Polk Audio vs. Klipsch syndrome.

davidscott

davidscott

Full Audioholic
Ratings
146
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.
I had some monitor 7s in the early 80s. Very musical but they had a tendency for blown tweeters. I know it was my fault because I liked to play my music Loud and I had a 100 watt Kenwood amp. Anyway up to that point the Polks were the best speakers I ever had but then in the mid 80s I acquired some DCM Time Windows. Problem solved no blown tweeters and even better sound. Ah the good old days.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
653 1
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 assume you aren't asserting that ribbons [tweeters] are fundamentally involved in reproducing human voices? There may be some harmonics up there; but the primary human voice frequencies are far too low for a tweeter.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
915 1 1
I would say the center is the most important speaker in home theater so you want the front 3 to have a good center. As far as tweeters, not seeing any reason one technology is better necessarily.
 
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LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
Well let me ask this ST least in a music situation weather it be recording or movie soundtrack with any speaker. Should treble overshadow bass and should bass overshadow treble? I start to think about what Russdawg1 said about Klipsch being harsh and tiring after a while. Like the bass overshadowed the highs but hecsaidvthe Polk's were "tinny" as if they had too much in the highs.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,232 9 16
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.
How can an amp that measures flat throughout the frequency range get voiced?
 
A

aqualung

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
8
This is just my opinion., as everyone has their preferences for sound. The only thing that steered me away from the Klipsch was the use of horn tweeters, unless you went with their higher line. At the time I was looking at those versus the Polk Signature series in the end and I went with Polk. They are amazing speakers with some great imaging. I have heard things in music and movies I’ve never heard before. I have the S15s and a Klipsch 12” sub for music and I listen to a lot of Funk. Prince, James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, Sly... For movies I have 7.2 with S10 satellites and I get drawn into movies like I do at a theatre. Of course really there’s no comparison, but the sound that comes out of these speakers is phenomenal.
This Black Friday I almost bought the S55s at $229 each for my records but the Elac 2.0 Debut 6.5” towers were 199$ and I needed a slimmer speaker. The Elacs are little brighter but not fatiguing and sound amazing so I’d check those out too. They bring my funk music to life. Movies are alot more intense compared to the signatures. I kind of like the diversity I have in my home. I will finish the Elac Atmos setup in my office/media room. I go in there while my wife’s band is cranking away below the living room. The Debut 2.0 bookshelf’s went to 149$ a pair. So maybe check them out too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
When most ofbbyou people who commented on this subject matter purchased your speakers, was HT your primary listening choice or music?
 
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Russdawg1

Audioholic
Ratings
65
When most ofbbyou people who commented on this subject matter purchased your speakers, was HT your primary listening choice or music?
I do mostly music which usually requires more critical listening providing details about the speakers otherwise unnoticed during loud movies. Now that’s not to say I don’t like me some loud music occasionally :)
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,746 6 1
When most ofbbyou people who commented on this subject matter purchased your speakers, was HT your primary listening choice or music?
For me, it’s equal. I’m just as critical with HT listening/viewing as I am with music. It does seem that many enthusiasts lean one way more than the other, but can honestly say I’m at 50/50. Obviously some days are gonna be one more than the other but on average, equal. That’s where my struggle is with the HT/music speaker thing. A great speaker is a great speaker whether it’s delivering a Dolby Atmos track, or a high bitrate stream, or an fm broadcast.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,746 6 1
Well let me ask this ST least in a music situation weather it be recording or movie soundtrack with any speaker. Should treble overshadow bass and should bass overshadow treble? I start to think about what Russdawg1 said about Klipsch being harsh and tiring after a while. Like the bass overshadowed the highs but hecsaidvthe Polk's were "tinny" as if they had too much in the highs.
This is likely determined by how each individual hears vs what they look for and qualify as good sound. For instance someone with sensitive high frequency hearing might find the treble bump in some speakers harsh, while another guy who hears the same way, might say he loves the extra treble and calls it more detailed. So the answer is, it depends! Ideally no. I think the majority would say an even response is what to look for. No reason you can’t use tone controls to tailor the sound a little bit as well.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,746 6 1
I assume you aren't asserting that ribbons [tweeters] are fundamentally involved in reproducing human voices? There may be some harmonics up there; but the primary human voice frequencies are far too low for a tweeter.
Correct assumption.
 
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Ridire Fáin

Ridire Fáin

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
12 1
How can an amp that measures flat throughout the frequency range get voiced?
Point taken. I would seriously doubt that consumer fi companies are taking the time to voice their offerings. That being said I would believe in this day and age of EQ, DSP, whether there is an toroidal transformer, use of a class a, class d, class ab etc... would lend a character to an components sound, so yes to my ear different brands do have unique perhaps unintended sonic characteristics. Measurement of flat signal before clippings as real as that is, does not exactly apply here. It is sort of like arguing whether a brass trumpet sounds different from one made of silver. Then trying to measure the result, which will show there is no difference in the sound wave. Some musicians swear they can tell the difference and have been able to reliably identify which is which, while others cannot. I am of the camp, that appreciates scientific measurements can provide proof of a sound design concept, but what I believe in the most, is what I can hear.

