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What's Better - Polk Lsi9 or Paradigm Studio 60 v.3 Speakers?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I hated questions like what is better X or Y? Its like asking what is better : an apple or an orange? Yet I find myself asking a similar question.
I have an offer of Polk Lsi9 bookshelf speakers on stands and floorstanding Paradigm Studio 60 v.3. Price is $500 for each set, both in excellent condition.
Here is my setup. Bass is not what I am after, I have a 1000W Sunfire sub which is plenty at 1/4 gain, with a crossover at 150Hz. What I need is realistic, clean and articulate midrange and highs.
What would you choose and why?
Thanks.

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post #2 of 19
While I've only auditioned Paradigm I wasn't overly impressed. The Polk LSi9, which I've owned, are fantastic speakers. You may be able to listen to Paradigm studios in your area, if you can go have a listen before making your purchase. The Polks may be a bit more difficult.

Also, evaluate your receiver or amp. The Polks at 4 ohms and relatively power hungry may be too much, making it an easy choice. smile.gif
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Nethawk. Regarding the amp. I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-53. 110W at 8ohm per channel. Will it handle the Lsi9s adequately? At least will there be no distortion? I understand I will need at least a 300W power amp to open them up. I will get one in a year or two.
post #4 of 19
I have personally spent some time with both of these speakers. I thought that the Studio 60 v.3were significantly better than the Polks. The Paradigms had more detail and clarity as well as much better sound staging and imaging. They pretty much beat the Polks in every single catagory.

. I would personally never buy any Polk speakers as for the money, you can do much much better, even with traditional big-box brands. My father-in-law owns these same Polk speakers, and I used to own a pair of Studio 40 v.3 and had a close buddy that had the Studio 60v.3. So I feel like I might have a better perspective than some other folks.
post #5 of 19
That receiver should be fine provided you aren't one to turn volume far to the right. If you listen at high volume get the Paradigm instead. Buying an external amp is another option, I love my Crown XLS for only $300.

I'd encourage you to read reviews on the LSi9. Marty may be the only person on the planet to have bypassed excellent sound in favor of characterizing Polk as a manufacturer to avoid. By all accounts (but his) their LSi line is superb.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Nethawk, I was under time constraints so I decided to go with your suggestion. I could not audition both speakers. So, I have no idea if Paradigm would have been better. I got the LSI9. And you are right - they are excellent speakers by themselves.
My fear that they will sound inadequate because of my 110W amp were unfounded. Clean, musical, articulate sound. I thought they were going to be quiet because of 4ohm impedance and low sensitivity - but no, very vivid sound.
One problem I had with the way Paradigm look - at least in pictures. This modern spacecraft material presentation with alligator skin plastic around the tweeters - I know this is to minimize reflection - is not for me. The LSIs are much more understated and at the same time expensive looking. Looks are just as important as the sound for me.
Now, what I need is a power amp. I have this question. The Elite receiver has plenty of juice for home theater. I usually play it at -50, -40 at most (out -80 to +10), so at half volume. And this is more than enough for me. But I hear I need a power amp to really open up the LSIs. Does it make any sense to buy a two channel power amp just for them which will be connected to the Elite receiver? I understand that a 5 channel power amp is the optimal solution, but those are double the price.
Thanks
post #7 of 19
Glad you enjoy them, I agree they sound wonderful. I think you would probably benefit from a separate amp, I would take a look at the Emotiva XPA-200. 240 watts/channel @ 4ohms with both channels driven, and it is on sale currently.

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpa200
post #8 of 19
An Emotiva UPA-200 with 200 watts/ch @ 4 ohm ($299) will give you the power that those LSi9s need to shine. If you can stretch you budget to $429 then get the XPA-200 (240 watts/ch @ 4 ohm)
post #9 of 19
Congrats Vlad. Watch the receiver after extended play, be sure that it is not overheating. You should be fine with the amount of power you're providing the speakers, but this is a rare case where it is recommended that your upgrade path include an amplifier. 2 channel amp is fine, your goal is to offload difficult to drive speakers, and unless I'm missing something the two Polks are the only ones you have. You can always stack multiple 2 channel receivers in the future if necessary.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Amazing. Diana Krall's SACD sounds so real with the LSI9s, I have to check if she is hiding behind the TV!
Thanks for suggesting Emotiva. Those are sweet.
I wonder if bi-amping the LSIs (my VSX-53 provides that option) will open them up further? After all , an equal amount of power will go to tweeters and midwoofers, instead of being split in between.
Edited by grigorianvlad - 7/23/13 at 12:52pm
post #11 of 19
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_M View Post

