Polk LSim 707 impressions?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by tiller, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    Sorry for all the threads lately. Doing a bit of speaker shopping and it's very hard to demo...

    Anybody running a pair of these? My initial impression is that, well, Chinese made for one, and Polk for two. It's not a loudspeaker my admittedly snobbish tastes would be drawn to. However, by all accounts, these should sound great.

    I am looking for an upgrade to my Energy 22 Reference Connoisseur loudspeakers which, I'm quickly learning, are truly quite excellent sounding. They go very deep in the bass, have a nicely integrated sound, and the high end is detailed without sounding harsh. I find them a little scooped out sounding in the midrange, and even though they go low you can really hear the port's tuning when you get down to the bottom of their extension. On the bright side they are fairly responsive to positioning.

    Anyway, the Polk 707s caught my eye. They measure down to 25Hz, have downward firing ports for room-friendliness, and they look pretty nice. I'm wondering how they'd stack up against the 22s though.

    Anyone here running these? Anyone here compared these to other speakers? I'm currently debating whether I should continuing saving up for something really beyond the level of the 22s, or pull the trigger on something now. Like, could these even hold a candle to something like Salk SoundScape 8s that go for 3x the price.

    Opinions are appreciated!
     
  2. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    Never heard them but they were well reviewed by the people who have heard them. Too bad Stereophile and ABS don't review more affordable speakers and components but they have become the must go to magazine for the Top 1%
     
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  3. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    It's very true. And this kind of elitism (deliberate or not) certainly adds to the impression that there's an ocean's worth of difference between the stuff in the pages of TAS and the stuff available from your average box store. In many cases this impression is valid and real, but perhaps there's exceptions to be found as well.
     
  4. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Huh?

    Stereophile has reviewed lower priced speakers. They did a review on the Polk RTiA1, RTiA3, LSim703.

    I really think folks fixated on Stereophile only reviewing the most expensive gear haven't actually read it in recent years.
     
  5. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    Anyway, it was a sidebar. I'd like to hear from folks who have some experience with the 707s if possible. Thanks.
     
  6. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I've heard the 707s on loan from Polk at a friend's house running tube equipment.

    They were polite and neutral.
     
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  7. rushed again

    rushed again Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    tiller.... Polk typically runs a 50% off sale once or twice a year. I picked up a pair of Lsim 703's a few years back on the 50% off and love them.
    The 707's were 50 off just this past April. I was so close to pulling the trigger. I debated myself for days trying to justify justification. Never moved on it.
    You've started a nice input thread, I'll be checking out others opinion also.
    My budget does not allow $4k on speakers but I'm thinking the next time I see these at $2k for the pair I'm probably going to jump on it.
     
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  8. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
    What @rushed again said. If those sales apply to Canada, sign up for their promotions as there'll be another coming up in a couple months. I have to fight the urge to buy the 703s twice a year.

    I have owned both the Polk LSi7 monitors and the LSi15 towers. Both great speakers for the money.
     
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  9. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    How about the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR for $129?
     
  10. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    I respectfully request that we keep the thread on topic, please.

    Regarding the Polks, and, well, reviews in general, I always find it a little bit concerning when reviewers say "great for the money" or some version of this. We've read it a million times. It always comes across as an excuse of some kind to me. Does it mean the Polk is mediocre, but given it's price it's actually great? Or does it mean the Polk sounds great, and much better than other offerings at a similar price point? Hard to say!
     
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  11. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    It's hard to read reviews, and harder to read between the lines. I have been wary of Polk speakers because they are sold in big box stores like Fry's or Best Buy (not Magnolia). Of course that Pioneer and most of Klipsch are available from the same sources. You never know how biased the reviewer is, how sane or what he is really hearing. I had a low end Polk subwoofer once and wound up tossing it.
     
  12. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    I've heard all 3 LSiM models, the 705 is the sweet spot.
     
  13. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    Sweet spot in what sense?
     
  14. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    I own the LSiM707's and have been using them as one of my front main speakers for both stereo and HT.

