Reserve Series - why 4 ohms...?!

New24k
New24k Posts: 67
Why on Earth would Polk make what appears to be such a good speaker at a good price point - but make them 4 ohms...?!

Comments

  • marvda1
    marvda1 Posts: 4,379
    maybe because good equipment can handle a 4 ohm load.
    Amplifiers: Norma IPA 140, MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: L.K.S MH-DA004, Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI,
    Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkIII
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    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
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    Power Cables by: Argento Organic Reference, Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables

  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 893
    ...and good amplifiers often double their power at four ohms.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,131
    The Polk design team says they’ll run fine on a decent receiver or integrated amp. Of course a high quality high current separate amp would get better sound out of them.

    They also say don’t get hung up on nominal impedance ratings for conventional speakers these days.

    As with any speaker and amp combo though pushing the volume too far into distortion is asking for trouble.
    1. Polk L800 + L900, L400, LSiM-703 x4; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz AV8805A processor; Parasound A31; Outlaw 7000X; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S2 cables
    2. Magnepan 1.7i or JM Lab 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE+ preamp and Parasound JC5 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P500; MIT S1 Cables
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,797
    edited April 17
    Doubling power corresponds to a 3 dB change.

    I agree that the nominal impedance is nigh-on meaningless. Conversely, the actual impedance and phase angle curves are critical to how amplifier friendly (or amp-hostile) any loudspeaker's going to be as a load to any given amplifier.

    FWIW, the "Legend series" impedance and phase curves I've seen are reasonably benign, so I would hope that the "Reserve series" will also be.

    e5ksfjzcf1ew.png
    https://www.audioholics.com/bookshelf-speaker-reviews/polk-l200-l400/conclusion
  • motorhead43026
    motorhead43026 Posts: 3,775
    edited April 17
    Not an issue if you have the Amp worthy of the speakers or an Amp the speakers are not worthy of.


    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    There are three things that give a man a false sense of courage, a keyboard, alcohol and a firearm.
    Motorhead, 4.12.20

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    Not a big deal. Polk has plenty of 8 ohm options as well.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

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  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,258
    I would watch the training videos, very good information there. I'm not worried about it, any good quality receiver will drive them. What most people don't realize is that most of us never run our systems at reference volume levels therefore even with a good quality receiver, never run out of head room.
    Unless you have a large room and sit far away like 15 feet or more from your speakers, you don't need big powerful power amps.
    Another thing people get hung up on is noise factor and sound quality. Most receivers today offer way better internal shielding than models of years past. It use to be an issue that topical receivers where noisy compared to separates. The gap is much closer now. You can get by with a really good receiver that has enough power to power your speakers in your room. The Room dictates more than the speaker to receiver do.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    edited April 18
    LOL,
    Post edited by tonyb on
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • New24k
    New24k Posts: 67
    F1nut wrote: »
    New24k wrote: »
    Why on Earth would Polk make what appears to be such a good speaker at a good price point - but make them 4 ohms...?!

    The Reserve series are a trickle down (the same drivers, which includes the tweeter) from the Legend series, which are 4 ohm nominal. As for the reason both series are 4 ohm nominal, that is a choice of drivers/crossover circuit based on the desired sound signature.

    As for power....well, there will be a lot of folks that consider a $500 AVR to be good/decent quality. They will be sadly mistaken and will not get the best out of their speakers regardless of the speaker's nominal ohm rating. What about those AVR's that are rated to drive 6 or 4 ohm loads by flipping a switch you ask? They do that by restricting current because they have weak power supplies. IMO, restricting current is never a good thing.

    Exactly... who is going to go out and buy a "good quality" amp/AVR and then hook it up to a $300 (Reserve bookshelf each) speaker...?

    These speakers were made to come in at a "less expensive" price point - but in order to get the best sound out of them - you have to have a "not so less expensive" amp/AVR because of their 4 ohm load.

    They also say don’t get hung up on nominal impedance ratings for conventional speakers these days.
    Sounds like marketing BS to me.

    Exactly...



  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 11,742
    edited April 18
    New24k wrote: »
    F1nut wrote: »
    New24k wrote: »
    Why on Earth would Polk make what appears to be such a good speaker at a good price point - but make them 4 ohms...?!

    The Reserve series are a trickle down (the same drivers, which includes the tweeter) from the Legend series, which are 4 ohm nominal. As for the reason both series are 4 ohm nominal, that is a choice of drivers/crossover circuit based on the desired sound signature.

    As for power....well, there will be a lot of folks that consider a $500 AVR to be good/decent quality. They will be sadly mistaken and will not get the best out of their speakers regardless of the speaker's nominal ohm rating. What about those AVR's that are rated to drive 6 or 4 ohm loads by flipping a switch you ask? They do that by restricting current because they have weak power supplies. IMO, restricting current is never a good thing.

