CSi A6 lacking punch it once had

Hi,

A few months ago I purchased a CSi A6 center channel speaker to pair with my RTIA5 towers. I recently purchased a pair of RTIA3’s to finish off my set. When I ran my microphone setup after hooking up my 3’s my CSi A6 hasn’t been the same. My receiver used to always set the crossover to around the 60 mark (for the CSi A6), but now it will always set it to 180-200. It lacks all its punch it once had when I first bought it (even if I manually set the crossover back down to 60-70 it would always previously be.)

Contacted Polk, they figured the crossover inside the speaker had gone bad and sent me a replacement crossover. I received the new crossover and replaced it, but the issue still remains. No punch, lacks mids and overall just quieter than when I first purchased the speaker.

So my question is, is it the two 6.5” drivers in the CSi A6? Do they need to be replaced?

My receiver is the Onkyo TX-RZ810. I tested my older and much smaller center speaker the CSi A6 replaced and the receiver sets the crossover for that one at 100-120 (which it has always been around, even on past receivers.) With my old one testing “normal” that leads me to believe it is in fact the two 6.5” drivers.

If anyone has any ideas to help me figure this out, it would be very much appreciated.

Side note, I’ve emailed Polk back THREE times now about getting two new replacement 6.5” drivers (as I’m still well within my warranty) and those emails have been ignored so far.

Thanks
Shaun
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Comments

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,261
    edited August 7
    IF they need replaced then they needed replaced BEFORE you ever ran the microphone set up after the RTIa3's. Sounds like the Onkyo switched them to small from large. I personally ran all mine small and let the subwoofer do the heavy lifting so to speak. Where is the LFE cut off point set ? All my speakers were set to LFE @ 80Hz. If yours is set to say 100-120 then EVERYTHING below that setting will go to the subwoofer.
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    IF they need replaced then they needed replaced BEFORE you ever ran the microphone set up after the RTIa3's. Sounds like the Onkyo switched them to small from large. I personally ran all mine small and let the subwoofer do the heavy lifting so to speak. Where is the LFE cut off point set ? All my speakers were set to LFE @ 80Hz. If yours is set to say 100-120 then EVERYTHING below that setting will go to the subwoofer.

    The strange thing is I was running the mic setup (testing some Atmos speakers) as recent as a week or two before my rtia3’s showed up in the mail and everything was normal (as it was when I first got the CSi A6.)

    The Onkyo TX-RZ810 doesn’t have small or large settings. It’s either labeled as “Full Range” (for large I assume) or a crossover setting ranging between 40-200.

    I rarely run a sub currently (since buying the RTIA5’s they’ve giving me adequate bass for my room) so my RTIA5’s have always been at Full Range, CSi A6 have always been around 60-70 (that’s where my receiver had always put it to day 1 until a few weeks ago), my old rears where usually around 150, but now at 100 (as per the mic setup for the new RTIA3’s) My LFE is at 120 as that where it’s always put it on the Onkyo TX-RZ810.

    The issue is everything sounded great using all these settings until recently when it’s been wanting to put my CSi A6 at 180-200. That’s the only difference and it’s made a massive change to the sound quality (for the worse.) Even if I manually put it back down to 60-70, the speaker just struggles to produce sound that it did the first 2 1/2 - 3 months of owning it. Even placing my ear right up to either 6.5” driver in the CSi A6 they are very quiet. The sound is off and is throwing off the whole balance of the entire system.


  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,999
    Do you have a volt/ohms meter?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,329
    180-200 is way too high. Try setting the center to full range and see if that snap is back. Sounds like your receiver is defaulting to certain surround parameters, there should be a way to just manually tune things without having to use the mic and without saving a pre disposed setting. Also check your levels on the center, should be at 0, anything in the negative will make it sound subdued.

    You do have everything hooked up right we are assuming, jumper straps on the back between top and bottom posts ?
    HT SYSTEM-
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  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    F1nut wrote: »
    Do you have a volt/ohms meter?

