What would you do? 800i vs LSi9...

organorgan Posts: 5,022
edited November 2003 in 2 Channel Audio
Well, after receiving the Rotel pre from Russ, I listened to the Rotel/NAD combo for 3 days and really liked the sound. It's missing the warmth, air and other stuff I like with tube sound but it produced transients, dynamics and slam like crazy. The ASL sounds great with the NAD too. When I went back to the ASL/Dyna combo I was able to tell the dynamics and slam wasn't as good but vocals and instruments sound very realistic. Better than the Rotel/NAD combo.

A few nights ago I hooked up te 800i to the tube set up and a lot of that tube magic came through the speakers. Now the 800i have this great smoothness in the mids, lower mids and upper bass. Dynamics was slightly better than the LSi. The LSi still sounds awesome but with less "magic". The tri-lams still sounds a little shouty and compared to the LSi, they sound colored.

I can't even make up my mind right now that's why I posted this. If it was your system and you had to choose, which one would you go for? I'm just sick and tired of moving speakers around and positioning can be a real pain in the ****(toe in, tilt, distance, etc). I have the RT hooked up right now.

It seems like that "tube magic" increases when your speakers have higher sensitivity and higher impedance. I'm just hoping the Klipsch I'm buying in Dec will give me the best of both worlds.

Maurice
CD Player: Original CD-A8T
Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
"I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
Post edited by organ on
«1

Comments

  • mantismantis Posts: 15,376
    edited November 2003
    You know it's a game you must play.Purpose if you will.

    Purpose is what binds us and drives us.Purpose is whats infront of you and you can't even see it.

    Without questions there can be no answers........yours is right under your nose.....or sitting on a stand.

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,638
    edited November 2003
    Huh?

    Can someone translate, I loaned my official Hong Kong Fooey secret decoder ring to someone and haven't gotten it back yet.


    organ,

    my .02

    On the whole, I think the LSi is a better all around speaker than the RT, however, from conversing with the folks at Polk, the concensus is that the LSi was geared to solid state gear. Not that they can't and don't work with tubes mind you.....

    My opinion (albeit limited) on the tubes is that they are very task specific while solid state gear tends to be a jack of all trades/master of none type thing. In some areas, I find tubes to be simply flawless where as in others, notably bass, they are pretty sloppy. It's all a tradeoff.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited November 2003
    What the **** was that Dan? Are you HIGH?

    Purpose? Without questions there can be no answers? Ya think?

    You crackpot.

    Organ - sounds like the 800's were more easily driven (and possibly more forgiving) than the LSi. You are probably right that both efficiency and impedance may be playing a roll with your tubes.

    Keep us posted, when is the big Klipsch purchase slated? I'm interested in your thoughts, seeing as we (for the most part) are running the same tube preamp.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,638
    edited November 2003
    Well, Russ, you know, if you have all the money in the world, there is no need for option.


    Fooey, HK
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited November 2003
    The tube magic is very apparent in the SDA line of speakers. Maybe it's time to REALLY move some speakers around. My own preferences, really, but damn, I just can't keep quiet about it!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited November 2003
    Let me just say that without us, there can be no us-ness....

    Without you, there can be no you-ness...

    Without pee, there can be no pee-ness!

    My very own Zen Whoopie Gibberish.

    Organ,
    I'll be interested in your Klipsh insights. I found them to be very hard to listen to after a very short period of time. Hope you have a better experience with them
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited November 2003
    Dan,
    I don't quite follow you there:confused: .

    Troy,
    Yeah, I find tubes to be lacking bass compared to SS. I do enjoy the mild bass for some music though. I also find them lacking a little in HF extension but that is a plus for me. I enjoy a slight roll-off in the extreme highs. However, the LSi really shine with SS gear even though the mids and highs aren't as good. The choice between dynamics or mid/highs is very tough.

