Getting the most out the RTis

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Comments

  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,039
    edited January 1
    Most humble thanks for the kudos on my efforts.

    Read some AWESOME reviews on your amp - I'm a wee bit envious.

    2 dedicated systems or 1 dual purpose?
    XO upgrades, regardless of mild to wild, will raise your Tweeter Happiness Meter (THM).

    I encourage others to chime in here: I believe your AVR may bear a small amount of the cause to your low THM reading as I've read "they're bright" many times.

    I could & would gladly, by phone, discuss the rest as I see so many points, certainly more than I have time for.

    Tony
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 975 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 4 Evidence - 1 at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped early 2018 (I hope)
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,039
    forgot a few things - sorry for a partial duplicate post

    2 dedicated systems or 1 dual purpose?
    XO upgrades, regardless of mild* to wild**, will raise your Tweeter Happiness Meter (THM).
    * swap just the tweeter's series cap w/ an inexpensive Dayton audio cap, about $8 plus shipping
    ** VR3 or Westmassguy does all minus inductors - several hundred $

    Replace the Polk metal jumpers w/short pieces of speaker wire. Any leftovers from connecting the A7s?

    I encourage others to chime in here: I believe your AVR may bear a small amount of the cause to your low THM reading as I've read "they're bright" many times.

    I almost forgot. The Polk website info omits one little, teeny, tiny, itty, bitty piece of, what I believe is, VERY important info about the RTi A7: the 125hz XO spec is in fact a LP filter only. The mid does NOT have ANY HP filtering. Yes you read that right. The woofers and the mid are in parallel w/each other below 125hz - 4 ohm load to your amp*; a nasty issue for most AVR's power amp section. IMHO these along w/ the A9s are prime candidates for bi-amping! See the 3rd post in my "Tri-amp A7" thread. My disciple, JCsound, kinda followed my (bi-amp) lead - the rest is for another discussion.
    * a non-issue for your NAD** or most any other separate amp.
    ** my first amp* (integrated) was a NAD as was a cassette deck, turntable, and tuner***
    *** still have, still work!

    I could & would gladly, by phone, discuss the rest as I see so many points, certainly more than I have time for.

    Tony

    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 975 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 4 Evidence - 1 at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped early 2018 (I hope)
  • PolkNAD17PolkNAD17 Posts: 15
    @Clipdat, thanks for the kind words :smile: Hopefully this thread has been helpful to others besides myself (and those actively participating)!

    @gp4jesus, your work on the RTi crossovers is very impressive! I've been considering all of the excellent suggestions made so far...and originally, the thought of modifying the A7s seemed like a fun, affordable way to possibly refine the sound a bit. But someone made a comment a few posts ago that buying speakers designed closer to my musical tastes is better than buying a speaker that does not suite my tastes, and trying to take it apart/modify it. It's like teaching a fish to climb a tree...it's just not designed for it.

    So, with that said, I've been doing some preliminary price-checking/sale-hunting online...there are some LSiM 705s on the Polk Audio Ebay Store (as well as some 703s I believe). I also found several sales on brand new Focal Aria speakers, including a place nearby that sells Focal, among other brands. I already heard the Focal Arias - they have a very smooth, balanced, acoustic sound to them (anything but harsh) - they have a more subdued sound compared to the A7s, less shimmer, less bite...but I think I'll give them another listen one day soon and decide from there what I want to do. I'm still searching for a place that carries the LSiM line. The problem with Polk is that they are not considered "high end" like B&W, Focal, REL, etc., etc., and even though the LSiM was designed to compete with these brands, a lot of the local audio stores don't carry Polk in their lineup. :neutral: On top of that, the LSiMs are too expensive to sell a more mainstream audio store, where people are looking for entire home theater systems at $1,000 or less... Polk is kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place with the LSiMs.

    But to answer your question, I am not sure if I will build two separate systems or just one all-purpose system. It seems more and more likely that I will only have one all-purpose system for at least the short term (i.e., a few years). With that said, the Focal Arias or Polk LSiM really fit the bill for a dual-purpose setup...the RTis are good for HT, but too harsh for music. The Focal Electras are way too expensive, and because they've been replaced by the Kanta line, the only way to get Electra speakers is on the used market (good for cost savings...but bad for availability (Electra line sits firmly in the "last speakers you'll ever buy" category)). This is not to say the LSiM or Arias are bad, or that buying them implies compromise; but for those of you who have had the opportunity to hear the Electras (or Sopras/Utopias) know they are absolutely pristine in their musical reproduction (and they should be for the price!) - detailed and smooth, never a hint of sharpness, music sounds live, holographic, great depth & sound stage, no sibilance, punchy/accurate/deep bass...the floorstanders are much the same, except the sound stage is a bit bigger (bass extension is similar, based on my 4-hr listening session). Anyway, they're great speakers. I preferred the Electras to the B&W 802 D3 floorstanders...B&W are great too, but the Focals had more personality...I mean even the RTis with their infamous stinging treble, are very lively, fun, and involving speakers - the B&W 800 series are incredibly accurate, but incredibly clinical...they never really drew me in. As I listened, I was in awe of the unprecedented control, presence, accuracy, and spaciousness the speakers imbued...these are the qualities every great speaker should possess, but to these ears, the B&W 800 series are all theory...they lack soul.

