Rta12

TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,136
edited August 2002 in Speakers
Okay, after spending a weekend at the Casa de George Grand and his lovely family literally surrounded by Carver and tons of classic gear, I finally got home last night and have got to spend some time with my 'new' RTA12's. One note is that these things are in PRISTINE condition. Man, how cool is that.

I've demoed them on the HT rig (which is going to be where they will stay for the time being) and in the mancave rig. The layout on these things is a cabinet with (2) 6.5" drivers, a 12" PR and the tweeter and crossover sits on top of the cabinet. Kinda funky looking but with the grills on, it looks pretty cool. They stand about 38" tall, about 15" wide and 14" deep or so.

After running through my demo material a few times on both rigs (I'm not going to run through the list of equipment but I will if someone wishes) I can see why some folks are less than impressed with them whereas others love them.

If you are looking for a highly detailed sounding speaker, this isn't it. It's a very warm, very smooth sounding very fun speaker to listen to. They image quite well (again, better than some, not as well as others) and throw a HUGE soundstage. The sound is very cohesive from top to bottom. Even at very loud levels the highs and lows roll off very smoothly. I never found the tweeter to sound harsh or bright, the bass was very coherent and full sounding. The midrange was very laid back and mellow. Whereas the RT7's are very open and airy, the RTA's are more warm and chesty though, I wouldn't say unpleasantly so. These are a beefy speaker that LOVE to roar at high volumes but can still suck you in to Puccini.

I suppose this may not be the greatest of reviews but the thing is is that I'm not struck by any particular strength or weakness. They do everything fairly well and you (or at least I) just found myself just sitting there listening with a huge grin. As I said before, if you are looking for the last word in detail and definition, this probably isn't it and I can see where some would be disappointed by them in that respect. For me though, these are definate keepers.

BDT
I plan for the future. - F1Nut
Post edited by TroyD on

Comments

  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited August 2002
    Add some Carver Sonic Hologram to the mix, and get your SDA on....

    I am still lusting after, and looking for some RTA, but after my last experience, I might wait until a forum member offers something up...

    They are DAMN fun speakers to listen to, a real classic Troy. Great addition to your collection...

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • wangotango68wangotango68 Guest Posts: 1,056
    edited August 2002
    the set of rta15tl i had had a huge soundstage and for the two ten inch bass radiators you would think they would have alot of
    bass but they did not. just my opinion.

    scott:cool:
    scott trigg is who I am. I drink too much and tip too little.
    I have a big mouth, and the cojones to back it up.
    I kick **** and chase tail. I like who I am.
    I love bein' me
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,455
    edited August 2002
    TroyD,
    what year did the rta12tl's come out???I don't remember them.I do remember the 8,11 and 15's.......where did the 12's come in????
    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • wangotango68wangotango68 Guest Posts: 1,056
    edited August 2002
    1991
    scott trigg is who I am. I drink too much and tip too little.
    I have a big mouth, and the cojones to back it up.
    I kick **** and chase tail. I like who I am.
    I love bein' me
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited August 2002
    I'm gonna shoot low, and say 1984-86.... (non tl)
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • nascarmannnascarmann Posts: 1,464
    edited August 2002
    where did the 12's come in????

    I think the 12A was around 1980.....
    Oh, the bottle has been to me, my closes friend, my worse enemy!
  • nascarmannnascarmann Posts: 1,464
    edited August 2002
    where did the 12's come in????

    I think the 12A was around 1980.....
    what year did the rta12tl's come out???

    They never did......there never been a RTA12tl
    Oh, the bottle has been to me, my closes friend, my worse enemy!
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,455
    edited August 2002
    Was there non Tl's??
    Are they still considered Real Time array series speakers?TroyD,
    any pic's,Id like to see what they look like.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,136
    edited August 2002
    To my knoweledge there wasn't a 'tl' on the RTA12.....mine are actually RTA12 'C''s. The date written on the tweeter is 7/5/84 (one day before I turned 14!). It COULD be 89 but it looks more like a 84 to me. Most definately they are 'Real Time Arrays', it says so right on the box (I even got the original packing material, no manual but I'm hoping Polk can come through with a copy)

    For a pic....check this out:

    http://clubpolk.polkaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3612&highlight=RTA12


    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • AaronAaron Posts: 1,853
    edited August 2002
    I still can't get over how funky those speakers look with the tweeter and crossover on the top of the speaker. It's like a ghettoed out Nautilus. :D I wonder how many times their owners (or their kids or pets) screwed up those tweeters. It's also curious that they didn't put the tweeter on the same plane as the front of the speaker, or at least that's how it looks in the picture. I would think the reflections off the top of the cabinet would degrade performance significantly.

    Aaron
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,136
    edited August 2002
    There is actually a grill assembly that sits over the top of them like a hat.

