Energy CB-20 or Infinity Primus P163 (for 80% HT & 20% Music)?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 09-27-2011, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I think the Energy CB-20 would probably have a more colored sound vs the P163; however, I would say the CB-20 has a sturdier driver.

The P163 is cheaper, but the CB-20 has been on sale for $200 a pair from Vanns.

The P163 seems to have waay more fans than the CB-20 (understandable because the CB-20 is a departure from the "Energy" sound; however, it doesn't make it a bad sound).

Both speakers have 6.5" drivers, good off-axis performance and efficiency.

Thoughts or suggestions?
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post #2 of 40 Old 09-27-2011, 02:28 PM
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I have listened to both lines. IMO, the Infinitys are much better. The CB 10s and 20s just seemed cold and lifeless.

Sounds good!
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post #3 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Karl, I appreciate the honesty. I am a bit surprised to hear your opinion, because I thought the CB seemed more forward and brighter than more neutral speakers I have heard. I would consider the Energy RC-10 a neutral speaker. The CB-20 seemed more colored and a bit more "playful".
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post #4 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 08:27 PM
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What does a sturdier driver mean? Is that something you saw, heard, or want to believe? Reading this objectively - it seems you have made up your mind on the CB20s being a better speaker and you would like support for that... Nothing wrong with that but sound is very subjective. If you're already believing the cb20 is the better speaker before listening you're probably better off buying it lol.

I haven't heard the cb20, but I've heard the p163 and for the price few if any speakers will give it a run for its money. The rc-10 is probably the better made speaker as its a higher line. What sound you prefer is a different story...On paper the p163 looks to go a little lower but on the other hand the cb20 is more efficient. The front port of the p163 give you more flexibility in placement options. From previous pictures you dont have much space behind the speakers, that could have a notable effect on the sound - boomy, muddy, etc..

The rc-10 is well regarded and I'm surprised you dont like, but I think some more listening time and accurate measurements are needed. As previously noted:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interspy24 View Post


As stated earlier I found the hsu's very laid back. They were more laid back than the x-series classics (which I already considered laid back) and the rc50s I've heard. It's hard to believe that from what I heard, the rc10's are even more laid back than the hsu’s. The rc10s should be voiced similarly to the rc50s - I enjoyed them because they have good detail and the top end was still smooth.

The speakers aren't level matched now, it's likely you're hearing more the hsu's due to their efficiency (I believe they are rated at half space however, so it might not be that big a deal). Regardless in order to keep things consistent, hook up both the speakers. Take a minute and pull them away from the walls. Play with the positioning of the speakers, what height are they? Are they angled correctly (up/down) and toed-in? Turn off the processing, make sure the test is done in at least a somewhat even comparison. With banana plugs, it's easy to switch the speakers. Use a rat shack meter to make sure the volume is at similar levels. Take a few songs you know well and listen to them on both speakers. What do you notice between the songs? What do you like and dislike from each one? Do the same with a few movies. You wont be able to make any comparison without spending time listening to the speakers...

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post #5 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 08:45 PM
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I've had pretty much every CF/CB speaker from Energy, and heard every single one. I haven't heard these specific Infinity speakers though. But I agree with deepstang here. The Energy CB-20s are by no means lifeless... They're extremely bright and colorful.

The Energy RC-10 is the "equivalent" (by no means equal, just same size driver) to the CB-10, so the CB-20 is bigger, yet I've heard people who have done A/B testing said the RC-10 got a bit lower and was of course clearer than the CB-20. The CF/CB drivers are definitely efficient as well.

For those looking into getting Energy speakers, or upgrading their current Energy setup, here are some reviews I've written that may help:http://www.tempestaudio.blogspot.com  (haven't updated in a while, but include Energy Take Classic 5.1, RC-10, CF-70, and CC-10)

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post #6 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 09:33 PM
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I would say buy a pair of the cb-20s and give them a shot and if you don't like them you can send them back. From the Energy thread it seems a lot of people prefer the rc line, but there have been reports of people preferring the cb/ cf line. Everyone has their own preference, don't go by what you read on a forum. Only your ears can tell you what you like. If the HSUs and the RCs (which I've read are pretty comparable) didn't do it for you maybe the CBs will.

