB-1000

 

$2,325 TOTAL

 

So that would be a savings of $260 going the EMP Tek route.  Yes, I understand that the Polk speakers are more powerful than the EMP Teks.  Also, I will eventually make purchase for an external amp to run the RTIA9 (maybe in a year or so).  I don't know if it matters a lot, but the Polk are 8 ohms and the EMP Tek are 6 ohms.  Currently, I will be placing them in my living room (23' W x 15' D x 8' H).  I will be using this setup more for movies (70%) than music (30%).

 

I really really need and am asking for owners of these speakers and/or the experts/veterans that can give me an insight on the route I should go.  Thank you in advance :) 


7.0 HT Setup:
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post #2 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 09:40 AM
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Kind of a toss up. But if you like the sound of your Polks I would just keep them. Once you hook up an external amp they will have a significant advantage over the EMPs in output and extension.

Of course with the extra $260 you saved you could put that to a better sub like the PSA XV15 which negates the much of the output advantage of the Polks.

Hmmmmm maybe I talked myself into thinking the EMPs plus XV15 is the better deal. biggrin.gif

Where did you get a 3700 for $600?

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post #3 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 09:47 AM
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I own the EMPs and have heard the Polks, in my opinion the EMPs are more laid back sounding. The Polks, while I woudn't characterize them as bright (as opposed to their cheaper lines), are more forward in the upper frequencies. I prefer a more neutral speaker and thus my preference lies with the EMPs. The Polks have fuller bass, but with a sub that becomes irrelevant. The real bread and butter of the EMPs is the mid-range, both have about equal clarity.

I think either way you would be happy, but the difference in sound is not all that subtle. You may want to listen to a more neutral speaker like Energy to see if you have a strong preferance one way or another.

Regardless of the choice, I think for a room that size you need dual subs. Ideally I would say get a PB-1000 now and add a second later, but if that is not an option than I would probably lean towards the e1010i pair. It held up pretty well in a shootout with an HSU VTF3 and DIY Dayton 15". Another owner also found it to be more accurate than the Klipsch RW-12D, the previous $300 heavyweight. I would wager the output is similar to the BIC, but you trade some extension for accuracy. The PB-1000 is the first sub that gets you sub-20Hz bass, so if that is important than the choice is clear.

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post #4 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Eh howzit Kini, I see you're from Hawaii.  I'm originally from Hawaii but in Las Vegas now.  Thanks for the reply.  I got it from a buddy of mine who wanted more..I think he bought a Denon AVR-X4000.

 

So you think the lack of a low end (vs the RTIAs) can be resolved by getting a quality subwoofer?


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post #5 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Transmanaicon, I was hoping you would reply...lol..I noticed on another thread you owned them...thank you so much that you read my mind! 


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post #6 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:02 AM
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EMP e55: $580
EMP e56: $315
EMP e5b: $190
HK 3700: $600

TOTAL: $1685

That leaves you $815 for a sub or subs. You could try the used market, especially since you're close to Cali and a few other places that many AVS'ers are. Maybe pick up an Outlaw LFM-1ex (if they go on the BF sale prices) or PSA XV15. Then add another when you can gather another $400 or so. OR...you could go the DIY route. Build a few 18" subs for $800-900 on A LOT more power and A LOT more headroom.


I don't know what the prices on the Polks or how they're product line is broken down so I can't really help. I heard the RTia line once and it was still good. Close to the EMP line, but slightly more forward in the midrange and upper treble. Bass is stronger, but like was mentioned...moot point if you add quailty sub(s).

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post #7 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:15 AM
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I think you would be happy with either of those speaker setups, they both are pretty sweet. I prefer the high gloss black ash on the EMPs for the looks.

But as other posters have stated in other ways: If you are willing to drop that amount of coin on a speaker setup, DON'T skimp on the subs. I would advise a dual sub setup for your room with a minimum of 2 SVS PB1000. But I would strongly suggest you look into dual Rythmik LV12R's, PSA XV15's, or any of the other subs in that caliber.

FWIW: I spent my money like this, $980 on 7 speakers, $998 on 2 subs, and $563 on a refurb Onkyo 808.