    I might have access to one. What will I be checking if I do?
  • CTTECTTE Posts: 176
    Are the brass plates tight between the binding posts? Mine were loose once on my CSI5 and I thought I blew something.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,999
    Pull the two drivers. Test each one between the positive and negative terminals with the meter set to ohms. Report back the readings.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    tonyb wrote: »
    180-200 is way too high. Try setting the center to full range and see if that snap is back. Sounds like your receiver is defaulting to certain surround parameters, there should be a way to just manually tune things without having to use the mic and without saving a pre disposed setting. Also check your levels on the center, should be at 0, anything in the negative will make it sound subdued.

    You do have everything hooked up right we are assuming, jumper straps on the back between top and bottom posts ?

    I agree 180-200 is way too high. Since it used to set it much lower. Something HAS to be wrong somewhere.

    I have tried setting it manually lower to 80, 70, 60, 40, Full Range (receivers large speaker setting.) it’s not able to reproduce the proper tones. Resulting in much worse sound overall. And I know for a fact my CSi A6 used to have a much fuller sound when I first got it. It struggles even on the upper end of the mid tones.

    The receiver consistently sets the levels at 0.5db on the CSi A6.

    Connections should be good. I’ve double, triple, quadruple checked. Jumpers are good. And when I replaced the crossover Polk sent me, it replaced everything (back plate and binding posts.) So literally all the internals of the speaker have been swapped out.
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    CTTE wrote: »
    Are the brass plates tight between the binding posts? Mine were loose once on my CSI5 and I thought I blew something.

    The brass plates are good. When I got the new crossover Polk sent me, it literally replaced the whole assembly with the binding posts. So the issue still persisted across both.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,329
    Sounds more like a receiver setting than the actual speaker, to me anyway. Have you tried resetting the receiver ? Usually all receivers have a way to restore all the default settings back to original.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    tonyb wrote: »
    Sounds more like a receiver setting than the actual speaker, to me anyway. Have you tried resetting the receiver ? Usually all receivers have a way to restore all the default settings back to original.

    Thanks for the reply and I appreciate it, but not sure how it can be a receiver setting tbh. Nothing at all has changed settings wise other than now the receiver wants the center channel at 180-200 crossover vs 60 or lower before this behaviour began and the speaker itself struggling to produce its once full sound.

    To be clear. The receiver suddenly started wanting the center channel crossover much higher than it previously used to set it at. The speaker itself does not and will not even output a decent range (I’d say when putting my ear right up to it, 95% of the audio is being output from the tweeter and barely anything out the two 6.5” drivers) regardless of where I manually set the receivers center channel crossover or even to full range, when it tries to it struggles. Before all this behaviour the center channel did output a good and full range of sound. Zero settings have changed before or after this behaviour.

    Again, it sounded great before the behaviour started. Now it doesn’t, it’s weak and lack all punch it had. Literally the only difference is the receiver sets the crossover too high and even when manually brought back down the speaker itself just isn’t producing the sound I know it did and should be able to.

    There HAS to be a reason why a speaker that once sounded good, no longer does. The fact the crossover is triple where it used to be with no other settings different, to me is the telling piece of the puzzle.

    I have reset the receiver multiple times. No change in the odd behaviour.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 17,870
    Have you checked to make sure it is wired correctly? Try the speaker as a left or right main speaker and see if the sound improves.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with PS Audio NuWave Phono converter, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Stradivari v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X1 two channel preamplifier Signed by Poppa himself, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 525a CD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray , Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds

  • Tony MTony M Posts: 5,619
    Have you pushed gently on the woofer cones to see if they move in and out freely?

    Also, can you post pictures?
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    Have you checked to make sure it is wired correctly? Try the speaker as a left or right main speaker and see if the sound improves.

    I have checked the wires, and I did also test running the CSi A6 through the left main channel. It was a bit louder but still lacked the range that it should be able to handle.
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    Tony M wrote: »
    Have you pushed gently on the woofer cones to see if they move in and out freely?

    Also, can you post pictures?

    I am not at home at the moment but I will try that when I get home in a couple hours.

    I will also be using a volt/ohms meter to test the speakers as suggested earlier in the thread and will post those results.

    I can take some photos when I’m home. Specifically of what do you want photos of?
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,495
    Have you checked to make sure it is wired correctly? Try the speaker as a left or right main speaker and see if the sound improves.

    I second this.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
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  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    mdaudioguy wrote: »
    Have you checked to make sure it is wired correctly? Try the speaker as a left or right main speaker and see if the sound improves.

