Another LSiM 705 Review

DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,120
edited April 1 in Speakers
Introduction

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Figure 1. Such Good Sound! The LSiM 705s were outstanding performers in both music and movies.

I discussed the 705's performance with movies in another thread. The electronics and cables used for this two channel music evaluation were:

Bryston BDP-1 digital player with external Samsung EVO 840 500 GB solid state drive.
Sony TA-E9000ES preamp/processor with integrated DAC, ver. 2.01
Adcom GFA-5500 power amp (200 wpc 8 ohms)
PS Audio P10 AC regenerator for all electronics
PS Audio AC-5 power cord for AC regenerator
PS Audio Statement SC power cords for all electronics
Signal Cable BNC-RCA digital coaxial cable, 6 feet
Monster Cable Z2 Reference speaker cables, 15 feet/side
Monster Cable Z100i interconnects, 1 meter
Isoclean audio grade fuses for power amp
HiFi Tuning Supreme audio grade fuse for AC regenerator
HiFi Tuning Silver Star audio grade for digital player
PS Audio Soloist SE in-wall passive power conditioner
Dedicated 20 amp AC circuit

Setup

The inner edges of the 705s are 7'-3" apart and each speaker outer rear corner is 12" from the rear wall. Neither speaker is close to a corner. The listener's ears are 12' from the front plane of the speakers. A center line through each speaker forms an isosceles triangle with a base length of 8.5' and sides of 14.5'. The center lines of the speakers cross at a point 1'-10' behind the listener's ears. The center line of each speaker forms an angle of 75 degrees with the triangle base. The ceiling is 12' and there are no room treatments.

Tweaks

LSiM705%20Jumpers-s_zpsniqx7y2w.jpg
Figure 2. The only change/upgrade was replacing the stock jumpers with homemade jumpers made from AudioQuest Go-4 speaker wire and AudioQuest BFA gold plated bananas. The stock jumpers are very good, but the AQ jumpers provided a small improvement in clarity and detail.

Packaging

The 705s arrived via UPS with no cosmetic damage, therefore the packaging, although it was a "suicide trip", did its job. In fairness, it must be noted that the packaging is designed for pallet shipping with a freight carrier and for truck delivery from store to customer. It is not designed for the rough and tumble world of package acrobatics that large, heavy items are subjected to by the likes of UPS. I could probably reuse the packaging, if it is carefully glued and taped back together.

The 705's double-wall corrugated shipping cartons were very thin and very soft. The form-fitting Styrofoam blocks were soft and spongy. In contrast, the LSi15's double-wall corrugated shipping cartons were very thick and very stiff. The LSi15's Styrofoam blocks were very thick, rigid and brick-like.

The magnetically attached grilles each had a bow that had to be gently straightened out. I did not experience any issues with the grilles falling off, even while playing bass heavy music.

004%20705%20Busted%20Styro%20End-s_zpsvsvqxgui.jpg
Figure 3. The designated right speaker after unboxing.

006%20705%20Busted%20Styro%20Right-s_zpszkk2mni4.jpg
Figure 4. The designated right speaker's Styrofoam packing.

005%20705%20Busted%20Styro%20Left-s_zpshbgsluto.jpg
Figure 5. The designated left speaker's Styrofoam packing.

Midwoofer Replacement

The 5-1/4" RD5569 midwoofer of the right speaker made a buzzing noise when low bass notes were played. Swapping these drivers between the left and right speakers confirmed that it was the right driver. I sent an email to Polk's customer service requesting a replacement driver. After no response for two days, I called CS on Thursday and was told that they hadn't gotten back to me because they were swamped. The agent entered my order and the replacement driver shipped the following Tuesday. I received it Friday of that week.

RD5569%20Mid-Woofer%20Test%20Buzz-s2_zpsovlr95ej.jpg
Figure 6. Phase and frequency response of defective right RD5569 driver, measured with Dayton Audio Test System Version 2.

RD5569%20Mid-Woofer%20Test%20Good-s2_zpsibx1x32m.jpg
Figure 7. Phase and frequency response of left RD5569 driver, measured with Dayton Audio Test System Version 2.

RD5569%20Mid-Woofer%20Test%20Replacement-s2_zpsvlxsidvw.jpg
Figure 8. Phase and frequency response of replacement right RD5569 driver, measured with Dayton Audio Test System Version 2.

