Cerwin vega D9 vs Polk SDA 2B

hifi junkyhifi junky Posts: 24
edited April 2014 in Speakers
Hello to all, I guess Im the new kid block!
I currently own a pair of Cerwin Vega D9's, which I have been the original owner since 1988. They have and still perform great! Horns have been replaced, woofers refoamed.

I still like to crank up the tunes and enjoy listiening to my music moderate to loud. Though my taste have changed over the years, I still listen to metal, hard and classic rock, also jazz and blues.

I am concidering a pair of SDA 2B's to replace my D9's. These speakers have had the tweeters updated from the SL2000 to the SL3000 and come with the interconnect cable.

If there are any owers of the SDA 2B that may share the same musical taste, I would appreciate your opinion and advise before making my decission to trade my D9's.

Thanks.
Post edited by hifi junky on

Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 38,154
    edited February 2014
    It would be major upgrade from what you have now, IMO.
    These speakers have had the tweeters updated from the SL2000 to the SL3000

    Have the crossovers been modded for use with the SL3000?

    What are you using for gear?
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  • Dennis GardnerDennis Gardner Posts: 4,727
    edited February 2014
    My standard answer has always been if you like CVs sound, you won't like Polk's, but that is simply due to the totally opposite design goals of the speakers. CV has always been about loud, in your face horn driven highs with very efficient cabinets that pump bloated bass very easily with very little power.

    Polk's SDA design has always been a lot more controlled/balanced sound with dome tweeters that are easier on your ears, bass that is tightly controlled with passive bass radiators that are less efficient, require a good amp design and produce a great soundstage through SDA technology.

    They are basically total opposite by design.....I recall this being East coast vs West coast sound.

    The only reservations about my statement above is that it is about CV speakers in general, and the D9s are touted as one of CV's best speakers ever made, so without personal experience with D9s, I will stand by my general statements, but defer to someone that has actual experience with the 9s.
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  • geppy1geppy1 Posts: 2,451
    edited February 2014
    We started carrying CVs in the mid 80s. They are very efficient, play loud , have pretty colors,go boom boom and were a pretty good value for what you got The SDA 2Bs are in a different league and TLd even better. The above post mentioned different. That is also very true
  • On3s&Z3r0sOn3s&Z3r0s Posts: 992
    edited February 2014
    I owned CVs (not the D9's although I've heard them... I had VS-150s) for longer than I owned Polks. I loved the bass on those for the kind of music I liked then and on the kind of equipment I ran them on. I had friends with KEF and Polks and I still preferred the CVs back then. Of course, my friends had the Polk and KEF equivalent of the VS-150s... not speakers that have stood the test of time the way the 2B's have.

    I have 2B's now with the similar tweeter upgrade, and I know for sure I never would have had the same experience with any of the music I listen to now with the CVs. There's just no way they CVs could compete with the upgraded 2Bs in the mids and highs, IMO. However, my personal feeling is that the stock 2Bs can't compete with the CVs in low bass.

    That being said, tonight I was giving the 2Bs a serious audition after having made some modifications that are getting to be popular, replacing the inductors for the dimensional drivers with new ones that have a lower DCR. I was listening to the latest NIN album, which has some tracks that will seriously let you know where your low vs mid bass is at, and I was very close to getting just what I want out of them. I don't still own the CVs but from memory the low bass on the 2Bs is still not quite as well controlled, but the mid-bass and up are at a completely different level. I just can't imagine the VS-150s ever getting to that level of detail.

    Could you manage to run them both side by side for a couple of days? If not, pretty much your call on how much a bass fan you are. For me... with the NIN it's a toss up, but I listen to more blues and jazz lately, and for that the 2Bs win hands down all day every day and twice on Sunday.
  • Mr. BubblesMr. Bubbles Posts: 736
    edited February 2014
    If you really like the CV's you may not like the Polks. They are COMPLETELY different! I personally feel the 2B is one of the best speakers I have heard. Not competely the best but I am a huge SDA fan and they are the best SDA's IMO. Even better than their big brothers. But they sound NOTHING like a CV. Unless your tastes are changeing and you are looking for more refined, balanced, detailed music stick with what you know you like.
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  • hifi junkyhifi junky Posts: 24
    edited February 2014
    I am currently using a Sony STR-DB940 reciever for my surround sound and use it's pre amp output for music. I use a Sansui B2102 power amp to drive my fronts, rated at 200 watts per channel at 0.003% THD into 8 ohms. For surround and music I also use a powered sub, Acoustc Profiles PSL-SUB10.

