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  1. #1
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    Polk Rti6?????????

    Hello people I have a question: Anybody here ever done a side by side or are very familiar with how the Polk Rti6 compares to the Paradigm Mini Monitor??? I found that the polk Rti6 was much clearer and more crisp than the mini. Imaging was a lil better on the Rti6 and the midrange and high end was more pronounced without sounding rolled off. Cant say the same with respect to the mini but I will say the low frequency extension was much better on the mini. That is where the Rti6 falls short---the low end of the spectrum. The Polk also was a bit more forward and at times a little too bright especially on some recordings from Linkin Park Meteora. Chester's voice was at times a lilttle harsh but I made a simple adjustment on the receiver and that made a huge difference. Anyways, IMHO the Rti6 was better over all than the Paradigm Mini Monitor with the eception of bass extension. Could anybody here give me an idea how the Rti6 would fare against the Ascend CBM-170??? The Rti6 is not near as good as the Paradigm Studio 20 but is better than the mini. So, is it better than the Ascend CBM-170??? Thank you for your time.
    Phil


    PS Oh also got to hear some Klipsch speakers and all I can say is "they are not for me". Dont like the tweeters at all. Way too bright and way too harsh. Bass is bloated, not tight and articulate, and very sloppy sounding to me. talking about being forward---Klipsch wrote the book on it. Some people prefer that type of sound and there is nothing wrong with that. Just not for my taste.
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  2. #2
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    I likedthe CBM-170, but I really couldn't put on par with the Studio 20, even at it's best...maybe the Mini Monitor. Though I didn't get to do direct head to head comparison in the same room.

    You've been posting these for quite sometime now. You'll probably have to either find someone who owns both the Mini Monitor and the CBM-170's or buy the 170's on your own to do an evaluation...this is still the biggest downside of factory direct speaker outfits...all the glaring reviews and opinions of their fans don't really mean anything because there's too much uncertainty about their comparability with other speakers. I experienced this with my Axiom M3Ti's as well.

  3. #3
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    Kex you are right have been pondering the Ascend thing for some time now. But you seem to know what you are talking about and I appreciate you being honest and describing your experiences with the Ascend CBM-170. If it is only slightly better than the mini then the Polk Rti6 will win me over. The real problem is I can not afford the Studio 20's right now nor in the near future. So, I been trying to find something similiar in performance to the studio 20's w/o the studio 20's price. I have also given consideration to the PSB B25 but the closest dealer is over 100 miles away. heck if I have to drive that far I would be better off puting that money towards the studio 20's. I just dont have the money or the time to be ordering from the internet only companies either. Aperion offers free shipping both ways but am not too interested in them right now. Honestly, the Rockets with the Vifa tweeter have all my attention but those speakers are heavy and I am chancing shipping both ways. Polk Lsi series speakers use a Vifa tweeter and are very nice but too pricey for my budget. The Von Sheikwart Vr1 would be all I need and can get them shipped to me for $1000 even---no tax no nothing. But, dont have tham much to spend. If I did I would end up with the studio 20's and the cc-470. The Polks Rti6's are $380 unless Crutchfield is running a sale. My local dealer NEVER does that because of the so called "Protected Territories" with respect to pricing. Crutchfield had the Rti6's for $339.99 just a week or so ago. However, they are now back to full price. Usually around the holiday shopping season Polk and Crutchfield offer some outstanding values and I may just wait and see what they will be offering this Fall. I could always go with the Paradigm Monitor 3's for my fronts, cc-370 for my center, and minis for my rears all version v.4 for about what the Polks would cost me. Likewise, the Ascend cbm-170's front and rear and a cmt-340c would also be comparable in price. If I go Polk will use the Rti6's for fronts, Csi5 for center, and Rti4's for rears. Keep in mind, the Polks Rti series uses 3/4" MDF and are finished with a real wood veneer. Not so with Ascend or Paradigm monitor series. Since I have a sub, Polks lack of low bass punch is not a real concern to me. Lots of people say the same about the Ascend cbm-170's. Not a lot of bass punch. I also love the sound of the B&W 602s3 but once again $600 a pair. Time I buy a matching center and say the 600s3's still kinda out of my budget. Tell you what could you do me a favor??? How about righting up a full review of your experiences with the Ascend cbm-170's. That way, I will have a review from someone that knows what he is talking about. Compare and contrast what your opinions are thus giving me a better idea of just how good the 170's actually are. A good friend of mine told me that the 170's were way too forward for his taste and that he preffered the more "laid-back" lush sound of the B&W 602s3. Too bad he lives in Texas and I am in Kentucky or I could get a demo. The thing is about Ascend though is there is an awful lot of consitentcy in how well the cbm-170's are received on various forums including here. It would be too difficult a task to have some kind of "marketing scheme" and still retain that kind of uniformity. Many others are also like such as Axiom, Rockets, Swanns, Aperions, and etc. But NONE seem to have the following of the Ascends. I have tried and tried to find someone remotely close to me to do a demo but to no avail. Care to help me out Kex??? Its your call.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    The first thing I'd like to know is..did you do a direct comparison of the Polks and the Mini Monitors at the same store with the same room setup with the same equipment and the levels matched? If not, your test was useless.

