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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be purchasing new front speakers and I need to know if given my equipment I need an additional amp(s) and if so what suggestions do you have.


Everything is driven by a Integra 5.9 reciever currently


This table shows the current speakers, spec's and configuration
 
ManufacturePositionWattageImpedanceEfficiencyLower -3db limitUpper -3db limitFrequency Response
Polk T90eFronts20 - 200 w/channel8 ohms90 dB48Hz24kHz38Hz - 25kHz
Polk CS2Center20 - 175 w/channel8 ohms90 dB60Hz24kHz55Hz - 25kHz
Polk R50'sSurrounds20 - 150 w/channel8 ohms90 dB50Hz20kHz40Hz - 24kHz
Polk PSW125Sub300 watts34 Hz dB32Hz-225Hz



This table is shows what my setup would look like after the upgrade.

ManufacturePositionWattageImpedanceEfficiencyLower -3db limitUpper -3db limitFrequency Response
Polk Rti A9Fronts50-500 w/channel8 ohms90 dB30Hz dB26kHz dB18Hz-27kHz
Polk Csi A6Center20-200 w/channel8 ohms90 dB55Hz dB26kHz dB45Hz-27kHz
Polk Fxi A6Surrounds20-150 w/channel8 ohms88 dB55Hz dB26kHz dB45Hz-27kHz
Polk Fxi A6Surrounds20-150 w/channel8 ohms88 dB55Hz dB26kHz dB45Hz-27kHz

What sub to go with is still undecided for this setup.


Here are my questions:


1. Do I need a dedicated amp (either with current setup, or upgraded setup)


2. Do I need more than one dedicated amp? (i.e one for the Fronts, another for everything else, etc)


3. What manufacture do you recommend? I am currently looking at driving it all with an Emotiva UPA-7


4. Anything else you think relevant for me to know.
 

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1. Maybe not

2. Depends

3. Emotiva has a decent rep and a fair price


Your speaker power handling does not dictate your power needs. Your speaker efficiency, room layout and desired SPL does. I have no idea on two of those, so I can't say.


I will mention one option which is to get the XPA-3 to amp the front channels, and let the receiver's amps take care of the rest. You might not need an amp at all though.
 

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I have a thread that discusses this here .


IME, it is mostly only worth powering the fronts/center with an amp, if you are going to be using an AVR for the pre/pro. Since it's amps are almost always sufficient for the side/rears. So I would tend to favor the Emo XPA-3 for amp purposes. The main reason to go with something like the XPA-5/UPA-7, would be if you planned to get a standalone pre/pro or had difficult to drive full range speakers for all channels.


From what I understand you are better off with directional speakers for your rear channel and dipoles like the Fxi A6 for the side channels.


I have an SVS sub I've been happy with or there are a lot of good DIY options for subs. Since the cabinets and assembly/hardware are relatively simple for subs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 /forum/post/17033771


get a upa-7 and you'll be fine (at least compared to your reciever right now) but yeah i would suggest an external amp...the rti series sucks up some juice pretty well...they like power

That's odd. The fronts are 8 ohms nominal and 90 dB efficient. That seems pretty good to me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/17033813


That's odd. The fronts are 8 ohms nominal and 90 dB efficient. That seems pretty good to me.

90 db isn't what I'd call especially efficient. It's a long way from the abysmal 82db of those Aperions that were discussed recently, but far from the 100+ db of the some of the Klipsch or other horn based speakers.
 

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Besides room "layout" (how live or dead your room is), and how efficient the speakers are, the most important question to ask yourself is, "How big is the space?" (in cubic feet). Obviously, outdoor concerts with an acre or so to cover, require lots of speakers and many thousands of watts. A small room may only need 30-50 watts.


The reason they call the big knob a "volume control", not a loudness control, is that you should set it to match the volume of the room.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/17033559


1. Do I need a dedicated amp (either with current setup, or upgraded setup)

A separate amp would be a waste of money, unless your room is gigantic. And then only if it offers significantly more power (say, 5x more power) than your current receiver.


