This old dog can still hunt, the Polk RTiA1. Crutchfield Speakercompare is 1 for 1. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-16-2019, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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This old dog can still hunt, the Polk RTiA1. Crutchfield Speakercompare is 1 for 1.

I had posted a thread a week or so ago comparing 4 similarly priced bookshelf speakers, one being the Polk RTiA1, using the Crutchfield Speakercompare system they now offer online. Using that, I was impressed with the Polk RTiA1 speaker for it's detail and clarity. The RtiA line is long in the tooth and they seem to be on a nearly constant sale now days. I decided to cop an open box pair of RTiA1's at a good price.


So far I'm very impressed with this speaker. I had never been afforded the opportunity to try any of the RTiA line in home, so I was pushed to do so when I found the RTiA1 to have such a pleasing sound using the Crutchfield system. So far I've been listening to them 2 channel, but mainly 2.1 with a sub. It may sound like a miss-match on paper, but I've been running these 2.1 with the HSU VTF-15H mk2, which is a big 15" sub, and the results have been outstanding. The results listening to these and comparing them to a couple of other good bookshelf speaker I have on hand have been very eye opening.


So far the two speakers I've been comparing the RTiA1's against are the Q Acoustics 2020i and Sony Core SSCS5. Both are good speakers in their own right, with the CS5 being a very popular budget choice when on sale, but they do retail for $150/pair. What I'm hearing from the Polk in comparison to both of these speakers is more detail, separation and clarity in the mids and highs. It's quite a noticeable difference that surprised me to a certain degree. The RTiA1 has a sound that really isn't overly bright, but the detail is impressive. In comparison, the SS5 almost sounds muffled and a bit boxy sounding. The clarity in vocals with the Polk also was much better than either the Sony or Q Acoustics.



Trying to listen to a variety of music, I used some Samantha Fox, Shinedown, Steely Dan, Pitbull, Norman Brown and Metallica. In rock music, where I find a speaker can sound very congested and lack separation of instruments, the RTiA1's did a good job of keeping everything clear and being able to distinguish instruments apart from one another. Running any of these speakers 2 channel, none will impress with bass capability. Of the three, I did find the Polk to have the fuller sound lower in range. I didn't experiment with placing them closer to a wall to see if that would further reinforce the bass capability or make it more boomy. The rear power-port should negate a lot of that, however.


So far so good with the Polk RTiA1. All of this has been done in my medium sized 2400 ft^3 gaming room. The RTiA1 doesn't seem to have any problem filling the room with quality sound and paired with a quality sub, I'm really taken back by how these have a presence and sound of a larger speaker. Build quality on the RTiA1 also far surpasses either the 2020i or CS5, with the RTiA1 having a real wood oak veneer finish. The cabinet itself is tapered to be narrower in the back and front, with the center being the widest point, much like the Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers. The RTiA1 is currently $194/pair and has been on this sale price for a while now. I would definitely recommend it for somebody looking for a pair bookshelf speakers under $200. It may be an older speaker line, but this dog can still hunt.

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Subs>RBH I-12e/I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX 12(x2)/THX 10(x2). XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000(x2). Speakers>JBL 270/235c/230/225c, Arena 130/125c. Jamo S807/S803. Infinity P363/163. Pioneer FS52/BS22A/C22. Sony CS3/CS8/CS5. QA 3020i/3090Ci, 2020i/2000c. Monolith AM Cinema 5 bs. Polk RTiA1/CsiA4. Other Audio>Sony MDR-Z7m2, WH-XB700, XB32, XB31.JBL Live500bt. Logitech GPro HS. Plantronics RIG 500 Pro HS. LG FH6,RK8,PK5,PH4. UE Boom3.