    Russ,
    I believe the 800i is 90db/w/m which is almost double in efficiency compared to the LSi9 and that's not taking the 8 vs 4ohms rating into account. Not sure how much impedance affects sensitivity though.

    I'm planning to get a pair of RF-15 by mid Dec. I'll have to try hard to get the dealer to give me a good deal. I'll let them know that I've seen them go for about $450US on the net. I'm sure they're authorized dealers too. I'll let you know how they sound once I get them and I'll do a review within a week with both SS and tube gear. I'll also do a comparison with the ASL/NAD combo.

    madmax,
    I'm sure you're right. The SDA effects will only enhance the tube sound, especially soundstaging. I still haven't heard SDA's but would love to own one of those big monsters one day:).

    Frank,
    Which model did you listen to? The one I'm planning to get is the Reference line which is pretty much the LSi of Klipsch speakers. Russ heard them and was very impressed. I'm sure they'll sound great with tubes.

    Thanks a lot guys.

    Here's a little update...I listened to the 800i again. I do love the extra magic but I think I like the LSi better.
    However, there's some good news. I checked out some posts on audioasylum and a lot of members recommend using the 8-ohms taps from the output transformers even when running 4-ohms speakers. So the LSi9 are back up and running again. The 8-ohms output provides a larger power transfer when powering 4-ohms speakers. This set up produces more distortion on paper but I can't hear them. With the 8-ohm taps, the bass sounds more powerful and tighter. It seems like the mids is better and HF extension is a little better. It's still not SS bass but it sounds better now.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • HBombTooHBombToo Posts: 5,335
    edited November 2003
    Originally posted by organ


    Not sure how much impedance affects sensitivity though.


    Great question! I would like to understand... :confused:

    Dan you need a DRINK!:D

    Twin
    ***WAREMTAE***
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited November 2003
    Organ,
    RF7's, Man did I have a headache!! Just not my kinda speaker. I've listened to different models in the past and really never got into Klipsch. To each his own I guess.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited November 2003
    I'd probably keep moving around the speakers. Then again that's me.

    Have you done extensive demoing with this impending purchase? You could probably talk them into a weekend loan. This would be best. If you have done this already and are pleased, then by all means continue. What's harsh to one is high freq. accuracy to another. Of course this depends highly on the recording.

    I believe that when all other things are equal, higher efficiency speakers make all amps sound better. I also believe that horns are not always the best execution of HE speakers. And I know front loaded horns can create less than an optimal soundstage in a small or even mid sized room. Heavy on the toe and move your seat from the rear wall as much as possible.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited November 2003
    Maurice,

    what is it you're trying to achieve? what is it that the 800i's and LSi9's aren't doing for you? I understand how you mixed and matched speakers with SS amps and tube amps..but where is the downfall coming from in your mind?

    It sounds like you're set on going with Klipsch speakers.. which is fine.. I don't own any. but my friend does... he likes em. I never heard them feel to bright in my opinion. And yeah they are more efficient that other brands and makes of speakers.

    I'm very interested to hear what you don't like about your current set up/system. Is this for 2 ch or mulitichannel listening or both?

    Al
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited November 2003
    Frank,
    That's their TOTL reference speakers. It could be the gear the were connected to because their sensitivity is extremely high so they will reveal any weakness in the chain.

    gidrah,
    I still haven't heard them. I plan on demoing them once I have the cash.
    I still haven't heard horns in a home set up. The only horns I've heard is in the concerts I've been to and the movie theater. I really like their dynamic range and effortless sound.