    Im sure that the sub can compensate the low end if required when using the SDA's. Would love to keep the D9's and the SDA's, but unfortunately it's not an option. I will be giving the Polk's a listen this weekend before trading. Not an easy decision for me.

    I will post a review after listening and comparing them both. Thanks for the replies.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 7,850
    edited February 2014
    I bought(new) and owned CV D7's for 25yrs even took out the horn tweeters and replaced with peerless silk domes to tame them a little. I loved them for many years, but one day I seen Polk SDA in our local paper for 100.00. I went to look and they were SDA2A's. I took them home and compared to my Cerwin Vegas yep the CV's were LOUD and went BOOM but the articulation of the SDA's just blew me away I heard stuff in the recording's I had never heard before. My pair of SDA's had a bad poly switch and therefore would snap the tweeter before it ever got loud. I got on here and these guys gave me all the help I needed to completely recap my crossovers got rid of the poly switch for a resistor and I NEVER looked back. Gave the CV's to a friend who always wanted them. You'll need a good common ground amp to run them the way they need to be fed BUT you will hear more of the music you have been missing. Less but better bass if that makes any sense and yes the can dig deep and energize a room.
  • leftwinger57leftwinger57 Posts: 2,813
    edited February 2014
    I never heard the CVs but if interested in the Polks you must pay attention to details. Like using the i/c cable which can be limiting in some cases, must be front facing w/ no toe in or out,a spred probably no wider than 9', needs a good powerful common gnd amp.Most say 200wpc as the general rule, and decent speaker cable 14gu or lower. If you have stock 2Bs there are plenty of mods to bring them into the 21st century and they will last for 20 more years. If your house topography can't do the Polks right then they are not for you. Also as you will no doubt hear that avrs can not compete w/ power amps and most are advised to at the very least get an avr w/ pre outs so you can add an amp later on. You like bass heavy metal then CVs it is but if you want to hear the strainer on a snare drum snap or instruments you never heard before on recordings you've heard a million times then Polks do that.
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  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,443
    edited February 2014
    I had the D9's and they are a great speaker. Very different from the polk's, but better than most CV speakers. I suggest trying both and selling the pair you like the least.
  • schoolyardschoolyard Posts: 1
    edited April 2014
    It's funny I still use my CV-417r main speakers in my HT setup,I bought them new in 78',have rebuilt them and they sound great still,I keep trying to replace them but they are very rare and sound fantastic,they are matched with polk center,subs and surrounds.
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  • My standard answer has always been if you like CVs sound, you won't like Polk's, but that is simply due to the totally opposite design goals of the speakers. CV has always been about loud, in your face horn driven highs with very efficient cabinets that pump bloated bass very easily with very little power.

    Polk's SDA design has always been a lot more controlled/balanced sound with dome tweeters that are easier on your ears, bass that is tightly controlled with passive bass radiators that are less efficient, require a good amp design and produce a great soundstage through SDA technology.

    They are basically total opposite by design.....I recall this being East coast vs West coast sound.

    The only reservations about my statement above is that it is about CV speakers in general, and the D9s are touted as one of CV's best speakers ever made, so without personal experience with D9s, I will stand by my general statements, but defer to someone that has actual experience with the 9s.

