Originally Posted by duc135
I believe you were referring to me. First off, while I agree with you my methodology for comparison is faulty (I'm not about to purchase all those speakers to do a shootout in home nor am I going to lug my speakers to the shop to do it), your use of the word fallacy is incorrect. A fallacy is an incorrect argument or misconception. How can a preference be incorrect?
Second, I can agree with you that the finer details can be forgotten or incorrectly remembered, but I assure you the differences were not even remotely what I would consider subtle. Unless you would consider the difference (to use your car analogy) between the ride comfort of a Ford Model T and a new BMW subtle. I don't think one needs to do a side by side comparison within a short amount of time to be reasonably able to note the differences. I'm not saying there was that much of a difference, but it is big enough to not even question which is better sounding to me
I had my friends over this weekend to listen to the speakers over the weekend. These were the same two who went with me to all my auditions a couple years ago. One is also a long time audio aficionado and the other an average person who knows nothing about high quality audio. Without telling them anything about the speakers, they had the same observations. The Infinity had a much better sound to them than all the other speakers we auditioned save the Thiel and Martin Logans (note those two were in the exact same room as the B&Ws). I should also note, I did not calibrate my receiver nor go through trouble of finding the best placement for the Infinity either. Just placed them right next to my existing Revels so I didn't have to run new wiring and turned of all AVR sound processing.
If you care to check, do a search for speaker measurements of the Infinity Primus frequency response and off axis response then compare them to those of the B&Ws in the $1.5K - $3K range and you find that they (Primus) measure better than the B&Ws and many other "high end" speaker brands out there.
I'm sorry, I should have been more clear in my first response to you.
Of course preference plays a huge role in speakers, and with large differences it is easy to remember if a speaker sounded too bright, too boomy, too boxy, etc. Your experience in preferring the Primus speakers over the B&W's or Thiel's is a great example of this, and I think it's perfectly valid. I have heard plenty of high-dollar speakers that I don't like too.
I agree the Primus speakers are terrific and obviously well engineered by people who care about music reproduction and know what they are doing. And having the resources of Harman no doubt plays a big part in trickling down quality parts and streamlining manufacturing to keep prices down. My original response was more about the subtle differences that separate an inexpensive speaker from a more expensive speaker. It's these subtle differences that cannot necessarily be discerned by memory or from different setups. Speakers are such a personal/emotional part of the system and there's really no way to know how a speaker will sound until you get it home.
BTW, I don't like the Def Tech bi-polar speakers either...
Of course, once you get your speakers home, you have a whole new set of challenges. Room reflections and resonances play a huge role in how your speakers will sound at home, and every room is different. Most people do not have the luxury of setting up a large dedicated home theater room with proper acoustic treatment and unlimited choice of subwoofer location. If you are lucky enough to have such a room, the Primus is probably not a great choice simply because it won't play loud enough to fill the room to reference level.
So I am going on the assumption that most of us have our home theaters set up in a dual purpose theater/family room (mine is in my basement). Such a room has furniture, windows, doorways, maybe a fireplace, and many other features that make it less than ideal for optimum sound. Reflections can be controlled with carpeting, heavy curtains, furniture, etc. and can greatly help improve the imaging of the sound, but bass is always a challenge. Room modes usually appear in the 20 - 200 Hz region, and simple carpets and drapes won't do anything for these. Only 6" thick foam panels and corner traps can address these frequencies, and I don't think too many family rooms (or wives) can accommodate these - especially in the proper locations.
For most of us, all we can do is choose speakers that sound good to us, treat our rooms as best we can to try and control the worst reflections and resonances, and place the speakers in a compromised position that works best given all the limitations stated above. It will never be OPTIMUM. In my case, my room is open on one side and irregularly shaped, so bass modes aren't a problem for me. My problem is reflections. I have three big windows along the closed side of my room and bare walls between the windows. My sofa is also very close to the back wall. I use heavy curtains over the windows (one of which is at the right side speaker primary reflection point) and behind my sofa to address this. The bass in my room is stunning as is - awesome PRaT with no bloat at all. I may yet add a subwoofer someday to get more SPL and rumble below 30Hz with movies (and pipe organs!), but for now, I'm very satisfied with the sound.