Polk S15s sound better than S50s - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 427 Old 08-06-2019, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
By octave, do you mean 10 Hz? Sorry I don't know formal music. I just listen.
No, it varies as frequency rises, doubling the lower frequency.
10-20 Hz
20-40 Hz
40-80 Hz
80-160 Hz
160-320 Hz
etc ...

These are just rounded off approximations of the actual numbers, but gives you the general idea. In a perfect world, if crossing over at the typical 80 Hz, it is best if the speaker has output down to 40 Hz, and the sub has output up to 160 Hz (the crossover region). Of course, this is rarely the case in real life, as most bookshelf speakers cannot get down to 40 Hz. So, there may be some loss of overall (sub + speaker) output in the lower part of that range. Whether that is actually detectable as a system failing is governed by the listener, and far more important during critical music listening than during HT usage.

Typically, you compromise on the best-sounding crossover point, and live with the imperfect results (it's a microcosm of life ).

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post #62 of 427 Old 08-06-2019, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
Thanks, if the hts10 sub is crossed at 100Hz to support the s10, will that tax the sub? It's 3dB is 120Hz. however, I find playing my s50 tower below 80Hz appears to tax it. Will crossing the hts10 at 100Hz shorten it's life or place major demand on it?
No, not at all, it'll be fine.

Forgot to answer your question the numbers to the right were +/- the average.

Just found some final numbers for my LX16 bookshelves + two subs after I dialed them in better and sealed the ports.

AS you can see decent response down to 30hz with a few not noticeable bumps along the way. I think I may have dialed back the subs a tad since that last time I bothered measuring.

HZ....DB

160 84
140 86
120 91
100 88
80 84
70 92
60 93
50 84
40 95
30 86
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post #63 of 427 Old 08-06-2019, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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No, my LX16s are not towers, they are 5.25" bookshelves and are rated with a -3db point of 60hz which is a bit optimistic looking at my crude results.
Thanks. I think I should purchase the cheapest sub (Polk psw10) from Best Buy, run the tests with the s10/s15 with/wo the sub, and compare all 4 results. Then I could return the sub and get the hts10.

Man, I was all set to become one of 2.0 purists I hear about and you guys have converted me to an AVSforum sub-head :-) And what should I do when I complain that dinner's late and my wife says, "Well, why don't you get your sub to make dinner for you?"
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post #64 of 427 Old 08-06-2019, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
Thanks. I think I should purchase the cheapest sub (Polk psw10) from Best Buy, run the tests with the s10/s15 with/wo the sub, and compare all 4 results. Then I could return the sub and get the hts10.

Man, I was all set to become one of 2.0 purists I hear about and you guys have converted me to an AVSforum sub-head :-) And what should I do when I complain that dinner's late and my wife says, "Well, why don't you get your sub to make dinner for you?"
Ha ha ha.

In "sub land" you are only dipping your toe in the water from a monetary standpoint.

My main sub had a msrp of $4500 (though I paid 1/4 of that) and my first real 20hz sub in the late 80s I did actually pay over $4000 in today's money, ($1795 in 1986).

Just don't tell her that such things exist!
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post #65 of 427 Old 08-06-2019, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Just found some final numbers for my LX16 bookshelves + two subs after I dialed them in better and sealed the ports. I think I may have dialed back the subs a tad since that last time I bothered measuring.
Thanks, what does it mean when people say I dialed in my AVR or dialed back my sub?
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post #66 of 427 Old 08-06-2019, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
HZ....DB
This is what I measured for the s10. My wife wouldn't let me test at higher than 66 dB.

Hz . . . dB
200 69
150 71
142 71
134 70
126 64
120 62
112 62
106 62
100 63
95 61
90 59
86 57
85 56
80 54
75 53
71 51
67 50
63 50
60 50
56 49

What does this mean?
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post #67 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
100 63
95 61
90 59
86 57
What does this mean?
It means that, in your room, the bass starts rolling off under 100Hz.

