Polk LSiM 705 Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 42 Old 11-16-2016, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Polk LSiM 705 Review

I know there are a few reviews out there but wanted to pass along my opinions.


Background: I'm in my 40's and been addicted to HT and stereo for 20+ years. I'm also a huge KEF & B&W fan and owned many over the past 15 years. I also own some Def Tech BP8020 (used in my bedroom) which I'll use as a comparison to these Polks. I've never owned any Polk speakers so I thought I'd give them a try especially when I got them for 50% list price and free shipping.


Set Up:
I'm using a Pioneer VSX-90 in stereo only mode (100 watts per speaker) with no subwoofer hooked up. Speakers are placed about 7ft apart using some 12 gauge wire. Room has 8ft ceilings and is about 18ft by 25ft. I only have about 10 hours of "burn in" on these speakers so not sure if this is a factor in my review.


First impressions: (Mahogany finish)
These speakers are beautiful, especially with the grills off. I thought my KEF XQ40's (Khaya Mahogany) were nice, these come very close. As others have mentioned, they look more black than mahogany color.
They are extremely heavy-never owned a speaker this heavy (see below reasons why)
Speaker build is great and very solid. After doing the "hand knocking test", there is no hollow sounds at all. Even better than my $1k each KEF's
They are a very tall speaker


Sound:
I'm comparing these to my Def Tech BP8020 speakers first but will soon compare them to my KEF's in a later update using my Pioneer SC-87 and Outlaw 125 watt amp.
These speakers are great in the mid's and lower end (better and more natural than my Def Techs) but very much lacks the detailed highs in the tweeter. Almost very flat sounding.
Imaging and spaciousness is very good.


Overall Impressions:
I'm trying very much to like these speakers but feel that the lack of crisp detailed highs are making this speaker just ok, not great.
I know for some ears, this might not be an issue or maybe preferable. Some have said that you really need a good powerful amp to runs these so maybe when I test them with my Outlaw (125 watt) amp, the high's will come alive.


Just my 2 cents and appreciate any feedback or comments!
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Last edited by knucklerama; 11-17-2016 at 08:47 AM.
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post #2 of 42 Old 11-17-2016, 07:11 AM
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Anything I say on this subject should be taken with a grain of salt as I really don't know what I'm talking about and would like to know much more on the topic.

I don't believe the Polks are as efficient/sensitive as the KEF speakers you referenced and may benefit from more input. I believe the 705s are rated from 20-250 watts. I believe the KEF sensitivity is 90db and the Polks are 88db, but I really have no idea what the means.

I bought some Polk 703s and a 706c back in March when they were 50% off based solely on pricing and reviews. I have yet to hook them up, but I'm hoping for great things. Most everything I read about the LSiM series was pretty glowing.

I just bought a Denon X6200W AVR and am in the process of getting an old Yamaha M80 two channel amp repaired. I'm planning to ultimately use the M80 to drive my front left & right speakers, which for the time being will be the 703s.

It's been a long time since I've had a functioning home stereo, so I won't have much to compare them to. I suspect I'll think they are great.
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post #3 of 42 Old 12-04-2016, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Polk LSiM 705 Review

UPDATE:
Well after many hours of review and testing, my final review below:


These speakers, in my opinion, are a very laid back speaker with very good mids and bass-very heavy emphasis on the mids. Very good when it comes to "airiness" and covering the entire room. Love the quality and looks and they should please most listeners overall.
My issue is still with the detailed "highs". I did a side by side comparison with my KEF XQ40's with an Outlaw amp and a Pioneer SC-87. These speakers could not compare to my KEF's, they are good but there was definitely a huge difference in the mids to upper level highs where the Polk could not compete. I do like bright speakers but I still feel there was something lacking in the upper range. I really want to love these speakers but to me they are just "very good" not excellent and well suited for most listeners.
I did I blind test with a friend, my wife, my two kids and they both said the KEF's sounded better. Now, in some defense, I did not play any movie tracks, just a various amounts of music and didn't feel a need after hearing the feedback and my own thoughts. I think they might be a very good dedicated movie only speaker but since I'm a 40/60 guy, I need a speaker that can do both.
I'm torn on sending these back


My 2 cents.

