Sound Dynamics RTS-3 Floorstanding Speakers

4.19/5 (37 Reviews) MSRP : $280.00


Product Description

A high performance near field monitor that fits any build-in or bookshelf application. The sound produced by the RTS-3 is balanced and natural, with a very large sound stage.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by tvr2500m a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I think these speakers are a steal at $150/pr. They're hardly perfect, but they are very listenable. When I find myself simply getting involved in the music and not analyzing what I'm listening to anymore, I've found something I can live with. This is what happened for me with the RTS-3.

Their signature, regardless of what they're hooked up to is a warm, recessed mid-range, slightly grainy high end that's not particularly extended, loose, poorly controlled bass from at least the mid-bass down, convincing tonality and timbre, they disappear well enough, they lack some detail resolution, and they produce a convincing, even layered, soundstage image.

With the slightly recessed mid range I can easily see how someone could call them dark. The two biggest flaws I feel are first, and by far, the bass performance. There's quite a lot of thump, but no control and timbre. A bit like a bad computer audio system sub woofer. Any room, any placement didn't yield good bass performance. Next, they are not the last word in detail revelation at this price range.

I came across them looking for speakers for my girlfriend. In my home, we compared the RTS-3s with a number of other small speakers: the Athena B1 and B2, the Mission 780 and 781, the Polk RT-25i, the Spica TC-50, Green Mountain Europa. As well many bigger speakers: Snell C/V and Ci, Magnepan MG-1.6QR, Audio Physic Virgo III, and NHT ST-4.

For equipment we used:
Amps: CJ Prem 11A and Bill Thalmann modified CJ MV-75 monoblocks
Preamps: CJ PV-12
Digital: Pioneer PD-65 Elite with various front ends - Channel Islands VDA DAC/VAC powersupply, Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0/DTI Pro 32 all with Channel Islands mods/Monolithic MPS, Sonic Frontiers SFD1 MkII/Sonic Frontiers Ultra Jitterbug, Camelot Arthur 3 MkII/Camelot Dragon Pro 2 MkII
Cables: Kimber 4 and 8TC, Monster 2.4s, Monster Reference 1000i MkII interconnects, Monster ILS Reference Toslink, Canare L5-CFB and LV-77S digital coax
Receiver: Marantz SR 4200

For the small speakers, we found the Athenas cold and clinical not excelling in any area. (The AS-F2 floor standers were well reviewed by Stereophile and I'm told by different folks they're very different than the monitor speakers. I might give them a try).

The Missions were extraoridinarily detailed, disappeared well, had great bass as far as it went, but were just cold.

The Polks are good - clean, musical, good pacing - but aren't as expansive or layered in their soundstage presentation as the RTS-3, but they are (or were since they're no longer being made).

Compared to the Spica TC-50, well, this is an interesting speaker, a cult speaker and I can understand why - it's incredibly neutral, subtle and creates a huge sound stage. In the limited range of what it does well it does it very well. It's just that you've got to find a pair somewhere that's in good condition.

The Green Mountain Europe is a lot more expensive at around $800 retail and there's not a lot of distibution for them. But they're a remarkable speaker. The detail is unbelievable and they're very fast and controlled. They're not as warm or even natural in some regards as the RTS-3, and they are a little harder to get to disappear.

Comparing them to the bigger speakers I listed above, the RTS-3 reminded me in character of the Audio Physic Virgo III, which I think is an excellent speaker. Though not in nearly the same league of refinement but the little RTS-3 had that subtle and sophisticated quality I bookmarked in my own mind for the Virgos.

The RTS-3 is a great little speaker. There're many monitor speakers I haven't heard in the sub-$1K/pr/new price range, but given that I have heard many of the monitors people call contenders in this range, I'd also have to put the RTS-3 in there as a contender, too. At $150/pr., I bought a pair just to have around.

