Looking forward to L800 but have concerns, what are your thoughts?

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Comments

  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 24,906
    edited January 2020
    BlueFox wrote: »
    So, how did the sound change?

    Can you give it a rest, Bud? The guy is not a clever wordsmith when in comes to reviews, or perhaps he just doesn't want to offer one up at this time. Cut him a bit of slack, would you please?
    Post edited by nooshinjohn on
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 15,251
    edited January 2020
    BlueFox wrote: »
    So, how did the sound change?

    Can you give it a rest, Bud? the guy is not a clever wordsmith when in comes to reviews, or perhaps he just doesn't want to offer one up at this time. Cut him a bit of slack, would you please?

    LOL. No, that was a basic question of an audio tweak. It either made a difference, or it didn’t. If it did then how did it change. This is an audio forum, not a furniture forum.
    Lumin X1 file player, Westminster Labs interconnect cable
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 15,251
    edited January 2020
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    BlueFox wrote: »
    BlueFox wrote: »
    So, how did the sound change?

    Can you give it a rest, Bud? the guy is not a clever wordsmith when in comes to reviews, or perhaps he just doesn't want to offer one up at this time. Cut him a bit of slack, would you please?

    LOL. No, that was a basic question of an audio tweak. It either made a difference, or it didn’t. If it did then how did it change. This is an audio forum, not a furniture forum.

    Did covering up the blue lights on your Pass amps make a difference in sound quality

    Asking for a friend

    It made the listening experience much more pleasant. When I listen at night I only have an 18” fluorescent light on in the kitchen. The lights on the amps are like car headlights coming at me. After covering them the listening experience became much more pleasant. So, the music sounds better. Much better. :)

    gnvnqjrl5bby.jpeg

    Lumin X1 file player, Westminster Labs interconnect cable
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • joecoulson
    joecoulson Posts: 4,943
    I have the SVS soundpath feet. They made the bass much more balanced. It blended the towers with the sub more and with better imaging.

    On the towers, I have the Gaia II feet, but they connect with the carpet spike discs from isoacoustics so they are essentially coupled to the sub floor, but the fee themselves are not a rigid structure. They changed the sound for me also. Better midrange bass and again, more balanced through the lowers octaves.

    I am a believer in these tweaks as they have presented gains in my system. They are not for everyone.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,596
    mpitogo wrote: »
    I went a bit crazy and did it here as well...

    n542iowdtud6.jpeg

    So, now your speakers rock back and forth. Just what you don't want.
    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

  • displayname
    displayname Posts: 1,118
    edited February 2020
    marvda1 wrote: »
    i was just about to post this. this review puts them in a new light.
    this might explain some of what we heard at the October bash.
    Totally agree. I was glad to see him get pretty honest and blunt in this review. My previous opinion was that he's always been a little too positive about everything he reviews, but the back half of this review was refreshing. I went in thinking "here's another 'astonishing' product" but when he said he flat out finds them hard to live with, I didn't see that coming.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Rosso Fiorentino Certaldo or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • marvda1
    marvda1 Posts: 4,827
    you won't find any av receivers with a 2 ohm rating and not many mid-fi options. this will take some high $$$$-$$$$$+. the comment about source makes it even worse.
    you would think polk would have made it more amp friendly.
    Amplifiers: Norma IPA 140, MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Dac: Sonnet Morpheus 2, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkIII
    Transport: Jay's Audio CDT2 mk2, Lumin U1 mini
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra II
    Speaker Cables: Organic Audio Organic Reference 2
    Interconnects: Argento Organic Reference 2, Argento Organic 2
    Power Cables: Argento Organic Reference, Synergistic Research Foundation 10 and 12 ga.
    Puritan PSM156
  • Kex
    Kex Posts: 4,864
    Fascinating review! Thanks for posting @displayname!
    Alea jacta est!
  • ptrooper
    ptrooper Posts: 501
    edited February 2020
    He needs to do his maths.....8 cables to ech speaker with the height module ..wrong.
    Every SDA speaker needs good placement for its full potential!
    Regarding the differential balanced amps.
    Do the old 1.2's and TL's have this problem?
    Would a dreadnaught solve this problem?
    His room looked pretty bright.I don't believe any speaker in there would sound to good at reference lvls, especially if it's bad source material!
    Post edited by ptrooper on
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,317
    2-4 ohm WOW never knew they dropped that low. That integrated amp may not of been up to the task after all. The open concept floor plan strike 2.

    I do agree some stuff did sound OK other stuff was terrible. I would of like to of seen a good CD/SACD player not all streamed audio there. I would also of liked to been able to move them closer to the back wall but with that dresser that would have interfered as well.

  • ptrooper
    ptrooper Posts: 501
    I believe he said "below 2 ohms"
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    2-4 ohm WOW never knew they dropped that low. That integrated amp may not of been up to the task after all. The open concept floor plan strike 2.

    I do agree some stuff did sound OK other stuff was terrible. I would of like to of seen a good CD/SACD player not all streamed audio there. I would also of liked to been able to move them closer to the back wall but with that dresser that would have interfered as well.

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,317
    actually the specs he listed said 2.8ohm to 4ohms.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,596
    I don't know about that guy. How does he think SDA is supposed to work without the SDA cable!?!

