Getting the full SDA Effect from Polk L800 Speakers

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Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
I’ve thought about it quite a bit as well, too much in fact. The word that keeps coming to my mind is... Insufferable! Cheers to those with these speakers in their setup. May you enjoy them for many years to come.
 
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tjcinnamon

Audioholic Intern
Phenomenal review! I'm looking at these for my 7.6.4 setup. I can get them about 6' apart but I'm only 8' back :(

I have Rotel 981's which I think will put about 200W into 4 ohms. I have 2 so I'm thinking about biamping each speaker just to give the woofers as much juice as available. Would those amps work?

Also, I'm replacing a pair of Paradigm 75F's. I have a Paradigm C55 for a center channel. Should I replace that with the L400 right away? Or will the C55 be okay for a while (while I pay this off!)

Thanks so much! I think I'm looking for a boutique-y setup with home theater. A ton of UltraNear Field subs and crazy surround Dirac'd out with a bunch of new room treatments.
 
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Golfx

Junior Audioholic
Phenomenal review! I'm looking at these for my 7.6.4 setup. I can get them about 6' apart but I'm only 8' back :(

I have Rotel 981's which I think will put about 200W into 4 ohms. I have 2 so I'm thinking about biamping each speaker just to give the woofers as much juice as available. Would those amps work?

Also, I'm replacing a pair of Paradigm 75F's. I have a Paradigm C55 for a center channel. Should I replace that with the L400 right away? Or will the C55 be okay for a while (while I pay this off!)

Thanks so much! I think I'm looking for a boutique-y setup with home theater. A ton of UltraNear Field subs and crazy surround Dirac'd out with a bunch of new room treatments.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Why should he provide supporting evidence to you? Instead, You are the one who should be providing peer reviewed journal articles to counter the review premise.
Not really. Burden of proof lies with the claim, not with the skeptic asking for evidence.

That said, I think Matt has provided evidence and I'd like to hear them myself. He's listened to and reviewed how many speakers now? I find it hard to believe Matt's been taken by a gimmick or that they sound "bad". I'll bet they sound pretty amazing
 
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tjcinnamon

Audioholic Intern
Certainly all of these amp experts should be able to provide insight into my question regarding the “compatibility” for a Rotel 981? We got 3 pages dedicated to complete non-sequiters as it relates to a review.

God forbid time is dedicated to questions about getting the speaker. Literal weeks were spent figuring out how this speaker beat performs and under the right conditions it’s apparently mind blowing which leads me to want to buy it.
But instead addressing questions we’re treated to a meta analysis of arguments of naysayers who haven’t even heard it.
There’s not much info on the speakers anywhere other than here.

in other news: this demo of the port at the 18 minute mark is pretty cool:

Any insight on my prior questions is appreciated
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Certainly all of these amp experts should be able to provide insight into my question regarding the “compatibility” for a Rotel 981? We got 3 pages dedicated to complete non-sequiters as it relates to a review.

God forbid time is dedicated to questions about getting the speaker. Literal weeks were spent figuring out how this speaker beat performs and under the right conditions it’s apparently mind blowing which leads me to want to buy it.
But instead addressing questions we’re treated to a meta analysis of arguments of naysayers who haven’t even heard it.
There’s not much info on the speakers anywhere other than here.

in other news: this demo of the port at the 18 minute mark is pretty cool:

Any insight on my prior questions is appreciated
I believe that Rotel is a traditional class A/B amp and should be fine for the SDA technology.
 
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tjcinnamon

Audioholic Intern
I believe that Rotel is a traditional class A/B amp and should be fine for the SDA technology.
Thanks Jay! I didn't mean to go full sass but it's hard to demo and it's a pretty penny. I'd hate to take a step backward in my Home Theater by going from my Paradigms for these but the paradigms aren't necessarily lending themselves to home theater (75F's). However, they are high sensitivity.
Due to the pandemic and general internet retail, I can't find a pair to audition anywhere.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Thanks Jay! I didn't mean to go full sass but it's hard to demo and it's a pretty penny. I'd hate to take a step backward in my Home Theater by going from my Paradigms for these but the paradigms aren't necessarily lending themselves to home theater (75F's). However, they are high sensitivity.
Due to the pandemic and general internet retail, I can't find a pair to audition anywhere.
While I like Paradigm, I am not a big fan of the Prestige series. For me, the Polk Legends would be an upgrade. However, they are not very high-sensitivity speakers. The L800s are an unusual speaker, and you really should understand their strengths and weaknesses before pulling the trigger on them if you can't demo them. They are terrific for two-channel content, and while you can use them just fine in a home theater based system, they are more suited for bringing out the best soundstage in a two-channel weighted system. When you add in a center speaker and surrounds, there is less of a reason to get some L800s unless the system is mostly for stereo reproduction anyway.
 
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tjcinnamon

Audioholic Intern
While I like Paradigm, I am not a big fan of the Prestige series. For me, the Polk Legends would be an upgrade. However, they are not very high-sensitivity speakers. The L800s are an unusual speaker, and you really should understand their strengths and weaknesses before pulling the trigger on them if you can't demo them. They are terrific for two-channel content, and while you can use them just fine in a home theater based system, they are more suited for bringing out the best soundstage in a two-channel weighted system. When you add in a center speaker and surrounds, there is less of a reason to get some L800s unless the system is mostly for stereo reproduction anyway.
Do you have any recommendations for a home theater LCR that would be a level up from the Prestige? If the Polks don’t work out?
 
Matthew J Poes

Matthew J Poes

Senior Audioholic
Do you have any recommendations for a home theater LCR that would be a level up from the Prestige? If the Polks don’t work out?

