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Polk Reserve R200: Spinorama and measurements (a really nice surprise!)

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It's come down to a contest between the Elec DBR62 vs. the Polk Reserve R200. Other boxes: Topping D90SE, Topping A90, PA-3s, PA-5. I'm leaning towards the Elac because we all have Amir's measurements.
 

sdiver68

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It's come down to a contest between the Elec DBR62 vs. the Polk Reserve R200. Other boxes: Topping D90SE, Topping A90, PA-3s, PA-5. I'm leaning towards the Elac because we all have Amir's measurements.
Can't really go wrong either way. I liked the rounded corners and look of the Polk drivers which was how I broke the tie. Completely subjective of course.
 
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hardisj

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It's come down to a contest between the Elec DBR62 vs. the Polk Reserve R200. Other boxes: Topping D90SE, Topping A90, PA-3s, PA-5. I'm leaning towards the Elac because we all have Amir's measurements.

Can you order both from a retailer that has a flexible return policy? I typically suggest people do that when they can.
 

MarkWinston

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It's come down to a contest between the Elec DBR62 vs. the Polk Reserve R200. Other boxes: Topping D90SE, Topping A90, PA-3s, PA-5. I'm leaning towards the Elac because we all have Amir's measurements.
I had the DBR62 and own the R200 and 12.2. My favourite is definitely the 12.2 but between the DBR62 and R200, the R200 takes it by far. I also recieved the PA5 a week back and its exceptional. I have a D90SE on the way so that remains to be seen, Im currently using the SU9, SU9N and Sanskrit 10th MKII.
 

cata02

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I wonder how the r200 would fare against the popular monitors Kali in-8 v2/Genelec 8040/KH80/120 for regular home use.
 
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cd45123

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Has anyone actually compared the Reserve series to the Legend series or Revel for that matter?

This seems almost too good to be true and I’m going to end up buying one to hear for myself but have been eyeing up Revel again…m106 wasn’t my cup of tea although I want to give it another try.
 

mhardy6647

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Has anyone actually compared the Reserve series to the Legend series
Sort of -- I had an extensive demo of the L200 when it was new, and I've bought the R200.
Not head to head, though.
The L200 is, in some respects, prettier/more impressive looking (real wood's nice), but the plastic stuff around its rear port is at least as goofy and tacky looking as is the R200's 1950s American "lead sled" automobile tail-light look.
ELL
DSC_6908 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

ARR
DSC_0327 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

My sense was that the L200 was slightly superior, but I cannot even qualify that statement, much less quantify it. ;)

I thought then, and still think, that the L200 is overpriced by about a factor of two for what it delivers. This is why I was (for lack of a better word) excited when the R series was introduced. The R200 is more in line with my expectations for sound quality per dollar spent. With the "influencer" discount Polk offered (40%) a few months ago, I think the R200 was the best buy in consumer hifi (ca. $440 the pair in the US). Savvy buyers took advantage of an additional pop-up 10% discount on top of the 40% discount when they bought theirs; I am... not so savvy. ;)

All this being said, there are plenty of perfectly decent smaller loudspeakers available in the... I dunno... under $500 US the pair price range today.
I remain disappointed that, almost without exception, they're low sensitivity and are of low nominal impedance; but cheap amplifiers with adequate grunt to tackle the fashionably sadistic loudspeaker loads of "today" are common enough (in both senses of the word "common") ;)
 

cd45123

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Thanks for sharing, Mark. I forgot to add that I also had the L100 for a bit, but sold it to listen to some more esoteric gobbledygook - Sonus Faber, etc. It was a nice listen and coming off of Dali, it was less tipped up.

I remember the m106 making my UB5s sounding like smeared mush, although I preferred the tone of the UB5.
 

akkers79

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Hi All,
My first post here. I have an old system - Rotel Ra04 driving Paradigm mini monitors v6 back from 2008.
Recently, I connected a Node to it for streaming as my old CD player stopped working and I really dislike the sound coming from my Sonos single speaker.
I was thinking of upgrading for a richer experience at low to moderate volumes and thought of first changing the speakers and then maybe changing the amp. Would the Rotel RA04 be sufficient to drive the Polk R200 based on the advice of upgrading speakers first then the rest of the chain? It is rated at 40w at 8ohms. Or should I just keep my speakers and get a more powerful amp?


Thanks
Akkers
 
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Transmaniacon

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Hi All,
My first post here. I have an old system - Rotel Ra04 driving Paradigm mini monitors v6 back from 2008.
Recently, I connected a Node to it for streaming as my old CD player stopped working and I really dislike the sound coming from my Sonos single speaker.
I was thinking of upgrading for a richer experience at low to moderate volumes and thought of first changing the speakers and then maybe changing the amp. Would the Rotel RA04 be sufficient to drive the Polk R200 based on the advice of upgrading speakers first then the rest of the chain? They are rated at 40w at 8ohms. Or should I just keep my speakers and get a more powerful amp?


Thanks
Akkers
That Rotel would have no issue with the R200s.
 