    FYI review guy, it's walnut, not cherry wood......geesh!
    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

  • Kex
    Kex Posts: 4,864
    Maybe he meant that instead of an SDA cable, it could have been wireless? 🤔
    Alea jacta est!
  • Kex
    Kex Posts: 4,864
    Could be, and it probably wouldn’t appeal to the SDA purists either, but that’s also his point, perhaps: the speakers themselves may mostly appeal to purists, which limits the market to those who remember SDA from the past to a large extent, because they are too demanding for today’s new customers who are used to wireless speakers and wireless subs etc. etc.
    Alea jacta est!
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 49,596
    I'm not sure the wireless types would lay out $6k for speakers. They tend to go for consumer grade gear.
    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

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,317
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'm not sure the wireless types would lay out $6k for speakers. They tend to go for consumer grade gear.

    No doubt it doesn't say "Beats" or "Apple".
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 24,906
    marvda1 wrote: »
    i was just about to post this. this review puts them in a new light.
    this might explain some of what we heard at the October bash.

    Sounds like I was right on with my questioning how they were set up and what gear was involved. Sounds like these are the modern equivalent of the Infinity RS as far as being a difficult load.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • ptrooper
    ptrooper Posts: 501
    edited February 2020
    Do you think an old sunfire signiture would pair up well ?
    Ash black look pretty good!
    I wonder if the next model L800’s will be modified in the future like the original SRS’s to 1.2’s due to Anplifier incompatibility
  • dromunds
    dromunds Posts: 9,948
    I don’t know that I’d consider this guy the definitive word on a whole lot.
  • displayname
    displayname Posts: 1,118
    edited February 2020
    marvda1 wrote: »
    i was just about to post this. this review puts them in a new light.
    this might explain some of what we heard at the October bash.

    Sounds like I was right on with my questioning how they were set up and what gear was involved. Sounds like these are the modern equivalent of the Infinity RS as far as being a difficult load.

    I don't know. The front end was run by the flagship Cambridge Edge integrated amp, which should be plenty capable, being fed Tidal by an 851n streamer and appropriate cables. Maybe not the pinnacle of gear, but easily a 10k front end which should have been more than capable.

    And yes, the room shape wasn't ideal, but it was approved by the on-site Polk rep. More importantly I still think that some what misses the excellent points in Andrew Robinson's review:
    "You'll sit there and you'll wonder where all the imaging went. Your center will disappear. The speakers themselves will not aurally disappear, they'll be very much locatable. You'll only hear the right, you'll only hear the left. The soundstage will completely collapse, and you'll just be scratching your head."
    "One of the more inconsistent speakers I have ever encountered"
    "Sometimes it works great... other times it falls completely flat."
    "Requires you on some level to conform to its needs"
    "A big hulking speaker that actually is very difficult to live with."
    "You have to kind of tailor your taste to what's going to make them work and perform at their best."
    "I don't fully understand who this is for... other than a dedicated Polk audio fan."

    Those lines really resonate with me, and reflected my experience. Not to say it doesn't have strong moments, and the review points those elements out as well. But to me those moments are overshadowed by the trade offs. Just my opinion based off one experience of course. I'd happily spend my time with them in another environment. But I can't ever see myself bringing out my wallet for these, even if I had the perfect room and upstream gear.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Rosso Fiorentino Certaldo or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,097
    edited February 2020
    The way he was headed I was half expecting him to say they should be wireless powered bluetooth speakers, the way he concentrated on how difficult it was to get a compatible amp that could deliver into a 2 Ohm load and the *dreaded* SDA cable. Other than that, I though it was a pretty good review.
    Post edited by Gardenstater on
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
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  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,766
    edited February 2020
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'd say Polk was wise not to try wireless SDA.

    Can you imagine? :o

    understatement of the century (hey, we're 20% of the way along now), @F1nut

    :#
  • displayname
    displayname Posts: 1,118
    marvda1 wrote: »
    i was just about to post this. this review puts them in a new light.
    this might explain some of what we heard at the October bash.

    Sounds like I was right on with my questioning how they were set up and what gear was involved. Sounds like these are the modern equivalent of the Infinity RS as far as being a difficult load.

    I don’t think the gear involved was an issue given that the L800s were being fed by a Cambridge Edge A integrated amp, 851n streaming Tidal and connected with appropriate cables throughout. I never once felt that power was an issue with anything we heard. On the contrary, I said the power and fun factor was one of the best traits of the L800s. And the room may not have been ideal for the SDAs, but the onsite Polk rep did say they were performing correctly.

    I think the review highlighted some really important elements of the L800:
    “One of the more inconsistent loudspeakers I have ever encountered”
    “A big hulking speaker that is actually very difficult to live with.”
    “Here we have the L800 kind of acting like a prima-donna… that requires you on some level to conform to its needs”
    “You have to kind of tailor your taste to what’s going make them work and perform at their best”
    “You’ll sit there, and you’ll wonder where all the imaging went… The soundstage will completely collapse, and you’ll just be scratching your head.”
    “I don’t know who this loudspeaker is going to appeal to because it is so big, it is so cumbersome, and frankly it is difficult to live with.”

    To be clear, I’m not saying Andrew Robinson is the ultimate authority on audio. But those quotes above align with my experience. If I have the opportunity to hear the L800s again, I would gladly take it. I’d love to hear the differences in a symmetrical room. They had strong moments and I’d love to hear them at their finest. But based on my experience, I wouldn’t be pulling my wallet out for them and I would be very shocked if a different room or different gear swayed me to feel differently.

    That’s obviously just my opinion, formed from a somewhat limited exposure to the L800s. But I think this review will resonate with a lot of people who have heard these speakers, and I think it brings up valid points of consideration for ownership.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Rosso Fiorentino Certaldo or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs