What happened to Polk's Quality and Customer Support?

I am considering buying a pair of Polk HTS-12 HT subwoofer to replace my two dead PSW650s but was surprised at the large number of reviews on Amazon about the sub amplifier failing right out of the box or with a few months of purchase. What is even more alarming is that people with problems are saying that Polk's customer support does not respond to warranty queries at all.

As I am a proud repeat Polk owner of nearly twenty speakers and subs, I am seriously considering going with another brand. It is very sad to see such a reputable brand go down the tubes.

Are any of you forum members experiencing the same problems now?

Answers

  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,384
    I hang around as I like the people in here. I don't purchase Polk speakers anymore. Unless they come out with something I want, I also shop elsewhere.
    The LSI's where the last pair I owned. I have a full house in in wall and in ceiling speakers for whole house music that are all Polks but my main listening is not.
    The LSIM's almost got my attention they where pretty nice but not better then what I owned when they came out.

    I hear you man. Sub's look elsewhere man. Polk doesn't make a PSW650 replacement model. I don't think they have anything anymore on that level.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,461
    For $50 a subwoofer more, I'd go with SVS PB-1000s. Five year unconditional warranty compared to only three years for the HTS-12's electronics. And SVS is a small company that's got steller service.

    I have not needed Polk customer service for many years except for when an LSiM 706C was destroyed in shipping, but I understand from forum posts that there are issues with responsiveness even for warranty repairs. Simple answer is Polk is just one brand in a big corporation now. But, they were responsive to the shipping issue I had and sent a replacement out the same day.
  • JayDog
    JayDog Posts: 260
    edited February 2021
    Sub recommendations - SVS PB-1000, HSU 12 VTF, RSL speedwoofer, Monoprice 10,12,15 or Rhythmic


    Sub-woofer design has gotten allot more competitive in the last 5-10 yrs. which results in less profit I would assume compared to a passive speaker line up.
    Polk is killing it with its speaker lines right now.
    Sub engineers are specialists they usually can only devote so much cash and R&R into one or two good designs of any item, like good speakers or amps.

    Rarely will you find a Company that makes more then one or two world class level items.
    Polk is making a profit in affordable speakers, Sound United has it covered, they have there hand in just about every part of the Audio world. They have a very impressive list of companies now, they just bought B&W that is going to be fun to see what happens with them, So I bet Sound United are not to worried about Polk investing in a lower profit, higher end sub design, I could be wrong?

    It is even worst with the driver manufacturers, one company makes a great tweeter, one company makes a awesome mid, but rarely will you see a company that can make both at a world class level!
    Legacy Audio owner is from my home town Springfield IL..
    Bill Dudleston has a good video on you tube from our local News interviewing him talking about this very subject, He describes how his speaker parts come from multiple manufacturers from all over the world. He started pointing at one of his High end speaker models, saying this tweeter is Norwegian, woofer is Danish and this mid is French, all in this one speaker.

    I am sure you can figure out what drivers companies these were.. :) Sure this is world class level speakers but designs change so fast, it does affect the whole industry with trickle down technology.
    Just some food for thought..Cheers
  • JayDog
    JayDog Posts: 260
    VR3 wrote: »
    IMO, SVS changed the subwoofer market forever. When SVS started selling absolute bad **** subwoofers for $500 shipped to your door that reached to 20hz strong, I feel alot of mass production companies all but bowed out of the subwoofer market because they could not compete.

    The fact SVS has grown to the size that it is today reinforces that thought for me as well.

    I agree with you, but it wasn't just SVS imo, you have to give props to HSU 12" sub also, it was also a complete game changer and hits lower then SVS $500 sub for the same cost but both are great!
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 25,589
    Hsu is a great brand as well with solid products, I just don't think they had the same widespread success SVS did. That sentiment remains today, imo
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • jon s
    jon s Posts: 906
    My big issue is that I live in Hawaii... SVS does not ship outside the continental US. I also have a Def Tech Supercube 6000 which i find completely underwhelming even though it has three 10" drivers (one active, two passive). I can feel low bass but there is no mid-bass... My older Polk PSW650 had a lot more mid-bass than the SC which goes lower but has no mid-bass. I actually prefer bass around 50Hz which the PSW650 excelled at.

