Infinity Primus 5.0 vs Pioneer Andrew Jones 5.0 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-04-2012, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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So I just got my Pioneer FS51/BS21/C21 from BB today. I know they're incredible value for their price. How would they compare to this set of Infinity Primus speakers in top condition that I found on CL for $200.

2 Tower Speakers Infinity Primus 250
2 Surround Speakers Infinity Primus 150
Center Channel C25
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-04-2012, 02:28 PM
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Why not just pick up a decent subwoofer and enjoy your recent purchase instead of second guessing? The Infinity Primus line is decent for the price but would also be categorized as a budget speaker line. That's a decent deal on that set if they're in good condition. However, I'd rather have the P360s instead of the 250s.

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post #3 of 28 Old 08-04-2012, 03:31 PM
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^^^^ basically this. If you're happy with what you have break them in already and enjoy. If you continue down this road you'll be chasing your tail and won't enjoy any of it.

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post #4 of 28 Old 08-04-2012, 04:06 PM
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The Infinity Primus might not sound any better to you. Get a good subwoofer to go with your setup and you'll definitely appreciate the difference.

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post #5 of 28 Old 08-04-2012, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Already got an Energy S10.3. I guess that I've been searching for the perfect budget speakers for so long that I unconsciously don't want to stop. I'm happy with the purchase, especially knowing that I got the display model towers for $75 and bookshelves for $25, though I may end up returning the bookshelves and getting it new at newegg for $25 more because of some cosmetic damages.
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post #6 of 28 Old 04-14-2013, 05:06 PM
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Solarium, did you ever compare the two speaker brands head to head? Would have been a worthwhile endeavor.

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post #7 of 28 Old 04-14-2013, 05:41 PM
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Solarium - I'm like you in that I do so much research that once I've completed my research and buy 'insert product here' I still wake up the next day and continue the research. I've done it with TV's, cars, etc...

I'm a huge 'bang for your buck' consumer especially with things that are more hobbies than needs. I settled on the Pioneers a few months ago and I am completely satisfied. I see all kinds of deals on CL etc but it doesn't give me any buyers remorse.
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post #8 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 02:17 AM
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I can't speak to the Primus lines vs. Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers. But I bought this Pioneer set to potentially replace my old Infinity speakers (2 x Overture 2, 1 x Overture 1, 4 x RS3.) It took about ten seconds for my family and me to decide that they were vastly inferior. This was especially apparent in the lower midbass region. I will grant that the tweeters are nice. Lots of extension. But overall apparent width of soundstage (especially) and almost every other characteristic of a good speaker was less apparent with the Pioneers.

Now, for the price, they must be acknowledged to be quite a deal. For the price. They are dirt cheap. Problem is, they sound pretty cheap to me.

I know, I know...everyone is raving about the Pioneers. Audioholics even recommended using these in their "$2500 5.1 System" along with Emotiva pre and amp separates. I would not recommend these in that configuration. I think they have inverted the ratio and spent too much on decoding and amplification and not enough on speakers. I am just not hearing it. They sounded much more boxy and lifeless to my ears in home theater mode. In music mode, they were shamed by Overtures.

FWIW, I am powering with a 130W@8Ohm Pioneer SC-1522 (Elite SC-65) and have a Velodyne MiniVee. So it was not a question of power (though it must be said that the Pioneers are uninspiringly inefficient and with a nominal 6 Ohm impedance to boot.)

These may go in my front TV room. Maybe. I am feeling thoroughly unimpressed enough to morally justify a return. It pays to listen with your ears and not so much with your eyes. Gotta stop reading these reviews. ;-)

Just my $0.02. YMMV, etc.
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post #9 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 05:44 AM
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I had a pair of the aj Pioneer bookshelves from best buy over a weekend a couple years ago and matched them head to head with a pair of Polk m40s. The polks won that battle handily...just felt the pioneer sounded "thin" and really needed alot of power. Returned the pioneers and compared my Polk m40s to a set of Infinity p163. Both were great speakers, considering the price. I kept the polks.
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post #10 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 07:45 AM
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I can't compare the second generation AJ speakers to the Primus, but I can tell you that I purchased a pair of the second generation AJ towers and they were great right out of the box. Now that I have had time to break them in, they sound even better. I didn't find the towers to be very power hungry.

