Polk L200 Speaker Demo Reviews

F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,966
This thread is for the reviews of the members in the demo program. Everyone else try to keep on topic, thanks.
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

«1345

Comments

  • WillowWillow Posts: 9,715
    When can we expect the first review? Roughly...
    2Ch- B&W 703, SVS PB10 NSD, Marantz NR1607, Parasound 1500a, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (Yellow) with Acrylic platter, Pro-Ject phono pre, MIT AVT 2 speaker cables, MIT AVT 1 and AVT 2 ICs, XLO Jumpers, Signal Dig Coax, Signal Cable Magic Power Cables x3, Samsung 55JS7000, Harmony 1100, Sony BDP-S6200, Marantz DV-4200 (as Transport), Cambridge Audio DAC Magic100, Monster 3600MKII, Android Mi Box3 and Apple TV. - Pool /Gazebo Yamaha RX-A1010, Polk Patio 25x4, Rotel RDV 1045 (as CDP) MIT AVT3 ICs - Work - Spotify Premium or Neutron App to my FiiO Kunlun into my Grado SR125e

  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,486
    Willow wrote: »
    When can we expect the first review? Roughly...

    Friday, October 25 8:18 a.m.
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited September 29
    Oops, I got off to a bad start already :p

    You can expect a 'review' (well, some sort of miscellaneous ramblings) from me sometime in the next 24 hours.

    nji2n6cf1usf.jpg

    Actually, and in all seriousness, @F1nut, since I am not technically in the demo program, is it OK for me to post comments here?


  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,642
    Post away Doc.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • tonyp063tonyp063 Posts: 686
    Mark,
    You had ears on them & we in the forum know that you understand good sound.
    I, for one, would like to see you observations & opinions
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited September 29
    Cage Match: Polk LSiM vs. Polk L200!

    ;)

    It was very interesting, instructive, and enlightening to listen to @Manticore's big Polks (at least I think they're LSiM 707s!) in direct comparison to the L200s.

    I was very surprised by how different the LSiM707 sounds compared to the L200. The former speaker is much more up-front and lively in its presentation, and (of course) it has much more impactful and rumbling bass. The LSiM sounds good, but very different than the L200. I wasn't expecting that.


    Driving home, reflecting on the afternoon, I 'realized' (i.e., I decided) that what I was hearing in the case of the big Polk towers was a home theater speaker -- I don't really mean to denigrate them, but the effect they had on music, in that context, was rumble and sizzle -- impressive but not necessarily realistic in terms of the real sound of actual music (acoustic or electronic).

    The L200 has a much more 'classic hifi speaker' sound, albeit at an impressively high level of (for lack of a better word) resolution than one would associate with most of the classic monkey coffins of the golden age.

    Synopsis

    All in all, I found the L200s supremely easy to listen to, but (perhaps not coincidentally) not very soul-stirring. The lack of emotion, for me, isn't due to a lack of bass, but rather an overall sheen over everything that makes everything sound nice but a little bland. Not rounded off, but not stirring. I've never taken SSRIs (y'all can probably tell), but I wonder if what I was experiencing listening to the L200s yesterday was the aural equivalent of Prozac or maybe some mood stabilizer -- nice, pleasant but ultimately not very real.

    There was just something kind of artificial -- kind of plastic-y -- about the L200. The LSiMs sort of hid their sheen behind some added drama in their... well, I wouldn't call it brightness -- maybe forwardness, and the Marvel Comics movie style, resounding bass they manifest. Sort of like the Prozac patient, tweaked with speed.

    Hmm... I may have bitten off more metaphor similie than I could chew, sorry!

    Of the two, I'd actually probably be happier with the L200, but they were just a little too emotionally muted to make me happy.

    Finally -- the L200s seem to me to be awfully expensive for what they look like, and what they do. What's the MSRP of the KEF LS50? (sounds of Marky googling...) Looks like the LS50 (the 'hard-wired' version, not the amplified wireless morph) is $1300 (e.g., from Music Direct). Now, personally I find the aesthetics of the LS50 rather comical (not to my taste, shall we say?), but I am not sure whether the far more old-fashioned/conservative cosmetics of the L200 would justify their $500 premium in price over the LS50 (e.g.). I am also not sure the L200's audible qualities would justify it, either.

