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What to pair with my Polk Monitor 70ii's

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am ready to fill out my home theater set up and am hoping for a few expert opinion's on three components.

My current setup consists of Polk Monitor 70ii tower speakers and a Sony STR-DH800 - I am not looking to replace either of these yet.

The system will surround a 15' x 10' area of a 40' x 15' room; I will likely be moving within the next year, but would still expect the room to be small.

Based on a small amount of research, I have come up with a few guesses for component choices. I would hope to spend no more than $1,500 on all three components. I do have a small concern about availability of products, being that I am in Canada and therefore shipping could be expensive.

1. Bookshelf surrounds - $ up to $700
Polk Audio RTi A3's - based on being on sale frequently and readily available in my area
B&W 685 - based on postive reviews, but on the high side of the budget
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 - based on positive reviews, not sure how easy to get a hold of

2. Subwoofer - $ up to $400
Polk Audio PSW505 - based on price and availability in my area
BIC H100 - based on reviews
BIC F12 - based on price and reviews

3. Centre - $ up to $400
Polk Audio CS2 - based loosely on reviews

I am not partial to any brand - I am only have on Polk's as they are sold at a big box store locally. I am truly open to any suggestions.

Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 11
more like :
CS2 for $100 newegg
monitor 30's 129 pair... also newegg
and a HSU VTF 15 for the bargain price of $1020, shipped. sounds like alot, but wait til you hear it... biggrin.gif

with $250 left from that budget. Take wifey out for a nice dinner when she sees the size of the sub. eek.gif

seriously, Joseph smile.gif
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input Joseph - I feel like you just talked me into a 1994 Honda Civic because it's cheap, but got a killer stereo...

Any opinions? Not really feeling blowing the budget on only a sub, or putting a 15" in a small room application.
post #4 of 11
Actually I do believe the CS2 as a center and the Monitor 30's for surrounds are what Polk recommends to match the 70's. The Bic F12 is well thought of, my newest addition is an Energy S10.3 sub a few months ago. Honestly, save the money until you know exactly what the new room is like. Otherwise look for a projector if you are interested in home theater, you could have a 100"+ viewing size.
post #5 of 11
The cs2 can be had for as low as $99 on new egg but you will have to wait for that. It is commonly on sale for $109 or $129 so you could get those prices. Polk monitor 30 or 40's should easily be attainable for less than $200 on new egg. If $1500 is your budget and you want sub, the hsu vtf 15 is a good choice but you sound hesitant and probably don't want that much sub. I would recommend the possibility of going for 2 hsu vtf 2.4's if your space allows it. You don't know what you're missing with 2 subs till you hear it. But if getting 2 is out of the question for whatever reason get a hsu vtf 3.4 at the minimum. But honestly I think you would enjoy 2 subs. I didn't know what I was missing til I got a new hsu 2.3 and found a used hsu 3.3 for cheap on craigslist. Matched up nicely to boot.

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Xparent Cyan Tapatalk 2
post #6 of 11
The Cambridge Audio S50 is one of the best-sounding center speakers I have ever heard, and it runs $200-highly recommended. I would not recommend any of the lower-priced Polk center speakers.

For rear or surrounds, the Cambridge S20 speakers sound good.

I suggest that you get a subwoofer with a 12-inch driver and at least 300 watts of RMS power; anything less is not a subwoofer; it is a little puppy whining to get outside.