Last edited by knucklerama; 12-04-2016 at 01:35 PM.
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post #4 of 42 Old 12-04-2016, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knucklerama View Post
UPDATE:
Well after many hours of review and testing, my final review below:


These speakers, in my opinion, are a very laid back speaker with very good mids and bass-very heavy emphasis on the mids. Very good when it comes to "airiness" and covering the entire room. Love the quality and looks and they should please most listeners overall.
My issue is still with the detailed "highs". I did a side by side comparison with my KEF XQ40's with an Outlaw amp and a Pioneer SC-87. These speakers could not compare to my KEF's, they are good but there was definitely a huge difference in the mids to upper level highs where the Polk could not compete. I do like bright speakers but I still feel there was something lacking in the upper range. I really want to love these speakers but to me they are just "very good" not excellent and well suited for most listeners.
I did I blind test with a friend, my wife, my two kids and they both said the KEF's sounded better. Now, in some defense, I did not play any movie tracks, just a various amounts of music and didn't feel a need after hearing the feedback and my own thoughts. I think they might be a very good dedicated movie only speaker but since I'm a 40/60 guy, I need a speaker that can do both.
I'm torn on sending these back


My 2 cents.
Two Question for you, did you re-run MCACC with the Polks? If not you really should. Second, did you toe the speakers in toward the MLP, if not, try pointing the tweeters so they hit just over each shoulder (use a laser pointer).

You can also try bumping the 8khz and 16khz eq sliders up 3db each to see if it brings more of what you want.

If that fails, send them back as they're not the speakers for you.

My setup: Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 and center, Ascend HTM200SE surround, NHT atmos minis, dual Rythmik L12's, Pioneer SC-95, Minidsp DDRC-88BM, Rotel RMB1077, LG OLED B7P
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post #5 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 10:30 AM
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So i need some opinions i can jump on some LSiM705 Speakers for $600 and upgrade from my RtiA7 is it worth it i know ill also have to upgrade my center in the near future also.

Im using an Onkyo TX NR 809 with a Yamaha P5000s pro amp to power my current setup.
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post #6 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardccm View Post
So i need some opinions i can jump on some LSiM705 Speakers for $600 and upgrade from my RtiA7 is it worth it i know ill also have to upgrade my center in the near future also.

Im using an Onkyo TX NR 809 with a Yamaha P5000s pro amp to power my current setup.
No doubt that is a fantastic price---but if HT is your main usage not music, then I'd upgrade the center first---probably with a non-Polk center to be honest.

Otherwise, why bother sinking $$$ into 2 speakers that only do about 20% of the HT output, especially if it leaves you stuck with a mediocre center that's actually carrying 80% of the HT output load?

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #7 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
No doubt that is a fantastic price---but if HT is your main usage not music, then I'd upgrade the center first---probably with a non-Polk center to be honest.

Otherwise, why bother sinking $$$ into 2 speakers that only do about 20% of the HT output, especially if it leaves you stuck with a mediocre center that's actually carrying 80% of the HT output load?
So I'm guessing you don't recommend the LSiM706C. I currently have the CSiA6 that's matched to the RTia7's what center channel would you recommend and since they wouldnt be timber matched how much will that affect my system.
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post #8 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardccm View Post
So I'm guessing you don't recommend the LSiM706C. I currently have the CSiA6 that's matched to the RTia7's what center channel would you recommend and since they wouldnt be timber matched how much will that affect my system.
I have the 706c with 707's... This is a great combo and the center superb! Its huge and able to keep up with your 705's if you get them. FYI its heavy and large!
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post #9 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 12:59 PM
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I have the 706c with 707's... This is a great combo and the center superb! Its huge and able to keep up with your 705's if you get them. FYI its heavy and large!
Well i have the CSiA6 so im assuming they are similar in size just curious about the comment above since its not the first time I've heard that Polk center speakers are really lacking.
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post #10 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardccm View Post
So I'm guessing you don't recommend the LSiM706C. I currently have the CSiA6 that's matched to the RTia7's what center channel would you recommend and since they wouldnt be timber matched how much will that affect my system.
Generally speaking, Polk is not known for great center speakers.

