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Polk R100 bookshelf speaker (review by Erin)

sweetchaos

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Thanks to @hardisj for his review

DSC02707.JPG

CEA2034%20--%20Polk%20R100.png

Polk%20R100%20Horizontal%20Contour%20Plot%20%28Normalized%29.png

Polk%20R100%20Vertical%20Contour%20Plot%20%28Normalized%29.png

Polk%20R100_Compression.png

Polk%20R100%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2886dB%20%40%201m%29.png

Polk%20R100%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2896dB%20%40%201m%29.png


Erin's conclusion:
This speaker has good performance and is a really nice looking speaker, at least to me. I like the grille cloth color. I like the wood finish look. I like the overall aesthetic. And you pay for it. The performance could have been better with some crossover modifications and the added cost instead went toward the look of the speaker. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just feel like this speaker could have been an even better buy with a little bit more put into the crossover.

Now, we need someone to ship the bigger brother, R200 to either Amir or Erin! ;)

Discuss!
 

beaRA

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Thanks @hardisj for the great review! The instantaneous compression plot is interesting to me. Obviously you need a subwoofer to play these small speakers loud, but I don't recall seeing many other speakers with such consistent compression through the midrange.

FYI to ASR members, I only sent the single speaker because its other half has a bad tweeter.
 

Steve Dallas

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This result plus the measurements we have of the R200 (would really like to see it on the Klippel) point to these being go-to speakers in their price range. Both should respond well to EQ and otherwise be well-behaved workhorses. I have rooted for Polk for more than 20 years and very much enjoyed the LSi series of old. I almost wish I had a reason to buy a pair of the R200s. If I didn't have BMRs, I would!
 

BenB

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I'm curious what crossover modifications Erin believes would substantially improve performance.
 

DjBonoBobo

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I've been rooting for the brand since 1976. Just sayin'. ;)

Have they taken root by now? Apparently, they have not really blossomed.
 

hardisj

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I'm curious what crossover modifications Erin believes would substantially improve performance.

Higher LPF frequency and slope.

Look at the estimated in-room response. Thanks to the shallow crossover slope there is a +3dB difference between the midrange band and the HF band. Based on what I heard, this discrepancy is certainly audible.

That’s my two cents.

1639150717789.png




1639150952317.png
 

Transmaniacon

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Higher LPF frequency and slope.

Look at the estimated in-room response. Thanks to the shallow crossover slope there is a +3dB difference between the midrange band and the HF band. Based on what I heard, this discrepancy is certainly audible.

That’s my two cents.

View attachment 171516



View attachment 171518
I hope you get a chance to review the bigger R200, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying mine!
 

Rick Sykora

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The dip around 2-4 kHz is likely intentional "voicing" and not any crossover shortcoming. It would not cost any more to have a higher crossover point if that was desired.

If anything the tweeter may be the weak link here. It should not be distorting as bad as it does between 5-8 kHz.

Still seems a decent speaker for under $700/pair. :)
 

napilopez

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Seems very similar to the R200 I measured overall! My worry was that the R100 (and R200) would show lower midrange resonances I missed in my data but on this model at least it seems to be well under control. R200 vs R100 (LW and PIR shown):
Polk r200 vs r100.png

Of course, note that there is significantly more uncertainty for my bass results doing things the DIY way vs the NFS, but it's no surprise the R200 digs deeper.


I think I heard things similar to Erin and but we came away with slightly different perspectives on value and performance. What I keep coming back to is how flat that listening window is -- better than most DSP-enabled studio monitors in the price range, let alone passive speakers.

I agree that it is likely the crossover is a voicing choice, . Doesn't change the conclusion about the sound of course or whether it was a good idea, but considering the more expensive Legend series shows nearly identical directivity behavior, I can only imagine this is the sound Polk was going for. Also seen similar behavior from the other R-series speakers I've seen data (albeit not spins) for.

The port is a lot better controlled than the Legend series stuff I've seen, but still worse than I'd hope for given how much they hype their port tech.

I do appreciate the apparent consistency from model to model.
 

mhardy6647

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The dip around 2-4 kHz is likely intentional "voicing" and not any crossover shortcoming. It would not cost any more to have a higher crossover point if that was desired.
well -- the R100 XO is at 2700 Hz, so... I dunno.

1639168620354.png


The anomaly on the vertical FR plot, e.g., looks suspiciously close to the XO frequency to me.

SPL%20Vertical.png



The tweeter is reputed to be identical to that used in the "Legend" series.
 

Rick Sykora

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Thanks @hardisj for the great review! The instantaneous compression plot is interesting to me. Obviously you need a subwoofer to play these small speakers loud, but I don't recall seeing many other speakers with such consistent compression through the midrange.

FYI to ASR members, I only sent the single speaker because its other half has a bad tweeter.

Thanks for sharing your speaker so Erin could test!

Was the other tweeter DOA or have you had these a while?
 

Ninjastar

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I wonder what is the Olive Preference Score.

What is the highest scoring passive 5 inch driver bookshelf speaker right now? Kef LS50 Meta?
 

sdiver68

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So unfortunately I need to place these horizontally (for now). Good news is I can maintain about ear level. And I have some isolation pads so they still sit on "rubber feet". Bad news is the shelf they are on is only 4 ft wide with a listing location about 12' away.

Question to verify, I read the normalized vertical plot as being pretty good out to about 10 degrees negative. Might this indicate I should place tweeters on the outside for maximum sound stage with tweeter pointed almost directly at prime position?

Does the data indicate any other preferred horizontal positioning? For instance tweeters in looks to be better from a Freq Response perpsective but then I lose a couple feet of width with an already narrow triangle.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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Question to verify, I read the normalized vertical plot as being pretty good out to about 10 degrees negative.
Yes, vertical directivity shows that you should stay within +20 to -10 deg window to get +-3db window.
SPL%20Vertical.png

Might this indicate I should place tweeters on the outside for maximum sound stage with tweeter pointed almost directly at prime position?
It's best to point the tweeters towards your ears, since the window (+20 to -10 deg)(as I've shown above) is small.
It won't matter which way the tweeters are pointed, just make sure to stay within the window.

Does the data indicate any other preferred horizontal positioning? For instance tweeters in looks to be better from a Freq Response perpsective but then I lose a couple feet of width with an already narrow triangle.

Looking at the horizontal, I would say the +-20 degrees looks the flattest to me.
SPL%20Horizontal.png
 
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