Opinions on Polk Monitor 50s [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-30-2005, 04:29 PM
Thinking of upgrading my crap sony speakers, how are these?

Shiden Kai
12-01-2005, 03:26 PM
What pre/pro / amp or receiver will you be playing with here?

I once had a pair of T90E's (Monitor 60's) and when paired with tube electronics I gained a whole new appreciation for what these particular (very) affordable towers were capable of. My experience with the rest of the Monitor line is limited, but word has not been entirely embracing with other models.

This should be a major improvement over anything Sony has out in the market (short of their incredibly expensive Qualia speakers). Inherently, the step to a speaker like the Monitor 50 will be massive. Your tastes, electronics, and room, will determine just how great of a step it will be for you.

12-02-2005, 12:30 PM
I'm running an Onkyo TX-8511 stereo receiver. It's not exactly the most expensive reciever in the world, but in my opinion it's the best new receiver anywhere near it's price range.

My cd player is actually pretty bad, but I'm going to upgrade it to an Onkyo DX-C390 soon. And I have a yamaha sub to make up for any deficiancies in the lower range.

As for the room it's in, it's very small, so I don't need tons of power, and it's easy to place the speakers in a good position.

I'm not totally decided on the Monitors, so if anyone has any other suggestions in the 400-600 dollar price range, I'd appreciate it. I prefer floor standing speakers, but if there's a pair of bookshelves that sound a lot better for the money I would definately consider it.

12-02-2005, 09:16 PM
Skip the Polks. They are very bright and are better for movies than for music. I had the Monitor 60's for a while and although I liked the clarity and imaging, I quickly tired of them. I ended up selling these and buying a pair of used towers that are much higher quality.

For your situation, I would go check out the clearance sales at GG. They are blowing out tower speakers at 50% off (which is about 30% off, cosidering their high prices, but still a good deal). Our local GG still had some Monitor Audio Silver and Gold towers that would sound much better than the Polks. They also have Klipsch (if you like it loud and booming) and Energy (the well regarded Connoiseur / "C" line).

If you don't have a GG nearby, I would recommend the Infinity Primus line over the Polks, or if you have a Tweeter store nearby, the Boston Acoustics towers.

Shiden Kai
12-02-2005, 10:16 PM

As nightflier noted, the Monitor series was designed with home theater in mind and the sound will naturally be over pronounced in the high end. While I maintain that the Monitor 60 is a good speaker on high powered tube electronics, it would be a bad match with your Onkyo - which is not too kind on the high end either.

This is not to claim there is something wrong with the product, it is simply the sonic signature of that product. So, with that said, you should aim for speakers that are more forgiving on the high end and do not represent a difficult impedence load.

If you want to buy 'brand new' with a 30 day trial period sight unseen and product unheard, than these would be excellent choices to investigate;


http://www.tyleracoustics.com/freedom.html (the F1)

On the used market, you can locate Vandersteen 2C floor standing monitors. The Audio Note Ax-TWO can also be easily attained within your budget (brand new) and would work well off of your existing amplifier.

Recommendations can span nearly forever. I will not recommend brand X over brand Y because in most case scenarios - its more about your taste than what product is inherently 'better'.

To re-itterate, I would emphasize more on locating speakers that are easier to drive and that are *not* aggressive in the high-end. Any of the above would fit the bill perfectly. A small room can present anomolies which may be difficult to tame - and its easy for many speakers to over-power a room. The more thought I give it, the more I feel the ax-two may be the right way to point you. (these can be bought from www.venushifi.com)

No matter which way you go - it should be an upgrade over what you have. Good hunting, and good luck!

12-03-2005, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the help guys. I only listen to music with that setup, so I won't get the Polks. I really despise harsh sounding highs, which I also get with these Sony speakers.

I'm still not quite sure what to get. I found some JBL E80s for 300/pr and I'm considering those since they seem like a good deal, but I'll mull over my choices for a while. The AX-2s are a definate possibility also.

12-04-2005, 12:55 PM
Though they'll look impressive in the room, you'll be paying an awfully heavy price sonically if you buy tower speakers for the dollar amount you've stated. Especially if this is to be a music system. In this price range, the extra 15-20hz of bass extension towers provide over comparably priced bookshelf speakers is created by severly compromising the quality of the midrange output of the drivers - the audio range you'll be hearing the most. For the same amount of money as those Polks or JBLs, you can go to virtually any high-end audio store and buy a set of quality bookshelf speakers made by a high-end manufacturer that'll run rings around any big box store tower. Save a bit and add a decent sub later and you'll end up with for more clarity and punch throughout a wider range than any similarly-priced towers would've provided (price of the sub included).