    Personally I found the Mini Monitors to be a far better speaker than the Polks, and of course they are built much better. Does your dealer not offer a 1 year upgrade? Any good dealer will give you 1 year to return the speakers at 100% of what you paid for them as long as you get something more expensive. You just pay the difference. Get the MiniMonitors now, then when you have the money go back and trade them in on the Studio 20's which is appearantly where you want to be in the end.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    The first thing I'd like to know is..did you do a direct comparison of the Polks and the Mini Monitors at the same store with the same room setup with the same equipment and the levels matched? If not, your test was useless.

    Personally I found the Mini Monitors to be a far better speaker than the Polks, and of course they are built much better. Does your dealer not offer a 1 year upgrade? Any good dealer will give you 1 year to return the speakers at 100% of what you paid for them as long as you get something more expensive. You just pay the difference. Get the MiniMonitors now, then when you have the money go back and trade them in on the Studio 20's which is appearantly where you want to be in the end.
    Yes, I did an A/B test with both the mini and the Rti6 on the same exact euipment, in the same exact room. True, in low end punch the mini was much better. However, in the midrange and high end the Polk was crisper and clearer and did not sound as rolled off on the higher registers. Imaging was about equal with the edge going to the Polk Rti6's. When compared to the studio 20's well um there was no comparison. The 20's kicked butt. The minis and/or the Polk Rti6's were not even close. The only complaint I had about the Rti6's were they were a little bit forward and at times bright sounding almost to the point of being harsh. I did some tweaking and attenuated the treble a bit and this improved the sound to the point that the Rti6's were significantly better sounding over all than the minis with the exception of low end thump. The Polks sounded a little more open on the top end whereas the mini sounded restrained and boxy. Obviously, my Paradigm dealer does not offer a trade
    up program. If they did I would of had to pay regular price. The 20's are much more expensive both for dealer cost as well as shipping. I still get a good discount but not enough to make that much of a difference. I could get the 20's for maybe $650-700 a pair brand new. Right now this is out of my price range. You have any other suggestions as to a speaker brand that can provide the performance of the studio 20's but not cost over $500 a pair? I dont want used because a buddy of mine just got burned doing just that on ebay.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddeoowphil38
    Care to help me out Kex??? Its your call.
    oddeoowphil: I'm going to avoid writing a review of the Ascend speakers just now because it's been several months since the only time I heard them. And at that time it was my first introduction to the company. I didn't take any notes, so any points I make might not be accurate. I do remember thinking they were very good for the money. A friend of mine bought 5 speakers from them on someone else's advice for his new home theater. The only other speakers he has are Energy Connoisseur C-3's, a few years older. Eliminating the bass in our comparison by using the same sub, we found them to be extremely close in performance to the C-3's. I';d put the 170's maybe a bit ahead of them, I seem to recall them being smoother overall. I'd put the C-3's as equivalent to the Mini Monitor/Monitor 3 for the most part. Given the $150 price difference, they're a great buy. Probably a bit better than the Axiom M3Ti's I bought at $225 on sale. (I think those are $300 or so now too). I use to own an earlier version of the Mini-Monitors briefly and I can say, after direct comparisons that the Axiom's sound better to me above 80Hz or so (again,not much bass). So I don't doubt the Ascends could top the Mini Monitors at all.
    But there's a real substantial difference between the Mini's and the Studio 20's and I just didn't get that level of performance from the 170's.

