Polk LSiM speakers 58% - 67% off..

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by riverrat, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    In our listening comparisons, the MC240 tube amplifier was used to run the Bostons; the MC2505 was used to run the 705s. The MC2505 is a robustly designed rated 50 wpc however it has been bench tested at 68 wpc while still remaining under distortion spec of 0.5%. It has been previously used with both the RTiA7s and RTiA9 without any ill effects - except more power would be needed if higher volume levels are desired.

    I therefore respectfully disagree the amplifier played any role to the detriment of the performance of the LSiM705s. The amount of power that is needed for the levels at which I typically listen is nowhere near the maximum capabilities of the MC2505. The SPL of the two 88 dB 705 speakers @ 25 wpc is 105 dB (at one meter), which even at the listening position of ~ 13 feet is still far louder than I could ever tolerate for any length of time which the MC2505 managed, with aplomb.

    A speaker can only respond to a given input (over a given load) and the speaker has no way of knowing (nor responding any differently) whether 25 watts are being supplied by a 50 watt amplifier or a 500 watt amplifier. This is one of the most pervasive misconceptions in high fidelity. And it can certainly play no role in the tonal quality I observed when run well within its operational limits.

    Perhaps the LSiM705 is intended for those who customarily listen at very loud SPLs, I cannot say. Since I primarily listen to classical at more natural volume levels averaging several watts with peaks rarely exceeding 25 - 30 watts per channel in this system, a speaker that must be played very loudly to perform well is of very little use to me. Interestingly, I've found the Polk RTiA7 and RTiA9 to perform admirably well at modest listening levels of under a watt or so.

    In the other system, I'll occasionally shut down the RTiA7 & RTiA9 and listen only to the bookshelf sized Snell J7 Series Vs. These were the final line of Snell products before the plug was pulled on this great name in loudspeakers. Even with the J7's diminutive size, the spacial imaging and evenness of response of these speakers is simply incredible. The soundstage, detail and precision are first rate, far more along the lines of some of the finest high-end speakers I've heard, and far beyond anything the LSiM705's are remotely capable of doing- at least to my ears.

    De gustibus not est disputandem.

    -
    In matters of taste, there are no disputes - or as we like to say, YMMV.

    Cheers. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  2. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Well, Boston Acoustics products have certainly never been known for an upfront, "in your face" type of presentation- not by any stretch of the imagination. Nor the Snell J7 for that matter.

    The T1000 Series II I've owned since new sports a similar driver compliment as the highly regarded A400 which I've never heard described as "bright" either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  3. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    All well and good.

    So, you agree that your vintage McIntosh TUBE amplifier's sound the same as a modern day solid state amplifier?
     
  4. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Well, I certainly cannot speak for every modern amplifier under the sun, but my opinion that a well maintained vintage McIntosh tube amplifier can provide performance that ranks among the best available. Many vintage McIntosh tube amplifiers outperform a number of tube amplifiers being produced today, again IMHO.
     
  5. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Please allow me to present my question once more.

     
  6. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Well that's a question I cannot truthfully answer unless I heard the specific amplifier(s) in question.

    If the question is whether a properly restored vintage McIntosh has the capability of performing similarly (or nearly identically) to a given modern day solid state SS unit, my answer would be that it's certainly possible.

    I'm sorry but that's the best I can do.
     
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  7. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    @62caddy: Sorry - and a bit surprised - to hear the 705’s didn’t work out for you. It’s a head scratcher. As said, I’m a fan of the Boston Acoustics sound. I “babysat” a pair T1030’s for a friend while he was remodeling and they are great speakers. Nobody does midrange like Boston. Power *might* be the issue with the 705’s. The ones I heard had upwards of 250wpc behind them and were anything but dull. They were liquid, open and had an impressive sound stage that expanded at higher volume. But if that’s not how you listen, and if you don’t like the finish, yeah send em back. At least you gave them a try. All part of the fun of this crazy hobby.
     
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  8. aroney

    aroney Who really gives a...?

    FWIW - I'm powering the 707's with an Emotiva XPA-200 rated at 150 watts at 8 ohms and 240 at 4 ohms.

    That said, I can tell that even more power would help.

    No complaints though - they sound good at low and high volume listening and I've only logged about a dozen hours with 'em. :D
     
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  9. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Well I respectfully disagree that more power would be of much use when the equipment has more than enough available power for any level that would be conceivable for the type of music and listening that I enjoy. Though conservatively rated at 50 wpc, the McIntosh MC2505 is quite heavy with robust power supplies that had no problem driving the 705s to extremely loud listening levels without strain.

