Missing Our Tsi Setup. Are We Crazy?

We had a Polk 3.0 setup for a very long time. It consisted of the Tsi400 towers and the CS10 center. We (my wife and I) loved how the cherry finish looked and always thought they sounded great for our needs; TV, movies, and music in our fairly small living room, never playing at very loud levels. Having read all the hype about the Polk Signature line, we decided to sell the Tsi set and buy the Signature series.. We now have the S30 center and a pair of S50 towers in black. Well, we're kinda less than thrilled. They are connected to a late-model Denon receiver and Audyssey has been run on them.

While the S30 center sounds somewhat better than the old CS10, the S50 towers don't sound like an improvement and, perhaps, sound a bit worse than our Tsi400s did. And the black finish, while loved by many, leaves us flat. I know all of this is subjective but we're seriously thinking about going back to the Tsi. Would I be thrown out of the Hallowed Halls of Home Theater for making such a move? Does anyone else think that the Signature line has been overhyped? Or is it just our preference? Anyone still enjoying their Tsi speakers? Anxious to hear any opinions. And yes, I guess we're looking for some validation for our thinking!

Comments

  • I have found that a move up in speaker sometimes requires a move up in amplifier to get the most out of the design. I assume that it has to do with the lower models being able to sound better on lesser gear at low power output.
    HT Optoma HD25 LV on 80" DIY Screen, Anthem MRX 300 Receiver, Pioneer Elite BDP 51FD Polk CS350LS, Polk SDA1C, Polk FX300, Polk RT55, Dual EBS Adire Shiva 320watt tuned to 17hz, ICs-DIY Twisted Prs, Speaker-Raymond Cable

    2 Channel Thorens TD 318 Grado ZF1, SACD/CD Marantz 8260, Soundstream/Krell DAC1, Audio Mirror PP1, Odyssey Stratos, ADS L-1290, ICs-DIY Twisted , Speaker-Raymond Cable
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,196
    edited December 2018
    You like what you like. But are you sure you have given yourself enough time to adjust to the difference. What are the differences besides looks that you don't like compared to the Tsi's?

    Is it possible you are missing the third driver that the 400s have but the S50s don't? You probably should have gotten the S60s instead. I know having the third driver had an immediate impact of what I heard compared to my RTA-8Ts 2 drivers. Maybe you like walnut color instead.

    But I wouldn't call the Signature series overhyped. Too many people who's ears I trust have said they are terrific, so I took a chance sound unheard and got the S60s and I have not been disappointed.

    They can do music/HT with ease, without any shrillness of an overworked tweeter, and the bass is fairly substantial, and I personally love the understated elegance look of them. They have handled every kind of music I have tossed at them without a hiccup.

    I had been waiting for years for getting another pair of all round speakers that can do both without breaking the bank, and I now have them.

    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 41,026
    edited December 2018
    If you are used to a tipped up treble you might think the smoother Signature speakers sound dull when in fact they sound more natural. How long have you had the Signature speakers?
    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."


  • spongersponger Posts: 321
    The Tsi400 has one more bass driver than the S50, so my first guess is that the latter perhaps doesn't have the lower end room presence of the former. In which case I'd suggest letting the S50 break in a bit more to balance things out. Do you have a sub? The Tsi like the monitor series is a very laid back, forgiving speaker. In contrast the sigs are comparatively more forward and detailed. If you have a hardwood floor or a lack of furniture in the room, then they could even sound too harsh from all of the acoustic resonance. Whereas, the tsi couldn't sound harsh even if they tried.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
    S15
    Sony 790S
    Denon DP 300f
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 41,026
    Ha, I assumed the TSi series would be on the bright side, which I hate. I don't find the Signature series bright or forward.
    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."


  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 1,702
    S50 should have a sub in the mix. They are not really great on the low end. S55 with the 6.5" drivers have a much better low end, even the S20. The S60 has a nice low end that doesn't need a sub unless you want one. I've ran my S60 in full range with the sub off, they are fantastic.