    Keep in mind, to some people, they might very well soudn better than the Studio 20's. Consider something though, I've followed Rocket, Axiom, Ascend, and Swan reviewers over the past 2 years, and every one of their webforums always claim their low models to be better than the Studio 20's. Yet most of these buyers never own them and can't audition them side by side so they can claim familiarity.

    Sooner or later you'll just have to pull the trigger. If you buy factory-direct, it's a risk.
    I like Polk's speakers for the money. I'll disagree with N Abstentia - the Mini Monitors are not better built than the Rti6 IMO. I'm pretty sure Polk doesn't use cardboard toilet paper rolls for port tubes, and 3/4" MDF is a good step up on 5/8" HD particle board IMO. I think the Paradigms sound a wee bit better though (but they are bright, if you like warm, laidback sound, they're not for you).

    oddeoowphil, if you really want a speaker for $400 or less that will top the Studio 20's, IMO you're left looking at the DIY route. Shoot me a PM and I'll give you some ideas - there's some kits out there that use Audax Aerogel woofers similar to the Ascend speakers and by all measurements I've seen and accounts I've heard are much better (and coincidentally enough look so much like the Ascends that I wonder if Ascend "borrowed" from these designs). They're cheaper. There's several kit designs you can buy that can be assembled for you and still fit in your budget. I replaced my Studio 40's and 20's with a $350 ish DIY speaker (as low as $225 if you build the cabinets and assemble yourself). It was a slight upgrade soudnwise at the speaker level over the 20's, but the money I made selling the 2 pairs of Studio 20's (I kept the 40's) paid for 7 speakers.

    But the same problem remains, you're taking my opinion and hoping you would share it. You won't be able to demo one of these speakers until you receive it. I don't see this problem changing.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    "I like Polk's speakers for the money. I'll disagree with N Abstentia - the Mini Monitors are not better built than the Rti6 IMO. I'm pretty sure Polk doesn't use cardboard toilet paper rolls for port tubes, and 3/4" MDF is a good step up on 5/8" HD particle board IMO. I think the Paradigms sound a wee bit better though (but they are bright, if you like warm, laidback sound, they're not for you)."

    When I said 'better built' I wasn't actually talking about the boxes, I was talking more about the drivers and crossovers. Polk drivers have always been on the fragile side, look at those thin stamped frames and tiny voice coils. The crossovers (in the cheaper models like the Rti6 anyway) use the cheapest components available. In fact I've got yet another pair of Polks in the shop right now that were brought in for repair..both woofers have misaligned voice coils and are scraping badly. Looks like the spiders came unglued.

  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    That's discouraging. Cheap crossover parts should be fine though, quality components aren't expensive and probably wouldn't improve sound at all. Polk uses some pretty good drivers in some of their models, can't speak for the Rti line.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    When I work on Polks, here's the driver I use to replace them. The Polk frame is on the left, note the thin stamped frame. My replacement is on the right with a nice cast frame and a 2" voice coil. Plus I can buy THREE of these for what Polk wants for ONE replacement.


  10. #10
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    And here's the tiny little Polk voice coil


  11. #11
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    Thanks kex for giving me a better ideaof how the Cbm-170's perform. It appears they are very close to the mini's which I do like. But, they are no where as good as the 20's. To be honest, I am not the build your own type. The kits are a good idea but by the time I pay for the parts, cabinets, and etc. I might as well just buy the 20's. I think at this time I will go with the studio 20's and use my cc-170 for the time being. Then, I will get the cc-470 asap. Finally, I will in all liklihood end up with another pair of the 20's for my rear stage but will use my Titans until I can get another pair. That way I will be more than happy, not wasting my time demoing speakers I have never heard or driving all over Gods country finding a dealer that carries this brand and etc. So step one: Buy (1) set of the studio 20's.
    Step two: Buy the cc-470.
    Step three: Buy (1) set of the studio 20's.
    Step four: Buy an SVS PB10-ISD.
    I believe this is a better plan of action and should be able to do this within a year. I may also decide to go with the Polk Rti6's(fronts), Csi5(center), and the Rti4's(rears) instead. I have demoed the Polks extensively and do like the Rti series. Another strong contender may be the Monitor 3's(fronts), cc-370(center), and the minis(rears). Just depends on my cash flow. I realize the studios are a significant step above the other two systems but it all depends on my finances. Another consideration is the B&W 602s3 configuration that is also a step above the previously mentioned systems but is not as expensive as the studio system. The B&W's would be fine but IMHO the studios are where it is at. Not sure yet just how things will pan out. Crutchfield always offers great deals on Polks during the holiday season just before Thanksgiving. If the deals are too sweet to pass up i will end up with the Polk Rtis.

