Since there are a few folks here wondering if the monitors would be a good buy for them allow me to post up some thoughts on my experience with the monitors. This was orginally in a PM message to another forum member who contacted me asking for my thoughts on the 70's:
The Monitor series are sort of an enigma, and the Monitor 70's more so then the rest of the line (and I have all the monitor line speakers in 2 different set ups). There isn't much out there that can really compete with them price to performance wise. The Andrew Jones Pioneers and the Infinity Primus series are the most readily available speakers that are somewhat comparable. I did not care much for either, especially the Pioneers when I was shopping for speakers. For a person who is on a strict budget and wants a good HT/Stereo set up the Polk Monitors are really the best there is at this price point in my opinion. That is not to say they are "great" speakers, because they really are not, but most speakers are not "great" speakers, most are average to good. Lots of folks have posted up thoughts regarding the tweeter design, saying that they can be a tad harsh at times and I have experienced a certain "boxy" sound with mine, but a bit of tweaking on their placement and a few runs of audyssey and adding the right amount of power, I have cured that issue in my room.
There are better speakers out there for sure. The RTi and RTiA series are both better, better sounding, better construction, and better materials. Now this doesn't make the monitors a bad speaker per se, it just denotes that there are better out there. When comparing the Monitor 70 to the RTi8 or RTiA7 specifically the betterness becomes less apparent. At this point you are comparing the Top Of The Line Monitor Tower to the Bottom Of The Line Tower of the next series up in Polk's line up. While it is true that the RTi and RTiA series are technically better, how much better are the low end models compared to a top end model in the line directly below? Hard to really say, and if the cost savings is significant between the Monitor 70 and the RTi8 then by all means go for the Monitors, if the cost is not an issues get the RTi's.
Now on to my Monitor experience. When I first got them I was really impressed with the sound and performance. After some time with them, many months, I began to notice some short comings....a bit boxy here, and tad boomy there, a touch of harshness once in a while. Also during this time I listened to some other significantly better speakers (Kef Q900's, RTiA9's, some Monitor Audio speakers I cant recall the model of, and some B&W's). These "better" speakers really showed me the short comings of my 70's. In fact after owning the 70's for about 2 years I was ready to move on to bigger and better. I was all set to get some Kef Q series, but alas, a used xpa-2 fell into my lap for a price I couldn't pass up....and let me tell you what I discovered...the Monitor 70's LOVE power. It was like a different speaker. No more being a tad boxy, no more touches of harshness, no more boomyness. Sonically they still sound like Monitors, but the additional headroom allows to the perform at all volume levels with ease. I no longer have a desire to upgrade my speakers at this time. I love what I am getting from my monitors now.
If I could describe the sound signature of the 70's, I would call them neutral with just a touch of brightness and a touch of warmth at the same time. They are not exactly 100% accurate, but they do sound really good with the right set up with a good source and the right amount of power available to them. I primarily listen to electronic based music to include 80's style synth pop, electronica, industrial, new wave, goth, ebm as well as some alternative rock from the 90's and 00's and some classic rock - mainly progressive and psychedelic (think moody blues and pink floyd) and some hair band stuff from the 80's. With this wide selection of genres the monitors really do sound good playing it all. I feel they really do shine best with electronic music the most, but the instrument based rock is also really good - on the right recordings - there is a lot of rock music that has some pretty ****** sounding recordings. Blu-Ray lossless sound tracks sound awesome too...these are a good double duty - music and HT - speaker.
I would recommend any one with a limited budget to try out the Monitors series, the 70's and 60's specifically. I don't think the Monitor line will go down in speaker history as "something special", but they will go down in speaker history as being a fabulous budget speaker and a very very good stepping stone into the world of high fidelity home audio. It also of interest to note that when the Monitor 70's first hit the market they cost just shy of $1000 a pair. Now days due to economies of scale and distribution Polk can get away with selling them for nearly 70% less. Twice the Monitor series was officially discontinued. The first time was when the TSi series hit the market - same speaker as the monitors just dressed up in a different suit. The second time with the release of the newer TSx series and the New Monitor series. But it seems that the Monitor 70's just cant be killed, as they keep coming up for sale on Polk Ebay, Newegg, Amazon and other places. That says something to me about the demand for them.