Rti38 or RT35i?

Quick question: which would be better as front speakers - a pair of RTi38 or RT35i? I had my heart set on the 35, but i just noticed a cheap pair of 38's on Craigslist ($140 CDN, which is about US $100) should I get them, or wait for 35's?

Best Answers

  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,965
    edited January 2016 Accepted Answer
    The Trilam's in the 35i's are the better tweeter. That series of Polk speakers was excellent. Sadly, the trilaminate tweeters are no longer made.

    I have a pair of RT25i's that will always be with me. Those are amazing on vocals and acoustic music, simply amazing. Very natural and completely lacking any mid-range coloration.

    In fact stock RT25i's do a better job with mids and upper mids than my modded 5B's as far as being completely uncolored.

    I'd get the RT35i's over the RTi38's if you have a choice.

    H9

    P.s. I had a pair of RTi 38's and they didn't compare to the RT25i's. They had a thicker, more congested midrange and weren't as accurate with vocals and acoustic music as the RT25i's.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!

Answers

  • I believe the main difference between the two is the tweeters.Not sure exactly what tweeters the 38's use though.
    Living room Home theater: Upgrade Company modified Onkyo PR-SC5509,Sunfire Cinema grand Signature 5 channel amp(1st gen),Carver TFM-45,Carver M-400a,Panasonic TC-P50ST60 50" Plasma(last gen before Plasma production stopped)Pioneer Elite DVL-91,Meridian 519 Dolby AC-3 RF Demodulator,Oppo Digital UDP-205,TiVo Bolt VOX,Nakamich BX-300,Technics SL-1200MKII,Shure V15 Type VxMR cartridge,Polk SDA-SRS 3.1 TL(with RD-0198 tweeters, upgraded with Larry's rings, black hole5,an Avel-Lindberg 1000VA isolation transformer, VR3 customer crossovers and internal wiring),Polk CS-1000P(with SL-6506 tweeter),Polk Monitor 5jr(with RD-0194 tweeters),Polk RT-35i (1),Polk Mini Monitors,Polk PSW150(4)Monster Power HTPS 7000 MKII Signature series,Monster Power AVS 2000 Signature Series,Various MIT,Monster,Upgrade Company and Belden interconnect,power,HDMI,Coax and Toslink Digital and speaker cables.

    Bedroom 2 channel system:Integra DTM 40.4,Nakamichi BX-100,TiVo mini,Musical Fidelity X-LPS,X-PSU,Carver TFM-25,Sony KV-34XBR970(last of the widescreen tube sets before production stopped)Technics SL-1200MKII,Shure V15 Type V MR cartridge,Polk RT-55(with SL-6506 tweeters),Polk PSW-200 in plexiglass(2),Sony Playstation 3 slim.Monster Power HTPS-7000,Monster AVS-2000, PowerVarious Kimber,Audioquest and MIT interconnects and speaker cables.
  • They also changed the cabinet
    Living room Home theater: Upgrade Company modified Onkyo PR-SC5509,Sunfire Cinema grand Signature 5 channel amp(1st gen),Carver TFM-45,Carver M-400a,Panasonic TC-P50ST60 50" Plasma(last gen before Plasma production stopped)Pioneer Elite DVL-91,Meridian 519 Dolby AC-3 RF Demodulator,Oppo Digital UDP-205,TiVo Bolt VOX,Nakamich BX-300,Technics SL-1200MKII,Shure V15 Type VxMR cartridge,Polk SDA-SRS 3.1 TL(with RD-0198 tweeters, upgraded with Larry's rings, black hole5,an Avel-Lindberg 1000VA isolation transformer, VR3 customer crossovers and internal wiring),Polk CS-1000P(with SL-6506 tweeter),Polk Monitor 5jr(with RD-0194 tweeters),Polk RT-35i (1),Polk Mini Monitors,Polk PSW150(4)Monster Power HTPS 7000 MKII Signature series,Monster Power AVS 2000 Signature Series,Various MIT,Monster,Upgrade Company and Belden interconnect,power,HDMI,Coax and Toslink Digital and speaker cables.

