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Customer Review

110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for surround - average value for music, January 11, 2008
This review is from: Polk Audio RM6750 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System (Set of Six, Black) (Electronics)
Polk RM6750 5.1 Speaker System

Before reviewing - "thanks" to everyone who did likewise. I recently upgraded a few elements and placed a lot of emphasis upon user reviews to guide decisions between rival components.

As for the review, first a description of my home theater and audio system: Dell WD4200 1080i HD Monitor, Yamaha RX-V661 A/V receiver, Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player, Polk RM6750 system as the "A" speaker set, Klipsch Forte's as the "B" speaker pair. The listening/viewing environment is a carpeted, 12 x 14 room opening on one narrow side with an archway into a larger room, with the TV, front speakers, and subwoofer placed on a long wall. The RM6750 center speaker is installed immediately underneath the wall-mounted TV, the front right and left RM6750 surround speakers atop the Forte's in the room corners, the subwoofer on the floor, and the rear right and left surround speakers ceiling-mounted and directed downwards to a sectional sofa at the rear of the room. Since my receiver allows user-defined selection of the LFE crossover frequency, I wired the RM6750 sub to the receiver's sub-out, set the receiver LFE lowpass at 160 Hz, set the sub LFE lowpass to 160 Hz, and set all other RM6750 speakers to "small".

My view based on both surround and stereo playback programs is that the RM6750 represents a huge upgrade for folks interested in a basic surround system - particularly if the alternative is listening to standard TV speakers - though the system is not a substitute for more refined audio monitors if the primary content is music. At this pricepoint what are remarkable are not the system's weaknesses but its strengths: the center provides clear dialog, the four surrounds are bright and forward, and the sub adequately if not accurately renders the "thumps". "thuds", "whacks", and harmonic base tones associated with studio music tracks. Using a variety of Dolby and DTS-encoded film audio tracks, the surround-scape created by the RM6750 was unexpectedly good: clear, defined, well-separated, and without obvious flaws in stand-alone listening. The subwoofer pumps out a lot of sound - even with the volume set to the unit's midpoint - but it tends towards the "thumpiness" I associate with over-driven car audio: no buzzing or rattling, but just short of that. However, as movie audio effects emphasize presence over accuracy, this may be by design and the results for standard surround-sound movie audio are impressive.

The system's weaknesses stem from the inability to accurately and smoothly reproduce standard music. To minimize listening bias, I performed several hours of A/B testing of the RM6750 in most listening modes provided by the RX-V661 with the Forte's as reference using classical and rock CDs as input material and my wife and daughter as blinded panelists. The Fortes were hands down smoother, crisper in the highs, and more accurate, deep, resonant, and non-boomy in mids and the lows. The largest difference was in the low-base response, where music material with complex deep-base (some Floyd tracks in particular) was boomy and mushy on the RM6750s but clear and seamless with the higher frequency tones on the Forte's. Pound for pound, however, the RM6750s were surprisingly good competition for the more expensive horn-driven tweeters, midrange, and base of the audio monitors playing music: the Forte's, though aging, were among the best speakers made at the time I purchased them (I replaced a set of Bose 901s), cost 5 times then what I paid for the RM6750s now, and do not provide a dollar-for-dollar linear sound advantage. One would be hard pressed to say the RM6750's suck for music listening and minor deficiencies in accuracy would be difficult to detect - expect for obviously inaccurate deep base - in the absence of a superior comparator.

The bottom line in my view is that if you bought a big TV and don't have a surround sound system, spending another $250 for the RM6750 will render an outsized improvement in your home theater experience. For those who like loud low-bass and don't necessarily care if it is a bit jarring and "thumpy", you could use this system for both home theater and music listening. For those who prefer accurate music reproduction, only the most budget conscious should consider the RM6750 a standalone solution to all their listening needs.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 2, 2010 3:37:37 PM PST
Tienteh Chen says:
thank you for your honest advice

Posted on Mar 10, 2010 9:16:32 PM PST
R. Martinez says:
The recommended Cross-over from the folks at polk that i talk to about the RM6750 was 120hz
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