Finally joined..Now let's talk Polks

HEINEY_9HEINEY_9 Posts: 18
edited June 2004 in 2 Channel Audio
I've been lurking ever since I discovered this Polk forum, which was only about 3 months ago. I'm glad I'm here where Polk gets the respect it deserves.

A little background about me. I'm going to try to keep this whole post short, but since it's my first, there is a lot of ground to cover, so indulge me a bit....:)

I've been a Polk(ie) since the early 80's. I continue to be a 2 channel stereo guy. HT for critical listening just doesn't seem natural to me. Someday the dream is to have a media room and a 2 channel room, but because of taste and budget constraints that's not going to happen for awhile.

I sold audio in the late 80's thru the early 90's (1995). Had an opportunity to sell Polks, as well as other respected brands of the day, back then they were the "$h*t". My first pair were the original 5b's which I bought used in 1985 for $260.00, that was a chunk of change for a college student back then especially for a used set. I was in heaven and this was even before I discovered seperates. I bought them from the store I would later work for. At the time I worked for another "discount" audio store and I used to take my 5b's into work on a regular basis and would just boggle "our" customers minds, by comparing those smallish bookshelf speakers to the large "lower grade" speakers we sold. I sold a lot of 5b's for the competition, hell that's what landed me the job in the high end store eventually. Not to mention the killer deal I was given on my 2nd pair of Polk's, the ones I still have, and listen to this day.

Those were/are RTA-11t's which I bought new in black ash in 1987/88. They still look and sound as new as the day I bought them. I am anal when it comes to my audio equipment and that's why it has lasted so long, not to mention that it's great, well built stuff to begin with. I believe I paid $599.00 a pair for my RTA-11t's, essentially 1/2 of retail at the time. My memory is a bit foggy..what did the RTA-11t retail for back then? I love them and really haven't had any need to look for new speakers. I really want a pair of Lsi-15's, but I can't justify spending that kind of cash when the speakers I have are still doing a great job. Sometimes I wish they would just break so I'd have an excuse to buy the Lsi-15's. Now I'm not foolish, I know if I brought the Lsi-15's home that they'd stay here because as much as I love my RTA-11t's the Lsi-15's are a notch or even 2 notches above them.

Alright this is getting a bit long so I'll cut to the chase...... The only thing that has been disappointing over the years is that damn +5db resonance of the sl2000 tweet @ 13-15khz. Over time I've just accepted/put-up/ignored/rationalized the performance deffeciency in the original design of the tweet. I mean there are so many other outstanding attributes of the RTA-11t that a minor fault like that can be ignored, unless you listen to your system for several hours on end and eventually start getting a slight headache from listening fatigue. This does happen especially at higher volumes, even with excellent, well recorded source material. I used to blame the room acoustics for this phenomenon, but the resonance is there, and it is what it is.....

Now I hear bout the new sl2000t replacement tweet and am a bit skeptical. Not because I don't believe you guys here on the forum. But because I'm always suspect of a quick-fix/ to good to be true answers....So I have some questions for those of you have the replacements in your own speakers.

Why did it take Polk so long to remedy this problem?? I know about the sl3000 tweet in the tl's and even that's been upgraded since.

Were the sl2000t's designed by Polk specifically for replacement of the original sl2000 or are they a "pre-existing" tweet that just happened to fit??? You know like a aftermarket spoiler for your car. Not really a concept of the original design of the car, but will fit anyways.

How well do the sl2000t's image? I love the imaging of the originals, are they comparable? better?

Will they work correctly with the original cross-overs? Were the sl2000t's designed with the x-over in mind?

Are they as seamless in terms of blending the mid's and highs as the original?

What's the main advantage of the ribbon design, and why wasn"t that originally a consideration?

What's the motivation to produce a component to upgrade a 15-20 year old speaker? Seems like a $$$ losing propositon to me, athough I realize the tweet is also used in the SDA line which has many more loyal followers than the RTA line. So I may have answered that question myself.

Will it really make a huge difference? I don't want to "upset" the other qualities of the listening experience I've enjoyed for the last 17 years.

Well, this is a damn long post and I've only scrathced the surface about the issues I want to discuss on this wonderful forum. Finally I can ineract with other Polk(ies) that know where I'm coming from.



Post edited by HEINEY_9 on


  • hotwheelmanhotwheelman Posts: 1,300
    edited June 2004
    Welcome to the club brock, there are alot of great guys around here that are full of it, and full of it.:D Enjoy.

    "Its worked so far but we're not out yet."
    "Hey big man let me hold a dollar"
  • jcautjcaut Posts: 1,863
    edited June 2004

    I don't know much more than you've already mentioned regarding the tweeters, so I can't help. There are several very sharp guys here that will know, however. And if you want to get the story from Polk directly, a quick call or e-mail to Ken Swauger could probably get you the answers, as well.

  • George GrandGeorge Grand Posts: 12,272
    edited June 2004
    RTA 11t's went for around $900-1000/pair back then. I never paid more than $290 for a pair though, and I bought two pair brand new. Than in 1999 I grabbed two more pair used. I don't have any of them anymore.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,663
    edited June 2004

    Welcome to the Forum. Ken Swauger in Polk's Customer Service department can give you the details on the development of the new SL2000T tweeter.

    I really like the SL2000T. I hear more details in the music with this tweeter. Furthermore, recordings that have a sibilant quality are more tolerable with the new tweeter. The literature that comes with the SL2000T states:

    "[the RD0194-1] is engineered to be the equivalent of the SL1000 and SL2000, 1 inch dome tweeters found on many of our Monitor, RTA and SDA series of speakers. The mechanical and electrical characteristics are the same..."

    I first tried the SL2000T in one of my pairs of CRS+s. By installing the SL2000T on just one of the CRS+s and moving the balance control from left to right, I could hear an improvement with the new tweeter. I ended up replacing the SL2000 tweeters in all of my speakers.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
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