    Al,
    I really enjoy my LSi9. The thing about the 800i is that their higher efficiency produced the "tube sound" even better but compared to the LSi9, they sound shouty in the highs and a little colored in the mids and upper bass.
    Whenever I check out tube forums, just about everyone recommend horns for tube amps to get the most "tube magic" and dynamics. Tube amps were pretty much designed for horns.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited November 2003
    There's a lot questions coming your way so I'll add another. At $450US, I'm sure you could spend that money in other areas to complement your current setup instead of adding some more speakers. Such as cables. ;) Have you auditioned interconnects, speaker wire or power cords? They may turn out to be what you're looking for. As you know, I've had some great success with cables recently and have now put off buying speakers for a while.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited November 2003
    Derick,
    The IC's I have right now are pretty good: XLO Pro 100 and Monster Interlink Reference 2. I just don't think that cables will give me the sound I want. I'm sure they'll make a difference but it won't be as big as going from conventional drivers to horns. I will take a look at power cords in the future. I just find them too expensive right now.



    Here's an interesting article on horns:
    http://invalid.ed.unit.no/~dunker/why.html

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited November 2003
    I know wires can really improve the sound but no wire is going to make the LSi sound like horns or increase efficiency to 8-ohms/96db/w/m.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited November 2003
    Ed Zachry.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited November 2003
    only thing i'll say on wires/cables.. is that it sometimes can take a lot of mixing and matching to get the right sound you're looking for.. and the higher end cables would cost as much as a new pair of mains anyway ;)

    I think Maurice should try the Klipsch's or whatever other brand he thinks will get him closer to audio excellence... and of the Klipschs don't do the trick.. he can always return them.. then maybe go the route of cables/wires.. if he doesn't at least try the Klipschs out.. he'll always wonder "what if"?

    I too have found that while i like my RT800i's.. they aren't all that. to me.. they lack a full rich sound.. not enough in the bass region for me.. yes they produce a good amount of bass.. and it's somewhat low.. but compared to if they had 12" or 15" woofers... i feel they lack that full sound of speakers from yesteryear.. that's just my .01 cents.

    My friend who has Klispch mains.. i admit sound pretty dang good. His are older fronts.. but still come up on ebay every once in a while.. Klipsch Chorus II. Lovely full sound from these.. but they also cost $1,500 when new for the pair back in the early to mid 90's.

    anyway.. good luck Maurice.. hope you find what you're looking for in whatever direction you go.

    Al
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited November 2003
    Thanks Al. I hope I find the perfect combination of tube sound and dynamics witht the klipsch.

    I've been wondering "what if" for about a year now. Before getting the LSi I was planning to buy a pair of Klipsch RF-3 but heard horror stories about them being powered with SS amps. I had no idea I'd get into tubes so quick. I believe Klipsch is still making that same model your friend has.

    I still think the 800i are great speakers. I could live with them as my mains if I had to. If you want a richer sound in the mids, try crossing them at 80hz. When I was still using an Onkyo receiver, I found the mids to be richer sounding when I cut them off at 80hz.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited November 2003
    Cables were just a suggestion. It's upto Maurice to take the route he wants and needs to take. I've been wondering about getting different speakers for quite a while now myself and am finding cables are answering my needs/wants until I take the big leap for some wallet busting speakers.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,638
    edited November 2003
    How would a change in wire give you a gain in efficiency?

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited November 2003
    Sean,
    Sorry bud, but you completely missed the target with that arrow. A speakers efficiency cannot be changed by adding any wire. It will always remain at its rating no matter what you connect to it.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited November 2003
    Derick and Sean,
    Thanks for the suggestion on wires. The next wire upgrade for me will probably be a power cord for my ASL because it uses a detachable cord. I'm not planning to get a power cord for the Dyna until I replace all the internal wiring. I'd also have to cut, strip and solder the cord for the Dyna because it doesn't use a detachable cord.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,458
    edited November 2003
    Maurice,

    I'd recommend installing a IEC socket in the Dyna. Then you could play around with different power cords if desired. These are the best on the market, http://www.harmonictech.com/furutech/index.html

    Scoll down to the Inlet(R), it's Rhodium plated...better than Gold.
    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."


