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Infinity Primus 360 - beech floor standing speakers, good choice? Close to wall
2Bdecided
post May 23 2011, 15:59
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Amazingly, my wife has offered to buy me a new pair of speakers!

It's not an entirely altruistic offer - we're moving house, and she doesn't want my "horrible ugly black speakers spoiling our new living room". smile.gif

I've had these Mission 760iSEs on stands for nearly 18 years. There's a sub too - forget what it is. They've been OK. To be honest, the sound has been so dramatically different in the different places I've lived, that I think the speakers are less important than the room. Once a great soundstage. Mostly not much of one, though they sound good enough. But anyway...


The new speakers must be oak or beech, and preferably floor standing. I think spending over 500 would be pushing my luck! It would be nice to not really need the sub (it's not very good).

Searching and Googling has brought me to the Infinity Primus 360s.

Are these a good buy?

I ask because I don't live anywhere near a hi-fi shop any more, so have to buy "blind" ("deaf"?). Scary.

The room is 4m x 3.75m with 2.3m high ceilings. The speakers will sit either side of the fireplace (so only about 1.5m apart), very near to the wall. Not where I'd choose to put them at all, but speakers in the middle of the room would get in the way wink.gif

I play all kinds of music. Really. Sometimes very quietly, sometimes quite loudly. Especially if the neighbours are out.

I'll be replacing my amplifier soon, but for now will drive them with a Denon mini system or an Audiolab A8000 integrated.

So, am I making a good choice? Any alternatives I should consider?

btw, one thing I hate are systems which are so "revealing" (which often means having a very pronounced mid-range or treble) that they make less that perfect sources sound awful. But I do want to hear into the music, which really lousy speakers prevent.

Cheers,
David.

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Apesbrain
post May 23 2011, 16:27
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Have you considered the Magneplanar MMG or MMGW? Nice thing about the MMGs is that they are small and light enough to be moved out of the way when not in use. Once you find their sweet spots, just put a small mark on the floor to save the location. Even pushed off in the corners they still work for low-level, casual listening. You may still want a sub though. Available in white grille cloth with natural oak trim.
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2Bdecided
post May 23 2011, 16:47
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Thanks Apesbrain. Nice suggestion!

I think panel speakers and ribbon tweeters are wonderful, but I can't really consider something that needs to be moved to listen to. I think the size of Magnepans might be a challenge too, though at least in white they wouldn't look to dominating (maybe!).

Most important: I need to buy these things in the UK mail order. Infinity Primus is difficult enough. Magnepans seems to be impossible.

Strange really - speaker brands don't seem to travel across boarders as much as other stuff. Many English loudspeakers are unknown in the USA, while most American loudspeakers are unknown in England. France, Italy etc have almost entirely separate markets too it seems.

Cheers,
David.

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mixminus1
post May 23 2011, 17:32
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Very few floorstanders are designed to be used near a wall - about the only ones that spring readily to mind are the good ol' NHT 3.3's, and their baby brothers, the 2.9's...but even if you could find a pair used, they would make your "horrible ugly black" Missions look like sparkling diamonds. wink.gif

John Atkinson's measurements of the 360's a few years back in Stereophile indicate that it would be no exception, and he even noted that "the Infinity's lows will be on the rich side", which will only be exacerbated, of course, by near-wall placement.

I'm thinking that to get the combination of wall placement, extended lows, and potential output level at the price you're talking about, you'd do well to look at some 2-way active monitors (which usually have EQ presets designed to compensate for boundary placement), but those are usually intended for professional monitoring applications, and as such, aesthetically pleasing design is not usually a priority. smile.gif


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Squeller
post May 23 2011, 17:52
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 23 2011, 16:59) *
I've had these Mission 760iSEs on stands for nearly 18 years. There's a sub too - forget what it is. They've been OK. To be honest, the sound has been so dramatically different in the different places I've lived, that I think the speakers are less important than the room.


Can't help you with your question, but for this: Oh yes. The room can destroy everything. Sound in my living room is suffering from the size of the room, big windows, no carpets and parquet, bass very much depending on where you are in the room... So it's really funny seeing people debating if mp3 @ 200 kbps sounds worse than Vorbis and all that dick extension blahblah... There are much more serious problems.


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DVDdoug
post May 23 2011, 20:12
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I'm sure those Infinitys are fine speakers. But, it would be really helpful if you can find a place to audition the speakers before you commit to something that you are going to live with for a long time. Especially if you are happy with the sound of your Missions... If you were unhappy, you'd be taking less of a risk by trying something new. And, you can never get rid of them if they are a gift from your wife! wink.gif

I agree that the room is important, but I wouldn't say more important unless the speakers you are comparing are very similar sounding in the 1st place.

