What center speaker in Polk's current lineup can I pair with RTi A3 for a 3.1 system?

I currently have a 2.1 system with RTi A3 as the two front speakers and PSW10 as the sub. I really need to have clearer dialog from my movies so I'd like to upgrade to a 3.1 system, while keeping the ability to eventually have a 5.1 system. It seems like the go-to center speaker for RTi A3 was CSi A4 but I can't find that anywhere.

Which center speaker from Polk's current lineup should I buy?


  • Nitestyle
    Nitestyle Posts: 3
    My guess is that if I were trying to match the specs of CSi A4, I'd prioritize impedance, then woofer size & count, then sensitivity, then frequency response, then driver type? Annoyingly the Reserve center speakers only put minimum impedance while the others have nominal impedance, and I'm not sure how to compare the two.
    CSi A4
    2x 5.25" woofer
    1" tweeter
    Total Frequency Response: 55 Hz → 27,000 Hz
    Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
    Sensitivity (1 watt @ 1 meter): 89 dB
    Lower and Upper -3dB Limits: 65 Hz → 26,000 Hz
    Recommended Amplifier Power Per Channel: 20 watts → 180 watts

    I'm looking at all the 2-woofer center speakers. From lowest to highest price: CS10, CS1 Monitor, XT30, ES30, R300, R400.
    • Let's remove the 6.5" woofer R400, and stick with the 5.25" woofers
    • Let's assume the R300's nominal impedance matches the other remaining 3 (all 8 ohms like CSi A4 and RTi A3). But it still has lower sensitivity which is worrisome. I assume it's higher price point is due to the turbine cones..? Let's remove R300 due to the sensitivity concern
    • The CS10 has higher sensitivity and is out of stock..? Let's remove it I guess
    That'd leave CS1, XT30, and ES30 which I'm not sure how to compare. The CS1 has the wood grain finish like the RTi A3 so that's a plus I suppose. So prior to any input you folks have, I'm currently thinking the CS1. Its cheaper price point is worrisome though, wasn't the CSi A4 $280 originally? I'm not sure how to compare the drivers, but I assume that's what makes all the difference in the price point.

  • Nitestyle
    Nitestyle Posts: 3
    Seems like the CS1 Monitor Series II is similar in specs (and wood grain finish) but way lower price point. The CSi A4 was $280 originally and CS1 is $130. Could someone explain why that is?
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 48,971
    Look for a CSi A6.
    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

  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 7,777
    edited June 2022
    Nitestyle wrote: »
    Seems like the CS1 Monitor Series II is similar in specs (and wood grain finish) but way lower price point. The CSi A4 was $280 originally and CS1 is $130. Could someone explain why that is?

    My first center was a CS1. Not a very good center. Big improvement when I moved to a CSi1 (predecessor to the CSi A4). Even bigger move to the CS400i (predecessor to the CSi A6). So I would highly recommend the latter, and stay away from the CS1.

    CSi A4 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/115438526307?hash=item1ae0ac1f63:g:0pQAAOSw3TVitFWG

    CSi A6 (my preference, bigger sound and matching drivers) - https://www.ebay.com/itm/255590359191?hash=item3b825f6097:g:F-8AAOSw9CZir1lm
    Living Room 2.2: Usher BE-718 "tiny dancers"; Dual DIY Dayton audio RSS210HF-4 Subs with Dayton SPA-250 amps; Arcam SA30; Musical Fidelity A308; Sony UBP-x1000es; Squeezebox Touch with Bolder Power Supply Game Room 5.1.4: Denon AVR-X4200w; Sony UBP-x700; Definitive Technology Power Monitor 900 mains, CLR-3000 center, StudioMonitor 350 surrounds, ProMonitor 800 atmos x4; Sub - Monoprice Monolith 15in THX Ultra Bedroom 2.1Cambridge Azur 551r; Polk RT25i; ACI Titan Subwoofer