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post #8 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you OUSooner!  They won't have the E5B (black finish) for another 2-3 months.  That is why I was going the E55Wi route but I guess I could just wait 2-3 months, I've waited almost 5 years for a HT setup!!!

 

So that's 3 votes for the EMP Tek route with a very nice subwoofer!  How is the build quality on the EMP Tek?? The Polk RTIA9 are solid and heavy!

 

Transmaniacon and OUSooner, how long have you had those speakers? From a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your satisfaction on the performance and build on the EMP Tek line?


7.0 HT Setup:
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post #9 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

I think you would be happy with either of those speaker setups, they both are pretty sweet. I prefer the high gloss black ash on the EMPs for the looks.

But as other posters have stated in other ways: If you are willing to drop that amount of coin on a speaker setup, DON'T skimp on the subs. I would advise a dual sub setup for your room with a minimum of 2 SVS PB1000. But I would strongly suggest you look into dual Rythmik LV12R's, PSA XV15's, or any of the other subs in that caliber.

FWIW: I spent my money like this, $980 on 7 speakers, $998 on 2 subs, and $563 on a refurb Onkyo 808.


Thanks for the suggested subs.  I didn't have those 2 on my list, I'll look into them.


7.0 HT Setup:
***Polk RTIA9 / CSIA6 / FXIA6 / RTIA3**Dual PB-2000**Pioneer SC-1222K**Panasonic 65"VT60**Sony BDP-BX510***

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post #10 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by HKPolkMe View Post

Thank you OUSooner!  They won't have the E5B (black finish) for another 2-3 months.  That is why I was going the E55Wi route but I guess I could just wait 2-3 months, I've waited almost 5 years for a HT setup!!!

So that's 3 votes for the EMP Tek route with a very nice subwoofer!  How is the build quality on the EMP Tek?? The Polk RTIA9 are solid and heavy!

Transmaniacon and OUSooner, how long have you had those speakers? From a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your satisfaction on the performance and build on the EMP Tek line?

I have had mine almost exactly 1 year, and they have thoroughly impressed me. Incredible dynamics and sound stage when watching movies, they disappear and will play loud and clean. I still want to try a discrete amp with them, just to see what a little more power produces. Peope who have measured them find the top rolls off a little quicker than most, but I enjoy the sound that produces. I came from some older Infinitys and realized just how bright they were in comparison (I do not like bright speakers it seems). I have to say 5 for satisfaction, I listened to a lot of speakers, Klipsch, Energy, Polk, EMP, Infinity, Ascend, B&W, and DefTech, and I enjoyed the sound of the EMPs the most.

Appearance wise, these are hard to match without spending thousands to get real wood veneer. They are big impressive looking speakers, and the red burl is beautiful. At almost 60 pounds, the cabinet is solid and the build quality is great. The curved cabinet is very elegant and is a nice change from the boxy status quo. Obviously this is all subjective, I listened to speakers and read reviews/comparisons, and took a chance on these. For me they are wonderful, I imagine if I ever wanted to upgrade I would need to save up a few thousand to get a worthwhile upgrade.

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post #11 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKPolkMe View Post

Thank you OUSooner!  They won't have the E5B (black finish) for another 2-3 months.  That is why I was going the E55Wi route but I guess I could just wait 2-3 months, I've waited almost 5 years for a HT setup!!!

So that's 3 votes for the EMP Tek route with a very nice subwoofer!  How is the build quality on the EMP Tek?? The Polk RTIA9 are solid and heavy!

Transmaniacon and OUSooner, how long have you had those speakers? From a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your satisfaction on the performance and build on the EMP Tek line?

You could post in the Polk thread and get the complete opposite answers. I don't feel like Trans and myself are bias at all really. I constantly recommend other brands that fall exactly in the price line with EMP. It's hard to recommend audio without YOU hearing it in YOUR room. That's why there are so many people selling, buying, second guessing, upgrading, etc. Sucks...but that's just how it is.

