T50 or S20

mpitogompitogo Posts: 251
Not exactly like for like. I saw a reviewer Zero Fidelity say he uses T50’s as a reference in the $400 range. Right now they’re half off $99ea. I’ve also read good things about the S20 now at $249pr. They’re in the same range as Elac B6 speakers but I gave my pair away, too boomy for my taste. Are the S20 more controlled and balanced?
Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack

Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 4,037
    I've listened to both, though mostly just in extended audition, not for extended use. Both are surprisingly good, imho and limited experience.

    I think the S20s had greater output overall than the T50s, and personally I'd take them over the T50. The T50 just couldn't get loud enough for my space, which isn't surprising given its design - sealed cabinet, single driver; smallish. T50 might be better for a really small space with lower listening levels.

    In my experience, the S20s were not boomy, but @Upstatemax had some difficulty with them. Another good thread to check out here - http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/178438/polk-s20s

    Room size, placement constraints and expected use for the speakers can help you decide. Is this primarily for music or theater? I found the S20 to be a great choice for dual purpose systems, slightly edging out the LSiM703 for HT use.

    Both would be best with a sub, but S20s can be respectable on their own, again, in the right size space with proper placement.

    I think with placement, you can tune the S20's bass, but that may mean giving them lots of space - out from a back wall possibly up to 24" and at least the same from side walls.
  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 251
    T50 is 4 drivers? Maybe you thought T15? I auditioned the T50 at bestbuy, not the best place but I decided against it. I’m looking to replace a pair of T15 (the T15 are spares). Will be for a 3rd 2.0 pure analog music system and hoping to avoid need for .1.
    Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,602
    T50 is 2 drivers and 2 passives
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 2,532
    I thought a T-50 was an Arrow staple gun?

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  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 251
    Ahh, two active drivers... I stand corrected. I didn’t look at the specs just the price point. That explains it.
    Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,037
    To clarify, by two active drivers, that means a tweeter and the mid/woofer in this case. As TXC mentions above, the lower two 6.5"ers are drone cones; only the upper 6.5" is powered.

    What do you feel the T15s are lacking?
    How big's the space you're working with?
    How's it laid out?
    Listening levels?
    What will you be driving them with?

    You mentioned a desire for better control. This is going to depend a bit on your amp side, and what you're looking for, exactly. Control along the lines of tighter bass and less congestion in busy pieces can come as a benefit of quality input power and/or higher current amps.

    I'd feel inclined to go S20 on basic mass loaded stands for a 2.0 over T50s. They may be a touch more forward than the T50s, though, and will probably sound thin at lower listening levels without a sub.

    T50s may sound a bit smoother and more balanced at the lower listening levels, but may lack the output performance of the S20s at higher listening levels. I think the S20s will need some power to sound their best.

    The T50s may be better for a small space with lower powered gear and low to moderate listening levels.
  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 251
    edited January 28
    What do you feel the T15s are lacking?

    They sound a bit hollow. At low volumes they sound fine but at mid volumes they tend to sound brittle. Elac B6 where fuller too boomy but better. T15’s are just spares and suited for surround duties. Sounds decent with Jazz but not so with everything else.

    How big's the space you're working with?

    15x14x7.5H

    How's it laid out?

    Square office, speakers sit 5’ apart with the front baffles 14” from the wall on top of built-in counter top 30” from the floor with built-in cabinets below and shelves above spanning the whole wall 14’ wide with a 39”x48” window in the middle.

    Listening levels?

    Low to medium, max would be 77db slow response C weighted at listening position.

    What will you be driving them with?

    Carefully rebuilt Sansui AU-6900. Pure vintage analog sound. They used to power ML Motion 40 in MBR but I replaced it with a Rotel RA1570 mainly for 2xoptical, USB and the Bluetooth.

    Other options could be a spare mediocre Harmon Kardon HK3370 or a retired but fully functional Denon AVR-4802R it has pure direct mode but loaded with useless features.

    Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack
  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 251
    I have a $100 gift card so I was thinking of going a different route to KEF Q100. There are also some tempting RTiA3 for less but I will be placing the speakers on a bookshelf so the rear port could be problematic. The KEF has front ports and has an optional plug.
    Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack
  • rburgess714rburgess714 Posts: 242
    edited February 14
    mpitogo wrote: »
    I have a $100 gift card so I was thinking of going a different route to KEF Q100. There are also some tempting RTiA3 for less but I will be placing the speakers on a bookshelf so the rear port could be problematic. The KEF has front ports and has an optional plug.

    Regardless of which one you choose I would refrain from placing them on a bookshelf. They need to breathe.

    No experience with the T50s but recently picked up pair of used S20 locally for around a hundred bucks for the GF. I was very impressed with them and they were being powered by a modest receiver.
    Living Room
    Yamaha Aventage RX-A 1060, Parasound P5, Parasound A23, Yamaha BD-S681, Auralic Aries Mini, Polk S60, CSiA6, Samsung 60" LED
    Office
    B&K Ref 50, B&K 200.2, Chromecast, LSiM 703s
    Douglas Connection ICs and Cables
  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 251
    I have builtin bookshelves all along a wall in my office. I had Polk T15's as the primary speakers for 2ch. They were ported on the front so not too much of an issue. The Polk T15's just weren't doing it for me. I replaced them with KEF Q100 and so far I'm quite pleased. They are breaking in, probably another 97 hours to go. Previously I had a +3db bump on the bass to have the T15 sound flat. For the Q100, I'm running them flat with eq defeated. Not as boomy as B6, there is some heft to the bass but glad its front ported and I can also put in the optional plugs if warranted.
    Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack
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