QUOTE
"horrible ugly black speakers spoiling our new living room".
I'd take the gift of new speakers... But, I have a suggestion if you want to consider changing the color - Instead of a wood finish, I've covered the last several speakers that I've built with "leatherette" (leather-look vinyl). It comes in a variety of colors. It's more durable than wood finish (I sometimes use my speakers for DJ gigs), a lot less work than wood finishing, and it looks OK to me.) I normally use "brown leather" color, and it blends-in with decor fairly well... Probably nobody would even notice the speakers, except I like to build 'em huge! Once, I used white vinyl with black grill cloth. They were very "modern and dramatic" looking. Assuming you can get the grill off, you should be able to wrap vinyl around and staple it in the bottom without any permanent damage to the finish on the top or sides. And of course, you can change the grill cloth to a more neutral color, or a color to match your decor.

If you were to do something like that, you might want to paint the stands to match the speakers or the wall color (if you are still going to use the stands). But, you can always re-paint them black again if you wanted to restore them to original condition.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: May 23 2011, 20:18
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2Bdecided
post May 23 2011, 21:33
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Well, I won't be getting rid of the Missions, just putting them in another room (where I can place them where I like :-) ) - the way the grills are designed it would be very difficult to change their colour, because they're inset in the front cover...
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&x...sa=N&tab=wi
...otherwise I might have done what you suggest.

TBH, though I like them well enough, I'm quite happy with the excuse to upgrade!


I doubt there's a shop within 100 miles where I could listen to them - most of the options on offer would be more expensive, and less good (judging from reviews and measurements).
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2Bdecided
post May 23 2011, 21:37
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QUOTE (mixminus1 @ May 23 2011, 17:32) *
Very few floorstanders are designed to be used near a wall - about the only ones that spring readily to mind are the good ol' NHT 3.3's, and their baby brothers, the 2.9's...but even if you could find a pair used, they would make your "horrible ugly black" Missions look like sparkling diamonds. wink.gif

John Atkinson's measurements of the 360's a few years back in Stereophile indicate that it would be no exception, and he even noted that "the Infinity's lows will be on the rich side", which will only be exacerbated, of course, by near-wall placement.
Yes, they've got a bit of a bump around 100Hz, though at least the ports are forward firing.

If it was down to me, I'd put them 1m away from the walls, but...!

FWIW I don't think my Missions like being that close to the walls either. I get what Squeller describes: bass varying dramatically throughout the room. Whereas towards the middle of a large room, with a sub to give bass, they were magic.

Cheers,
David.
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jlohl
post May 24 2011, 07:36
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I own Infinity Primus 360 at home in a 5.4 x 4.5x 2.8 m room : those speakers are very competently designed with overall good measurements...and sound. I did quite a lot of measurements, I can provide those if somebody wants.


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2Bdecided
post May 24 2011, 09:58
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Thanks jlohl. Did you do your measurements in your listening room? I've looked at the anechoic measurements in stereophile - did you see anything very different in-room?

Cheers,
David.
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jlohl
post May 24 2011, 10:43
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QUOTE
Thanks jlohl. Did you do your measurements in your listening room? I've looked at the anechoic measurements in stereophile - did you see anything very different in-room?


I did all measurements in the listening room :

as an exemple, here are freq response with various gating times, no equalisation (no mic correction here so validity up to 13kHz)


and with some EQ (DCX2496) :


This post has been edited by jlohl: May 24 2011, 10:50


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2Bdecided
post May 24 2011, 17:29
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I like the way the Behringer smoothed out the ~120Hz hump.

Can you hear much difference flat vs EQ'd?

Is the dramatically higher response around 30-40Hz (compared with stereophile's measurements) because they're in a room, or just measurement noise?

Many thanks!

Cheers,
David.
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mixminus1
post May 24 2011, 18:27
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Also, where are they in the room, and specifically, what is the distance from the wall behind them?

Edit: grammar

This post has been edited by mixminus1: May 24 2011, 18:28


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jlohl
post May 24 2011, 21:18
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QUOTE
Can you hear much difference flat vs EQ'd?

yes
QUOTE
Is the dramatically higher response around 30-40Hz (compared with stereophile's measurements) because they're in a room, or just measurement noise?

it is just a room mode, easy to dump...
QUOTE
what is the distance from the wall behind them?

the wall is very near : about 50cm from front panel

For those interested, I just uploaded some measurements (in room, no EQ) to : P360

Another type of EQ: here is same speaker, same place with DRC (digital room correction)


This post has been edited by jlohl: May 24 2011, 21:23


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jlohl
post May 25 2011, 06:40
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QUOTE
Can you hear much difference flat vs EQ'd?

yes

Please note that my answer is not in violation with TOS8 : I do all EQ listenings through a QSC ABX comparator wink.gif


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2Bdecided
post May 25 2011, 11:37
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QUOTE (jlohl @ May 25 2011, 06:40) *
QUOTE
Can you hear much difference flat vs EQ'd?

yes

Please note that my answer is not in violation with TOS8 : I do all EQ listenings through a QSC ABX comparator wink.gif
It's OK - I wasn't going to call TOS8 on a 12dB difference.

