Polk RTA/Monitor 8T tweeter/x-over upgrades

Hey guys, I guess it's been a decade or so since I've been here...and I was over in the car section anyway.

I've come into a number of (home not auto) Polks over the years, all 2000-era, and I've always been amazed at how....bad...they sounded! Turns out I wasn't alone. But I have always been aware of the vintage Polk fanbase and wondered about those old speakers.

Well recently I've been cruising CL and I saw a pair of 8T's pop up for $100, and I thought "this is my chance to see what it's all about!" So I grabbed them (for $70), and brought them home. And, somewhat to my surprise - they sound GREAT! I know these don't get the love the 7's and 10's do, but still...When I auditioned them they sounded a bit thin down low and very bright, but when I brought them home and put them in my room, I was kind of floored by what I'd just gotten for less than grocery money. Bass is fantastic (yes they are up against the wall), detail is great, nice wide sounding speakers.

My only gripe is that with heavier rock and brighter mixes the high end does get a bit shrill, and they seem to fall apart a bit. I see that people upgrade the crossover, and I've seen
mention of different tweeters as well, but not much on what these will actually do.

Can someone fill me in on what the crossover improvements will do? Does anyone do them, or do I have to source my own components and build them. And most importantly, how worth it is it? What's more worthwhile, doing that or the tweeters? Or both?

I love the detail of these speakers, but bringing them up to FUN levels does leave me a headache after a little while.

Thanks!

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Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,413
    8T? I take it you mean RTA 8T. First thing replace the nasty SL2000 tweeters with the RD0194. That will take care of most of the issues you hear. After that upgrading the crossovers will make them sound even better.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Oh good! NASTY is the word I didn't want to say out loud, they do indeed grate a bit. But for cleaner music they have really nice detail that I don't want to lose, so I wanted to make sure the upgrade was win-win clear upgrade, as opposed to a side-grade replacement since mine work fine.

    I know this is a Polk forum, so maybe the wrong crowd to ask a question like this, but, what is the cost vs potential for improvement on these? My soldering skills....blech, so I'd be having someone else do the work for me. How much money is worth putting into these? Looks like the pair of tweeters will be $100, which is already more than my original investment. But if fully kitted out these can be properly hifi speakers, then I'm into it. I love "giant killer" type stuff.

    I do get confused with the nomenclature because it says Monitor 8T on the back but everyone seems to call them RTA 8T's. RTA sounds nicer though.

    Thanks for the reply!
  • It is too bad though that those SL2000's are so cool looking
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,944
    F1nut wrote: »
    8T? I take it you mean RTA 8T. First thing replace the nasty SL2000 tweeters with the RD0194. That will take care of most of the issues you hear. After that upgrading the crossovers will make them sound even better.

    Are the replacement tweeters (still) readily available? Askin' for a friend :)

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,413
    Midwest has them.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Oh they're no longer available from Polk?
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,413
    Not sure, try them first if you wish.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • smglbrthsmglbrth Posts: 1,262
    Ya, 8t's don't get much love. I've had mine for, well, since they were new. I did the crossovers myself with Clarity Cap ESA's and Mills Resistors. I also have the updated tweeters and installed hurricane nuts for the drivers/tweeters. With the improvements it was well over $100, however, it was worth it to me. They do sound much cleaner/tighter overall. As always it depends on what your ears like on your gear.
  • smglbrth wrote: »
    Ya, 8t's don't get much love. I've had mine for, well, since they were new. I did the crossovers myself with Clarity Cap ESA's and Mills Resistors. I also have the updated tweeters and installed hurricane nuts for the drivers/tweeters. With the improvements it was well over $100, however, it was worth it to me. They do sound much cleaner/tighter overall. As always it depends on what your ears like on your gear.

    It's crazy that they don't, the sound coming out of these things even as is, is wonderful. I'm thinking I may have lucked out and it's a case of perfect speaker/room match. I've heard people say it's a bass light speaker....and while the low end is definitely accentuated by the wall it's not bloated or excessive. It sounds very full, and completely natural all the way down.

    Anyway I called Polk twice. Each time waited on hold for 20 minutes and gave up. Seems like either no one or almost no one's home, or for some reason they're super super busy. Also their hold music is awful, and the loop is probably under 30 seconds so it drives you crazy. I 'll shoot them an email and see if they have any in stock.

    By the way smglbrth, what are you driving yours with?
  • xschopxschop Posts: 1,965
    edited September 2020
    I'm always looking out for a set of 8Ts. These and CRS SDAs are extinct in the Midwest.
    The narrow baffle probably wouldn't need much reinforcement, if any, of all the classic polks.
    Nice looking set you've got ahold of.

  • Thanks xschop! Still enjoying them immensely. I had a friend over, who loves music but has never had any kind of hi-fi setup (currently rocking a soundbar), and we went through some of his favorite tunes which included some Radiohead and Dave Matthews. The more I turned them up the lower his jaw got haha.

    Afterwards I was like "you know, there's a pair of these, the smaller version (Monitor 4.6) on Craiglist right now for $40 that I was thinking of picking up, you should go snag them." The very next day he went and got them, I think for even less. Now they're just sitting in the corner of his house until he comes back for the receiver I'm lending him. Very exciting stuff.


    Anyway: I did wind up sending Polk an email, and they answered me, saying that yes, they are in stock, $60 each, and I would have to call up and order them by phone. So...guess I'll have to go through all that again and hopefully I can get a hold of someone.

    I also read in a different thread that for forum members they are $48.50 each, around 20% off...is that a real thing? Or am I just gullible?
  • xschopxschop Posts: 1,965
    Just tell them F1 sent you. All discounts will be automatic.
  • smglbrthsmglbrth Posts: 1,262
    Right now I've got an Onkyo integrated (A-9070) hooked up. The "complete" list is Philips FA-960, bridged Audiosource AMP One-A's, B&K ST125.2, B&K Reference 200.2. To tell you the truth they've sounded good with all the combo's I've had. Some speakers are better, some not. Everything is a trade off. I tend to like tamer volumes nowadays. As you will notice here at CP many will say "it's not about watts, it's the quality of the watts (current) that count". Definitely wise words to help with amplifier purchasing...
  • ocharlasocharlas Posts: 61
    edited September 2020
    I hear you. Currently I’m powering them with an Onkyo 282, and they sound fantastic, but I’ve heard people say “these Polks are hungry!” Even though they’re pretty efficient. I’ve got a Quad 303 and an old Hafler as well, but they’re all occupied at the moment so I haven’t played the amp swap game.

    (And the Quad is about to be pulled because I’m finally getting my ESL57’s back from the dead!)

    My friend just got the 9070, great sounding amp.
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