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My review of the Polk RTi A1

  • Thread starter Deleted member 38504
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Deleted member 38504

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Just got the speakers today. Couple of things to note:

1. I'm not an audiophile.
2. I have a denon 520 BT amp.
3. I have a Polk DSW550i subwoofer.
4. I don't listen to tabla or eagles cd or kenny g when I audition. I take my cheap MP3 usb stick or I play via aux cable from my phone directly when I audition.

Ok so that's out of the way. Phew! My options were not many,actually just two. The Boston acoustics A26 and the Polk RTi A1.

I heard the A26 yesterday. They are surprisingly good for a speaker that cost 16k. But they are no Dali or Elac. So no comparison there. Same goes for the Polk RTi A1 I auditioned today. They are not in the same class as the Dali or elac,so no baseless comparison.

The polks. My polks. Lovely to look at. Beautiful solid wood finish. When I got them home,I had already sold my floorstanders. So I have nowhere to put them. I have already placed an order with Ali Bhai (magma) for the Aura speaker stands which will take a week to deliver. So currently one speaker is on a stool that's a foot from the ground and the other is 6 feet high on a cabinet. And they are about 15 feet apart. Yes I know,but I don't have a choice currently lol :)

Heard lots of music,David guetta, billboard top 40 2016, some Phil Collins, Metallica, GnR, some disco from the 70's and watched a couple of movie clips with heavy scenes.

Totally blown away by them. Be assured,they are connected to my sub that's huge and seriously tight. I'm amazed how so much sound comes from such lil speakers! And serious good good sound!

Currently the speakers are crossed at 90hz. Will burn them in slowly. And post changes later. Can't wait to see how they sound on the Aura stands! The fit and finish on the polks are super and as expected.

I don't miss my floorstanders at all. I'm getting very clean sound from 1/4 of the size. Please do understand that I'm just a guy with small needs. This works really well for me. This is a review of what I hear and feel. I'm not going to make any comparisons to the A26. They are really really good for the price,unbeatable! Both these speakers are lovely!

Thank you.
 

Lad1

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Your reviews interests me a Lot.Have nice time with your Polks
 
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Deleted member 38504

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Who else but MZ ;-)

Another point to note,vocals are clearer than earlier,comparison made to my Polk floorstanders.
 

MaSh

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Just got the speakers today. Couple of things to note:

1. I'm not an audiophile.
2. I have a denon 520 BT amp.
3. I have a Polk DSW550i subwoofer.
4. I don't listen to tabla or eagles cd or kenny g when I audition. I take my cheap MP3 usb stick or I play via aux cable from my phone directly when I audition.

Ok so that's out of the way. Phew! My options were not many,actually just two. The Boston acoustics A26 and the Polk RTi A1.

I heard the A26 yesterday. They are surprisingly good for a speaker that cost 16k. But they are no Dali or Elac. So no comparison there. Same goes for the Polk RTi A1 I auditioned today. They are not in the same class as the Dali or elac,so no baseless comparison.

The polks. My polks. Lovely to look at. Beautiful solid wood finish. When I got them home,I had already sold my floorstanders. So I have nowhere to put them. I have already placed an order with Ali Bhai (magma) for the Aura speaker stands which will take a week to deliver. So currently one speaker is on a stool that's a foot from the ground and the other is 6 feet high on a cabinet. And they are about 15 feet apart. Yes I know,but I don't have a choice currently lol :)

Heard lots of music,David guetta, billboard top 40 2016, some Phil Collins, Metallica, GnR, some disco from the 70's and watched a couple of movie clips with heavy scenes.

Totally blown away by them. Be assured,they are connected to my sub that's huge and seriously tight. I'm amazed how so much sound comes from such lil speakers! And serious good good sound!

Currently the speakers are crossed at 90hz. Will burn them in slowly. And post changes later. Can't wait to see how they sound on the Aura stands! The fit and finish on the polks are super and as expected.

I don't miss my floorstanders at all. I'm getting very clean sound from 1/4 of the size. Please do understand that I'm just a guy with small needs. This works really well for me. This is a review of what I hear and feel. I'm not going to make any comparisons to the A26. They are really really good for the price,unbeatable! Both these speakers are lovely!

