Calling all Polkies:Official Polk thread - Page 1328 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #39811 of 39838 Unread Today, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Lindros88 View Post
I just bought my first set of Polk speakers. I had the energy take classic 5.1 system and I wanted to upgrade to something with a little more power. I bought the Polk CS2 and a pair of monitor70s, but kept the energy subwoofer and rear speakers the same. This is being hooked up to a Denon 1612.

I'm honestly not that impressed with the quality. It doesn't sound like much of an improvement. Did I make a bad choice of speakers, or should I upgrade my subwoofer too? I don't know what I should do.
Honestly your 1612 doesn't have the balls to drive the Monitor 70s very well. A more powerful receiver would do you well.

But the energy were also good speakers and probably sounded better as they were more efficient and easier to drive than your Monitors now are.
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post #39812 of 39838 Unread Today, 07:34 AM
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Alright, thanks for the replies. For the setup that I have, what receiver do you think would be the best for me?
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post #39813 of 39838 Unread Today, 09:14 AM
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Alright, thanks for the replies. For the setup that I have, what receiver do you think would be the best for me?
Your current AVR is somewhat underpowered, but it could be something else causing your dissatisfaction besides speaker break-in or just acclimation to the new sound. I'm assuming at least that you verified that your speakers are not defective. Did you run Audyssey calibration? If so, did you attach the mic to a tripod or boom stand and run all six positions? Have you experimented with different audio settings and source material? (Also, in rare cases the Audyssey mic has proven to be defective.)

OTOH, If you decide to upgrade your AVR, the answer to what's best for you depends on a number of factors, including budget, room size and acoustics, inputs/source material, needs, and features that you might appreciate.

Without knowing any of those factors--but assuming that you like Denon and are on a limited budget (based on your selection of the low-end 1612)--I suggest you take a look at this refurbished AVR-3311CI for $450 (plus shipping) from authorized reseller A4L. It comes with a one-year warranty and has many improvements over your 1612, including (among others) 125W/ch, 7.1 (with connections for 11.2 speakers and 7.2 pre-outs), Audyssey MultEQ XT (better version of MultEQ for all 11.1 speakers), AirPlay, HD Radio, 7 HDMI inputs, Zones 2/3, et alia.

This may be more AVR than you need or more than you want to spend, in which case there are many other good choices. But you could use this model as a baseline to determine what is important to you and what you are willing to pay for it.

Last edited by chi_guy50; Today at 10:37 AM. Reason: typo
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Originally Posted by Lindros88 View Post
I just bought my first set of Polk speakers. I had the energy take classic 5.1 system and I wanted to upgrade to something with a little more power. I bought the Polk CS2 and a pair of monitor70s, but kept the energy subwoofer and rear speakers the same. This is being hooked up to a Denon 1612.

I'm honestly not that impressed with the quality. It doesn't sound like much of an improvement. Did I make a bad choice of speakers, or should I upgrade my subwoofer too? I don't know what I should do.
So how are they sounding deficient? with monitor they need to get some what loud to sound good.
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Originally Posted by chi_guy50 View Post
Your current AVR is somewhat underpowered, but it could be something else causing your dissatisfaction besides speaker break-in or just acclimation to the new sound. I'm assuming at least that you verified that your speakers are not defective. Did you run Audyssey calibration? If so, did you attach the mic to a tripod or boom stand and run all six positions? Have you experimented with different audio settings and source material? (Also, in rare cases the Audyssey mic has proven to be defective.)

OTOH, If you decide to upgrade your AVR, the anser to what's best for you depends on a number of factors, including budget, room size and acoustics, inputs/source material, needs, and features that you might appreciate.

Without knowing any of those factors--but assuming that you like Denon and are on a limited budget (based on your selection of the low-end 1612)--I suggest you take a look at this refurbished AVR-3311CI for $450 (plus shipping) from authorized reseller A4L. It comes with a one-year warranty and has many improvements over your 1612, including (among others) 125W/ch, 7.1 (with connections for 11.2 speakers and 7.2 pre-outs), Audyssey MultEQ XT (better version of MultEQ for all 11.1 speakers), AirPlay, HD Radio, 7 HDMI inputs, Zones 2/3, et alia.

This may be more AVR than you need or more than you want to spend, in which case there are many other good choices. But you could use this model as a baseline to determine what is important to you and what you are willing to pay for it.
Wow, thanks for such a detailed answer, I appreciate it. The speakers are not defective. I've run a full audyssey calibration. So far I've listened to some blu-rays, cable tv and video games.