Given that, your questions two and three are irrelevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/17033559


4. Anything else you think relevant for me to know.

If you want an actual sonic improvement, consider upgrading your receiver to one with the newest/best version of the Audyssey room correction suite. Don't waste your money replacing one commodity amp with another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/17033798


I have a thread that discusses this here .

Gracias, that will make for good reading


**Ninja edit**Based on that I am not sure I need one at all. All the speakers are 8 ohm , 90db efficient, but can hit decently low frequencies


Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/17033798


IME, it is mostly only worth powering the fronts/center with an amp, if you are going to be using an AVR for the pre/pro. Since it's amps are almost always sufficient for the side/rears. So I would tend to favor the Emo XPA-3 for amp purposes. The main reason to go with something like the XPA-5/UPA-7, would be if you planned to get a standalone pre/pro or had difficult to drive full range speakers for all channels.


From what I understand you are better off with directional speakers for your rear channel and dipoles like the Fxi A6 for the side channels.

That was what I was wondering, as the Fronts are the most power hungry and my Integra is "supposed" to be able to provide 100 watts @ 8 Ohms with 7 channels drive, so the side and rear surrounds "should" be ok being driven by that. Add the fact most of the effects and audio come from the front 3 channels and I am beginning to think "if" I need a dedicated amp it might be only a 3 channel


I had not thought of going with directional for your rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup. I would have thought you want dipole speakers for all the rears. After doing a quick check online however it appears you are indeed right (link here) . So now the question is should I go with Polk RTi A3's or RTi A1's for the rear surrounds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/17033798


I have an SVS sub I've been happy with or there are a lot of good DIY options for subs. Since the cabinets and assembly/hardware are relatively simple for subs.

I also have a thread listing all the subs I am considering here . Please feel free to give me your thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKstudios /forum/post/17034071


Besides room "layout" (how live or dead your room is), and how efficient the speakers are, the most important question to ask yourself is, "How big is the space?" (in cubic feet). Obviously, outdoor concerts with an acre or so to cover, require lots of speakers and many thousands of watts. A small room may only need 30-50 watts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 /forum/post/17034743


A separate amp would be a waste of money, unless your room is gigantic. And then only if it offers significantly more power (say, 5x more power) than your current receiver.

My room size for is about 16'2" x 17'3".

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 /forum/post/17034743


If you want an actual sonic improvement, consider upgrading your receiver to one with the newest/best version of the Audyssey room correction suite. Don't waste your money replacing one commodity amp with another.

The Integra 5.9 does I believe have the latest/newest version of Audyssey room correction loaded and I have run and applied it to my current setup.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/17033920


90 db isn't what I'd call especially efficient. It's a long way from the abysmal 82db of those Aperions that were discussed recently, but far from the 100+ db of the some of the Klipsch or other horn based speakers.

100 dB is what I would call above average for home speakers. Certainly there are more efficient speakers, but I have looked at many speakers, and I would call 90 dB par. Just my opinion, of course.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/17035022


I had not thought of going with directional for your rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup. I would have thought you want dipole speakers for all the rears. After doing a quick check online however it appears you are indeed right (link here) . So now the question is should I go with Polk RTi A3's or RTi A1's for the rear surrounds?

Probably you'll be just as well off with the cheaper one. I don't think there's going to be a functional difference between a 6.5" and 5.25" mid range for surrounds. But I guess it could come down to how much money you'd want to spend and if there are any other differentiations between the two for you personally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/17035022


I also have a thread listing all the subs I am considering here . Please feel free to give me your thoughts.

I only have experience with the SVS and I've been very pleased with my PC+, but that is more expensive than most of what you are looking at and there is no shortage of good subs out there these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/0


100 dB is what I would call above average for home speakers. Certainly there are more efficient speakers, but I have looked at many speakers, and I would call 90 dB par. Just my opinion, of course.

100 db is certainly head and shoulders above most speakers, but they can hit 104 db or so. Thus I don't consider 90 db to be "efficient", but I had been unaware of speakers significantly less efficient than my 88 db polk LSis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/17035188


100 db is certainly head and shoulders above most speakers, but they can hit 104 db or so. Thus I don't consider 90 db to be "efficient", but I had been unaware of speakers significantly less efficient than my 88 db polk LSis.