And "timbre matching" is already a dubious, loosy-goosy article of FAITH ("superstition" is a less generous descriptor), which IMO is especially irrelevant with center channels because how on earth can a HORIZONTAL center speaker with different sized woofers possibly produce a "timbre match" with VERTICAL left/right front speakers??? Anybody with half a brain knows that's physically impossible. But it's a myth that is endlessly repeated by sleazy salesmen, alleged "audiophile" reviewers, and wannabe "audiophiles," so it's passed from the realm of fanciful thinking and placebo effect into that of blindly-assumed fact.

The only way to achieve this much-ballyhooed "timbre match" is to do 3 *identical* speakers up front, with ALL of them in the same vertical (or horizontal) configuration, with the tweeters on the same horizontal plane...and even there, room effects may still make each speaker sound a little different.
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post #11 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardccm View Post
Well i have the CSiA6 so im assuming they are similar in size just curious about the comment above since its not the first time I've heard that Polk center speakers are really lacking.
Not really lacking in terms of being TERRIBLE, but for the money they are no great shakes. The CSiA6 and LSi706 are certainly Polk's "least bad" centers.

But for the $1180 that Amazon wants for the 706 I'll put good money on the table that this Ascend Sierra Horizon would stomp it to bits.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...n/horizon.html

And the kicker is, this $370 Emotiva C2 would probably be on par with or close to the Ascend, if you can get past the Batmobile looks.
https://emotiva.com/collections/loud...ts/airmotiv-c2

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #12 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Not really lacking in terms of being TERRIBLE, but for the money they are no great shakes. The CSiA6 and LSi706 are certainly Polk's "least bad" centers.

But for the $1180 that Amazon wants for the 706 I'll put good money on the table that this Ascend Sierra Horizon would stomp it to bits.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...n/horizon.html

And the kicker is, this $370 Emotiva C2 would probably be on par with or close to the Ascend, if you can get past the Batmobile looks.
https://emotiva.com/collections/loud...ts/airmotiv-c2
well i can find a LSiM 706C for $300 right now so thats not putting dent on the wallet i dont think ive ever paid retail for any speaker in general. But if that emotiva is really that much better than the Polk Center i have no issue buy that one instead

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post #13 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 01:12 PM
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well i can find a LSiM 706C for $300 right now so thats not putting dent on the wallet i dont think ive ever paid retail for any speaker in general
oh nice, $300 isn't bad at all, good for you.

I'd still be concerned about treble detail/dynamics though, since the LSi series are widely reported as being more midrange forward (see 12/04/16 review above)...which I'd personally LOVE for music listening, but for HT I'd want something more neutral, with adequate sparkle/energy up top.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #14 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 01:18 PM
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oh nice, $300 isn't bad at all, good for you.

I'd still be concerned about treble detail/dynamics though, since the LSi series are widely reported as being more midrange forward (see 12/04/16 review above)...which I'd personally LOVE for music listening, but for HT I'd want something more neutral, with adequate sparkle/energy up top.
I guess ill purchase the towers for now since i doubt ill find for this price and upgrade the center after doing more research. Ill stay with the CSiA6 for now and sell my RTiA7's. i do use my system for home theater but love using my towers in full range for music so il still enjoy them lol.
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post #15 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 01:29 PM
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I guess ill purchase the towers for now since i doubt ill find for this price and upgrade the center after doing more research. Ill stay with the CSiA6 for now and sell my RTiA7's. i do use my system for home theater but love using my towers in full range for music so il still enjoy them lol.
Oh, for music I'm sure the LSi towers will be a big step up from the RTi, no doubt. I've been tempted by those Adorama bundle deals on them, tbh.
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Oh, for music I'm sure the LSi towers will be a big step up from the RTi, no doubt. I've been tempted by those Adorama bundle deals on them, tbh.
LOL i know exactly what you're talking about but those deals and my spare cash don't ever seem to line up and i was looking at the 703's also but have a little one walking around so i feel like the towers are just more stable. Now i have to figure out how to bring the new speakers and take out the old without my wife finding out.......
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post #17 of 42 Old 08-27-2018, 01:40 PM
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Now i have to figure out how to bring the new speakers and take out the old without my wife finding out.......
hahaha, I've done the same with bookshelf speakers...took my wife a couple weeks to even notice!