As with many things, get what sounds best to you.
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post #11 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

I can't compare the second generation AJ speakers to the Primus, but I can tell you that I purchased a pair of the second generation AJ towers and they were great right out of the box. Now that I have had time to break them in, they sound even better. I didn't find the towers to be very power hungry.

As with many things, get what sounds best to you.

I agree with that completely. Some people might prefer the Pioneer Andrew Jones stuff to what I have. No idea. Not sure how, but anything's possible.

In my particular case, I figure it is a lot like footwear. A strange analogy perhaps, but bear with me. What I had (the Overtures) were like well-made, nicely worn boots. Y'know, all leather, hand -stitched. Maybe not the most fashionable but a quality item nonetheless. The Andrew Jones speakers are like new Converse All Stars. They are clearly cheap, fairy trendy, need time to be broken in, and may only be their best with age. Some people swear by Converse All Stars. Some people swear by handmade leather boots. Both serve an identical purpose. Which is better? Depends upon your taste, I guess.

I will say that the towers were the best-sounding of the bunch. And, also, I realize that I am posting in a thread referring to the first generation of speakers; I bought the second. Sorry about that.
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by treyrhodes View Post

I agree with that completely. Some people might prefer the Pioneer Andrew Jones stuff to what I have. No idea. Not sure how, but anything's possible.

In my particular case, I figure it is a lot like footwear. A strange analogy perhaps, but bear with me. What I had (the Overtures) were like well-made, nicely worn boots. Y'know, all leather, hand -stitched. Maybe not the most fashionable but a quality item nonetheless. The Andrew Jones speakers are like new Converse All Stars. They are clearly cheap, fairy trendy, need time to be broken in, and may only be their best with age. Some people swear by Converse All Stars. Some people swear by handmade leather boots. Both serve an identical purpose. Which is better? Depends upon your taste, I guess.

I will say that the towers were the best-sounding of the bunch. And, also, I realize that I am posting in a thread referring to the first generation of speakers; I bought the second. Sorry about that.
Your shoe analogy is quite fitting (sorry about the pun).

Maybe the room acoustics affected the AJ speakers? Not sure. One thing I will say is the AJ towers need a sub to help them out in the bass department.
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 05:08 PM
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***What I had (the Overtures) were like well-made, nicely worn boots. Y'know, all leather, hand -stitched. Maybe not the most fashionable but a quality item nonetheless. The Andrew Jones speakers are like new Converse All Stars.

The irony there is that I'm fairly sure Mr. Jones designed the Overture line for Infinity, too.

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post #14 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 05:39 PM
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The irony there is that I'm fairly sure Mr. Jones designed the Overture line for Infinity, too.

Interesting, what else has Andrew Jones designed besides TAD speakers?

I may need to look into picking up some used bargains. Plus what was the msrp or street price for those overtures back then. Might be kind of unfair to compare against the budget pioneers.
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post #15 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 06:21 PM
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The irony there is that I'm fairly sure Mr. Jones designed the Overture line for Infinity, too.

Interesting, what else has Andrew Jones designed besides TAD speakers?

He came up through KEF, then went to Infinity, and then to Pioneer/TAD.
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post #16 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 06:49 PM
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The irony there is that I'm fairly sure Mr. Jones designed the Overture line for Infinity, too.

Yes. I had pointed this out in another thread. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1216744/anyone-still-running-infinity-speakers-like-me/120#post_23203120

I must say, I really wanted to like these speakers. More so as I knew that he designed the ones I currently use. I figured state of the art had progressed to the point where I might get comparable (or even better) performance out of these new Pioneers. And, l like I said before, it seems almost everyone loves them to death. The tweeters and associated crossover may, in fact, be slightly superior to the Infinity. Maybe. Though they seem a bit sibilant to my admittedly amateur ears. No matter, it is all subjective. And I truly think that he did the best he could with the budget constraints at Pioneer.