    Anyway, that concludes my rant for the evening. In a nutshell, I am very likely going to sell my RTi setup and replace it with the LSiMs (if I can find a place that carries them) or Focal Arias (i.e., replace the A7s with the 926). Estimated time frame is this spring - or - if I can convince my wife, maybe in the next few weeks :wink: Thanks again for all the advice/suggestions, I will keep you posted! ::thumbs up::
    Current HT setup: Panasonic ST60, Yamaha rx-a1020, NAD M27, Polk Rti A7, Polk Rti A6, Polk Rti A4, Polk DSW 660
    Planned upgrades: Preamp (7.2), Dual subs (SVS or JL), Speakers (Polk or Focal)
  • PolkNAD17PolkNAD17 Posts: 15
    @gp4jesus - I was replying to your second post, and I accidentally deleted everything...no option to "undo" for some reason. $@%&;^*! computer gremlins :neutral:

    I'll be brief...the system will be a dual-purpose system...having two sound systems is not in the cards right now (one day, maybe?) - I think the LSiMs or Focal Arias will serve very well as the main speakers in a dual-purpose sound system.

    I have leftover speaker wire/cable, but I'm using banana plugs...there isn't any extra room, and I can use spades because the binding post caps don't close all the way.

    Agreed regarding the AVR...but I think that would be my last upgrade. First, I need to address the treble sharpness (i.e., by replacing the RTis with something more to my tastes); then, I want to upgrade to dual subs (more spaciousness/depth in music & added low-end oomph for movies); lastly, upgrade the AVR to a dedicated preamplifier for added control, refinement, and extracting every last ounce of musicality from the system. AVRs are like Swiss army knives...they are designed to do several things, but are not really dedicated to do any one thing very well. For day-to-day stuff it works great, it will get you out of a bind, but it doesn't replace a dedicated toolbox. For casual listeners, AVRs are an excellent choice...but for more serious listeners, AVRs have some drawbacks. I'm more of a casual listener myself, and the Yamaha AVR served me very well...but its lack of power was immediately noticeable from day 1. Yea the Polks were powered, but the dynamics were pretty flat, lacked depth & sparkle...just very, utilitarian. Even as a casual listener I could tell something was missing, but that's just me. My friends and family loved the speakers running off the AVR. To each his own.

    The NAD M27 was a blind purchase...I read about it, but there are hardly any user reviews. Still, it seemed to fit all of my requirements...small size, efficient, ample power, 5+ channels...I also considered Parasound A51, Classe AMP5, and McIntosh MC205, but all were too large and/or too expensive. I was able to get a good deal on the NAD, so I jumped on it. So far no complaints - it is very detailed, highly resolving, balanced, smooth, excellent control - and yet I actually attribute these characteristics to the speakers...the amp enables the speakers to do their thing...after all, I'm listening to the speakers, not the amp. Of course, in the end, the A7s failed to live up to their goal of serving in a dual-purpose sound system. Hopefully Polk gets it right whenever it replaces the RTi line with a new "Reference Theater" speaker line up.

    Oh yea, I learned after I bought the M27 that it is actually a fully balanced design...so is the M17 preamplifier (probably why it is so expensive...2x the parts!) I'm using unbalanced RCAs from the Yamaha AVR, but the speakers are dead quiet...even with the volume turned up 100% (music paused), there isn't even the faintest hiss...just blackness. I imagine replaced the unbalanced RCAs with balanced XLRs (rx-a1020 offers unbalanced RCA preouts only), the dynamics would improve, as would the soundstage depth and width. I read about class A/B amplifiers exhibiting various degrees of audible hiss, regardless of brand (Krell, McIntosh, Bryston owners all talk about speaker hiss)...so I'm curious if an added benefit of class D amplifiers is that they are so noise-free...or less susceptible to accumulating noise...or maybe I am just super lucky to have a quiet system? I don't know. I'm not using a dedicated 20-amp line haha, it's a shared 15-amp line with upgraded electrical receptacles, powering 3 gaming systems, a TV, AVR, amp, subwoofer, and several lights. I'm lucky regarding the noise...but the truth with the 15-amp limit is that none of these components - singularly or combined - will pull more than a few sustained amps, or even peak/instantaneous amps enough to trip a 15-amp breaker. A dedicated 20-amp line offers nice overhead and peace of mind, but I doubt it's really necessary except in more extreme setups...or if you're having noise issues with your other outlets. As always, YMMV.