Point being. The Anthem receiver, I currently own for home theatre sounds different from the old Marantz it replaced, and yet again different from the old school 2 channel Magnum MD208 in my wife's system, and yet again different from the vintage Pioneer integrated in my home office. Why? I would agree voicing may not be the right term here but there are differences in how these four components sound.

Four factors I think would lend an character (Voicing )to an receiver. Whatever is happening to the signal before it hits the amplification stage. The quality of the amps used and their power supplies, and isolation from grunge coming from within it. It could be said type of amplification used could be considered too. I am sure some would argue an class A amp stage sounds better/different than AB, than D, yada, yada, yada...

Even in the High end world of minimalist stereo receivers. The Magnum Dynalab my bride uses sounds a bit different than the new McIntosh receiver I been drooling over at the HiFi salon. I suspect it is due to the differences in the parts, materials and technologies used in preamp and amplifications stages. One is using parts from 20 years ago and the other is using ones that are in current production.
 
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William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,746 6 1
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.
1. Practical considerations made to ease installation/use of space. On walls aren’t inherently voiced for HT vs music. Their voiced to be flat while also being in a wall. Useful in both cases. Not sure how being installed behind a screen is inherent of an HT speaker by design. Except they can be uglier?
2. Also, a matter of practicality. Assuming you mean speakers with hardware options for high angled mounting. This wouldn’t mean a speakers performance was necessarily designed for that. If however you mean an angled baffle, like a bi/dipole, I can see your point but still feel they could be used in either system as surrounds assuming the listener isn’t limiting themselves to 2ch.
3. I’d say this is room/waf/listener preference dependent more than a performance consideration of an HT vs music speaker. There are definitely speakers made with a form factor in mind. I don’t believe though that there built or voiced with any special consideration towards music or HT.
4. Ok this actually makes sense, but isn’t that simple. Not all home theaters are going to cater to multiple rows with lots of viewers. Also, why can’t music speakers have wide dispersion? Could you provide a little more explanation?
5. Relevance?
6. See your point, but not sure how that proves a speaker is designed for HT vs music.
7. This is also irrelevant for use in a theater or music system. Any number of rooms/setups can benefit from just as many XO points. Speaker design/room geometry/room layout and listener preference will determine tolerance of higher XO.
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Full Audioholic
Ratings
202
When most ofbbyou people who commented on this subject matter purchased your speakers, was HT your primary listening choice or music?
I listen to music in my computer room, but I do stream on my computer too. That's where my meaty system is. I have a 5.1 setup in the living room that is used only for movies and streaming. It's pretty good, but I dont do "critical listening" for movies so I have never put as much time or energy into improving it. Not that it's bad, since all 5 speakers are KEF Q series.
 
Ridire Fáin

Ridire Fáin

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
12 1
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.
Thank you for this. These are design goals I never considered in an Home Theater package. I am glad to be made aware of them. This was really informative, and puts into word something I have an hell of a hard time to try and explain.
 
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LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
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.
By statement #1, are you saying that because a bookshelf speaker manufacturer incorporates a wall mount to their speaker, it is primarily HT designed?
 
R

Russdawg1

Audioholic
Ratings
65
By statement #1, are you saying that because a bookshelf speaker manufacturer incorporates a wall mount to their speaker, it is primarily HT designed?
No, they could have designed it with that in mind. For example, sealed speakers, or small satellites that are easy to mount or easily hidden away in a large room will generally be for HT because it’s A easier to setup for a surround system and B it’s built with convenience in mind unlike a stereo music setup which will probably ported, big, not easy to wall mount.
 
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LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
No, they could have designed it with that in mind. For example, sealed speakers, or small satellites that are easy to mount or easily hidden away in a large room will generally be for HT because it’s A easier to setup for a surround system and B it’s built with convenience in mind unlike a stereo music setup which will probably ported, big, not easy to wall mount.
So in the case of the Polk RTi A3, was the wall mount feature just for a convenience sake or did Polk make these really for HT?
 
R

Russdawg1

Audioholic
Ratings
65
So in the case of the Polk RTi A3, was the wall mount feature just for a convenience sake or did Polk make these really for HT?
I think its convenience over HT designation. Many people don’t have dedicated theater rooms and speaker stands so the wall mount feature just helps them sell more and is just good to have in general. I wish my speakers had mounting points. But they are all 20+ pounds each :) would be ripping lots of drywall out.
 
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LamontSim

Audioholic
Ratings
8
I think its convenience over HT designation. Many people don’t have dedicated theater rooms and speaker stands so the wall mount feature just helps them sell more and is just good to have in general. I wish my speakers had mounting points. But they are all 20+ pounds each :) would be ripping lots of drywall out.
I totally agree. You really know your poop.
 

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