And, it all boils down to taste, of course. I have had some great setups in my life and I have learned what I like. I have been lucky with some really high-grade gear. But I wasn't knocked out by all of it. For example, the yellow Kevlar loudspeakers in my old, highly regarded, B&W towers seemed stiff and "cardboardy" to me. And the overall impression of my Linn AV5120s was that they were very flat, with an almost reference-like sound. Very, very nice and accurate as hell but simply not engaging. (These were both driven by a Mark Levinson Proceed pre and five-channel amp.) On the other hand the significantly cheaper NHT towers I had were clearly hyping certain frequency bands but, man, were these exciting speakers. Matters of taste contributing to overall worth that cannot be ascertained by looking at a simple frequency/sound pressure graph.

Sad financial conditions have caused me to start over, with mid-fi gear. I happened onto the Infinity Overtures purely by accident and immediately found a sound I liked. I think I'll be sticking with until I can afford to spend, say, $5000 or more on a new speaker setup. Of course, then I'll need a new amp, and...wink.gif
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post #17 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 07:33 PM
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Yeah, I don't doubt that you prefer your overtures over the pioneers. Speaker preference is very subjective. I have been a fan of infinity since I had the p362's. Also, I was very close to pulling the trigger on some revel f12's, similar brother to the infinity beta 50's but with reportedly better crossovers and some other little tweaks.

If I was more familiar with infinity's older offerings, I may have looked more at the used market for them. As it is now, I'm still in the return period for my pioneer speakers, but I think I will keep them. I have a feeling I would need to spend a great deal more money if buying brand new to beat these unless I find some good used deals.
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post #18 of 28 Old 04-21-2013, 08:16 PM
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Yeah, I don't doubt that you prefer your overtures over the pioneers. Speaker preference is very subjective. I have been a fan of infinity since I had the p362's. Also, I was very close to pulling the trigger on some revel f12's, similar brother to the infinity beta 50's but with reportedly better crossovers and some other little tweaks.

If I was more familiar with infinity's older offerings, I may have looked more at the used market for them. As it is now, I'm still in the return period for my pioneer speakers, but I think I will keep them. I have a feeling I would need to spend a great deal more money if buying brand new to beat these unless I find some good used deals.

Well, the overtures are all about midrange. And midbass. A pair of Fostex Super Tweeters atop my mains and judiciously crossed over and aimed (some like them pointing backwards, spraying against the front wall) may yield my perfect sound. I may try this as I did in fact dig the high frequency extension of the Pioneers.
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 04:36 AM
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I decided to keep the scrappy Pioneers. I got them originally from Fry's when the mains were only $77 each. I just went back today and got a refund on the bookshelves which went on sale for $69 a pair in the interim (they price match their own stock with a, 30-day period.) so they turned out to be a pretty good deal. I'll power them with my old Pioneer VSX1020 and use my Jamo sub, I guess.

Anyway, my son likes them quite a bit. Goes to show you that it is all quite subjective. :-)
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 05:09 AM
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So you decided within the first 10 minutes that you didn't like the AJ Pioneer speakers? Dont those Overtures have a built in powered "sub"? Did you compare the Pioneers while using a sub or no sub?

Seems like you went in really liking your Overtures and weren't able to give the Pioneers much of a chance. Which is almost to be expected as I'm sure your Overtures setup cost way more than the Pioneers.

The Pioneers are good, but of course you can find something better. But, if you give them some time to break in and loosen up, you'll start to hear what the rave is all about. They "scrappy" look serves a purpose here. It allows the focus to be on the impressive sound quality for such an affordable speaker.

Perhaps your son is the one with the golden ear of the family. lol, jk.

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post #21 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 11:25 AM
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Ha! Maybe he does have the golden ear!