    Another sub I kind of liked was the Sunfire True Subwoofer Mark II which has tremendous punch but was a bit bloated. Unfortunately, the rail amp that Bob Carver designed was prone to failure, the amp has to be sent in for repairs every couple of years which gets expensive.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,461
    Best Buy carries some SVS subwoofers if that's an option at one of their Oahu stores.
  • jon s
    jon s Posts: 906
    I looked at the SVS subs and I want to get a ported model. The one i would like is $800, a lot more than i can spend. The $500 model is too small.
  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 7,448
    jon s wrote: »
    I looked at the SVS subs and I want to get a ported model. The one i would like is $800, a lot more than i can spend. The $500 model is too small.

    The $500 SVS model will still smoke the HTS12.
    Living Room 2.2: Usher BE-718 "tiny dancers"; Dual DIY Dayton audio RSS210HF-4 Subs with Dayton SPA-250 amps; Arcam SR250; Musical Fidelity A308; Sony UBP-x1000es; Squeezebox Touch with Bolder Power Supply
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Sony UBP-x700; Definitive Technology Power Monitor 700s mains, CLR-3000 center, StudioMonitor 350surrounds, ProMonitor 800 atmos; Sub - Monoprice Monolith 15in THX Ultra
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Polk RT25i; ACI Titan Subwoofer
  • JayDog
    JayDog Posts: 260
    edited February 2021
    Jon S,
    I think you are looking at some other brand or wrong SVS sub, HTS isn't even in the same league as the PB 1000 SVS, 10inch is big as far as 10 inch subs go, bigger then HTS and the only $500 sub bigger is the HSU and it is almost to big for 2 subs, I know from experience, did you look at this SVS for pb1000 $500 or HSU VTF 12 $549

    https://www.worldwidestereo.com/products/svs-pb-1000-300-watt-dsp-controlled-10-ported-subwoofers-pair-black-ash-pb1000bpr

    here is a good video review to give you a sense of size..



    if you want the best value deal imo the SpeedWoofer RSL. it is close to the SVS or HSU but doesn't hit as low what it does hit, it hits really well for..$399

  • JayDog
    JayDog Posts: 260
    edited February 2021
    daddyjt wrote: »
    Are you looking for home theater subs, or music? SVS is great for theater, but for music you may want to consider other options... No offense to the SVS fans intended (backs slowly out of the room, with hands in plain sight...).

    I agree with you Daddyjt,
    SVS is no Rel for music, just keep it between us, I have a rep to try and hold on to.. :D

    Rel might have some competition with this sub from KEF..

    Post edited by JayDog on
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 47,050
    daddyjt wrote: »
    Are you looking for home theater subs, or music? SVS is great for theater, but for music you may want to consider other options... No offense to the SVS fans intended (backs slowly out of the room, with hands in plain sight...).

    Word!
    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

  • JayDog
    JayDog Posts: 260
    I just realized how awful of a review link I left on here for
    the RSL. He gives us very little helpful knowledge or technical information on the sub.

    My brief sub review.. The RSL Speedwoofer is made with a quality high excursion driver, heavy duty rubber surround, cast basket, that is mounted correctly in a braced box. It tested great down to 24htz, I think it looks good. you can hide 2 of these in your room at 15" by 16" box, no problem.

    This is why, I feel its a great deal for $399, I cannot stand some of these who call themselves reviewers, that make over generalized statements, most of them have very little technical knowledge or know what there even saying or hearing.
    They just say "I like this speaker because it is great, so buy it now.. its a deal.. subscribe and hit my like button..join my facebook blah blah". :#

  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,384
    I think you get what you pay for in Sub's. Not many Gems Ive' run across. Most of the higher end subs are awesome and most of the lower one are not.

    Now as for Musical and Theater? If a sub can't do both properly then I don't think it's a good sub.

    I own probably 11-13 subs right now and I have owned many more. I have listened to them for music and theater. My favorite ones are always the ones that perform how a sub should perform. A sub should become a part of the room ad create low end extension. It should support the given speaker package in the room whether it's 2 or 11. Movies are not just explosions , they also play tons of music. They play voice and blow stuff up. You name it the Movies will recreate it. Music on the other hand can be limited due to the instruments being played. Not all instruments can play from 20hz to 20kz and beyond or below. Most movies??? Yeah they do all that and then some.