    I said I would be brief...I failed. I tried to stay on subject...I failed. Have a great evening folks.
    Current HT setup: Panasonic ST60, Yamaha rx-a1020, NAD M27, Polk Rti A7, Polk Rti A6, Polk Rti A4, Polk DSW 660
    Planned upgrades: Preamp (7.2), Dual subs (SVS or JL), Speakers (Polk or Focal)
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,039
    PolkNAD17:
    F1nut's XO work is very impressive. Hunt down his "Having Fun w/RTi A series speakers" thread for more pics & details.

    My LCR are tri-amped as in "no passive filtering" - all active save for 68uf DC blocking caps on the tweeters*, I plan to upgrade* after finishing the rest** of the big stuff - likely by years end. Surround** channels up next/last to bi-amp.

    Side note: the other big item for me, something that may be of interest to you is the just-released Outlaw Audio 976* prepro. 7.2 w/balanced & unbalanced outputs for all channels. Each channel including the sub outs, has its own 10 channel full parametric EQ. You can set them manually or use the calibration software & mic.

    https://www.outlawaudio.com/products/976.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlPvyoY282AIVwbjACh14EgHdEAAYASAAEgIW5fD_BwE

    * I LOVE the 975 that the 976 replaces. 975 is way better than the Rotel 1068 I had before that.

    Enjoy your journey. Folks on this forum will gladly help you along regardless of your chosen path.

    Tony
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 975 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 4 Evidence - 1 at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped early 2018 (I hope)
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 12,725
    [quote="gp4jesus;c-2370691...Side note: the other big item for me, something that may be of interest to you is the just-released Outlaw Audio 976* prepro. 7.2 w/balanced & unbalanced outputs for all channels. Each channel including the sub outs, has its own 10 channel full parametric EQ. You can set them manually or use the calibration software & mic.

    https://www.outlawaudio.com/products/976.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlPvyoY282AIVwbjACh14EgHdEAAYASAAEgIW5fD_BwE

    * I LOVE the 975 that the 976 replaces. 975 is way better than the Rotel 1068 I had before that.

    Enjoy your journey. Folks on this forum will gladly help you along regardless of your chosen path. Tony[/quote]

    Tony, are you planning to upgrade to the 976? If so, please do a review, I'm interested in how it performs.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • Airplay355Airplay355 Posts: 4,072
    I’m interested in the 976 as well. I’ve got a 975 now but it would be nice to have hdcp 2
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,039
    cfrizz wrote: »
    "gp4jesus wrote: »

    https://www.outlawaudio.com/products/976.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlPvyoY282AIVwbjACh14EgHdEAAYASAAEgIW5fD_BwE

    * I LOVE the 975 that the 976 replaces. 975 is way better than the Rotel 1068 I had before that.

    Tony, are you planning to upgrade to the 976? If so, please do a review, I'm interested in how it performs.
    Yes but not right away. If you don't mind a little reading and can't wait for me, the link below will take you to the Outlaw Saloon/976 section.

    http://saloon.outlawaudio.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=83&page=1

    Look for the "Initial impressions" thread. Several had 975s and are stoked that an untweaked 976 IS an upgrade.

    Tony

    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 975 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 4 Evidence - 1 at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped early 2018 (I hope)
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,039
    Airplay355 wrote: »
    I’m interested in the 976 as well. I’ve got a 975 now but it would be nice to have hdcp 2
    what did your 975 replace & why?I needed HDMI connectivity & the aging Rotel was dying a slow death one channel at a time. Further, an unexpected bonus, SQ!

    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 975 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 4 Evidence - 1 at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped early 2018 (I hope)
  • Airplay355Airplay355 Posts: 4,072
    It replaced a Marantz receiver that died a slow painful death as well. The display never quite worked correctly and then it started overheating (driving some SDA2B). I bought a model 5000 and 975 and a bunch of used Lsi. Now the Marantz is destined for the E-waste bin and the SDAs are in the closet.

    I like the 975 for the most part. There are a few quirks that I don't like but it serves me well and was $300 used.
  • PolkNAD17PolkNAD17 Posts: 15
    Update (possible epiphany)...