    Bedroom 2 channel system:Integra DTM 40.4,Nakamichi BX-100,TiVo mini,Musical Fidelity X-LPS,X-PSU,Carver TFM-25,Sony KV-34XBR970(last of the widescreen tube sets before production stopped)Technics SL-1200MKII,Shure V15 Type V MR cartridge,Polk RT-55(with SL-6506 tweeters),Polk PSW-200 in plexiglass(2),Sony Playstation 3 slim.Monster Power HTPS-7000,Monster AVS-2000, PowerVarious Kimber,Audioquest and MIT interconnects and speaker cables.
  • xmp999xmp999 Posts: 25
    Yeah, I read that the trilaminate tweeters in the 35's were replaced by silk ones in the 38's. I have no idea if that translates into a difference in the sound....
  • classic carlclassic carl Posts: 527
    edited January 2016
    I have a pair of both. I don't think the tweeters are different. I can check tonight. I think the only difference is the cabinet finish and the Polk logo on the grills. I've used them mostly as rear surrounds in my HT, but they sound very good playing music driven by a 2 channel amp. I don't think there is much, if any, difference in the sound, but I never did an A/B comparison.

    Where are you located?
    Post edited by classic carl on
    Main System:
    Proton AA-1150 ~ Yamaha C-4 ~ Furman Elite-15 DMi ~ Sennheiser HD600 ~ Monitor Audio Silver RS8 ~ Monitor Audio FB210 ~ Martin Logan Dynamo ~ Nakamichi CR-1A ~ Marantz CD5003 ~ Squeezebox Classic ~ Music Hall dac25.2 ~ Dual 1229/Acutex M312 III STR ~ Music Hall mmf-5.1/Goldring 1012GX ~ Music Hall Cruise Control 2.0 ~ Optonica RB-7705/Audio Technica AT3500S/ATN12S ~ NAD PP3

    Home Theater:
    LG 47GA6400 ~ Yamaha RX-V800 ~ Furman Elite-15 DMi ~ Marantz DV6001 ~ Polk Audio Monitor 5Jr+ Series 2 ~ RT55i ~ RT35i ~ CS400i ~ (2) PSW450

  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,965
    A few times the RT25i's made the hair on the back of my neck stand up on some vocal and acoustic music. They obviously don't have a huge bass output since they are small. But they dig deeper than you would think and they rarely get congested at louder levels, nor do they sound "huffy" in the bass area. Very smooth and natural roll off, etc.

    I think they would give the LSi 7 a run for it's money......I really do.

    One of the better speakers Polk has made regardless of price. I continue to be impressed with the superb balance they display. I bought them cheap and I'd assume the RT35i is cut from the same cloth.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • classic carlclassic carl Posts: 527
    edited January 2016
    I just looked at mine and if the tweeters are different, I can't tell by looking at them. The RT35i is below the RTi38. Excuse the crappy cell phone pics.

    ypmcbq094cbc.jpg
    ahijxvt73tm1.jpg
    Main System:
    Proton AA-1150 ~ Yamaha C-4 ~ Furman Elite-15 DMi ~ Sennheiser HD600 ~ Monitor Audio Silver RS8 ~ Monitor Audio FB210 ~ Martin Logan Dynamo ~ Nakamichi CR-1A ~ Marantz CD5003 ~ Squeezebox Classic ~ Music Hall dac25.2 ~ Dual 1229/Acutex M312 III STR ~ Music Hall mmf-5.1/Goldring 1012GX ~ Music Hall Cruise Control 2.0 ~ Optonica RB-7705/Audio Technica AT3500S/ATN12S ~ NAD PP3

    Home Theater:
    LG 47GA6400 ~ Yamaha RX-V800 ~ Furman Elite-15 DMi ~ Marantz DV6001 ~ Polk Audio Monitor 5Jr+ Series 2 ~ RT55i ~ RT35i ~ CS400i ~ (2) PSW450

  • xmp999xmp999 Posts: 25
    So I bought the RTi38's, and they sound pretty darn good to me. However, they have a little issue. One of the tweeter domes has some small dimples, probably from being pushed in and fixed. So the seller threw in a SCi30 to make up for the flaw. For the life of me, I can't hear any difference between the damaged and undamaged speaker, but it's bugging me a bit... So I've been thinking... In view of the comments above, what about swapping out the tweeters in all 3 speakers with tweeters from RT35i's (I believe the part number is SL6506). Would they fit? Would they improve the sound? Should I just leave well enough alone?
  • Rti38s bought mine in 2000 Australia because at that time I moved into an apartment. Drove those speakers with Yamaha RX V8 amp and fed LP music at them via Yamaha gigantic tremendous GT750 with Shure M97xE cartridge. for what they are (I mean bookshelf) they are nothing short of amazing. (they do not disappoint you if you keep in mind what you pay for them now in 2018, I still got them. I didn't abuse them, didn't expect or asked them to become sub woofers, nor did i expect from them 3 way system output or even floor standing model output their bass is good but not boombox sounding........ at the kind of pricing i read here being asked fro them dont walk past them. THEIR current replacement model from Pollk you'll pay many more $$$.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 1,215
    heiney9 wrote: »
    A few times the RT25i's made the hair on the back of my neck stand up on some vocal and acoustic music. They obviously don't have a huge bass output since they are small. But they dig deeper than you would think and they rarely get congested at louder levels, nor do they sound "huffy" in the bass area. Very smooth and natural roll off, etc.