At 90Hz, they are already 4dB lower than at 100 Hz. Therefore, a 100Hz crossover to your sub would be logical.
You should compare your results to the S15 speakers.
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post #68 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
This is what I measured for the s10. My wife wouldn't let me test at higher than 66 dB.

Hz . . . dB
200 69
150 71
142 71
134 70
126 64
120 62
112 62
106 62
100 63
95 61
90 59
86 57
85 56
80 54
75 53
71 51
67 50
63 50
60 50
56 49

What does this mean?
That a 120hz or even 130hz crossover would work best so the sub should be near the front speakers.

Dialing back the sub simply means reducing its volume either on the back of the sub or in the AVR menu.

Problem is most budget subs, and even some more expensive subs, struggle to play as high as 120hz but that minor issue may not be noticeable to you in actual use.
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post #69 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
That a 120hz or even 130hz crossover would work best so the sub should be near the front speakers. Problem is most budget subs, and even some more expensive subs, struggle to play as high as 120hz but that minor issue may not be noticeable to you in actual use.
Oh this is not good news for the s10.
1) If subs struggle to play at 120Hz, I wouldn't like a 120Hz crossover.
2) The s50 and s15 got boomy near the front wall. There's a chance a sub will likely not do well near the front speakers either and may need placing elsewhere. That means localization.
3) I got the s15 for $159. The s10 is $199.

Looks like I have to go with the s15 since the factors above point away from s10. My one concern with the s15 is it is boomy at the front of my room compared to s10. When I set crossover to 80Hz, will the s15 be less boomy you think?
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post #70 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
You should compare your results to the S15 speakers.
I actually liked the s15 sound instantly. It's just that it was more boomy and shrill than s10, which is why I was thinking of keeping the s10. Perhaps after breakin and crossing over to a sub, the s15 will be less boomy and less shrill. Does the 5" driver of the s15 mean better midrange than the 4" driver of the s10? Midrange is prime to my music tastes.
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post #71 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
I actually liked the s15 sound instantly. It's just that it was more boomy and shrill than s10, which is why I was thinking of keeping the s10. Perhaps after breakin and crossing over to a sub, the s15 will be less boomy and less shrill. Does the 5" driver of the s15 mean better midrange than the 4" driver of the s10? Midrange is prime to my music tastes.
Well, you can "pretend" you have a subwoofer and set an 80hz crossover to see if that take care of the boominess in the S15.

As to why the S15 with the identical tweeter to the S10 sounds more shrill to you that is hard to say.

They both have the tweeter crossover at 2.5khz so neither tweeter is working harder than the other so maybe it's actually the upper midrange of the S10 you prefer.

In a 3 way speaker a 4" woofer is considered a good size for a midrange but then again many use 5" or even larger.

Seems like next step is to get an easy return sub and just try it with different crossover settings and positions starting with placing it near the front of the room away from any corners.
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post #72 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
Oh this is not good news for the s10.
1) If subs struggle to play at 120Hz, I wouldn't like a 120Hz crossover.
2) The s50 and s15 got boomy near the front wall. There's a chance a sub will likely not do well near the front speakers either and may need placing elsewhere. That means localization.
3) I got the s15 for $159. The s10 is $199.

Looks like I have to go with the s15 since the factors above point away from s10. My one concern with the s15 is it is boomy at the front of my room compared to s10. When I set crossover to 80Hz, will the s15 be less boomy you think?
Yes. The S15's will be less boomy with an 80-90hz crossover. You still try to give them as much space as possible. Boominess could also be from dynamic eq or other sound enhancement from your AVR.
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They both have the tweeter crossover at 2.5khz so neither tweeter is working harder than the other so maybe it's actually the upper midrange of the S10 you prefer.
To take the dB measurements with the s10, I placed it on the carpeted floor. I have no stands yet. I placed my phone a meter away also on the floor. Do you think that affected the low end measurements of the s10?

Ambient silence was at 20dB before measuring. Need my family out of the house so I can try at 86dB as you suggested. Also, I could raise the s10 and retry.
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post #74 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Well, you can "pretend" you have a subwoofer and set an 80hz crossover to see if that take care of the boominess in the S15.