    All of this being said, I would still like to hear the L800s.

    fin.

  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,505
    Very informative Mr. Hardy, thank you.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,511
    Thanks for the write up!

    They are smaller than I thought they would be, and weigh about 34 percent less than the LSiM 703s. Dimensionally, they're smaller all around. But, the specs say their -3dB lower limit measurement is a tiny bit lower than the 703s (46 Hz vs 50 Hz).

    https://d3vqw2nv1topde.cloudfront.net/assets/Product Documents/Legend/Polk_Legend_Product_Infosheet_6Pgr_Digital.pdf

    Given the nature of the new cone material, my guess is it make take quite a few hours for the L200s to open up and bloom. That's also what I found with the 703s though. They sounded dull and boomy at first.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp; Classe Model 25 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio Power Director; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Parasound JC2BP and A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited September 29
    As I mentioned, @Manticore had stands and has listened to them on said stands along the long axis of the room (and possibly also with a different amplifier and/or preamp, I am not 100% sure of that). I listened to them as you see them (per my disclaimer posted earlier). He would have liked me to hear them that way as well, but I had been up since 4:30 am and was pretty brain dead by 3pm. I also attended the NEARC swapmeet in Brookline NH Saturday morning (and did a pretty good job of offloading some hifi junk, too -- even made some $$ doing it!).

    As to break in, I don't know how much total play time they have since they started out with @F1nut.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,966
    edited September 29
    They had close to 200 hours in them.

    Definitely way too high up in the pic.

    Mark, thanks for your review.
    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

  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,975
    Thanks for the very detailed review mark!
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • Thanks for the review. I will be interested in another review where these are set up properly. Asumming this listening session was with the setup as pictured.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; Cables ZU Mission IC's, SC and power cords, all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    All TV's sound enhanced by Polk Magnfi Mini's.

    Other; S60'S, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All speakers have had crossover rebuilds, resulting in a small fortune invested in Sonicaps, and tweeter upgrades.

    Political memes posted as fact and accepted as fact, are sign language of the ignorant, for the ignorant

    tonyb said " but even socialists can do a good thing here and there

    Social media makes dumb people dumber and smart people dumb then dumber.
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,761
    Mark, thanks for the very informative and detailed review.
  • indyhawgindyhawg Posts: 1,341
    Doc, thank you for the detailed write up.
  • verbverb Posts: 8,009
    Interesting comments Doc. Well written as usual. I'm having a bit of difficult trying to understand "artificial" and "plastic-y" please expound if you would indulge me.

    Now where's my Prozac? And speed for that matter? :)
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited September 30
    Spend some time listenin' to vintage Altec drivers and horns and you'll know exactly what I mean.

    There is a polished gloss to everything that makes it sound smooth and nice. I used the mood-stablilizer drug metaphor (well, OK, I used a simile, so, like, sue me... ;) ) but I actually had another one.

    You know how the internet is rife with complaints abou the heavily airbrushed "photoshopped" photographs of (typically) beautiful, nubile women that are just too perfect to be real? Like that. But sonically.

    I was tempted to invoke, umm, what's her name? Kim Kar... something. Karmann Ghia? Something like that. Kinda commonly found on the internet. Married to some musician. That kinda gets to the point, but brings in a whole 'nother level of metaphorical resonance related to bottom end performance that -- well, I just didn't want to go there.

    B)

    The too good to be true effect is pretty common with modern audio production values, too -- but we tried a lot of different kinds of music, from multiple sources, too. There was a sort of sameness to the way everything sounded that was extremely pleasant but not particularly natural.

    How about this? I have the same sort of response to "HDR photography".

    reke2gupslid.png
    4cpu473f2dm0.png


    I mean, the world doesn't really look like a carefully focused variant of a Bob Ross painting.

