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

sweetchaos

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After seeing JBL Stage A120 vs A130 comparison, the same series speaker can show vast differences. We need both measured to know for sure.

That's definitely disappointing.

I guess it goes to show...if the speaker wasn't on the NFS test bench, you can't judge it's performance.
View attachment 162710
Stage A120: Preference Score is 3.0 (if score goes to 10) and would be 5.6 with a perfect subwoofer.
Stage A130: Preference Score is 5.1 (if score goes to 10) and would be 7.5 with a perfect subwoofer.
 

enioentity

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Andrew Robinson(youtuber/reviewer) mentioned r200 need to be turned up to make an impact or something low volume listening isnt all that. How hard are they to drive(im really interested about elaborating more about that) and do they really need to be turned up to sound good?
 
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MarkWinston

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Andrew Robinson(youtuber/reviewer) mentioned r200 need to be turned up to make an impact or something low volume listening isnt all that. How hard are they to drive(im really interested about elaborating more about that) and do they really need to be turned up to sound good?
Andrew likes Klipschs if you noticed, meaning he likes a coloured sound. Kristi is even more into coloured sound. Folks like that wont be impressed when they meet a neutral speaker at lower volumes. I myself find neutral speakers boring at lower volumes, I need to turn up the bass and treble when listening at 55 - 70db. When I start to get to 75db, things start to get real shrill and boomy, its Direct Mode from there on. The R200 is not hard to drive, I can hit 95db easy with the DA-9. I dont think any neutral speaker would wow anyone at lower volumes, not even Genelecs.
 

mhardy6647

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I have not
Andrew Robinson(youtuber/reviewer) mentioned r200 need to be turned up to make an impact or something low volume listening isnt all that. How hard are they to drive(im really interested about elaborating more about that) and do they really need to be turned up to sound good?
I have not found that to be the case at all, FWIW. I am quite pleased and even impressed by the R200's presentation at low volumes.
My favorite test for such things is to listen to the fade-outs of well recorded and well mastered (pop) recordings. If they keep their balance and, for lack of a better word, clarity all of the way down -- the loudspeaker's doin' a good job. My standard in this is (still) the Altec Duplex, which maintains tonal balance and a sense of "music" to ridiculously low SPL. The R200 is no slouch in this department, either.
 

enioentity

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I ordered polk r200, now what amp do i need to drive them optimaly? I wanted to go with class d amp, so hypex ncore was a natural choice (purifi is expensive).. How powerfull i need to go with them? single hypex ncore(252), dual mono hypex ncore(252) or single(502), or whatever else?
 
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VintageFlanker

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single hypex ncore(252), dual mono hypex ncore(252) or single(502), or whatever else?
NC252MP (130/250W/8R/4R) should be enough for reaching any SPL with R200.

Dual mono (NC250MP) performs more or less the same with possibly better durability due to separated SMPS.

NC502 is overkill IMHO.
 

enioentity

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NC252MP (130/250W/8R/4R) should be enough for reaching any SPL with R200.

Dual mono (NC250MP) performs more or less the same with possibly better durability due to separated SMPS.

NC502 is overkill IMHO.
Ah.. and just to be clear, i can just go with these like this? pc - dac(topping e50 or dx3 pro+) - hypex ncore - then speakers?
 

VintageFlanker

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Ah.. and just to be clear, i can just go with these like this? pc - dac(topping e50 or dx3 pro+) - hypex ncore - then speakers?
You can.

Juste keep in mind the input sensitivity (1.66Vrms for NC252). In my own experience, going balanced is a better fit for driving NC-MP modules. The DX3PRO+ might do the trick, but you will have to deal with near max volume to push NC252 to its limits.

The E50 using TRS to XLR is the way to go, IMHO.
 

mightycicadalord

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These things have really caught my attention. I've been looking for something to replace my genelec 8030c and these look like a strong contender.

cons of 8030c that make me look elsewhere

-second guess pretty much all my mixes, pianos and kicks don't render right, the energy is there but it's small. Imaging is a bit of a wash, honestly kind of hard to pinpoint elements in the stereo field. Some sort of presence in the mids/top end that fatigues me and makes me kind of shake my head as if I need to regain my bearings. Haven't been able to fix it with EQ. KH80 had the same problem for me.

-The presence boost on gens I hear makes it impossible to just relax and listen. Always analyzing with them and not just enjoying.

reasons the polks are interesting to me

-they cost a lot less, won't have self noise with a good amp that I will pair it with. My room is seriously dead silent. It's weird but while I can't really hear the hiss, it is noticable that it's gone when turning the speakers off.

-I have a theory that my brain doesn't care for waveguided tweeters? I have a few other speakers that don't have waveguides and none of them have the fatiguing presence and the stereo image is really easy to pick apart on them, like it they make my brain go "why can't I hear where stuff is on the genelecs like I can on these?".

-All the other speakers I have are 6.5" woofers, they render the lower mids and bass better. So going up in cone size might help me out.

