Infinity Primus P363 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Listening Tests
Listening Scenario #1: Audioholics Showcase Theater Room
pulled out one the Audioholics demo CD's I created for critical
listening tests to begin my assessment of the Infinity P363's using
key tracks from this disc as noted below.
Bass emanating from this track was punchy and tight. I detected a bit of overhang or upper bass bloom but it did add a bit of warmth to the recording. Dianne Reeves’ voice sounded very articulate and I wasn’t expecting this level of midrange clarity given the price and driver compliment of the P363s. I did find the vocals to be a bit bright but not offensively so. Trust me, I’ve auditioned tower speakers costing 2X the retail of the P363’s that didn’t maintain as good a tonal balance.
Fourplay - Chant
The resonance in the kick drums was well pronounced in the Infinity P363 tower speakers. I use this song to test how prone a speaker is to bottoming out. It wasn’t until I really pushed these speakers to their limits that I heard the woofers straining but they NEVER bottomed out. I was quite taken back at how loud I was able to play this track on these speakers. I expected them to simply whimper out but they proved me wrong. The P363’s did a great job extracting all the nuances of this song. From the vocal overlays to the rain sticks, everything was crystal clear.
I love the reverb of Pat Metheny’s guitar in this song. A really good speaker system will instantly transport you into a small jazz club in NY. The Infinity P363’s put forth a valiant effort at placing me there. The brushes on the high hats were very detailed and forward and the reverb from the guitar was good though it didn’t quite pop out at you like I remember hearing on other systems. The P363’s did a good job separating all of the musical instruments, perhaps better than I’ve heard from other budget minded systems.
Next, I deviated a bit from my reference disc and just hand selected some great tunes off my Yamaha MXC-2000 MusicCast media server. I cued up a few Marc Anthony tracks next, starting with “Ahora Quien”. The P363’s showed off their uncanny ability to image and really involve you into the landscape of the song. Marc’s voice came through loud and clear, though with perhaps a tad of excessive sibilance overemphasizing the “sss” in his voice. The trumpets sounded a bit edgy as well but overall the Infinity’s kept my attention on the pure enjoyment of this awesome song. “Tu Amor Me Hace Bien”, another classic Marc Anthony song showcased the abilities of the P363’s to extract all of the subtle details of the recording. The percussion in this track sounded fabulous and I didn’t fear cranking the volume up as the Infinity’s proved they could take it. The stereo separation of the trumpets and shakers was particularly excellent.
CD: Spock’s Beard – Snow
I took a liking to this band after my brother told me to take a listen to their concept album called Snow. They have clear influenced progressive roots from the likes of 70’s era Genesis and Yes along with very spiritual and deep lyrics to compliment their extraordinary musicianship. “Solitary Soul” is my favorite track on the double disc set. This track builds on the constant theme in the album about a young albino priest with special healing powers struggling to find his way into the world. The acoustical guitars were reproduced with excellent separation on the P363’s. The P363’s portrayed good tonal characteristics of the piano, but didn’t quite produce the depth in the soundstage as I’ve heard on more expensive speaker systems. Vocal quality was fluid and absent of chestiness I’ve heard on lesser systems. Hearing the singer repeat the hook “love beyond words” just sent chills down my spine. What a moving song and the P363’s made you really feel the emotion. This 7:34 minute masterpiece just flew by listening to it on these speakers.
I experimented playing the P363’s on my Denon rig, bass managing them at 80Hz to my dual Velodyne DD-15+ reference subs. This definitely added much needed low end extension and helped balance out the somewhat bright character that these speakers conveyed. Anyone integrating these speakers into a multi channel home theater system is encouraged to do the same.
Again, using the Audioholics demo CD, I conducted some brief listening comparisons with my friend between the Infinity P363 and EMP E55Ti (rev1) towers. The EMP’s ($795/pr) carry a slightly higher retail price than the Infinity P363’s but both brands are regarded as producing high value oriented products so I thought it would be good measure to directly face them off in a controlled blind listening test. I found the Infinity’s were only 1dB more efficient than the EMP speakers despite they were spec’d to be 5dB more efficient! Levels were matched each time the switching occurred between the two speakers.
Listening to Fourplay “Chant” revealed that the Infinity P363’s dug a bit deeper than the EMP’s and had more sparkle on the top end. Although the Infinity’s won points on bass extension, the bass response wasn’t quite as tight or snappy as the EMPs. This became more apparent as volume level increased. Both speakers did a great job of achieving high output levels without causing woofer bottoming which this track will often do to speakers not well damped to prevent this undesirable nasty from occurring.
As we listened to more jazz-oriented music such as Pat Metheny/Scofield “Say a Brother’s Name”, we both clearly preferred the sonic attributes of the EMP speakers. The Infinity’s were able to convey more detail in the top end, but the reverb in the guitars just popped better on the EMPs. Listening to Sade “Hang on to your Love” showcased the strengths and weaknesses of both speakers. The EMP’s sounded a bit flat in the bass but the vocals were very natural and open sounding. The Infinity’s put forth more flavor to the sound but also made Sade’s vocals sound more electronic. We moved on to Santana’s “Put your Lights On” and started cranking the juice. High listening levels is where the biggest audible differences between the speakers presented themselves. Both speakers were able to play loudly without complaint, but the EMP’s seemed to be better behaved. The Infinity’s just sounded more busy in direct comparison but this was not surprising given how much more cone area the larger EMP speakers had. Quite frankly at low to modest listening levels the sonic differences between the two speakers were subtle and highly dependent on program material. Music favoring female vocals and brass instruments really highlighted the positive attributes of the EMP speakers while music favoring bass intense or high frequency effects showcased the product positives of the Infinity’s. Both speakers sounded great in their own respects as we were amazed by the level of performance achievable of such modestly priced products. The casual listener favoring more electronic or rock music would likely prefer the Infinity’s while the more discerning listener who appreciates Jazz and vocal intense music would likely gravitate towards the EMPs. If price were the key determining issue for making a purchasing decision and you’re able to get the Infinity P363’s for less than half the price of the EMP E55Ti’s, then I’d say go for the Infinity’s. If you don’t mind spending a little more for a speaker that can play more effortlessly at high SPL and also offers better build quality and cosmetics, then go for the EMPs. Both speakers will play fine as full-range towers though the EMP’s would benefit even more by supplementing their rather anemic low end bass output with a powered subwoofer.
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Right from Infinity website.
FULL SPECSLoudspeaker Features/Specifications
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38Hz - 20kHz
Sensitivity (2.83V @1m)
350Hz, 3,300Hz; 24dB/octave
Dimensions (H x W x D Metric/English)
39-1/4“ x 8-1/4” x 13" (997mm x 208mm x 330mm)
48.5 lb (22kg)
i read the review and from what i read, i had a pair of these for about a year..the weak link for this system is the tweeter. Though very efficient at high frequency it could use some upgrade down the road with a better unit. Any recommendations are appreciated!!!