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Subjective Listening Tests

Similar to the Diamond Audio 3025's, the AMR90's had the dreaded one-note bass. In fact, it's the worst case of one-note bass syndrome I've heard in recent years. Maybe I'm old and some kind of fuddy-duddy, but bass notes that keep on going far after the input signal has ceased drives me crazy. In the Polk's case, kick drums had the same sound and bass guitars. Literally, I could not pick out any distinct differences in any type of low frequency music--it all sounded exactly the same. You know those cars that go "boom?" Well, if that's your bag, you'll love the Polks as that's all they do.

The midrange was markedly better than the bass. Voices and other instruments within that critical 300-3000Hz range was reproduced with moderately good accuracy. The midrange imaging ended up being a little too forward or pronounced, but that was due mostly to the severe lack of highs (no dedicated tweeter). The midrange ends up being the AMR90's saving grace. If it wasn't for the modestly good midrange, the Polk's would have scored nearer to the 2/10 range.

The highs were almost totally nonexistent which was surprising for the 2" driver. This driver size is capable of reproducing beyond 10kHz, but the designers chose to use drivers that favored the almighty bass. If the sub control is cranked up past about 25% of maximum, you'd swear the 90's had no midrange either.

Conclusion

Time for bottom lines. The Polk AMR90's cater to the individual who considers themselves to be "bass freaks." If all you want to hear from your games and music CD's is boom, boooooom, boooooooooom, then you'll get quite the kick from these diminutive wonders. However, for the vast majority of people who want to hear more than just sloppy, high "Q" bass and absent highs, point your ears to Altec or Midiland as those two manufacturers have had my ears for several years now.

William Yaple
08/28/00

 





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