    As I've pointed out earlier, the same unit drove the RTiA9 right out of the box and experienced none of the ill effects that I observed with the 705s. It should also be pointed out that the RTiA9's maximum power capability is 500W, compared to 350W for the LSiM707, according to Polk. For the LSiM705, it is only 300W. (Not that it matters very much here).

    The bottom line is simply that a 250 wpc amplifier is not needed with a pair of 88 dB speakers @ 13 feet to reproduce, for example, a Mozart Piano Concerto - even to levels encountered in a live performance of the same.

    If I reached peak readings at 5 watts with such a piece given the above conditions, that would be a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  10. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    FWIW - a member on AK has been running a pair of A9s with a pair of MC60s and been enjoying the combination for years.

    It all depends on the music, and the preferred listening level.

    Frankly, I think the RTiA series is much better fit for predominantly classical since that type of music is inherently strong on midrange content which the Theatre Line tends to smooth out somewhat. Very little classical music works well through my Altec Model 14s either - except perhaps with smaller arrangement chamber pieces. But with jazz, the Altecs can really shine with realism that I wouldn't get with the modern towers.

    So perhaps the takeaway is that the LSiM line might be better suited for amplified (rock, disco type) music and such where HF content is much more pronounced. Just a hypothesis based on my experience.
     
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  11. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I was having a conversation with 62caddy and we were mulling over both of our systems. He was using the SS McIntosh with the 705's.

    It does have a good amount of power and a good amount of current.

    We were thinking, that it may be that the 705's are too laid back and not dynamic enough at a lower volume level for classical acoustic music, the way the RTiA7 and A9's are.

    The music that I listen to, is generally amplified music, even live theater sound and movie soundtrack's. Even jazz and modern vocal's that I listen to have music that lends itself to electronic amplification.

    We are thinking that may be the issues that he is having with the LSiM's. They might be too laid back for they type of music that he primarily listens to.

    Just some thoughts...
     
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  12. aroney

    aroney Who really gives a...?

    Well, I've been playing everything from classical to metal and it all sounds good to me on my 707's. ;)

    I did discover an issue though:

    The finish on one of the speakers is lacking - instead of the Mahogany extending all the way to the front glossy panel it stops short, as if the staining process was a bit off - it's about a millimeter of lighter color that extends all the way down the left front side of the speaker.

    I can get a bit OCD, but I'm not sure it's worth the risk to repack and ship back since the speaker has no other issues.

    I'm hesitant to risk a return and get something back that's even worse. :mad:
     
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  13. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    That's a bummer, not something I recall reading about anywhere else. I think it all depends on how you look at it. Based on the full retail value, I'd consider that unacceptable. But based on their current pricing... well I might just live with it.
     
  14. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Unlike the RTiA series, I believe the LSiM uses some sort of simulated laminate application. Not genuine wood-off-a-tree.

    *On repacking I noticed a long black screw had fallen out of the bottom. It is used to secure a conical shaped piece between the bottom of the speaker and the base. When I tried to reinstall the screw, I discovered the threads were missing making reinstallation impossible. The port plug on the bottom was also loose and I couldn't find any means of securing it without surgery beyond my abilities.

    I just dropped them off at the UPS Store for a return flight back. Good riddance is all I can say.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  15. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    It's an Asian species of wood that is top coated with the color mixed in with the finish to obtain a uniform color. It's a very common practice in the furniture industry.
     
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  16. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    You haven't let the speakers break in and you seem to think your amplifier has enough grunt for them. It doesn't. I suggest borrowing a different more powerful amp just to try. You may be surprised.
     
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  17. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Already on their way back.

    Lack of power isn't the problem with these speakers. Whether listening at 1 watt or 25 watts continuous (which more than I'd ever use under any conceivable circumstances), they just didn't measure up to my ears. The sound was confined, lacking in spaciality, & depth while displaying a "nasal" quality I didn't care for. I'm sorry but no amplifier is going to change that. I have a good amount of experience with equipment and speakers to know what is and is not possible under certain conditions. As far as I'm concerned, the concept of "breaking in" is more about a listener becoming accustomed to a speaker's sound quality rather than the result of an organic change in the speakers themselves.

    I've acknowledged before, perhaps these speakers are better suited to different material (and SPL levels) than the type that I enjoy, at the listening levels I do. Given that upper end frequencies are not predominant in most classical music, I think that is the reason the RTiA series, the Boston T1000 and Snell J7 speakers are much better suited to my listening preferences.
     
  18. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    It's not about watts or how loud they get. It's about grunt (current) and I'm sorry but your amp doesn't have it. The sound characteristics you describe painfully point that out.

    I'm also sorry you don't think different amps perform differently, they do.
     
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  19. aroney

    aroney Who really gives a...?

