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Polk 65T vs Pioneer FS52 Listening to Both

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have both Polk 65Ts and Pioneer FS52s. I have been going back and fourth between the two sets. They are located in a large room 19 x 24 with 12ft ceiling. They are connected to an Onkyo nRX515 receiver. Filling the room is not really an issue for either. I can get plenty of sound and volume from each. I will give some positives and negatives for those that are interested and perhaps someone can help me tweak a few things.

Fit and Finish: Pioneer wins. The cabinets are considerably more rich looking and they are almost the same weight. I was disappointed by the 65T appearance. The "real cherry wood" veneer still looks fake to me. I paid more for these because I thought they were supposed look like real wood.

Bass Performance: The Polks win handily here. The bass is tighter and more controlled, especially at high volumes. The bass on the Pioneers seems to have a little more extension at the expense of a little sloppiness. You certainly need a sub for either set(I have two). The Polk set does blend in better with my subs, but I assume I can work on that with the Pios.

Clarity: The Polks win here. They are more sensitive and can play louder without distortion setting in. At the same listening levels, the Pios sometimes break up.

Vocals: This is really no contest. The Pios absolutely destroy the Polks for music vocals.I simply couldn't believe the difference. Vocals coming out of the Pios are deeper and richer, while being more expansive. Almost too much so, sometimes drowing out the mod range. Vocals on the Polks do not stand out, and are rather flat. There is no three dimensional presence like the Pios. They don't grab you like the Pios.

Mid Range: Tough call. They each have there own merits. I hear different things when playing the same source with each speaker. Polks seem to be clearer. The Pios seem to have better depth.

Highs: I really have no preference, maybe a slight edge to the Polks in terms of clarity and being able to play distortion free at high listening levels. Let's say they are certainly different. The Pios do have a tendency of distorting at higher listening levels, but they also have less siblence.

Soundstage: Polks easily win here. Considerably more expansive in width and height.

Imaging: Pios easily win here. The Pios have a 3 dimensional effect that the Polks simply do not have. As mentioned before vocals from the Pios immerse you.


Winner: I can't really say yet and I don't know which set I am going to keep. It would seem like the Polks win in my setup based on my review, but the drastic difference in imaging/vocals really is astonishing. If I could get just a little more presence out of the vocals on the Polks, my choice would be easier.
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post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Anyone have an idea on what I might be able to do to get vocals a little more forward?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Returned the Pioneers and kept the Polks. Audyssey correction made some improvements for the Polks. However, these speakers are what they are, monitors. Loud, fairly clear, but they lack any "soul" for whatever it's worth. On to the next pair.
post #4 of 7
I did a similar A/B comparison with the first generation Pioneer series bookshelf and the Polk M40s. Polks won handily. I thought the Pioneers looked cheap and plastic (and the Polks looked cheap and plastic, but not quite as cheap). perhaps they have improved the look of the Pioneers in the new series, I have not seen them up close and personal. in terms of sound quality, I had very similar impressions!
Anyway, i also returned the Pioneer speakers and kept the Polk m40s...which now sit unused in my basement, replaced by a set of Def Tech SM450s!
post #5 of 7
Since you seem to have the ability to hear critically and well, I think you would never be happy with either of those speakers.

I suggest that you get a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers and IMO you will find them 100% better than either of the ones you have been putzing around with, lol. They are excellent speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roccol View Post

Returned the Pioneers and kept the Polks. Audyssey correction made some improvements for the Polks. However, these speakers are what they are, monitors. Loud, fairly clear, but they lack any "soul" for whatever it's worth. On to the next pair.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by roccol View Post

On to the next pair.

Picking up another set of speakers to demo? Depending on your budget take a look at the Arx A5 tower ($749)
post #7 of 7
What receiver are you using to run these? The distortion you are experiencing makes it sound like you are running a receiver under 100w/channel. The distortion would most likely go away by feeding more power to the Pioneers, as they are less sensitive and require more power over the Polks.
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