Polk Speakers don't leave me alone... Monitor 12's wanted to come home.

Mystery
Mystery Posts: 2,543
edited March 2013 in Vintage Speakers
Polk Speakers don't leave me alone...
Monitor 12's wanted to come home and who am I to say no?

Just sold RTA-12C's and was happy that I got some space back but it only lasted few days. :(
Monitor 12's are as rare as RTA-12C's so wanted to check them out.
I already know how RTA-12C's are and now, I can hear TOTL in monitor series. :cheesygrin:

Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
Post edited by Mystery on

Comments

  • nhhiep
    nhhiep Posts: 877
    edited February 2013
    they sound very good, like SDA 1C w/o the SDA effect. a few months ago, I bought a pair for $75. Cleaned them up and flip for $300 next week
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    They are pretty dusty and have same oxidation dust all over like other speakers I have even though these always stayed indoors.
    Grills have lots of cat/dog hairs. Need to wash soon.
    One Polkaudio logo is missing and few dings on the back here and there.

    All drivers work and they also have the small risers/feet.
    Briefly listened to them until neighbors started banged on the wall. :frown:
    Looks like these have the mid range that I was missing on other Polk speakers.
    Will know more when I get chance to listen properly.

    Polk Monitor 12 (1)-small.jpg


    Polk Monitor 12 (2)-small.jpg

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,489
    edited February 2013
    I am already committed to trying to come up with the money for your TLs damnit! :wink:
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    I've been reading a lot of threads today on Monitor 12 and it's so mixed/messed up.
    There are few long threads with posts from old/active members who think 12's are bloated while many other threads that have well regarded members' posts mention they are very good speakers similar to 1C's without SDA effect.
    Many say the 1.5" wood risers really help on the boomy bass while others mention to raise them few more inches and they become great speakers.
    Totally confusing. :confused: :rolleyes:
    However, most at AK seem to like/love them.

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • tophatjohnny
    tophatjohnny Posts: 3,386
    edited February 2013
    Total Bad ****!!!
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    Total Bad ****!!!
    You mean good a$$ right?
    :cheesygrin:

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • PolkieMan
    PolkieMan Posts: 2,446
    edited February 2013
    Man those are cool did you getumm cheap Kemosabe?
    POLK SDA 2.3 TLS BOUGHT NEW IN 1990, Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-198
    POLK CSI-A6 POLK MONITOR 70'S ONKYO TX NR-808 SONY CDP-333ES
    PIONEER PL-510A SONY BDP S5100
    POLK SDA 1C BOUGHT USED 2011,Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-194
    ONKYO HT RC-360 SONY BDP S590 TECHNICS SL BD-1
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    PolkieMan wrote: »
    Man those are cool did you getumm cheap Kemosabe?
    Not bad for a Benjamin plus some drive.

    They cleaned up pretty good. :cool:

    Polk Monitor 12 (11)-small.jpg


    Polk Monitor 12 (13)-small.jpg

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • PolkieMan
    PolkieMan Posts: 2,446
    edited February 2013
    I'd say that was a good deal :razz:


    Not bad for a Benjamin plus some drive.

    They cleaned up pretty good. :cool:
    POLK SDA 2.3 TLS BOUGHT NEW IN 1990, Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-198
    POLK CSI-A6 POLK MONITOR 70'S ONKYO TX NR-808 SONY CDP-333ES
    PIONEER PL-510A SONY BDP S5100
    POLK SDA 1C BOUGHT USED 2011,Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-194
    ONKYO HT RC-360 SONY BDP S590 TECHNICS SL BD-1
  • pglbook
    pglbook Posts: 1,997
    edited February 2013
    Mystery, Congratulations on some very nice speakers! At a great price also.
    I'd love to find a pair myself some day as they are on my wish list.
    How do you like the sound?
    How do they compare to Monitor 10s?
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    pglbook wrote: »
    Mystery, Congratulations on some very nice speakers! At a great price also.
    I'd love to find a pair myself some day as they are on my wish list.
    How do you like the sound?
    How do they compare to Monitor 10s?
    Thanks.
    I don't have 10's so can't compare.
    I do have few others to compare after I sell 3.1's and some other tower speakers used as fronts currently.
    No space in living room for now.
    Don't burn me but I like these better than those big ones. :eek:
    I guess I'll really dig 1C's. Will keep an eye out for them.

