Could use some help upgrading from Polk RTis - AVS Forum
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Just recently started looking into upgrading my Polk RTi4/CSi3 7.1 configuration to something a bit better. You guys hooked me up when I was looking for a sub so I figured you could do it again. I think my max budget per speaker would be somewhere around $300 but would really like to come in under that if possible. I'm really focused on the fronts as I primarily listen to music. Another potentially important bit of info is that I can get any of the RTi floorstanding speakers without going over my budget. Besides the Polks I've only really looked into the Hsu options which also look nice. Love their sub to death but I don't know if it would be an upgrade or not.

Equipment:
Receiver - Pioneer VSX 1120
Front/Surround Speakers - Polk RTi4
Center - Polk CSi3
Subwoofer - Hsu VTF2 MK3

Room:
12x13

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance guys!
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Doomsday View Post

Just recently started looking into upgrading my Polk RTi4/CSi3 7.1 configuration to something a bit better. You guys hooked me up when I was looking for a sub so I figured you could do it again. I think my max budget per speaker would be somewhere around $300 but would really like to come in under that if possible. I'm really focused on the fronts as I primarily listen to music. Another potentially important bit of info is that I can get any of the RTi floorstanding speakers without going over my budget. Besides the Polks I've only really looked into the Hsu options which also look nice. Love their sub to death but I don't know if it would be an upgrade or not.

Equipment:
Receiver - Pioneer VSX 1120
Front/Surround Speakers - Polk RTi4
Center - Polk CSi3
Subwoofer - Hsu VTF2 MK3

Room:
12x13

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance guys!

If you can get any of the RTI's under your budget, I'd go ahead and go to the top with the RTI12's. Your avr is a bit under powered to get the absolute "most" out of them, but they will still sound like a huge upgrade. The good news is that later on you can add an amp for more power because your avr has pre-outs. For the center, I'd go ahead and get the CSI5. By the way, I also have the RTI4's (but as surrounds) and the RTI8's, and even the 8's are a huge upgrade to the 4's (I love the 8's), so you have some options. Which ever way you go, any of the RTI towers are going to more than fill up that 12x13 room.

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Old 02-20-2014, 08:26 AM
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Do you have any issues with the sound of the Polk RTi4's? My general rule is if you like the sound of the speaker and don't feel you are making compromises why change it radically with different speakers.

Polk Audio has some great deals from their ebay site.
-New Pair of Polk RTi12's $800 shipped
-New Pair of Polk RTi10's $660 shipped
-New Pair of Polk RTi6's $250 shipped
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:47 AM
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How do you have things set up?  In your receiver setup, do you have the speakers set to "small" and have an appropriate crossover selected (e.g., 80Hz)?  If not, do that first. And rerun the automatic setup to make sure the levels are right.

 

Moving to a tower RTi will get you two things over a lower bookshelf RTi, and that is increased maximum volume, and greater depth of bass.  Using a subwoofer and proper bass management gets you both of those things to a great extent (and with a decent subwoofer, better for the deep bass).  Otherwise, the sound from them will be nearly identical (they are voice matched, so they are supposed to sound the same).  If you want a real upgrade, you need to switch to a different line of speakers.  With your budget, you are likely to end up with speakers that are more or less equivalent to what you already have, rather than an upgrade, so I recommend you keep what you have and save up for something more expensive.


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Old 02-20-2014, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

How do you have things set up?  In your receiver setup, do you have the speakers set to "small" and have an appropriate crossover selected (e.g., 80Hz)?  If not, do that first. And rerun the automatic setup to make sure the levels are right.

Moving to a tower RTi will get you two things over a lower bookshelf RTi, and that is increased maximum volume, and greater depth of bass.  Using a subwoofer and proper bass management gets you both of those things to a great extent (and with a decent subwoofer, better for the deep bass).  Otherwise, the sound from them will be nearly identical (they are voice matched, so they are supposed to sound the same).  If you want a real upgrade, you need to switch to a different line of speakers.  With your budget, you are likely to end up with speakers that are more or less equivalent to what you already have, rather than an upgrade, so I recommend you keep what you have and save up for something more expensive.

