Infinity Primus vs. Definitive Tech vs. NHT - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-03-2011, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I am doing some research on a home theater package and have narrowed it down to two: Definitive Tech's ProCinema 800 and an Infinity Primus set (2xP363 floorstanding, PC250 center, 3xP152 left/center/right rear, 1xPS210 sub - 6.1 setup). I was talking to a rep at Crutchfield and he told me his personal preference would actually be the Infinity setup over the Definitive one.

My budget is limited to ~$1200 (in a condo with hardwood floors so crazy loud audio doesn't do me a lot of good). I am looking for something that doesn't have to be loud to be good, and preferably sounds great at lower volumes. A dedicated sub is a must (which both of these packages have). I watch a decent number of movies in blu-ray and have HD service through AT&T U-Verse that this setup will be powering. Also, I'll occasionally listen to music through it and I'm into metal/heavy rock with lots of double bass so crisp and tight sound is a must.

Any thoughts/opinions on this? Unfortunately the only audio store near me is Best Buy and even if they sold any of this stuff in store they don't have an optimal setup for listening to everything and comparing. Based on that I'm going strictly off of reviews and hoping all goes well.

Also, one of the guys coming out in a few nights is pushing me towards NHT as that is the company he sells. Based on some cursory reviews it seems like they are pretty good speakers, however it seemed like the sensitivity for most of their was ~86dB whereas Definitive's were 89dB and the Infinity setup was closer to ~93dB. Everything I have been told in the past is for each dB you go up the quality is almost doubled. I don't know enough about NHT to even try to come up with a comparison but am open to recommendations from the experts.

Any help is much appreciated!

One final note - the receiver I have that will be powering everything is a Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K.
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post #2 of 27 Old 01-03-2011, 07:19 PM
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NHT is good - however, I do not reccomend it for lower volume.
With Definitive Tech, I prefer the 1000 - However, it is above
your budget. It would be good to put something on those bare
floors.
Do you have room for towers - and 5.1 will work fine.
I would also look at this
http://www.onecall.com/product/Bosto...tem/_/R-104909
This for the surrounds
http://www.onecall.com/product/Bosto...aker/_/R-92872
Look here for the best subwoofer, that you can afford.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/

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post #3 of 27 Old 01-03-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

NHT is good - however, I do not reccomend it for lower volume.

Just curious why you say this... Poor resolution at low volume??
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-03-2011, 08:40 PM
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I would stick to 5.1 and skip the towers. 5 162s and a good sub, I love my Hsu vtf2 mk3 but svs would be a good choice too. All for under your budget.

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post #5 of 27 Old 01-03-2011, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

Just curious why you say this... Poor resolution at low volume??

They are good at low volume. However, they tend to shine more or seem
more alive at medium volume - to where you can really appreciate them.
I am not sure how the 1019 receiver, will handle the NHT at low volume.
I like my Classic Two speakers.

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post #6 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallnet View Post

I am doing some research on a home theater package and have narrowed it down to two: Definitive Tech's ProCinema 800 and an Infinity Primus set (2xP363 floorstanding, PC250 center, 3xP152 left/center/right rear, 1xPS210 sub - 6.1 setup). I was talking to a rep at Crutchfield and he told me his personal preference would actually be the Infinity setup over the Definitive one.

My budget is limited to ~$1200 (in a condo with hardwood floors so crazy loud audio doesn't do me a lot of good). I am looking for something that doesn't have to be loud to be good, and preferably sounds great at lower volumes. A dedicated sub is a must (which both of these packages have). I watch a decent number of movies in blu-ray and have HD service through AT&T U-Verse that this setup will be powering. Also, I'll occasionally listen to music through it and I'm into metal/heavy rock with lots of double bass so crisp and tight sound is a must.

Any thoughts/opinions on this? Unfortunately the only audio store near me is Best Buy and even if they sold any of this stuff in store they don't have an optimal setup for listening to everything and comparing. Based on that I'm going strictly off of reviews and hoping all goes well.

Also, one of the guys coming out in a few nights is pushing me towards NHT as that is the company he sells. Based on some cursory reviews it seems like they are pretty good speakers, however it seemed like the sensitivity for most of their was ~86dB whereas Definitive's were 89dB and the Infinity setup was closer to ~93dB. Everything I have been told in the past is for each dB you go up the quality is almost doubled. I don't know enough about NHT to even try to come up with a comparison but am open to recommendations from the experts.

Any help is much appreciated!

One final note - the receiver I have that will be powering everything is a Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K.

I have P162's front and back, a PC350 center and a V1220 sub. Definitely with your budget you can get a better sub than I did.

