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Polk LSi15 Main / Stereo Speakers
(3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Amazing Speaker and Great Value
Jul 8, 2006 (Updated Jul 23, 2006)
Review by angsumanroy
Rated a Very Helpful Review
While I haven't purchased these speakers, I have extensive listening experience with them, especially the tweeter.
Recommend this product?
Let me start off my saying this loudspeaker is one of the best values in the under $3000 a pair category. I think i'll divide this review categorically.
Treble: The treble is by far this speakers best quality. This tweeter is used in speakers costing up to $35,000 a pair, I believe Krells. The treble is well extended and very smooth as can be seen in frequency response graphs. It is never harsh in my experience and very detailed. I build loudspeakers as a hobby, and I love this Vifa driver. It has industry leading distortion specs above 2khz. Hence it is very clean. The only downside is the poor off axis dispersion. It does reduce the rooms effect, but some listeners might be put off by this lack of power response. While I didn't notice beaming until I went far off axis, the graphs show that the tweeter is -10dB down by 16khz 30degrees of axis.
Midrange: The midrange was great it did nothing wrong and didn't offend. Using a recording of Yo-Yo-Ma's cello the lower midrange had the right amount of warmth and wasn't too boomy. On AC/DC's highway to hell the male voices had the right amount of weight to them and sounded very nice. It blended very well with the smooth treble. Female vocals sounded just right, with no nasal colorations.
Bass: The bass was also good drawing little attention to themselves. It was very accurate and not boomy at all. I listened to Diana Krall's "The Girl in The Other Room." The acoustic bass was very tight and dynamic sounding, you could hear individual strings as they were being plucked and then the accompanying slam. It has all the extension you'd need for music, save organ. For Home Theater though you'd definately need a sub not only for extension, but mainly for output. It is not a subwoofer by any means just a plain side firing woofer. Please buy a subwoofer to accompany this speaker.
Cosmetics: The fit and finish was very high with amazing veneering and real wood too even better than most furniture in our house.
Imaging/soundstaging: Imaging and soundstaging were very nice with images locked dead in their place where they should have been. For example when Listening to Norah Jone's "Come Away With Me" I could tell that she was supposed to be very close to you, just a few feet away. When I closed my eyes, (I always do this to just see the music) The far left and far right felt as if they extended atleast 2 feet beyond the speakers themselves. Singers appeared dead center and the height was in proportion to rest of the instruments. On orchestral recordings, you could pick out where a solo instrument such as a clarinet was in the entire stage. Depth was very good. The Dynamics were very good and these speakers could play rather loud if you wanted them to, though I do most of my listening at moderate levels.
Equipment Matching: I used a Rotel 70w per channel amplifier during my audition. Rotel honestly rates their equipment unlike very cheap reciever companies that you can buy. These are 4 ohm speakers, but in my experience most amps with ample power can drive them without an audible problem. Despite many arguments in the audiophile community, any competantly designed amplifier playing at the same distortion level with same frequency response will sound the same. You really need power only for loud peaks. Since these would be located in a rather large room, I'd recommend any amplifier that cleanly puts out 80 real watts into 4 ohms especially if you use these for home theater. Looking at stereophile's impedance chart for the bookshelf it only dips to 4 ohms at certain spots. But i'm sure the woofer will draw quite a bit of power and may be 4 ohm itself. Also they have dual binding posts this means they can be Biwired or Biamped. Biwiring makes no difference at all as long as your using fat enough wire anyway. Biamping can make a difference by giving you more power and letting you mix and match amplifiers. If you have an extra amplifier around its a good idea but I wouldn't spend and get another amplifier because the differences would be small compared to the cost.
Conclusion: If you need to a pair of stereo speakers or a full home theater system and have a higher than average consumer budget these certainly deserve a listen.
Thoughts: After reading this review I find that it combined a lot of technical details as well some rather vague audiophile descriptor words. If you are begining in this hobby, I'd recommend you just go out and do some listening from yourself, ignoring what everyone else says and honestly use your ears. Many people haven't listened to real stereo properly and have no idea what imaging or soundstage is, so if you're reading this review and are confused, go out to your local Tweeter, or Magnolia Home Theater or specialty audio shop and just start listening with your eyes closed and your favorite CDs. I'm sure you'll be a convert then.
Also Thank you Shopaholic_man for clearing up some discrepancies and problems in my review.
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