Seeking Help Identifying My Speakers

I recently picked up a pair of RTA 12(?) speakers from a local business closing up shop. I had no intentions of buying speakers but when they were offered for $20 I jumped on them but I really have no idea of what I bought.

The serial numbers are 12 09119 and 12 09037. I read that the speakers are channel specific but there is nothing on the speakers to Identify right from left. An email from Polk said colored dots were used but the speakers have no colored dots. The email from Polk is also what led me to here.

I've also read here that different tweeters were used but there are no names on the tweeters to identify the manufacturer. All that is on them is an ink stamped number on the magnet. They are rather unremarkable and bland in appearance.

Finally, one of the plastic corners on a crossover cover is broken. Are they still available? Also missing is the angled stand. Can anyone tell me what angle they were at and what was the height of the angle the speaker sat in on in the stand? The cover cloth is also faded. Are replacements available?

Thank you.

A new Polk Audio speaker owner.
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Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    Pictures are worth a thousand words.
    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."


  • I can't directly download pictures on this computer but they look like these from eBay. They don't have the "block" around the tweeters as some do.

    d82sffa6k8gq.jpg
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    If yours look exactly like those with tweeter mounted vertically they are the original RTA 12. The tweeter is a Peerless.
    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."


  • Thank you F1nut. Do these speakers have the right, left side phasing requirement? If so, how do I tell one side from the other?
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    They do, should have a mark or label on the back. If not you'll have try them on each side to hear which way sounds best.
    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."


  • Yup, that's what Polk said. There are no marks. My ears are shot after years of loud noises so I can't guarantee what I'm hearing. This is more about just getting it right. Seems odd though that Polk puts nothing on their speakers but serial numbers but can't give you and information about a speaker based on the serial number. To my ability though, I like how they sound.
  • Thank you for your help.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    edited October 2
    Those speakers are close to 40 years old, so you really can't expect them to have info based on serial numbers. On top of that, Polk didn't sell matched pairs and that's why your serial numbers are not consecutive.
    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."


  • I don't expect anything by the serial number. I do expect more than nothing though. Hell, the only way a speaker can be identified is to know them by sight or go look at pictures to find a best match. I have never seen speakers with less information on them except maybe the cheapest, no name brand imports like my first stereo, Electrophonic from K-Mart in the 60's.
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,968
    Oh and BTW, there were no stands for them, angled or otherwise offered from Polk.

    $20 was an absolute steal, nice grab!
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    As I already told you, they would have come with a channel label on the back panel. They either came off or someone removed them.



    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: 40,608
    In the pic you can see the channel labels and if you look closely you can see a red dot on the inductors.

    y0xpj459y5ze.jpg
    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."


  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 11,454
    edited October 2
    Interesting, so the dot gives you left and right? How is that for forward thinking back in the day.
  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,230
    I don't see any red dots on my 12B's but they are labeled L and R on the crossover. Could be from a previous owner, I dunno....

    1ts855m1xzxs.jpg
    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer SC-1222k AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Denon 2910, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's/ RTA8t
  • This is the E-Mail I received from Polk:

    Hello,

    For the RTA 12, we used to mark them with avery dots; we used green for left and blue for right. Unfortunately, there are no other visually identifiers or whether they are left or right speakers.

    If you set the speakers up next to each other, you should be able to hear the difference between the left and right. Take the grilles off and listen to the individual speakers. When next to each other correctly, the outside speakers will produce just bass, and the inside speakers will produce bass and midrange.

    Tom Carter
    Customer Service Technician

    My speakers have no dots, stickers or former owner notations.

    The speakers sound fantastic and nothing can take away from that. I do question why upper end speakers don't come with a permanent mark to identify right from left. We're not talking about a vast economic hit for doing so.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 11,454
    Sounds pretty plain and simple to me. Then after mark them yourself.
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 22,364
    Sounds like they gave a viable solution to identify which is which...
    - 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
  • As I said, I can't tell the difference due to hearing loss. This is more about getting it right for the sake of getting it right and for others. Some speakers are almost painful, especially over time, to listen to. These aren't. I can't argue with your comments but really, wouldn't a permanent identification be better than contacting the manufacturer about their intentions?
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,968
    You should be able to trace the XO and identify the low freq driver through to the 3 pin connector, then it's a matter of pulling a driver and continuing the trace.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    edited October 2
    Dude, they came with channel stickers on them as evidenced by the pic I posted. How was Polk supposed to know that 40 years down the road they would either fall off or that someone would remove them!?!

    Following your logic Polk should have also bolted down the top hats you're missing and secured them with Loctite, so they wouldn't get lost because the speakers were voiced with them in place.
    Post edited by F1nut on
    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."


