Polk Audio vs. Klipsch syndrome.

everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,232 9 16
#82
Plenty of listening thru the years. Lots of time with both in the 80s. The LSI series from polk has always been what I considered nice. With Klipsch it really varys throughout their lines. I personally wouldnt dabble with either their lower lines as IMHO there are speakers I'd suggest before hand.
 
L

LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
#83
Plenty of listening thru the years. Lots of time with both in the 80s. The LSI series from polk has always been what I considered nice. With Klipsch it really varys throughout their lines. I personally wouldnt dabble with either their lower lines as IMHO there are speakers I'd suggest before hand.
The ones I have in question are the new Klipsch RP-600M which seem to be the replacement for the RP-160M and the Polk Audio RTi A3. Currently trying to decide between these two or something else.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,232 9 16
#84
The ones I have in question are the new Klipsch RP-600M which seem to be the replacement for the RP-160M and the Polk Audio RTi A3. Currently trying to decide between these two or something else.
Between the two I'd go with the Klipsch. The Philharmonic AAs are hard to beat in the price range
http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
And the mini Monitors
http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/Mini-Monitor.html

and the these Cantons
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...2-6-2-way-bookshelf-speaker-white-pair/1.html
 
L

LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
#85
Between the two I'd go with the Klipsch. The Philharmonic AAs are hard to beat in the price range
http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
And the mini Monitors
http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/Mini-Monitor.html

and the these Cantons
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...2-6-2-way-bookshelf-speaker-white-pair/1.html
Between the two I'd go with the Klipsch. The Philharmonic AAs are hard to beat in the price range
http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
And the mini Monitors
http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/Mini-Monitor.html

and the these Cantons
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...2-6-2-way-bookshelf-speaker-white-pair/1.html
What are your likes and dislikes about the two?
 
Ridire Fáin

Ridire Fáin

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
12 1
#86
How can you tell if a bookshelf speaker is geared more towards HT than music?
IMHO all speakers are technically geared towards music. The truth is the technology overlaps. However some manufactures will engineer products to price points that make the cost of setting up a 3 pairs of them in home theatre room more palatable. Tradeoffs are in the quality of drivers or cabinet in order to keep the costs down. So for example of an trade off might be putting in a 6 inch metal midrange/bass driver and polymer soft dome tweeter in a bookshelf, instead of an Kevlar midrange/bass and expensive Beryllium one. The intent would be to integrate this $300.00 bookshelf with a sub and towers with same tweeter and midrange compliment. Thus they have an $300 multi use speaker versus a high resolution bookshelf at $2500.00 that could be only marketed as studio monitors for music listening. That sort of stuff.

I am sure you have seen packages with subwoofers, centers, mains, on walls etc... Companies that do this I feel are looking for the home theatre customer. IE Polk has center and monitor that can be integrated for each of their model lines. Klipsch, B&W, and many other notable speakers companies have designs that are intended to integrate with center channel subs and the like too. So this distinction is it not delineated by brand. If a speaker can be a part of a package that for me is the identifier. Such transducers have use in an home theatre application as a part of its design goal.

As mentioned before Klipsch also makes speakers that seem to be solely intended for 2 channel music listening. I may be wrong here. But I have yet to see an matching surround and center for the Forte and up.

There are also other esoteric type companies that do not produce a center channels or subs at all, you will find bookshelves and towers only. So my assumption is they are also engineering their products for 2 channel music listening.
 
Last edited:
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LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
#87
T
IMHO All speakers are technically geared towards music. However some manufactures will engineer products to price points that make the cost of setting up a 3 pairs of them in home theatre room more palatable. Tradeoffs are in the quality of drivers or cabinet in order to keep the cost low. So for example of an trade off might be putting in a 6 inch metal driver that does not have as much bass output instead of an 8 inch Kevlar one. The intent would be to integrate tis $330.00 speaker with a sub. Thus they have an $300 multi use speaker versus a high resolution $2500.00 studio monitor. That sort of stuff. I am sure you have seen packages with subwoofers, centers, mains, on walls etc... Companies that do this I feel are looking for the home theatre customer. IE Polk has center and monitor that can be integrated for each of their model lines. Klipsch, B&W, and many other notable have speakers are designed to integrate center channel subs and the like. If a speaker can be a part of a package that for me is the identifier that it has home theatre application as a part of its design goal. As mentioned before Klipsch also makes speakers that seem to be solely intended for 2 channel music listening. I may be wrong here. But I have yet to see an matching surround and center for the Forte and up. There are also other esoteric type companies that do not produce a center channels or subs, you will find bookshelves and towers only. They also are also engineering their products for 2 channel music listening.
Hank you again for the return reply. It is most helpful. My only wonder is how you seem to think the Klipsch is the one for me and you've had Polk for so many years.
 
Ridire Fáin

Ridire Fáin

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
12 1
#89
Was to read Thank you again.
Polk Audio product is not as forgiving as Klipsch. Since the Onkyo is a product I have only auditioned on a showroom floor. I am erroring on the side of caution. I paired my Rti A3 once with a highly regarded 1970 era integrated amp. This integrated was a top of the line in its day and was totally refurbished to its original glory. It was not a match made in heaven. The treble was hard , biting, and spitty. For this office system I bought a pair of Paradigm Titans and had a much better result. I still listen to that system today.

I took the Polk's and put them in my Marantz 7705 and fell in love with them all over again. All receivers may measure flat but they are not voiced the same. If you are not sure, I would see if you get to someone to demo both of them on a the same make or similar Onkyo receiver.