Yes, the Infinity has a built in sub. It only extends down to about 30 Hz, maybe, on a good day. But it affects the overall sound in a positive way, IMHO. And, no, I did not turn them off to do my comparison; why would I?

I am going to give them their due. They sound good enough for the intended purpose. And they are unbelievably inexpensive for the sound I am getting. In the end, I guess I failed to believe that everyone else was wrong and I was right, I suppose. I mean, how could that be? I am going to allow them to break in and then take another critical listen.
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post #22 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by treyrhodes View Post

Ha! Maybe he does have the golden ear!

Yes, the Infinity has a built in sub. It only extends down to about 30 Hz, maybe, on a good day. But it affects the overall sound in a positive way, IMHO. And, no, I did not turn them off to do my comparison; why would I?

I am going to give them their due. They sound good enough for the intended purpose. And they are unbelievably inexpensive for the sound I am getting. In the end, I guess I failed to believe that everyone else was wrong and I was right, I suppose. I mean, how could that be? I am going to allow them to break in and then take another critical listen.

Ha.

Well I simply meant that you are comparing a set of speakers that are designed with lower midbass punch in mind to speakers that are rated down to around 48Hz. Obviously the Pioneers would lack the 35-50Hz punch of the Overtures, so It almost doesn't need to be compared. The price difference between these speakers should allow for a person to buy a budget sub to take care of all bass from 30 to 50Hz anyways, ultimately equaling the total system response. Then which a person prefers would be subjective. I'm probably just making this too complicated though. lol

Anyways, I can completely understand someone finding a higher quality sound than the Pioneers, as I've recently upgraded from a first gen setup. My pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2's provide usable bass down to around 38Hz. These bookshelf speakers completely dominate the Pioneers in their designed frequency range, and beyond. I still really like the Pioneers though, and don't want to part with them.
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post #23 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 12:59 AM
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So you decided within the first 10 minutes that you didn't like the AJ Pioneer speakers? Dont those Overtures have a built in powered "sub"? Did you compare the Pioneers while using a sub or no sub?

Seems like you went in really liking your Overtures and weren't able to give the Pioneers much of a chance. Which is almost to be expected as I'm sure your Overtures setup cost way more than the Pioneers.

The Pioneers are good, but of course you can find something better. But, if you give them some time to break in and loosen up, you'll start to hear what the rave is all about. They "scrappy" look serves a purpose here. It allows the focus to be on the impressive sound quality for such an affordable speaker.

Perhaps your son is the one with the golden ear of the family. lol, jk.

I tried to ask if breaking in the tweeter gets rid of the excessive sibilance that I was hearing but nobody said it needs breaking in, thus I ended up returning mine since near my return window. I had about 10-12 hours on mine.
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post #24 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 01:32 AM
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I tried to ask if breaking in the tweeter gets rid of the excessive sibilance that I was hearing but nobody said it needs breaking in, thus I ended up returning mine since near my return window. I had about 10-12 hours on mine.

I am of the opinion that home loudspeaker break-in, as it is called, is more or less undesirable from a mechanical standpoint.
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post #25 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 04:42 AM
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I can't speak to the Primus lines vs. Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers. But I bought this Pioneer set to potentially replace my old Infinity speakers (2 x Overture 2, 1 x Overture 1, 4 x RS3.) It took about ten seconds for my family and me to decide that they were vastly inferior. This was especially apparent in the lower midbass region. I will grant that the tweeters are nice. Lots of extension. But overall apparent width of soundstage (especially) and almost every other characteristic of a good speaker was less apparent with the Pioneers.

Now, for the price, they must be acknowledged to be quite a deal. For the price. They are dirt cheap. Problem is, they sound pretty cheap to me.

I know, I know...everyone is raving about the Pioneers. Audioholics even recommended using these in their "$2500 5.1 System" along with Emotiva pre and amp separates. I would not recommend these in that configuration. I think they have inverted the ratio and spent too much on decoding and amplification and not enough on speakers. I am just not hearing it. They sounded much more boxy and lifeless to my ears in home theater mode. In music mode, they were shamed by Overtures.