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post #18 of 42 Old 08-28-2018, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardccm View Post
I guess ill purchase the towers for now since i doubt ill find for this price and upgrade the center after doing more research. Ill stay with the CSiA6 for now and sell my RTiA7's. i do use my system for home theater but love using my towers in full range for music so il still enjoy them lol.
If you're buying the LSi towers you should absolutely buy the matching center. For $300 it would be crazy not to! I understand Zorba's point of an MTM center not really matching the L&R due to the different designs, but I'll tell you what...the LSi center is sure going to sound better with the LSi mains than the CSi6 will. The CSi6 is a VERY good center, taking into consideration the voicing of the RTi/CSi speakers. They are a bit tipped up on top. I've always liked them though. The LSi's are neutral, even recessed a bit. A lot of excellent speakers are voiced that way though.

I read so much on this forum about how the center does everything, the mains don't really matter lol. It's just not true. Watch any action movie particularly, and you're going to have voices and sounds pan across the front. When you have a mismatched center, especially when it's voiced very different like the RTi and LSi, it really stands out. Same as when sounds pan from front to back. But if you can get a mismatched center with a similar sound signature, or mismatched surrounds, it can be acceptable. I've had dozens of speakers and tried all sorts of combinations of fronts, matching centers and surrounds, mismatched centers and surrounds, no centers, etc. Just my opinion though. Let us know how you like the 705's!
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post #19 of 42 Old 08-28-2018, 06:45 PM
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NO disrespect to Zobra (Ive gotten much great advice from him in the past and respect his opinion), but id really look at reviews from people who own the 706c on Amazon etc. I agree with Zobra, at full price there may be better options. But to match the 705's and current going price this is a no brainer. Only a fool would buy this at full price with sales on the internet.
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post #20 of 42 Old 08-29-2018, 08:23 AM
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I have 705s for L&R and use a 703 for the center as it has the same tweeter and midrange and similar mid-bass to the 705s, all in a vertical arrangement. I have all 3 front tweeters at ear level. If you use a subwoofer and don't get too aggressive with the crossover, the 703 seems to be up to the job with its 6.5" woofer and power-port.

SONY VPL-VW385ES, Da-Lite 92" 0.9 HD progressive 16x9 screen, Apple TV 4K, HDFury Integral 2, Oppo UDP 203, Panasonic DP-UB820, Anthem AVM 60, D-Sonic 4000 (800x3, 400x4) for bed layer, 2 Crown XLS 1002 (225x4) for Atmos; Speakers: Polk LSiM 705s, 703 front, 4 702F/X surround, 4 Polk TL3 (Atmos), Dual Velodyne DD15 Subwoofers.
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post #21 of 42 Old 08-29-2018, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcody01 View Post
NO disrespect to Zobra (Ive gotten much great advice from him in the past and respect his opinion), but id really look at reviews from people who own the 706c on Amazon etc. I agree with Zobra, at full price there may be better options. But to match the 705's and current going price this is a no brainer. Only a fool would buy this at full price with sales on the internet.
FWIW:
https://www.fakespot.com/product/pol...on-cherry-each