The Polk rti series is wonderful product but it is something that has to have the right synergy in order to bring out their full potential.
The Klipsch product is like bacon it goes good with just about everything. Decent sound at a Decent price. Since you mentioned you liked them equally to the Polk's it seemed to me that they are the obvious choice.

This endeavor is not about what I like. It is about sharing my experience with Polk's and warn you of their limitations. If you can live with/manage them? Then by all means I recommend them over the Klipsch. They are more open, have faster transient response in the upper regions and less chestiness in the mid bass.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,746 6 1
#92
What about ribbon vs dome tweeters used on “music” and “theater” speakers?
Why one vs the other for each application? HT isn’t just bombs and loud stuff. There are many great music scores, and imaging for sound effects.
So do you mean ribbons aren’t good for HT, and domes aren’t good for music?
 
R

Russdawg1

Audioholic
Ratings
65
#94
Why one vs the other for each application? HT isn’t just bombs and loud stuff. There are many great music scores, and imaging for sound effects.
So do you mean ribbons aren’t good for HT, and domes aren’t good for music?
I mean ribbons lack force when replicating a movie. They are soft, naturally. Everyone I know described them as “laid back” or “easy on the ears”. Domes are no where near as soft or laid back. Emotiva’s speaker’s have even been noted to be sweet, bordering warm, not describing the bass.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,746 6 1
#96
I mean ribbons lack force when replicating a movie. They are soft, naturally. Everyone I know described them as “laid back” or “easy on the ears”. Domes are no where near as soft or laid back. Emotiva’s speaker’s have even been noted to be sweet, bordering warm, not describing the bass.
I agree with that assessment. But why, wouldn’t you be able to use ribbons in an HT. I don’t think soft, or laid back would inherently mean lack of clarity. If they’re good enough for music/vocals I can’t see why they can’t deliver dialogue. Maybe even more naturally? I don’t feel(as mentioned before) that HT is all about “force” or punch, and some of my most favorite parts of soundtracks can be the more subtle things.
 
L

LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
#97
Polk Audio product is not as forgiving as Klipsch. Since the Onkyo is a product I have only auditioned on a showroom floor. I am erroring on the side of caution. I paired my Rti A3 once with a highly regarded 1970 era integrated amp. This integrated was a top of the line in its day and was totally refurbished to its original glory. It was not a match made in heaven. The treble was hard , biting, and spitty. For this office system I bought a pair of Paradigm Titans and had a much better result. I still listen to that system today.

I took the Polk's and put them in my Marantz 7705 and fell in love with them all over again. All receivers may measure flat but they are not voiced the same. If you are not sure, I would see if you get to someone to demo both of them on a the same make or similar Onkyo receiver.

The Polk rti series is wonderful product but it is something that has to have the right synergy in order to bring out their full potential.
The Klipsch product is like bacon it goes good with just about everything. Decent sound at a Decent price. Since you mentioned you liked them equally to the Polk's it seemed to me that they are the obvious choice.

This endeavor is not about what I like. It is about sharing my experience with Polk's and warn you of their limitations. If you can live with/manage them? Then by all means I recommend them over the Klipsch. They are more open, have faster transient response in the upper regions and less chestiness in the mid bass.
When you say cheesiness, what do you mean, harshness?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,746 6 1
#98
No one designed them as such, they have been given a label by the common ear because that’s where they excel at. They aren’t “designed” to be specialized in music and theater, but they end up being so.
I’ll agree do disagree here in that, I don’t believe the common ear has done so. “Maybe” some who are more casual with the hobby has done so but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Also, I disagree that one excels in one area vs another. Delivering a movie soundtrack is pretty much the same as delivering music. To me anyway...
 
R

Russdawg1

Audioholic
Ratings
65
#99
I’ll agree do disagree here in that, I don’t believe the common ear has done so. “Maybe” some who are more casual with the hobby has done so but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Also, I disagree that one excels in one area vs another. Delivering a movie soundtrack is pretty much the same as delivering music. To me anyway...
Well to that, I’m going to ask what listening levels you listen to music and watch movies, if they are the same, then yes there will be no difference for you. But if you watch movies at a much higher level, then that’s where the “force” comes in. A theater speaker will be more dynamic and handle higher volumes. A music speaker will not be able to handle nearly as high volumes (ie Emotiva).

I agree with that assessment. But why, wouldn’t you be able to use ribbons in an HT. I don’t think soft, or laid back would inherently mean lack of clarity. If they’re good enough for music/vocals I can’t see why they can’t deliver dialogue. Maybe even more naturally? I don’t feel(as mentioned before) that HT is all about “force” or punch, and some of my most favorite parts of soundtracks can be the more subtle things.
I completely agree, I was making that same argument today lol. I just think that something like a pair of Klipsch RP280F’s would clearly excel vs a pair of Philharmonic BMRs and the same thing vice versa with music. Hence “Theater” vs “Music” speaker’s.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
653 1
I agree. The notion of speakers designed for HT or music is ridiculous.
Well heck. Now I'm forced to argue devil's advocate.

Some traits of HT-specific speakers that don't apply to [most] Music speakers.
1) Designed to operated backed against or in a wall. (and, for that matter, behind a screen
2) Angled options for mounting high on walls.
3) Small size to allow better placement with screens / subwoofers.
4) Wider dispersions (generally more audience members).
5) High efficiency
6) SPL > agility (we tolerate a bit more sloppiness in the ring of a triangle if the explosion is *loud*)
7) A bit more tolerant of a high crossover point to the sub.

Indeed: think, despite measurements to the contrary from Klipsch, that my KL-650-THX is somewhat subdued in the "ringing" section of the audio spectrum. Up-side? I can push the dialog louder before it becomes painful.
 

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