Infinity Primus P363 TAS review


Wow REG claims these speakers are "In many fundamental ways they are in the top echelon of anything out there."....These sell for $199! He says they aren't just good for the money but good period. Anyone heard these things?
wildoats
Well I have a pair of primus 160 for a third system and movies. I like them and have recommended them to budget music lovers. Great little speaker period.....whatever the period means.
I have the original 360 that came out yes ago and Stereo Review raved about...Very balanced sound for a floorstander in this range...imaging,transparency, soundstaging are top notch...something had to give at this price point and that is resolution... Still, nicely laid back speaker and a great bargain...
"I have the original 360 that came out yes ago and Stereo Review raved about..."

Stereo Review gave rave reviews on everything. I don't think they ever gave a bad review in the history of the magazine.

"Wow REG claims these speakers are "In many fundamental ways they are in the top echelon of anything out there."....These sell for $199! He says they aren't just good for the money but good period. Anyone heard these things? "

If you buy them, just make sure you can return them. Use the same policy you would use if you were dealing with the government or a drug addict relative: Trust but verify.
I have to give Infinity credit for producing a series of speakers that would satisfy probably 90% of the potential buyers out there. And for doing so at remarkably affordable price points. I have an all-Gallo Reference surround sound system comprised of speakers totaling about $8,000 and not many HT buyers are willing to drop that kind of money for their entire system, let alone just for the speakers.

While I doubt that the Infinitys could best the Gallos, I reckon I could easily recommend them for that 90% of the population who will not spend serious money on speakers.

I also think it would more than a little interesting to see the results of a shootout between these Infinitys and the much-lauded Andrew Jones designed Pioneer speakers which I believe are at a similar price point...

-RW-
I brought up the Stereo Review recommendation as TAS was mentioned in the original post...those publication aside...Infinity p360/363 are an overachieving product at their price point...in fact everything review I have encountered has been positive.
I was just kidding. Stereo Review had a reputation for never giving bad reviews. They used to argue that all amps sound the same, preamps, cd players etc.. You just bought on features, not sound quality.
I posted because TAS is allegedly a serious high end mag. As I said, the review didn't refer to the speakers being good for the price but being contenders for being good regardless of price.
"01-12-15: Wildoats
I posted because TAS is allegedly a serious high end mag. As I said, the review didn't refer to the speakers being good for the price but being contenders for being good regardless of price."

They always say stuff like that. How many times have you heard: "They hit the ball out of the park with that one." "This component punches way above its weight class." "Competes with products costing several times more." "All out assault on the state of the art" "If I didn't know the price and had to guess..." "If you're looking to get off the merrygoround, this is it." "I heard things on my recordings that I never knew were there." "Finally, a component that bridges the gap between...." "I'm put my money where my mouth is and bought the review sample." "Sets a new standard for price/performance in this category." "Highly recommended."

Sound familiar? If you are looking to get better sound, throw the magazines in the garbage.
Wildoats, REG is an outstanding reviewer who is particularly good at judging loudspeakers. If he is impressed with this loudspeaker, then it deserves serious attention.
Let's get back to the original post which is about the speaker...in a nut shell...its a sub $500 full range speaker that can compete with 1.5-2k products...and handle 5k worth of electronics... Its that well engineered
I don't have anything to do today so I decided to do an experiment to kill some time. I went to Stereophile's web site and clicked on reviews for speakers. I don't have any audio magazines at all, so it was my only option. I scrolled down to the conclusions sections of the first 10 or so reviews that came up. Didn't look at who the reviewer was, I just went through the list. Here's a quote from the end of each review.

I kept thinking that Sjöfn HiFi's The Clue was probably extremely good—maybe even some sort of breakthrough, especially for the price.

Wharfedale's flawless—and remarkable—Jade 3 punches way beyond its price. In fact, I'd recommend that anyone with a speaker budget of up to $5000/pair consider the Jade 3—you can use your savings to buy a better turntable or electronics, or, better still, spend it on some of the super reissue vinyl that's flooding the market.

At $1500/pair, this speaker is an extraordinary value. It has become my favorite bookshelf speaker for under $2000/pair.

