Getting the LSI7 for my computer speaker system... yay!

Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,567
edited July 2004 in 2 Channel Audio
i have had my axioms m22s for over 4 months now... happily connected to my yamaha rx-v530 receiver and into my computer... along with the svs sub. i figured i was in audio bliss.... until last week.

last week, being bored and off from work and my friends and girlfriend at work, i decided to bring my m22s to the local audioshop, TWEETER, for a shootout between the seemingly VAUNTED m22s and the local selection they had there. i walked in quite proudly with my axioms arm in arm. i met with Dave, the salesperson with whom i have done a lot of business with in the past (klipsch speakers, yamaha receivers)... and i asked to demo the boston acoustics, the sapphires, the polks, and the sonus fabers bookshelves.... all against my axiom m22s in typical AB format.

well.... let me tell you this -
boston's sound fuller but maybe a little boxy coloration was present... not really impressed by the midrange especially at $800 a pair.
the sonus - i didnt really find striking, very balanced though and better overall than the m22s, i wasnt surprised... at $1400 a pair, the sonus had BETTER been the better speaker.
the sapphires were... umm... garbage... regardless of price.

onto the polks...
the rti - surprisingly the rti bookshelves (and the floorstanding speakers too) had a larger, wider horizontal soundstage than the m22s - the m22s sounded compromised next to the rtis. the rtis in general (the 4 and the 6) extended lower and, thus, sounded a bit fuller than the m22s did. the midrange was a little more prominent in the m22s and beat the rtis in this aspect hands down. also, the rti's tweeter, i felt, was the weakest link in the rti arsenal. the highs became overbearing at times... and was very sibilant (the "t" and "s" were OVERpronounced) to the extent that i had to have Dave turn down the speakers. this match went to the axioms, which had a much sweeter high end, despite lacking the lateral soundstage relative to the rti 4 and 6.

then, on came the lsi demo. first up was the lsi7... soundstage opened up real wide... i mean... REALLY wide... far far greater than my axioms could ever accomplish. the midrange was at par with the m22s - very detailed and succinct... everything was there, if it was on the recording - the lsi was able to reproduce it and shoot it out with the utmost precision and imaging.... wow indeed! the bass of the lsi7 totally gave the axiom m22s a spanking in the rear end. the lsi7 had approximately 2/3 to a full octave of extension over the m22s (which at this point confirmed my suspicions of the m22s having a rather ANEMIC bass response). there was a guitar riff on a song (i forget the name, something about "i can be your bodyguard, i can be your long lost pal.. i think, i cant remember - famous 80s song though, wonderfully mastered)... the m22s reproduced the riff, but the lsi7 REPRODUCED the riff with EMOTION! my god... i was stunned. lastly, the lsi7 had better highs... yes you heard it, BETTER highs, the Vifa 25XT ring radiator is AMAZING!!! no wonder av123.com's Onix Reference and Rocket Speakers use it (not to mention krell and nohr as well)... god, this thing isnt overbearing at all and yet, is as detailed and precise as the metal dome (aluminum or titanium in this case) tweeters!! the sibilance was controlled on the lsi7, in fact, the m22s became sibilant far before the lsi7 ever did.

needless to say, the m22s lost handily to the lsi7s... by a great margin as well.

the lsi9 were next up on the demo... and this even upped the slaughter... in fact, pretty much annihilated the m22s. i dont think that you would even need to hear another recap of a slaughter.. lets just leave it at slaughter... picture the m22s being ripped to its separate components kind of slaughter.

i was so shocked that i forgot to AB the lsi7 verus the lsi9 to hear the differences between the two. btw, i should go back today and check out the differences between the two.

i also compared the lsi7 to the paradigm reference 20s ($800/pr), the paradigm reference signature 2 ($2300/pr), and the BW nautilus 805 bookshelf ($2000/pr). and surprisingly enough, the polks RAN with the big boys! lateral soundstage may have been a wee better on the paradigms but not by much... and the polks recoup this loss by having a superior tweeter which handled the highs far better than even the paradigm s2 flagship 2-way bookshelf could!! amazing!

the polk lsi 7 even handily gave the bw nautilus a run for its money, and in the end, i felt that the lsi7 had a more natural and balanced sound relative to the nautilus. 700$ versus 2000$ anyone??

i think though, that the lsi7 lacked the extension in comparison to the bw and the paradigms... just by very little... im sure the 9s out-extened the three big boys.

i would love to hear the lsi9 in direct AB comparison with the great Paradigm Signature 4... now this would be interesting....


anyway, i bought the lsi7 and am awaiting its arrival... once it gets here, i shall compare it to my m22s on my own system and the final decision will be made. most likely, i will end up selling the OVERHYPED m22s (psh.. i am so angry that i bought into all the axiom hoopla and reviews :mad: ) and buying another pair of Lsi speakers... perhaps another pair of 7s or perhaps the 9s.

a full lsi speaker set paired with an svs sub... this should make for an even better computer speaker system dont u think? :D

lastly, thanks for reading my short review..... does anyone have any comments on the real differences between the lsi7 and the lsi9? i looked on the polk site for detailed specifications and i found out that by looking at the crossover details, the lsi9 has a separate drive solely for sub 200hz freq... i assume this would mean that the lsi 9 would have better bass extension and overall output?

also, is there any discernable tonality difference between the two? is the lsi9 more airy? does it reproduce more midrange?

i may just have to go to Tweeter today to find out.
Joey's Gear:
Current Gear:
Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Audio Research Reference 40th Anniversary -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


Main speakers system evolution over the years:
Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

Old Gear:
Speakers:
BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
Source:
Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
Preamplification:
Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ARC Ref 40th Anniversary
Amplification:
HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
Subwoofer:
Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
Post edited by Joey_V on

Comments

  • ShizelbsShizelbs Posts: 7,433
    edited June 2004
    First and foremost, welcome to the forum. I am sure we all appreciate your enthusiasm and your nice review. Glad to hear your experiences with LSis were a good one.

