In and Out: Polk Monitor 4.2


After picking up my first set of trashed Polk Monitor 7s I was continually on the lookout for more – I had the bug. Polk monitors are pretty common where I live outside of Washington DC, perhaps because of our close proximity to Polk’s home of Baltimore. But it wasn’t long before I found a nice guy looking to sell a nice pair of Polk Monitor 7cs along with a pair of Polk Monitor 4s. I picked up both pairs, along with a pair of original wooden stands for the 7s.

A note on the stands – getting the Polk 7s off the ground was the biggest improvement in their sound ever. Before reading the enthusiast blogs I had never considered that speakers needed to be elevated or taken off the ground for proper sound, especially big ones! My entire life, people had pushed massive speakers into corners on the floor. Who knew what they were doing!

The stands helped me understand that sound is 50% speaker, 50% speaker placement. Even the same speaker sounds different in the same room depending on how it’s angled and set. The Polks gained bass and definitely gained imaging accuracy on their stands, which are tilted back at a slight angle.

Anyways, the 4s….

They’re built much like the other Polk Monitors, with a 6.5″ ‘midbass driver’ and a tweeter in a heavy laminated enclosure. The tweeter is different than the bigger Polkies, however – this is an sl1500, and it looks different too – more like a JBL titanium driver of the era than a Polk soft-dome. The 4s are ported too, not sealed with a passive radiator like the 5s and 7s. Later on I learned that the 4 was a continuation of the Polk 5JR line, which at one point made 2-way ported designs like the 4, and at another time came with a small 6″ passive radiator – I now use one of those 5jrs with the passive radiator as the center channel in my HT setup.



The 4’s sound deviated little from the standard Polk sound. Without the passive radiator it didn’t go as low and it seemed to me that it needed a lot more power to produce good sound, almost sounding congested at lower watts. I was really surprised at that – I thought a smaller speaker would be more watt-friendly. I was wrong.

7s and 5s together

7s and 5s together

I kept these for some time but with the 7s around I really had no use for them. They went on to another happy camper for use in the solarium.


~ by silverfacestereo on December 16, 2012.

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