    Hello,

    This is a very interesting thread(particularly your post.) As both an owner of Polk Audio and Cerwin Vega,I don't entirely agree with your statements.
    I am new to both brands and when I first saw CW's XLS series,I was both impressed and equally skeptical(because the color scheme of CW's products,seem to cater to the hood-rats that are more concerned with flashy colors and a manic preoccupation with excessive bass.)
    However though...CW's XLS line in particular,fascinated me,because they were the only home audio speakers I had ever seen,that had horn-shaped wave-guides for both mid & tweeter drivers.
    I don't know if you are aware of this,but like Polk Audio,CW's XLS line have dome tweeters as well.
    Also...the XLS line have crossovers with a bi amp design,so in my opinion..I have no reason to think Cerwin Vega did not have accuracy in mind.
    Different companies have different method of achieving precision audio and in CW's case,unlike Polk Audio...CW has the advantage of their proprietary wavguides and I've had my XLS-12's for 2 days and I can attest to their clean sound and controlled,tight bass.
    As for how my XLS-12's measure up to a similarly priced pair of Polk Audio floor-standing speakers...like say,the RTiA5's..well...I would certainly be interested to read some opinions on those PA models(as the spec sheet figures are interesting.)
    As much as I love my Polk Audio TSx220b's...well...to my ears,their bass response doesn't seem to go as low as their spec sheet suggests...but they are very clean sounding and with the addition of my Cerwin Vega's...bass is no longer an issue.

    One of the compelling factors that won me over,with the CW XLS-12's,is of course,their 3-way,horn-shaped design(but equally attractive),is the size and weight of the cabinet...which is very sturdy(unlike virtually all other brands,which are tall,thin and give one the impression,that if one were to cut a loud **** near them,they would topple over like a domino.)
    If there are indeed,any sonic advantages with the RTiA5's,over the XLS-12's...well...I imagine that the differences are marginal and of no consequence(in terms of what my home theater goals are.)
    That is to say,I am using my CW XLS-12's as front speakers,so since they are furthest away from my ears,those horn-shaped wave-guides for the mids and hi's are critical to have,as far as I'm concerned.
    I mean...how can you go wrong,with such a wide sweet spot?

  • Cerwin-Vega and Polk have very different sounds. In my opinion, the SDAs are a vastly superior speaker, but many people would prefer the CV sound. CV has chest thumping, booming bass...whereas the SDAs are going to have a tighter, more controlled bass, but without quite as much extension. The SDAs are going to be much more subdued in the higher frequencies as well. CVs are typically more in your face and louder. Personally I'd give the SDAs a shot. Why not get the SDAs and keep the CVs for now so you can compare the two?
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  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 6,572
    edited April 2015
    hifi junky wrote: »
    I use a Sansui B2102 power amp to drive my fronts, rated at 200 watts per channel at 0.003% THD into 8 ohms.

    Kewl amp! One of the things that contributes to poor sound on CV's or any speaker is under driving with receivers. Good luck with your demo. I'd opt for the 2B's. ;)

    A random snagged image of a B2102.

    100_2450.jpg
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • Polkie2009Polkie2009 Posts: 3,836
    kevintomb wrote: »
    Ya, those Cerwin Vega's are totally opposite of the Polk Audio sound. Much more of a loud party speaker.
    I remember back in the mid 80's an acquaintance bought a pair of C-V speakers (not sure of model# , seems like it was a three-way with a 12" woofer ). He bought them at a big discount store outfit here in Houston called Custom Hi-Fi . Every___ freaking weekend they'd have a blowout sales going on and they sold a boatload of C-V speakers. Long story short, he eventually fried one of the speakers at a frat party one night, the kind that gets louder and louder the drunker people got. Never heard if he ever fixed it or not.

  • George GrandGeorge Grand Posts: 12,272
    Kewl amp! One of the things that contributes to poor sound on CV's or any speaker is under driving with receivers. Good luck with your demo. I'd opt for the 2B's. ;)

    The other contributor to the C-V poor sound is that they are pretty poor sounding to start with. My brother-in-law came up here to visit around 1990. I was using four RTA-11t with a Dynaco Quadaptor and a Carver M1.5t in a fairly big room. It sounded pretty damn good. A year later I go to visit him in Tampa, and before I even get to hear his new C-V D9's, he says "You need to get a pair of speakers that can put out some bass." Then he proceeds to demo those monstrosities and it was pure hell. Those things are the equivalent of a home PA speaker. They are not designed to finesse anything, just to get a vague idea across to as many people as possible at one time. Truly a speaker for the unrefined listener of unrefined music.