    That is one killer computer system you have. Do you use your computer as a source for MP3s and music, or also for games? LSi7s and an SVS, man, I can only imagine what games would be like on that.

    I don't have too much experience with the LSis to compare the 7 vs. the 9. I'll let the other guys around here speak up about that. I do know that your reaction to the LSi is not all that uncommon. I know I felt the same way.
  • fireshoesfireshoes Posts: 3,212
    edited June 2004
    Welcome to Club Polk, and nice review! I replied in your other post on the 7's versus 9's debate.
  • SamiSami Posts: 4,662
    edited June 2004
    Originally posted by Joey_V
    a full lsi speaker set paired with an svs sub... this should make for an even better computer speaker system dont u think? :D
    Yes, it would. I have three pairs of LSi7's in my home theater room, paired with SVS PC Ultra. Very nice sound, especially considering six LSI7's cost me $650 after taxes. This will also be used for gaming on the side. Car racing games on projector and surround sound...:cool:
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,567
    edited June 2004
    jeebus... 3 pairs of lsi7 for less than one pair at retail?! wow... no wonder you were able to get the PCU... nice sub btw!

    the lsi7, i feel, are worth the 700$ retail price... and then some, but man... getting it for 200$ a pair is unreal. :)
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Audio Research Reference 40th Anniversary -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


    Main speakers system evolution over the years:
    Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

    Old Gear:
    Speakers:
    BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source:
    Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification:
    Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ARC Ref 40th Anniversary
    Amplification:
    HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer:
    Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
  • SamiSami Posts: 4,662
    edited June 2004
    Originally posted by Joey_V
    jeebus... 3 pairs of lsi7 for less than one pair at retail?! wow... no wonder you were able to get the PCU... nice sub btw!

    I already had a PCi before, getting the LSi's are allowing me to move the RTi's (150's and a 70) to living room. Too bad I had to give up the PCi when I got a PCU but can't have it all I quess.
    Originally posted by Joey_V
    the lsi7, i feel, are worth the 700$ retail price... and then some, but man... getting it for 200$ a pair is unreal. :)

    $199 refurbished from Fry's, quite a few of the forum members got them at that price. People are selling them on Ebay for $350 + shipping. I don't think I would have paid $700 for a pair but at $199 they are hard to beat.
  • SamiSami Posts: 4,662
    edited June 2004
    Originally posted by ATCVenom
    If at one point you ever become interested in sound cards, it is a very rewarding avenue to pursue.
    How much do you know about the PC sound cards? Have you played any games with surround? A friend of mine was telling me that the games do not give out true surround signal and you can't use digital connection. Surround, according to him, is only available using analog connections. I haven't tried it myself yet but I have two sound cards on the computer, other with 6.1 analog and the other 7.1 analog/digital. I'm not sure if it was surround or not but Colin McRae Rally did sound awesome when I fired it up for a few minutes.

    I think will need to finish the racing chassis for HT so I can get into the games more. For now it is FPS games on my main computer, I need to get back behind the wheel now that my car is seeing downtime.
  • pixiedavepixiedave Posts: 227
    edited June 2004
    warcraft 3 digital out to sony 3000es from audigy two sounds great.

    Call Me Al from Paul Simons Graceland album, a great disc.
    Purple.jpg
    You never blow your trip forever! < Daevid Allen
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,567
    edited June 2004
    i prefer to keep games at analog... this way eax remains decoded and utilized. my yamaha receiver is able to play straight from the audigy 2zs' analog outs.

    i use the digital out mainly for movies and music.

    regarding the fact that lsi7 retail for 700$... i would still pay 700$ for them just because relative to other speakers at its price range and above (1000-2000)... for 700$, you get a really balanced overall bookshelf.

    of course, now that we have been spoiled by frys.. it is hard to turn back to retail pricing.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Audio Research Reference 40th Anniversary -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


    Main speakers system evolution over the years:
    Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

    Old Gear:
    Speakers:
    BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source:
    Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification:
    Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ARC Ref 40th Anniversary
    Amplification:
    HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer:
    Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
  • SamiSami Posts: 4,662
    edited July 2004
    Originally posted by ATCVenom
    I dont know of any powered speaker system that is true digital though.. you would have to treat the pc system like you would a home-theater, only using the PC as the source itself.
    That's what I have right now, sound cards optical output to receiver. Works great for music and movies, games I still need to test.
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,567
    edited July 2004
    games dont sound good in digital - no positioning at all. however, in analog where eax is decoded and outputted.. games sound exceptionally awesome!

    especially with real speakers. :D
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Audio Research Reference 40th Anniversary -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


    Main speakers system evolution over the years:
    Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

    Old Gear:
    Speakers:
    BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source:
    Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification:
    Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ARC Ref 40th Anniversary
    Amplification:
    HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer:
    Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
  • SamiSami Posts: 4,662
    edited July 2004
    Originally posted by Joey_V
    games dont sound good in digital - no positioning at all. however, in analog where eax is decoded and outputted.. games sound exceptionally awesome!
    So they don't have real DD or DTS sound in them then. I will have to play around with both setups eventually. Thanks!
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