Infinity Primus or Interlude, or ... ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-13-2013, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry to start another "what's the best cheap speaker" post. I've spent months looking in the $2k range but my budget just got cut to $1k or less, and if I don't make a decision soon I'll lose it all.

This is mainly for a home theater in the basement, although decent music would be nice, so I'm still not decided between towers or bookshelves for the mains. There seems to be a lot of good cheap bookshelves but towers and good subs are harder to come by. I am open to both new and used (if it's local). Here are some options I've come up with (prices are for 3.1 systems; I'll worry about surrounds later as I'm not sure if I'll do in-ceilings or not). My receiver is a Denon 3313.

Infinity Primus - about 600 for the smaller bookshelves to 750 for the smaller towers/center/sub. There is a used set of P250 towers, C25 center, and PS12 sub for $300.

Infinity Interlude - used set of il40 towers and il36c center for 300, with il10 bookshelves and center for 200. There is a used Velodyne DLS-3750R for $250 that might work.

Cambridge Audio - S30/S50/S90 bookshelf combination for about 500 or an S70/S50/S90 tower combination for 700. Questionable sub.

Pioneer (Andrew Jones models) - 400 for bookshelf package and a little over 500 for the tower package. The sub specs look pretty weak though.

NHT Super Zero - 650.

JBL - ES30 bookshelf with ES250P sub package for under 600, ES80 tower package under 800.

Is there a consensus on what the best sounding set (or two) is regardless of price?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-13-2013, 07:46 PM
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don't feel bad because i didn't even read your entire post. :-)~

the nice thing about low cost speakers is that if you search around and buy something with decent reviews, feedback, or scores, you can't screw up too bad.

despite the wild marketing claims to the contrary, most cheap speakers of similar design and similar pricepoint are...quite similar in performance...shocker!

your selection will be fine. stop mentally torturing yourself, buy some speakers, and enjoy!

Listen. It's All Good.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-13-2013, 07:53 PM
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just another thought....if you want to step up to a whole 'nother league. jbl 3677 or anything in that spirit will have a ton more dynamics. qsc kw12 would be another option. not pretty, but performers.

Listen. It's All Good.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-13-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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don't feel bad because i didn't even read your entire post. :-)~

smile.gif

I decided to edit the novel to just a short story. It is true, I would probably be happy with most of these.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-13-2013, 08:32 PM
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il vs. primus response:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1216744/anyone-still-running-infinity-speakers-like-me/120#post_23058855

the il series iirc was used in their laboratory testing for listener preferences. i believe that it outgunned many speakers costing a fortune more because it has a very smooth frequency response.

if it will play loud enough for you, it is a decent little guy...

Listen. It's All Good.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-13-2013, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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just another thought....if you want to step up to a whole 'nother league. jbl 3677 or anything in that spirit will have a ton more dynamics. qsc kw12 would be another option. not pretty, but performers.
Interesting you mention that -- I used to have a pair of JBL Pro cinema speakers that I used for many years until my wife said they were too ugly. My neighbor was an engineer there and got me a cosmetically damaged pair for $50.

The QSC KW12's are great speakers but I already have a slew of similar JBLs. I thought about using them so I could get double duty but I think they would overwhelm the room. Might be fun to try though! I was thinking of using a pro sub though, but not sure how that would work; the characteristics are quite different from consumer subs.

I currently use vintage a/d/s L1290 speakers for my mains upstairs. I also have a pair of vintage M&K Sat-1 speakers, and a pair of Cerwin Vega E-315s, but don't have a matching center for any of them and have given up. My wife likes the Cerwin Vegas but not the looks of the others.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-13-2013, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, great thread. I suspected they might be the best of the bunch, given their original cost, but it seems they might be better than expected. There are actually two sets near me for sale right now.