I have it on good authority that this is a killer speaker for the money and a top contender for home theater.

Two people I know, trust, and enjoy have both confirmed that these are a very good sounding and good priced speaker. It is a direct sale company so you won't be able to demo them, they have to be imported, but they do their best to make it as easy as possible.
 
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tjcinnamon

Audioholic Intern

I have it on good authority that this is a killer speaker for the money and a top contender for home theater.

Two people I know, trust, and enjoy have both confirmed that these are a very good sounding and good priced speaker. It is a direct sale company so you won't be able to demo them, they have to be imported, but they do their best to make it as easy as possible.
Thank you! Do you have a consulting service where I could pay for an hour of your time for a zoom call to talk speakers and take a quick look at my set up? Not sure if you offer that but I could use the help especially looking at some of these ID brands.
 
Matthew J Poes

Matthew J Poes

Senior Audioholic
Thank you! Do you have a consulting service where I could pay for an hour of your time for a zoom call to talk speakers and take a quick look at my set up? Not sure if you offer that but I could use the help especially looking at some of these ID brands.
Yes. Please PM me.
 
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Golfx

Junior Audioholic
Do you have any recommendations for a home theater LCR that would be a level up from the Prestige? If the Polks don’t work out?
I currently have both the L800s and L400 in my 7.2.4 system. I used to prefer to listen to music in Auro 3d but since the Polks were added the stereo mode presents a wider soundstage with just the L800s. I have to really thank Mathew for introducing me to the “wandering” album recommended in his review. The first and last tracks just sound as if I’m listening with the surrounds + heights engaged—but I’m not. When I do engage them it is less impressive or immersive than with just the L800s alone.

Movies in surround or atmos are impressive as well. The L800s do quite well for movies. The L400 is an exceptional speaker as illustrated by the earlier reviewer. BUT nothing amazes me like the L800s with music.

When I watch movies I’m impressed by the story line first, then augmented by the sound of the L400 center, then the subwoofers then the height effects in that order.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I currently have both the L800s and L400 in my 7.2.4 system. I used to prefer to listen to music in Auro 3d but since the Polks were added the stereo mode presents a wider soundstage with just the L800s. I have to really thank Mathew for introducing me to the “wandering” album recommended in his review. The first and last tracks just sound as if I’m listening with the surrounds + heights engaged—but I’m not. When I do engage them it is less impressive or immersive than with just the L800s alone.

Movies in surround or atmos are impressive as well. The L800s do quite well for movies. The L400 is an exceptional speaker as illustrated by the earlier reviewer. BUT nothing amazes me like the L800s with music.

When I watch movies I’m impressed by the story line first, then augmented by the sound of the L400 center, then the subwoofers then the height effects in that order.
You don't happen to live in the Phoenix area do you? If so may I invite myself over to check 'em out? :p
 
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Golfx

Junior Audioholic
You don't happen to live in the Phoenix area do you? If so may I invite myself over to check 'em out? :p
Heh. Sorry nope tidewater area of Virginia. But you can come visit. Like Mathew I like trying to interest my friends with the L800s. I don’t tell them when it’s Auro 3d or Stereo. But once they have heard/learned the L800s in stereo, it is no contest from then on.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Heh. Sorry nope tidewater area of Virginia. But you can come visit. Like Mathew I like trying to interest my friends with the L800s. I don’t tell them when it’s Auro 3d or Stereo. But once they have heard/learned the L800s in stereo, it is no contest from then on.
I'm definitely interested. What little I understand about the tech is really interesting to me. I do think a few in this thread are being overly dismissive, not without good reason, but still pretty dismissive for not having heard them. Perhaps if I had the education and understood more I'd be more skeptical, but I think the fact that Matt now owns these after doing a review speaks volumes. This isn't his first rodeo. I've read some of his other articles and he has a whole lot more knowledge and experience than I do.
 
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Golfx

Junior Audioholic
I'm definitely interested. What little I understand about the tech is really interesting to me. I do think a few in this thread are being overly dismissive, not without good reason, but still pretty dismissive for not having heard them. Perhaps if I had the education and understood more I'd be more skeptical, but I think the fact that Matt now owns these after doing a review speaks volumes. This isn't his first rodeo. I've read some of his other articles and he has a whole lot more knowledge and experience than I do.
I believe Matthew nailed it in his responses to the skeptics particularly that his review and the SDA are NOT a rejection of their preferences. He just kept plugging away with calm data and cogent counter arguments.
 
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gdsk39a

Audiophyte
Hi, great review. I currently own the old Polk SDA SRS 1.2Ti and have enjoyed them over 30 years. I am wondering how much of an improvement I would get jumping to the L800. The SDA SRS 1.2Ti's sound great.
 
sonofmagni

sonofmagni

Audiophyte
One thing that may have been lost in all the discussions about single ended, balanced, etc. amps is why it is an issue with the L800 speakers. The connection between the two speakers has two conductors, one for sending the left channel to the right speaker and the other for sending the right channel to the left speaker. In both cases the receiving speakers references the other (black) wire from the amp to complete the circuit and the assumption that it is gnd. Of course if the amp has a balanced output then it won't be gnd. So no matter what semantics you care to argue, the issue is whether your amp puts out a signal on one wire referenced to gnd on the other wire.

I do own L800's and love them. But on some recordings (not many) I do find I would like to adjust (turn down) the SDA affect. I wish I could see at least a simplified diagram of the circuit so I could understand the best way to design a circuit to accomplish that.
 

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