MarkWinston

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The R200s arent power hungry (in comparison with the likes of the LS50s) but these biatches can take a huge amount of power when fed. Power handling, they are up there with the best, yet can sound real good with low wattages.
 

mhardy6647

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Funny,
one reason I did not like the DBR62 is that in my case it was not holographic at all. In my listening with the L200 (not the R200) the Polk was far superior in that regard.
Who knows, room could a factor, set-up, they way we hear or assemble direct and reflected sounds may be different from one another.
In any case I just found the DBR62 to be a more boring speaker and do not think that was due to anything easy to predict.
Maybe reversed holographic polarity? ;)
 

mhardy6647

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Agreed! My first new speakers I bought were Polk Monitor 30s, probably 15 years ago. They were horrid, but got me into the hobby, definitely have a soft spot for the brand.
All I can say is:

DSC_5417 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

ij5c7r8vm596.jpg


Not horrid, then or now. :)
 

mhardy6647

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I bought my 4A's in 1986 and they were still current model design then along with the 7a and a bunch of the newer SDA models.
By 1986, I don't think (??) the 4(A) would have had the Peerless silk dome tweeter, though -- do they?

At some point the Monitor 4 switched to a smaller dome tweeter; one of the once-ubiquitous dome tweeters that were, I think, made by Audax.
I was busy with grad school & starting a family in the 1980s and kind of lost track of/interest in fine details of the evolution of Polk's products after ca. 1983 until quite recently.

80811.jpg

Original morph Monitor 4s with Peerless source: https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/148194/opinion-on-polk-monitor-4-with-peerless-tweeters

Here's what the later morph looked like:
exbzxukp1krgbtlcitmz.jpg

source: https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/178594/vintage-polk-audio-monitor-series-4-speakers-4-82754

It would -- to drag myself back on topic ;) -- be quite interesting (to me, at any rate) to compare either version of the Monitor 4 with the kinda, sorta similar R200. :)

EDIT: Here's a cropped & blown up detail from an ad from the October 1985 issue of Stereo Review showing the Monitor 4A with the later tweeter. Note also that the other "Monitor Series" Polks were, by then, using one of Polk's own tweeters in lieu of the Peerless. Sorry the scan is blurry :confused:

1641432711598.png

source: of https://worldradiohistory.com/Archi...iFI-Stereo/80s/HiFi-Stereo-Review-1985-10.pdf (magazine pg. 7; part of a multipage Polk Audio ad spread!)
 
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ROOSKIE

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Maybe reversed holographic polarity? ;)
If you are just joking that is cool but just in case you are indeed wondering if anything was connected in reverse polarity it was not.
Otherwise indeed the speaker sounded very dim to me. No meaningful vibrancy at all and any Adobe LR userers here will know what I mean.
 

sdiver68

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By 1986, I don't think (??) the 4(A) would have had the Peerless silk dome tweeter, though -- do they?

At some point the Monitor 4 switched to a smaller dome tweeter; one of the once-ubiquitous dome tweeters that were, I think, made by Audax.
I was busy with grad school & starting a family in the 1980s and kind of lost track of/interest in fine details of the evolution of Polk's products after ca. 1983 until quite recently.

80811.jpg

Original morph Monitor 4s with Peerless source: https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/148194/opinion-on-polk-monitor-4-with-peerless-tweeters

Here's what the later morph looked like:
exbzxukp1krgbtlcitmz.jpg

source: https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/178594/vintage-polk-audio-monitor-series-4-speakers-4-82754

It would -- to drag myself back on topic ;) -- be quite interesting (to me, at any rate) to compare either version of the Monitor 4 with the kinda, sorta similar R200. :)

EDIT: Here's a cropped & blown up detail from an ad from the October 1985 issue of Stereo Review showing the Monitor 4A with the later tweeter. Note also that the other "Monitor Series" Polks were, by then, using one of Polk's own tweeters in lieu of the Peerless. Sorry the scan is blurry :confused:

View attachment 177073
source: of https://worldradiohistory.com/Archi...iFI-Stereo/80s/HiFi-Stereo-Review-1985-10.pdf (magazine pg. 7; part of a multipage Polk Audio ad spread!)
Ohhh good catch. Mine were definitely the latter.

I dont have them anymore or else could do an A/B. If I see a pr randomly for sale locally I might buy them again.
 

mhardy6647

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Ohhh good catch. Mine were definitely the latter.

I dont have them anymore or else could do an A/B. If I see a pr randomly for sale locally I might buy them again.
They go for more $ than logic would dictate ;) with either tweeter (but 'specially with the Peerless).
I'd like to have a pair of them, too -- for no good reason, save nostalgia. They are nice sounding little loudspeakers.
A hifi colleague brought a pair up here once shortly after we retired to NH. I think we hooked 'em to a Yamaha CR-1020 receiver (of similar vintage to the Polks) and the pairing sounded just dandy.
 

mhardy6647

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If you are just joking that is cool but just in case you are indeed wondering if anything was connected in reverse polarity it was not.
Otherwise indeed the speaker sounded very dim to me. No meaningful vibrancy at all and any Adobe LR userers here will know what I mean.
Yes, joking.
That said, it's always possible that there is a driver wired incorrectly in one loudspeaker of the "less holographic" loudspeaker pair. It happens, even in pretty good quality commercial/factory-built loudspeakers. Yes it does. Less likely, but also not at all impossible, is a construction mistake on a crossover network.
In either case, I'd suspect the issue to be with one and not both loudspeakers; if both were incorrect but identical, I think the chances of aurally detecting the mistake would be pretty small.
 
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