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Klipsch vs Polk

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by Chris Blount, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. sdicomp

    sdicomp Godfather

    Sep 12, 2006
    ........but the 'best' I could afford!!
  2. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    Well, this weekend I opened the Best Buy flyer and the speakers I purchased were on sale (Polk TSi-400) for $449 instead of $599 for a pair.

    After doing some math, I returned my Polk TSi-300's I purchased for the rear speakers and picked up two more TSi-400's. Then I price matched the original set.

    Long story short, all 4 main speakers (front/back, left/right) are now the same model and I got back $130 as icing on the cake.

    After running the setup procedure the sound is actually better and more full. Glad I saw that sale.

    Of course, my wife is about to kill me. Over the past month we have returned 7 speakers. I told her that I think the speaker saga is over now. I figure I'm going to have them for a long time so might as well get it right. :)
  3. FHSPSU67

    FHSPSU67 CE'er & Retired Engineer DBSTalk Club

    Jan 12, 2007
    Windber, PA
    Same here:)
  4. ShawnL25

    ShawnL25 Icon

    Mar 2, 2007
    I have had Klipsch in the livingroom for about 5 years ans I have been very happy with it. I hadn't noticed any distortion but I probably will now.

    (2) F3 front
    (1) C3 Center
    (2) S2 Rear
    (1) Sub 12
  5. nightrider

    nightrider Legend

    Jan 6, 2005
    rf-7 ii for front with audioquest meteor biwired speaker cables , 2 pairs of aq sky interconects, and ps audio ac-12 power cords on each component , boy did that make them rf-7ii sing , the best i ever herd period and i listened to alot
  6. lugnutathome

    lugnutathome Hall Of Fame

    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodburn, OR
    Yeah the RF7 speakers are incredible! Imagine having them up off the floor at about a 48 inch level with the RSW15 sub on the floor and an RC7 center about 30 inches off the floor. Yeah that's the business end of my big room!

    I've yet to find a speaker that can even compare with the RF7s without tripping into ludicrous cost factors (although many may feel that on the RF7s).

    Don "oooh yeah" Bolton

  7. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 22, 2004
    Not wishing to castigate Klipsch RF-7's, but I'm sure you can find many speakers in the RF-7 price range that equal or better them. Of course, you have to go to Audio specialty dealers to find them. (A few brands that come to mind are Definitive Tech and Paradigm)
  8. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    I can't believe I missed this thread the first time around.

    I love classic Klipsch speakers like the Heresy or Cornwall. Those were great speakers. Years ago, I had a pair of Forte II speakers at my home for months. While a generation or two later, they had a lot of Klipsch's classic touches with horn tweeter and midrange, a 10" woofer in a big box with a 12" passive radiator, if I remember correctly. Those things ROCKED! They weren't flat. You had to get in just the right seat. But I've rarely owned a speaker that was so much fun. I loved those speakers. Turn it up to 11.

    I bought my first pair of Polk Audio speakers when they just had three speakers in the line (the 7, 10 and Mini-Monitor) and continue to own Polks. I have a pair of LSi-9 speakers I mix music through. Klipsch speakers would never work for that. The best deal right now in small box speaker is $149 a pair, shipped, for a discontinued Polk speaker, the RTi4, from J&R Music. They seem to have an exclusive on this model and if you need a good, small box speaker, it's a killer for that price.

    I met Paul Klipsch a number of times. He was a genius, and if you wanted a high output, low distortion speaker (the classic Klipsch speakers had distortion figures an order of magnitude lower than their regular dome and cone driver counterparts), that played with impact and authority, and could, in the right setting, sound incredibly real, he could build it for you.
  9. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    The only Polk's I ever had in my LR were the SDA SRS monsters...some of the best speakers I've ever used, but alas that was in the mid 80's...I use nothing but Paradigm's now...about ready to drop the hammer on the newest iteration of the Studio 60's...
  10. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    I sold a pair of SRS speakers. That was a nice sale. They were huge. The very private joke around Polk was that SRS stood for Singing Refrigerator Speaker (it actually stood for Signature Reference Series).

    You're right, they did sound great. Those things could image outside of the box like nobody's business. Matt Polk's idea for the SDA driver did work, for both tightening and spreading the stereo image, but they were hard to set up. I kept pushing them to come out with new SDA speakers but the marketing and sales people kept saying, "No."

    I currently own a mish-mash of speakers. I have B&Ws that are 33 years old in my bedroom, and a pair of B&W 804s in my main system that are 4 years old. Old a/d/s/ speakers are my surround speakers and are in my dining area. I just bought, and haven't installed yet, a pair of Polk TCi80 in-ceiling speakers for my kitchen. They are expensive buggers, but Amazon had a pair that had been returned and I bought them for 40% off. They'll replace a pair of no-name Chinese 8" rounds in my kitchen ceiling that I have grown to hate.
  11. Kevin F

    Kevin F Hall Of Fame

    May 9, 2010
    This probably sound pathetic compared to some of the speaker sets some guys have around here but I have 2 Samsung home theatre systems. The HT-Z320 and the HT-C550. The Z320 is a great system. It has a deep subwoofer that I'm happy with, I would like a little more punch, but I can live with it. The midrange is there and the acoustics are great. It's set up in a very big room and performs very well. The C550 in the basement however, has a very weak bass and the front channels overwhelm the rear. The Z320 I feel is a much better system overall than the C550.