Revel's Performa3 M106 is an extraordinary bookshelf loudspeaker. Its strengths impressed me across the board, especially for a speaker of its size and price.

Once again, Dynaudio has done it. Can you justify spending any more than $3000 on a pair of speakers?

Phase Technology's $1400/pair PC60 CA stands out from the pack. In fact, I strongly recommend that anyone shopping for bookshelf speakers costing up to $2000/pair place these near the top of his or her list.

ATC's SCM19 v.2 delivers bass extension, detail, fullness, and presence to such greater extents than its smaller sibling, the SCM7, that I consider the $2200/pair more it costs to be more than fully justified. Indeed, I consider the larger speaker to be so much the better value at $3699/pair that I fear that for many listeners, buying the SCM7 would be a false economy.

I've now reviewed several dozen bookshelf speakers, and can think of none that offers more sound quality per dollar than the Elan 10.

As such, it's a testament to the ability of creative speaker designers to trickle technology down from the highest of the high end to affordable prices.

GoldenEar Technology has produced a stunning achievement in the Aon 2, with strengths that are unusual for a bookshelf speaker of this size and price.

For $1000, I can't imagine obtaining significantly better sound than from a pair of ClairAudient Ones properly set up and used within their dynamic range low-frequency extension limitations.

Now, heres another look at the OP:

"Wow REG claims these speakers are "In many fundamental ways they are in the top echelon of anything out there."....These sell for $199! He says they aren't just good for the money but good period. Anyone heard these things? "

To me, it just fits in with all the other reviews.
Skepticism good. Cynicism bad.
"Skepticism good. Cynicism bad." I like that, Onhwy61. It can be a fine line. I have to watch that myself.
"Skepticism good. Cynicism bad." I like that, Onhwy61. Wise words.
It can be a fine line. I have to watch that myself.
Both are irrelevant, TRUTH is all that matters.
That said , Cynics are almost always the jilted lovers of the good and beautiful with broken hearts, Skeptics are the indifferent, indifference is the opposite of love.
I feel like grasshopper. ;-)
"01-13-15: Onhwy61
Skepticism good. Cynicism bad."

I assume that was addressed for me. Its probably true, but I still go back to the OP.

""In many fundamental ways they are in the top echelon of anything out there."....These sell for $199! He says they aren't just good for the money but good period."

The reason I can be cynical is that the magazines seem to say the same things over and over. I mean if almost every speaker they review in a certain price point "punches way above its weight class", maybe its time to adjust expectations for speakers at that price and call them normal.

Also, I feel its extra important no to do this with entry level products, like we are talking about here. People in the market for this type of speaker, usually don't have the knowledge and experience yet to make sound judgements. They get sucked into that feeding frenzy mentality, where they need to get that hot new speaker at a super low price. In reality, I think most of know that the main reason speaker A is the must have new speaker, is because it was reviewed after speaker B. If we were to swap the review dates, speaker B would be the hot new speaker to have. (I'm just making a general point here. Not every word is meant to apply to the Infinity speaker the OP started the thread over.)
No, not "aimed" at anyone,just a general observation.
+1 with Zd542's assessment about most speaker review's, however, over the year's, Infinity speaker's have been quite good for the money, I have a pair of Infinity RS-1 book shelf speaker's setting in my storage room that is built like tank's, tiny little woofer's, two way speaker's that in 1996, were the editor's choice for best, to tell you the truth here, these will kick the crap out of most any book shelf speaker ever made with sound quality, transparency and timberal accuracy is off the chart's for such a small speaker, take a look at the spec's, you will be amused!, currently, I need another speaker post for one of them, other wise, they are in mint condition, I needed the post for some other speaker's that I do use, reading this thread makes me want to resurect the RS-1 speaker's, I do miss their spectacular sound.
One last post, just to be clear, but I wasn't saying anything negative about the Infinity. I just don't think the audio press always puts reviews out in ways that can best help readers make a good choice. What does the speaker suck at? That's what I want to know. lol. I'm going to find out anyway as soon as I listen to it. Might as well just tell me first.
"What does the speaker suck at?"

