I want to upgrade my bookshelf speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 07-16-2019, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to upgrade my bookshelf speakers

I currently have 3 Infinity Primus P163's on a bookshelf. The speakers will be used about 75% home theater, and 25% music. I already have a sub.

Is there anything better for about $200 or less per pair?

I do not want to go larger than the P163.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
I currently have 3 Infinity Primus P163's on a bookshelf. The speakers will be used about 75% home theater, and 25% music. I already have a sub.

Is there anything better for about $200 or less per pair?

I do not want to go larger than the P163.

Thanks.
that's a tough call at under $200 , maybe the emotiva b1's , they sound nice and can be had for under $200 (refurb)...
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post #3 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
Is there anything better for about $200 or less per pair?
Probably not, unless maybe if you find something used.

What is the P163 lacking that you are trying to improve on?

I would spend money on a better subwoofer before spending money on more expensive bookshelf speakers.
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post #4 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 07:53 AM
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post #5 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Lp85253
… emotiva b1's , they sound nice and can be had for under $200 (refurb)...
According to the Emotiva website, brand-new B1s have a "New Low Price" of $229, shipped.
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post #6 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
According to the Emotiva website, brand-new B1s have a "New Low Price" of $229, shipped.
they do have "new" b1's for $229 , i got a pair .. they are a good dual use book at anywhere under $300 imo.. the refurbs go for about $190 iirc...
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post #7 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 08:33 AM
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Watch for Infinity Reference 162s, which they often sell for $199 shipped. Definite upgrade.
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post #8 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
I currently have 3 Infinity Primus P163's on a bookshelf. The speakers will be used about 75% home theater, and 25% music. I already have a sub.

Is there anything better for about $200 or less per pair?

I do not want to go larger than the P163.

Thanks.
For $200 you should just keep what you have. I know aesthetically they’re not to date but, but for SQ they’re as good or better then anything you’re going to find for $200
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post #9 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 11:37 AM
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I use to own some Primus and they for sure annoyed me

If you can spend a little more -- then look at Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2
https://www.amazon.com/ELAC-Debut-Bo...gateway&sr=8-3
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post #10 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 01:12 PM
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NHT SuperOne 2.1
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post #11 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 01:43 PM
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NHT SuperOne 2.1
several viable options.. i like them all

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post #12 of 39 Old 07-17-2019, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all. How about if I raise budget to $250 for the 2 bookshelf speakers ?

When I buy a 75" TV in the next few months, I am probably going to switch to a 2.1 system. Does that change your speaker recommendations for any reason ?
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post #13 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
Thanks all. How about if I raise budget to $250 for the 2 bookshelf speakers ?
Canton GLE 426
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...od-pair/1.html

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post #14 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim mcc View Post
thanks all. How about if i raise budget to $250 for the 2 bookshelf speakers ?

When i buy a 75" tv in the next few months, i am probably going to switch to a 2.1 system. Does that change your speaker recommendations for any reason ?
RSL cg3 or Q Acoustics 3020i (sale price right now). QA is rear ported, so needs a few inches of rear clearance. RSL is front ported, so can be hung directly on the wall. QA can be crossed over at 80. The RSL needs a 100 Hz crossover. If you are running a cheap sub, it's frequency response may not extend above 80 Hz. What make and model of sub do you have?

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post #15 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
Thanks all. How about if I raise budget to $250 for the 2 bookshelf speakers ?

When I buy a 75" TV in the next few months, I am probably going to switch to a 2.1 system. Does that change your speaker recommendations for any reason ?
I would give the Emotiva B1 a close look---if you have ever felt the Infinity treble to be a little bit too much, this might be just the speaker for you: the AMT tweeters deliver a very pleasing balance of detail and dynamics yet also a touch of natural warmth, never fatiguing, and deeply satisfying without needing to crank up the volume.

If on the other hand your ears have grown accustomed to or fond of the Infinity tweeter's treble presentation, then I would look elsewhere.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #16 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
Thanks all. How about if I raise budget to $250 for the 2 bookshelf speakers ?

When I buy a 75" TV in the next few months, I am probably going to switch to a 2.1 system. Does that change your speaker recommendations for any reason ?
I used NHT SuperZeros for several years in my HT room and then for music in my bedroom. Couple of months ago changed out the SZ for the SuperOnes. It was a noticeable upgrade as the Ones can be used for music without a sub and the new crossover has the tweeter sounding a little better. IMO they're a great deal at <$200/pair from Amazon.