    Jut my opinions... :)

  12. Sackchamp56

    Sackchamp56 Godfather

    Nov 9, 2006

    I have to agree with you. Definitive Tech all the way!
  13. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    Did you know that DefTech was started by one of the founders of Polk Audio? Polk was started in the early 1970s by three friends who had met at John Hopkins University. They were George Klopfer (the businessman), Matt Polk (the engineer) and Sandy Gross (the salesman). Matt was the only good looking one of the bunch so they decided to make him the face of the company. Plus who'd want to own a Klopfer speaker? ;) It was a perfect partnership and worked very well.

    Eventually, Sandy Gross made so much money he decided to go to Hollywood and write screen plays. That didn't work out so well (imagine that!) so he thought he'd start a speaker company, Definitive Technology. There was bitter blood between DefTech and Polk Audio for years after that, but in the early part of this century, Sandy Gross sold DefTech to Directed Electronics, and Polk was purchased by Directed just a few years ago. They now own those two brands, plus a classic speaker company from the 1970s-'80s, a/d/s/. It says something about the sorry state of the audio industry that all three are owned by a company known for making car alarms.
  14. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    I just checked. As of March 1st of this year, Klipsch is now owned by Audiovox.

    What has my industry come to? :nono2:
  15. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    Oh my! Didn't know that. Not sure what to make of that.
  16. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    Damn Carl. I had to put on my reading glasses to make sure I read your post right. Klipsch must have fallen pretty hard for that to happen. :nono2:
  17. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    It's hard to say what's happened to the company. In the 1990s, Paul Klipsch, when he was in his own 90s and still very active (I saw him in the Las Vegas airport after CES, toting his own bag, getting food, like any other traveller), sold the company to a cousin, Fred Klipsch. Fred was a bean counter and things changed. The freaky, one-off side of the company disappeared (did you know that the company's official motto was BULLSH*T!). The old Klipsch would hand-make a pair of K-Horns in zebrawood for a customer. The new one, with an accountant at the helm, made a lot of money instead. Some of their first designs after the change-over were OK, but later they made some really awful big tower speakers and a ton of reasonably good computer speakers. I wouldn't be surprised if Fred sold the company for top dollar. Probably not, though. The whole audio business sucks right now.

    In any case, for me, their fall from grace was years ago.

    I've got to tell you a Paul Klipsch story. My real name is Gregg. I go through my life as people write my name, saying, "Yes, Gregg with two G's."

    I'm at CES and Paul Klipsch is working their booth. He comes up to me and in a leering voice, says, "Do you want a dirty picture?" In many of the booths there are babes signing swimsuit pictures, but at the Klipsch booth, a dirty picture is of Paul Klipsch in his overstacked and definitely dirty office. As he's signing it, he's looking at my name badge, writing G-R-E-G, and then he pauses.

    I say, "Yes, Mr. Klipsch, it's Gregg with two G's."

    The engineer screws an eye up to look me in the face and says, "You mean three, don't you?"

    Yes, Mr. Klipsch, I mean three.

  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Simply put, for the price, I don't think you can beat Polks. I don't even try other brands anymore, I just buy Polks from Crutchfield when I need them. I recently bought a 1080p 42" Panny plasma for my hidey-hole and it sits so low I couldn't use the center speaker I've had for years. I needed a low profile center speaker. Went to Crutchfield and they sell a very nice sounding $99 center speaker that doesn't interfere with my viewing at all. I've got a monstrous Polk center speaker in one room. It takes up a whole shelf by itself and puts out great sound. Don't remember what it cost, but it was expensive and well worth the price. Four Polk tower speakers and an almost 500W sub-woofer round out that 5.1 sound system.

  19. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 22, 2004
    The Klipschorn, first marketed in 1946, is still in production today with minor modifications.In the late forties and early fifties, Klipsch, Bozak and Altec-Lansing were the big names in loudspeakers, along with Western Electric and Jensen. In 1954, Edgar Vilichur developed the acoustic suspension speaker concept and introduced the Acoustic Research AR-1, which set a new standard for high quality, low distortion bass reproduction. The AR-1 had a Western Electric 755A 8 inch speaker for midrange and highs, so suffered somewhat in those ranges. Vilichur went on to develop the dome tweeter, and included two of them in the AR-3 in 1959. I purchased a pair of t AR-3's from AR at a meeting of the Poughkeepsie Audio Society in 1960, and still have them. My only regret is that I didn't have them upgraded (for free!) to AR-3A's by the factory when offered. They still sound magnificent today, a testimony to Vilichur's genius. The company was sold to Teldyne in 1967, and for several years, continued to make high quality speaker systems. Eventually, Teldyne decided to concentrate on lower priced speakers, and the AR line suffered. The company was dissolved in 2004, but the Acoustic Research name has been licensed by Audiovox, which as mentioned in an earlier post, now owns Klipsch. They also own Jensen and Advent, among other familiar brands.
    Incidentally, the AR-3 is one of two speakers on display at the Smithsonian Institution, the other being a bass reflex system.
  20. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    I did a big job for a customer, and as a thank-you, I got his AR-3a speakers, which were beat to death from years of abuse, refinished. I can't remember if we had to recone the woofers. I don't think we needed to. I think mechanically they were still fine after all these years.

    In any case, when they were done, I set them up in my living room and listened to them for a night. As you said, Cholly, they sounded great.

    His son now has the speakers at college, a second generation of rock 'n' rollers beating them up.

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