I understand your point, Zd, but most audio gear above the bargain-basement level is pretty darn good these days, at least in my experience. I can't recall hearing any component that truly "sucks" at anything. While some may have characteristics that are not to my taste, remember that reviewers are ideally writing for readers with widely varied tastes, not just their own.
-Bob
Hesson11,

I tend to agree with you overall. But, I didn't mean that comment to be taken completely literal.

"What does the speaker suck at? That's what I want to know. lol."

See the lol at the end? I try, but no one ever gets my humour. Oh well, back to the issue at hand.

"While some may have characteristics that are not to my taste, remember that reviewers are ideally writing for readers with widely varied tastes, not just their own."

That's a very reasonable assumption on your part, but it's not true, more often than it is. Usually, a reviewer asks a company to review a product. They hear something in a store or at a show that they like, and that usually leads to a request. You would think that whoever the boss is at the magazine hands out the reviewers assignments, but that's not the norm. It does happen like that sometimes, but most of the time, the reviewer picks a product and then asks for permission to review it. While this is not a practice they hide, to their credit, quite often they will talk about this in the review itself, I don't think it best serves the readers. If a reviewer only picks stuff he knows he is going to like, we know how the review is going to go. For me, personally, I would like to see the reviewers take on more of a challenge. So if, for example, a reviewer doesn't like ribbon speakers, I want to see him review one. It'll make for a better comparison. I'm willing to bet that a reader will get more out of a review like that, than he will from someone who starts off already being sold on the product.
Zd542, yes my comment was directed to you.

The OP was not talking about generic loudspeaker reviews, but about a specific review by a specific reviewer. As I stated above, REG is an outstanding reviewer. Rather than lump all reviewers together, take the time to figure out if some of them actually know what they are talking about.

Over the past few years both TAS and Stereophile have reviewed and raved about some very expensive loudspeakers. The magazines claim that these loudspeakers push the boundary of SOTA and perform noticeably better than the previous generation of loudspeakers. At the same time both magazines also claim you can get good quality sound for only a few hundreds of dollars. But what I find most interesting is that both magazines seem to agree that from $2-8k a consumer can get excellent quality sound. According to the magazines true high end sound doesn't have to cost a small fortune. I think that's a good thing.
Onhwy61,

"As I stated above, REG is an outstanding reviewer. Rather than lump all reviewers together, take the time to figure out if some of them actually know what they are talking about."

Fair enough. But I'll ask the same of you. Here's one of my posts from yesterday.

"01-15-15: Zd542
You know, if you really want to get best results, it would be a good idea to plan the whole system, and how everything will sound working together. If you go that route, its amazing at how good the sound quality can be investing a relatively small amount of money. Its definitely more work, but the results will be worth the time.
Zd542 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

But getting back to your concern, maybe you can get to know the reviewers better yourself. I know who Robert E Green is. I used to read audio magazines when I was a kid. Over the years I've meet all these guys either at CES, The Stereophile show or at B&M dealers, and am no more impressed with any of them, than people who are not reviewers. The impression I get is that they are hired more for their writing skills than audio. If I were to hand you and REG the same exact component to review, I'm willing to bet that you would do just as good a job, maybe even better.
What do the Infinities suck at?...Simply robbying one of the great luxury of overspending then having to justify that purchase...
"What do the Infinities suck at?"

Read the post again. No one said that.
I'm incredibly smart and equally good looking, but no, I don't think I could match the quality of REG's review output. But thank you for the compliment.
Around 2003 or so I bought the latest "cheap" Infinity speakers (don't remember the model) while I was waiting for new speakers to arrive. They had great reviews if I recall correctly. May be IL series? Not sure. Previously, I had some reference models (RS2, RS4) which were really fantastic. These speakers were not expensive and sounded natural overall, seemed to be well engineered. Anyway, thinking I would get a great speaker that "must be better" than the older RS series I was used to, I was amazed at how terrible they were. Boxy sounding and like they were out of phase. Hollow. But the RS series were great ! (you can find these on Craigslist for less than $100 - great deal). So, point is, my experience from Infinity is mixed. I have also heard a lot of their speakers from the 80s, all of which were great. So proceed with caution and listen first. I took this review with a grain of salt based on my experiences.
"I was amazed at how terrible they were. Boxy sounding and like they were out of phase."

