I can't say I've made a similar upgrade, but can point out a few things:
1. I listened a lot to the Polks at the time they were out and always felt they were bass-heavy and shelved down in the highs. Keeping in mind I'm going with 20+ year old memory here, the Wilsons and the Krell speakers you mention would have quite a different tonal balance than what you might be used to. You really have to hear them, but then I think you'll see what I mean.
2. The Polk SDA speakers are definitely different than any of the other speakers mentioned in that they had that stereo dimensional array technology which sent out of phase signals from each speaker to eliminate some perceived flaw in typical stereo speakers (damned if I can remember the actual terms they used--maybe the signals eliminated crosstalk or something). The point is that they definitely sound different than most other speakers I listened to at the time; again, you'll have to hear those other speakers to determine whether you like the Polks' presentation better. I recall a lot of Polk SDA owners bought and have held on to these speakers because they are different.
3. Finally, while I think your room is fantastic, the way you have the Polks set up, up against a back wall, will likely not work at least for the Wilson speakers, which do better away from the wall (can't comment on the others, but do note that there are not that many speakers out there today that are intended to be placed close to the back wall).
Hopefully someone who has the SDAs or has sold them can comment more from actual experience; I just chimed in because I did hear them a lot when I first got into this hobby and have strong memories of them.
Thank you for your helpful reply. Yes, the SDA's phase cancel the cross talk by sending a signal to block right speaker sound from coming to the left ear and vis versa, with the intention of creating a more realistic rendition of true stereo, allowing for the sound stage to be more expansive in both depth and width.
The Krells reportedly are designed with close to back wall placement in mind. But I have had that concern, since I do not have a dedicated room and cannot put speakers a third out into the room.
Since you've already upgraded the tweeters, you might want to try upgrading the crossovers with high quality parts. You may find that to be all you need.
There is no correct or incorrect answer to your question. Here is my story. I owned the Polk SDA 2.3 speakers for a number of years myself. The upgrade bug finally caught up with me and I replaced the 2.3s in 1999. I also was not able to audition or hear the speakers I purchased in my dedicated room. Bottom line is that although the new speakers were an improvement, I was amazed as to how good the 2.3s actually sounded. The cost of diminishing returns enters into the formula. If you have the big bucks to spend for new speakers (I would guess at least $5000 new / less used) and you realize that there will be improvement, however most likely not to the extent you are imagining, go for it. Over all I was happy with the new speakers however the SDA 2.3 speakers do a lot correctly. Good luck!
Lak, Thanks. A wise way to look at things. May I ask what speaker was an improvemnet for you, so I can get an idea of type of speakers that helped and what improved? The tweeter replace took care of alot of the problems in the highs, adding sweetness and detail.
Merganser - you may be right. So far I have been chicken to do so, since I do not have the personal expertise, but I will probably go listen to at least a few systems that proclaim to be great in good settings and if they blow me away look for new speakers, if they dont then I will consider crossover upgrade. But I have heard that sometimes the upgrades dont work and they ruin the speakers - any truth to that?
a lot of sophia owners would crap if they heard how good your sda's sounded.
You should be careful--I had a project with the manufacturer and designer of my speakers where we replaced the crossover built inside my satellite speakers with an outboard crossover using much better quality parts (Hovland caps, Alpha Goertz chokes, WBT binding posts, better quality wiring) with the same values as the replaced parts. The result was not entirely to either my or the designer's liking, as the speaker, while far better in many respects, became almost unbearably bright. It took some redesign work and tweaking to get the sound where we liked it. So I would not discard the old parts until I was happy with the sound of the crossover with the new parts. You can get a different sound, but different isn't always better, at least IMHO.
I replaced the 2.3's with a pair of Legacy Signature III speakers that I purchased new from Legacy. I noticed different mids and highs. They also seemed to be more open and lifted the veil. I'm about to put them up for sale as I now own a pair of Montana EPX speakers.
Thanks Lak. Loved your naughty comment, Jaybo. RCPrince thanls for the tip re crossovers.