Concerns I have are.

How much does having the higher xover point matter here? I don't hear anyone complaining about it yet, unsure how much this matters.

Any appreciable differences between stamped and cast basket woofers?

I've also got the css 1tdx on my list, but it costs a good chunk more and then I'd have to build the cabinets, they also have no woofers and I could be waiting 2-3 months. Behringer 2031 as well, I owned the passive models before, not confident in behringers amps on them considering the loud pop on power on and some reports of user discovering improper voltages being sent to some components resulting in failure.

Thanks in advance to anyone who chimes in here :)
 

Destination: Moon

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Got a pair of these on sale a few days ago. After listening to them for a few hours and going back to our old Def Tech Studio Monitor 55s, I'm liking the 55s better in many respects. Very surprised. The music - mostly jazz seems kind of recessed on the Polk's. With the 55s, they sound somewhat similar but it's like the musicians are right in the living room with us.
 

Hemi-Demon

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Got a pair of these on sale a few days ago. After listening to them for a few hours and going back to our old Def Tech Studio Monitor 55s, I'm liking the 55s better in many respects. Very surprised. The music - mostly jazz seems kind of recessed on the Polk's. With the 55s, they sound somewhat similar but it's like the musicians are right in the living room with us.
Interesting that you prefer this FR. Maybe more hobbyist prefer NON neutral FR.

 

Destination: Moon

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Interesting that you prefer this FR. Maybe more hobbyist prefer NON neutral FR.


Like I said, given all the accolades, I was really surprised at both my and my wife's preference. Reading the link you shared I do think there is a lot more directivity on the 55s but it gives a richer, fuller soundstage. I don't hear the resonances mentioned.

He's right about the tweeter height...I did Jack up my stands a couple inches after owning them for a while. It made a big difference in their presentation. On the FR in my room, I'd say the 55s have a richer, more impactful and realistic sounding low mids to mids. The highs have a different timbre and I like both. Brass sounds better on the 55s but snares seem more natural, less papery on the the 200s
 

Prana Ferox

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I picked up a pair of these at the recent sale price and haven't had the chance to hook them up yet, but the finish on the (vinyl) walnut is noticeably greyer than the online pics, and the grille is a more uniform / darker grey than Polk's Amazon's pics look. (No, they're not fake.) Crutchfield's pictures look more like mine, although they're also oversaturated. A minor disappointment, I expected them to match my vintage Polks.
 
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mhardy6647

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I picked up a pair of these at the recent sale price and haven't had the chance to hook them up yet, but the finish on the (vinyl) walnut is noticeably greyer than the online pics, and the grille is a more uniform / darker grey than Polk's Amazon's pics look. (No, they're not fake.) Crutchfield's pictures look more like mine, although they're also oversaturated. A minor disappointment, I expected them to match my vintage Polks.
My vintage Polks were "rosewood" vinyl -- I'd be deeply disappointed if the R200s matched those. ;)

PS In a case of synchronicity, Mrs. H and I were in NoVA last week, visiting our son & daughter-in-law in Alexandria for Thanksgiving! :)
 

MarkWinston

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The good ol V curve fr... many people like it so its no shocker. But once you get accustomed to how neutral sounds like, you can never listen to anything else. On a side note, I paired my r200 up with the DA-9 and SU-9, sounded real lean, cold and analytical. Once I paired it up with the Sanskrit 10th MKII DAC, thanks to the 'AK warmth', everything changed and became way more natural. System matching is still vital AF regardless what some here say.
 
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Destination: Moon

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The good ol V curve fr... many people like it so its not shocker. But once you get accustomed to how neutral sounds like, you can never listen to anything else.

We also have a pair of DBR62s that I love. But they aren't all in the same location so I can't say how they compare subjectively. But the 55s don't seem too far from those to me. However, I've lost much of my hearing above 4khz last time I was checked
 

MarkWinston

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We also have a pair of DBR62s that I love. But they aren't all in the same location so I can't say how they compare subjectively. But the 55s don't seem too far from flat to me. However, I've lost much of my hearing above 4khz last time I was checked
Meausurements actually show the 55s are not neutral, more like a smiley curve. This type of smiley curve fr is liked by many, so nothing to be ashamed of. The DBR62s isnt really as neutral as the r200 either. :)
 
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napilopez

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Eh, those DefTech 55's aren't really a smiley curve -- remember that stereophiles measurements don't include baffle step correction, so the bass is shown about 6dB higher than it actually is. Likewise, what happens above 10khZ generally isn't going to matter much, especially if Destination:Moon says hearing is affected above 4khz!

Hard to compare really; the DefTechs are just much more uneven so certain frequencies will stand out, others won't. It's an interesting case study though. Without meaning any offense, it should be noted that the greater the hearing loss the less reliable measurements are an indicator of performance, something I often think about when it comes to certain audiophile markets. But it could also be the DefTechs just suit you more for whatever combination of reasons. It happens!
 
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