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • audio_alan
    audio_alan Posts: 770
    edited February 2013
    Nice score, Mystery! It's a good thing you spotted them before me, otherwise they'd be sitting in my livingroom right now. hahaha :cheesygrin:
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited February 2013
    Thanks Alan.
    How's your Polk collection growing?
    Mine is spilling out of the house. :eek:

    audio_alan wrote: »
    Nice score, Mystery! It's a good thing you spotted them before me, otherwise they'd be sitting in my livingroom right now. hahaha :cheesygrin:

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • thsmith
    thsmith Posts: 6,082
    edited February 2013
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs
  • audio_alan
    audio_alan Posts: 770
    edited February 2013
    Mystery wrote: »
    Thanks Alan.
    How's your Polk collection growing?
    Mine is spilling out of the house. :eek:

    I took a break from hunting for them like I was last year, so my collection hasn't grown in about 6 months or so. I've been working on improving components and connections, instead of speakers.

    Oh, and I know all about "spilling out of the house". I have enough for about 1 set in every room. haha
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited March 2013
    These Monitor 12's are growing up on us.
    We both prefer these over CRS+.
    I know SDA is not setup properly and not upgraded but what we liked on 12's is the abundance of mid range that's lacking in CRS+.
    The 12's sound more like our beloved Boston A400's with a lot of clean/clear vocals and instruments.
    They sound more open, forward and cleaner than CRS+.

    The only thing that's not perfect is the bass and that may be due to our listening preference and setup.
    There is a enough bass in loud volume and sounds great but bass doesn't sound coherent in low volume.
    Bass feels like it's little off but as the volume increases, everything blends fine. :confused:

    I read that few inches off the floor resolves issues with bass on these so that's next to try.

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited March 2013
    There is not a whole lot of interest on SDA-2B's so I'll A/B 12B's with them and keep the one we like.
    10A's have slight edge with cleaner sound against 12B's but test is done in low/normal volume.
    Higher volume may bring 12B's in front.
    Will update soon on 2B's vs 12B's...

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • TennMan
    TennMan Posts: 1,147
    edited March 2013
    Mystery wrote: »
    ...Will update soon on 2B's vs 12B's...
    I look forward to reading about it. I think it will be an interesting comparison.

    It would really be interesting if you could put the SDA crossovers from the 2Bs into the 12Bs for a test. It would be like listening to an SDA 1C's little brother. :)
    • SDA 2BTL · Sonicaps · Mills resistors · RDO-198s · New gaskets · H-nuts · Erse inductors · BH5 · Dynamat
    • Crossover upgrades by westmassguy
    • Marantz 1504 AVR (front speaker pre-outs to Adcom 555)
    • Adcom GFA-555 amp · Upgrades & speaker protection added by OldmanSRS
    • Pioneer DV-610AV DVD/CD player
    • SDA CRS+ · Hidden away in the closet
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited March 2013
    Both are original without any upgrades.
    SDA-2B's have silver dome SL2000 tweeters.
    Monitor 12B's have SL2500 tweeters.
    Amp: Pioneer SA-1040 (100wpc integrated non-switching amp).
    Source: FM, Laptop, CD player.

    Both have very similar sound characteristics/tone but below is my observation.
    12B's are louder at same volume even though both are 8ohms.

    Side note: I tried Pioneer SA-1040 instead of Yamaha on 10A's and it does reduce some of the metallic/hollow sound from 10A's and more listenable but still they have too much of that characteristics.
    10A's sounded very hollow compared to 12B's but 2B's both.


    Monitor 12B's --> more open/free, more/enough/fuller mids and vocals.
    Vocals are fuller and heavier.
    Nasal singers and string instruments are natural.
    Bass tight and fast but boomy compared to 2B's as 12B's have more midbass and 2B's go lower.
    Narrow soundstage but great stereo image.
    Ears don't struggle to enjoy all music, instruments and vocals.
    No ear fatigue.

    SDA-2B's --> some highs resonate with metallic tone, slightly recessed/veiled but cleaner (less noise) due to less mid range.
    Vocals and string instruments are slightly thin and dry.
    Nasal singers sound like they are shouting in 2B's, making it unnatural vocal.
    String instruments thin and metallic but not bad.
    I feel like my ears are trying to focus hard to listen some music and instruments.
    Something feels like lacking, most probably some mid range.
    Uneasy for ears but very slightly.
    Soft/longer and lower bass thump that I like.
    Wider soundstage, slightly echo/hall like sound, SDA effect sometimes is very NICE even with not good setup for SDA.