  12. #12
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say the CBM-170 are nowhere near as good...sometimes we have a way of making huge differences between components out of small differences...but those small differences are what you pay for and could annoy the heck out of you.

    As for the DIY kit route...it's not nearly as hard as you think - you can buy them already assembled, and save hundreds...

    If you go with your plan, I'd buy a good sub before buying Studio rears...you'll enjoy it more. Titans are quite adequate as rears unless you're into SACD/DVD-A multichannel audio...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    I wouldn't say the CBM-170 are nowhere near as good...sometimes we have a way of making huge differences between components out of small differences...but those small differences are what you pay for and could annoy the heck out of you.

    As for the DIY kit route...it's not nearly as hard as you think - you can buy them already assembled, and save hundreds...

    If you go with your plan, I'd buy a good sub before buying Studio rears...you'll enjoy it more. Titans are quite adequate as rears unless you're into SACD/DVD-A multichannel audio...
    Kex I meant the minis and/or the cbm-170's are not near as good over all as the studio 20's. I like my Paradigm PS1000 v.4 sub but down the road I want an SVSPB10-ISD. Chances are I will have to use the Titans as rears for a good while which will do just fine. I do not listen to sacd or dvd-a at all. Much prefer 2.1 listening with music. Hence, I listen to music 65% vs 35% home theater use. Thanks for the advice.
    Oh, ever demoed Tyler Acoustics products? Just curious.

  14. #14
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    Sorry, don't recall ever hearing any Tyler Acoustic speakers...are they factory direct too?

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    Yes they are but definately of a higher quality. Everything from their cabinents to their components, crossovers, and etc. are top notch as well as being expensive. The Freedom line is their entry-level line is on par with Paradigm Studio series--as far as pricing goes. However, a few comments I have read here and there have mentioned that the Freedom F2's smoke the Studio 20's in performance. And the F2's are $775 a pair which includes a 1"MDF cabinent and a Vifa Ring Tweeter. By most accounts a lot of people claim the Vifa Ring tweeter is well ............ ummmm awesome!!!

  16. #16
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Well, I confess I have not tried out their Freedom line, as it is relatively new... But as an owner of many of their other speakers, I can say that Tyler is definitely the "real deal" so to speak... The F-2s use the exact same cabinets as my Taylo Reference Monitors, and the SEAS woofers used are the same ones in some of the Joseph Audio monitors I believe (that cost approximately 3 times the price of the F-2s)... At least on paper they should sound quite good for the money...

    Definitely go and listen though (especially since you are right there). Just let Ty know you are coming and I am sure he will show you a grand time... I met him in Vegas at CES this year, and I have spoken to him numerous times over the phone... He is a true gentleman in every sense of the word (not to mention a genius when it comes to designing speakers).

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  17. #17
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Vifa's ring radiators are pretty good, but having that tweeter alone doesn't guarantee success. I've personally botched up a few crossovers with good drivers...so much so that they were unlistenable, lucky for me I had help at the time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by drseid
    Well, I confess I have not tried out their Feedom line, as it is relatively new... But as an owner of many of their other speakers, I can say that Tyler is definitely the "real deal" so to speak... The F-2s use the exact same cabinets as my Taylos Reference Monitors, and the SEAS woofers used are the same ones in some of the Joseph Audio monitors I believe (that cost approximately 3 times the price of the F-2s)... At least on paper they should sound quite good for the money...

    Definitely go and listen though (especially since you are right there). Just let Ty know you are coming and I am sure he will show you a grand time... I met him in Vegas at CES this year, and I have spoken to him numerous times over the phone... He is a true gentleman in every sense of the word (not to mention a genious when it comes to designing speakers).

    ---Dave
    Thanks for the info. I plan on going and listening the next chance I get. Ty is very nice I have spoken with him a couple of times myself. The Freedom line looks very attractive to me both in terms of price and performance.