The Klipsch RW12D is a good one that is under $400 normally.
post #7 of 11
If you're planning on keeping the 70s I would definitely get the CS2 for the center to ensure proper timbre matching. It's not that important that the surrounds match your front speakers. However, I don't think it would make much sense to purchase surrounds that outclass your front speakers (e.g. Ascend Sierra-1s). A pair of Monitor 40s would fit the bill. For your subwoofer, perhaps something like the HSU VTF-1 MKII would be more appropriate ($449).
post #8 of 11
hehe love the car analogy... but it's more like, you've already have a car, and you like it, and I'm trying to keep you from trading it in on a new car, just because it has a better sound system. Just improve on what's there... and that's my opinion. I also think that you'll wonder 'what if...' if you get a lesser sub.
Get the best tool once. You have the budget. And you could round out the rest of your speakers, matching what you already have, for $200. That's less than the cost of one Sierra-1. It's a starter system, I get that. And I had the Polk Monitor full set... very capable.
My 2 cents... If you really want to upgrade all 5, plus get a better sub (or 2)... up the budget. For now, and less than your budget, reconsider putting most of it toward one very capable subwoofer. If you do upgrade your other speakers later, the sub will still keep up. It is in a 15 x 40 room. That's big, and you'll need big subs (yes, plural) to fill that room, but that's how I'd go. YMMV.
more to think about,
Joseph
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the input everyone - just to summarize what I've learned/where I am at:

  • Stick with the "Monitor" line of Polk speakers, for surround sound pairing
  • Drop some decent money on Subwoofer"s" - thinking 2 HSU VTF-2 MK4's ??
  • Consider upgrading my receiver in the near future (understanding... I bought the Sony cheap a few years ago to tie me over)

I am trying to find anywhere that sells the Monitor C2 in Canada... but everything appears to be sold out. Looks like they've replaced it for a C20, which is not timbre matched (has some silly gloss ends...). Anywhere from the US appears to either not ship to Canada, or charge an amount equal to the speaker cost. Gross. Suggestions??

Looks like the Monitor 40's have been replaced by Monitor 45B's - I think I'll watch for a sale on these and pull the trigger until the budget can handle a full upgrade ($$,$$$).
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimics View Post

Thanks for all of the input everyone - just to summarize what I've learned/where I am at:
  • Stick with the "Monitor" line of Polk speakers, for surround sound pairing
  • Drop some decent money on Subwoofer"s" - thinking 2 HSU VTF-2 MK4's ??
  • Consider upgrading my receiver in the near future (understanding... I bought the Sony cheap a few years ago to tie me over)
I am trying to find anywhere that sells the Monitor C2 in Canada... but everything appears to be sold out. Looks like they've replaced it for a C20, which is not timbre matched (has some silly gloss ends...). Anywhere from the US appears to either not ship to Canada, or charge an amount equal to the speaker cost. Gross. Suggestions??
Looks like the Monitor 40's have been replaced by Monitor 45B's - I think I'll watch for a sale on these and pull the trigger until the budget can handle a full upgrade ($$,$$$).

The C20 and the C2 should be very similar. The TSi series changes are pretty much cosmetic (i.e. the glossy cabinets).
post #11 of 11
I have a similar, but not identical, situation as the OP. Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd try to piggy-back here, as there's already some good information here and this thread is less than 2-weeks old.

I've had an Onkyo TX-SR606 driving the Polk RM-6750 speaker set (4 satelites, 1 center, and 1 sub, link here: http://www.polkaudio.com/products/rm6750) for about 4-5 years now. I bought the Onkyo because, at the time, I liked it's connectivity, it's price (~$500, at least back then), and that it would decode TrueHD and DTS-MA. I went with the RM-6750 because, in addition to the Onkyo, I was also picking up a 52" Samsung and a nice looking piece of furniture to house all of this, and the budget was beginning to run a little thin. The idea was to eventually upgrade, but going with the RM-6750 instead of HTIB, I could do upgrade piece-meal.

I have a PS3 that I use for BluRay, and an XBox 360 that I use as a WMC Extender for a HTPC I have in the basement. I watch HDTV, stream NetFlix and HBOGO, and listen to MP3's through that 360-as-WMC-extender.

The "room" I'm in is roughly 20'x24', but probably 65% of the "back" of it isn't walled off; the floor simply transitions from carpet to hardwood, and opens up into the Kitchen and "Dinette" area that we use when we aren't in the Dining Room. The eventual "wall" for that 65% is the length of the house (40' wide) away.