    Exactly... who is going to go out and buy a "good quality" amp/AVR and then hook it up to a $300 (Reserve bookshelf each) speaker...?

    These speakers were made to come in at a "less expensive" price point - but in order to get the best sound out of them - you have to have a "not so less expensive" amp/AVR because of their 4 ohm load.

    They also say don’t get hung up on nominal impedance ratings for conventional speakers these days.
    Sounds like marketing BS to me.

    Exactly...



    A 4ohm bookshelf speaker set is not going to blow most receivers, especially the likelyhood of a sub being added. It's the bigger towers or a 5.1 setup on a subpar receiver where people get into trouble. The RTiA9's were 8ohm and we have heard more issues back here on those speakers and/or receivers blown than any other speaker setup because people didn't know better.
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

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  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    Maybe not Ron, but over the years we hear about the opposite. It usually goes like this.....Person buys a 4 ohm bookie, asks about power for them , totally disregards the advice given and winds up with a 500 buck receiver to drive them. They sound dull and lifeless from not getting some decent current so the owner cranks up the volume dial until something in the crossover gives up the ghost.

    How many times have we gone through that scenario with LSI9's ? Sure, they'll play on a cheap receiver at low volumes, you'll get music. However nobody buys a race car without taking it out and stepping on the gas....and that's where trouble starts with 4 ohm speakers and cheap power.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • New24k
    New24k Posts: 67
    Exactly my point...

    Who is going to buy a "more expensive" AVR/amp that can properly handle a 4 ohm load - and then look it up to a "less expensive" speaker like the Reserve line...?

  • New24k
    New24k Posts: 67
    Are 4 ohm drivers cheaper than 8 ohm drivers...?
  • WLDock
    WLDock Posts: 2,905
    New24k wrote: »
    Why on Earth would Polk make what appears to be such a good speaker at a good price point - but make them 4 ohms...?!
    Polk Engineer / crossover guru Scott Orth says there are no 8 Ohm speakers these days. He says he's done competitive research and testing and many are 4 ohm not 8 Ohms or maybe 6 Ohms but says they loose sensitivity to get that. He says the reserves drop down to only 3.6 Ohms and they will work fine with AVR's in their tests. This link will start at 52:30 where he talks about this:

    Scott Orth Talks Polk Audio Reserve Series Q&A | The Daily HiFi Podcast - Monday March 29, 2021
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 19,045
    edited April 19
    New24k wrote: »
    Are 4 ohm drivers cheaper than 8 ohm drivers...?

    Seem to be more plentiful from what I've seen over the years.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 652
    The cabinet size can be smaller with a 4ohm speaker vs. an 8ohm speaker.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 19,045
    invalid wrote: »
    The cabinet size can be smaller with a 4ohm speaker vs. an 8ohm speaker.
    Say what?
    Now why would let's say 6.5" driver in 4ohm need a smaller cabinet verses the same driver in 8 ohm?
    Polk used both 8 and 4 ohm in the same cabinet.
  • dromunds
    dromunds Posts: 9,326
    I wouldn’t say the Reserve line are “less expensive” speakers in the way that you mean. They are presumably very nice speakers that will be brought to their potential with good power. I think almost everybody here would put “more expensive” power to them. You’re on an audiophile site. They tend to know their shite. I know for a fact that a lot of people put less than “more expensive” power on the L200’s and they don’t sound the greatest. They don’t sound the greatest when I put my Pioneer Elite SC-25 on them. They sound awesome when I put my tube monoblocks on them. That is the way a good speaker responds- the better the power the better they respond. I suspect the Reserve line is the same. They are less expensive than the Legends but still they share a lot of technology. I wouldn’t characterize them as “less expensive” in the sense that they are cheap. They are a value in the classic Polk sense of the word. They will be deserving of good clean power.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,258
    I keep hearing so many good things about the Aventage Line. I'd like to get one to review and run through it's paces. The issue is that there is such a shortage across the board. Hard to get a new receiver these days.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,021
    dromunds wrote: »
    I wouldn’t say the Reserve line are “less expensive” speakers in the way that you mean. They are presumably very nice speakers that will be brought to their potential with good power. I think almost everybody here would put “more expensive” power to them. You’re on an audiophile site. They tend to know their shite. I know for a fact that a lot of people put less than “more expensive” power on the L200’s and they don’t sound the greatest. They don’t sound the greatest when I put my Pioneer Elite SC-25 on them. They sound awesome when I put my tube monoblocks on them. That is the way a good speaker responds- the better the power the better they respond. I suspect the Reserve line is the same. They are less expensive than the Legends but still they share a lot of technology. I wouldn’t characterize them as “less expensive” in the sense that they are cheap. They are a value in the classic Polk sense of the word. They will be deserving of good clean power.