    President of Club Polk

  • Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited November 2003
    Originally posted by organ
    I still think the 800i are great speakers. I could live with them as my mains if I had to. If you want a richer sound in the mids, try crossing them at 80hz. When I was still using an Onkyo receiver, I found the mids to be richer sounding when I cut them off at 80hz.

    An xo of 80 Hz significantly reduces the amount of intermodulation distortion the speaker produces. IMD is created when the "woofers" try to play upper midrange and deeper bass at the same time.

    Since the 800 is a true two-way speaker, the two 6-1/2" drivers handle anything frm the tweeter xo all the way down to about 40 Hz - that's a wide spectrum. Many users report a pretty big increase in midrange clarity and imaging when the 800 is relieved of deep bass duty.
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited November 2003
    Originally posted by F1nut
    Maurice,

    I'd recommend installing a IEC socket in the Dyna. Then you could play around with different power cords if desired. These are the best on the market, http://www.harmonictech.com/furutech/index.html

    Scoll down to the Inlet(R), it's Rhodium plated...better than Gold.

    Do you think it would be a good/bad idea to put one those AC inlets on a receiver? I imagine you'd void a warranty if it had one.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,458
    edited November 2003
    I think it would be a good idea, but I'm not sure about the warranty issue. Better check with the maker first.
    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."


    President of Club Polk

  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited November 2003
    I would also hit the local musician stores that carry used equipment. Pawn shops will usually have some too. Older stuff will usually have a higher efficiency.

    Here's a pair of rear loaded Fostex horns for sale.http://f18.parsimony.net/forum31999/messages/59450.htm

    Do you not read your PMs, or just not reply?
    Make it Funky! :)
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited November 2003
    Originally posted by F1nut
    I think it would be a good idea, but I'm not sure about the warranty issue. Better check with the maker first.

    Lets leave GOD out of this discussion...
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • cmy330gocmy330go Posts: 2,324
    edited November 2003
    I'm probably too late on this, but I have to ask.....Organ have you really listened to the RF series much? Please don't take offense. I am not trying to insult anyone in any way.

    The reason I ask is because I work at a retailer that sells Polk, Klipsch, Infinity, Bose, and, DCM etc.... Out of all of those the Klipsch are by FAR my least favorite. I guess I might consider bose to be a fairly close second.

    IMO the RF series has an all around muddy sound. Vocals almost seem like the microphone was in the artist's throat when recorded. To me the music always sounds as if it is coming out of a megaphone. I know Klipsch has great efficiency ratings but the way I see it that is only due to the horns, it still takes power to push the woofers. I don't deny that a klipsch speaker is going to be louder than other speakers with the same amount of power, but that doesn't mean it is going to be louder at the frequency you want it to be. Ok that's enough about sound.

    My other complaint with Klipsch is that for the money their cabinets seem to be very poorly built. I have unboxed and set up a fair number of their speakers and often times the feet or spikes will not even go on properly due to cheap parts. And the vinyl wrap they put on their lower RF models just plain looks cheap.

    Ok I'm going to stop there. I really hope I haven't offended anyone. This is just my observation.

    On a positive note. I do really like the magnetic grills on the new RF series.

    Later
    HT
    Mits WD-65737, DirecTV, Oppo DV-970HD, XBOX ONE, Yamaha RX-A1030, Parasound Halo A23, Rotel RB-985, Music Hall MMF-7, Parasound PPH-100, LSi-15, LSi-C, LSi-FX, LSi-7, PSW-1000, Monster HTS2600

    2 CH
    Parasound Halo P3, Parasound Halo A21, Sutherland Ph.D, VPI Classic 3 w/ 3D arm & Soundsmith Aida Cartridge, Arcam CD72T, B&W 802 S3, Monster HTS2500,
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited November 2003
    I'm curious, what do you normally hook the Klipsch's to? Receivers? That could be the problem.

    I'm no Klipsch fan either. ;)

    ***Edit***
    At least the ones I've heard anyway.
    ***Edit***
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
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