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post #17 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
Thanks all. How about if I raise budget to $250 for the 2 bookshelf speakers ?
Canton GLE 426
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...od-pair/1.html
I think this is the best of the recommendations. They’re not exactly my “cup of tea” sonically but the last time I heard cantons they do offer a lot. Especially for $250.
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post #18 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 03:18 PM
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The Polk Signature line is a great option. The S15 is currently $160/pair. I had these, as well as the S20 larger bookshelf speaker and S30 center channel and they are great speakers in this price range. I also currently have the Primus P163. The larger S20 is currently going for around $230/pair. What subwoofer do you have? I like the Polk RTiA1 a little better than the Polk S15, but either is a great option. RTiA1 is currently $194.

Subs>RBH I-12e, I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX 12(x2)/THX 10(x2). XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000(x2). Speakers>JBL Studio 270/235c/230/225c, Arena 130/125c. Sony CS3/CS8/CS5. QA 3020i/3090Ci, 2020i/2000c. Monolith Cinema 5bs. Polk RTiA1/CSiA4. Other Audio>Sony MDR-Z7m2, XB900n, MDR-V6, XB700, XB32, XB31, XB22. Sennheiser HD58X, HD4.50, PC37X. SIVGA SV004. HyperX Cloud PS4. TB Stealth300. LG FH6, RK8, RK7, PK5, PH4. HK Onyx Studio4(x2).
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post #19 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. This TV room just has an 8" Sony sub.

Mix_Master, do you think the Polk speakers are an upgrade from the Primus P163 ?

I would like front ported speakers though, since they will only be a couple inches from the wall.
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post #20 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSpan View Post
Watch for Infinity Reference 162s, which they often sell for $199 shipped. Definite upgrade.
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Originally Posted by callas01 View Post
For $200 you should just keep what you have. I know aesthetically they’re not to date but, but for SQ they’re as good or better then anything you’re going to find for $200
I bet these would sound better.

http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/...a-P3-Bookshelf
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_760ALP...P3-Walnut.html

Soundstage review and measurements: https://www.soundstageaccess.com/ind...5-loudspeakers

In the review, they are favorably compared to ELAC Uni-Fi, Paradigm Atom, and KEF LS50. No doubt they would sound better than the old Primus.

Hi-Fi Trends: https://hifitrends.com/2019/05/02/ps...ers-under-500/

In this review is a brief comparison to ELAC Debut B 6.2 and Q Acoustics 3020i.

Some other good suggestions were made as well.

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post #21 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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On second thought, maybe I would be better off upgrading my sub instead.
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post #22 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
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Originally Posted by KSpan View Post
Watch for Infinity Reference 162s, which they often sell for $199 shipped. Definite upgrade.
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Originally Posted by callas01 View Post
For $200 you should just keep what you have. I know aesthetically they&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;re not to date but, but for SQ they&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;re as good or better then anything you&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;re going to find for $200
I bet these would sound better.

http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/...a-P3-Bookshelf
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_760ALP...P3-Walnut.html

Soundstage review and measurements: https://www.soundstageaccess.com/ind...5-loudspeakers

In the review, they are favorably compared to ELAC Uni-Fi, Paradigm Atom, and KEF LS50. No doubt they would sound better than the old Primus.

Hi-Fi Trends: https://hifitrends.com/2019/05/02/ps...ers-under-500/

In this review is a brief comparison to ELAC Debut B 6.2 and Q Acoustics 3020i.

Some other good suggestions were made as well.
Heard the Alpha P3?

How was it?

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post #23 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 09:34 PM
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Heard the Alpha P3?

How was it?
Haven't - just have gotten a reasonable understanding of its sound from reviews and measurements. They at least seem like a strong offering.

Have owned Primus and Emotiva.

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post #24 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 10:50 PM
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On second thought, maybe I would be better off upgrading my sub instead.
Subs are always a good upgrade. If you can stretch to something like a HSU VTF1 mk3 @ $399 plus shipping you’d be very impressed! HSU subs sound tight and fast, great for music and movies.
SVS makes decent subs, I find them slightly boomy by comparison, but some people prefer that sound for HT use.
Rhythmik is nice too, similar to HSU.