Grigorianvlad,


If you haven't seen it.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/polk-lsi9-surround-speaker-system

Yeah, I've read at least 10 reviews of each speaker. Thanks, though.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Amazing. Diana Krall's SACD sounds so real with the LSI9s, I have to check if she is hiding behind the TV!
Thanks for suggesting Emotiva. Those are sweet.
I wonder if bi-amping the LSIs (my VSX-53 provides that option) will open them up further? After all , an equal amount of power will go to tweeters and midwoofers, instead of being split in between.

Good calls from Nethawk and Enrico.

I wouldn't bother with bi-amping. I mean you could try it out for yourself, but you'll most likely end up just running from a single power source to one set of terminals in the end, like most of us have smile.gif
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

After all , an equal amount of power will go to tweeters and midwoofers, instead of being split in between.
That's one reason why passive bi-amping isn't worth the wire. Tweeters on average can only make use of 10% of the total system power. The other is that if you don't use an electronic crossover to do band pass splitting before the amps and pull the passive crossovers out of the speakers you won't get any of the benefits that active bi-amping offers.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

That's one reason why passive bi-amping isn't worth the wire. Tweeters on average can only make use of 10% of the total system power. The other is that if you don't use an electronic crossover to do band pass splitting before the amps and pull the passive crossovers out of the speakers you won't get any of the benefits that active bi-amping offers.


Dont follow. What is the difference between passive and active bi-amping?

The VSX manual says just connect a second set of wires to zone 2 speaker connectors and choose bi-amp in the AVR setup mode. Is this active or passive? Or you referring to bi-wiring vs bi-amping?
Thanks.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Dont follow. What is the difference between passive and active bi-amping?

The VSX manual says just connect a second set of wires to zone 2 speaker connectors and choose bi-amp in the AVR setup mode. Is this active or passive? Or you referring to bi-wiring vs bi-amping?
Thanks.




http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_M View Post

http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm

Pretty clear, thanks:

"Some people equate bi-wiring as a cheaper method of achieving the same gains as one would with bi-amping. This is quite obviously not the case - there are gains to be had, but they are comparatively minor. This is not to say that the "minor" gains are not worth the effort, because as you will see this is not true at all."
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Dont follow. What is the difference between passive and active bi-amping?
It's in my post. Active splits the signal before being amplified, passive does not. Active eliminates the internal crossover in the speaker, passive does not. Active is worthwhile, passive is not.
Quote:
Some people equate bi-wiring as a cheaper method of achieving the same gains as one would with bi-amping.
In truth bi-wiring is as useful as passive bi-amping, which is to say neither is worth the bother. Those who equate bi-wiring with active bi-amping don't know what active bi-amping is.
As to the Westhost comment on bi-wiring, it's wrong. All bi-wiring does is to move the jumper from the back of the speaker to the back of the receiver/amp, which electrically is the same thing. In Rod's defense he does say he's never bothered to measure the result of b-wiring. If he had he'd have found no difference.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks.
Not to make this post even more convoluted, I have another question to ask. It relates to amp power and speakers. What I dont understand is that amp manual lists more power output with lower impedance.
For example the same receiver can have this stated:
110W into 8ohm
180W into 4ohm
I understand that impedance is resistance. So, if a speaker has impedance of 4ohm, it has LESS resistance, not more. It SHOULD not be power hungry as these LSI9s are (not that I noticed, though). Less power should drive them - as compared to an 8ohm pair. I would have expected an 8ohm speaker to be power hungry. But it is the reverse. What did I miss?
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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Speakers › What's Better - Polk Lsi9 or Paradigm Studio 60 v.3 Speakers?