    I'm not sure what is happening with his 705's, but I'm using an Emotiva XPA-200 to drive my 707's and they sound real good.

    Expect for the issue with one speakers finish, I'm a happy camper. :D
     
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  20. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Having heard the 707s with two amps, one that worked, one that didn't, I whole heartedly agree with this.
     
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  21. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Never said that different amplifiers cannot perform differently.

    Perhaps you're not familiar with the current capabilities of the McIntosh MC2505 or are simply mistaken in believing that a larger amplifier can provide extra current into a circuit than a lower powered amplifier when each is running the at the same output level (when is each performing within operational spec for distortion limits etc). This is false.

    The amount of current supplied at a given load at a given wattage output is what it is. You cannot "add" additional current to a circuit at a given power level at a given load. For example, at a 25 watt output, the current is no different for a 50 watt amplifier than it is for 500 watt amplifier when run into the same impedance.

    In any case we're dealing with 8 ohm speakers here not 4, 2 or 1 ohm.

    I therefore respectfully disagree that the choice of this particular amplifier has anything to do with the performance that I witnessed from these speakers.
     
  22. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Well I see your point, but that should not have passed quality control.

    You should very definitely return them for another pair.

    My pair are perfect as they should be. You are buying a $4,000 pair of speakers, not "B" stock.

    What is being advertised are $4k speaker's and what you are entitled to receive are a pair of quality $4k speakers.

    Yea, I bought mine at a Polk half price sale, but I was not buying them as some sort of factory return's that have been refurbished for resale and may be cosmetically imperfect.

    Let's say that mine are $4k speaker's and I would like to sell my pair today (because I would!). Roughly, used audio equipment is roughly worth about half of what the new retail pricing is.

    So, I should be able to sell my used pair for $2k. Maybe I should, but that is not gonna happen, if you can buy a new pair at $1,600.

    That would be lucky for me to get $1,000 to $1,200 and I would be stuck for shipping on top of that.

    If they were to fetch, $1,200, then shipping on a 99-lb. speaker would cost me $100/pr. MININUM!

    I just sold and shipped a small PrimaLuna power amp a couple of weeks back.

    Weight 46-lbs.
    Shipping cost $67.53

    So, always consider the possibility that you may part with you beloved LSiM707's.

    How much less will they be worth, because they are not the way that they should be?

    Remember to figure in the shipping.

    Get a new pair, an undamaged pair.
     
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  23. rushed again

    rushed again Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    If everything else is good, maybe contact them @aroney and see if they give you an ever better super deal. :)
     
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  24. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    When repacking the speakers I noticed there was a loose conical shaped spacer that fell out between the bottom of the speaker and the base plate.

    There was also a black screw that apparently had fallen out of one of the boxes when I was unpacking them which I put aside. Turns out this screw is used to secure the conical piece in place. Unfortunately the threads in the bottom of the speaker were gone making it impossible to put it back together. Also, the port plug on the same speaker was also completely loose and I could see no way of securing it to the bottom without removing the base plate which I wasn't about to attempt.

    I packed everything back as neatly as when they arrived and dropped them off at the UPS Store this morning.
     
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  25. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    This is where the LSiM get a little sticky. We're dealing with a speaker that has an 8 ohm rating on the spec sheet. In actual performance these tested to a minimum impedance of 2.8 ohms, and a nominal impedance of 5 ohms.
    They are also listed at 88 db sensitivity but tested at 86.5 db.
    Source: Test Report: Polk Audio LSiM Speaker System Page 3

    They like high current, and high wattage.

    I think Polk rated these in a manner that would help them sell as they can run off the spec sheet ratings, but it really sucks the life out of them. I get the feeling they didn't want to care people off who might be running these off of a home theater amp, so they listed them with more of a "functional bare minimum" vs a "ideal performance" rating.

    When I demoed them recently we used an amp rated at 150W/8ohm (amp A) and an amp rated at 170W/8ohm, 280W/4ohm (amp B).
    According to Polk's spec sheet, amp A should have no issues running these speakers. And in all technicality, it did run them. They hit more than comfortable volume levels, and didn't have any distortion. They still had great midrage, but the soul was sucked right out of them. The sound was much more flat, and the bass impact went from a thump in the chest to a yawn.
    Amp B really brought the speakers to their full potential. Huge bass impact, a highly focused locked in center image, and an engaging presentation that I won't forget.

    That demo had enough impact for me to know that the 707s would be an excellent buy, but it wouldn't be worth it until I had the right amp. I decided to hold off on the whole purchase.

    I'm not saying you should or shouldn't keep you LSiMs. I'm just saying I think all that you've discovered is that your amp isn't a good match with those speakers. And that the ratings on a speak sheet to not promise a good pairing.
     
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