    Overall, SDA-2B's also have similar sound as 10A's; slightly thin, flat and metallic sounding compared to 12B's but not as bad as 10A's.
    Unlike 10A's, 2B's are perfectly listenable and enjoyable even though I would like little more mid.

    Conclusion:
    Not considering SDA effect, 12B's are clear winner.
    I like softer/lower bass thump from 2B's but if I increase bass dial by a point or two, 12B's also have similar bass.
    If you have read my post on Polks vs Boston A400 and Boston was preferred due to great mid range, 12B's remind of Bostons. :)

    Looks like SDA-1 would be perfect for me if they sound similar to 12B's with added SDA effect. :loneranger:

    I came to that conclusion above after listening all day today.
    Then wife came from work and had her listen few songs.
    Her one word for SDA-2B's was "Dull" compared to 12B's.
    I assume upgrading crossover will slightly/greatly help 2B's become not dull but I think there won't be enough mid range as 12B's even after upgrade.

    12B's are the most preferred Polks so far in my house followed by CRS+.
    So there's my A/B (or /C) of 12B, 2B and 10A's. Take it with a grain of salt. :eek:
    :lol:

    My setup for today's test below:

    Polk Monitor 12B-SDA-CRS-2B (14) - Copy.JPG

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • TennMan
    TennMan Posts: 1,147
    edited March 2013
    Thanks for taking the time to do the writeup. I enjoyed reading it. The locations shown in the photo wouldn't considered ideal for a test by me but it's your test and you can place the speakers how you want them to be. I've never heard the 12s so I can't comment about how they sound one way or the other. I will say they are very impressive looking and going on looks alone I would expect them for out perform the 2Bs. However, after getting use to the SDA sound it would be hard for me to go back. If they were my speakers it wouldn't be one day before I'd start planning on how I could make SDAs out of them. Who knows? They might turn out to be the best small SDAs of them all.

    I've never heard the 10As either but I do own a pair of 10Bs. They have RDO-194s installed that some people say sound as good as the peerless tweeters. I've never found my 10Bs to be the way you describe, "metallic/hollow". I've found them to be a warm, easy to listen to speakers with plenty of detail. They do require stands to get them up about 8 inches to prevent the bass from sounding a bit boomy.

    SIDE NOTE: Although I know this goes beyond your test... the 10Bs are a great sounding speaker when you put the parts needed in them to make them into SDAs (crossovers and 6511 MW from CRS+). It takes them to a different level. I have tested them against my 2Bs and I consider them comparable to 2Bs but on a smaller scale. They lack the lower/stronger bass notes the 2Bs can produce and the 2Bs have a slightly fuller mid-range but the 10B hybrids are still great sounding SDA speakers.

    Please don't take my comments as a rebuttal to what you wrote. I'm just adding my observations about my monitor 10Bs as an aside to the nice writeup that you did on your speakers. I look forward to reading more about your 12s. I'm keeping and eye out for a pair myself.
    :biggrin:
    • SDA 2BTL · Sonicaps · Mills resistors · RDO-198s · New gaskets · H-nuts · Erse inductors · BH5 · Dynamat
    • Crossover upgrades by westmassguy
    • Marantz 1504 AVR (front speaker pre-outs to Adcom 555)
    • Adcom GFA-555 amp · Upgrades & speaker protection added by OldmanSRS
    • Pioneer DV-610AV DVD/CD player
    • SDA CRS+ · Hidden away in the closet
  • zarrdoss
    zarrdoss Posts: 2,548
    edited March 2013
    Nice review, you certainly are going to town on the Polk speakers, lol. I have come full circle as far as Polk's and SDA's go I really like the SDA SRS 2 I have now and getting new tweeters helped a bunch. I never owned or heard those monitor 12 but did own some RTA 15tl's, sounded good but a bit boomy. I imagine they would be close to yours. I would have got your 2b's but just decided to pursue other avenues. One thing I have noticed is that X-over upgrades on the SDA's seem more beneficial than other non SDA speakers, sure it helps those as well but it seems to help the SDA's more. IMO. Enjoy.
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited March 2013
    TennMan wrote: »
    Thanks for taking the time to do the writeup. I enjoyed reading it. The locations shown in the photo wouldn't considered ideal for a test by me but it's your test and you can place the speakers how you want them to be...
    However, after getting use to the SDA sound it would be hard for me to go back.
    Your welcome!
    Yes, setup is not good for SDA but they are few inches in front of everything and I do hear plenty SDA effect.
    In some songs, I really have to look to my left side up towards ceiling as that's where the instrument is while some others towards the right front door like someone knocking on the door. :eek:
    Overall, sound from SDA envelopes all around.
    I like 2B's due to SDA effect and they are much much better than 10A's.
    I'd keep them just for SDA but they are huge and I have CRS+ that are similar and much smaller.

