Polk RM6600 Speaker System

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Matthew Polk Is A Genius!!

May 26, 2003 (Updated Feb 2, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Flatness:
  • Imaging:
  • Overall Sound:

Pros:Clean and extended detailed sound. Sub is very discrete!

Cons:None!

The Bottom Line: The soundstaging is awesome and the price is right! What more could one ask for?


Matthew Polk of Johns Hopkins University set out to create a speaker co. dedicated to the art of building wonderful sound reproducers that went beyond the norm in 1972. The first creations included the RTA 12, Monitor 10 and Monitor 7.

These speaker systems received wide acclaim quicker than a Jack rabbit and launched the company into stardom! The RTA designation in his top model stood for Real Time Array describing Polk's main speaker designing principle of properly aligned speaker arrays for great pinpoint imaging and accuracy.

The RTA 12 was embraced by many audiophiles with the Monitor 10 enjoying even better success due to its much lower price tag with a design that benefitted from RTA technology. The Monitor 7 received instant praise as it basically sounded like the 10.

By 1979 I had finally gotten around to seriously auditioning the Monitor 10B which was an improved version of the original. The sound was impressive except for a bit of fatness in the bass but the speaker presented the listener with a much bigger than normal soundstage.

The little red heart that dotted the "i" in Polk Audio's insignia became a symbol of excellence that few true hifi manufacturers achieve!

This Maryland based speaker co. has grown since that time and now lays claim to one of the most diversified and extensive speaker lines of any reputable manufacturer. The love and dedication to true sound reproduction is evident more than ever.

Like Bose and many other esoteric brands Polk has been dropped by many high end stores that originally sold their speakers and picked up by twice as many highway discounters! This seems to be the script for many speaker manufacturers down through the years as they start off small and windup bigger and successful.

This is the problem I have with many high end establishments...One in particular I know who swore Polk to be eminently superior to all others back in 1979. That same store owner now claims that Polk Audio has fallen prey to mediocrity and refuses to sell the speakers anymore! If the real truth be known it would playout like this...

When companies as Polk start out relatively small with a wonderfully innovative product there is a certain charm about such a manufacturer. However as time goes by, said manufacturer is faced with a decision to either stay small and possibly fail or grow and profit well into the days ahead.

Polk has chosen wisely to grow and so have the number of authorized dealerships. This also means that through wide availability competitors will offer more attractive pricing than the former scarce high end stores. Alas the real meaning of our high end friend's remark has been unveiled...that since Polk chose the highway discounters their speakers are of lesser value to the high end itself!

I guess the charm disappears when these circumstances occur but it really doesn't have to! Polk does not suffer from mediocrity nor have they lowered their standards. Matthew Polk's dedication to the art of speaker crafting is stronger than ever evidenced by the model subject to this review...the RM 6600 Home Theater Speaker Package.

This HT system is designed to be used in a 5.1 configuration for the absolute ultimate home theater experience! Four tiny timbre-matched two-way sats with recessed tweeters and slanted marble-like enclosures are complemented by a superbly built and very compact 100 watt self powered 10" subwoofer and a cool Center Channel Speaker that can be placed on top of your tv.

The small speakers each weigh over 4 lbs a piece and are solid as rocks! They are finished in either black or white. Every transducer in the system is magnetically shielded so there is no need to worry about interference when placed closely to one's tv. The very well thought out compact sub stands at just over a foot tall and about fourteen inches wide with a depth of roughly eighteen inches. The cone is of a composite material that should last a lifetime and the unit itself weighs in at 40 lbs.

Admittedly up front I should tell you that I generally prefer good old fashioned quality audiophile stereo sound and am not that impressed normally with the vast majority of home theater arrangements. Having said this I gotta tell ya!...I have never in my life been more impressed with the sound of home theater than what I experienced with this system driven by a various number of surround sound receivers all of decent modern day quality!

Whether it was a Yamaha, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Pioneer, Teac, Aiwa or my old Lafayette amplifier with the built in Dynaco Quad circuit the sound remained consistently the best! Of course using the various Parasound HT power amplifiers will yield even more spectacular listening results!