    I think they would give the LSi 7 a run for it's money......I really do.

    One of the better speakers Polk has made regardless of price. I continue to be impressed with the superb balance they display. I bought them cheap and I'd assume the RT35i is cut from the same cloth.

    H9

    Was wondering if you still feel this strongly about the RT25's?
    Still own them?
    Might look for a pair, your comments combined with stereophiles great review, made me think we need to look more at Polks speakers beyond the Lsi and Older vintage lines and Rti's we own..

    Lsi15, Lsi9, LsiC,Rta11t,M5jr+,M4,SDA 3.1TL, SDA SRS 2.3TL, Rti6....Still listing stuff, a work in progress.
    B+W-Sold
    Epos-Now gone
    Infinity-Sold
    Advent-Now gone
    Yamaha A-S801
    Yamaha RX-V377
    Yamaha RX-A860
    Yamaha RX-A3060
    Harman Kardon Hk-350i
    Harman Kardon Hk-........
    Harman Kardon PM-665
    Harman Kardon HK-775
    Pioneer.......Stereo Receiver

  • VR3VR3 Posts: 22,601
    The original rt series, as a direct descendant from the srt was a great series.

    The rtixx was awful, less than 2 years production. The next series, the silver faced, rti12 etc has incredibly poor quality enclosures. The current series is perhaps a parallel move from the original series with nicer looking cabinets.
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,544
    Another thumbs up for the RTxxi series. I picked up a set of RT25i speakers under the recommendations on the board for a desktop/small office setup, and that's one of my favorite systems of all. I have to agree, there's something special about the RT25i. Very smooth, not at all fatiguing.

    Also agree about RTixx - to me, awful for music, but they did seem good for HT.

    I did also try a set of RTi38 just to see how they sounded, because they do appear similar in design to the RT25i, but the sound just isn't there for me. I'm doing a basic cabinet rehab on the 38s cabinets for practice, and will give them away. Too much like my bad experience with RTi10 for music.

    I'd be curious to try anything in the RTxxi lineup.
    I disabled signatures.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 1,215
    msg wrote: »
    Another thumbs up for the RTxxi series. I picked up a set of RT25i speakers under the recommendations on the board for a desktop/small office setup, and that's one of my favorite systems of all. I have to agree, there's something special about the RT25i. Very smooth, not at all fatiguing.

    Also agree about RTixx - to me, awful for music, but they did seem good for HT.

    I did also try a set of RTi38 just to see how they sounded, because they do appear similar in design to the RT25i, but the sound just isn't there for me. I'm doing a basic cabinet rehab on the 38s cabinets for practice, and will give them away. Too much like my bad experience with RTi10 for music.

    I'd be curious to try anything in the RTxxi lineup.

    Polk has so many speaker "lines" over the years, they give me a headache!
    I can not keep track of most of their stuff from the 90's onwards....just too much.

    Wonder if there is a timeline reference that would show all the lines year by year?
    Lsi15, Lsi9, LsiC,Rta11t,M5jr+,M4,SDA 3.1TL, SDA SRS 2.3TL, Rti6....Still listing stuff, a work in progress.
    B+W-Sold
    Epos-Now gone
    Infinity-Sold
    Advent-Now gone
    Yamaha A-S801
    Yamaha RX-V377
    Yamaha RX-A860
    Yamaha RX-A3060
    Harman Kardon Hk-350i
    Harman Kardon Hk-........
    Harman Kardon PM-665
    Harman Kardon HK-775
    Pioneer.......Stereo Receiver

  • msgmsg Posts: 4,544
    I thought I'd seen a timeline thing at one point but not sure, and can't remember where.

    There is this, though - list of all Polk speakers on the Internet Archive from back in 2014, I think just before Vanilla?
    http://web.archive.org/web/20140628092311/http://www.polkaudio.com/vintage

    Polk SDA/Monitor - https://polksda.com/list.shtml

    And then this kinda/sorta timeline - https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/158644/polk-speaker-timeline
    I disabled signatures.
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