    I'm not going to swap or even upgrade crossover for now.
    I just need a reason to get rid of speakers at this point.
    I'm listening to 2B's right now and they are very nice sounding speakers.
    The slightly thin/metallic, veiled sound is only for few moments when I switch from 12B's but after that, 2B's are very musical and SDA effect is added bonus.

    I should compare CRS+ against 2B properly but even if 2B's sound better, they gotta go as they are bigger. :idea:

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited March 2013
    zarrdoss wrote: »
    Nice review, you certainly are going to town on the Polk speakers, lol. I have come full circle as far as Polk's and SDA's go I really like the SDA SRS 2 I have now and getting new tweeters helped a bunch. I never owned or heard those monitor 12 but did own some RTA 15tl's, sounded good but a bit boomy. I imagine they would be close to yours. I would have got your 2b's but just decided to pursue other avenues. One thing I have noticed is that X-over upgrades on the SDA's seem more beneficial than other non SDA speakers, sure it helps those as well but it seems to help the SDA's more. IMO. Enjoy.

    Yes, I've had a lot of Polks, from Monitor 4's to 3.1TL's with almost every model in between. :)
    12B's do have some boom but their high/mid range is amazing that simply compensates for more than that.

    No problem on 2B's. I think one out of state buyer is getting them.

    I'm comparing CRS+ with 2B's now. Both have silver dome tweeters so will be good comparison.
    Will post a separate thread on that.

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.
  • halo71
    halo71 Posts: 4,414
    edited March 2013
    Very interesting review! I've been wanting some 12's for about as long as I've been wanting some SDA's. Hopefully one day.....Ken will open the Polk vault and sell me some 12's! :cheesygrin:

    Or at least lemme loosen them up a lil bit.....lol
    --Gary--
    Onkyo Integra M504, Bottlehead Foreplay III, Denon SACD, Thiel CS2.3, NHT VT-2, VT-3 and Evolution T6, Infinity RSIIIa, SDA1C and a few dozen other speakers around the house I change in and out.
  • skspider
    skspider Posts: 14
    edited March 2013
    Good to see some love for the monitor 12's. I have 5jr, monitor 10,12 and rta 12c. I really like the monitor 12's after internally bracing the cabinet, sonic caps and mills for crossovers. Changing tweeter sl2000. The bracing really help curb some of the boomyness. Love these for mains in home theater set up.
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups":rolleyes:
  • Mystery
    Mystery Posts: 2,543
    edited March 2013
    halo71 wrote: »
    Very interesting review! I've been wanting some 12's for about as long as I've been wanting some SDA's. Hopefully one day.....Ken will open the Polk vault and sell me some 12's! :cheesygrin:

    Or at least lemme loosen them up a lil bit.....lol
    If/when you get a chance to listen to 12B's, they'll sound forward and little "in your face" coming from Polk SDA's as these have a lot of midrange and midbass. Both SDA's I have sound much relaxed and darker compared to 12B's.
    skspider wrote: »
    Good to see some love for the monitor 12's. I have 5jr, monitor 10,12 and rta 12c. I really like the monitor 12's after internally bracing the cabinet, sonic caps and mills for crossovers. Changing tweeter sl2000. The bracing really help curb some of the boomyness. Love these for mains in home theater set up.
    Yes, for HT, 12B's have the grunt and some midbass hump very suitable for watching movies.
    I'll plan on upgrading, bracing 12B's later.
    Thanks.

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch, B&W DM602.5, Epicure 20+, T/E 280, 100V, Polk.
    Subwoofers: Monitor Audio, B&W ASW300, Triad ProSub Bronze.