    Earlier this week I decided to run my A7s as "small" instead of "large" in lieu of the midrange driver lacking a high-pass filter at 120Hz. With all speakers set to "small" in the Yamaha AVR, crossed at 80Hz to subwoofer, I proceeded to listen to music like normal throughout the week.

    Well, to my surprise, the sharpness in the tweeter is mostly, if not completely, absent. I don't know if I am experiencing a placebo effect, or if that sting in the treble is actually gone now... If crossing the mids at 80Hz really alleviated the problem, I am thinking that the midrange woofer was probably breaking up below 80Hz, exasperating some nth order harmonic distortion(s) in the upper registers. If this is the case, the issue is not with the tweeter, but with the midrange driver. I will continue listening to movies / music like normal over the next few weeks...if I notice any discomfort or harshness I will be sure to report back.

    Just to be clear, I know it is widely recommended to run large tower speakers as "small" in order to utilize the crossover in the AVR...obviously a large powered subwoofer will provide better sub-80Hz bass than a few 7" passive woofers w/ shared power signal. But changing the A7s from "large" to "small" didn't impact the lower frequency sounds much...during movies the midbass drivers helped alleviate some of the nulls/peaks in the room...so turning on the 80Hz crossover for the A7s brought some of those nulls/peaks back to the fore. It's fine, the A7s full range were just a band-aid until I was able to add a 2nd subwoofer. Otherwise, it's hard to say if clarity in the midrange improve, although I'm sure it probably has even if I'm not detecting it. Certainly the midrange and midbass drivers are moving a bit less with the 80Hz crossover engaged.

    Which brings me to my final point. The midbass drivers have a built-in 120Hz low-pass filter. When powered by the AVR, I had the A7s set to "small" at 80Hz, and the midbass drivers barely moved...if I felt the rubber surround/speaker cone, it's like there was no energy present (in fairness, when powered by the AVR and run full range, the midbass drivers were never adequately powered). Anyway, with the NAD amp in place, the midbass drivers are still pushing out a fair amount of bass even with the 80Hz filter engaged. I honestly don't feel I am missing anything by running the A7s "small".

    All in all, I am pleasantly surprised by the change in sound from the A7s...I will keep you guys posted going forward - although the results are positive so far, I think it's still too early to consider this case closed...stay tuned. :smile:
    Current HT setup: Panasonic ST60, Yamaha rx-a1020, NAD M27, Polk Rti A7, Polk Rti A6, Polk Rti A4, Polk DSW 660
    Planned upgrades: Preamp (7.2), Dual subs (SVS or JL), Speakers (Polk or Focal)
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,039
    PolkNAD17 wrote: »
    Earlier this week I decided to run my A7s as "small" instead of "large"... With all speakers set to "small" in the Yamaha AVR, crossed at 80Hz to subwoofer, I proceeded to listen to music like normal throughout the week.
    experimenting, good.
    PolkNAD17 wrote: »
    ...the sharpness in the tweeter is mostly, if not completely, absent. I don't know if I am experiencing a placebo effect, or if that sting in the treble is actually gone now... If crossing the mids at 80Hz really alleviated the problem, I am thinking that the midrange was probably breaking up below 80Hz, exasperating some nth order harmonic distortion(s) in the upper registers.
    possible... ...but unlikely. You're well aware the A7s are 4 ohms from 120Hz down to the program's (movie sound track or music) lowest frequencies. HP'd @ 80 shifts the hardest part of the sub-120hz load of your speakers to the sub.

    That said, your AVR has "less work to do," w/the sub doing the "heavier lifting" hence less distortion all around. For sure your AVR's amp section has "less work to do," w/the sub doing the "heavier lifting" hence less distortion.

    Known by many that frequent these threads, when most systems are near their limit or taxed w/a load impedance below its rating - is your AVR rated to 4 ohms? Oddly enough it's the top end that manifests distress first.

    Many AVRs are rated to 6 ohms making a bit more power. The good ($$) ones like most separate amps* are rated to 4 ohms, making more power. A few* are rated to 2 ohms making even more but they're $$$ plus few & far between.