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-16-2019, 02:24 PM
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Glad it worked! And thanks for the review. I’ve always been partial to Polk, but never heard the RTi Series.
@zieglj01 Perhaps you’d like to try these out for your budget shootout. I know you said you didn’t want to check out Polk, but Mr. Mix here says they surpass the Q Acoustics, so maybe they’re worth a try. And I know you’re a sucker for well built cabinets

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-16-2019, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Glad it worked! And thanks for the review. I’ve always been partial to Polk, but never heard the RTi Series.
@zieglj01 Perhaps you’d like to try these out for your budget shootout. I know you said you didn’t want to check out Polk, but Mr. Mix here says they surpass the Q Acoustics, so maybe they’re worth a try. And I know you’re a sucker for well built cabinets
i use to own the RTi4 and the cabinet was adding to a somewhat lively sound and the bass was somewhat boomy, and they only had enough damping material inside to blow your nose -- I treated the cabinet and it took away some of that artificial lively sound, and I stuffed that front port that took away some of the boomy sound .... but yes in reality they are some decent/nice speakers and are better than the Monitor series, but overall are lacking in detail and definition -- but I would take them over the Q Acoustics 2020i speakers -- it is possible I could try the RTiA series or the S series ... anything is possible

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-16-2019, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
So far I'm very impressed with this speaker. I had never been afforded the opportunity to try any of the RTiA line in home, so I was pushed to do so when I found

So far so good with the Polk RTiA1. All of this has been done in my medium sized 2400 ft^3 gaming room. The RTiA1 doesn't seem to have any problem filling the room with quality sound and paired with a quality sub,
So with all the speakers you own, you do have a place for them -- it is safe when you walk around that you do not trip over some of them?

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-16-2019, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
So with all the speakers you own, you do have a place for them -- it is safe when you walk around that you do not trip over some of them?

I actually have more speakers than listed in my sig, but I'm at the maximum character limit in my sig. I have 5 separate set ups in my house, not counting the garage. I would like to have 6, but my wife red flagged #6 . I have a storage rack where I keep some speakers not currently in the rotation. I do sell some speakers occasionally. I sold the Polk S20's a couple of weeks ago. I've been really close this week to buying a pair of the Infinity R152 or R162 speakers, but am having a hard time getting by how cheap-o they look.

Subs>RBH I-12e/I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX 12(x2)/THX 10(x2). XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000(x2). Speakers>JBL 270/235c/230/225c, Arena 130/125c. Jamo S807/S803. Infinity P363/163. Pioneer FS52/BS22A/C22. Sony CS3/CS8/CS5. QA 3020i/3090Ci, 2020i/2000c. Monolith AM Cinema 5 bs. Polk RTiA1/CsiA4. Other Audio>Sony MDR-Z7m2, WH-XB700, XB32, XB31.JBL Live500bt. Logitech GPro HS. Plantronics RIG 500 Pro HS. LG FH6,RK8,PK5,PH4. UE Boom3.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-16-2019, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
I actually have more speakers than listed in my sig, but I'm at the maximum character limit in my sig. I have 5 separate set ups in my house, not counting the garage. I would like to have 6, but my wife red flagged #6 . I have a storage rack where I keep some speakers not currently in the rotation. I do sell some speakers occasionally. I sold the Polk S20's a couple of weeks ago. I've been really close this week to buying a pair of the Infinity R152 or R162 speakers, but am having a hard time getting by how cheap-o they look.
The CMMD drivers are some good drivers and the R162 weighs 17.6 lbs --- and the R152 is 12.8 lbs --- the Polk RTiA1 is 12 lbs ..... but some do not like the Infinity R series looks. .... they will be back on sale again later this year, so you will have time to decide. ..... At least the Infinity (R) looks better than some of the past Infinity speakers and better than the JBL Studio 5 series, but the Studio 530 were some really nice speakers, and they had 18 parts to the crossover, so they put some work into them.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-16-2019, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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The CMMD drivers are some good drivers and the R162 weighs 17.6 lbs --- and the R152 is 12.8 lbs --- the Polk RTiA1 is 12 lbs ..... but some do not like the Infinity R series looks. .... they will be back on sale again later this year, so you will have time to decide. ..... At least the Infinity (R) looks better than some of the past Infinity speakers and better than the JBL Studio 5 series, but the Studio 530 were some really nice speakers, and they had 18 parts to the crossover, so they put some work into them.