The RTI's are likely close the same build quality as the EMP's. The look pretty close to the same internally. Not positive on cabinet thickness (emp is like .7" on the sides and rear and 1.5" on the front if I remember correctly; braced near the 3 midwoofers and the top is a sealed chamber (both mids and tweeter)). The RTI a9 is 2" taller, 1" wider and over 9" deeper! It's 20lb's heavier than the e55, but that's A LOT more mdf. Weight is everything, but it can be helpful to look at.


I would wait for the e5's since it'll save you quite a bit. You could even pick up something else for surround duty that is slightly cheaper, giving you more for the sub budget.

I have had these speakers since last BF..so coming up on 1 year. I've heard my fair share of speakers in the home theater realm (klipsch rf-82's, rf-62's, infinity p363's, p163's, a few jbl lines, B&W 6 series and CM lines, Energy C series and CF series, Paradigm monitors and a few others)....and I've heard even more drivers and setups in the car audio world. SQ setups for the most part, so I'd like to think I have a 'decent' ear (jl w7, w6, zr's, c's, seas, jbl gti w15, image dynamics stuff {which I still have a few things for sale if anyone see's this lol}, and the list goes on and on and on). For the money, they are great. Is there better? Yes. Is there worse? Yes. Would you like something else more? Who knows. Only you can decide that. For the price though, you're chances are very good that these will make you happy compared to similarly priced items.

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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post #12 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I have had mine almost exactly 1 year, and they have thoroughly impressed me. Incredible dynamics and sound stage when watching movies, they disappear and will play loud and clean. I still want to try a discrete amp with them, just to see what a little more power produces. Peope who have measured them find the top rolls off a little quicker than most, but I enjoy the sound that produces. I came from some older Infinitys and realized just how bright they were in comparison (I do not like bright speakers it seems). I have to say 5 for satisfaction, I listened to a lot of speakers, Klipsch, Energy, Polk, EMP, Infinity, Ascend, B&W, and DefTech, and I enjoyed the sound of the EMPs the most.

Appearance wise, these are hard to match without spending thousands to get real wood veneer. They are big impressive looking speakers, and the red burl is beautiful. At almost 60 pounds, the cabinet is solid and the build quality is great. The curved cabinet is very elegant and is a nice change from the boxy status quo. Obviously this is all subjective, I listened to speakers and read reviews/comparisons, and took a chance on these. For me they are wonderful, I imagine if I ever wanted to upgrade I would need to save up a few thousand to get a worthwhile upgrade.

They definitely disappear. I"m amazed at how I can look at the speakers and not convince myself or 'see' the audio coming from them. I know that sounds odd, but I'm sure many know what I'm getting at here. They throw a nice, wide stage

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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post #13 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:51 AM
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They definitely disappear. I"m amazed at how I can look at the speakers and not convince myself or 'see' the audio coming from them. I know that sounds odd, but I'm sure many know what I'm getting at here. They throw a nice, wide stage

I know exactly what you mean, it's one seamless sound with no origin.

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post #14 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:53 AM
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HK, where are you from? I would post in the EMP thread and the Polk thread with your location and ask if anyone is near you & if they'd be willing to let you have a listen.

Edit:....forgot you already have the RTi a9's lol. So post in the EMP thread.

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post #15 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post


I have had mine almost exactly 1 year, and they have thoroughly impressed me. Incredible dynamics and sound stage when watching movies, they disappear and will play loud and clean. I still want to try a discrete amp with them, just to see what a little more power produces. Peope who have measured them find the top rolls off a little quicker than most, but I enjoy the sound that produces. I came from some older Infinitys and realized just how bright they were in comparison (I do not like bright speakers it seems). I have to say 5 for satisfaction, I listened to a lot of speakers, Klipsch, Energy, Polk, EMP, Infinity, Ascend, B&W, and DefTech, and I enjoyed the sound of the EMPs the most.

Appearance wise, these are hard to match without spending thousands to get real wood veneer. They are big impressive looking speakers, and the red burl is beautiful. At almost 60 pounds, the cabinet is solid and the build quality is great. The curved cabinet is very elegant and is a nice change from the boxy status quo. Obviously this is all subjective, I listened to speakers and read reviews/comparisons, and took a chance on these. For me they are wonderful, I imagine if I ever wanted to upgrade I would need to save up a few thousand to get a worthwhile upgrade.


