Polk Audio XRt12 XM Reference Tuner Tuners

4/5 (2 Reviews)

Product Description

XM Reference Component Tuner
  • Audiophile Parts Quality
  • Analog and Digital Outputs

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    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Richard a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: February 9, 2007

    Bottom Line:   
    I read Eric LoBue's review of XM as configured with a Yamaha RX-V657 Reviever. Like Eric I thought that paying for radio was something I would never do. But I listened to XM in a rental car on a long drive and was amazed at the the depth and the new-to-me old stuff, 50s, 60s, 70s, nostalga lane. Blue grass and classic jazz, R&B and blues, I was jivin' and dancing at the wheel, feelin' great, remembering people and places I hadn't thought of in years. Amazing. So I looked around and found this Polk XM reciever and bought it to integrate with my Hi Fi system; Conrad Johnson P11 tube amp, Ariel hand built speakers. I had to open the door to run the long antanna cord outside to get southern sky reception. One of these days I'll order the long RF caable and run it up a chase and put the antenna, kind of like a GPS antenna, out on the roof through a roof vent.

    But right now I have XM on my HiFi or good system. Eric demoed it on an AV 7.1 amp. and thought the music was not as good as CD, perhaps because of the amp. Some of the XM music is older, the 50s stuff was probably mostly cleaned up when it went onto CDs. Robert Johnson period blues is kind of scratchy, but what do you want when you can hear the birth of almost all the licks Eric Clapton puts out and recorded no doubt over an earth floor under a tin roof. The classic jazz has some clean stuff, ch#71, but the modern jazz on ch#72 is newer and very clean almost elevator like. Some of the dance and Hip Hop channels are very tight, Talking Heads were almost CD quality. But now ch#76 is all HD radio, very clean. I hope they put up more HD channels. The XM channels I get over the Dish TV are more dusty than direct XM through the Polk reciever. The good thing is I can move the Polk reciever from my Hi Fi to my HT room, which I do for fun to study the mystery of 7.1 HT sound vs. real 2 channel HiFi. My HT is the Yamaha Rx-V1600, a couple of steps up from the AV unite Eric reviewed. Mine also has XM, but like Eric, I prefer to have the seperate Polk unite to move around. I took it outside on a covered porch last fall and ran it to a boom box. Great for sitting by the pool and having a drink.

    By the way, my Yamaha AV amp has a 'direct to sterio out' mode which lights a bright blue diode on the amp and you can hear the delay as the output relays reset to real, no sound field processing, sterio. I have some older Monitor Audio towers front R&L on the HT system, and the direct mode not only streight lines the XM reciever through the amp to only the Monitor Audio D'Appolito MTMs, it switches off the Premier Acoustics 5.1 surround speakers. Wow, a sound stage and no booming and fog. The 7.1 set up is great for DVDs with big surround sound. Blade Runner on DVD, remastered with new digital everything is awsome, Matrix reloaded, wow. I have heard the shoot out scene in the lobby has the most sound of any DVD made to date and now I heard it with a kiloWatt of 7.1 in a medium size room. But the XM direct to sterio is so much tighter on the HT system. With my Ariels and the tube amp in the front room, the Polk XM is sometimes better than some CDs and the XM is almost infinite musical variety.

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2006

    Price Paid:    $250.00

    Purchased At:   Frys' Sunnyvale CA

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Fergusson a Audio Enthusiast

    Date Reviewed: January 3, 2006

    Bottom Line:   
    What would you like to know ?
    Here's the basics, for those who may not have looked into the XM world much -- this Polk tuner, available in basic black only, is a component-size device meant to integrate into your home audio/video tangle o' wires (rather than a portable to
    shift from car to docking station to briefcase); it provides two useful outs,
    digital optical & twin-RCA jacks. (Possibility exists for XM to begin 5.1
    channel broadcasts, so optical connection is a no-brainer for those with surround capability.)
    It looks OK, worked right out of the box,
    antnna hookup EZ (tho' you probably want a staight shot at the southern sky, with no obstruction.) Supplied 20-foot cable enough for me, [50-ft extensions available from Polk direct about $60 with S + H, to two max. i.e. 120 ft total.] Signal strength meter helpful in finding best
    aim ... ohh, and don't forget, you've gotta sign on to gain a (monthly fee) subscription from XM corp.

    Sound ? Listening thru decent headphones ... uh, guys this is nothing to write home about. About as good as a fair FM signal.
    I would imagine this may be more the limitations of satellite broadcast, rather than an inadequacy of electronics here.
    But who listens to radio thru cans for long ? Playing over my not-overly-magnificent HT setup, 5.1 via
    Pro Logic on Yamaha receiver, sound quality is more than adequate. (I refuse to use words such as spaciousness or shimmer in considering this sort of musical experience.)
    Programming ? Ennh, it sure is a widening of possibilities, given there are really only 2 FM stations I can get here in the mountains (& half the time it's another annoying Beg-a-Thon anyway, but never mind that.) However, it might take you awhile to find things you really like ... overall impression is that, even if this is not commercial air-wave schlock, it's still a bit formulaic & unadventurous. Still, the Classical channels are quite good. Latin Jazz (ch.95) great. Blues ch. pretty good, mostly. (Can you guess I have yet to check out the Hip Hop offerings ?)
    Plus, for those with a yen for such things -- Talk, News, Sports.
    Display is merely adequate, in the new digital blue which apparently is the latest color ... one option shows the current selection credit in large format,
    scrolling across the screen (theoretically visible from across the room, depending on your level of visual acuity.) Or you can watch the fairly primitive graphic info {think DOS prompts} on your new widescreen DLP monitor, if that would be more to your taste.)
    Overall ? -- Perhaps not nirvana in a box, but a good & useful product, likely to be improved in future models. Hat's off to Polk for filling a gap in the audio marketplace !

    signed -- 'still remembers the birth of free-form radio', your humble reviewer

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   Less than 1 month

    Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

    Product model year:   2005

    Price Paid:    $249.00

    Purchased At:   Online

    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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