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Polk Audio RTi100
8 Reviews
rating  4.63 of 5
MSRP  589.00
Description: These RTi Series Powered Floorstanding Loudspeakers feature more real wood than ever before; backs, front & rear baffles as well as the top & sides are covered in luxurious real wood veneer, for high impact looks and value. All at a price the competition charges for... vinyl. Given the choice between vinyl and real wood, who wouldn''t choose wood?


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by myeremin a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I purchased these speakers because of the favorite reviews, including on this site, and because I heard of the Polk's great reputation in speaker-building. I am not an audiophile, just wanted a pair of decent speakers for the living room under 1000.00. In general, after about six months of using, I can say that RTi100 are great speakers indeed, and at a reasonable price too. There are a few "glitches", but about those - later in the review.

Why I like them? First of all - great detailing and resolution at the whole sound spectrum. A few examples - on one particular record there is an interesting stereoeffect, so that the sound seems to be emanating from behind you. Imagine my surprise when I was listening to the record on these speakers just as I bought them, and I kept turning my head in reflex - the sound was actually coming from behind! Second example, now about movies - you've probably seen "Once upon a Time in America". There is a moment, in a very silent room Aaronson is mixing sugar in a cup of tea. Every smallest scratches of the spoon against the walls of the teacup that the soundengineers could capture the speakers reproduced, as if De Niro was sitting right in my room! Simply amazing.

The powered sub is a plus too. Simply screw the jumpers to the sub, and connect the speakers to your amp as if they were normal unpowered speakers, then set the gain dial to about 1 or 2 O'clock. (Don't forget the power switch on each speaker too). The sub gives you that nice warm, controlled bass up to about 30-35 Hz. Really cool. Especially the idea that a fairly deep bass is coming out of these elegant and slim speakers.

Now some fun facts, precautions, and warnings. As some here said, RTi's tend to sound "bright". This is true, and at first you may think it's OK (I like to listen on the bright side), but then (maybe after a break-in?) it hits you - too bright! So don't forget to adjust the treble properly for these speakers, preferrably at different sound levels. Secondly, these speakers, because of their great sound quality in the mids and highs will indeed reveal all weaknesses of your setup and your records. I have a bunch of CD's that sound OK in the car, but are unlistenable on these. What a pity! Fortunately, my Onkyo 8511 drives happily these speakers, too happily perhaps, so at least I don't have the whole "crappy amp issue". And third, the sub. The speakers employ a high-efficiency bandpass cabinet with a 6 1/2" driver. This allows for some deeper bass territories that would be unreachable otherwise in such a slim overall package. But as with most high-efficiency designs, they are very sensitive to their placement in the room, and more importantly - to the quality of the room itself. My pair stands in the basement (that's right - it is my "living room" :) ), and you know how basements are - bare walls, irregular room shapes, small room sizes, and staircases - all this resonates wery well at those nasty mid-bass frequencies. I am still frustrated with trying to eliminate the "boom" and the "woof" of my room. Add to that the lack of subwoofer crossover point on RTi100. So, for a more controllable bass response in a bad room you'll need a heavier, deeper subwoofer in conjuction with the built-in units.

The only real weakness I spotted is the crappy carpet spike mounting - the floor base plate actually started to split when I was screwing them in. Clearly, a more sturdy mounting is required. I would recommend to the Polk engineers a metal base plate instead of the current wood one.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   On-line



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sowen a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2004

Bottom Line:   
A very nice unit. Recommended by several experts and magazines as the number 1 speaker in the -$2000.00 price range. They play silky smooth. The powered woofer helps greatly with the speakers mid-bass extension.

They do not play low bass on their own. A separate powered sub is required for low bass, but honestly, what do you expect from a 6.5" woofer. They have a beautifully smooth range and sound so silky. Highs and mid-range are flat and nearly perfect. They sound like Polk's, what I mean is you have to pay attention to their setup or your highs will be a little bright.

The biggest downside to these speakers is they are extremely sensitive to the quality of your amplifier. All very high quality speakers are like this. If you have some POS Sony receiver, the mids and vocals will be "lackluster" and they will sound very bright and sharp. They greatly accentuate your receiver's quality, or lack-there-of. If you want to play them loud, you will need lots of power (100+ real watts, not Pioneer or Sony watts, real watts like Onkyo, Yamaha, or H/K). Sony ES or Pioneer Elite products are excellent but there standard products are not very good. I am running mine with an Onkyo TX-SR701 THX receiver and they are some of the most perfect sounding speakers I have ever heard. They are high quality speakers and unlike lower quality speakers, they will not cover up a poor quality receiver.

I am running a Polk 10" and Velodyne 12" to fill in the lows and it works beautifully.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   600.00 for the pair



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Matthew Schindel a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 26, 2003

Bottom Line:   
These Polk towers are an inexpensive way to get decent room-filling performance for music and movies, from more affordable audio components, and in smaller venues. Clear and smooth. Unfortunately, the midrange is unsatisfactory for complex music and they lack warmth and tone. Certain instruments disappear into the mix and/or lose character or richness. And don't unplug that velodyne for these, the powered subs are not meant to "stand alone". Although full and smooth, they are not punchy or thunderous like a proper self-contained remote sub.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Circuit City



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kaworu187 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Very well designed speakers. Nice solid construction. I was very impressed when I heard these in the store. I was looking at a pair of JBL's for around the same price and these speakers blew the JBL's away. I recommend these speakers to anyone in the market for new ones.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Circuit City



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Larry L a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I just took advantage of the "upgrading your speakers" at circuit city. I have wanted these speakers for 5 months now. I listen to many kinds of music. I am a violinist, a classical violinist. I know what it sounds like and feels like to play in a huge symphony orchestra. That being said, my tastes are more than my wallet can afford. I went to Polk's site and read what I could in addition to coming here. But the lack of reviews of this product would suggest it's not a big seller. No problem. At first (before I bought it) I was turned on to the fact that it has a powered sub. But then I went down to hear it from time to time and determined that the powered sub, though it probably can, was not meant to be used in place of a powered sub in a home theater system but was instead meant to intensify the lower frequencies as we are want to do when listening to Cd's. I listen to all my music flat. I want to hear what the engineers and conductors decided what was important. When we "feel and hear the bass" we are satisfied. It is a trick that no speaker can ever be free of. The fact is that real live performances are not that boomy or bassy. But what speakers can't give you in depth, that of a concert hall, they compensate with bass and the sensation of "fullness". So in this context I decided to place all my desire on the powered sub of the RTI100. It is important, and a bit of a quirk, that Polk desires in many of the speakers an "unfiltered" bass-out port. If you use an LfE-out port from your receiver and plug it into the line-level inputs of your RTI100's then you could lose out on bass and accuracy. I have played all the genres that I own and have been satisfied with the imaging. These speakers feel like they can handle more that I can give to them, but if I play them too loudly I will get the cops called on me. I decided to get this over the RTI70 so that I could have a true 3-way speaker. The mid and hi drivers are kept seperate and sealed from the ported bass driver. The clarity of these speakers is great. They sounded like crap in the show room because, with so many speakers there, who can really demonstrate them in a real setting. The tweeter sounds great, and the bass driver sounds tight. Many complain about Polk's midrange drivers, but I have no such problem. And in fact if you want to test for that, nothing reveals midrange blaring or blurring like classical music: try and get an old recording that has been remastered and maybe in "add" or something and not the current crop of recordings where they sound like they are in a restroom. You need a dead and flat recording. If you had to choose one piece, I would choose Horowitz playing the rachmaninof piano concerto #3 with the new york philharmonic. It is the best test recording I have ever come by.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   circuit city




Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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