As to why the S15 with the identical tweeter to the S10 sounds more shrill to you that is hard to say.

They both have the tweeter crossover at 2.5khz so neither tweeter is working harder than the other so maybe it's actually the upper midrange of the S10 you prefer.

In a 3 way speaker a 4" woofer is considered a good size for a midrange but then again many use 5" or even larger.

Seems like next step is to get an easy return sub and just try it with different crossover settings and positions starting with placing it near the front of the room away from any corners.
Though not necessarily the best value, SVS offers 45 day in home trial with free shipping both ways. Maybe a good opportunity for the OP.
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
I actually liked the s15 sound instantly. It's just that it was more boomy and shrill than s10, which is why I was thinking of keeping the s10. Perhaps after breakin and crossing over to a sub, the s15 will be less boomy and less shrill. Does the 5" driver of the s15 mean better midrange than the 4" driver of the s10? Midrange is prime to my music tastes.
Are you 100% sure the S50 were not out of phase ? Did you try comparing one S50 with one S15?
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post #76 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
To take the dB measurements with the s10, I placed it on the carpeted floor. I have no stands yet. I placed my phone a meter away also on the floor. Do you think that affected the low end measurements of the s10?

Ambient silence was at 20dB before measuring. Need my family out of the house so I can try at 86dB as you suggested. Also, I could raise the s10 and retry.
Ideally you would measure them at ear height when seated on stands or on a media stand as I'm assuming that is where they will end up eventually.
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post #77 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 11:04 AM
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Are you 100% sure the S50 were not out of phase ? Did you try comparing one S50 with one S15?
I'm betting he had dynamic eq on or equivalent of. Boosts the bass and can cause boominess. It's likely why he likes the S15 and S10 better.
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post #78 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm betting he had dynamic eq on or equivalent of. Boosts the bass and can cause boominess. It's likely why he likes the S15 and S10 better.
Well, on the s50/s15 EQ, I reduced the treble by 5dB because I found lead guitar on the s15 very piercing. I don't increase the bass in the EQ.
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post #79 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 11:24 AM
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Well, on the s50/s15 EQ, I reduced the treble by 5dB because I found lead guitar on the s15 very piercing. I don't increase the bass in the EQ.
That right there is a big red flag. It pretty much tells you these speakers are not for you.

Dynamic eq is not the same as tone controls. It was turned on automatically after running (can't remember what brand AVR you have) room correction.
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Dynamic eq is not the same as tone controls. It was turned on automatically after running (can't remember what brand AVR you have) room correction.
I have a Sony STR-DN1080. After running room correction, it does not do anything to bass or treble settings. But it asked me whether I wanted Engineered (to sound like Sony's test chamber) or Flat sound. I chose Engineered thinking it'll be better.
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post #81 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 12:14 PM
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I have a Sony STR-DN1080. After running room correction, it does not do anything to bass or treble settings. But it asked me whether I wanted Engineered (to sound like Sony's test chamber) or Flat sound. I chose Engineered thinking it'll be better.
Try turning off all those enhancements and re-try the S50's.
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post #82 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
Would someone be able to write a note to my boss explaining why I can't come in to work tomorrow (testing the s50 without room correction and testing the s15 at ear level)?

“Hey Boss, sorry I can’t come in today. Listening to music is just so much better than having to listen to you all day. Sorry.

Love,

An aspiring audiophile.”
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #83 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Ideally you would measure them at ear height when seated on stands or on a media stand as I'm assuming that is where they will end up eventually.
Illuminating! I measured the s10 (speaker at ear level):
Hz dB
120 70
110 70
100 69
90 69
80 67
70 67
60 67
This was a real clean reading I must say. The 3dB point looks like 80 Hz. The crossover would have to be 90Hz at least.
Again, when I instead place the s10 on the carpeted floor and measure, the bass goes away and falls off at 110Hz. This must be what's plaguing my s50 on the floor and why the s50 has no bass.