I specifically am impressed with Polk's slanted upward design of the small sats and am totally convinced that this design is in no small way responsible for the open airy detailed presentation of recorded material regardless of the source. The tweeters are brilliant but not overdone! The brilliance is perceived only when listening to sources that actually have such brilliance in themselves.

The mids are powerful as the midbass itself with accuracy of musical timbre evident to the point where the listener can easily identify tonal changes in various instruments. Reproduction of voices is so downright natural to the point where any flaws in the soloist's gift is unveiled with merciless accuracy! Equally important is the fact that the sats can be hidden quite effectively or blended nicely into one's decor.

As far as the movie experience goes with the Polks, it is truly amazing and involving in every sense! Pictures like "Twister", "The Perfect Storm", "Ben-Hur", "Gladiator" and "Fantasia 2000" will thrill and entertain you for hours on end with tireless great listening!

Most impressive is this Polk Audio RM 6600 HT system! It is not to be taken lightly by those with preconceived notions about home theater vs. stereo only. No matter what your musical preferences are {and I've heard them all through the polks} these speakers will excite and delight!

Please remember to use high quality OFC wire such as the well crafted cable available from MIRASONIC.COM. I prefer this vendor's wire to all others with my own ears as proof. Good quality speaker wire will give a tight well controlled presentation to the music without marring or masking any sounds. Their well made wire is also considerably cheaper than other high-fellootin' stuff!

While on the subject of controlled sound, it is ever so important to make sure you moderately and carefully set the subwoofer's Output and Variable Crossover controls as they can be very effective and instrumental to the overall performance of this quality system.

You see, if you set the darn things too high you will hear a phony boosted boomy sound that was not intended by the designer. When these controls are set properly, true deep extended bass will present itself only when actually in the program. By the same token, the mids and highs will not suffer from being overcome by boominess of the bass! Everything is relative. Moderation is the key!

The 100 watt built in subwoofer amp is of high current Class A/B design which means that it will not easily be prone to clipping. In fact, this entire system is of such good build that I do not foresee any problem driving it to more than moderately loud levels as long as you don't experience amplifier clipping from the receiver itself.

Clipping will kill any well made speaker rather quickly aside from damaging your precious hearing. Like Richard Vandersteen and Amar Bose, Matthew Polk is most concerned with this problem.

I should probably mention that the sub senses incoming signals for auto activation very well and unlike a cheaply made unit that I recently reviewed should remain quite stable over the years. This is a well made and well protected unit indeed! It is so onobtrusive as Matthew Polk intended and is easily hidden in one's listening environment. The included mounting brackets for the sats and the five-way binding posts on the speakers themselves only enhances my already "five star" rating of this product!

When deciding to purchase the RM 6600 from your friendly hifi dealer make sure you receive two separate cartons as the sats are combined with various other Polk subs. Make sure you receive the ten inch PSW-350 sub!

Matthew Polk has stated in the past how he is not thrilled with the fact that some manufacturers' speaker models change so often that we never really fully benefit from their designs. After hearing this wonderful Polk system I can heartily say that Polk's Real Time technology is still evident! The man is a genius!

Even though Polk's MSRP is close to $1200 for this system, it is quite commonly sold for a hefty discount! The current price is under $600 and it's a steal!! If there was ever a better case made for AC-3, Dolby Digital, THX or Dolby Pro-Logic as an audiophile approach to the art of sound, I certainly am not aware of it!

I know of no other HT system for under one grand that can do what the Polk RM 6600 can...and that is reproduce sound of such natural high quality so as to seduce one's senses or engulf the listener in sheer audio ecstasy! Music is emotional and when a speaker system portrays not only the performance well but all the ever changing dynamics with it, well...that is simply quite special! For its price no other speaker system can touch it!

If I was forced to choose something at half the price of my reference speaker system, the Polk RM 6600 would be my logical choice!!


UPDATE: The Polk RM 6700 TNM is almost identical to the the RM 6600 and very similarly priced. My comments for this system are the same. You cannot go wrong with either one!


Please see my review of the Polk R-30 Tower Speakers...http://www.epinions.com/content_157096119940


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): n/a

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