    I second this.

    Did that. As mentioned I tested the CSi A6 running through the left main channel. It was only slightly louder but still lacked producing the range is should be able to.
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 5,619
    Pics of your speakers back plates and fronts. Pics of your receivers back hook-ups.

    If you can't, I fully understand. ;)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    edited August 8
    F1nut wrote: »
    Do you have a volt/ohms meter?
    F1nut wrote: »
    Pull the two drivers. Test each one between the positive and negative terminals with the meter set to ohms. Report back the readings.

    Got a hold of an older analog meter, tested the speakers. Initially one of the drivers gave me a reading of 10 and the other 0. Then both are giving readings of 0. (Actually below 0 on the analog gauge)
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,535
    "0" indicates a short. Less than "0"means the meter needs to be zeroed by touching the leads together and then adjusting the indicator to read 0.

    One other bit of caution: most analog meters send quite a bit of current when testing for ohms. This can skew results when testing a load like a speaker.
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    F1nut wrote: »
    Do you have a volt/ohms meter?
    F1nut wrote: »
    Pull the two drivers. Test each one between the positive and negative terminals with the meter set to ohms. Report back the readings.
    FestYboy wrote: »
    "0" indicates a short. Less than "0"means the meter needs to be zeroed by touching the leads together and then adjusting the indicator to read 0.

    One other bit of caution: most analog meters send quite a bit of current when testing for ohms. This can skew results when testing a load like a speaker.

    Initially the dial on the meter was broken (off its track and why it was below zero.) Opened the meter up and fixed the dial. Got it zeroed out when touching the leads together. Retested the speakers and they still give a reading of 0.

    So is this confirmation that my drivers do in fact need replacing? Seems crazy both drivers went bad, or is that normal?

    If so then Polk needs to send me two new drivers? I’ve already emailed them 3 times before taking to the forums and all 3 emails have been ignored. They were super quick on a reply when I first emailed them and sent me a new crossover (that’s what they believed to be the issue initially.)

    Thanks
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,999
    edited August 8
    Blowing out both drivers is unusual. Normally, the first thing to go is the tweeter. Did any of the components on the original crossover look funky? Did you short any connections out? Did you have the volume cranked up with heavy bass playing?

    How many speakers are you trying to drive off the AVR? You need to reconnect your sub. Without the sub taking the bass load you're asking way too much from an AVR. It's rated at 130wpc with only 2 channels driven. Every extra speaker it drives drops the available wpc down. If you're driving more than 5 speakers the wpc could be down in the 50wpc. Connect the sub crossed at 80 Hz.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,999
    BTW, it's always better to call than email.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    F1nut wrote: »
    Blowing out both drivers is unusual. Normally, the first thing to go is the tweeter. Did any of the components on the original crossover look funky? Did you short any connections out? Did you have the volume cranked up with heavy bass playing?

    How many speakers are you trying to drive off the AVR?

    The original crossover looks pristine as far as I can tell. Probably didn’t even need replacing.

    I didn’t short any connections (as far as I’m aware.) All ends are using banana plugs, so no chance of wires touching and causing a short.

    I’ve had volume up a little on some music and movies. Nothing too extreme that should have blown anything (maybe a few short 3-5 seconds here and there around the 50 mark on an Onkyo TX-RZ810 in “absolute” volume setting. I think that equals -32 in relative volume setting. If you’re familiar with Onkyo volume gauges.)

    I’m just running mains (RTIA5’s), center (CSi A6), and rears (RTIA3’s). 99% of the time have the subwoofer disabled in the receiver settings as my mains for my room currently provide adequate bass. I briefly tested out 5.1.2 for about a week to try out Atmos. So definitely nothing the receiver can’t handle (it can do up to 7.2.2)
  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    F1nut wrote: »
    Blowing out both drivers is unusual. Normally, the first thing to go is the tweeter. Did any of the components on the original crossover look funky? Did you short any connections out? Did you have the volume cranked up with heavy bass playing?

    How many speakers are you trying to drive off the AVR? You need to reconnect your sub. Without the sub taking the bass load you're asking way too much from an AVR. It's rated at 130wpc with only 2 channels driven. Every extra speaker it drives drops the available wpc down. If you're driving more than 5 speakers the wpc could be down in the 50wpc. Connect the sub crossed at 80 Hz.

