Originally Posted by Defcon
Its personal preference but they have a great reputation - esp the P363, you can read the Primus thread here for reviews.
No offense, I understand that like any speaker some will love it and some won't. I actually love Infinity's old stuff. I'm not a big fan of the newer lines personally...I find them very fatiguing. That's not to say your opinion is invalid. The original post was worded in such a way I thought you may have been joking was all.
About the OP, I think the real problem is nailing down a hard number where sound quality starts to show very incremental improvements while price skyrockets. Nobody really wants to quantify that, and maybe it is impossible to do. I think if speakers were regulated to show specs in such a way that you could verify a sound signature such as accuracy, top end roll off, bass extension, etc... It would be a much easier market to access. Still it's a crap shoot.
For instance, take Ascend, you get all the information you could possibly want. Even with that though, it's tough to understand what it really means as a consumer. The 170 looks to me like the most accurate speaker they sell. Why is it so cheap? Obviously the bamboo cabinets, fancy (expensive) drivers, and long R&D time for the Sierra has to be taken into account, but does it sound "better"? It doesn't appear to be as accurate. Perhaps it is more forgiving?
What can I expect to get from a four figure speaker that I cannot get from something under $500? Nobody seems to be able to answer those kind of questions.
Frankly, I've become tired of throwing money at the problem. I will only choose speakers which I can audition, ideally for free. This limits my options, but mitigates my risk. Even with all that, I am lost. I am probably 85% of where I want to be with my current Mirage speakers. I know that I will always feel the urge to upgrade them though because I am not blown away, I want to be blown away. I want to feel that tinge of "It's just not possible" when I listen to music. Because of that, I have a love/hate relationship with speakers and I have a lot of speakers, too many. I wish I had done more research, more auditioning, more saving, and made a hefty investment right up front to last me for a decade or more.
In my area it is impossible to move old stuff for any kind of reasonable price as well. There are some Energy RC50s sitting on Craigslist for $350, that is for four of them and a center. I can't believe they haven't sold yet. I want to buy them, but see above points.
This confusing and disjointed post sums up my conflicted relationship with Hi-fi audio. I'm always confused, always reaching for the next step up, always spending too much money for speakers I don't need and not enough for those I do. I say it is because I can't be assured that the next $2k I spend on a new set of speakers will make me stop looking.
I can rest assured if I spend $2k on most anything else I'll know what I'm getting. With all the great "budget" speakers, the magic still seems to be delegated to the rich. So where does a middle class guy such as myself draw the line?