Life is hard, be harder.
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post #7 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

Karl, I appreciate the honesty. I am a bit surprised to hear your opinion, because I thought the CB seemed more forward and brighter than more neutral speakers I have heard. I would consider the Energy RC-10 a neutral speaker. The CB-20 seemed more colored and a bit more "playful".

This comes from listening to them at two separate BB Magnolias. I know people like them and BB is not the greatest place in the world to listen to speakers but, compared to ALL the other makes they have, this was my opinion. These were all CB/CFs. No RCs. They seemed like clock radio fidelity!
Did they get a bad batch?

Sounds good!
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post #8 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 10:11 PM
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if they sounded like clock radio speakers nobody would ever buy them. C'mon now!

Afro GT
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post #9 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 10:26 PM
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I will go back in a few days and try again but, "clock radio" was not too far off! Not kidding! The B&Ws, MLs, Def Techs and whatever else they had had range. Energys did not. Bad? Blown? might be.

Sounds good!
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post #10 of 40 Old 09-28-2011, 10:43 PM
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I went to Best Buy to demo the CB-20s and I put them up against a pair of B&W 385s. The B&Was sounded lifeless with no low end. The B&W rep who was presnt tried enabling a 8 inch woofer without me knowing but he was caught red handed. In regards to the CF line vs the RC line, I would go with the RC's if you will mainly use them for music but I went with the CR's since I only watch movies and do t listen to music. The CF's sounded much more lively which added to the movie and the overall brightness of the CF series gave the movie dialog wonderful clarity at lower volume levels. I had trouble understanding dialog at lower volume levels on my friends RC-10 set up.

I would just go ahead and scratch those Infinitys of the list. They are no where near efficient as the Energy's and I don't think they sound better than other CF or RC. In the end, just decide if its going to me used more for music or movie.
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post #11 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saints View Post

I would say buy a pair of the cb-20s and give them a shot and if you don't like them you can send them back. From the Energy thread it seems a lot of people prefer the rc line, but there have been reports of people preferring the cb/ cf line. Everyone has their own preference, don't go by what you read on a forum. Only your ears can tell you what you like. If the HSUs and the RCs (which I've read are pretty comparable) didn't do it for you maybe the CBs will.

Completely agree, that's why its so important to listen to speakers and find what you like. Worst case you are out return shipping (say $30). That relatively small price is worth a lot of piece of mind, not to mention the learnings from the "journey." It takes time, but its well worth it.
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post #12 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 07:13 AM
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Just so you guys know, I have a friend that worked at Best Buy (after Circuit City shut down), and he says both places do the same thing: When they need to sell a certain item, whether it's a TV or a speaker, they dumb down the product they don't need to sell and enhance the ones they have too much of so that people that try it out go "Ooooo NEAT!" and buy it. So don't go off of what you see/hear at Best Buy!!!!

I have heard a REAL CB-20 and clock radio is no where NEAR what it sounds like.

For those looking into getting Energy speakers, or upgrading their current Energy setup, here are some reviews I've written that may help:http://www.tempestaudio.blogspot.com  (haven't updated in a while, but include Energy Take Classic 5.1, RC-10, CF-70, and CC-10)

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post #13 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 08:06 AM
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I have a pair of CB-20s and I really like them. Granted I haven't compared them to much (I have a set of entry level Jamo towers, and a pair of Mission 700s bookshelves) but for what I usually listen to (Jazz) they sound fantastic. I think only you can tell what you prefer. Get a pair from a place with a good return policy, then try them out.

The CB-20s look great with the grilles off; they match the piano they are sitting on in my house, which the wife appreciates. Also, even with less than ideal placement (tweeters at least 18 inches above ear level, about 5 feet apart, 6 inches from the rear wall) the soundstage sounds great.

Energy recommends 100 hours of break in for the CB-20s. Not sure how much of a difference that makes. Also, I got mine for $200 cdn. If I were to spend the full MRSP ($350) I think there are others I would have checked too.
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post #14 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 08:17 AM
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All I can say is that they were all hooked up to the same reciever. I will give them another shot.

Sounds good!
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post #15 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio View Post

All I can say is that they were all hooked up to the same reciever. I will give them another shot.