    My other current "front" speakers are Zu Omen Definitions. I have an A/B switch so that I can switch back and forth between them.

    If you do a search under SandAndGlass and LSiM707's, you will find a fair amount of information about them that is already posted.

    While I have more than a half dozen tube amps, I never run either pair of front speakers with them. I only run the tube amps on the Altec Lansing A7 Voice of the Theater, super efficient speakers.

    While you can run them with tubes, I personally don't feel that it is necessary, as they sound fine with SS amps. I am currently running my front speakers with a 250-watt Emotiva XPA-2 (1st generation), SS power amp.

    Reviews that I have read about them have compared them to $6K-$8K speakers.

    I don't know if I would be in the market for them even at $4K, but I have been a Polk customer since 2011 and I like most of their loudspeaker line.

    Advise you to go to Polk's web site and sign up for their newsletters. They have a past history of putting the LSim 707's and the other speakers in the LSiM line on private sale, once or twice each year.

    They do usually hold a sale in the fall, right after Thanksgiving until the end of the month.

    They sometimes hold a sale a few months into the new year.

    I have the "Midnight" version. Suggest that you read F1nut's comments on one of the older posts. F1 informs us that they speakers are not real cherry wood, just some Chinese wood. The cherry "look" is completely manufactured, basically, it is painted on. Just make sure that is OK with you. Other speakers in the Polk line do have real cherry wood. I have the RTi speakers and they are real cherry wood, and look real nice. They don't have that high gloss finish that the LSiM cherry speakers do.

    These large tower speakers really can put out some sound volume. My listening room is about 450 sq. ft. As they are only of an average efficiency for tower speakers, having a lot of solid amplification benefits them. Plus, they can deliver a deep natural bass, which will require a decent amount of power to provide this deep base at louder SPL's.

    I'm not much on harsh sounding tweeters of any kind. One thing in common that all of my Polk speakers have is nice mellow sounding tweeters. The mid's and high frequencies are clear and detailed but not harsh. The ring radiator technology is a distinct benefit here.

    These are speakers which look way better in person. The online photos from the Polk website really don't do them justice.

    If you can pick them up for $2K during a sale, I doubt if you will find any similar type of speaker for a grand apiece. All of Polk's speakers have always represented solid values. They can do this due to economics of scale. When you can buy a speaker which is a good value at retail pricing, at half price, that's really a no brainer.

    I was concerned from the photos that they may be a bit unstable but they have a solid footing with rubber feet that can absorb sideways motion. I have no fear of knocking them over by accident.

    The ports on the bottom are nice. I don't care much for rear ported speakers in general.

    Right now, the 707's happen to be the speakers playing, along with my rear speakers and the theater speakers. I tend to run with 2-3 pairs of speakers, when listening to two channel stereo.

    One thing to keep in mind. The grills are made of metal, and are held in place by thin fabric covered magnets. there must be metal plates under the front cabinet surface. These grills are very easily bent. They must be totally flat for them to magnetically stick to the surface of the speaker. They are held up from the bottom by an oval Polk name badging at the bottom of the speaker.

    These speakers are not as forward sounding as the Zu's, they are more like a home stereo sound.

    I have never heard any Energy speaker, so I must refrain from any comments about them. But these Polk's earn their keep.

    Maybe, if Salk holds a 50% off sale, you could compare them to the sale prices of the LSiM707's, until then, don't hold your breath!

    A final comment. These do not look like Polk speakers, they really do look like some kind of higher end audio speaker.

    S&G
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  15. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    Thanks very much for the comprehensive response. Can you elaborate as to what you mean by "home stereo sound" as it relates to the Zu vs Polk?

    Thanks again
     
  16. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    They have the best top to bottom balance, IMO.

    Just one comment. The cherry and midnight mahogany finishes are not painted on, they are done with dyes added to the clear coat and sprayed on. It's the same way most speakers and furniture these days are finished.
     
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  17. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    Thanks for your input. In what way do you feel the 707 come up short in regards to balance vs the 705? More bottom heavy?
     