Last edited by Vikram Iyengar; 08-07-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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post #84 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
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You should compare your results to the S15 speakers.
For my s15 speakers at ear level:
Hz dB
200 70
120 71
110 70
100 70
90 70
80 70
70 70
60 70
50 69
40 69
30 69
I think I can cross s15 at 80Hz! I wonder if 1m is too close. The volume does not fall off at all.
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post #85 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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You should compare your results to the S15 speakers.
This is with s15 on carpeted floor:
Hz dB
200 70
120 68
110 68
100 68
90 68
80 68
70 68
60 66
50 67
It seems the carpeted floor is reducing the bass of the s15 when it is on the floor, just like for the s10. This must be affecting the s50. Perhaps I can get stands for the s50. Anyone know of any?
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Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
Try turning off all those enhancements and re-try the S50's.
Turned off all enhancements on the s50 and measured (s50 on carpeted floor but phone at my ear level 1 m away):
Hz dB
200 70
120 71
110 70
100 70
90 70
80 69
70 69
60 69
50 65
40 67
30 67
Looks like 3dB is 40Hz or 50Hz. If the bass were tight out of the s50, I could keep it.
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post #87 of 427 Old 08-07-2019, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Try turning off all those enhancements and re-try the S50's.
I just did. Music still sounds better on the s15. I don't have the room to pull the s50 away from front wall and side wall anymore. Some notes I took on the s50: drums are a bit soft, bass guitar could be better, highs are too high, male voice could be better, imaging could be better, sound is not punchy, sax is good, violin good, soundstage could be better, music could be more detailed, not enough body, sounds better at higher volume.

I'm beginning to think the s15+sub is my best bet. The s50 is either not broken in or just not being driven hard enough at 1/3 turn of the volume knob. As someone said, the s55 might be better but I don't have the $$ or the room. Others on AVSforum have said the s15 and s20 appear better than the s50. Perhaps too many compromises made with the s50 design?

Once again, setting speaker pattern to 2.1 and crossover to 80Hz (even though I have no sub) cleans up the sound. I think this is a message I should not set the s50 to large (at least in my particular room).

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post #88 of 427 Old 08-08-2019, 07:43 AM
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You are doing your homework.

Nice job.

Let your ears decide on which speaker you keep.

You should not have to dial back the treble to make one sound as good as the other, if you have to do that, simply eliminate that speaker from consideration.
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post #89 of 427 Old 08-08-2019, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar View Post
I just did. Music still sounds better on the s15. I don't have the room to pull the s50 away from front wall and side wall anymore. Some notes I took on the s50: drums are a bit soft, bass guitar could be better, highs are too high, male voice could be better, imaging could be better, sound is not punchy, sax is good, violin good, soundstage could be better, music could be more detailed, not enough body, sounds better at higher volume.

I'm beginning to think the s15+sub is my best bet. The s50 is either not broken in or just not being driven hard enough at 1/3 turn of the volume knob. As someone said, the s55 might be better but I don't have the $$ or the room. Others on AVSforum have said the s15 and s20 appear better than the s50. Perhaps too many compromises made with the s50 design?

Once again, setting speaker pattern to 2.1 and crossover to 80Hz (even though I have no sub) cleans up the sound. I think this is a message I should not set the s50 to large (at least in my particular room).
No speaker either bookshelf or tower should be set to large with a subwoofer in play. Have you tried the S50 crossed at 80hz?
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Kef LS50,Q200C, Q100, SVS SB-2000, Denon AVR-X3400H, NAD 216, Panasonic 50" Plasma, Xbox One.
Bedroom: JBL Loft 50 , Loft 20, Bic F-12, Denon AVR-S710W, PS3, 32" Insigna LED.
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post #90 of 427 Old 08-08-2019, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
No speaker either bookshelf or tower should be set to large with a subwoofer in play. Have you tried the S50 crossed at 80hz?
Thanks and yes, that's what I did in the last 2 lines of Post #97 . Thanks for all the great tips.
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