    If 5 speakers and running no sub is too much, how come it was totally fine since January/February and only now struggles? Not sure I can understand that.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,999
    edited August 8
    3 to 5 seconds is more than enough time for bad juju to happen. Not saying it did, but it happens quicker than that.

    Regardless of what you think, you need to reconnect the sub and let it handle the low bass. Your AVR will live a lot longer and you'll minimize the chance of damaging your speakers. You can and should set the sub volume so that you don't know it's on until something blows up, etc.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 17,870
    Sounds like you may have clipped something, which is a condition that occurs when a speaker needs more power to complete a certain task, but there is not enough current coming from the amp/receiver to make it happen.

    This is the worst thing you can do to a speaker, IMHO.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with PS Audio NuWave Phono converter, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Stradivari v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X1 two channel preamplifier Signed by Poppa himself, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 525a CD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray , Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds

  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    F1nut wrote: »
    3 to 5 seconds is more than enough time for bad juju to happen. Not saying it did, but it happens quicker than that.

    Regardless of what you think, you need to reconnect the sub and let it handle the low bass. Your AVR will live a lot longer and you'll minimize the chance of damaging your speakers. You can and should set the sub volume so that you don't know it's on until something blows up, etc.

    Surely a RZ series receiver can handle 5 speakers though. It was once an $1800 Canadian dollar receiver, so it's definatly not a budget receiver. I’ve had much lower tier receivers handle 5 speakers w/no sub prior to purchasing this one.

    The reason I haven’t bothered with running the sub is because when I got the RTIA5’s I found they gave me pretty much identical bass quality my sub does. Some cases the RTIA5’s were more balanced in that department. Regardless of the sub enabled or not though the center wasn’t having to deal with low bass. 60 as far as I know isn’t low bass. My mains handle the low bass and always seem up to the task and aren’t the issue. The issue is my center is broken.

    I’m not arguing, so please don’t take it as such. I really do appreciate the help. I am just trying to understand, because I’ve ran this similar type of set up for 10 years (on much weaker equipment and issue free) and only since December/January-July just upgraded and replaced everything in my system. It sounded amazing until this center speaker issue.

    TBH I have to wonder about Polk’s QC. When I got my mains, 6 of the screws that attach the speakers to the cabinets were rusted. Now the drivers in the center are apparently bad (possibly my doing however hard to tell as I don’t believe I honestly pushed it too far.) Who knows what will happen to my new RTIA3’s, since something has been wrong with each purchase. Bad, bad luck, and that’s not even including the bad amp in a PSW125 that went only 1 year after my dad purchased many years back.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 17,870
    Your center channel does most of the heavy lifting in a movie soundtrack, and, depending on the release, can carry as much as 75% of the audio signal. That is why you need a sub set to the correct crossover point, and your mains set to large so they relieve some of the pressure your center is under.

    A loud explosion and no sub assigned to carry that load, while the mains are already working hard left no reserves for the center when it needed it and popped the drivers. While it may be possible that you had a bad driver, I doubt two would fail at exactly the same time without a cause.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with PS Audio NuWave Phono converter, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Stradivari v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X1 two channel preamplifier Signed by Poppa himself, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 525a CD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray , Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds

  • iSayBoournsiSayBoourns Posts: 18
    Your center channel does most of the heavy lifting in a movie soundtrack, and, depending on the release, can carry as much as 75% of the audio signal. That is why you need a sub set to the correct crossover point, and your mains set to large so they relieve some of the pressure your center is under.

    A loud explosion and no sub assigned to carry that load, while the mains are already working hard left no reserves for the center when it needed it and popped the drivers. While it may be possible that you had a bad driver, I doubt two would fail at exactly the same time without a cause.

    Thanks for the explanation. Seems like it could have been the cause.

    Still has me wondering how a $600CAD center channel can break so easily TBH. I still have to question Polk’s quality control based off my past experiences, and can’t rule out the unit I got was a dud from the get go and was destined to fail relatively soon after purchase regardless of how my system is set up. Especially since my previous 2 receivers on my old speakers never failed running at “5.0”.
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