Edit the settings and make sure they are properly set-up

I have yet to find a Best buy which properly sets up and calibrates their speakers
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post #16 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Edit the settings and make sure they are properly set-up

I have yet to find a Best buy which properly sets up and calibrates their speakers

I agree. I was doing some tweaking yesterday, and I listened to my CB-20s with a 200hz cross and no sub, and the sound sucked. Of course it did, it was missing all the low end. Before writing something off, just make sure it is set up even half way correctly. In house would be better.
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post #17 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 10:37 AM
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Yes, that BB stuff is usually out of whack. I remember the old Audio King (Ultimate Electronics) where it was higher end stuff and the employees actually gave a crap! I bought many (good) Infinity speakers there and still enjoy them!

Sounds good!
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post #18 of 40 Old 09-29-2011, 09:22 PM
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If you knew how Best Buy hooked up their audio equipment, you would understand why some of the speakers sound bad and others sound good. All of those receivers you see back in the Magnolia section are hooked up to a huge circuit board. They they go through another circuit board. On top of all this, they only use 24 gauge cable.

If you want to truely demo a speaker in Best Buy, here is what you have to do and it's exactly what I did. First and foremost, DO NOT demo any of the speakers in the sound room where everything is pre-connected. You need to ask the sales rep to take the speakers out and hook them up straight into on of the recievers that are sitting out with all of the TV's in the Magnolia section. The rep had no problem with this at all.

Anyway, I was debating on a pair of B&W 384's and a pair of Energy CF-70's. I also had him hook up the B&W 385's and Energy CB-10's. In my opinion, the Energy's sounded better and extended lower. The B&W's sounded dull and lifeless. During my demo with a movie (Avatar), I had trouble hearing the dialog during action scenes with the B&W's but the Energy's stayed clear. There is no doubt, the Energy CF/CB series is a bright colorful speaker which make them perfect for Home Theater. If you using them for mostly music then I can see why you would want something more laid back.

To the person who said the CB's sound dull and lifeless. You might be the first person on these forums who described them as which. They are known to be bright and colorful. You were either listening to some blown speakers or some speakers that were poorly hooked up.

To the person who said they sound like a clock radio:roll eyes::roll eyes:
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post #19 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interspy24 View Post

What does a sturdier driver mean? Is that something you saw, heard, or want to believe? Reading this objectively - it seems you have made up your mind on the CB20s being a better speaker and you would like support for that... Nothing wrong with that but sound is very subjective. If you're already believing the cb20 is the better speaker before listening you're probably better off buying it lol.

What are you, a drill Sargent?? If I made up my mind I would not bother asking everyone's valuable feedback.

I have seen the CB-20 driver and own a pair of Energy RC-10s. I can appreciate the ribbed rubber surround utilized by Energy in many of their drivers. I also own a pair of Infinity Beta ES250s. The driver's in the Betas are said to be very similar to the drivers in the Primus.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsceneJesster View Post

In my opinion, the Energy's sounded better and extended lower. The B&W's sounded dull and lifeless. There is no doubt, the Energy CF/CB series is a bright colorful speaker which make them perfect for Home Theater. If you using them for mostly music then I can see why you would want something more laid back.

+1 Well said!

I think the P163 rightfully is accepted, respected and recommended. The CF/CB series is commonly written off by AVS members because they deviate from the "Energy sound", and are undoubtedly colored. I still believe it would be well applied for HT.

Quote:


To the person who said the CB's sound dull and lifeless. You might be the first person on these forums who described them as which. They are known to be bright and colorful. You were either listening to some blown speakers or some speakers that were poorly hooked up.

+1
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post #20 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 06:58 AM
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I happen the own the CB-20 and a clock radio and all I can say is that I wish my clock radio sounded as good as the CB-20s.
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post #21 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 08:00 AM
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I happen the own the CB-20 and a clock radio and all I can say is that I wish my clock radio sounded as good as the CB-20s.

Don't feed the trolls.
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post #22 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 08:05 AM
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Re read my posts #7,9 and 14. THIS is what I heard. There was obviously a problem with the set up at these stores. Like I said, I am going to go back and try it again and this time play with them a little bit.

