The American manufacturer specializing in quality / price loudspeakers Polk Audio recently renewed its Signature-E range. We already had the opportunity to hear them first and we confirm that they maintain the virtues of the previous Signature series. They add small improvements, the most prominent being the new tweeter or tweeter. And now they are available and we can confirm their prices. A very interesting model is the largest bookshelf speaker, the Signature S20e, which costs 400 euros a pair .
An advantage of the Polk Audio Signature-E speaker family is that they use speakers from the same provenance and materials. Many models even share the same speaker model to reproduce certain frequencies. This is the case of the treble, also called tweeter, which uses a Terylene membrane in this new version. All cabinets in the series use the same one-inch tweeter. Thus, the same timbre is maintained in all of them. It is something that benefits its use in cinema systems, with several pairs of boxes plus the central one. The system manages to offer a coherent timbre in all channels and directions (front, side, rear, etc.).
Polk Audio Signature Family
As for the rest of the frequencies, something similar happens. This cabinet, the Signature S20e, uses a 6.5-inch diameter bass and midrange driver with a polypropylene cone. The rest of the range is the same, except for more compact models that use the same material but in 5.25 inches in diameter. These cones use butyl suspension (flexible rubber) and the speaker is rear mounted on a rigid Conex fiber chassis. The magnet, key to the movement of the cone (with its coil) being precise and energetic, is now ceramic and more powerful. Everything helps to create more dynamic and clear music . And when it comes to delivering good bass too, Polk Audio takes advantage of its proprietary port.
Enhanced bass reflex
The Power Port technology (patented) consists of a bass-reflex output from the box with a kind of diffuser. It resembles jet nozzles and its job is to keep the air flow smooth at all frequencies the port works. So the bass notes that the speaker reproduces are more linear (there is no bass “ball” or peaks). In addition, according to Polk Audio, this design improves the bass response by 3 dB (it is twice the sound pressure as it is a logarithmic scale).
Not that the Polk Audio Signature S20e was lacking either. This shelf monitor is as we indicated the largest of the family, and more volume makes it easier to get more bass. It measures 37 centimeters high, by 21 wide and 35 cm deep , and weighs 7.7 kg each. If we do not have space for the columns, they can be the ideal protagonists of a stereo system, or the beginning of a home theater.
We had the opportunity to test the Polk Audio Signature S20e at the dealer premises and confirmed that even with a mid-range amplifier these cabinets offer their full potential. They are speakers that even at low volumes move enough air so that the bass can be felt, and the rear diffuser prevents that bass from being “mono-note”. That is, with a double bass you can see how the player moves his fingers on the strings and the notes sound agile and precise, not generating a heavy and slow bass in which the notes are confused.
If the bass is well reproduced, with the treble frequencies we can say the same. The tweeter (tweeter) is new to these boxes and strikes a good balance between clarity, detail and smoothness . The material used (Terylene) combines the softness of silk dome tweeters with the detail and transparency of metallic ones. The polypropylene of the woofer reproduces the mid frequencies naturally, thus completing the frequency range. The S20e is a somewhat large monitor but offers full sound.
Polk Audio Signature S20e
|Type||Bookshelf Speakers, 2-Way, Bass-reflex Enclosure|
|Frequency response and sensitivity||39 Hz to 40 kHz|
88 dB (1 W and 1 m)
|Speakers||1 2.5-inch Terylene dome tweeter|
1 woofer of 5.25 inches in reinforced polypropylene
|Recommended power||20 to 125 watts|
|Connections||1 pair of terminals with 3 possible connections (cable, 4 mm bananas, spades)|
|Building||1.9 cm thick MDF cabinet, 2.5 kHz crossover|
|Dimensions and weight||height 38 cm x width 22 cm x depth 35 cm, 7.7 kg|