RTi38 comparison to RT25I

msgmsg Posts: 2,860
edited June 11 in Speakers
I have some RT25I speakers that I like a lot.
There was a local Craigslist deal today where I picked up some RTi38s and a little CSi30 to mess around with.

The 38s look like the 25Is, except they have a cloth tweeter, whereas the 25I uses the aluminum one.

My question is, how should the RTi38 speakers compare to the RT25I?

Are these RTi38s in the same class as the last gen of RTi(not A) series speakers (that I hate), or are they more in line with the RT series?

Combo system, but music and smooth, non-fatiguing response is where it counts.

Just spent some time cleaning everything up and haven't had time to play test anything. I'll probably end up gifting them after I play around, if they don't end up in the garage, but curious as to how they're regarded.

Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 2,860
    Sample photos

    RT25I
    1f32yjzgr0ry.jpg

    RTi38
    sb22zcci80vs.jpg
  • dolbyddolbyd Posts: 36
    I love the 38i's. I think they have better midrange over the 25's. They are one of my favorite speakers from that line. The 55i's are still king but these are great with a sub.
    My brother still use his in the office.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,341
    I preferred the 25's. Better balance and slightly less nasal midrange, just seemed to be more fleshed out and natural. Not a huge difference, but there nonetheless. The 25i's are hard to beat. That tweeter is something special. Vocals and acoustic music just sound more natural on the 25's.

    H9
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 3,691
    heiney9 wrote: »
    I preferred the 25's. Better balance and slightly less nasal midrange, just seemed to be more fleshed out and natural. Not a huge difference, but there nonetheless. The 25i's are hard to beat. That tweeter is something special. Vocals and acoustic music just sound more natural on the 25's.

    H9

    I have 2 sets of the 25's, not going anywhere.
  • msgmsg Posts: 2,860
    Thanks for the feedback so far, guys.

    I'm wondering whether I need to start a new thread due to slight error of subject, or have this one adjusted

    What I really meant to ask was, is there a difference between the early blue RTi series compared to the RTxxI series.

    What was the progression? Was it RT > RTxxI > RTi > RTi 2nd gen > RTiA?

    I tried out the RTi38 last night, but can't trust my ears for strong consideration of RTi brightness; I'm listening for it and can't be sure without much time.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 3,413
    edited June 12
    rt3 was first in the "reference theater" line - black silk dome tweeter (but the rt7 had the first gen tri-lam dome tweeter...)
    rt25 was next - silk dome tweeter I believe
    rt25i was next - tri-lam dome tweeter
    rti28 was next - weird cloth tweeter (this series only lasted about 1.5 years, not sure why it was phased out so quickly...)
    rti4
    rti A1
  • msgmsg Posts: 2,860
    Thanks Paul. And what about the sound characteristics for each line?

    Was the early silk dome build known to be brighter sounding/edgier than the tri-lam? I do thoroughly enjoy the RT25I. I always thought "aluminum" domes were supposed to be harsher sounding than cloth. Is the tri-lam smoother than a standard aluminum tweeter?
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,341
    vmaxer wrote: »
    heiney9 wrote: »
    I preferred the 25's. Better balance and slightly less nasal midrange, just seemed to be more fleshed out and natural. Not a huge difference, but there nonetheless. The 25i's are hard to beat. That tweeter is something special. Vocals and acoustic music just sound more natural on the 25's.

    H9

    I have 2 sets of the 25's, not going anywhere.

    Mine aren't either. I had RTi38's at one point also thinking they'd be better than the RT25i and they weren't. They were nice until I compared them in a semi-near field setting. Sold the 38's to a forum member.

    H9
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,341
    The tri-lam tweeter was the best in the RT generation, IMO.

    Polk no longer carries replacements, hasn't for years. So if buying used be aware if there are tweeter issues you will need to source a used one (tri-laminate in the RTxxi line)

    H9
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,341
    msg wrote: »
    Thanks Paul. And what about the sound characteristics for each line?

    Was the early silk dome build known to be brighter sounding/edgier than the tri-lam? I do thoroughly enjoy the RT25I. I always thought "aluminum" domes were supposed to be harsher sounding than cloth. Is the tri-lam smoother than a standard aluminum tweeter?

    The tri-lam is not "aluminum" IIRC. It's a trilaminate material.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 3,413
    msg wrote: »
    Thanks Paul. And what about the sound characteristics for each line?

    Was the early silk dome build known to be brighter sounding/edgier than the tri-lam? I do thoroughly enjoy the RT25I. I always thought "aluminum" domes were supposed to be harsher sounding than cloth. Is the tri-lam smoother than a standard aluminum tweeter?

    Well I agree with @heiney9 that the rt25is are the best of the series ( I also really like the rt55i for HT).

    The black silk dome tweeters are fine, fairly detailed and not too bright, but don't have as much as or extension as the tri-lam dome tweets.

    The RTi4s were very bright sounding and unbalanced to my ears, making them seem liek they lacked bass even though they technically extend slightly deeper than the rt25is (the latter sounds much more balanced to me, especially in a near-field configuration). The stereophile measurements confirmed that there was a bump in the top octave of the rti4. The bump gets worse with the A1s, which I have not heard at any length...
  • Jimbo18Jimbo18 Posts: 1,402
    I never see much mentioned about the RT35i's but aren't they basically the same as the 25i with a larger mid-driver?

    I used to own a pair of 35i's, but not at the same time as the 25i's so never compared them side-by-side for sound, but it seems like they were very similar.
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 3,691
    heiney9 wrote: »
    vmaxer wrote: »
    heiney9 wrote: »
    I preferred the 25's. Better balance and slightly less nasal midrange, just seemed to be more fleshed out and natural. Not a huge difference, but there nonetheless. The 25i's are hard to beat. That tweeter is something special. Vocals and acoustic music just sound more natural on the 25's.

    H9

    I have 2 sets of the 25's, not going anywhere.

    Mine aren't either. I had RTi38's at one point also thinking they'd be better than the RT25i and they weren't. They were nice until I compared them in a semi-near field setting. Sold the 38's to a forum member.

    H9

    I gave 4 38's to my nephew. Not bad but I like the 25's. I never compared them in the same system though.
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 3,691
    rooftop59 wrote: »
    msg wrote: »
    Thanks Paul. And what about the sound characteristics for each line?

    Was the early silk dome build known to be brighter sounding/edgier than the tri-lam? I do thoroughly enjoy the RT25I. I always thought "aluminum" domes were supposed to be harsher sounding than cloth. Is the tri-lam smoother than a standard aluminum tweeter?

    Well I agree with @heiney9 that the rt25is are the best of the series ( I also really like the rt55i for HT).

    The black silk dome tweeters are fine, fairly detailed and not too bright, but don't have as much as or extension as the tri-lam dome tweets.

    The RTi4s were very bright sounding and unbalanced to my ears, making them seem liek they lacked bass even though they technically extend slightly deeper than the rt25is (the latter sounds much more balanced to me, especially in a near-field configuration). The stereophile measurements confirmed that there was a bump in the top octave of the rti4. The bump gets worse with the A1s, which I have not heard at any length...

    I have a pair of these as well. I bought them. Ew, they are currently packed in their original boxes. I need to pull them out and play them again. I always liked them as well.
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