I was wondering more what effect it had on the sound with these specific speakers. I've played around with it in the past (at university, before it was commercially available) and the results ranged from inaudible (single blind testing only - but the results were negative), through subtle, to obvious. IME obviously audible results sounded like you expected - the overall frequency response was flatter - the sound was better balanced. The more subtle results (i.e. where the speaker was already pretty good) didn't subjectively sound like better frequency response (at least not to my untrained ears), but just clearer and closer to real life (especially noticeable with speech) - even though the non-EQ'd version didn't sound obviously wrong on its own.

Anyway, I'll buy these - though I don't feel ready to jump back into EQ and room correction just yet. Just interested in the possibilities.

Thanks for uploading all those measurements.

Cheers,
David.

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2Bdecided
post Jun 23 2011, 10:23
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It's proving almost impossible to find these speakers in the UK! Lots of people claiming to have them, but when you actually try to buy some...!

I'm still trying (have some on back order), but does anyone have any other suggestions?

Need to be:
* Floor standing
* beach, oak, or maybe gloss white
* Less than 500.
* Exceptional sound quality
* Ideally (but not essentially): don't need a sub
* Available in the UK!!!

Cheers,
David.
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tfarney
post Jun 23 2011, 13:55
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jun 23 2011, 05:23) *
It's proving almost impossible to find these speakers in the UK! Lots of people claiming to have them, but when you actually try to buy some...!

I'm still trying (have some on back order), but does anyone have any other suggestions?

Need to be:
* Floor standing
* beach, oak, or maybe gloss white
* Less than 500.
* Exceptional sound quality
* Ideally (but not essentially): don't need a sub
* Available in the UK!!!

Cheers,
David.


David is there no way you can have them shipped in? If I had to order a pair of speakers sound unheard, there is no one I would trust as much as Harman, because of their scientific discipline and singular focus on maximum accuracy attainable within a given price range. At that price range, I'm not sure who else I would trust without listening first. The bottom line? These speakers will have exactly the same goals as the stunning Revel Salon2 -- the best measurable metrics that can be achieved. They will only be limited by price. Find them. Feed them plenty of headroom. If you get a bit too much room gain, get some EQ. smile.gif

Tim
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2Bdecided
post Jun 23 2011, 17:23
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I could get them from Italy for 400 and goodness know how long delivery.

I think I'll give the UK shop a bit longer at 288 - which is still more than they cost in the USA.

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Sep 5 2011, 16:45
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I've just been told that the Infinity Primus 360s are discontinued (which I'd guessed!), and there's no stock anywhere.

So back to the drawing board.

Floor standing speakers, beach or oak or even gloss white would be nice.

Or else pretty bookshelf speakers on pretty stands (same colour choice as above) plus one or two decent subs. But decent musical subs cost a lot of money IME (which is why my current sub isn't very good - bit of a "one note" quality to it!).

Any suggestions? Available in the UK!!!!!!

Cheers,
David.
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krabapple
post Sep 5 2011, 23:23
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Sep 5 2011, 11:45) *
I've just been told that the Infinity Primus 360s are discontinued (which I'd guessed!), and there's no stock anywhere.

So back to the drawing board.

Floor standing speakers, beach or oak or even gloss white would be nice.

Or else pretty bookshelf speakers on pretty stands (same colour choice as above) plus one or two decent subs. But decent musical subs cost a lot of money IME (which is why my current sub isn't very good - bit of a "one note" quality to it!).

Any suggestions? Available in the UK!!!!!!

Cheers,
David.



Hmm. Subs shouldn't be 'musical' any more than loudspeakers should be. In fact they should pretty much disappear.

I do think you'd have a lot more flexibility if you went with a sub + mains setup. It allows you to better separate modal issues from specular reflection issues (of any). My understanding is that most sub issues are 'solved' by using more than one with good placement -- and I don't think they need to be SOTA, just play low bass at decent levels without too much distortion. Then you could shop for mains with good off-axis response/directivity, you know, the usual Toole/Olive stuff. Oh, and a nice finish... wink.gif


(FWIW I use Berhringer 2030p's all around, on home-made stands, and I built my own 12" Dayton sub [just one for now, though I have an old 10" Velodyne in storage that I may break out again] -- unfortunately, not a setup to please the eye, neither mine nor my wife's. ;>)

Good luck on your hunt, and do keep us posted!