They probably were out of phase. Did you do any troubleshooting to be sure?
Interesting comments. i look forward to the next issue of YAS as i would think readers would have comments on a review of a speaker that for less than $400 is comparable to the state of the art according to REG. I haven't heard the speaker but am kinda flabbergasted by the review.
Every company has an evolution... And as many know...Infinity was the hi end in the 70s/80s with their Emit technology....in the later part of the 80s they dumbed down their RS series...and started using the very fatiguing, polarizing Polycell tweeter...things eventually improved with the advent of their CMMD drivers, computer analysis, and the deep.pockets of HI...which is why I don't find the stellar reviews of Primus products so surprising...their Sister company happens to be Revel.
Wildoats, I don't believe REG is saying that the Infinity Primus is equal to state of the art loudspeakers. Instead he is saying that it is a very good product and deserves comparison to much more expensive loudspeakers. He emphasizes that the Primus has smooth frequency response (both on and off axis) and low THD levels. He does mention that you could spend megabucks and not get these qualities, but that does not make the Primus a state of the art design.
However Revel produces state of the art products
JBL produces state of the art product's, as a matter of fact, we all know both are owned by the Harmon industries company, keep in mind, revel does not make a speaker as costly as the top tier JBL speaker's, the JBL speaker's like the Everest DD-67000 speaker is way beyound anything Revel has ever made with performance of state of the art.
To be fair, I don't think I've ever seen a pair of high end JBL speakers on display in any audio store. I suspect that the main reason that most people don't talk much about them is lack of exposure. I could be mistaken, but if I recall correctly, I don't think they had them on display at any of the CES's either. If I knew they were on display somewhere, I wouldn't mind checking them out.

Looking at Revel, they have the marketing and in store placement needed to have a large user base.
Hi Zd542, The JBL Everest DD-67000 is retail $75,000.00, not the most costly speaker on the market, but for harmon industries, quite exspensive, you can bing search this speaker, their is a few dealer's in the u.s.a. that have them on demo, these are sold through out asia extensivily, they love them, the JBL top tier line's have been sold there a very long time before they brought these type of JBL speaker's to the u.s. market.
Does anyone remember the Infinity Servo Static 1A's ?
Point being...Harmon has deep.pockets... Which trickles down to modest products like Infinity...which most can afford...for the majority of us...the average 100k speaker system in a cinema ewuates to "state of the art"...but it is nice that JBL has not abandoned hi end 2 channel... And produced a statement that few have even heard let alone afford
To be fair, I don't think I've ever seen a pair of high end JBL speakers on display in any audio store. I suspect that the main reason that most people don't talk much about them is lack of exposure. I could be mistaken, but if I recall correctly, I don't think they had them on display at any of the CES's either. If I knew they were on display somewhere, I wouldn't mind checking them out.

Yeah, they have a somewhat limited dealer network. You can get a list of dealers via the JBL Synthesis website. Make sure it's a dealer who has a storefront and not some home installer guy working out of a little office in an industrial park. I made that mistake, and the deal did not go smoothly, but the upshot was the speakers arrived in good condition.

As far as CES goes, yes they (Harman) have had them on active display since at least 2011 @ The Venetian and other hotels such as the Hard Rock, which is where they were at this year. I have heard the 1400 Arrays, S4700s, and Everests at CES. They have also displayed at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.

So, there you go. I hope you get the opportunity to check them out!
My reading of the review makes me think that REG does think the Infinities compete with mega bucks speakers. That's why I was amazed by the review.
A similar speaker in the Harman lineup is the JBL L890. I have a pair which I used fom '07-'12. I can safely say that it punched way above its weight when driven by Bryston amp and preamp. I got the pair for $800. You still might be able to get them at that price. I haven't checked lately. I'd love to hear a shoot-out between the Infinities and the JBLs. I imagine they could be similar, but who knows at this point?
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These were on sale for one day on Amazon for $100 each with free shipping. I bought two pair. I'm going to use them for home theater.
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Nice. You can't beat that price! Keep us posted.