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Polk Audio RTI A5 Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Cherry)
|Average Customer Rating:
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Average Customer Review:
( 27 customer reviews )
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22 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Great sounding set of speakersApr 05, 2011
By Tom W
I was debating on the RTI A5 versus the A7 or A9. The A7s sounded warmer than the A5s due to having 2 larger 7" drivers. I decided on the A5s however, since they have 2 6.5" drivers compared to the A7 only having 1 6.5" driver. I figured it was better to have more mid-range drivers as my primary application is for home theater. I have the powered DSW Micropro 1000 subwoofer, which provides plenty of bass for the low end. I would strongly recommend getting a powered subwoofer for the A5s. I mated the A5 with the timbre matched CSI A6 center channel and FXI A6 surround speakers which all have the same 1" tweeter and 6.5" mid drivers as the A5. I'm driving all the speakers with an Onkyo 808 and everything sounds great. Vocals and music are crystal clear. I would highly recommend this setup. I decided against the A9 since it would have needed an external amp to be properly driven, and was too large and heavy for my application. I got the A5 and CSI A6 in the cherry finish which looks stunning.
27 of 32 found the following review helpful:
Outstanding speaker with quality control issuesMar 03, 2009
By W. Roberts
I bought my first loudspeakers a dozen years ago, and after listening to countless models I selected Polk RT's. I suppose "Reference Theater" is just marketing. And I don't even see the term spelled out in the literature for my latest acquisition, a pair of Polk Audio RTi A5's. That's probably because the movie studios don't *really* use Polks when they're mixing the soundtrack, but it does give you an idea of the lineage of these speakers and their intended use. They are made for the movies, and if you're passionate about cinema (as I am), then I think you'll be pleased by the A5's.
You might be more pleased by the A7's or A9's. I might have been too, but the jump up from a pair of bookshelf speakers to a set of towers costing just under a grand was something of a quantum leap for me. And I was not disappointed--mostly.
Speakers are like a pair of comfortable shoes. They're great when they're new and you love them so much that you maybe don't notice over time that they are wearing out. Then one day they just fall apart. That's what happened to my original speakers, and one of the downsides of the A5's is that they immediately highlighted another weakness in my 5.1 setup--the center channel. All it took was one trip to the launch pad of Apollo 13, and the difference between the old and the new was obvious. So if you're serious enough about cinema sound to want to own a pair of quality speakers like these, be prepared to spend some more on upgrades to your center and surrounds. And of course you'll want a powered subwoofer to accompany the A5's.
When it comes to cinema, these speakers are so capable and so sonically amazing. I haven't noticed any flaws in movie soundtracks at all, and I've watched about a half dozen "test" scenes and a half dozen movies. Even at very loud volumes, the sound remains flawless. The A5's do everything a speaker should do. They thunder. They rage. They whisper. They weep. Most of all, they satisfy--in abundance.
So what about music? I did some critical listening with all the effect turned off, routing CD stereo to just left and right. I tried out some hard rock and some jazz. The jazz in particular really shines. The instruments are so clear. It seems like they are in the room. At reasonable volume levels everything sounded great. When pushed as loud as I could stand (which is pretty darn loud), both the rock and the jazz sounded just a bit harsh in the mid-ranges. To be fair, I'm not sure if it was a speaker issue, my receiver (a Yamaha RX-V2095, which is pretty good, but could be better), or just the fact that I was hurting my own ears.
In the disappointment department, I'm very surprised that I have not read about quality issues with Polk Audio speakers in other reviews. Years ago when I bought my first Polks, I had problems with them. I don't recall all the details, but I remember needing to replace both the surrounds and the center channel. Now a dozen years later, I've purchased a pair of RTi A5's and a CSi A4, and ALL THREE have had problems.
The A5's have a forward firing bass port, and there's a tube that attaches to the port orifice that was dislodged in both of mine. Fortunately the tech support at Polk said that I could remove the orifice and re-insert the tube myself without voiding the warranty. So at least I didn't have to ship them back, but at 450 bucks apiece I think it's inexcusable to expect a customer to have to perform this repair on a brand new speaker. (The guy on the phone mentioned this was a common problem by the way.)