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mixminus1
post Sep 6 2011, 00:05
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Re: "musicality" of subs: A subwoofer that outputs *anything* above its specified low pass frequency and slope is, by definition, "unmusical", as those are signals that are not part of its input signal, i.e. cone and (especially) cabinet resonances. This is also why getting subs to blend seamlessly with the mains can be so tricky - the set crossover point doesn't tell the whole story. smile.gif

Resonances, of course, are often the reason that a given sub or speaker sounds "slow", "thick", etc. - I just love reading "audiophile" drivel about "pace, rhythm, and timing", as if those are aspects of a loudspeaker that cannot otherwise be measured or explained.


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2Bdecided
post Sep 6 2011, 09:42
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I meant the resonance of the sub. Many have a comparatively small (but long-throw) speaker in a box, with tuned vents to give strong bass over a narrow a range of frequencies. I reckon it would be much better to have a larger speaker and/or electronic correction to increase the frequency range and power.

So by "musical", I mean it can play the full range of notes it's supposed to, accurately, and with reasonable timing.

As you say, it's all easily measurable.

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2Bdecided
post Sep 6 2011, 09:48
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Sep 5 2011, 23:23) *
I do think you'd have a lot more flexibility if you went with a sub + mains setup. It allows you to better separate modal issues from specular reflection issues (of any). My understanding is that most sub issues are 'solved' by using more than one with good placement
Do you have any links going into any detail about that? I'd always assumed they'd just go right in the corners, but maybe that's not best?

QUOTE
-- and I don't think they need to be SOTA, just play low bass at decent levels without too much distortion. Then you could shop for mains with good off-axis response/directivity, you know, the usual Toole/Olive stuff. Oh, and a nice finish... wink.gif
...but where do I find a list and/or reviews of such things? Most speaker reviews are hopeless. Most hi-fi magazines are hopeless! Ironically I think some of the measurements in Stereophile may be the most helpful things I've seen. Do you know a better place to look?

I'm quite happy to go mains and sub(s) - especially if it makes placement of the mains less critical. There are two corners the subs could disappear into (behind the TV and behind the stereo).


QUOTE
(FWIW I use Berhringer 2030p's all around, on home-made stands, and I built my own 12" Dayton sub [just one for now, though I have an old 10" Velodyne in storage that I may break out again] -- unfortunately, not a setup to please the eye, neither mine nor my wife's. ;>)
If those speakers were prettier, and on pretty stands (I don't know - chrome? glass? not black) they would probably be fine.

There are pretty speakers out there, but some are stupid prices, and some sound like they should cost $10. There must be nice looking, sensible price, good performance somewhere...

Cheers,
David.
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krabapple
post Sep 6 2011, 16:46
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Sep 6 2011, 04:48) *
QUOTE (krabapple @ Sep 5 2011, 23:23) *
I do think you'd have a lot more flexibility if you went with a sub + mains setup. It allows you to better separate modal issues from specular reflection issues (of any). My understanding is that most sub issues are 'solved' by using more than one with good placement
Do you have any links going into any detail about that? I'd always assumed they'd just go right in the corners, but maybe that's not best?


Tom Nousaine has been a big proponent of corner placement for a single sub , because it excites room modes broadly. And there is that. But Todd Welti and colleagues at Harman has done a lot of modelling work on sub s in rooms, though it is for rectangular rooms that may not model your real-world room. In these models, two subs centered in front and back are one of several optimal solutions. In these simulations, corners are good, but it might not be the 'most good'. Here's a Harman whitepaper on same:
http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Tec...rs/multsubs.pdf

and a research paper that goes into much greater detail, with more positions tested:
http://blog.acousticfrontiers.com/storage/..._subwoofers.pdf

Note that the goal here it to get good bass across several listening positions.

Welti also hosts an expert subforum on subwoofers in rooms, on What's Best

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/forumdisplay...oofers-In-Rooms


Some audiophile sites recommend the 'crawl and listen' method -- place the sub at the listening position, play something with well-recorded bass, as you crawl around and listen for the spot that has excellent bass sound -- but personally I have never gotten this to work.


QUOTE
QUOTE
-- and I don't think they need to be SOTA, just play low bass at decent levels without too much distortion. Then you could shop for mains with good off-axis response/directivity, you know, the usual Toole/Olive stuff. Oh, and a nice finish... wink.gif
...but where do I find a list and/or reviews of such things? Most speaker reviews are hopeless. Most hi-fi magazines are hopeless! Ironically I think some of the measurements in Stereophile may be the most helpful things I've seen. Do you know a better place to look?


One good resource is SoundStage. They do a lot of NRC-type measurement of speakers they review.

http://www.soundstageav.com/speakermeasurements.htm

John Atkinson at Stereophile indeed also does an extensive panel of pseudo-anaechoic testing of reviewed loudspeakers.

QUOTE
There are pretty speakers out there, but some are stupid prices, and some sound like they should cost $10. There must be nice looking, sensible price, good performance somewhere...


IIRC Paradigm made some good measuring, good looking little speakers for not very great cost. Maybe they still do?

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