Here is the thread on my system.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1285022

How big is your room BTW?
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 09:58 AM
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Since crossover is 80hz anyway, you could also go with all 152s (smaller and cheaper yet still go low enough). Dual subs would be awesome and a nice improvement but out of your budget if 1200 is your drop dead budget. Originally I had gone with the towers for a 362/pc350/162 system to go with my dual vtf2 mk3s', but I have since moved the towers into their own room as standalone for zone 3 and replaced with 162s for both highs and fronts mounted on the wall with am40 brackets. Two vtf2 mk 3 with 5 152's is just under 1500, otherwise a single sub system is under 1000


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post #8 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the quick responses! Couple of things..

zieglj01 - Based on my limited knowledge of speakers, the Boston's you posted seem to be pretty impressive. Combining that with the HSU STF-1 sub (designed for small rooms which I should probably do in a condo) keeps the cost right in my budget (less, even) which is good. I've heard many good things about Boston over the years, but for the sake of curiosity what made you suggest these over the others I had? Right now they are definitely in the running for this process.

Type A - Why 5.1 over 6.1? I'm not sold on either setup yet, but it seems the more the better would make sense. Also, are the 162's much better than doing towers for the front?

bladerunner6 - The room is 19x18, but it is kind of awkwardly shaped. I attached an image of the layout to this response for you to see. The main living area (which is where all of this will be) is the middle area. It is 100% hardwood so I am a bit worried about echo. The TV (Samsung 7100 LED) is mounted on the wall where the little cabinet thing is near the stairs and I do have the fireplace as well. I have a cabinet under the TV where the receiver and such are and the speakers will be mounted (or next to, if floorstanding) in this area. My thinking is the sub will be on the other side of the fireplace by the patio door. The Crutchfield rep I talked to said this would be a perfect location for it.

One thing I did want to mention is, for those who look at the layout attachment, the first installer I met today mentioned that he would run the wire for the rear speakers underneath the main area (i.e. through the garage) to the rear wall and then said he'd recommend putting them up on the ceiling and angling downward. I thought I had read somewhere that it was better to have the rears closer to sitting level, especially since they would be angled down pretty sharply for someone on the couch (mine is the same location as the image - ceilings are 9ft.) to get any benefit. Any thoughts/opinions on this?
LL
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Type A View Post

Since crossover is 80hz anyway, you could also go with all 152s (smaller and cheaper yet still go low enough). Dual subs would be awesome and a nice improvement but out of your budget if 1200 is your drop dead budget. Originally I had gone with the towers for a 362/pc350/162 system to go with my dual vtf2 mk3s', but I have since moved the towers into their own room as standalone for zone 3 and replaced with 162s for both highs and fronts mounted on the wall with am40 brackets. Two vtf2 mk 3 with 5 152's is just under 1500, otherwise a single sub system is under 1000


How do you have two front speakers on the right like that? As in, how do you power them and get the correct signal to them since I'm assuming you've got two on the other side as well?
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallnet View Post

How do you have two front speakers on the right like that? As in, how do you power them and get the correct signal to them since I'm assuming you've got two on the other side as well?

Audyssey 8+ channel receivers.
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 12:43 PM
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digitallnet,

I recommended 5.1 over 6.1 and bookshelves as a cost saving measure. Theres no shame skipping the 250/towers and going with the same exact speaker for your front left center and right channels. Dont get me wrong, Infinity subs are highly rated, but for more money in the sub department you simply cant match a Hsu or svs (I think emotiva are in the same league also). As mentioned, dual subs is even better, worth going a little over budget or maybe adding a second sub when the extra 300 is available.

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post #12 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallnet View Post


zieglj01 - Based on my limited knowledge of speakers, the Boston's you posted seem to be pretty impressive. Combining that with the HSU STF-1 sub (designed for small rooms which I should probably do in a condo) keeps the cost right in my budget (less, even) which is good. I've heard many good things about Boston over the years, but for the sake of curiosity what made you suggest these over the others I had? Right now they are definitely in the running for this process.

More refined with better resolution - both for music and home theater.
However, if the NHT were more sensitive - I would pick them.

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess my big fear with dual subs is going to be how annoyed my neighbors will get. Personally, I love good bass - so much so that I have dual JL Audio 12's in my car. But my neighbors won't appreciate it nearly as much. Do you all think a single HSU STF-1 will work well enough that it won't tick off all my neighbors but the quality will still be good? I do have the benefit of double drywall (presumably on both sides - mine and the neighbor's as these condos are brand new) plus a firewall in between the units. I'm not sure how much sound deadening that gives me, but it should be some compared to just drywall.

As of right now it is looking like the Boston speakers are topping my list. I've been a big fan of Definitive, but I also love the look of tower speakers and their Mythos line is just too far out of my price range to consider. I've also been a big fan of Infinity for a long time, but the specs on the Boston's surpass the Infinity by a lot.