There’s some subs like Monoprices Monolith however I have no experience so I can’t tell you how they’d sound.
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post #25 of 39 Old 07-18-2019, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by callas01 View Post
Heard the Alpha P3?

How was it?
Haven't - just have gotten a reasonable understanding of its sound from reviews and measurements. They at least seem like a strong offering.

Have owned Primus and Emotiva.
So, I don’t recommend speakers I haven’t heard. I have heard many PSB speakers in the past, but it’s been a while, and the last time I heard the Alpha T1, I bought Energy Connoisseurs instead.

However that’s not to say the new Alphas aren’t good, they may well be, but I can’t recommend them; it’d be like saying there’s a really good Mexican food place down the street I’ve never been to. Well HTF would I know?

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post #26 of 39 Old 07-19-2019, 06:33 AM
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So, I don’t recommend speakers I haven’t heard. I have heard many PSB speakers in the past, but it’s been a while, and the last time I heard the Alpha T1, I bought Energy Connoisseurs instead.

However that’s not to say the new Alphas aren’t good, they may well be, but I can’t recommend them; it’d be like saying there’s a really good Mexican food place down the street I’ve never been to. Well HTF would I know?
Like I said - measurements are available, as are several professional reviews.

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post #27 of 39 Old 07-19-2019, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
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Originally Posted by callas01 View Post
So, I don&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;t recommend speakers I haven&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;t heard. I have heard many PSB speakers in the past, but it&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;s been a while, and the last time I heard the Alpha T1, I bought Energy Connoisseurs instead.

However that&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;s not to say the new Alphas aren&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;t good, they may well be, but I can&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;t recommend them; it&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;d be like saying there&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;s a really good Mexican food place down the street I&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;ve never been to. Well HTF would I know?
Like I said - measurements are available, as are several professional reviews.
Measurements look ok, not great.

I don’t read into reviews, show me one where the review shows a piece of audio equipment is terrible and they berate the manufacturer and I’ll read that persons reviews for the rest of my life!
Every review talks up the audio equipment. Let’s look at B&W 700 series, it’s bright AF, and no one says that in their reviews, I think GE Tritons are mediocre and overhyped, no one says that. So I prefer to use my own ears.

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post #28 of 39 Old 07-19-2019, 10:55 AM
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Measurements look ok, not great.

I don’t read into reviews, show me one where the review shows a piece of audio equipment is terrible and they berate the manufacturer and I’ll read that persons reviews for the rest of my life!
Every review talks up the audio equipment. Let’s look at B&W 700 series, it’s bright AF, and no one says that in their reviews, I think GE Tritons are mediocre and overhyped, no one says that. So I prefer to use my own ears.
Using your own ears? What a concept!

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #29 of 39 Old 07-19-2019, 12:15 PM
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Measurements look ok, not great.

I don’t read into reviews, show me one where the review shows a piece of audio equipment is terrible and they berate the manufacturer and I’ll read that persons reviews for the rest of my life!
Every review talks up the audio equipment. Let’s look at B&W 700 series, it’s bright AF, and no one says that in their reviews, I think GE Tritons are mediocre and overhyped, no one says that. So I prefer to use my own ears.
They don't berate the manufacturer but they panned these with just 3 out of 5 stars and they were right just like they were in praising the Motion 15/LX16 and Concept 20s.

I auditioned all three in my home and they were on point for all three and like a dummy I ordered these despite this review, (which was actually too kind IMHO...they are worse than the review implies).

https://www.whathifi.com/us/reviews/klh-albany

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post #30 of 39 Old 07-19-2019, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lincoln
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callas01 View Post
Measurements look ok, not great.

I don’t read into reviews, show me one where the review shows a piece of audio equipment is terrible and they berate the manufacturer and I’ll read that persons reviews for the rest of my life!
Every review talks up the audio equipment. Let’s look at B&W 700 series, it’s bright AF, and no one says that in their reviews, I think GE Tritons are mediocre and overhyped, no one says that. So I prefer to use my own ears.
The trick is finding the right ones. I agree that many just rave about every piece of gear. I don't put much stock into the usual suspects.

But measurements don't lie, and tell you whether to expect a bright speaker, a laid-back speaker, a neutral speaker, etc. Especially after hearing speakers at home and working with REW, Audyssey, and Dirac, I know what kinds of sounds I can cross off the list when I see measurements.

So when I see a speaker for $200-350/pair hold down a fairly flat response, it deserves a look.
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