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Old 01-08-2010, 08:17 AM   #1
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New Polk SurroundBar 50


My family room off of the kitchen is rather small, and left me with nowhere that I can really mount rear speakers. For the last 6 months I got by with Left, Right, Center + sub: which really wasn't very good. Since this will not be my forever theater room, and I will build a true theater in the basement with 7.1 surround, I decided that something like a soundbar or Bose Cinemate would be ideal for this room.

The problem with the Bose systems, was a lack of inputs. I could hook up my TV to it, but not my TV and media PC for example - it would all have to go through the TV first. I also use an FM transmitter from the den to broadcast music to all the receivers in my house (bedrooms, basement, family room, garage). The Bose Cinemate systems do not have an FM tuner. Most of the amplified soundbars have the same issue.

So, I was in search of a PASSIVE soundbar to hook up to my existing receiver. That way everything would be the same, just new speakers. Unfortunately, the selection of passive soundbars is very thin, and on the high-end of the pricerange.

Then, I found Polk audio's factory outlet on eBay.

This is my new Polk SurroundBar50 (nevermind the commercials on TV. That's a 50" Plasma, for size reference).





It's not on the wall yet, but will be soon. I just got it on Tuesday. I first hooked it up, and opened up my HTPC to see what I had to demo it with (other than the shootout scene from Heat, obviously). Top Gun BluRay had some amazing sound to it. The dog was looking around curious as to what the heck was going on. Black Hawk Down, Heat, and Terminator Salvation were also used for surround setting.

The 3D imaging is very good. I turned the surround levels on the 2 surround channels to +8, and left the center, R and L at +0. You really do get good separation in the sound and the 3D effect. However, there is no substitute for having the source of the sound actually behind you. It doesn't surround you in sound the way a true 5.1/7.1 can do. For this small room though, it should work for me until I build the 7.1 theater in the basement. I ordered a new subwoofer on Tuesday, to replace the 100w Onkyo that I have now.

This system will get by with:
Polk Surroundbar 50 - MSRP $999.95
Polk PSW111 Subwoofer - MSRP $299.95

Total paid $484, with shipping & tax. Polk Factory Direct Refurb Soundbar, great deal on the subwoofer [new].

If anyone is looking for good deals on any speakers, I'd suggest checking out Polk's factory direct store on eBay - good deals on a lot of stuff, and it still has a warranty. I almost bought some floor speakers too - with absolutely nowhere to put them. This is my first speaker from Polk, I have always been a fan of Yamaha speakers, but so far I'm very pleased.

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Old 01-12-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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New Polk SurroundBar 50


Very cool looking bar

Yep good deals with referb polks on ebay, can't tell em from brand new.

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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New Polk SurroundBar 50


I hate to poo-poo on the parade...

Good speakers, but not even worth the refurb price. I just built a pair of floor towers with 2-8" Polks each. Total ~$100 USD and made my old Kenwood come alive. The Surroundbar could be built for around $250 with the "proper" crossover network. The cost is in the design and crossover. The speakers are actually pretty basic outsource and are used by other brands as well.

Good find, though!



Oh, and looks like you have the receiver to run those - that would be more important than the brand of speakers.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:38 PM   #4
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New Polk SurroundBar 50


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYtestdummy View Post
I hate to poo-poo on the parade...

Good speakers, but not even worth the refurb price. I just built a pair of floor towers with 2-8" Polks each. Total ~$100 USD. The Surroundbar could be built for around $250 with the "proper" crossover network. The cost is in the design and crossover. The speakers are actually pretty basic outsource and are used by other brands as well.

Good find, though!

Building a box and putting speakers in it is one thing, a-la car audio. Building something that will be mounted at the focal point of the room is another.

For a passive soundbar, beyond crossovers you need the capacitors/resistors/etc that will provide the proper delay on the surround channels, especially with an SDA [as Polk calls it] type of technology, where it does not use bouncing off of walls to create surround effect.

Obviously for cost of materials, you can build it yourself for less - someone has to make profit when they sell something. I would be interested to see your floor-speaker builds though, it's something I considered for my basement.

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Old 01-14-2010, 04:43 PM   #5
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New Polk SurroundBar 50


Nope - it's really the same concept, just different frequency:space values. Most TV's these days process the sound and image better than these soundbars. I could go on about surround systems, but you are set up pretty well and don't need all that junk.

Here are my DIY Polks (soon to be finished and up for sale):

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0...D720/ry%3D480/

These are a transmission-line design, so don't let the size fool you. It's scarey when sounds bouce off things and make you think there's something else in the room! And THEN you turn the surround sound on...



Oh, and Polk Audio is closing out, maybe even for good, hence all the great deals. Get 'em while you can!
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:02 PM   #6
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New Polk SurroundBar 50


to bad on the close of buisness i like their stuff, have 5 satelites w/ two subs pushed with sony
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:02 PM   #7
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New Polk SurroundBar 50


There are a lot of "Eosone" branded loose speakers on eBay right now too - which was Polk's "Bestbuy brand" of a few years ago.

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