Polk Audio SDA 1-C Floorstanding Speakers

4.32/5 (25 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by talldude777 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Vintage Polk Audio speakers are some of the "best bang for buck" components in the audio world. Over the years I have had the opportunity to own a few different models and all were extremely enjoyable. Currently I have a pair of SDA-1C in my 2-channel rig and the more time I spend with them the more I appreciate these vintage floorstanders.
The SDA's are my favorite so far, and a few basic tips will ensure the best listening experience:
1. Use high current power amplifiers
2. Follow the room placement guidelines in the Polk user manual
3. Always use the inter-connect cable

The SDA-1C performs very even from the lowest of notes to the highest notes. Some people may call them a bit bass shy, but I would totally disagree. They produce accurate bass, not bloated bass.

The midrange is perfect considering the cost these speakers on the used market.

The highs are good, but can be improved by replacing the stock tweeters to a new and improved version still sold by Polk Audio today.

Also note that as with any aged speaker, the stock crossovers can be upgraded with the addition of new capacitors and resistors. This is what will take these already great speakers to the next level of performance.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



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

Date Reviewed: February 8, 2010

Bottom Line:   
02-08-2010

Hello all. I just bought a pair of Polk SDA 1C's. After reading all of your reviews I am looking forward to hearing these beauties. I shall update you on what I hear and get your sage advice. These should keep me busy for a while.

I used to tape the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band and wonder how some of my tapes, DATS, and CDs will sound when I hook them up. In particular how the soundstage may reveal the types of microphones, where the taping rigs wereset up, and how the differences in microphone sound and recording venues will show themselves.

Hmmm anticipation.

I like the fellow Polk SDA 1C listener from Italy who noted "a new world of sensations” that he felt. As an avid hiker who has hiked in Italy 2-3 times on long treks through the Alps it gets me to wonder whether these speakers will give me some musical memories to humm along to as I wander in the mountains.

PS had to give 5 stars or they would not post the message. From your posts it should be close.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by enp a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 4, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I bought a used one today from the original owner (barely used) and hurriedly did a test run and after all the years of its existence (20+) it still sounds great. All you need is to drive it with a high current amp. I used vintage Haflers to drive these speakers. Hafler 110 for preamp, Hafler 160 for equalizer (I like to use EQ once in a while-I don't want a preamp to limit or control me of what I want to adjust on a sound pleasing to my ears and the type of music I am playing) Hafler P3000 TransNova using balanced connectos through a RCA-Balanced converter. These speakers sounds outstanding. Next I'm gonna compare this with my Vintage Polks (RTA12, SDA-CRS, Monitor 10) and my newer LSi9 (might have to supplement it with my velodyne subs since LSi9 is bass shy). I will also try these speakers with my fully upgraded Apt Holman preamp driving a Hafler 1500 TransNova and with my another set of Haflers, Bryston and Acurus preamps driving a newly upgraded Hafler DH 500 and Acurus A150 power amps. Whichever set up pleases me most, that will be my prime units for thes SDA-1c (studio) speakers. But for now, being driven with my initial Hafler setup, I am quite satisfied with it.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   CA



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Adrian a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I have not heard them yet, but I have a Macintosh MA6100 Pre-Amp/Amp on the way from Ebay and wondering if it would be good enough for the Polks? THanks

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by orlando903 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
These are speakers I dreamed about 15 years ago but could not afford at the time. The passage of time and ebay made their purchase finally possible. In 1986, I had owned a pair of SDA-CRS's which I loved. I did tire of the SDA imaging after a while as it felt like I was wearing headphones all the time. I sold the CRS's and bought a pair of Klipsch Heresy's which served me well for the past 15 years. The Heresy's were bright and sounded more like PA speakers, so much in fact, that after a couple of hours of listening, they became somewhat strident and induced listener fatigue. I received the 1C's and was immediately impressed by the balanced frequency response these generated. They do lack the immediacy and impact of the Heresy's (most notable during drum passages) but the sound of the 1C's is much more accurate, making the instruments sound more lifelike. The Heresy's gave more of a "live" in-your-face sound, whereas the Polks allow you to better appreciate the work (or lack of) done by the sound engineers on my favorite recordings. One instrument that I have found is difficult for speakers to reproduce is a piano. The Heresy's did not reproduce this instrument well at all, whereas the 1C's make it sound as if you are in the same room with the artist. Imaging is what these speakers are all about, and depending on the recording, they will deliver. Although the placement instructions are fairly straightforward, you will have to try several locations before you get the sound you want. They have a pretty broad dispersion, so keeping them away from "live" reflective surfaces is a must if you want to obtain the best imaging results. Unfortunately, my room is kind of small, which limits my options. These speakers (as do any good ones)will reveal limitations in your system. The Heresy's sounded best with a MOSFET Soundcraftsmen power amp, but when hooked to the 1C's, the amp's lack of damping caused tremendous woofer flutter, and the high frequencies appeared muddled and confused. I had a Harman Kardon HK870 (100 wpc 60 amps) that had sounded veiled with the Heresy's, and hooking this amp up to the 1C's made a tremendous improvement in the sound. Gone was the flutter, and the high end opened up considerably. If you have a pair of 1C's and feel a little underwhelmed by the sound, try some different amplifiers before you give up on them.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $625.00

Purchased At:   ebay




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