At RMAF 2019 Polk Audio introduced its Legend Series including the flagship L800 featuring Stereo Dimensional Array technology.
Meet the new Legend, the L800. Indeed, meet the whole family! At Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019, Polk takes the wraps off its new Legend Series lineup including the new company flagship, the L800 tower featuring SDA-PRO technology aka the next generation of Polk’s famous Stereo Dimensional Array.
Before getting into the L800, here’s the complete lineup, which will be available starting October 1 2019:
• L100 bookshelf speakers (5.25”) $1,199 / pair
• L200 bookshelf speakers (6.5”) $1,799 / pair
• L400 center channel $1,799
• L600 tower speakers $1,999 / each
• L800 SDA tower speakers $2,999 / each
• L900 Height / Elevation (Atmos) module $599 / pair
Right off the bat you see Polk has created a complete system with all the ingredients needed to put together a multichannel surround-sound system, including 3D immersive sound. But easily the most intriguing part of the announcement is the unusual looking L800 tower, which marks the return of Stereo Dimensional Array in a tower speaker in the form of SDA-PRO technology.
The purpose of SDA is to reducing the unavoidable effect of stereo speaker listening known as interaural crosstalk. SDA uses physics and the very nature of sound itself to largely cancel out this crosstalk using side-by-side drivers on each speaker that are (not conincidentallly!) spaced apart by the same distance as your ears. Anyhow, reducing interaural crosstalk has the effect of improving stereo imaging. Hence the name Stereo Dimensional Array.
In the new L800, these side-by-side drivers sit on an angled baffle (15 degrees, fwiw) that point the “primary” sound producing drivers at the listener, so you don;t have to toe-in these speakers.
“From the beginning we wanted to make loudspeakers that virtually transform the listening space into the performance space, creating an intimate, immersive and welcoming experience between the listener and the performer,” said Stu Lumsden, Vice President, Engineering and Quality, Sound United. “When we originally developed SDA in 1982, our goal was the most lifelike imaging you ever heard. We called it True Stereo because we were the first speaker manufacturer to maintain stereo separation all the way from the source to the ears, and that is still true today. After more than forty years developing speakers at Polk Audio, I’m confident the Legend Series are truly exceptional for listeners of all levels. Everyone from discerning audiophiles to casual enthusiasts will immediately hear the difference.”
Here are key features shared across the new Legend Series speakers (from Polk Audio):
• Pinnacle Ring Radiator Tweeters: Decades of tweeter innovation, design and prototyping led to the development of the new 1-inch high definition Pinnacle ring radiator tweeter. Developed by Polk Audio, it delivers ultra clear, crisp highs without unwanted coloration or distortions. The Pinnacle tweeter features a finely tuned waveguide, which dramatically improves the dispersion of high frequency energy ensuring a broad “sweet spot,” while the critically damped rear-chamber helps defeat unwanted resonances. HiRes certified, the Pinnacle Tweeter is designed for today’s two-channel music listening as well as multi-channel 3D audio found in music, movies, sports, and video games soundtracks.
• Turbine Cones: Polk developed the new Turbine cone specifically for the Legend series to ensure the natural reproduction of the mid-range—the frequency range human ears are most sensitive towards. The Turbine cone combines Polk’s proprietary foam core and the molded Turbine geometry, which dramatically increases stiffness and damping without adding mass, resulting in a smooth, detailed mid-range and effortless bass.
• Enhanced Power Port Design: Extending the low-end, the upgraded Power Port technology produces less port noise and more bass than traditionally ported loudspeakers. Polk Audio improved the traditional Power Port design by smoothing out the port flare, which offers a smoother transition into the listening area and adds multiple dBs of bass response.
• Advanced Cabinet Construction: The intensively engineered cabinet designs add rigid bracing and structure to control vibration and eliminate unwanted audible distortion.
“The Legend Series is the culmination of decades’ worth of acoustic engineering and loudspeaker development. Whether placed in a traditional two-channel orientation or home theater system, the new flagship series offers incredible imaging, perfectly balanced mids and deep lows,” said Michael Greco, senior director of global brand management at Polk Audio. “We’re confident these are the speakers that will remind Polkies and enthusiasts why they love Polk Audio.”
At 3:30 PM EST today 09/06/2019, AVS Forum will live stream the “show unveiling” of the Legend Series and LS800. Listening impressions and photos will follow. Click here to check out the live stream.