    Not to brag but I avoid all those issues & problems w/triamped A7s - each driver* has its own VERY robust channel**.
    * tweets & woofers 4 ohms; mids 8 ohms.
    ** 120, 180, or 200 watts per driver on tap depending upon same

    Keep us posted, Tony
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 975 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 4 Evidence - 1 at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped early 2018 (I hope)
  • PolkNAD17PolkNAD17 Posts: 15
    AVR (preamp) & external amp
    @gp4jesus just to be clear, I am using my Yamaha AVR as a preamp, and a NAD M27 external amplifier to power all 5 RTi speakers (A7, CSiA6,FXi A4) . The M27 is rated at 4 & 8 ohms, but capable of 2 ohms as long as the speakers are at least 4-ohm nominal. NAD uses modified Hypex NCore modules rated at 250 watts each, or 180 watts x 7 (all channels driven; either 8 or 4 ohms). Although the owner's manual states to use speakers rated at 4 ohms nominal at a minimum, the spec sheet also includes rated power output at 2 ohms.

    RTi midrange specs & lower limits
    But I was thinking that the midrange driver is probably making some nasty even/odd order harmonics that aren't necessarily detectable (i.e., frequency response graph), but are perceptible on a subconscious level...leading to ear strain & listening fatigue. Various even/odd order harmonic distortion is measurable, but I haven't seen any such graphs of the RTi line. Using the RTi A3 as a comparison - it uses the same 6.5" midrange driver - according to the Polk Audio website, 50Hz marks the -3dB lower limit of the speaker, with an absolute lower limit of 40Hz (unsure if this is -6dB or -10dB). Even with room gain, I suspect a 6.5" midrange driver playing from 2.8KHz to 40Hz or lower, will suffer from cone breakup no matter how good the amp is. Even more to the point, I've had my CSI A6 and FXI A4 speakers crossed at 80Hz from the beginning...if I knew the 6.5" midrange driver in the A7s wasn't high-passed at 120Hz, I definitely would have set them to "small" from the beginning, amp or no amp.

    Conclusion
    Although I don't think the M27 is a limiting factor with the A7s, I do believe the 6.5" midrange driver was being over-taxed when the A7s were set as "large". I did some more listening this evening, and while the speakers are still bright, the "sting" in the trouble was either absent or far less noticeable than previously. Unless someone has another theory to share, I am concluding that the midrange speaker breakup in the lower registers was the primary cause for treble "sting". Further, I think the treble "sting" is exacerbated by the bright nature of the RTi speaker line...in a more laid back speaker, the even/odd order harmonics would likely manifest in other nasty ways. *On a side note, I don't know where the natural breakup frequency of the silk dome tweeter occurs, but that may also play into the equation. If the silk dome tweeter's breakup frequency is within hearing range (i.e., below 20KHz), it could also contribute to the nasty "sting" in the treble. In the end, I think the midrange driver is the primary cause. Based on my recent experiences, it seems limiting the midrange driver's lower frequency extension to ~80Hz is enough to remove the "sting" from the treble (**over-driving the speakers with a clipped signal (i.e., pushing AVRs too hard) could be another contributor to the treble "sting", or other potential sound issues**).

    Bi-amping / tri-amping
    @gp4jesus one last note, I believe the RTi A7/A9 speakers would definitely benefit from active bi-amping / tri-amping. If the midrange drivers were actively high-passed at 80-120Hz, with the midbass drivers actively low-passed at the same 80-120Hz, I think the full potential of the A7/A9s would be achieved. If only Polk included a 120Hz high pass filter for the midrange drivers, the A7s could be run full range and bi-amping wouldn't be necessary.

    The future...?
    With that said, I'm currently at a crossroads. I listened to the Focal Arias again this weekend and decided that I definitely want to upgrade at some point...but not now. I am still eager to hear the LSiMs in person, but haven't found any local audio shops that carry them. Also, the idea of two separate systems is out. As a result of the demo this weekend, I now have a better understanding of how room size determines speaker size. The main living room (which is where I *would* setup a 2-channel music system) would require large floorstanding speakers (i.e., RTi A9s, LSiM 707s, etc.), which my wife would only tolerate small/discrete speakers in that room. So, the HT room will serve as a dual-purpose music/HT room. I will eventually upgrade the RTi setup to a more music-friendly speaker line...but I am not in a rush to upgrade. I'll keep an eye out for a chance to demo the LSiM series, and once I decide between the LSiMs and Focal Arias, it's just a matter of waiting for a good sale. :wink:

    As always, I will continue posting on the forum with new ideas/updates as they come to me. Thanks again to everyone for all your thoughtful suggestions, they were definitely a huge help and gave me a lot of great ideas with my setup. :sunglasses:
    Current HT setup: Panasonic ST60, Yamaha rx-a1020, NAD M27, Polk Rti A7, Polk Rti A6, Polk Rti A4, Polk DSW 660
    Planned upgrades: Preamp (7.2), Dual subs (SVS or JL), Speakers (Polk or Focal)
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