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Polk R700 Review by Audioholics

hardisj

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(Yes, I know that this was just linked in the R200 review thread but I think it deserves its own thread rather than getting buried in the OT of that one.)


James Larson's review can be found here:

No full SPIN set of data which I do miss but it's certainly enough to give us an idea of the performance. And, IMHO, it looks pretty good.

I encourage you to go read James' review and interpretations but here's a few snippets.




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James' summary:
Polk knocked the ball out of the park with the Legend series which we thought were easily the best speakers that Polk had made to date. However, it wasn’t all that surprising that we found them to be so good given they are one of the largest loudspeaker manufacturer’s flagship product lines. With the resources, expertise, and experience that Polk has at their disposal, the Legend series had no excuse to not be really good. But how good of a speaker can Polk make at half the cost of the Legend series? Will it only be half as good, or will it be ninety percent as good? That is the question we will attempt to answer in our review of the Polk Reserve R700...
 
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hardisj

hardisj

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My two cents:
I'd like to hear this speaker and see if it exhibits the one flaw I heard with the R100 which was a boosted treble that became "too much" at higher volumes, whereas at lower volumes it came across as 'detailed'. This was due to the low-order crossover between the mid and the tweeter which resulted in a +3dB bump in the estimated in-room response and this was clearly audible. The R200 indicates as much based on the data I've seen. But this data of the R700 indicates a better directivity match so I'm assuming it won't exhibit the trait I heard with the R100. If this is the case, then... kudos to Polk, indeed.

Personally speaking, I quote like the look of this speaker.
 

abdo123

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My two cents:
I'd like to hear this speaker and see if it exhibits the one flaw I heard with the R100 which was a boosted treble that became "too much" at higher volumes, whereas at lower volumes it came across as 'detailed'. This was due to the low-order crossover between the mid and the tweeter which resulted in a +3dB bump in the estimated in-room response and this was clearly audible. The R200 indicates as much based on the data I've seen. But this data of the R700 indicates a better directivity match so I'm assuming it won't exhibit the trait I heard with the R100. If this is the case, then... kudos to Polk, indeed.

Personally speaking, I quote like the look of this speaker.
It's very difficult to tune a beaking tweeter like this, the PIR doesn't show any treble peaking but we almost exclusively hear direct sound in that frequency range so it has to be flat on-axis too.
 

Matias

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Looks like a nicely designed speaker for the price point they are after.

Does anyone know if the "port wind deflector" is plastic or metal?
 

MarkWinston

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My two cents:
I'd like to hear this speaker and see if it exhibits the one flaw I heard with the R100 which was a boosted treble that became "too much" at higher volumes, whereas at lower volumes it came across as 'detailed'. This was due to the low-order crossover between the mid and the tweeter which resulted in a +3dB bump in the estimated in-room response and this was clearly audible. The R200 indicates as much based on the data I've seen. But this data of the R700 indicates a better directivity match so I'm assuming it won't exhibit the trait I heard with the R100. If this is the case, then... kudos to Polk, indeed.

Personally speaking, I quote like the look of this speaker.

Would off horizontal axis solve this? Got the R200 toed in just a wee bit (5 - 10 degrees) at the moment as it sounds the most 'right'.
 
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hardisj

hardisj

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For the R100 (the one I was talking about), possibly. It's hard to say for sure. I did listen off-axis but the issue was volume dependent so you're going to trade the HF "detail" at lower volumes. I'd say this is really a preference thing, though, so I wouldn't rely solely on my subjective feedback. Though, the data does a superb job of illustrating what I was hearing.
 

mhardy6647

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Looks like a nicely designed speaker for the price point they are after.

Does anyone know if the "port wind deflector" is plastic or metal?
I dunno about the R700, but in its wee sibling the R200, it's plastique. ;)



1640020070563.png


Looks (???) to me like the basic Gestalt of the small R-series loudspeakers' ports is similar to the big hombre's.
 

