Looking for that classic "Polk" sound in their newer lines of speakers.

Don't know if it's false nostalgia but I long to rediscover the '"Polk" sound I had 30 years ago in a pair of RTA 12Bs. Does any of their newer speaker lines between the LSiM, Reserve, or Legend have that traditional 'Polk Audio' sound? Would rather stay in the price range of the LSiM 703 or R200 if possible. Vintage is not off the table but would prefer a newer line. I never actually heard any of the SDAs so don't really know what they would add.


  • Toolfan66
    Toolfan66 Posts: 16,748
    edited December 2021
    IMO, you can't go wrong with the LSiM, or Legend. Reserve if on more of a budget (I have not heard the Reserve) but they are talked highly of.

    Also if you want the vintage sound and tone, then buy vintage, they are worth having and finding if in good shape. SDA's will add a lot to the table, and set of CRS+'s or 2B's to get your feet wet will change everything IMO!! Also easy to do some basic mods to bring them to another level, and your all set. It all depends on your budget..

    There will be pros and cons to all sides, just depends on what you want to do, the newer ones will be more ascetically appealing right out of the box, and will give you great sound..

    You should also look at what you will be powering them with, and if you want to keep what you have build around that..

    You have many options, but in short, if you want the vintage sound buy vintage speakers...

    Enjoy, and have fun!!!
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,768
    I have closed my nearly 40 year Polk cycle with a pair of the R200s. Try the "L" or "R" series loudspeakers that meet your criteria for size, complexity, and price, and you'll likely be very favorably impressed.

    The R200s (and, in fairness, several of the "L" and "R" product line family members) do seem to be becoming darlings of the online/Youtube reviewer community for high value sound quality -- which pretty much puts the Polk brand name right back to where it started in the early/mid 1970s (in a good way, I mean).

  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,897
    To answer your question more directly.....no, the more current lines do not offer the classic Polk sound from 30 years ago. You'd need to buy some vintage Polks for that.

    They do offer though, an improved sound from 30 years ago. The Reserve line, Legends, LSIM...all good series you can be pretty satisfied with.
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

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


    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    edited December 2021
    I agree with the above. There are plenty of old Polk speakers on the used market around the country for those with a hankering for a sort of vintage sound and appearance. I would not have said any Polk product up until recently was better than those, but things have changed.

    The Legend and Reserve lines are all around better speakers than anything, in my opinion, that Polk has made before. FWIW, the R200s were named as the best budget speakers of the year by The Absolute Sound magazine this month. I'm also very impressed with the output from the R600s with the Atmos module add ons.

    It's also my opinion that the current speakers still possess the general sound signature and value Polk has been known for since the beginning.
  • Thanks for all the great feedback. I initially wanted the LSiMs 703 but have been leaning toward the R200s recently. The holiday price of $649\pr is so tempting. Hate that I missed the LSiM 50% off clearance a few years back. I didn't know if Polk pulled away from their "classic" sound when they designed a more dynamic speaker in the R and L series with their turbine cone woofers and pinnacle ring radiator tweeters. Funny I left Polk years ago because I thought they were too colored. Now as I have gotten older I missed that about them. Thanks again for all the advice.
  • motorhead43026
    motorhead43026 Posts: 3,892
    edited December 2021
    Hehehe, got my R200’s for $397, delivered.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.

    Imagine making politics your entire personality.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,768
    Hehehe, got my R200’s for $397, delivered.

    And at that price they're probably utterly peerless (no pun intended B)
    I guess mine were 10% more than that ;)

    The R200s are being compared very favorably to the new KEF LS50 metas (and even more than favorably to the original LS50). Given the price differential between the two models, this is pretty significant.