Polk Announces Birth of Home Theater Quintuplets
After passing out cigars and slapping the backs of family, well-wishers, and journalistic types (who, by the way, seemed to receive harder slaps than the rest), Polk Product Line Manager Al Baron (who, at times, can look eerily like Daniel Day-Lewis' character "Bill the Butcher" in Gangs of New York; although Al's a much nicer guy and rarely - if ever - walks around with a carving knife in his hand) pointed out the amazing genetic makeup of the new speakers. All models were conceived with Titanium-finish extruded-aluminum enclosures plus a rounded-back design that helps to stiffen the enclosure and break up internal standing waves that rudely affect sound quality. (Although the design does nothing, as far as I can tell, for crouching or reclining waves - not to mention tidal waves or virtually impossible-to-detect gravitational waves. But, hey, they've got to leave something for the next generation of speakers...) "A common problem with small speakers is weak lower midrange frequency response. That creates the 'hole-in-the-midrange' effect that many listeners object to," Baron elucidated. "We used a new long excursion driver plus our patented Power Port venting technology to make the lower-midrange response of these satellites much more robust than other similarly sized sat/sub systems." Responding to reporters' cries of "Why?" and "Wherefor?" (and one, "Huh?"), Baron confidently responded, "The result is seamless satellite-to-subwoofer blending, rich lower mid-range response and wide dynamic range. The diminutive RM6800 system sounds like a good set of full-size speakers."
Unlike human babies, the RM6800, RM6900, and RM7300 satellites come supplied with their own wall-mount brackets that allow up to 15 degrees of side-to-side movement. Built-in threaded inserts (another feature most humans lack) allow people with more problematic listening rooms to use fully articulating wall-mount brackets - such as those from Omni Mount. The middle-size RM6900 and RM7300 also include stands for table-top use.
Available this month, the RM6800 and RM6900 will be sold primarily as "6 packs" with the front and rear satellites, the center, and the subwoofer all cozily together in one big box. But Polk hasn't forgotten that you might have upgraded your old Dolby Pro Logic receiver for a newer digital wonder with 6.1- or 7.1-channels. After showing proof of ID and signing an affidavit swearing allegiance to Polk for perpetuity, digitally up-to-date home theater owners will be allowed to purchase additional satellites from authorized Polk dealers. (However, you will need to know the secret Polk handshake.) Because a single box would be too darn big, Polk wisely decided to package the RM7300 and RM7400 systems (shipping in November 2004) in an "ala carte" fashion so Polk partisans can pick the perfect number of satellites for their needs.
As everyone was preparing to leave and light up their cigars, Baron gave a glowing tribute to a couple of the new family's bass players. It seems that the slim-line powered subwoofers included with the RM6800 and RM6900 systems place the subwoofer driver and slot-loaded port on the "side" of the enclosure allowing it to be more easily tucked out of view; and, even when it can't be hidden, the design presents a smaller profile than conventionally styled subwoofers. "With the popularity of slim-line TVs and unobstrusive satellite speakers," Baron said, "we concluded that reducing the visual profile of the subwoofer would hold great appeal for video-centric consumers." Video-centric consumers who feel offended by being singled out in this manner should e-mail Polk Audio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the "Stop Shrinking Our Subwoofers" (SSOS) Foundation should also write to Polk demanding that they produce a large, bulky, behemoth box subwoofer for every one of these new, sleek versions. Or, if you like the idea of small subs with big bass, e-mail Polk and tell them how much you enjoyed this brief bit of news about them. (And tell them Home Theater Magazine sent you...)