Transmaniacon

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Would off horizontal axis solve this? Got the R200 toed in just a wee bit (5 - 10 degrees) at the moment at it sounds the most 'right'.

This is how I have mine positioned and it sounds wonderful, treble is defined and balanced without being harsh or veiled. I haven’t had any issue with the treble being too much at higher volumes. I think sitting slightly off axis is the sweet spot for these.
 

RobL

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Is there an advantage to using the ring radiator tweeter? (Apart from maybe having a marketing blurb) wouldn’t a conventional dome and waveguide be much less beamy?
 

Mathias

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Which is better, Polk R700 or Revel F36? (In my country, the prices are exactly the same.)
 

sdiver68

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My R100 are very sensitive to position/angle. For critical listening, they are placed where I normally listen in the 60's dbC range..about 10-15 degrees off axis.

Get everything right, add a good sub or 2, and they are magic with dynamics a particular strong suit.
 

MarkWinston

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Which is better, Polk R700 or Revel F36? (In my country, the prices are exactly the same.)
With the R700, you better have the firepower to drive it. Think 200 - 300 watts, those dual 8s are no joke. It will play with 50w mind you, but you definitely will be far far far off what it can actually do. If you dont have the power, opt for the R600.
 

mhardy6647

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My R100 are very sensitive to position/angle. For critical listening, they are placed where I normally listen in the 60's dbC range..about 10-15 degrees off axis.

Get everything right, add a good sub or 2, and they are magic with dynamics a particular strong suit.
re: "off axis"... pointed outward or inward with respect to the "axis"?

It seems to me that positioning the loudspeakers with their baffles parallel to the front and back walls of a hypothetical, rectangular listening room (i.e., with no toe-in or toe-out relative to the listening position) might achieve this "naturally"(?)
 

DSJR

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Is there an advantage to using the ring radiator tweeter? (Apart from maybe having a marketing blurb) wouldn’t a conventional dome and waveguide be much less beamy?
Old memories but back before ring radiators became a common product, a driver designer bemoaned how compromised conventional dome tweeters can be, as he felt the best place to 'drive' the dome was half way up in his opinion and not at the edge as conventional models are. I believe Roy Allison's 'nipple' tweeter had the right idea if not the tech solutions available today. The best examples of ring radiators seem to go out to 40khz or more pretty flat I think, where metal domes take off terribly between 20 and 30khz (look at B&W plots, it's horrendous) and cloth types can go messy.

Sorry for the lack of proper objective reasoning. I have to say that waveguides do seem to be solving many issues other than the driver itself, but maybe a tweeter such as that used here, gets round the issues a slightly different way?
 

sdiver68

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re: "off axis"... pointed outward or inward with respect to the "axis"?

It seems to me that positioning the loudspeakers with their baffles parallel to the front and back walls of a hypothetical, rectangular listening room (i.e., with no toe-in or toe-out relative to the listening position) might achieve this "naturally"(?)

The axis is drawn between center of my head at MLP and the speaker. I aim the midpoint between tweeter and woofer at the edge of the MLP seat..maybe 6-8 inches from each ear. So toe-out in reference to MLP, still toe-in to the horizontal plane of the speakers. This position after much trial and error.

Sure, your suggestion works. Depending upon the size of your listening triangle that angle might be right...

If you have them, you can play with exact angle until you get best sound.
 
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jhaider

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Is there an advantage to using the ring radiator tweeter? (Apart from maybe having a marketing blurb) wouldn’t a conventional dome and waveguide be much less beamy?

Yes, the design imposes a directivity penalty. I've personally yet to hear I speaker I liked with the Vifa/Peerless/Tymphany (or higher-zoot ScanSpeak) ring radiator tweeter on a flat or minimal waveguide. IMO the narrow dispersion makes the balance between "nice sense of air" and "zing that hurts!" hard to strike.

In a more contoured waveguide they can work very well though. A good waveguide seems to not constrain its dispersion at the bottom to better effect a directivity match with the midrange, but also broaden the dispersion slightly up top.
 
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Urvile

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There is a youTube review
 
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