Yeah, I had more of Infinity Primus line at one time than I currently have, but got those back a few years ago when frys.com had them at fire sale prices. Not exactly the best looking speakers, but built like a tank. I noticed the other day that the R152 was available refurbished on harmanaudio.com. I had called in for a discount code back on Sunday or Monday, but have sat on it since. I just placed an order for the R152 refurb for $112 plus $4.xx tax. Shows they should be here by Wednesday.
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Subs>RBH I-12e/I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX 12(x2)/THX 10(x2). XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000(x2). Speakers>JBL 270/235c/230/225c, Arena 130/125c. Jamo S807/S803. Infinity P363/163. Pioneer FS52/BS22A/C22. Sony CS3/CS8/CS5. QA 3020i/3090Ci, 2020i/2000c. Monolith AM Cinema 5 bs. Polk RTiA1/CsiA4. Other Audio>Sony MDR-Z7m2, WH-XB700, XB32, XB31.JBL Live500bt. Logitech GPro HS. Plantronics RIG 500 Pro HS. LG FH6,RK8,PK5,PH4. UE Boom3.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-17-2019, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
Yeah, I had more of Infinity Primus line at one time than I currently have, but got those back a few years ago when frys.com had them at fire sale prices. Not exactly the best looking speakers, but built like a tank. I noticed the other day that the R152 was available refurbished on harmanaudio.com. I had called in for a discount code back on Sunday or Monday, but have sat on it since. I just placed an order for the R152 refurb for $112 plus $4.xx tax. Shows they should be here by Wednesday.
How do the RTi's sound vs the 3020is you just got.

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-17-2019, 06:03 PM
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I had the RTiA3s and CSiA6 in my HT setup until I switched to Klipsch RP series. While I prefer the Klipsch (a little more detail and liveliness) it wasn’t night and day. The Polks were very good. While the Klipsch have their cool copper drivers the build quality of the Polk is superior. In cherry with its real wood veneer the Polks look like nice furnature and looked better in our living room.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-20-2019, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
Yeah, I had more of Infinity Primus line at one time than I currently have, but got those back a few years ago when frys.com had them at fire sale prices. Not exactly the best looking speakers, but built like a tank. I noticed the other day that the R152 was available refurbished on harmanaudio.com. I had called in for a discount code back on Sunday or Monday, but have sat on it since. I just placed an order for the R152 refurb for $112 plus $4.xx tax. Shows they should be here by Wednesday.
So, how do you like the R152 vs the R1A1? I am thinking the wood finish on the R1A1's would look a lot better sitting on the open wood ledge where I plan to put them. Just got the R152's as part of an Infinity system with fronts and center. I would just be using these as rear surrounds. These sit in a very noticeable area of the room, by a nice pool table etc, so I might want something better looking better than the black R152s even though those would be a lot more timber matched.

Edit:
Any thoughts yet Mix_Master?
I bought the RTIA1 to compare to the R152. I am far from an audiophile, so I have a hard time distinguishing and also have some hearing loss and discomfort with high voices. Anyway, the R152's sound better to me. They absolutely have more bass. But since I am just using them for rear surrounds in a 7.1.4 I am not sure how much of a difference they would make back there. The A1's look better, but they also stick out further on my wall shelf due to the porting on the back. So they may not be a good fit either.

Wife did comment the Infinities look cheap. So not sure what I am going to do. Not sure if the sound is better on the front stage either with the R253s and center channel, versus my old Klipsch KG4 setup. Wife likes the look of the old speakers better and the towers have a hard time on our carpet. So likely those are going back unless I notice a bigger difference in sound as I work through the options.

Also bought Definity ProMonitor 800's as a smaller option, though I had planned to use those somewhere else. The R152's are also definitely better than the ProMonitors due to the bass. So that is why it is hard to think about sending them back, particularly when they were half the price of the Pro Monitors. But when I add in a subwoofer it is a much closer call. I am testing these as front channels, just trying to test the speaker difference but they would be used as rear or side surrounds. FYI, the rears are way back, same distance or maybe even a bit further than the front from MLP. They sit in the back of the L side in an L shaped open room that covers the whole basement, so I think having bigger speakers such as R152 vs ProMonitors would work better.

I guess I would describe the KG4's as a larger sound but more hollow than the R253's. Not sure what the sound is supposed to be, LOL. The Def ProMonitors I would also describe that way, maybe more sound (other than bass) than R152s but also a bit hollow in comparison. I suppose the R's are a tighter sound is probably the way to put it.

Also testing 7.1.4 vs 5.1.4 and am not sure it is worth it. With 5.1.4 with the the sides being in the back position, I could clearly hear a door creek and open behind me in a particular scene, and now with 7.1.4 it is less distinguishable and seems more to the side and front, when the perspective should clearly be the rear. Anyway, I will need to fiddle around with it some more. Takes so much time, LOL.

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