Pros: Clarity, imaging, 3 way 4th order x-overs, non-overbearing metal tweets
Cons: A bit power hungry. Definitely use a digital connection. Almost too laid back. Some localization.
I bought these to replace my polk R50 towers, which were a great value in terms of cost vs. benefit, but lacked in aspects which I hoped the Infinity Primus P362 would not.
I first heard them in the demo room at fry's by chance when I was there to consider a pair of Polk Monitors. The p362's they had on display sounded horrible. The midrange was crunchy and blurred compared to the polks. But, the bass response was more than impressive; it outperformed every other tower speaker they had in that price range.
I immediately came to the conclusion that those particular p362's which were on display had been abused, as they sounded uncommonly bad. They were not blown, but there was something definitely wrong.
I ended up passing on the Polk Monitors and went with the Infninity P362s simply because of the metal dome tweeters, which are a personal favorite of mine, and the three way 24db/octave crossover network.
I'm not saying that silk tweeters can't sound great. It's just that I have this thing about being able to hear the "tink" "tink" of the sound of a drumstick striking the cymbals -a sonic characteristic unique to metal tweeters from my experiences.
I don't exactly have audiophile components comprising my stereo system. My CD player is a Yamaha CDC-775, which is hooked up via an optical cable to an entry level Yamaha HTR series.
The polk R50's I had been using had surprisingly transparent imaging with a fair amount of depth. On the other hand, the midrange was often a bit "smudged" and the higher notes tended to be lacking in definition at times. I attributed this to my system, as I was aware of its limitations. However, that belief was soon to be dispelled by the
After wiring them up and letting them break in for about 20 hours, I started things off with Radiohead's latest album, In Rainbows. Most noteworthy was "Jigsaw Falling Into Place", which is an acoustic song. Never before had the sound of Thom Yorke's fingers sliding around the fret board been so prominent. It was almost to the point where it became something of an annoying screech, but at the same time it added a sense of realism which I had never experienced from that song.
The next album that really stood out was Tool's 10,000 Days. This is their most recent album, and in my opinion, the one most laden with effects in comparison to previous albums. A lot of hidden details really came out through these speakers. In the track "Rosetta Stoned", I could hear a sort of electric beeping effect during a climactic segment of the song. Up until that point, I had no idea that effect was there.
"Ghosts", an Album by Nine Inch Nails, is another collection of songs that I like to put through the grinder when I'm interested in testing the limits of my system. This is an instrumental album that consists of a vast variety of different sounds which captivate the listener through and through.
It seemed as though there were sounds originating from all around the room, from down on the floor to right by my left ear. These speakers literally became a pair of ventriloquists, making localization of sounds to the speakers an unlikely event.
Overall, my best word for describing these speakers' imaging characteristics is the word "definition." That is, each instrument being played had its own sonic characteristic which allowed for easy distinguishment between it and other sounds. It was as though these speakers had the ability to assign a "fingerprint" to each sound, creating an infinite number of variations between each sound's "identity."
On a surprising note, I found these speakers to be a lot softer and laid back than I had anticipated. It was almost to the point where they seemed to lack a dynamic attribute. I wondered if they're perhaps underpowered, as they did require a bit more power than my Polk R50's. However, I didn't have to turn my 85W/Chann receiver up more than a quarter way to get ear-splitting volumes.
The positive flipside to that is a nearly unrivaled clarity of the tweeters and midrange, but without the bright, overbearing overtones which are sure to lead to fatigue and obsessive fiddling with tone adjustments. I sat there and listened for hours in blissful obliviousness as my ears drowned the sounds of clear, uninhibited music reproduction.
As far as bass goes, I really can't comment so much in that regard as I have not played them full range at high volumes since hooking them up to my receiver. I had heard them play an astonishing level of bass in the demo room, so I can assume that they are capable of filling in the need for adequate low-end should they be called upon to do so.
What I have instead is a 10" JBL powered sub which is always on duty.
Again, I remember my Polk R50's and the bass they produced when played full range. It was more than adequate in my opinion. In fact, it was hard to tell the difference between when the sub was switched on or off. I do appreciate the solid thump of a kick drum and the rolling chug-a-lug of a bass guitar, and I believe that with the right receiver and set-up, a quality set of towers with 6" drivers can achieve more than what one would expect.
At last, I have no qualms about making these Infinity Primus P362s a long-term addition to my system. They produce astonishing clarity combined with an ability to evoke images of musical instruments with the detail and definition that one would expect someone with a photographic memory to envision.