The A4 center channel had two screws protruding from the retaining ring on one of the drivers. I had the appropriate allen wrench handy, having just used it to repair the A5's, but the holes in the A4 were stripped out and could not be tightened.
The cherry cabinetry of the A4 and A5's was flawless and beautiful in all cases, and I really want to love these speakers, but the quality control issues are just inexcusable, costing this review 2 stars from what are otherwise 5 star loudspeakers. The Polk Audio RTi series will definitely sooth your home theater beast, but if you decide to go with them I'd recommend either purchasing them at a local store where you can inspect the merchandise before taking delivery (or at least save shipping costs when taking them back), or be prepared to send them back or repair them yourself. Unfortunate in what is otherwise a stellar example of audio reproduction technology.
UPDATE: A month in, and I am loving these speakers more and more each time I hear them. Just discovered Super Audio CD. Wow! I don't know all the terminology, but there is a clarity and sonic dimension to these speakers that makes you WANT to listen to them. It reminds me of the first time I ever heard a symphony perform live. The live performance has a depth and a presence that no CD can reproduce. Or have I just never had the right speakers? My classical (what little I have) is on MP3 and while I wouldn't say I've been unhappy with it, when you push the volume (something else these speakers make you want to do) the quality gets a bit dodgy. So now I'm looking for a good classical SACD so I can push the limits on these babies even further!
On the quality front, got my replacement center channel (CSi A4). It was fine. Except the screws holding in the drivers are rusty! Come on Polk, what is the deal?
19 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Good SpeakerNov 09, 2009
By Sounds Right
I been designing and installing high end systems for 20 years. This speaker is a 2 way that lacks low end rumble by design. However it does sound seemless at either 60 or 80 crossover with a sub. The speaker has a slightly forward sound so it will not mate with some amp's(Yamaha,Onkyo) without EQ settings. However, with my personal Marantz setup it tames them a little. A lot of speakers are priced at this point. These are a great compromise for HT and Music combo. Price can be found heavily discounted online at times which makes these a best buy. 2 channel sound can be done better for $1000 but these are HT speakers that can actually play rock,metal and sound really good. Not and easy task. I have always found the 2 - 6.5"mid/woof and 1" tweet the perfect mate for a sub system. The 5.5" mids many HT speakers use are better for dynamics in HT but leave a hole in the lower mid's during music play. Not these and they can be felt in the stomach at volume. For many these speakers can give a peek into the world of higher end audio. A sub is needed for HT and recommended for music(just to add body).
8 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Awesome Sounding Speaker!!Jan 22, 2009
By Shawn Adams
I had done a lot of reasearch on speakers before I bought these. I just love them. The imaging on them is phenomenal! It seems like sound is coming from the center channel it's so good. Music sounds better than ever, I'm hearing things in songs I never knew were there. Right in front of the stage. These speakers are made from real wood and are very heavy. Very good quality speakers. You won't be dissapointed.
7 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Couldn't be happier!May 07, 2009
By T. Worthington
I bought a pair of RTIa5's to use as left and right front speakers in my home theater. I have them paired up with an SVS subwoofer. They offer fantastic highs and mids, with my sub doing all the work down low. I demoed a pair of rtia5's at a local dealer, and they did sound pretty good without a sub, but I'm guessing most people would want to implement a sub sooner or later, especially for Home Theater where a sub is a necessity. I'm also enjoying music with these, they do an outstanding job there as well!
I'm using a Polk Csia4 for my center channel. I find it's a good match for the Rtia5's to reproduce an accurately voice matched front soundstage.
With these speakers, you won't have to worry about damaging them with too much power. The more power the better!
Update: It's been 4 months since I purchased these, they are still running strong! They are used daily, with a great mix of music and home theater use. No complaints yet...
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