I also debated going with LSi 15's over the RTi A9's, do you have any suggestions for me on that front? I ended up thinking the A9's might be easier for room placement due to their lack of build in sub's. I posed that question in a thread as well. Am I correct in that thinking?


Since that thread I have gone in and listen to the Definitive Tech BP7002's and really dont think they look or sound nearly as good as the RTi's, havent had a chance to listen to some LSi's as most places around here dont really carry them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow /forum/post/17035236


I also debated going with LSi 15's over the RTi A9's, do you have any suggestions for me on that front? I ended up thinking the A9's might be easier for room placement due to their lack of build in sub's. I posed that question in a thread as well. Am I correct in that thinking?


Since that thread I have gone in and listen to the Definitive Tech BP7002's and really dont think they look or sound nearly as good as the RTi's, havent had a chance to listen to some LSi's as most places around here dont really carry them.

The LSis are pretty much the poster boys (among consumer level speakers) for "ought to have an external amp". But if you are considering them, you should probably get the LSiC as well. I've been pleased with mine, but haven't done a lot of comparison listening.


FWIW, I am increasingly of the impression that Polk is doing away with the LSi series though. I've not seen any new models released since they came out with the line and they seem to have stopped selling them through their ebay store (had some great deals on the LSis there alas).


The 15's don't have a built in sub, they have an un-powered 8" woofer. It's the 25's that have the 10" powered subs. Most of the people I've seen feed back from in the Polk thread here seem to prefer the 15s to the 25s. The 15's with a good amp will generate a fairly impressive amount of bass. That was the biggest difference I noticed with them when I got my XPA-5.


I don't think that having a powered sub makes speakers more or less difficult to place, but I'm not an expert on such things. The main objection I heard with the powered sub in the 25's was that the optimum level setting didn't seem to be consistent from music to movies, FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/17035335


The LSis are pretty much the poster boys (among consumer level speakers) for "ought to have an external amp". But if you are considering them, you should probably get the LSiC as well. I've been pleased with mine, but haven't done a lot of comparison listening.


FWIW, I am increasingly of the impression that Polk is doing away with the LSi series though. I've not seen any new models released since they came out with the line and they seem to have stopped selling them through their ebay store (had some great deals on the LSis there alas).


The 15's don't have a built in sub, they have an un-powered 8" woofer. It's the 25's that have the 10" powered subs. Most of the people I've seen feed back from in the Polk thread here seem to prefer the 15s to the 25s. The 15's with a good amp will generate a fairly impressive amount of bass. That was the biggest difference I noticed with them when I got my XPA-5.


I don't think that having a powered sub makes speakers more or less difficult to place, but I'm not an expert on such things. The main objection I heard with the powered sub in the 25's was that the optimum level setting didn't seem to be consistent from music to movies, FWIW.

I have noticed a lack of them on the Ebay page, also noticed a tricklying of the RTi A9's. There is a Craigslist listing for a pair of the 15's for 1k, but alas I dont have that much in reserve or on credit cards right now
. My goal is to buy a pair of A9's off their Ebay site, they normally sell a pair for 899 plus 135 shipping. No other price comes close to that.


What amp would you recommend with the 15's if I go that route? I also as you mention have to go with a different center as Polks centers tend to be matched as series to each other.
 

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Polk sure makes a lot of different models. I was never sure show they differed. Their web site does not do a good job of explaining it either.


One would hope more expensive = more accurate all other things being equal ( for example when comparing equal sized floorstanders.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/17035404


Polk sure makes a lot of different models. I was never sure show they differed. Their web site does not do a good job of explaining it either.


One would hope more expensive = more accurate all other things being equal ( for example when comparing equal sized floorstanders.)

That was my assumption, but a lot of folks seem to prefer the RTi A9's over the more expensive LSi 15's. I wish I could find somewhere to listen to both sets side by side to compare, graphics and spec's dont really help tons compared to an actual audition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornhulio /forum/post/17036936


This person was brave enough to post on the polk forum that he liked his new Energy RC50's better than his LSI9's: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1172558


Maybe not a fair comparison since the Energys are floorstanders.

That link is broken, and I agree that it is not really a fair comparison.
 

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