RTi8/RTi A5 + Sub > RTi12/RTi A9 (even with sub)?

mystik610
mystik610 Posts: 699
edited December 2009 in Speakers
I stopped by Fry's today to do some last minute Christmas shopping and noticed that they still had some RTi12's on sale for 399 a piece. The price was pretty good, and I've been eyeing the 12's for a while, so I decided to spend some time with the associate to audition them. They had a Mariah concert running through the 12's, and immediately I noticed how much brighter they sounded than my 8's. I had the associate switch on the A5's they had hooked up, and they sounded much fuller...better imaging in the mid-range.

I chaulked this up to improvements made in the RTiA line so inspected the drivers a bit and noticed that the mid-bass drivers in the RTiA5's used the same 6-1/2 inch mid-bass driver as my RTi8's and CSi5 while the RTi12 used the smaller 5-1/4 inch mid-bass driver that was also in my smaller CSi3. I don't know how I overlooked this before.

They had a set of RTiA9's set up in another room so I went there to check those out and compare. They also use the smaller 5-1/4 inch driver as the RTi12's, and also didn't have as prominent of a mid-range as my 8's. and while I could hear a difference in the low frequency performance of the 12's when scenes with heavier low frequency material, the 7 inch woofers weren't active at all for most of the scenes.

The difference in mid-range performance between the RTi8's/A5's and the RTi12's/A9's is like the difference I heard when I swapped the CSi3 for the CSi5. The 8's/A5's sound fuller, more prominent, and the mid-range just images better. The 12's had better low frequency performance, but not anything better than a good sub could provide. I'd suspect that even running a powerful amp through the 12's still wouldn't match the overall performance of a pair of RTiA5's/RTi8's with a good sub. And at least with the A5's/8's you have the option of adding a separate sub if you feel the low frequency bass is lacking. With the A9's/12's there really isn't anything you can do to improve the mid-range. Given the premium price you'd be paying to 'upgrade' to the A9'/12's, your money is better spent on picking up the A5'/8's + a quality sub!

Anyway I'm sure this will spark some discussion, but I thought I'd share experience for the benefit of anyone else who's debating between the A5's/8's vs 12s/A9's.
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Post edited by mystik610 on

Comments

  • leroyjr1
    leroyjr1 Posts: 8,799
    edited December 2009
    The A9's with the right amount of power sounds great all around. I wouldn't compare the two running off a receiver because the a5's are a receiver speaker while the a9's benefit from an external amp.
  • mystik610
    mystik610 Posts: 699
    edited December 2009
    xcapri79 wrote: »
    Interesting comparison. I have the RTi8's and always considered getting a pair of RTi12s for my master bedroom system. Being a fan of the LSi series, I finally went that way instead.

    I've heard similar comparisons that you've made concerning the RTi10's and the RTi8's, but not with the RTi12's and the RTi8's. To get the best performance with the RTi12's, they require a good amp. What receiver and amp was being used to drive the RTi12's?
    If the comparison was made using a typical Onkyo, Pioneer or Denon AVR, then that might explain the lack of performance from the RTi12's.

    The speakers were hooked up to an Onkyo 806 I believe.

    The speakers were pretty obviously underpowered...all of the speakers in the RTi series benefit from more power. Even my 8's didn't really open up until I fed them a little more power.

    The 12's/A9's benefit from more power at the lower frequencies, as they have the large 7 inch woofers to handle deep bass. Feeding the 12's/A9's more power won't make up for the fact that they use a smaller mid-bass driver than the 8's/A5's however.

    That being said, it seems that if you were to take an RTi8 and an RTi12 and feed them the same amount of power, the 12's would most certainly outperform the 8's at the lower frequencies, but the 8's (which have larger mid-bass drivers than the 12's) would out-perform the 12's in the mid-range. This is further accentuated when you use an 80hz crossover point in the 12's/A9's, as the lower array of 7 inch woofers will barely be active, and the smaller mid-bass drivers in the 8's/12's won't sound nearly as good as the larger mid-bass drivers in the 8's/A5's
    My System Showcase!

    Media Room
    Paradigm Studio 60 - Paradigm CC-690 - Paradigm ADP-390 - Epik Empire - Anthem MRX300 - Emotiva XPA-5

    Living-room
    Paradigm MilleniaOne - Rythmik F12GSE - Onkyo TX-SR805 - Adcom 5400

    Headphones
    Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear - Shure SE215 - Fiio E18 Kunlun
  • mystik610
    mystik610 Posts: 699
    edited December 2009
    xcapri79 wrote: »
    If I could have found a pair of new cherry RTi12's last year I would have love to have tried them out. They are more or less a full range speaker and they should be run large without a receiver crossover setting.

    Size isn't everything. The two 5 1/4 " drivers in the LSi's speakers perform exceedingly well when given the appropriate power.

    When you're comparing speakers from different series' then you're right size doesn't matter....build quality, cabinet design, and materials do. When you're comparing speakers in the same series, size does matter. point in case: csi5 vs csi3
    My System Showcase!