So the AVR-3311CI will give me a noticeable improvement in sound quality? $450.00 is around what I'm willing to spend. I wouldn't want to go much higher than that. My room is around 13x13x8, but with a slightly irregular shape.
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So how are they sounding deficient? with monitor they need to get some what loud to sound good.
I guess I'd describe the audio as muddy sounding and somewhat anemic. Coming from the Energy Take Classic satellite speakers, I was anticipating more power. Maybe my receiver is just too weak. After the audyssey calibration, it set the CS2 and Monitor70's crossover to "full range" or something like that. Would it help if I set the speakers to small, and manually adjusted the crossover to something different?
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Originally Posted by Lindros88 View Post
Wow, thanks for such a detailed answer, I appreciate it. The speakers are not defective. I've run a full audyssey calibration. So far I've listened to some blu-rays, cable tv and video games.

So the AVR-3311CI will give me a noticeable improvement in sound quality? $450.00 is around what I'm willing to spend. I wouldn't want to go much higher than that. My room is around 13x13x8, but with a slightly irregular shape.
Well, again, there may be other factors in play besides the capability of the AVR to drive your speakers effectively, but the 3311 should provide an audible improvement over the 1612--if only for the extra power and higher-grade Audyssey MultEQ XT. I believe you are using a powered SW; where did you set the XO on your 70's? If you are asking the 1612 to dig down deep on the 70's it will definitely strain.

For under $500 you would be hard pressed to do better than the refurb 3311 (bear in mind that that is the last one currently in stock at A4L). But consider that you are also paying for other features that may not matter to you (such as HD Radio, phono pre-amp, multi-zone, etc.). However, that's part of the package and most AVR's that have MultEQ XT (or even better, XT32) will also have other advanced features.

My old AVR was a 3311 and I loved it. (I just sold it last week on Craigslist for $380.) I was using it to drive Monitor 75t's in a 7.1 setup in a medium-sized living room. It more than met my needs, but yours might be different from mine.
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post #39818 of 39838 Unread Today, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Lindros88 View Post
Wow, thanks for such a detailed answer, I appreciate it. The speakers are not defective. I've run a full audyssey calibration. So far I've listened to some blu-rays, cable tv and video games.

So the AVR-3311CI will give me a noticeable improvement in sound quality? $450.00 is around what I'm willing to spend. I wouldn't want to go much higher than that. My room is around 13x13x8, but with a slightly irregular shape.
Any step above the 1612 is NOT going to improve sound quality. You will get more channels and more features. Maybe louder as measured by a meter. Those 70s are more than enough for that room! IMHO, of all the Monitor/TSi series, the Monitor 50 tower was the best all around sounding of the bunch. What you need to work on is the room. Speaker placement then room treatment. Run the Audyssey once you think you have all the other stuff right. Audyssey can only do so much. If the room is bad to begin with, well, it's not going to help much. Good luck!

Sounds good!
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Well, again, there may be other factors in play besides the capability of the AVR to drive your speakers effectively, but the 3311 should provide an audible improvement over the 1612--if only for the extra power and higher-grade Audyssey MultEQ XT. I believe you are using a powered SW; where did you set the XO on your 70's? If you are asking the 1612 to dig down deep on the 70's it will definitely strain.

For under $500 you would be hard pressed to do better than the refurb 3311 (bear in mind that that is the last one currently in stock at A4L). But consider that you are also paying for other features that may not matter to you (such as HD Radio, phono pre-amp, multi-zone, etc.). However, that's part of the package and most AVR's that have MultEQ XT (or even better, XT32) will also have other advanced features.

My old AVR was a 3311 and I loved it. (I just sold it last week on Craigslist for $380.) I was using it to drive Monitor 75t's in a 7.1 setup in a medium-sized living room. It more than met my needs, but yours might be different from mine.
Audyssey set the crossovers of the CS2 and Monitor70's to "full range" or something like that. It's grayed out and won't let me change it. If I set the speakers to small, I think it will let me manually adjust the crossovers. What would you recommend I set them to?

Yeah, the extra features you mentioned are things I don't want. The advanced audyssey calibration would be good though.
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post #39820 of 39838 Unread Today, 10:39 AM
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Any step above the 1612 is NOT going to improve sound quality. You will get more channels and more features. Maybe louder as measured by a meter. Those 70s are more than enough for that room! IMHO, of all the Monitor/TSi series, the Monitor 50 tower was the best all around sounding of the bunch. What you need to work on is the room. Speaker placement then room treatment. Run the Audyssey once you think you have all the other stuff right. Audyssey can only do so much. If the room is bad to begin with, well, it's not going to help much. Good luck!
Thanks for the answer. So more watts per channel won't necessarily improve sound quality, just play louder at a lower volume? My left speaker is very close to a wall. Unfortunately my setup doesn't allow for me to move it. Is this a major problem in my setup?
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post #39821 of 39838 Unread Today, 10:46 AM
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more watts let you play louder for the most part. maybe better capacitors for transiant peeks. but what you describe sounds far more like room placement. you moved from a satilite speaker to big floor standing. can you post a pick and we will be more then happy to give placement advice.
at the vary least start with moving the speaker cause that is free.
then think of room treatments then avr.
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Originally Posted by Lindros88 View Post
Audyssey set the crossovers of the CS2 and Monitor70's to "full range" or something like that. It's grayed out and won't let me change it. If I set the speakers to small, I think it will let me manually adjust the crossovers. What would you recommend I set them to?
Assuming you are using a powered SW, go into Speaker Config. and reset everything from Full Range to small; set the XO for the 70's and CS2 at 80Hz to start with and then see how it sounds.