    By the time he came back to visit a year later, I had replaced the RTA-11t's with a pair of Carver Amazing Platinum Mk.IV. He made no mention of bass on that visit.

    Rich, I didn't know you had the hots for those amps. I had at least a couple go through here some years ago, but had no idea about you and them.
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 6,572
    George, I didn't mean to imply simply adding a good amp would solve all their issues.....lol

    I sold some CV's for Victor's brother on ebay, local pickup. I had them hooked to my Sanders amp (600WPC @ 4) and ModWright pre amp, ModWright Sony tube CD player. Guy comes over to demo and pick up, I play them, he's satisfied they are OK. He asks me what about those big black speakers (my hybrid InnerSound ESL's). 20 sconds into the demo he pops up and says, "How can you stand them things? You're selling the wrong speakers!" LOL

    I always liked Sansui gear. What, around '86 IIRC for that amp? I just like to look though, don't need no more stuff here. Thanks anyway. :smile:
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • Polkie2009Polkie2009 Posts: 3,836
    SCompRacer wrote: »
    hifi junky wrote: »
    I use a Sansui B2102 power amp to drive my fronts, rated at 200 watts per channel at 0.003% THD into 8 ohms.

    Kewl amp! One of the things that contributes to poor sound on CV's or any speaker is under driving with receivers. Good luck with your demo. I'd opt for the 2B's. ;)

    A random snagged image of a B2102.

    100_2450.jpg

    I'm digging the cool 80's gear there too SCR! 1986 or 85 sounds about right.
  • ClunieClunie Posts: 1
    I run a pair of D9s and a pair of RT ia7s.... For critical listening, the polks are far superior, but for hard rock, especially 70s style, the Vegas will blow the Polks right out of the room. i run the Vegas with a Yamaha PS5000, its insanely powerful, and when you feed D9s 300+ watts... wow! Pink Floyd, Ozzy and Metallica are jaw dropping! Even at max power, the Polks cant even be heard! Id keep both if you got the space....
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 7,850
    3year old thread I'm sure the decision was made long ago.
  • chilidavechilidave Posts: 1
    68919ewjc5el.jpg

    4- CV D-9s and 2-Bose 901s with an Onkyo TX-DS989 Reciever(first ever 7.1 surround in one housing)
  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 1,537
    I'm sure that sounds craptastic.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 15,098
    It's an interesting -- mélange.

    I am still wondering where the rest of the "7.1" comes from. I count 6.1, max(?) -- assuming there's an undocumented subwoofer in there someplace.
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  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 1,148
    Way to much CV speaker.

    I had a pair of D8 back in the 80's. I thought they were great till I heard a pair of Advent Maestro and I never looked back. I did keep the CV as a garage speaker till y2k and then they were done. They did go loud but lacked a lot of detail. A great teen speaker.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

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  • ptrooperptrooper Posts: 198
    I remember many many moons ago when i was knee high to a grasshopper (16) explaining to a salesman how i would love a second set of Bose 901's series 5 i.e...you know,piggy backing. I was then informed of the K I S S theory and I'll never forgot what he said word for word!, "Keep It Simple Stupid"
  • dannylightningdannylightning Posts: 183
    CV made some awesome speakers, from what i remember mine were awesome, huge bass, killer for rock and roll, crazy loud and in your face. definitely a head banger speaker lol. i loved mine but it was a long time ago and back than i only listened to rock music..

    i dont think i have heard the polks you are asking about but i have heard some older polks with larger woofers and even some big old klipsch speakers with 2-12's, one 12 in the front and one 12 in the back of each speaker, they all sounded very different as people are saying. i preferred the sound of the CV over the klipsch, i remember the old polks sounding really good. but nothing i have heard has had floor shaking bass like the old CV speakers except for actual powered subs and powered subs are a very different type of bass.

    you will probably find the polks to be a better sounding speaker as far as sound quality goes but you are gonna trade bass for higher end sound quality. but its hard to say which you will like better till you get the polks in your room and hear how they sound.
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