Thank you for the response Transmaniacon! Thats what I was looking for.  I don't see the E56Ci in your setup, do you have a center channel?


7.0 HT Setup:
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post #16 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 10:58 AM
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Thank you for the response Transmaniacon! Thats what I was looking for.  I don't see the E56Ci in your setup, do you have a center channel?

I have been building my setup slowly, student loans suck mad.gif But I am planning on pulling the trigger on the E56Ci tomorrow! I have been waiting for the Black Friday sale, and also need to wall-mount my TV, but then my setup will be complete. The E55Tis have done a solid job creating a phantom center, but I look forward to the new member of the family tongue.gif

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post #17 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

HK, where are you from? I would post in the EMP thread and the Polk thread with your location and ask if anyone is near you & if they'd be willing to let you have a listen.

Edit:....forgot you already have the RTi a9's lol. So post in the EMP thread.


I'm from Las Vegas.  So if anyone in the area would let me listen to the EMPs, I would appreciate it.  Good to hear, pun intended, that you have actually listened/had a number of speakers in the past and you are actually satisfied with the EMPs.  Yes, the 9" depth would make a difference in my room.


7.0 HT Setup:
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post #18 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been building my setup slowly, student loans suck mad.gif But I am planning on pulling the trigger on the E56Ci tomorrow! I have been waiting for the Black Friday sale, and also need to wall-mount my TV, but then my setup will be complete. The E55Tis have done a solid job creating a phantom center, but I look forward to the new member of the family tongue.gif

The E56Ci is another reason i'm leaning towards the EMP over the Polk.  I've read reviews saying the CSIA6 center channel is not enough for the RTIA9.  The WMTMW setup on the E56Ci appeals to me more and seems like would blend in well with the E55Ti.


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post #19 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 11:18 AM
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Another vote here for the EMP, but I must add...I have never heard the Polk RTIA speakers. I do own a set of Polk Monitors and if the RTIA sound anything like those, the EMP are better (again, IMHO only). With black Friday pricing, you can get a pretty good deal right now.

And by the way, I have the EMPtek 1010i sub and fell it is accurate and powerful for my 12x22 foot room. Almost knocked me out of my chair the other day for HT! ANd i was the one who compared the EMPO sub to the Klipsch and felt while it wasn't quite as good in terms of total output, it was way less boomy and much more accurate! Sure, not as good as really expensive subs, but no matter how much you spend, there is always something better!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
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post #20 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Another vote here for the EMP, but I must add...I have never heard the Polk RTIA speakers. I do own a set of Polk Monitors and if the RTIA sound anything like those, the EMP are better (again, IMHO only). With black Friday pricing, you can get a pretty good deal right now.

And by the way, I have the EMPtek 1010i sub and fell it is accurate and powerful for my 12x22 foot room. Almost knocked me out of my chair the other day for HT! ANd i was the one who compared the EMPO sub to the Klipsch and felt while it wasn't quite as good in terms of total output, it was way less boomy and much more accurate! Sure, not as good as really expensive subs, but no matter how much you spend, there is always something better!


Do you think having TWO 1010i ($500 for pair) subs flanking the E56Ti's and E56Ci would offer enough boom for a preferred movie setup? Or ONE SVS PB-1000 (for now...eventually purchase another once I save up) would sound better?  I just can't get over the look of the 1010i and the rest of the EMP Tek line!!!  Totally LOVE it!!!


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post #21 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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If I go the Polk route, I would eventually need an external amp to help power the RTIA9s (200W or 300W).  Would I need an external amp to help the HK 3700 (125W) power the E55Ti's?