    As far as the placement of the tweeter, I'll take a stab at that. IMO it is placed as such because, in theory that sound travels faster from the tweeter than does from the larger drivers. By staggering it back, in theory, the sound waves from the tweeter will reach the listener at the same time as the sound waves from the larger drivers......hence 'Real Time Array'. This was the driving premise behind the elaborate setup of the DQ-10 'Phased Array'

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • AaronAaron Posts: 1,853
    edited August 2002
    There is actually a grill assembly that sits over the top of them like a hat.
    Aha! They were thinking. You need to take some pictures, man. I want to see this Mennonite speaker!
    IMO it is placed as such because, in theory that sound travels faster from the tweeter than does from the larger drivers. By staggering it back, in theory, the sound waves from the tweeter will reach the listener at the same time as the sound waves from the larger drivers......hence 'Real Time Array'.
    I don't buy it....for a couple reasons. First off, none of the other RTA speakers had this configuration (i.e. RTA-8T, 11T, and 15T). Is that really what they meant by "Real Time Array?" If so, then why didn't they use it on the other RTA speakers?

    I understand the time alignment business, but I think the benefits of that would be far outweighed by the reflections off the top of the cabinet. If you look at a Thiel speaker, or even your DQ's (I think), you'll see that the drivers are on the same plane as the front of the speaker. That is, they're sloped. This way you won't be getting any (or minimal) reflections off the cabinet.

    Aaron
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,136
    edited August 2002
    Not being smart on the Real Time Array thing, it was a guess (maybe someone, ahem, Ken Swauger could enlighten us). As far as the tweeter on the RTA12, mine is a bit different than the one shown in the picture in that the tweeter assembly sits with the long edge parrallel to the cabinet (in other words, rotated 90 degrees from what is in the picture) with a ramp type affair attached to the bottom of the assembly, I assume to negate the cabinet reflectons.

    The DQ 10 drivers do not sit on the same plane, they are all staggered different distances from the front of the sealed enclosure that they sit on......

    As soon as I get my sister to come over with her digital camera, I'll have her take some pics of the RTA's.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,455
    edited August 2002
    Cool lookin forward to seeing them.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • stubbystubby Posts: 724
    edited August 2002
    Troy, I remember George telling me about your speakers, he picked yours up right after I bought my pair. I believe the "C" was the final incarnation of the first generation RTA speakers. I still have mine patiently waiting their turn to service (no room for 2 systems in this house).
    I think these will require a bunch of placement experimentation for the best sound. I do have some old Polk literature that says in addition to many rave reviews, the RTA 12 also won the AV Grand Prix speaker of the year award. That's gotta mean something! BTW, Polk does have, and will send you, a photo copy of the owners manual. If they can't, I'll send you a copy of mine.

    Stubby
    SRS 3.1TL
    Harman Kardon Citation 5.1
    Anthem AVM2



  • wegenwyswegenwys Posts: 8
    edited August 2002
    this is my first post, just joined yesterday since I needed info on a tweeter for my ancient polk and this thread really tweaked my interest. I have a pair of RTA12B which have been in continuous service in the same spot since I bought them in 1985, for, I believe around $700 a pair, being closed out at the time for the 12C. I've always enjoyed them. A couple of years later I bought a pair of 5jr's. Four years ago someones desire to do kareoke through my sound system during a new years eve party resulted in a feedback loop, blew the fuses on the B&K amp, but not before destroying the tweeters. Since the tweeters on the 5jr looked the same except for the clear color (the 12's were black silky type), put those on the 12B's with good results. I've now converted that room into a FP home theater and have no money for new speakers, the 12B's seem up to the task but need a reasonably timbre matched center channel. Are correct replacement tweeters still avaliable, either to swap out of the 12"s or for the 5Jr so either way I can use the 5 for a center channel. Just bought a new Denon 3802 with the B&K used for the left and right channels. The wife is upset with money already spent so existing speakers will have to do for quite some time, besides I'm very fond of those old 12B's having spent many enjoyable hours with them. I have the original manual and current pictures for those interested. John
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,455
    edited August 2002
    Yes man post some pic..I wanna see.
    Welcome to the forum!!
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,136
    edited August 2002
    If it were me, I'd set up a rig with the RTA12's as mains, the 5jr's for rears, pick you up a used CS400,400i,CS350LS or some such and just roll with it. Then add a sub. Just my opinion...

    Ken Swauger is mailing me a copy of the manual but if y'all have any other info or literature that you wouldn't mind copying for me, I'd be more than happy to reimburse you for your troubles. I'm a fanatic about that kinda thing. Soon as I can borrow a digital camera, I'll get my photo on.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • wegenwyswegenwys Posts: 8
    edited August 2002
    considering the age of the speakers I didnt think parts were still available, but upon delving further into the polk website they are indeed . From what I can tell the tweeters I put in the 12B from the jr's are the SL2000 which are the same as the later model 12C so will order a couple of those to put in the tweeterless jrs. The 12's are currently being used as the mains and will continue to be for a long time since I dont dare come home anymore after this whole home theater setup over the past year and say "Guess what I bought today honey and it only cost $xxxxxx". Here's a couple of pictures, hope it works since I've never posted such into a message on a forum.
    John
  • wegenwyswegenwys Posts: 8
    edited August 2002
    Here's a closer picture of that funky looking top unit
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