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Polk announced the "Reserve series" of loudspeakers

ROOSKIE

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I do plan to buy a set of the R100, that is the pair I am most interested in.
However since it is Polk and many folks will buy and try and return - I am going to wait until Music Direct, Audio Advice or Crutchfield or someone has an open box set for $100 or so less.
Shouldn't take a long time, however I can't obviously guarantee that.
 

jhaider

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I watched the other reviews to see how similar my experience was to theirs, and one guy specifically made comments about the off-axis performance of this speaker that was the polar opposite of what I experienced and measured. He said the tweeter "drew attention to itself" or something like that, when he walked off-axis, which I don't get since off-axis, the tweeter really falls off quickly and seemed very directional.

That's the problem with ring radiators on a flat waveguide. It happens to all of them, up to and including the fancy silver-spike ScanSpeak ones.

I recall a while back Emotiva had a traveling roadshow that went to several hotels, including the then-Ritz Carlton in Atlanta (since rebranded "Whitley"). I don't remember the year, but for perspective in audio time, it was when their XMC-1 processor was still well-hyped vaporware, with no working Dirac, etc. I mention that because the speakers they brought for the showcase system were the big flagship Polk towers of the time. The ones with the racetrack bass units that look like Revel Studio2 if you squint a little. They're good speakers and they looked the part, and it was clear from the sound Lonnie and team spent some time EQ'ing the bass in that room to sound pretty good, but the overall sound in the hotel conference room was darkl. Yet if you got up to one of the speakers and put your ear on the tweeter axis it metaphorically bit your ears. The reason is the inherently narrow HF dispersion of this tweeter geometry.

Interestingly, a contoured waveguide seems to widen the HF dispersion of these drivers, both perceptually (which might make sense, given that the whole pattern is narrower) and measurably (which is pretty freakin' cool to me).
 

napilopez

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Some additional in room measurements for the r100, though no distortion measurements
https://www.i-fidelity.net/testberichte/hifi/polk-reserve-r100/seite-5.html
Pol_R100_horizontal.jpg

This is super good on axis, although 30 degrees out doesn't tell us much.

I haven't asked polk about testing any of these speakers yet as I have two others in queue, but I'm very curious. Hopefully we see some more extensive anechoic data soon.
 

napilopez

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That's the problem with ring radiators on a flat waveguide. It happens to all of them, up to and including the fancy silver-spike ScanSpeak ones.

I recall a while back Emotiva had a traveling roadshow that went to several hotels, including the then-Ritz Carlton in Atlanta (since rebranded "Whitley"). I don't remember the year, but for perspective in audio time, it was when their XMC-1 processor was still well-hyped vaporware, with no working Dirac, etc. I mention that because the speakers they brought for the showcase system were the big flagship Polk towers of the time. The ones with the racetrack bass units that look like Revel Studio2 if you squint a little. They're good speakers and they looked the part, and it was clear from the sound Lonnie and team spent some time EQ'ing the bass in that room to sound pretty good, but the overall sound in the hotel conference room was darkl. Yet if you got up to one of the speakers and put your ear on the tweeter axis it metaphorically bit your ears. The reason is the inherently narrow HF dispersion of this tweeter geometry.

Interestingly, a contoured waveguide seems to widen the HF dispersion of these drivers, both perceptually (which might make sense, given that the whole pattern is narrower) and measurably (which is pretty freakin' cool to me).

Just to illustrate for those who haven't seen, the horizontal dispersion of the ring radiator in the L200:

1616828110970.png


1616828145212.png


Super steep drop off after 4-5khz. I don't mind it much -- I kinda like the soundstage it creates -- but positioning definitely matters.
 

joentell

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Just to illustrate for those who haven't seen, the horizontal dispersion of the ring radiator in the L200:

View attachment 120599

View attachment 120600

Super steep drop off after 4-5khz. I don't mind it much -- I kinda like the soundstage it creates -- but positioning definitely matters.
Thanks for this. When I measured the R200's off-axis I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong because it was getting real narrow above 3khz. It's cool to see the same thing on L200's with the same Pinnacle Ring Radiator tweeter.