    Well stated.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

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  • WLDock
    WLDock Posts: 2,905
    edited April 19
    New24k wrote: »

    One could bypass that $2000 AVR and go for the $1200 A1080 model. Then, head over to Safe & Sound and pick up a Parasound 2125v.2 or 2250v.2 amp or Parasound New Classic 200 integrated that uses the 110 watts/ch Pascal Audio from Denmark class D boards. Would have the best of both worlds for the same money. Would most likely sing better given the dedicated current to the mains.

    2 Channel Power amps
    https://www.safeandsoundhq.com/pages/search-results-page?q=Parasound&page=1&rb_product_type=Power+Amplifier&rb_filter_ptag_a3c80657452f9d7f30448b4f762c7842=2+Channel&tab=products&sort_by=price&sort_order=asc

    New Classic 200 Integrated
    https://www.safeandsoundhq.com/products/parasound-200-integrated-integrated-amplifier-and-dac

    New Classic 200 Integrated Review
    https://hifitrends.com/2019/11/19/parasound-newclassic-200-integrated-amplifier-review-this-mind-blowing-amp-will-make-your-speakers-sing/
  • It isn't easy finding a modern speaker which doesn't demand a 4 Ohm load from at least one of the drivers on board on a regular basis during the playback of most types of music.
    Manufacturer's specifications are quoting a mean (average) load in their spec's. So when 8 Ohms is quoted, it's referring to a rounded-off number from a fluctuating load.
    There's no shortage of two channel amplifiers which deal with four Ohm loads as though it's in their instincts, and can continue to read the newspaper while doing so. A little more care is required when picking a surround receiver, as more of them are not so comfortable with a four Ohm load.

    It should also be said that being able to handle a four Ohm load does not mean it will sound the same as everything else capable of handling a four Ohm load.
    As always, our ears are the best measuring tool out there. If we don't trust our senses, we can only be sure to be happy with the spec's, but not necessarily the sound.
  • Hansvelton
    Hansvelton Posts: 64
    edited May 26
    I have 3 various AVRs, I picked up over the last few years at goodwill, just as things to mess around with and maybe use in basement video room and garage etc.

    NONE were more than $30.00, so not a big deal if anything goes wrong or they bust from lack of volume control.

    I have hooked up all three at various times to 4 ohm speakers, and played the crap out of them, even at relatively high volumes.

    They got warm, None of the three blew up, went into all kinda distortion or melted or any such issues.

    Not as good as a good separate or integrated that is RATED to easily do 4 ohms I would have to say, but a far cry from being only usable at low volumes and a lot I have read.

    I mean common sense with the volume and all for sure, but the lack of 4 ohm rating is based more on heat and stuff from U.L., not sheer lack of ability to be cranked some. (Within reason)
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 19,045
    LamontSim wrote: »
    Just wanted to ask someone out there about this 4 ohm impedance rating on the Reserve Series R200 bookshelf. Would I have a problem properly powering these with a 2-channel receiver rated at 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms?

    Why create another thread with the same question??
    Maybe read this one it might have an answer 😃
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,131
    LamontSim wrote: »
    Just wanted to ask someone out there about this 4 ohm impedance rating on the Reserve Series R200 bookshelf. Would I have a problem properly powering these with a 2-channel receiver rated at 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms?

    The Onkyo TX-8270 mentioned in the other thread is rated as compatible with stereo speakers presenting 4 ohms loads. Anyway, Polk documents in the owner’s manual the R200 as being compatible with amplifiers at 8, 6, or 4 ohms.

    The speakers will perform better the better quality the amplifier is driving them but they’ll operate fine with a receiver.

    1. Polk L800 + L900, L400, LSiM-703 x4; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz AV8805A processor; Parasound A31; Outlaw 7000X; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S2 cables
    2. Magnepan 1.7i or JM Lab 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE+ preamp and Parasound JC5 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P500; MIT S1 Cables
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 11,742
    edited June 14
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    LamontSim wrote: »
    Just wanted to ask someone out there about this 4 ohm impedance rating on the Reserve Series R200 bookshelf. Would I have a problem properly powering these with a 2-channel receiver rated at 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms?

    Why create another thread with the same question??
    Maybe read this one it might have an answer 😃

    Maybe he doesn't like the answer and if he keeps asking you'll change your response :D:D:D
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

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  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 11,742
    If you listen to music to loud, especially music with heavy bass then you will likely have issues controlling those speakers
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a