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    Very true there Kex. But most people or shall I say "audiophiles" seem to prefer the Vifa ring tweeter over others such as the ones used in the Paradigm Studio series. If the Freedom F2's outperform the Studio 20's then I will be a Tyler owner very soon. The line also has a couple of center channels speakers the least expensive as being only $350 (FC1). Not bad at all considering using Seas dual 5" mids and a Vifa tweeter. Heck, the larger one (FC2) uses dual 7" Seas mids and Vifa tweeter and is only $525. The Paradigm cc-470 retails for $650 alone but could be had for say $590-625 yet does not use real wood veneer. Not taking anything away from Paradigm at all but maybe just maybe the Freedom line does offer better bang for the buck. Do you think my Titans v.3's will work ok for rears if I go with Tyler???

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    If the Paradigm Studio 20 is as good as the PSB Stratus Mini, then the Ascend's will be destroyed. A PSB Stratus is miles ahead of anything Ascend makes.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddeoowphil38
    Very true there Kex. But most people or shall I say "audiophiles" seem to prefer the Vifa ring tweeter over others such as the ones used in the Paradigm Studio series. If the Freedom F2's outperform the Studio 20's then I will be a Tyler owner very soon. The line also has a couple of center channels speakers the least expensive as being only $350 (FC1). Not bad at all considering using Seas dual 5" mids and a Vifa tweeter. Heck, the larger one (FC2) uses dual 7" Seas mids and Vifa tweeter and is only $525. The Paradigm cc-470 retails for $650 alone but could be had for say $590-625 yet does not use real wood veneer. Not taking anything away from Paradigm at all but maybe just maybe the Freedom line does offer better bang for the buck. Do you think my Titans v.3's will work ok for rears if I go with Tyler???
    You could get by with Titans as rears as well...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddeoowphil38
    Very true there Kex. But most people or shall I say "audiophiles" seem to prefer the Vifa ring tweeter over others such as the ones used in the Paradigm Studio series. If the Freedom F2's outperform the Studio 20's then I will be a Tyler owner very soon. The line also has a couple of center channels speakers the least expensive as being only $350 (FC1). Not bad at all considering using Seas dual 5" mids and a Vifa tweeter. Heck, the larger one (FC2) uses dual 7" Seas mids and Vifa tweeter and is only $525. The Paradigm cc-470 retails for $650 alone but could be had for say $590-625 yet does not use real wood veneer. Not taking anything away from Paradigm at all but maybe just maybe the Freedom line does offer better bang for the buck. Do you think my Titans v.3's will work ok for rears if I go with Tyler???
    I haven't heard the Tyler Acoustics speakers, but on the surface they look a lot better to me than Ascend's stuff. The Freedom F-2 would be the equivalent of the Studio 20 in terms of size, etc...I know that tweeter is better than the one's in the Studio's. Seas makes great woofers. That doesn't guaranee success by itself, but these speakers look like a good buy to tell you the truth.
    Maybe you can find someone in your area....they have a home-demo program, anyone there close to you?

  23. #23
    Forum Regular vr6ofpain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    My replacement is on the right with a nice cast frame and a 2" voice coil. Plus I can buy THREE of these for what Polk wants for ONE replacement.

    who makes that driver?
    Borders
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    I haven't heard the Tyler Acoustics speakers, but on the surface they look a lot better to me than Ascend's stuff. The Freedom F-2 would be the equivalent of the Studio 20 in terms of size, etc...I know that tweeter is better than the one's in the Studio's. Seas makes great woofers. That doesn't guaranee success by itself, but these speakers look like a good buy to tell you the truth.
    Maybe you can find someone in your area....they have a home-demo program, anyone there close to you?
    Not sure Kex but Tyler Acoustics is only like 30 miles from me. I talked to Ty the owner and will be stting up a demo there soon. I agree I think maybe I found what I am looking for. If the F2's sound as good if not better than the Studio 20's then I made up my mind---I will then become a Tyler Acoustics owner. Will let you know what I find out. Thanks for the info.
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  25. #25
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vr6ofpain
    who makes that driver?
    They're called Silver Flutes, I'm not really sure who actually makes them. Here's the page:
    http://www.madisound.com/cgi-bin/ind...d=7840821.4762

    This driver is the one right in the middle of the page. They're nice drivers, just be aware that the cutout is a little bigger than the standard cutout for a 6.5" if you are planning on trying them out. I also said that's a 2" voice coil, I don't think that's right. It might be 1.5"

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