FWIW, I am powering with a 130W@8Ohm Pioneer SC-1522 (Elite SC-65) and have a Velodyne MiniVee. So it was not a question of power (though it must be said that the Pioneers are uninspiringly inefficient and with a nominal 6 Ohm impedance to boot.)

These may go in my front TV room. Maybe. I am feeling thoroughly unimpressed enough to morally justify a return. It pays to listen with your ears and not so much with your eyes. Gotta stop reading these reviews. ;-)

Just my $0.02. YMMV, etc.

People must be drinking a lot of funny kool aid if they are comparing what may or may not be the best mini-speakers in the world to some very credible floor standers like this. Andrew Jones is no slouch, but the tech staff at Harman/JBL/Infinity are nobody's fools either.

I would go so far as to say that if the Infinities aren't broken, this is a clear example of jumping down a rabbit hole.

If this were my system, I'd look at the following:

(1) Improving system sound quality by trying to exploit the MCACC feature of the SC-1522

(2) While it is possible that a fair amount of cash was spent on the little Velodyne, I don't have a lot of respect for 8" subwoofers.

(3) System tuning and room acoustics.
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post #26 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 04:43 AM
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I tried to ask if breaking in the tweeter gets rid of the excessive sibilance that I was hearing but nobody said it needs breaking in, thus I ended up returning mine since near my return window. I had about 10-12 hours on mine.

I am of the opinion that home loudspeaker break-in, as it is called, is more or less undesirable from a mechanical standpoint.

I agree. Excess sibillance is a room acoustics/system tuning issue. Nobody with an AVR that has some kind of built in equalization or automated room tuning facility (Audyssey, MCACC, YPAO) needs to tolerate it, or swap speakers to address it.
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post #27 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

People must be drinking a lot of funny kool aid if they are comparing what may or may not be the best mini-speakers in the world to some very credible floor standers like this. Andrew Jones is no slouch, but the tech staff at Harman/JBL/Infinity are nobody's fools either.

I would go so far as to say that if the Infinities aren't broken, this is a clear example of jumping down a rabbit hole.

Please forgive me, but I am not sure what you mean by this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If this were my system, I'd look at the following:

(1) Improving system sound quality by trying to exploit the MCACC feature of the SC-1522

(2) While it is possible that a fair amount of cash was spent on the little Velodyne, I don't have a lot of respect for 8" subwoofers.

(3) System tuning and room acoustics.

All good ideas. I have had mixed results with MCACC. With some sources, I like the results, and with others, I find myself using a "Pure Direct" mode, essentially bypassing it. Several DTS-HD-encoded Blu-Rays come to mind; the whole mix sounds bigger and, well, better in Pure Direct mode. Especially dialog intelligibility and timbre.

The wee Velodyne is here to stay, I am afraid. I really like this sub for what it is. It would rule at my computer desk. Or bedroom. In HT it is perhaps lacking. I have a few other nice (much larger) subs at my disposal. For example a nice dual-12-in Mirage that I've had for years was supposed to go in. But this must remain, I am told. My lovely wife grudgingly tolerates the nine other speakers (protruding willy-nilly from what to her must seem like every possible location around the room.) But she has seemingly drawn the line here. I must concede. Though adding a second MiniVee might pass muster and move more air.
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post #28 of 28 Old 05-19-2013, 10:31 PM
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Okay, so, I kept them!

They doing duty in my front room surround setup. They sound pretty good in there to me. A lot better than nothing, which is what I had before. Even though the room is acoustically, um, challenging. What I mean is, it is terrible. Lots of reflection problems. Lots of other problems.

Anyway, my son plays the XBOX 360 and I'll occasionally spin some vinyl in there. It has been fun. The room also houses my older 60-in Sharp display, so it is good for when my wife wants to watch her girl shows. FWIW, she really likes the setup now.

All is well.

Thanks for the input, everyone.

Back under my rock.
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