It would be a neat trick to pair them with a good subwoofer, one with full control for high and low pass, and variable phase.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by J p a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have to follow up my original review of these speakers. I had been searching for a small, tube or hybrid amp to suplement my bedroom system. My old NAD 3150 sounded quite nice, but I was curious to hear what tubes could do with the speakers. So I found an Menthor 25w integrated hybrid amp on e-bay for a great price and away I went to tube land.
Talk about a world of difference...WOW! I loved the speakers through the NAD, I lust after the music with tubes. Everything is cleaner, clearer, tighter. I feel like I swim with the music at night. And low volume is great (though I do like to crank it up sometimes) for those late night sessions! I could not be happier with these speakers. When I went back to the NAD, I had to turn it off at once, as the Menthor just sounded so much better. So in short my friends, get a small tube amp and try these babies and see what you get. Bad solid state electronics (and some good...like Adcom) don't do these speakers justice at all! Get some tubes and float away!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   audio advisor



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

Date Reviewed: August 25, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I overlook this speaker for 2 years.
First I heard it at the Hifi show in Bangkok and I was very impressed. A few months later I bought it and took it home. But I never heard the sound that I expected.Back then I used Classe Cap 80, cap 151, electrocopaneint eci3 to drive it but the sound is far from good. The arrangement that time I put it in one corner of my living room. During two years I own more expensive speaker such as Sonus Faber Grand Pino and Magneplanar 1.6QR so I hardly listening to the RTS3. Until 3 days ago, I furnished my listening room with some acustic control stuff. So I took it to test the acustic in my new listening room. I hook it with my spare component CD NAD 522, C 160 pre and Thai 150 watt amplifier Magnet 300 F.
Even the first easy set up, I heard the sound that fly and fill up over the room. Absolutely no boxy sound,the size of the image is close to realistic. If you are a big band jazz fan such as Henry Jame, this is a speaker for you. I'm not saying that this is the best speaker, I've ever heard. But this speaker and matching coponents can bring you Hifi heaven for such little money. Finally it depend on your taste if you want a micro detail or atmosphere this is not a speaker you're looking for. To get the most out of it you need a listening room I mean serious audiphile's room and good set up. Now I'm very happy with this system. Had I finished my listening room 2 years ago, I would not have messed up with more expensive stuffs.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $220.00

Purchased At:   Audio Excellence



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bubbs a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Incredible little speaker for $150. I guess the guy who said the cabinets were crap wanted walnut or cabinets weighing 50lbs. a piece for $150. They are the hi fi bargin of the century. Mine are in cherry vinyl/vineer whatever. The sound out of these is nothing short of astounding when you consider the price and size. 4 of these will make great fronts and rears for an HT system. They need some power and some run in to really boogie. Thanks to the fella's on the AA board for turning me on to these. Great fun when high end hi fi gets too serious.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   tsto.com



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jcebedo1 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have owned these speakers for around 3 years and am still amazed by it. People who own these speakers already know its strenghts. That is natural and open sound. But its biggest weakness is the cabinet. Of all the speaker cabinets I have seen this is probably the worst of them all. It uses 5/8" particle board with no bracing. So my modification was to make entirely new cabinets to house the drivers. I braced the cabinet at critical points to eliminate box resonance. The resulting sound was so marvelous that I compared them to the B&W Nautilus 805 speakers ($2000/pair). I am not exaggerating but I actually liked the RTS-3 (modified) over the 805s. Why? Although the B&W's sounded detailed, it wasn't as natural sounding. Playing a well recorded solo piano is the hardest type of music for speakers to reproduce. I can't beleive it, but the RTS-3 sounded so realistic. Even my folks thought I was the one playing the piano! (I play piano at home occasionally)

If you are interested, email me and If you live close by you can even listen to this spectacular system. I am thinking about making and selling RTS-3s with my new enclosure.

Specs:
1" thick MDF (all sides)
slightly larger box tuned at 45Hz
double braced at critical points
Each speaker weight is 25 lbs (before 10.5 lbs)
Actual Frequency response 40Hz - 20 Khz

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   Ebay




Reviews 1 - 5 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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