The first RT series... RT12, RT16, etc... Vintage?

SyndilSyndil Posts: 1,591
edited November 2011 in Vintage Speakers
Hey guys. I've got a set of RT12 speakers with the down-firing Power Port on them. When I first purchased these new back in the day, I had determined through my research at the time--or at least thought I had determined--that they were very similar to Polk's highly-regarded LS series. Similar size and shape, similar (if not exactly the same) drivers, just a slightly more modern look and of course the Power Port. I figured my RT12 speakers were basically a aesthetic update of the LS50 to give them more appeal to the then somewhat new home theater market. I have kept them and used them for all these years and I am still extremely happy with them. Along the years, I eventually picked up a PSW-300 sub and a CS350-LS to complete my system for home theater. I've never cared for rear-channel sound so never bothered with LS f/x surrounds.

But now that I've found this forum, I am curious as to what the "true Polkies" think about Polk's original RT series. Is it indeed on par with the LS series as I had assumed, or was there a significant change beginning with the RT series? I still enjoy my speakers regardless of what the consensus is, so no need to temper your opinions. It's just a question I have often considered, but never really cared enough to seek out the answer to. But, since I'm here...

RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII
Post edited by Syndil on


  • mantismantis Posts: 15,956
    edited November 2011
    Back then I lusted after the RT16's. When I was ready to buy , they came out with new models. I ended up with the RT1000p's. Deep down I always wanted the Rt16's.
    Not much later I scored a Pair of SDA-2B's which I thought where neat but hated the idea of having a cable between the 2. I also thought the RT1000p's sounded better.
    Then I actually scored a pair of RT12's which I was really digging for a very short period of time. I moved on to much better speakers and found them to lack to to many ways so I sold them to a local guy.

    The LC series is a more musical speaker over the Rt series of that time. I always liked the 90's. A friend of mine owned them and I always enjoyed sitting at his house just kicking back and listening to them for hours. Him and I where heavy into music , polk's , monster cable , Yamaha receivers and Pioneer Elite cd players. It was what we did and it was great.

    If you don't have surround channel speakers , it's not a matter of being "INTO" them but completing a surround field. There is no reason to have a center and sub if your not going to finish the package. Your incomplete , it would be like running a left speaker in mono and trying to listen to a stereo recording. Yeah go mono and get everything but nothing is no placed correctly and you lose out on the experience. I'm sorry you never had rear channels , you missed so much.

    I'm a true polkie in your words as I have loved polk since the late 70's early 80's. My family has owned them before me. I still have polk speakers all over my house.

    Welcome to the forum , good people , much knowledge and good times.
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • SyndilSyndil Posts: 1,591
    edited November 2011
    Thanks for the reply. I never got to hear any of the LS series, and since the RT12 is more comparable to an LS50 rather than an LS90, I am sure the 90s probably did sound better. I also had the option of purchasing the RT16 instead of the RT12, but after auditioning them both at home, I found the RT12 to be more suitable for my space. Not sure if it was the larger 7.5" drivers on the RT16 or perhaps the tri-lam tweeter instead of the RT12's dynamic balance silk dome, but I found the RT12 much more pleasing to listen to. Still get goose-bumps and a stupid grin when listening to Fountains of Rome, so whatever they're doing, it's working.

    I have indeed had rear channels before, and I still hear rear-channel sound when I go to the movie theater, which I do quite often. I still find the effect annoyingly distracting. Takes me out of the moment and ruins that important "suspension of disbelief" that makes a movie a good movie. Just like for some people 3D video can be distracting. I happen to love the new generation of 3D effects (in the theaters, that is--have not seen a home 3D setup yet), but the 5.1 and 7.1 sound... Sorry, it's a wasted gimmick on me. I'm very happy with my 3.1 setup.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,948
    edited November 2011
    My understanding is that the RT series is traced back to the SRT system...

    Since then I feel most of the entire RT series in its many forms are cosmetic upgrades with lateral sonic changes throughout the years :)

    You have a great set of speakers, enjoy.
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • I am new to the Forum. just resurrecting a set up from back in my closet that I want to bring to life. Have two RT-12 speakers and a PSW-300 sub-woofer. Also a Harmon-Kardon AVR 20zz. Have Monster cables. Never bought the rest of speakers. Just retired so have time and I’m committed. Where do I start?
  • Also have Harmon Kardon FL 8300 CD player that will load five CD’s.
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,858
    What's the main usage of the system and your end goal? That will determine where to start.
  • Navy_GoatNavy_Goat Posts: 179
    edited September 2019
    Picked up a bunch of RT speakers for a great price locally last weekend. Most are in rough shape and I have been cleaning them up and gluing the vinyl back down.
    * 2x RT16 Tall Floor Standing Speakers
    * 2x RT10 Floor Standing Speakers
    * 2x RT3 Bookshelf Speakers
    * CS10 Center Channel Speaker

    So far I have determined that the sound dampening material in the RT10s has deteriorated to the point that it is disintegrating and will need to be replaced. I suspect the xovers would benefit from a refresh. All the drivers seem to be functional.

    I dont think I will keep all of them. I have my eye on a CC and some rears to compliment the RT16s. If I pick them up I will move the RT10 and RT3 and cs10 on to a new home.
    Living Room: Marantz NR1509>Parasound HCA-1500a>Polk SDA SRS 2.3tl/SVS SB-13Ultra, CS400i
    2 Channel: Technics SL-QD33, Marantz ND8006>NAD 7175PE>Zu Audio DW/Polk SDA 2Btl
    Office: Fiio E-17>Fiio K-5>APPJ Mini2013>Polk Monitor 5jr, Audio Technica 700MKII, HiFiMan HE-560
    Portable: Fiio X3ii, Shure SE-215, Fender FXA2/FXA6
  • BDTBDT Posts: 212
    I was a big fan of the RT first serious speaker (and what got me involved here) was the RT7. I don’t think they suffer by comparison with later designs.

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