Thanks again to everyone who has offered suggestions! I'm hoping to get everything ordered and installed by late next week and will post results once it's done. And probably pics since I know those are always fun.
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-04-2011, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallnet View Post

I guess my big fear with dual subs is going to be how annoyed my neighbors will get. Personally, I love good bass - so much so that I have dual JL Audio 12's in my car. But my neighbors won't appreciate it nearly as much. Do you all think a single HSU STF-1 will work well enough that it won't tick off all my neighbors but the quality will still be good?

If you are going with one sub - then at least, try to get the STF-2 Sub.
You can always turn the volume down - if you need to.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

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post #15 of 27 Old 01-05-2011, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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The Boston's and STF-2 are all ordered! Now I just have to sit and wait (NOT patiently) and hopefully everything is setup next week so I can do pics!
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-23-2011, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Everything has been installed since Monday and all I can say is wow. Compared to what I had been using as speakers previously, the difference is phenomenal. I haven't yet had any time to test it out with a good blu-ray (work and school make this difficult), but I already know it's going to be incredible.

Major thanks to zieglj01 for this. I think the Definitive's would've been nice, but I have a strong feeling the Boston's with the STF-2 are providing depth the Definitive's couldn't have done based on their small form factor.

I'll try to get pictures posted shortly!
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-23-2011, 09:25 PM
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That HSU stf-2 will struggle to fill the 19 x 18 room with bass it's ment for smaller rooms

I would call HSU and upgrade to vtf-2 mk3 it will do a much better job with bass. The stf-2 will leave you wanting more especially with Jo audio subs in your car
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-24-2011, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallnet View Post

Everything has been installed since Monday and all I can say is wow. Compared to what I had been using as speakers previously, the difference is phenomenal. I haven't yet had any time to test it out with a good blu-ray (work and school make this difficult), but I already know it's going to be incredible.

Major thanks to zieglj01 for this. I think the Definitive's would've been nice, but I have a strong feeling the Boston's with the STF-2 are providing depth the Definitive's couldn't have done based on their small form factor.

I'll try to get pictures posted shortly!

Good Luck and Enjoy!

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post #19 of 27 Old 01-24-2011, 08:21 AM
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I've owned the NHT SuperZeros, Infinity P362s, and many DefTechs.

I like them all.

Since you don't need LOUD and BIG SPEAKERS, I would not recommend any towers.

So that leaves you with NHT & Deftech. Of course, there are many other brands like Aperion, which offers a free 30-day trial.

Recently, Home Theater Mag reviewd the NHT Absolute Zero book shelf speakers. The 5-point average of on-axis and +/- 15 degrees off-axis frequency response from 200Hz to 10kHz was +/- 0.93dB, which is EXTREMELY FLAT and awesome!!!

Normally, we expect something like a +/- 3dB, so to get a +/- 0.9dB is absolutely amazing. I guess they didn't call it the "Absolute Zero" for nothing!

So, if I were space-limted and cannot go with something big and loud like towers, I would get the 5 NHT Absolute Zero and one NHT Subwoofer for 5.1.

I would not WASTE any money on more than 5.1. Personally I've done 7.1 and it makes absolutely no difference to me. Remember, the majority of a movie soundtrack is for the front L/R/C. Only a small percentage goes to the surrounds. The primary purpose of surrounds is for ambience effects and panning effects. A 5.1 system will do just fine, especially if you don't have a 10,000 cubic feet room.

A rear center is just ridiculous!

NHT Absolute Zero: $175 x 5 = $875:

NHT small sub for $350:

http://www.amazon.com/NHT-Super-110-...5886213&sr=1-2
http://www.amazon.com/NHT-N-AZB-Abso...5886159&sr=8-1

Total = $1,225 (free shipping from amazon)

Or for an additional $100, get a bigger sub:
http://www.amazon.com/NHT-B-10d-Powe...5886213&sr=1-3
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-24-2011, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

That HSU stf-2 will struggle to fill the 19 x 18 room with bass it's ment for smaller rooms

I would call HSU and upgrade to vtf-2 mk3 it will do a much better job with bass. The stf-2 will leave you wanting more especially with Jo audio subs in your car

Actually, this is the one that has surprised me the most. The guy who installed everything started on the 14th and had to come back on the 17th to finish the rear installation. He also hadn't really done any tuning yet, but the fronts, center and sub were all connected. I had to turn the sub down for fear of making enemies of my neighbor (in a condo - model is on one side so they are gone by 5PM and irrelevant). It had impressive sound, even though the receiver wasn't turned up loud at all. Now that some tuning has taken place everything sounds incredibly well and the room is definitely filled with sound. I'm sure it helps that the room isn't closed off and I have hardwood too though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I've owned the NHT SuperZeros, Infinity P362s, and many DefTechs.