Well, actually I would add the mids are much better on the towers as well. For example, the RTI8 has two 6.5 mid/woofers and the RTI4's have one 5.25. You're gonna hear the difference in both the bass and the mids, although the highs are very much the same.

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Old 02-20-2014, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I was considering just swapping out the fronts for the RTi A5 and CSi A6 since they had larger drivers. Thought it might be worth the money but I never really considered the A9 mainly due to what I assumed was a lack of amplifier power. Overall I do like the sound of the RTi4s but I can't help but feel like it is slightly heavy on the higher frequencies. Maybe it's something else that's causing that though.

In my current setup I have the speakers set to small with a crossover of 100Hz. I tried using 80Hz but I liked 100Hz better.

Would there be a noticeable difference between the A5/A9 and A7 since they have the dual mid driver design?
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:18 PM
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Would there be a noticeable difference between the A5/A9 and A7 since they have the dual mid driver design?
If you get the towers and turned the crossover to 60hz you'll notice a difference

Might want to try the RTi8's, RTi10's and RTi12's I posted links to at Polk Audio's ebay page. They are the same generation as your speakers and perform just as well as the newer versions and for a cheaper price
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

How do you have things set up?  In your receiver setup, do you have the speakers set to "small" and have an appropriate crossover selected (e.g., 80Hz)?  If not, do that first. And rerun the automatic setup to make sure the levels are right.

Moving to a tower RTi will get you two things over a lower bookshelf RTi, and that is increased maximum volume, and greater depth of bass.  Using a subwoofer and proper bass management gets you both of those things to a great extent (and with a decent subwoofer, better for the deep bass).  Otherwise, the sound from them will be nearly identical (they are voice matched, so they are supposed to sound the same).  If you want a real upgrade, you need to switch to a different line of speakers.  With your budget, you are likely to end up with speakers that are more or less equivalent to what you already have, rather than an upgrade, so I recommend you keep what you have and save up for something more expensive.

Well, actually I would add the mids are much better on the towers as well. For example, the RTI8 has two 6.5 mid/woofers and the RTI4's have one 5.25. You're gonna hear the difference in both the bass and the mids, although the highs are very much the same.

 

If what you say is true, then Polk is a lying company or they do not know their own products.  The RTi line, from any given year, is "voice matched."  So they all sound pretty close to the same, according to Polk, except that some are able to play louder and some have deeper bass.

 

And if Polk is either too stupid to know their own gear, or are dishonest about it, then it would be much better to go with a different brand.  For my part, I am inclined to believe you are mistaken, but if you are right, then Polk should be avoided, as that would mean that they give crap advice and cannot be trusted to say which speakers match which other ones they make for home theater.

 

Additionally, your "reasoning" is not satisfactory, as there is no reason to suppose that two 6.5 inch drivers will give better midrange than a single 5.25 inch driver.  With the deep bass being filtered out and sent to the subwoofer (which will be the case with sensible bass management), that will take a strain off of the woofer in the main speaker and consequently enable better midrange than if the woofer were trying to deal with deep bass that it cannot properly reproduce.

 

So, I stand by my original comments.  Either what I stated was correct, or one should not trust Polk at all in the things that they state.  And if one should not trust them in what they state, then one should buy another brand of speaker.


God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Been a while but still in the market. I have an alternate idea running through my head. I'm thinking of perhaps focusing on fewer, better speakers. Due to employee pricing, I can pick up Bowers & Wilkins speakers for roughly half price. Keep in mind that I spend a large majority of my time listening to music and very little on multi-channel audio (likely around 90/10). Do you think I would be better off going in that direction? If so, how would you compare the CM1 and the CM5? I'm also open to other, similarly priced options.

Thanks again

Edit: Just saw the thread about the Tekton Design speakers, and I'm very interested in this option. The Lore and Mini-Lore sound like they could be great options. Any thoughts on that would also be appreciated.
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Polk Audio Rti4 High Performance Bookshelf On Wall Speakers Pair Black , Polk Audio Csi3 Center Channel Speaker , Pioneer Vsx 1120 K 7 1 Home Theater Receiver , Hsu Research Vtf 2mk3
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