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post #22 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 12:02 PM
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You will have more output and more even bass response in your room with the pair of e1010i vs. the PB-1000. The SVS is going to dig deeper, but at $500 for a pair of those subs, it's hard to pass up. Unless you plan to add a second PB-1000 in the future, I think the e1010i woud work well. I keep debating upgrading to one myself, but it's hard to justify being in an apartment rolleyes.gif

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post #23 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

You will have more output and more even bass response in your room with the pair of e1010i vs. the PB-1000. The SVS is going to dig deeper, but at $500 for a pair of those subs, it's hard to pass up. Unless you plan to add a second PB-1000 in the future, I think the e1010i woud work well. I keep debating upgrading to one myself, but it's hard to justify being in an apartment rolleyes.gif


If I go the PB-1000 route, I would eventually purchase another maybe in a year.  By the way, my wife doesn't care for the really boomy sound.  But, I don't want to lose out on the "lower" sound effects in movies.  I am still leaning towards the the TWO E1010i subs though.  I'm thinking it would be a comprise between mine and my wife's liking of the bass effect.  Am I making any sense? lol


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post #24 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 12:17 PM
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The PB-1000 is very accurate, so I wouldn't worry about it being boomy. I guess it comes down to sacrificing some performance for appearance.

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post #25 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 12:26 PM
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The EMP1010i is easily the best looking sub on the market! Speakers that look like wood can look great, but most subs just look like HUGE, UGLY big plastic boxes!

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post #26 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 02:22 PM
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Ie most.

Appearance wise, these are hard to match without spending thousands to get real wood veneer.

The Polk RTiA series all have wood veneer.

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post #27 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 02:31 PM
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If I go the PB-1000 route, I would eventually purchase another maybe in a year.  By the way, my wife doesn't care for the really boomy sound.  But, I don't want to lose out on the "lower" sound effects in movies.  I am still leaning towards the the TWO E1010i subs though.  I'm thinking it would be a comprise between mine and my wife's liking of the bass effect.  Am I making any sense? lol

If you plan on getting the EMPs and you have the left over in the budget I would seriously consider getting the PSA XV15 now and if needed (you might not) another in the future. It will have about the same or maybe a little more output than a pair of the 1010s plus extend nearly an octave lower. For the full movie impact you really do need at least an octave lower than what the 1010s can provide. I know. I've been there with a sub that dropped off at 25hz. I was missing quite a bit.

You do give up a potentially more even bass response and of course the aesthetics of the 1010s.

As for 2 subs being better than one, almost always true. But, in your room and your LP(s) you may be able to find a placement for one powerful sub that provides a good response at the LP(s), which is all that matters.

I run only one sub and have no issues (that I can hear) across a 4 seat sofa. It all depends on your room.

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post #28 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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If you plan on getting the EMPs and you have the left over in the budget I would seriously consider getting the PSA XV15 now and if needed (you might not) another in the future. It will have about the same or maybe a little more output than a pair of the 1010s plus extend nearly an octave lower. For the full movie impact you really do need at least an octave lower than what the 1010s can provide. I know. I've been there with a sub that dropped off at 25hz. I was missing quite a bit.

You do give up a potentially more even bass response and of course the aesthetics of the 1010s.

As for 2 subs being better than one, almost always true. But, in your room and your LP(s) you may be able to find a placement for one powerful sub that provides a good response at the LP(s), which is all that matters.

I run only one sub and have no issues (that I can hear) across a 4 seat sofa. It all depends on your room.


But if I do keep the RTIA9, like you mentioned earlier.  Would a lesser sub like the SVS PB-1000 (and going dual) vs the one bigger PSA XV15 be a better setup for the RTIA9s since it has a better bass output?


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post #29 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 02:52 PM
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Any sub $10,000+ tower (likely more than that) won't give out anything near what a quality sub(s) will. These subs (PSA and SVS) will extend down to the teens with authority, while the RTi's will likely get to about 50hz with authority, but likely higher distortion and amp load on your avr/amp also. Kind of an apples and oranges thing.

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post #30 of 66 Old 11-21-2013, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Any sub $10,000+ tower (likely more than that) won't give out anything near what a quality sub(s) will. These subs (PSA and SVS) will extend down to the teens with authority, while the RTi's will likely get to about 50hz with authority, but likely higher distortion and amp load on your avr/amp also. Kind of an apples and oranges thing.


Got it.  Thank you.  That's a good tip on how subs work...I think by the end of next week (before the Emp Tek sale) I may have my decision made...getting a little more knowledge on speakers in general sure does help...


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