  18. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Seldom in high fidelity is price and performance more disparate than with loudspeakers. It is also true that the markup for speakers is generally far higher than it is for electronics.

    If most TOL Polk products were manufactured in much smaller volumes and imported under a prestigious European brand name, I daresay they would be selling for several times the price - just as they are. As it stands, Polk will simply have to content itself selling far more speakers at a far lower price, with little concession to performance, if any.

    Besides, I'd rather put my money towards the product itself than slick high-end marketing campaigns.

    As always, let your ears be the judge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  19. George P

    George P Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I can't speak to these specific speakers, but I can echo the positive comments about Polk in general. I have had my Polk Audio Monitor 40s over 10 years and in 4 different apartments. In each of these four different spaces, they have done well, giving a nice clear, realistic sound, which is never harsh. They are a bit light on the low end, but living in NYC apartments this is a plus. And the cherry cabinets are well made and look gorgeous. I can only imagine how much better the Lsi 705 sounds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  20. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    So very true. I suppose with a lot of smaller, domestic speaker manufacturers you're paying a lot for the cabinetry. You can't deny that many, many man-hours have gone into cabinets like the Salks for example. Thanks for your input!
     
  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    Sure...

    This is one of those areas which are very subjective and maybe a little bit hard to explain, because it involves the act of putting into words, something that is a total sensory experience.

    If you look at a traditional live sound environment, you be listening to the performers through large, highly efficient speakers. When you experience a quality live sound experience, there isn't anything quite like it. It is sometimes, in the audio world, referred to as "forward" sounding.

    To most individuals, this is not the same sound, they hear when they are sitting in their living rooms, listening to their stereo's.

    Forward sounding speakers tend to be efficient but very unforgiving, couple them with certain SS amplifiers and you could end up with something that sounds very harsh. This is enhanced when paired with a poorly made source.

    But... pair up efficient speakers with the right source and amplifier and you can achieve a live dynamic sound. Some people like this type of sound (myself included) but for others, the sound is a bit too much, in your face.

    There is so much differences in the sounds of recorded music. Some kinds of music will sound better when played through one type of system and some music will sound better on another system configuration.

    You can take the same system and it can sound different in different listening environments.

    By having two different types of speakers as the front mains, effectively gives me two different systems with two different sounds.

    Efficient speakers have a tendency to sound bright. When listening to a source that may have been recorded a bit hot, the resulting sound could be bright and fatiguing on the ears. If I am listening to the Zu's and find the sound overly bright, I can switch to the 707's and the sound will mellow and smooth out a bit.

    And, the reverse is true, sometimes I am listening to the 707's and the music is more in the background, I switch to the Zu's and it becomes more dynamic and "forward" sounding.

    Some music sounds better one way and some music will sound better the other way.

    Which speakers I have elected to play sometimes (and more often than not), just depends in the mood I am in at the time.
     
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  22. George P

    George P Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks. Any guesses when the next sale might be?
     
  23. George P

    George P Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    What is your impression of the 703?
     
  24. Standingstones

    Standingstones Well-Known Member

    Location:
    South Central PA
    You might want to keep this in mind. The Polk 707s are an enormous speaker, almost 52 inches in height and 100 pounds each, much larger than your Energy speakers. Do you have (a) room to accomodate speakers like this? Also, if the Energy speakers need a boost in the bass, why not look into a subwoofer for bass correction. Just some thoughts to ponder.
     
  25. tiller

    tiller Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal
    The polks are taller by about a foot yes, but narrower in width, and similar in depth. I do have the room to accommodate them.

    You may have misunderstood my posts; the bass in my current loudspeakers is very nice, if not slightly too boomy when it gets down to the port tuning frequencies. There's absolutely no need for a sub nor any boost in the bass. It is shocking how well the bass performs in the Energys actually. I've listened to a bunch of speakers at shops now and the Energys have won in this regard (admittedly I'm shopping within a budget and I don't mean to imply they are the pinnacle of bass reproduction, which they are not).
     

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