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Yeah, the extra features you mentioned are things I don't want. The advanced audyssey calibration would be good though.
Then you have to decide what you are willing to pay for. But first look at the other factors that you can readily deal with (speaker placement, room acoustics, effective calibration run, XO's, audio settings) and eliminate them before you think about replacing your AVR. Make sure to consult your AVR's manual and learn what the different settings do (e.g., Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ discussed earlier on this page).

BTW, I disagree in this regard with karlsaudio: The more sophisticated Audyssey filters in MultEQ XT and XT32 can make an audible difference in SQ, particularly in a difficult room. And, while the difference in amp power from 95W to 125W may not be significant, it could help if you like to listen at high volume.
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe every 3 dB increase in volume requires doubling the wattage. Bump your volume up 3 dB on your AVR. Notice the difference? I can but, its very slight! 30 watts is insignificant but the actual amp on the 3XXX and 4XXX AVRs might help with hard to drive speakers. And the Monitors are not. Go to the Audyssey sticky thread in the receiver/amp section and learn more about it. All sorts of fun arguments in there! MultEQ/XT and XT32 all have their plusses and minuses. But if a room is a complete dumpster fire, it might not help.

Sounds good!
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Assuming you are using a powered SW, go into Speaker Config. and reset everything from Full Range to small; set the XO for the 70's and CS2 at 80Hz to start with and then see how it sounds.
This helped. Thank you. It doesn't sound as "boomy" anymore.
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Then you have to decide what you are willing to pay for. But first look at the other factors that you can readily deal with (speaker placement, room acoustics, effective calibration run, XO's, audio settings) and eliminate them before you think about replacing your AVR. Make sure to consult your AVR's manual and learn what the different settings do (e.g., Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ discussed earlier on this page).

BTW, I disagree in this regard with karlsaudio: The more sophisticated Audyssey filters in MultEQ XT and XT32 can make an audible difference in SQ, particularly in a difficult room. And, while the difference in amp power from 95W to 125W may not be significant, it could help if you like to listen at high volume.
The advanced audyssey calibration is the only feature I'd be interested in. It probably wouldn't be worth it for me to buy a new receiver for just that though. Right?
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I think I'm experiencing ear fatigue with these speakers. It's makes it feel like my ears popped. I'm not listening at extremely loud levels or for very long periods of time either. Is this normal? What is causing this?
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The advanced audyssey calibration is the only feature I'd be interested in. It probably wouldn't be worth it for me to buy a new receiver for just that though. Right?
That's your call. Assuming you are happy with the features of the 1612, I would not upgrade just for XT if I were you.
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The advanced audyssey calibration is the only feature I'd be interested in. It probably wouldn't be worth it for me to buy a new receiver for just that though. Right?
I have upgraded from entry avr to flagship, and it does help. but if you really want cheap and great control, don't spend the money on automatic room correction get a mini dsp or dirac and do the calibration yourself.
some times in and easy room auto correction is all you need, sometimes it goes nuts.
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I think I'm experiencing ear fatigue with these speakers. It's makes it feel like my ears popped. I'm not listening at extremely loud levels or for very long periods of time either. Is this normal? What is causing this?
Your room is relatively small and the M70's are possibly even TOO much speaker for that size room... but they have a solid bottom end and should handle some bass well, with or without xing over to a sub. A bump up from 75 to 90 or 125 wpc would give your towers more headroom, but based on your description of them sounding 'anemic' only reaffirms my belief that they just need to break in. Room correction, speaker placement, and auto EQ will all help to some degree, but I used to use a pair of well broken-in M40's in a bedroom of that size and they sounded SWEET (before upgrading to Lsi9's in there). Maybe you just need to step back for a while, reconnect your bookies and enjoy them for a while... let your M70's play moderate music while you're away from your place at work or whatever, THEN recalibarate. I guarantee after a few weeks they'll start sounding better.
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One other item worthy of note... be sure the two copper straps are in place connecting the upper and lower pairs of binding posts, and that all four are tightened. It doesn't matter which pair are wired, but they must be joined.