I was secretly hoping to buy something new though -- except for those JBLs every speaker and amp I have ever had was bought used. But that's not necessarily bad!
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-15-2013, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I didn't have a chance to look at anything this weekend, so I'm doing a little more research. The impression I get is that the options I listed fall in the following order:

Infinity Interlude
NHT
Cambridge Audio
Infinity Primus
Pioneer

JBLs somewhere in the bottom half. All have gotten good reviews, although there's not much on the JBLs. It's amazing what you can get in a bookshelf speakers nowadays for a few hundred bucks, but I'm still struggling between bookshelves or towers; I worry about the integration with the sub with bookshelves, especially the small ones. I'm thinking of foregoing subs and getting towers instead, but I'm probably kidding myself that they would be sufficient (at least the ones I'm looking at except for the Interludes). I was planning on getting matching subs, but I worry that some are substandard and others are expensive, so I might be better off getting that separately. I didn't realize HSU has some inexpensive ones; I need to do some research over in the sub forum.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-16-2013, 06:04 AM
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Given your budget, I would recommend bookshelves. Your sub will likely be crossed over around 80-100Hz, and most bookshelves will play down to 60-70Hz just fine. So you have $1000 for 3.1, I would spend $500 off the bat and get a SVS PB-1000. It is probably the best sub at its price point, and will give you low extension and good output for movies. A quality sub is very important for home theater, and this is one place you should not skimp.

With $500 left for your front three speakers, I would go with HTD. They make some fantastic speakers, and are very well reviewed. The Level Three bookshelves and Level Three center would be $500 shipped, and you can try them out risk free. I think this would be a great setup, and give you excellent sound quality.

HTD Level Three

SVS PB-1000

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post #10 of 13 Old 09-16-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks very much. I've never heard of HTD; I'll look them up. I agree, my very limited experience tells me that most cheap subs are lousy, and I figured I'd have to spend at least $500 for a decent one, but I wasn't sure if any of these $300 ones that are matched to these packages would do the job.
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-16-2013, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by hemismith View Post

Thanks very much. I've never heard of HTD; I'll look them up. I agree, my very limited experience tells me that most cheap subs are lousy, and I figured I'd have to spend at least $500 for a decent one, but I wasn't sure if any of these $300 ones that are matched to these packages would do the job.

Typically the packaged subs are not very good. They can be stylish and match the appearance of your other speakers, but if you want the best performance per dollar, then internet direct companies are the way to go.

Another option is the Premier Acoustics PA-150. It can be had for $350 with the make an offer feature at acousticsounddesign.com. This sub has very impressive output, and beats many more expensive subs in that regard, however it trades low extension. The PB-1000 will dig deeper, and I think if movies are the priority then this is a better choice.

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post #12 of 13 Old 09-17-2013, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Typically the packaged subs are not very good. They can be stylish and match the appearance of your other speakers, but if you want the best performance per dollar, then internet direct companies are the way to go.

Another option is the Premier Acoustics PA-150. It can be had for $350 with the make an offer feature at acousticsounddesign.com. This sub has very impressive output, and beats many more expensive subs in that regard, however it trades low extension. The PB-1000 will dig deeper, and I think if movies are the priority then this is a better choice.

I was initially thinking that the sound of the packaged subs would blend better with the rest of the system, but I guess any system can be matched if care is taken to properly adjust it. I haven't heard of Premier Acoustics, I'll take a look. As a rule I am more interested in accuracy, not extension or volume, and was leaning towards a sealed sub, but that PB-1000 gets great reviews.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-18-2013, 05:31 AM
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I was initially thinking that the sound of the packaged subs would blend better with the rest of the system, but I guess any system can be matched if care is taken to properly adjust it. I haven't heard of Premier Acoustics, I'll take a look. As a rule I am more interested in accuracy, not extension or volume, and was leaning towards a sealed sub, but that PB-1000 gets great reviews.

The only speakers that really need to be timbre matched are your front three, or if you listen to a lot of multi-channel music then your surrounds ideally. The PB-1000 and SB-1000 are both fantastic subwoofers. The PB-1000 will have a good bit more output, especially at 20Hz which is what you want for movies. Looking at their response curves, you can see both are very flat and will give you the type of bass you are looking for.

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