    So if you educate yourself on sound , not movies and music you will quickly learn that a sub woofer , better 2 in a room over 1 will play sound correctly or not. When you come across these movie only subs, walk away no run away. They are junk trash subs and no reason to buy them when there are so many good options out there.

    I can't comment on these SVS subwoofers of today. I have experience with them when they hit the market and where making Cylinder subwoofers and some of the biggest subs for home. I wasn't impressed then actually annoyed. But they are supposed to be great today so I would at least try to get a good demo.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • SDA1C
    SDA1C Posts: 2,069
    mantis wrote: »
    I think you get what you pay for in Sub's. Not many Gems Ive' run across. Most of the higher end subs are awesome and most of the lower one are not.

    Now as for Musical and Theater? If a sub can't do both properly then I don't think it's a good sub.

    Agree!!! We went to QSC and never looked back. Never had an interaction with the CS at Polk other than to buy tweets so not much to say there. SDA is all I use from Polk, and those were made 30 years ago. I used a couple of ps350s but they couldn't hold a candle and quickly went on the yard sale pile. I say buy once cry once so again, I agree with the first line in Mantis' statement.
    Too much **** to list....
  • jon s
    jon s Posts: 906
    I ended up not buying the Polk or the SVS. BB offered the Polk but no longer offers the extended warranty on any Polk products. The salesperson said they usually drop warranties on products that are not reliable. That says a lot.

    I also listened to the SVS and their $500 subs just didn't have the bass sound i was looking for. The one that sounded decent was too expensive at $900. So I opted to order a Dayton sub amp and will either rebuild my dead DSW MicroPro 4000 (more expensive) or PSW-650 (cheaper). I have the necessary tools (table saw, routers, etc) and have built some home theater subs before. I just need to calculate the internal volume to get the proper response from the drivers.

    When a sub dies, i keep all the components I can salvage and measure out the cabinets for future references.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 47,050
    So, BB extended warranties are a waste of money. Tell me something I didn't already know.
    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

  • jon s
    jon s Posts: 906
    I tried to call Polk's CS just to see how bad it is... After 30 minutes on hold, I gave up. There is absolutely no way I would buy or recommend Polk products to anyone. If you buy a Polk product, you have to be prepared for absolutely terrible customer service and from what I have read elsewhere, no technical support. Adios, Polk...
  • la2vegas
    la2vegas Posts: 375
    jon s wrote: »
    I tried to call Polk's CS just to see how bad it is... After 30 minutes on hold, I gave up. There is absolutely no way I would buy or recommend Polk products to anyone. If you buy a Polk product, you have to be prepared for absolutely terrible customer service and from what I have read elsewhere, no technical support. Adios, Polk...

    Bingo!
  • I've been trying to return a pair of S15's I bought a month ago. I ended up going with the S50's. I am happy with them for a home theater setup, but that's another subject.

    I've sent 5 emails and I've called them multiple times. I did receive a live person once. They took my information and said someone would send me a shipping label in 3-5 days. That didn't happen. I've filed a dispute with PayPal since that's what I used to purchase them. I didn't want to but I don't feel like I have another choice. Not sure if I will win it, or hear back from Polk or what.

    I purchased S50 and S30 center and I am happy with them, but this return process has left me baffled to the point that I searched out on this forum and created an account just to post this. It's so bizarre in this day and age.
  • ken brydson
    ken brydson Posts: 8,267
    ThanL23 wrote: »
    I've been trying to return a pair of S15's I bought a month ago. I ended up going with the S50's. I am happy with them for a home theater setup, but that's another subject.

    I've sent 5 emails and I've called them multiple times. I did receive a live person once. They took my information and said someone would send me a shipping label in 3-5 days. That didn't happen. I've filed a dispute with PayPal since that's what I used to purchase them. I didn't want to but I don't feel like I have another choice. Not sure if I will win it, or hear back from Polk or what.

    I purchased S50 and S30 center and I am happy with them, but this return process has left me baffled to the point that I searched out on this forum and created an account just to post this. It's so bizarre in this day and age.

    @KennethSwauger