I plan on having Scott Orth on our Daily HiFi podcast this Monday the 29th which reminds me I need to make a thumbnail. If you have any specific questions, I'll try to remember to ask him.

Update: Here's the link for Monday's podcast for whoever is interested. We try our best to bring up questions from the live chat as much as possible.
 
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mhardy6647

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We need someone to buy one to test. Any volunteers? Looks like R100 goes for $600.
Is that for one or a pair?
I am (now) confused, as I reflect on the pricing. :rolleyes:
I thought these were much less expensive than the "Legend Series" equivalents (e.g., L100 vs. R100) -- now I am not so sure! :(

EDIT: Ne'ermind. The prices are indeed per pair.

R100 $599 the pair https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107RSV100/Polk-Audio-Reserve-R100-Midnight-Black.html
L100 $999 the pair ("$200 price break!") https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107L100WN/Polk-Audio-Legend-L100-Brown-Walnut.html

Polk R100 vs L100 via Crutchfield.jpg


Just a cut 'n' paste-up from Crutchfield's photos, not to scale.

As a PS, here's the R100 with its grilles. First photo I've seen of any of the R series avec grilles.

1616850153207.png
 
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Helicopter

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Is that for one or a pair?
I am (now) confused, as I reflect on the pricing. :rolleyes:
I thought these were much less expensive than the "Legend Series" equivalents (e.g., L100 vs. R100) -- now I am not so sure! :(

EDIT: Ne'ermind. The prices are indeed per pair.

R100 $599 the pair https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107RSV100/Polk-Audio-Reserve-R100-Midnight-Black.html
L100 $999 the pair ("$200 price break!") https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107L100WN/Polk-Audio-Legend-L100-Brown-Walnut.html

View attachment 120636

Just a cut 'n' paste-up from Crutchfield's photos, not to scale.

As a PS, here's the R100 with its grilles. First photo I've seen of any of the R series avec grilles.

View attachment 120637
I was browsing there and thinking about it too and noticed the Legend looks like a better value with that real wood veneer. A small part if me wishes they were doing them in that classic 90s Cherry, but I'd probably pick walnut over Cherry anyway.
 

mhardy6647

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I have exactly the opposite assessment, FWIW :)
The "upcharge" for the L series seems excessive -- unless they're demonstrably better in some meaningful way.
You've seem my hifi stuff... aesthetics is pretty low on my list of criteria. ;)

In a way, this is a full circle product for Polk (even though "Polk" is essentially just a brand name now :( ) -- Polk started out building "British monitor style" loudspeakers - in terms of sound and presentation - in aesthetically cheap boxes (vinyl-clad) offering very high value in terms of sound per dollar. They were - at least regionally - very successful at it.

See the "Model 10" (later "Monitor 10") catalog blurb below. :)

Scan0013 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
 

napilopez

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Not bad might be underselling it =] Here is the LW and PIR against the Genelec 8030C:
R200 8030C.png


And vs the Revel M106:
R200 vs M106.png


And vs the KEF R3:
R200 vs R3.png


I've only had it for a few days, but it's definitely one of the most hyped I've been about a speaker in a while. It's nice to just see a really good value in the passive space.
 

joentell

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sweetchaos

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hardisj

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Thanks to Napilopez’s amazing measurements, I’m confident that we need to see these on the NFS test bench for a deeper dive. Who’s willing to ship a pair to @amirm or @hardisj ?

I am on the waitlist via B&H but if someone has one they'd be willing to send then I would be happy to test it.


Though, @napilopez does a bang up job of tests so I don't know that it is 100% necessary.
 

napilopez

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I am on the waitlist via B&H but if someone has one they'd be willing to send then I would be happy to test it.


Though, @napilopez does a bang up job of tests so I don't know that it is 100% necessary.

I'd be mainly curious to see if there are perhaps some small resonances that get 'lost' in the low-res squiggles of the quasi-anechoic method. Hard to tell when it's from my rig vs the speaker. The port does still have a few resonances that'll probably show up as small or narrow blips in the lower mids, I'd imagine, but hard to know whether it's something worth noting or something that can readily be ignored.
 
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