This Christmas, I got a pair of Monitor 70's on the NewEgg deal that I think most everyone here knows about. I'm no audiophile, but I have to say, I love them. It's one of those things where, even my wife, who is skeptical about virtually everything I do, looked at me and said "yea, I can hear a difference, those sound great" (at least compared to the RM-6751's we'd been using before this). I'm sure these are likely "entry-level" speakers into the world of "audiophilia" (sp?), but for me, it's a big and readily-noticable upgrade. My entire music collection has come alive and is all-knew because of these.

That said, for TV/movies, they were kind of overwhelming the puny RM-6752 Center Speaker I was using, so I hastily pulled the trigger on the Polk CS10 (the CS20 was about 1" too wide and maybe 1/2" too deep for the hole I need to put my Center Channel into directly above the TV). It's already shipped and coming tomorrow.

I started mulling over upgrading the Sub, too, and googling around to try to understand what I need to pair a sub with my AVR and speakers. My original concern was crossover frequency (based on what I've read, I'd like to set crossover at around 80 Hz as a starting point, and while my Monitor 70's and CS10 are well below that, I am still hoping to put those RM-6751's to use, at least for a little while, as L-R Rears, and wondering if I'll lose much if I set a crossover frequency below what my Rears are capable of producing). While googling for info on what to pair with Monitor 70's, I came across thread-after-thread (including this one) from multiple websites that suggested the "CS2" (not the CS10) be paired with the Monitor 70's. The following quote regarding "timbre matching" started making me sweat that maybe I'd just crapped the bed:

Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

If you're planning on keeping the 70s I would definitely get the CS2 for the center to ensure proper timbre matching. It's not that important that the surrounds match your front speakers. However, I don't think it would make much sense to purchase surrounds that outclass your front speakers (e.g. Ascend Sierra-1s). A pair of Monitor 40s would fit the bill. For your subwoofer, perhaps something like the HSU VTF-1 MKII would be more appropriate ($449).


The follow-up response, however, gave me a little hope:
Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

The C20 and the C2 should be very similar. The TSi series changes are pretty much cosmetic (i.e. the glossy cabinets).


So I guess my question is three-fold:

1) Is it safe to assume, in that case, that the CS10 is also fairly similar? Or have I made a big mistake?

2) Any thoughts on Subwoofer Crossover Frequency? Those RM-6751's will be in use as my Left-Right Rear speakers for at least the next 12 months, until I get an opportunity to upgrade again. Would I be making a big mistake setting Crossover at 80 Hz?

3) Anyone care to recommend a Sub to upgrade to, based on this setup, and the following budget limitations?
a) At ~$215, the Polk PSW111 would be pretty easy for me to pull off (8" Woofer, 38Hz - 250 Hz, 150 Watts Continuous > 90 Watt max on my SR606)
b) At ~$375, the Polk DSW Pro 550 would squeeze me a little bit, but if it makes a difference, I only want to buy this sub once and not be left *wanting* (10" Woofer, 23 Hz - 160 Hz, 200 Watts Continuous > 90 Watt max on my SR606).

I don't need a sub to really *boom* and rattle the walls. I have a wife, an infant child, and a pet cat, none of whom want or need to have their eardrums assaulted by truly *massive* sound. But I would like to have a little *thunder*, on occassion, when I'm home alone with the music on and/or watching an action flick.

I'm not married to Polk. In fact, before I found that deal on the Monitor 70's, I was planning to go with a set of floorstanding Fluance speakers, and was weighing the pricing Pros-and-Cons of the SXHTBFR vs. the SV10... so the long and short is, I'm not determined to buy Polk, I just went with the Polk Center Channel I did because I was in a hurry and at this point I have a comfort level with the Polk product and website, and I felt like they were at a good price.

Any input on the 3 questions I posed above would be appreciated.
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