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Your room is relatively small and the M70's are possibly even TOO much speaker for that size room... but they have a solid bottom end and should handle some bass well, with or without xing over to a sub. A bump up from 75 to 90 or 125 wpc would give your towers more headroom, but based on your description of them sounding 'anemic' only reaffirms my belief that they just need to break in. Room correction, speaker placement, and auto EQ will all help to some degree, but I used to use a pair of well broken-in M40's in a bedroom of that size and they sounded SWEET (before upgrading to Lsi9's in there). Maybe you just need to step back for a while, reconnect your bookies and enjoy them for a while... let your M70's play moderate music while you're away from your place at work or whatever, THEN recalibarate. I guarantee after a few weeks they'll start sounding better.
Thanks for the answer. I'm worried that I'm going to damage my hearing with these speakers. I haven't listened for an extended length since bumping the crossovers to 80hz. Would that lessen the ear fatigue? Or would putting up more sound absorbing materials in the room help any with that?
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One other item worthy of note... be sure the two copper straps are in place connecting the upper and lower pairs of binding posts, and that all four are tightened. It doesn't matter which pair are wired, but they must be joined.
Alright, I'll check that out. I really don't want to have to return these. I'm getting better results since moving the crossovers up to 80hz.
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Thanks for the answer. I'm worried that I'm going to damage my hearing with these speakers. I haven't listened for an extended length since bumping the crossovers to 80hz. Would that lessen the ear fatigue? Or would putting up more sound absorbing materials in the room help any with that?
Your hearing is extremely valuable. I remember being somewhat disappointed with each of my new Polks as I worked my way up the line. Then I bought a used pair to use for surrounds and they sounded better than the new ones. I had read about speaker "break-in" and some here do refute the concept. But one senior member mentioned that the highs on some new speakers he was auditioning sounded "nasal" and the lows were "anemic".... it sounded just like what I was experiencing. After about six weeks, suddenly my new speakers seemed to just "come alive". That convinced me, since nothing else had changed.

I'm not saying there's not something else wrong. As I mentioned earlier, room treatment, placement and EQ will all affect the sound. Since you are coming from an existing set of speakers, you know how they are supposed to sound. I'm saying you know what good or 'decent' sound should be. My father was an audiophile and I grew up in a house with quality audio (at least, what was good at the time) and I invested in my first high end system in the early 1970's. I am now retired, and believe me, do not want to end up with hearing aids!

So what I recommended to you is - as I did - let your new speakers break in while you are away... when the sound won't bother you (believe me, I know how that is). I've gone to parties and stood outdoors because the music was so loud it was distorted. Just make sure all the obvious oversights have been checked (wiring etc) and let them play at moderate levels for say 100 hours. Then see what you think of them. Will that work?

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Again, your M70's are big, power hungry, home theater speakers and are not audiophile grade.
Your Energy's may actually be better sounding, especially in a smallish room. Food for thought.

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Again, your M70's are big, power hungry, home theater speakers and are not audiophile grade.
Your Energy's may actually be better sounding, especially in a smallish room. Food for thought.
Alright, I'll try breaking them in first. Have you ever returned speakers to Newegg? It will probably cost me a fortune to ship them back, right? Plus the 15 percent restocking fee.
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Again, your M70's are big, power hungry, home theater speakers and are not audiophile grade.
Your Energy's may actually be better sounding, especially in a smallish room. Food for thought.
Do you know of any other speakers that might be better suited to a smaller room?
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Monitor and RTi A series caused me ear fatigue too. The only speakers from Polk Audio that I can listen to are LSi and LSiM. I have LSiM 705s and they are very pleasant and warm. The RTi A series caused me more ear fatigue than the Monitors. BTW that's not gonna change after break in. That's the signature sound of those series and no matter if you drive them with more power, they are gonna sound the same.

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Scroll back a few pages and you'll see a discussion about the Rti line being superior to the Monitor line. Some smaller Rti's... Rti6's (or their newer model, the RtiA3) are nice bookshelf speakers. I use A3's in the family room for TV. The smallish towers (Rti8 or newer RtiA5) are like the bookshelves on steroids. Above that, you really need a larger amp. You can find Rti's on Polk's eBay site.

NewEgg is good, but returning any speakers is expensive. I went thru the Monitors myself and ended up with several (including CS2 and M70's) just sitting in the basement. Sometimes you can sell them locally. There is a good network here on AVS, but sometimes you just have to swallow having wasted good money on mediocre speakers. Again, give them a chance. Break them in and see what you think of them, You can always go back to your Energy's. Or, as some do, have one setup for music and another for movies.

Polk RtiA9's, Denon 3312ci & Emo XPA-5 amp, CsiA6, RtiA7 surrounds, FxiA6 rears, twin Klipsch Synergy Sub-12's, DSW660 & Lsi9's upstairs
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