Sounds good!
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post #23 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 08:13 AM
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Karl,

By the CB-20s and take them home. Try them out for a few days. If you don't like them bring 'em back. There's no restocking fee.

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post #24 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 10:57 AM
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OK. Just spent an hour at BB. My appoligies. The Energys were quite nice. I probably spent 20 minutes calibrating things and hooking up wires that were disconnected. Hooked up to a Pioneer VSX-50, the Energys sounded great! Had the tone set to +2 dB for both bass and treble. My favorite was actually the CB-10. Even the little CB-5 did pretty good. I think they compared quite nicely to the B&W 68X line. Probably a little nod to the B&Ws for the lower frequencies.
I wish BB would spend a little time with set up! What a mess!

Sounds good!
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post #25 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 11:05 AM
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Just a side note (and probably another can of worms) I also listened to the CF-50s and CF-70s. The CF-50s had more bass! Same settings on the Pioneer.

Sounds good!
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post #26 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio View Post

OK. Just spent an hour at BB. My appoligies. The Energys were quite nice. I probably spent 20 minutes calibrating things and hooking up wires that were disconnected. Hooked up to a Pioneer VSX-50, the Energys sounded great! Had the tone set to +2 dB for both bass and treble. My favorite was actually the CB-10. Even the little CB-5 did pretty good. I think they compared quite nicely to the B&W 68X line. Probably a little nod to the B&Ws for the lower frequencies.
I wish BB would spend a little time with set up! What a mess!

You said that your favorite was the CB-10. What did you find the differences to be between that and the CB-20?
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post #27 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio View Post

OK. Just spent an hour at BB. My appoligies. The Energys were quite nice. I probably spent 20 minutes calibrating things and hooking up wires that were disconnected. Hooked up to a Pioneer VSX-50, the Energys sounded great! Had the tone set to +2 dB for both bass and treble. My favorite was actually the CB-10. Even the little CB-5 did pretty good. I think they compared quite nicely to the B&W 68X line. Probably a little nod to the B&Ws for the lower frequencies.
I wish BB would spend a little time with set up! What a mess!

Did you have to do a factory reset on the receiver? I imagine that any receiver at BestBuy is probably so far out of configuration that there's no telling what speakers will sound like. LOL

I have a pair of CB-10s. Nice sound for the money, although I feel their weakness is some of the mid/upper bass articulation due to the 5 1/4" driver, and always thought that the CB-20 would improve that. Perhaps the CB-20s were not broken in as well?

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post #28 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 01:57 PM
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I just felt the CB-10 was just a little bit "cleaner" than the 20s. Also some possible port noise on the 20 that did not agree with how they were sitting. I pulled them all as far as I could from the wall. But, there was no telling how long each model had been broken in so there are still some unknown variables.
I wen throught the whole menu on the Pioneer AVR. The treble was something like +8 dB, bass was -4 dB, the FL, FR level was off. There was one other thing too.

Sounds good!
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post #29 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio View Post

Just a side note (and probably another can of worms) I also listened to the CF-50s and CF-70s. The CF-50s had more bass! Same settings on the Pioneer.

I know exactly what the problem was. My buddies CF-70's came shipped and the bottom two drivers were not working. We dissected them and it turns out they weren't even hooked up. I garonte that's what was going on because there is no way possible the 50's should get lower than the 70's. In fact. Its impossible.
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post #30 of 40 Old 09-30-2011, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

What are you, a drill Sargent?? If I made up my mind I would not bother asking everyone's valuable feedback.

I have seen the CB-20 driver and own a pair of Energy RC-10s. I can appreciate the ribbed rubber surround utilized by Energy in many of their drivers. I also own a pair of Infinity Beta ES250s. The driver's in the Betas are said to be very similar to the drivers in the Primus.

That's right, no questions - gimme 25 pushups! Obviously most dont know, but deepstang is a very good friend of mine. This is just friendly banter.

Btw ribbed rubber surround sounds like "marketing", but I'm a fan of energy so if it helps it helps.

What he really needs to do is hurry up and post listening experiences with the hsu, energy, and psb! Definitely looking forward to hearing his thoughts on the speakers in a different room.

Last time deepstang tried to audition speakers, instead of finding speakers he liked, the speakers wanted to send him back!
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