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #22 of 42 Old 09-14-2018, 12:18 PM
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So I finally received the 705's a few days ago and i was not disappointed and for $576 that i ultimately paid, I think got a hell of a pair speaker for the price and now I'm stuck trying to sell my old RTiA7's and center lol and hopefully quick otherwise the wife will be pissed. The polk center for 300 fell through and i decided to bite the bullet on the Emotiva C2 and should be getting it today.
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post #23 of 42 Old 09-14-2018, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardccm View Post
So I finally received the 705's a few days ago and i was not disappointed and for $576 that i ultimately paid, I think got a hell of a pair speaker for the price and now I'm stuck trying to sell my old RTiA7's and center lol and hopefully quick otherwise the wife will be pissed. The polk center for 300 fell through and i decided to bite the bullet on the Emotiva C2 and should be getting it today.
Wow, $576 for a pair of those is great! Will be curious to hear how you like the C2.
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post #24 of 42 Old 09-14-2018, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Wow, $576 for a pair of those is great! Will be curious to hear how you like the C2.


So i got the C2 today and yes it sounds amazing but unfortunately it does not pass WAF so i took it down before my wife could even see it. This thing is ridiculously huge i was expecting big but not that lol.





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post #25 of 42 Old 09-14-2018, 05:55 PM
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So i got the C2 today and yes it sounds amazing but unfortunately it does not pass WAF so i took it down before my wife could even see it. This thing is ridiculously huge i was expecting big but not that lol.
LOL, oh noooooooo!

But you know, since you already have it, why not go for broke...leave it there, plugged in, level match it to the L/R towers, and just have the living room darkened and play a movie with her WITHOUT telling her about it. She will be impressed, no doubt...THEN at the end of the movie, turn on the lights, and if she notices I think she will mind it a hell of a lot less than you're expecting.

And even if she minds that much, you can always ship it back and get the C1 in its place, which I think would still be plenty impressive.

PS. It might also help if you serve her her favorite alcoholic beverage before and during the movie, in ample quantities.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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LOL, oh noooooooo!



But you know, since you already have it, why not go for broke...leave it there, plugged in, level match it to the L/R towers, and just have the living room darkened and play a movie with her WITHOUT telling her about it. She will be impressed, no doubt...THEN at the end of the movie, turn on the lights, and if she notices I think she will mind it a hell of a lot less than you're expecting.



And even if she minds that much, you can always ship it back and get the C1 in its place, which I think would still be plenty impressive.


Lol i never told her i bought it so if she never found out the better. I’m just gonna eat the shipping and send it back trust me no amount of awesomeness would convince her to leave that there


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Here's a good size comparison photo of the C1 vs C2.

Not sure if it's true to scale, since the C2 has 6.5" woofers vs 5.25" woofers on the C1, but in the photo the woofers look about the same size...the C1 should be at least 20% smaller I think.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Here's a good size comparison photo of the C1 vs C2.


The c1 might have been a better size


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post #29 of 42 Old 09-14-2018, 06:02 PM
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Lol i never told her i bought it so if she never found out the better. I’m just gonna eat the shipping and send it back trust me no amount of awesomeness would convince her to leave that there
Naw, just tell her Emotiva gives you free shipping both ways, therefore nothing was lost...that should calm her down.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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Dont let the P rule your life my gosh LOL

1st you cant ever tell me XXX center beats the C2, tell me and show me I'll buy it and prove you wrong
I had Chane's A2.4 which was so great, C2 treats it like a step child

SHall we go on??

THe Polks Lsi that cost 3k pair, my buddy said they match up with T2s but his Polks prob better
never heard them
but he said they (T2s) beat all his others but Polks
He wasnt sure of Polks but said they close
Most honest guy in world

All his towers are 5yrs old++
SO maybe thats why

I dont care Take it FWIW

Cheers

T2/C2 ROCK

Set up #1 Speakers LR: Tekton Enzo XL ; Center: Tekton Pendragon Subs (2) 2019 JTR 118HTs
Set up #2 : QA3020i LR, Center: Emotiva C1 Subs (2) HSU VTF2 MK5,
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