  • FestYboy wrote: »
    You should be able to trace the XO and identify the low freq driver through to the 3 pin connector, then it's a matter of pulling a driver and continuing the trace.

    Now this I understand. Thank you.
    F1nut wrote: »
    Dude, they came with channel stickers on them as evidenced by the pic I posted. How was Polk supposed to know that 40 years down the road they would either fall off or that someone would remove them!?!

    Following your logic Polk should have also bolted down the top hats you're missing and secured them with Loctite, so they wouldn't get lost because the speakers were voiced with them in place.

    ?? Missing top hats? I'm not missing anything. On one speaker the plastic corner post is broken but nothing is missing. Not sure where you concluded this. I understand and accept your determined defense of Polk's practice. "Fall off or removed," exactly! You have identified the shortcoming of the practice.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    You said, "They don't have the "block" around the tweeters as some do.", which I took to mean the top hats, but evidently you meant something else. Sorry.

    I can only surmise you don't have much experience with vintage speakers as there's a boat load of them out there that are missing some or all of their original label. To call it a shortcoming is.......well, ignorant.

    After you determine which channel is which please attach a permanent engraved metal plaque to each speaker. Heck, you might even consider starting a business providing plaques for all of the vintage speakers out there missing their original paper labels. B)
    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."


  • Experience with vintage speakers? You're right, no. Experience with vintage and antique autos and planes, loads of experience. It's rare to deal with symmetric and more than likely asymmetric parts that aren't marked R and L. The first really good set of speakers I owned were Infinity Reference Speakers. I guess they were ignorant and wasting time and money for marking their speakers. Same goes for Quad Speakers.

    Maybe Polk thought stickers were fine because they never believed their speakers would last that long? I don't believe that and I would have never gone there except you seem stuck on the notion that if someone disagrees with you, that's not enough. How far are you willing to go with demeaning someone in belief that you are right and they are not only wrong but ignorant and god knows what else? Sad.
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,322
    Most Polk speakers still have them. The problem is when they are stored in humidity, or someone takes them off, etc.
    Micah

    Main system: Technics SL3200, Shure M97xE, Lafayette LR1100 for tuner, Hagerman Audio Labs Bugle 2 phono stage, NAD C352 integrated, Boston Acoustics VR 2, Boston PV500, generic ICs, and BJC Belden speaker cables.

    Desktop: Dell Precision 690 running iTunes, Yamaha RX-v665, Monitor Audio R90s, Velodyne VA-907, generic ICs and speaker cables.
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    Experience with vintage speakers? You're right, no. Experience with vintage and antique autos and planes, loads of experience. It's rare to deal with symmetric and more than likely asymmetric parts that aren't marked R and L. The first really good set of speakers I owned were Infinity Reference Speakers. I guess they were ignorant and wasting time and money for marking their speakers. Same goes for Quad Speakers.

    Maybe Polk thought stickers were fine because they never believed their speakers would last that long? I don't believe that and I would have never gone there except you seem stuck on the notion that if someone disagrees with you, that's not enough. How far are you willing to go with demeaning someone in belief that you are right and they are not only wrong but ignorant and god knows what else? Sad.

    What's sad is your non-stop harping about a $20.00 pair of speakers missing their paper label, then after being told how to figure out the issue state that your hearing is so shot you wouldn't be able to perform the task........LOL
    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."


  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,121
    The original 12 did not have cascaded crossovers so location shouldn’t matter. This is one reason that later models are more desirable.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    edited October 4
    DSkip wrote: »
    The original 12 did not have cascaded crossovers so location shouldn’t matter. This is one reason that later models are more desirable.

    Well, that's interesting. I admit I've never looked at the schematic for that speaker. Perhaps they did the same as the older Model/Monitor 11 and put a sheet of acoustic foam under one of the mid-drivers to limit the frequency response. If so, the OP should be able to tell by simply removing the drivers and taking a look.

    Even if that's the case, the Model/Monitor 11 was still marked Left and Right with a paper label.
    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."


  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,121
    I don’t know. I know I had original 12 with peerless and couldn’t hear any difference in frequency between the two drivers.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • PolkaudioforumnamePolkaudioforumname Posts: 63
    edited October 5
    DSkip wrote: »
    The original 12 did not have cascaded crossovers so location shouldn’t matter. This is one reason that later models are more desirable.

    DSkip,

    Thank you. Answers one of my earlier questions if it even matters with these speakers because there was nothing to identify right from left. Unfortunately something else that was lost in nonsense.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,608
    C4
    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."


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