I am being seduced! Since I haven't heard any of the products except my own, I have been going on the glowing reports of stupendous sound in the reviews and adds. Just for fun I pulled the original Polk reviews from decades ago - same language "Audio Video Grand Prix Winner", "Mind boggling powers of sonic persuasion, spectacular, astounding, no compromise" - High Fidelity Mag, etc. even the photos of the big black speakers look cool under soft red light from the side.
I told me wife - "These mags create lust". She looked up knowingly from her New Homes magazine - I am in trouble.
I guess we all like to be seduced, at least until morning.
There are time tested crossover upgrades for your speakers that will put even more emphasis into Jaybo's statement. Email sent.
a pair of Mirage m3 si speakers will totally clean the Polk's clock
Mejames--perhaps in another setting, but given their "omnipolar" design, not where Gammajo has them placed in his room.
Well, I finally went to Vegas and heard the Sophia's with quality Marantz gear, and the Krell Resolution2's with Krell gear, both in quality listening rooms.
Here are my own impressions. Both are excellent.With amazingly clear detail and fast attack on the Sophia and they also sounded accurate but thin in the base to my ears - overall a bit dry. The Krells were very engaging but not as accurate. Summary - I know the rooms and equipment are different but my home system with the Polks sounds better in many ways with orchestral and rock, and the perhaps the Sophia's with simpler music. Overall I think that the Polks are more satisfying - just wish that I could shrink their size:) Given that I can not at this time justify speakers such as the Wilson Maxx 2, I will keep the Polks. So I will be going ahead with crossover upgrades, and ic and speaker wire and isolation products and see where I end up.
Check out the Harbeth line and also ProAc Response D series. Both make beautiful music with realistic body and tonality.
As you are satisfied enough with your speakers, there is no rush. Maybe you just feel out of touch with what has happened in the world of audio and are curious to get in once again. :) If so, that's what you should do, slowly. If you travel, see what that city has to offer. Network with other audiophiles in your area. Listen to ATC, Proac, Harbeth, Dynaudio if/when you can. There is alot of buzz here about a few small new companies: Green Mountain, Tyler, Silverline, Salk, Zu, etc. Some even let you try their speakerrs at home. So, I'll simply suggest to get exploring and keep us informed as to what you discover...
Thanks Aktchi, sage advice. I talked to Polk Audio today. They were very helpful. What he said was that if I was 95% satisfied with my Polks, then doing crossovers and new cables etc might bring me close to 100%, but if I was 70% satisfied, then another speaker might be a better place to put money. I'm probably 90% satisfied with the sound but do not like thier size and dated "big door" shape in my room.
So today been exploring Van Sneikert(sp)VR4SR and Gen III options etc. I will let you know how the search progresses.
the Vons are a great speaker but I know that they need more room from the back wall then you will be able to give them so I would shy away from them.
Aquick note that my father has the Legacy Focus 20/20 and his speakers are only maybe a foot from the back wall and they really sound great, they are also a beautiful speaker with top notch cabinet work.
I would try to stay with a sealed enclosure if you look into new speakers for clsoe to back wall placement, or atleast not look into any that port towards the back wall
a minty used set of hales(heavy, but not as big as the polks) and a fraction of the cost of speakers that are nowhere close to being its equal.
Chadnliz - thanks for your comment. I looked at Legacy - gorgeous but at 55" too tall for me in front of window placement. I am looking for 45 inches or under. Talked to VAN's son. He states that he has his Van jrs at 12" from back wall and they do fine. And that the newer Vans are designed with close to front wall pacemnet in mind. Do you have experience that contradicts this?
Jaybo. Thanks - I will look at the Hales.
All speakers radiate bass in all directions..so you will get some reflections and cancellations from the rear wall....the only way to eliminate this is with acoustic treatments,with soffit mounting or placement very far from the wall. (as someone mentioned, ports can often make it worse and I agree, as tuned ports have a strong resonance/nonlinear response)....see this link for detailshttp://www.genelec.com/support/flushmount.php
I am surprised Van jr did not mention this...as it is well known.
All I can say is with the JR's they were far from the back wall and the ambience was comming off the wall...I can only assume that close wall may be a problem.
Thanks for the cogent responses. It looks like I may get to audition a pair of jrs this week and if possible will play with to the wall distance and see what happens.