    Media Room
    Paradigm Studio 60 - Paradigm CC-690 - Paradigm ADP-390 - Epik Empire - Anthem MRX300 - Emotiva XPA-5

    Living-room
    Paradigm MilleniaOne - Rythmik F12GSE - Onkyo TX-SR805 - Adcom 5400

    Headphones
    Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear - Shure SE215 - Fiio E18 Kunlun
  • madnod
    madnod Posts: 79
    edited December 2009
    don't expect 500w speakers to perform with 150W, the woofers are there for a reason, a 17HZ reason. u need 250W+ for the RTI A9 to start giving u ur money's worth.
  • mystik610
    mystik610 Posts: 699
    edited December 2009
    xcapri79 wrote: »
    Interesting point. I've compared the LSiC, the CSi5 and CSiA6,
    I found that the CSi5 or CSiA5 does very well in comparison.
    As a consequence, I use a CSi5 for one LSi15 system in the master bedroom and two LSiC's for my main room LSi25 and LSi15 system. Two LSi9's also worked well for the center speakers but I liked them better for a two channel system.

    Two LSi9's as a center channel eh? Hows that sound? I debated using two RTi6's instead of a CSi5 because of space issues.
    My System Showcase!

    Media Room
    Paradigm Studio 60 - Paradigm CC-690 - Paradigm ADP-390 - Epik Empire - Anthem MRX300 - Emotiva XPA-5

    Living-room
    Paradigm MilleniaOne - Rythmik F12GSE - Onkyo TX-SR805 - Adcom 5400

    Headphones
    Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear - Shure SE215 - Fiio E18 Kunlun
  • mystik610
    mystik610 Posts: 699
    edited December 2009
    madnod wrote: »
    don't expect 500w speakers to perform with 150W, the woofers are there for a reason, a 17HZ reason. u need 250W+ for the RTI A9 to start giving u ur money's worth.

    I'm not doubting the A9/12's would have sounded better with a separate amp. The point is, any decent dedicated sub can handle the low frequency material better than the A9's woofers (offerings from SVS and HSU go as low as 12hz or lower), while the A9's have a disadvantage at the mid-range compared to the A5's, as the A5's have larger mid-bass drivers.

    Hands down the A9's will obliterate the A5's with low frequency material. But the A5's will outperform the A9's in the mid-range (where most of the soundtrack is heard)
    My System Showcase!

    Media Room
    Paradigm Studio 60 - Paradigm CC-690 - Paradigm ADP-390 - Epik Empire - Anthem MRX300 - Emotiva XPA-5

    Living-room
    Paradigm MilleniaOne - Rythmik F12GSE - Onkyo TX-SR805 - Adcom 5400

    Headphones
    Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear - Shure SE215 - Fiio E18 Kunlun
  • madnod
    madnod Posts: 79
    edited December 2009
    mystik610 wrote: »
    I'm not doubting the A9/12's would have sounded better with a separate amp. The point is, any decent dedicated sub can handle the low frequency material better than the A9's woofers (offerings from SVS and HSU go as low as 12hz or lower), while the A9's have a disadvantage at the mid-range compared to the A5's, as the A5's have larger mid-bass drivers.

    Hands down the A9's will obliterate the A5's with low frequency material. But the A5's will outperform the A9's in the mid-range (where most of the soundtrack is heard)


    u are getting things confused a little bit,

    the difference between the midrange size drivers allow 10 HZ better range for the A5 (see the A1 (50HZ) and A3 (60 HZ) specs since they use the same drivers), so u are not lacking at any point the midrange (above 150 HZ).

    u have to keep in mind that the dialog is like 80% handled by the center channel, here the CSI A6 is the choice without a boubt,which is somehow an A5 center.

    the A9 allows to have a better dynamic range by having 3 types of drivers to cover better the audible range with smoother cross over settings.

    if u have a large room u will apreciate the A9s more since they have more presence.

    as for sub that are 12 HZ i never heard about a sub that go that low, excellent subs goes to 16 HZ at most and they are not mainstream products in any means. most of the sub out there are 20-30 HZ.

    any how the A5 with a good subwoofer(s) are an excellent setup anyhow, we are talking about 2 excellent setups here.
  • leroyjr1
    leroyjr1 Posts: 8,799
    edited December 2009
    mystik610 wrote: »
    I'm not doubting the A9/12's would have sounded better with a separate amp. The point is, any decent dedicated sub can handle the low frequency material better than the A9's woofers (offerings from SVS and HSU go as low as 12hz or lower), while the A9's have a disadvantage at the mid-range compared to the A5's, as the A5's have larger mid-bass drivers.

    Hands down the A9's will obliterate the A5's with low frequency material. But the A5's will outperform the A9's in the mid-range (where most of the soundtrack is heard)


    A SVS sub may dip lower but can you get that SVS to blend better than the 7" woofers do in the A9's?
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