Good Looks And Convenience

I was impressed with the fit, finish, and styling of the LSiM series when I saw them during Polkfest 2012. Upon inspecting mine, I could not find any cosmetic flaw at all, not even under the speakers. The fit and finish was what I was accustomed to seeing on much more expensive speakers. Polk is "American HiFi", but I don't think they could have offered this level of cabinetry at this price point with domestic production.

LSiM705%20TopFront02-s_zps2oiuqk5q.jpg
Figure 9. The dark, rich, and mysterious finish of "Midnight Mahogany".

LSiM705%20MWBezel-s_zps9szt7s4r.jpg
Figure 10. All drivers have a rubber bezel that conceals the screws and, I assume, provides some anti-diffraction benefit.

LSiM705%20MWBezel%20Off-s_zpsyp4dgqhx.jpg
Figure 11. Rubber bezel removed from 5-1/4 mid woofer.

LSiM705%20AdjSpike-s_zpsk0895pmy.jpg
Figure 11. Spikes adjustable from the top are a fantastic convenience feature.
"So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
"Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
"Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
"Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK

Comments

  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,120
    The Sound

    The 705s were compared to the SDA SRSs that were the home theater system's front speakers, and to the LSi15s that were the home theater system's surround speakers.

    srsdk.jpg
    Figure 12. For a long time, I enjoyed the huge front stage provided by the SDA SRSs. However, I came to a point where I didn't particularly like the aesthetics of a room full of tower speakers. I actually had wanted to downsize the home theater speakers for a long time.

    000%20Q30%20Conv%20Start-s_zpsjhu2ya39.jpg
    Figure 13. I lived with the LSi15s in front for a while to assure myself that I could accept and live with the smaller front stage size.

    LSiM%20705-LSi5-s_zpslispb5nk.jpg
    Figure 14. I was actually hoping there wouldn't be enough difference between the LSi15s and the LSiM 705s in home theater applications. I was looking to save a few bucks and keep the LSi15s in front and send the 705s back. It didn't work out that way. The LSi15s brought a knife to a gun fight...and these are LSi15s with modified crossovers.

    Prior to critical listening sessions, the 705s were played in movie duty for 127 hours and then for an additional 124 hours in two channel music duty. the sound stage extended to the outer edges of the speakers, to the wall two feet behind the plane of the speakers, and from 2 to 4 feet in front of the speakers depending on the source material. Sound stage height was from the top of the speakers to a foot above the speakers, depending on the source material.

    I was most impressed with the bass: tight, deep, articulate, detailed, and fast. With the exception of modded SDAs, I'd never heard bass this good from a Polk speaker. Tactile sensation and image weight were very good for a speaker of this size. The images within the sound stage were much heavier and three dimensional that those generated by the LSi15, which retailed for nearly half the price.

    During the two channel mode break in period, I was constantly drawn back into the media room to listen. In the future, when I am more dedicated to audio than I am now, I will roll the 705s into my two channel system and see what they sound like with really nice gear.

    References:

    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/176162/downsizing-home-theater-5-1-to-3-1/p1
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • mantismantis Posts: 14,623
    Dude I so wanted years ago to demo the damn series. I got to demo the Bookshelf models and I was pretty impressed with the overall performance.
    I didn't think they where as good as my Def Tech Mythos ST's but thats such an un fair compare. I wanted to get my hands on some floor standers as I really liked the design. I was in the program when they where being designed years ago so I felt some kind of way even before they came out.
    I wish someone had a Demo program for them but with the likes of that packaging you got there I would not feel safe they would make it around a Polk demo without being destroyed.
    Polk needs to use higher quality packaging materials as that crap can result in shipping damages.

    Either way I so just want to sit down and listen to pair.

    Love your review here man as always you do a great job. Thanks man.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 14,623
    edited April 1
    O and by the way Go 4 is awesome speaker cable, love it. I use Rocket 44 for my entire rig including the surround speakers. Love that wire as well.
    I went die hard audioquest years ago and don't use anything else anymore. I find their products to be the very best in the business at any price bar none.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • simmsimm Posts: 409
    What are you using as a crossover point to your sub? I still have a ways to go to break mine in but currently crossing them over at 60 Hz to my SVS 20-39 PC. I didn't care for the bass response using pure direct but that may improve with additional hours on them.
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,120
    80 Hz for movies. I do not use the sub for two channel music.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 5,721
    Good review Ray, makes me want a pair of 705
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature B) ) -> new speakers -> :D
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3 -> :o
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> B&W PM1 -> o:)

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
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