I like them all.

Since you don't need LOUD and BIG SPEAKERS, I would not recommend any towers.

So that leaves you with NHT & Deftech. Of course, there are many other brands like Aperion, which offers a free 30-day trial.

Recently, Home Theater Mag reviewd the NHT Absolute Zero book shelf speakers. The 5-point average of on-axis and +/- 15 degrees off-axis frequency response from 200Hz to 10kHz was +/- 0.93dB, which is EXTREMELY FLAT and awesome!!!

Normally, we expect something like a +/- 3dB, so to get a +/- 0.9dB is absolutely amazing. I guess they didn't call it the "Absolute Zero" for nothing!

So, if I were space-limted and cannot go with something big and loud like towers, I would get the 5 NHT Absolute Zero and one NHT Subwoofer for 5.1.

I would not WASTE any money on more than 5.1. Personally I've done 7.1 and it makes absolutely no difference to me. Remember, the majority of a movie soundtrack is for the front L/R/C. Only a small percentage goes to the surrounds. The primary purpose of surrounds is for ambience effects and panning effects. A 5.1 system will do just fine, especially if you don't have a 10,000 cubic feet room.

A rear center is just ridiculous!

NHT Absolute Zero: $175 x 5 = $875:

NHT small sub for $350:

http://www.amazon.com/NHT-Super-110-...5886213&sr=1-2
http://www.amazon.com/NHT-N-AZB-Abso...5886159&sr=8-1

Total = $1,225 (free shipping from amazon)

Or for an additional $100, get a bigger sub:
http://www.amazon.com/NHT-B-10d-Powe...5886213&sr=1-3

I stuck with 5.1 because I (like you) didn't understand what 7.1 would buy me, with the exception of additional geek points perhaps. I've always understood rears to be more for ambiance than anything else so it's good to know my information in that regard was correct. Initially I was going to do the DefTech's but after some measuring I realized I could fit towers and since I've always been an audio enthusiast (without understanding the true technical ins/outs unfortunately) I opted for the Boston's that zieglj01 recommended. Based on the little that I knew about different speaker specs these seemed to be the best in my price range.

Thanks for the suggestions though - I probably would've compared these to my list if I hadn't already purchased the Boston's (which I am a huge fan of).
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post #21 of 27 Old 07-24-2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallnet View Post

Also, one of the guys coming out in a few nights is pushing me towards NHT as that is the company he sells. Based on some cursory reviews it seems like they are pretty good speakers, however it seemed like the sensitivity for most of their was ~86dB whereas Definitive's were 89dB and the Infinity setup was closer to ~93dB. Everything I have been told in the past is for each dB you go up the quality is almost doubled. I don't know enough about NHT to even try to come up with a comparison but am open to recommendations from the experts

This makes no sense to me - why would quality be related to (linearly or otherwise) the sensitivity of the speaker? I don't think they're related at all. IOW NHTs being less sensitive and needing more power to drive them is simply a design choice and may have been done to INCREASE quality, so not sure anyone would make such a blanket statement.
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post #22 of 27 Old 07-25-2013, 12:24 AM
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Holy moly, what a thread bump. eek.gif

I was reading and about to ask the OP to post pics of his new boston speakers.
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post #23 of 27 Old 03-12-2014, 08:30 AM
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Anyone care to comment on why anyone should ever equate sensitivity of a speaker to quality?
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post #24 of 27 Old 03-12-2014, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
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Anyone care to comment on why anyone should ever equate sensitivity of a speaker to quality?

People who own high sensitive speakers that can play 130dB. eek.gif

The rest of us, no so much. wink.gif
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post #25 of 27 Old 03-12-2014, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pdoherty972 View Post

Anyone care to comment on why anyone should ever equate sensitivity of a speaker to quality?
Because they've succumbed to advertising hype. Higher sensitivity in and of itself has no bearing on quality. If one has high sensitivity without sacrificing something else to get it that's a different story.
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Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

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post #26 of 27 Old 03-12-2014, 08:52 AM
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I personally have preferred lower sensitivity speakers and think their sound quality is better unless you equate extreme loudness with quality. It's a matter of taste.
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post #27 of 27 Old 03-12-2014, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

I personally have preferred lower sensitivity speakers and think their sound quality is better unless you equate extreme loudness with quality. It's a matter of taste.
That brings up another factor. Placed side by side, with exactly the same frequency response and so forth, a louder speaker will almost always be perceived as sounding better. Why can be seen by looking at equal loudness curves.

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