    TSi are a decent speaker but the 400 to an S50 I would say is a slight step down. 3 drivers to two. The third driver in the 400 most likely was crossed over just for bass.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN60H,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, Sony DVP-NS3100ES, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk Signature S60
    Center: Polk CSi-A6
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk S15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Sony KDF-E42A10,
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES
    4 Polk RTi4 about 15' up the wall
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • spongersponger Posts: 321
    F1nut wrote: »
    Ha, I assumed the TSi series would be on the bright side, which I hate. I don't find the Signature series bright or forward.

    I wouldn't say the sigs are bright, but they are when compared to the monitor / tsi.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
    S15
    Sony 790S
    Denon DP 300f
  • HTGuyHTGuy Posts: 5
    Well, guys, we were able to get some Tsi speakers in the house at the same time that we still have the Signature series. So, yes, we ARE crazy. When hearing them back to back, it is no contest that the Signatures sound better overall.

    It's interesting how our mind (ears?) can play ticks on us to think one speaker sounds better than the other when we rely only on our memory. I'm glad we were able to do this back-to-back testing. It kept us from making a mistake. So, we're keeping the Signatures. Thanks for all your comments. You may return to your regularly scheduled discussions!
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 1,702
    edited December 2018
    add a sub in the mix to make them shine. You don't need a monster sub just a decent one to pickup the low end.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN60H,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, Sony DVP-NS3100ES, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk Signature S60
    Center: Polk CSi-A6
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk S15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Sony KDF-E42A10,
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES
    4 Polk RTi4 about 15' up the wall
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,669
    The Signatures may need 50-100 hours of use on them before they open up. Give them a fair shot.
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • spongersponger Posts: 321
    edited December 2018
    Can't beat the old side by side comparison method. I have to admit I think that's kind of admirable that you went to the trouble instead of just taking them back.

    I don't know what Klipsch is thinking by allowing their demo display to sit next to the sig demo rig at BB. They aren't terrible speakers, but compared to the sigs they sound like a backyard boom box meant to entertain inebriated guests who can't hear the difference over the conversation. The sigs come across with much more balance and openness for serious listening.

    I just wish Polk had more than one song to demo. Where the Klipsch display has the edge is a touchscreen menu with a variety of music types; whereas the sigs have that one song from Alice Merton. But there is a video screen and she isn't hard on the eyes...no sir she is not.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
    S15
    Sony 790S
    Denon DP 300f
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,669
    sponger wrote: »
    I don't know what Klipsch is thinking by allowing their demo display to sit next to the sig demo rig at BB. They aren't terrible speakers, but compared to the sigs they sound like a backyard boom box meant to entertain inebriated guests who can't hear the difference over the conversation.

    This gave me a chuckle, thanks. :)
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • verbverb Posts: 4,795
    HTGuy wrote: »
    Well, guys, we were able to get some Tsi speakers in the house at the same time that we still have the Signature series. So, yes, we ARE crazy. When hearing them back to back, it is no contest that the Signatures sound better overall.

    It's interesting how our mind (ears?) can play ticks on us to think one speaker sounds better than the other when we rely only on our memory. I'm glad we were able to do this back-to-back testing. It kept us from making a mistake. So, we're keeping the Signatures. Thanks for all your comments. You may return to your regularly scheduled discussions!

    Hey @HTGuy welcome to CP!

    I have to agree with your comments, it's difficult to directly compare A/B based on memory. Always best to do a direct comparison, and limit the number of variables that could affect the performance.

    But, as a newbie, I like to rely on the opinions and judgments of many here on CP. Most of us are on a journey - what's new to me is most likely something that someone else here has traveled before. Their advice is always a great place to start for me.

    But in the end, it's your personal preference and taste that matters. Enjoy the new speakers! :smile: And hang around! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Rega RP1 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs DAC, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1 transport, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE Bluetooth Streamer, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Furman M8-LX Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
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