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Polk Audio RTI A9 Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Cherry)
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- Single real wood floorstanding speaker with all MDF construction and resonance-free enclosures
- Equipped with dual 5.25-inch polymer composite cone drivers and three 7-inch polymer composite subwoofers
- 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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Polk Audio RTI A9 Cherry Floor-Standing 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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Recently, I rediscovered my love for music thanks to lossless audio codecs combined with high sample rates. Unfortunately, when I tried to listen to this high definition music on my home theater system, it became immediately apparent that it was horrible at playing music. So, I started shopping for "real" music speakers. I had really fond memories of how great my Polk speakers sounded in college, so I decided to check them out. I was sad to find out that they had long ago switched to ported enclosures. In my early experience, ported enclosures always produced flabby booming lows with lots of extra noise produced by the air moving through the port. Luckily, my ancient affection for Polk convinced me to give them a listen in spite of the ported enclosures.
I must say, I have never heard ported enclosures which had lows this tight. There was no boom. There was no "chuffing" noise from air movement through the port. These sounded as tight as sealed enclosures, but with the low end extension of ported speakers. I was blown away. So, I ordered a pair of RTI A9s from Amazon and waited patiently for them to arrive. After setting them up, I pumped high definition versions of a number of my old favorite albums through them and spent the entire time grinning from ear to ear. These speakers sounded breathtaking. They had the beautifully rendered sound stage of those ancient Polks combined with a much stronger reach into the 35 Hz range. The highs were crisp without being overly bright. The lows were powerful and tight. I knew immediately that I had made the right choice for my own music tastes. And even more amazing, this was straight out of the box, with no break in period! Now that they're fully acclimated to my home and fully broken in, they sound even more spectacular. Yet, despite my daily joyful listening experiences, I had to admit there was one thing missing. Having been listening to home theater equipment for so long, I was accustomed to hearing/feeling low frequency rumbles all the way down to 20Hz from large sub woofers. I decided I was going to buy a sealed sub woofer to get that super tight extreme low frequency kick I was craving. Online, it seemed like many had bad opinions of Polk's sub-woofers. So, I looked for a consensus opinion on a great brand. I kept seeing SVS come up. So, I bought a sealed enclosure middle of the line SVS sub from Amazon. When I hooked it up, that dumb ear to ear grin immediately came back. In fact that dopey grin has been there for the last month. With this setup, I feel like I'm hearing my music for the first time. These are really excellent sounding speakers. I highly recommend the RTI A9s to anyone who likes tight bass, crisp highs without being too bright, and really good stereo imaging. Paired with one of SVS's sealed subs covering the sub-60Hz range, the sound experience is, in my opinion, unbeatable at even ten times the price. I'm completely enamored with these speakers. Worth every penny!
UPDATE 9/11/2017: I've been listening to these speakers for months. now. About a month after I wrote this initial review, I purchase a second SVS sealed sub. I now have a sub placed next to each tower. Incredibly, after months of listening, I still frequently get chills listening to certain songs on this setup. I'm still grinning like a madman while listening to a lot of my music collection. I made one more change to my system after buying the second SVS sealed sub. I was originally using a 95Wpc Denon AVR-X2300 7.2 to drive these RTI A9s. I bought a 140Wpc Denon AVR-X6300 11.2 as a surround sound upgrade for when I'm using my system to watch movies. Keep in mind that I already thought my music sounded perfect on these speakers. So, you can imagine my surprise when the RTI A9s got even better sounding with the new receiver! Thanks to these Polks, I am continuing to discover both subtle nuances and an amazingly expanded, detailed soundstage in all of my favorite music. I really can't over express my affection for the sound system I've built around these Polk RTI A9s. They still take my breath away.
I only have a single minor complaint, but it would be wrong to exclude this complaint from my honest review. In my mind, the entire point of doing a review is to help others by providing a complete set of information about your entire experience with a particular product, good and bad. So, one day I was looking at the beautiful finish details with the front covers removed, and I discovered a screw was missing from one of the woofers on one speaker. I went back to photos I took the day I unboxed them and zoomed in to confirm that the screw was missing when they first arrived. Sorry for the blurry photos, but I have a tremor disorder that makes it difficult to get perfect photos. Anyway, after examining these photos, it was clearly a factory quality control issue. Considering how much I love and respect these speakers, this QC issue really surprised me. On top of that, I haven't been able to match the somewhat unique screws perfectly, In the end, though, I decided the missing screw didn't affect my 5-star opinion of these speakers. They still sound and look fantastic. So, I still highly recommend these speakers to other music lovers. Just check for missing screws when you receive them. :)