    ;)
  • verbverb Posts: 8,009
    Ahhh. Thanks Doc. Only you have such an ability IMO to articulate your thoughts such that, even an engineer can understand! Thank you! :)
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,486
    Very interesting thoughts Doc Hardy

    I think the entire industry has moved to this direction.

    Look forward to more thoughts
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    verb wrote: »
    Ahhh. Thanks Doc. Only you have such an ability IMO to articulate your thoughts such that, even an engineer can understand! Thank you! :)

    In biotech, I had to work with engineers, too ;)

    Actually, some of the very best scientists I've ever worked with were actually engineers. Like this guy.

    https://www.nae.edu/149873/Dr-Brian-D-Kelley
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited September 30
    ... sorry, I am taking this thread off-topic!
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,494
    Thank you for the detailed review, looking forward to this.
  • dolbyddolbyd Posts: 423
    Nice review

    New legend ad from Polk just dropped

    Main room- RTiA9 x4, CSiA6, in ceiling Atmos RT-70 x4, SVS PC 4000 x2, Marantz 7705, OPPO 203, Emotiva DR3 G3, Emotiva XPA-2 G3, Emotiva XPA-5 G3, Emotiva X300, Sony 75" 940E, Panasonic Plasma VT50, PS Audio Power Port X2, Perfect Wave AC-5 x8, Douglas jumpers, SVS Ultra speaker cables, Transparent IC, Furman PFi20 W/Cullen cable, SoildSteel S4-4 rack, GIK room treatments

    Office-Infinity Kappa 600, Kappa Center, in ceiling Polk RC80i, Marantz 5012, OPPO 203, Pioneer Elite PDF-59 CD, PSA Stellar 300, Sony 510C 48"

    Master BR- LSi7, LSiC, LSI700 in ceiling, SVS-PC 2000, Marantz 7704, Emotiva XPA-5 G2, OPPO 203, Pioneer DVL-919 Laser Disc, Sony 55" 800B

    Patio- SDI Atrium8 x3, Emotiva A-100 amps x3
  • Nice writeup, but I'd like to address the obvious elephant in the room. Prozac isn't a mood stabilizer, and if it were, wouldn't it be best applied to treat something like this?

    alxi2u5tg5jj.png

    Main: Polk Rti-38
    Center: Polk Csi-40
    Rear: Polk Fxi-30
    Sub: SVS PB10-isd
    Receiver: Marantz SR-5007
    Buttkicker Mini Concert x 4
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,715
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,511
    Surround speakers are not using the SDA function, although angled baffles may look somewhat similar. There is no crosstalk cancellation with the old FX speakers, just tweeters aimed in different directions to produce a more diffuse soundfield. Seems like most companies have abandoned that bidirectional speaker design approach lately as Dolby processing systems have evolved to be more precise thanks to better processing power being available. Dolby Atmos systems actually call for rear speakers to be at ear level now.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp; Classe Model 25 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio Power Director; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Parasound JC2BP and A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited October 2
    Not to sound defensive ;) but I think I correctly identified Prozac as an SSRI -- I think I tried to invoke mood stabilizers kind of incidentally, and I offer my apologies if I failed.
    ... but I wonder if what I was experiencing listening to the L200s yesterday was the aural equivalent of Prozac or maybe some mood stabilizer --

    note the "or"
    :#

  • natronforevernatronforever Posts: 31
    edited October 2
    mhardy6647 wrote: »

    note the "or"

    Touche! I was reading the bit about emotional flattening, which is atypical to an SSRI (though sometimes anecdotally seen.) I missed your clearly applied "or". Apologies!

    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    explain yourself @natronforever ?

    Bipolar speaker. Get it? Ba-dum.
    Post edited by natronforever on
    Main: Polk Rti-38
    Center: Polk Csi-40
    Rear: Polk Fxi-30
    Sub: SVS PB10-isd
    Receiver: Marantz SR-5007
    Buttkicker Mini Concert x 4
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