Thank you.

Wow that was quick. This was the best decision you made. Do post pictures of them once the stands arrive.

How do the speakers sound with the LPs?

MaSh
 

efernand1

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Hi Celester 340

Congrats on the RTis......good decision indeed.

Run Audyssey again and do manual tweaks if you need some more levels, sharpness etc.

Regards,
 
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Deleted member 38504

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Thanks guys will do so when I'm back in Mumbai,currently on an assignment in Delhi for 5 days.

I don't really know how to attach pics :-(
 

MaSh

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Thanks guys will do so when I'm back in Mumbai,currently on an assignment in Delhi for 5 days.

I don't really know how to attach pics :-(

Damn, that must be a bummer. New speakers at home and you in Delhi. Your Family must be enjoying them.:yahoo:

There is a thread somewhere with instructions to upload pics on the forum.

MaSh
 
D

Deleted member 38504

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Finally got to rest my polks on Aura stands from "sound foundations". ( magma ) .

Took about 30 min to screw them on.

Ran the auto speaker setup that denon provides with a calibration mike. Speaker made all kinds of funny noises during the setup.

After the auto setup,I checked the settings. Strangely the auto setup had my speakers to "large" inspire of detecting the subwoofer.

I changed the speakers to "small" and noticed the crossover had again been set to 40hz by the auto setup. I ran the test again with the same result.

So now manual intervention. Speakers set to "small" by me and crossover set to 80hz which is a standard reference point I guess.

Any thoughts?
 

efernand1

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Hi,

If the speakers are sounding better then let the settings be as is.

The speakers have cones which are 5inch + and hence audyssey considered them as large...why not try and hear them in that setting...you will get good mid bass effects.

The RTIs as per specs cab deliver bass as low as 50hz, you can try 60 or 70 hz and see the difference...

Test a nice jazz number and use the same song when u change the settings...

All the best
 
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Deleted member 38504

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Haha surely once I'm back home and can figure out how to upload them lol :)
 
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filmguy

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@celester340 how much did you pay for the a1's?

also you said you had FS earlier & these were as good/better. which speakers have you owned earlier?

did you demo any other speakers than the ba a26 & polk a1? polk a3's are in similar price range, how did they compare?

i have wharfedale diamond 8.2s. would you suggest the polk or ba's as an improvement on them esp for movies? am looking for something with more punch.

you said you werent going to compare a26 to a1, may i ask why? would you mind sharing what made you opt for one over the other?

cheers
 
D

Deleted member 38504

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I can't remember honestly how much they were,but go to the profx store and its 20% on the MRP.

I had Polk TSX440t earlier which were the floorstanders. I felt that the rti a1 delivered a much wider soundstage,when connected with my Polk 550 sub. They also sound less strained, because my denon amp was not that powerful to drive the floorstanders.

I never heard the rti a3. So no idea.

In that price range ,the Elac b6 or Dali zensor 3 is unmatchable. I heard both of those.

I just heard the Boston and the Polk and immediately fixed the Polk. Just liked what I heard on the Polk,that's it I guess. Again, this is what I felt and liked. So I got them.

Never heard the wharfdale so again no idea my friend. The Boston in my opinion didn't go low enough as the polks did. I heard the same songs on both speakers and decided on the Polk. My decision was purely based on what I heard. Hope this sort of helps.
 

efernand1

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Hi Filmguy,

If you are looking for punchy speakers for movies and music, definitely the RTi series is good, you can check some JBL models, BIC America is also good......

All depends on your budget.
 

drkrack

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@celester340 how much did you pay for the a1's?

also you said you had FS earlier & these were as good/better. which speakers have you owned earlier?

did you demo any other speakers than the ba a26 & polk a1? polk a3's are in similar price range, how did they compare?

i have wharfedale diamond 8.2s. would you suggest the polk or ba's as an improvement on them esp for movies? am looking for something with more punch.

you said you werent going to compare a26 to a1, may i ask why? would you mind sharing what made you opt for one over the other?

cheers

I upgraded from Wharfedale diamond 9.3, the sound detailing is awesome on Polk RTI a5s but bass is much better on the Wharf.
If it's movies you're after you should consider a good SW for Polks in general. For music though I found the bass on Polks to be adequate. Most of the time, it's a love at first hearing with Polks ; if you don't like it, likely that you won't ever, repeat auditions usually won't change anything.

The Polks also shine in faithful reproduction of sound, its bit hard to adjust to other speakers after living with Polks, they're very forward sounding which deliver the whole gamut of frequencies at your face faithfully. All other speakers appear bit laid back there after. (i haven't heard Klipsch, Dali and Tannoy which are rated quite well ).

Also your AVR matters a lot, if its Denon or Marantz go with Polks undoubtedly, if its Yamaha stick to Wharfedale. Actually I was bit disappointed after connecting my earlier VX477 to Polks, I Changed to Denon x2200w recently and there's a hell of a difference.

I've heard Polk RTI A3s which are equally good as A5s but bass is less enjoyable, I'm planning on getting them for surrounds. I have not heard A1s but in lm compelled after this review, I will surely audition them before buying A3s.

Finally its sound experience we're talking about , which is very subjective, I went with least expectations after reading the reviews for Polk audition but made up my mind to buy them instantly. So don't take any body's words very seriously (not even So called Audiophiles) , listen yourself and decide. Happy Auditioning.
 
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filmguy

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^i have a sub so the real low bass is taken care of by it. the avr was a marantz but its now dead atm so i may be changing to denon.

by punch i mean the wharfedales are slightly mild. they're great for instrumental music, vocals, classical etc even rock sounds good but pop, r&b not so much. even movies seem to lack that oomph. i think one can categorize their sound as kind of british ie stiff upper lip. :p

did you find that to be the case with the diamonds? when you switched from it did you hear any other speakers before finalising on the polks

ofc i will try & get a demo but you know how things are here. you may hear one avr-speaker combo in one place & a different one in another. besides listening to differnet brands/models back to back you start to get confused. i've found that the general opinion amongst us users tend to be correct & leaving a little room for slight differences in tastes they pretty much concur. so its good to get opinions of others esp those that have lived with a setup & actually used it in their homes :)
 

efernand1

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Hi Filmguy,

The Sub will definitely take care of the lows...so you don't miss out on punch....from AVR perspective, I have used almost all brands available for more than a decade....built quality and performance has changed over the years with stiff competition between brands to survive in the market.

IMHO, Denon was good till the late 90s. Although Denon & Marantz are made by the same company (D & M Holdings), the actual difference is the built quality and components used. All Marantz models (NR /SR series) have audyssey setup with adjustable tweaking for EQ etc etc. I briefly used the Denon x1200 for a week and found it to be very hollow and lacked punch. Pioneer LX series is worth.
Bottom line it, all depends on what settings are done after audyssey setup as everyone's listening area differs in size, furniture etc. I have been a happy Marantz user now for over 4 years without any hiccups between NR & SR series.performance is excellent and the punch is always there for music or movies

If you have the right kind of speakers which can deliver maximum frequencies between 20hz - 20khz.... you will achieve clear precise punchy sound. You need to evaluate the specs of speakers being considered...For some towers are important, for some the delivery of sound by a speaker matters moreMany brands have come in like Taga, BIC America, ELAC etc. After attending the What Hi Fi Show held earlier this year and last year, I found BIC Americas to be quite decent and punchy....the sub is rated among the top 5 globally as per available reviews (F12 model).

Celester340 was happy with his Polk Towers (440s)in the past. When he got the RTiA1s, it was a different ball game and miles aheadhe is very happy with the setup..

Audition, review and decide!
 

filmguy

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hi efernand1

thats quite surprising to hear that denon's lack punch. i thought their main selling point was performance in movies.

my avr was a marantz sr4300 & i always felt it lacked punch in movies. maybe it was the combination with the diamonds ? isnt the usual consensus is that marantz is more for music/purists & denon/pio/yamaha for movies
 
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