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Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Cherry)
- Pair of real wood bookshelf speakers with all MDF construction and resonance-free enclosures
- Equipped with one 5.25-inch dynamic balance mineral/polymer composite cone driver
- Features Power Port technology to reduce "chuffing" or "port noise"
- Equipped with one 1-inch silk/polymer composite dome tweeter
- Features a neodynium magnet, low viscosity ferro-fluid cooling, and a heat sink on the back of the magnet
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Adorama Camera||Stereo Advantage||Edifier Online Store||WORLD WIDE STEREO||Stereo Advantage|
|Item Dimensions||12 x 11.5 x 7 in||14.75 x 14.25 x 7.75 in||7 x 10.2 x 11 in||9.45 x 6.89 x 5.71 in||7 x 11.75 x 15.4 in||7 x 10.2 x 11 in|
|Item Weight||12.02 lbs||16.03 lbs||10 lbs||10.8 lbs||17 lbs||10 lbs|
|Speaker Type||BookShelf Speaker||Bookshelf||Bookshelf||Bookshelf||Bookshelf||Bookshelf|
Polk Audio RTI A1 Cherry Bookshelf Speaker - The new RTI A series feature several upgrades. From the incorporation of our latest Dynamic Balance Cone drivers and 1 inch tweeters to an elegant restyling of the cabinets in keeping with the latest styles. The floor-standing models feature "Power Port Plus" an enhancement of Polk's patented Power Port technology. As you would expect from this highly popular line, the performance is classic Polk.
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First the good:
1. With the volume at moderately loud (not ear shattering) levels, the music I like to listen to was simply amazing. Gary Burton's jazz LP, Reunion is an example of a well -recorded small ensemble that I have enjoyed for many years. The separation between the instruments across the soundstage is excellent. The transparency and airiness give a nice sense of reality. The midrange is not quite as transparent as my old magnepans, but the extension into the highs is better and the bass is much better than my old reference. However, I did have to fiddle with the subwoofer/satellite crossover frequencies to get them work well together. A real challenge for many loudspeakers is the female voice. A favorite indie/brazilian album of mine is Pacifika's album, Asuncion. The female vocals are amazing on a good stereo system. The Polks and the Marantz do an excellent job on this album. On a couple of songs, the bass extends far enough down to start to strain the bottom end of the subwoofer (it was only $99 bucks!). I am very happy with the sound.
2. Marantz Android app. The remote that came with the Marantz is kind of poor and does not have back-lit keys. However, the app for android is an excellent substitute. You must have the internet connection setup on the marantz for the app to work.
3. Movie watching. While we are using the system in a 2.1 mode for movie watching, it is much better than the TV speakers when watching either blue-ray DVD movies or amazon prime movies.
4. Value. For $1k, you would be hard pressed to beat this combo for our intended use.
5. USB port on receiver. I can put all of my digitized music on a usb drive and play it on the system. The android app is nice for browsing through the audio music on the usb drive.
Now some of the not so good:
1. Sound quality - For really dense music (some rock, large orchestra classical) at higher volume levels, the Polks start to sound strained and seem to loose their ability to separate instruments. Setting the cross-over for the Satellites up to 80 Hz (rather than the 60 Hz set by the Marantz Audessey calibration system) to take some load off of them helps this issue somewhat. I am going to play with the cross over frequencies of the subwoofer and satellites some more to see if I can ease this probem some more. Right now, I have the subwoofer crossover on the receiver set to 120 Hz. However, this issue is rarely a problem for our listening tastes.
2. Subwoofer limitations - Did I say I paid $99 for this subwoofer? The subwoofer does a very nice job of extending the excellent sound of the RTI A1's down below 80 Hz. Kick drums and electronic bass are well produced. However, don't expect gut-wrenching sub 40 Hz sound on your favorite movies or realistic reproduction of the cannons on the classical piece, 1812 Overture!
3. Marantz Audessey calibration system - I did not find the sound that resulted after the calibration when playing my favorite music to be that great. In particular, the subwoofer did not blend in well with the satellites. Using the Audessey results as a starting point, I made some manual changes to get to what I consider a very pleasing musical experience with this system.
4. Marantz receiver internet connection - Somehow I missed that the internet connection on this receiver is ethernet only. Running an ethernet connection from our study where our router is to the living room was a no go. I fixed this by purchasing a TP-LINK AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter. That brought our local internet to the receiver with about a five minute setup. This purchase put me over my $1k budget by $39.
5. Non-support of legacy video connections on the Marantz receiver. S-video and other non-HDMI legacy video connections are not supported on this receiver. If you have an old DVD or VHS receiver, they will not work with this receiver.
6. Setup - It is not super intuitive, but not too bad. I could tell that engineers must have designed the menu systems.
7. Marantz android app - Sometimes the android app has trouble connecting with the receiver. I have not figured this out.
Summary: The polk RTI A1 together with the PSW10 subwoofer and the Marantz NR1504 receiver give us an excellent listening experience - especially for our needs and for the budget we had to spend. If this system were twice as much ($2k), I would still say that it was a good system. Again, please note some of my caveats in terms of sound and connectivity and realize that you will have to fiddle around a bit to achieve the full potential of the sound on this system. I highly recommend this system for buyers looking for high quality stereo sound for pure music or movies and having a limited budget.
Using these in an open living room for tv and music. Very clear and crisp. I have the S20's for mains in my theater room. RTi's are brighter, but seem to have more pressence than my S20s. Listening to music on the S20's can almost sound somewhat too reserved after listening to the RTi's. I love both speakers but definitely a different sound from the two lines.
Using an old HK AVR130 receiver for the RTi's. Only 55 watts a channel but high current and still clean at high volume.