Infinity Beta 50s a Lot Better Than the Primus 360s?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Slade, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Slade

    Slade Agent

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    I'm thinking about some Beta 50s and an Infinity center channel speaker. The Beta 50s ar $500 each, while the Primus 360s are $300 each. I'll be getting FOUR each. I ultimately want 4 speakers, 1 center, 1 sub (for surround sound).

    Are the Beta 50s that much better?

    Here's my goal: I want a good musical sound. To me, if it sounds good musically, it will be good enough for surround/home theater.

    If I get the Primus 360s, I would get a sub right off the bat. Maybe the Infinity SW12. If I get the Beta 50s, can I hold off on the sub and add that later? Is the bass good enough as-is?

    Which Infinity center speaker is the best match for these speakers?

    I have a receiver on order - a Panasonic XR55K. (Later in the year, I may think about upgrading to a Marantz 8500.)

    Am I on the right track?

    Thanks for any advice.

    EDIT: Oops - I should have mentioned, my living room is approx. 25x25, with a vaulted ceiling approx. 10-12 feet at it's peak.

    One other note. Strangely, Circuit City lists the Beta 50s on their web site for $299 each. It has a small icon that says "Outlet". Are these refurbished, blemished or open-box items?
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    "Are the Beta 50s that much better?"

    Go by listening, not price.

    "Here's my goal: I want a good musical sound. To me, if it sounds good musically, it will be good enough for surround/home theater."

    Good man.

    "If I get the Primus 360s, I would get a sub right off the bat. Maybe the Infinity SW12. If I get the Beta 50s, can I hold off on the sub and add that later? Is the bass good enough as-is?"

    You'd have to listen to decide. Very personal.

    "Which Infinity center speaker is the best match for these speakers?"

    The one Infinity sells, probably the bigger.
     
  3. Kevin Presley

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    I bought a whole set of the Betas and was not impressed at all for the money. I returned them and got some Paradigms for the same cash and they blew the Infinitys away. The Betas had no punch or life. They didn't sound very open. They did have more bass than I expected and imaged well, but like I said, no spaciousness at all.
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    For most people there is never enough bass. But I would get the Beta's and hold of on the sub for now.
     
  5. Kevin Presley

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    The CC Outlet icon means they want to get rid of stock. I got them for this price but you have to order them online and pick up at the store. You can't get the online "Outlet" price otherwise. And they are not refurbished or open box items. They are new in the box. I got the 50's for $300 each, the 250 center for $150, and the 20's for $150 each. Good prices, but again, not stellar performers. Remember, they usually sound nothing like they do in the store. Different accoustics and amps, etc. Just do what I did and try them. If you hate them, take them back.

    My room size was almost identical to yours.... 20L x 20W x 20H - a very large room that opens to a kitchen on one side and a foyer on the other.

    Also, they don't have enough bass extension to be used alone. You still need a good sub to fill out the low end.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Slade: I'm not sure how loud you listen, but IMO in that rather large room that Panasonic might be huffing & puffing trying to operate four those Beta 50s and maybe even those Primus models. Even when crossed over at the standard 80Hz. Is this system also going to be used for surround music? Because it *is* good to use identical speakers all the way around for that, but every time I read about a receiver that uses digital amps, they always mention their power limitations compared to an equivalently-priced analog receiver.

    Also, the 3-way Beta C360 (if your mounting location can handle this very large center) will best match the Beta 50s, and probably the Primus 360s too.

    I've never directly compared the Primus line to the Beta series, so can't help you with that-sorry.

    BTW: Paradigms to me are rather bright and sometimes hard sounding-this quality can also help to make a speaker sound spacious (it's partly to do with interaction with a room's reflective surfaces). "Punch", besides being a subjective thing, is dependent on the engineer's choice of enclosure tuning. It also concerns a compromise because unless this is a price-no-object design, usually a speaker can be punchy but not go very low; or it can go really low...but not be that punchy. And all shades of gray in between. An extreme example of punch (for me anyway) is a Klipsch La Scala: with a good 50 watt per channel amp they can knock your drink off the table but have little low bass to speak of (IIRC these large horn-loaded speakers are rated to only about 50Hz). I'm no bass freak, but even I would have to use some kind of sub with them for my kind of music and movies. Just sayin' [​IMG]
     
  7. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I do have concerns when picking 4 tower speakers out for use. I'd consider either of the options below first:

    - 2 towers in front, proper surround speakers, proper center channel.

    - 2 towers in front, bookshelf speakers for surround duty, proper center channel.

    - 2 bookhshelf speakers (on stands) in front, proper surround speakers, proper center channel.

    - 2 towers in front, bookshelf speakers for surround duty, proper center channel.

    I think using tower speakers if you keep them crossed over at 80Hz. to be a waste of money. If you're not going to take advantage of the better bass that the towers provide, then go with bookshelf speakers and let your sub provide the bass. You'd be surprised at what you could get by juggling your options around a bit. Also, the Infinity sub you mentioned should reviewed to see how it stacks against other subs of similar cost. I'm sure you'll realize that you could get more (performance, features, quality) in going with a vendor/manufacturer that deals on on the Internet.
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Careful, now. Lots of factors can affect sound. 1) Break-in time for speakers, 2) quality of other components, etc.

    I've owned many speakers. The Betas I have now perform quite well. Music and movies have me impressed.

    Judging from your comments on the Paradigm speakers you purchased, I'm assuming that you purchased from the performance line of Paradigm speakers. If so, this is the base line of Paradigm. While not so bad, Paradigm does offer a few additional lines where one could upgrade, if desired.
     
  9. Kevin Presley

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    I used a Denon 3806 to power the Beta set I had and I listened to them for over 3 weeks. The Paradigms I bought were Monitor 11's, 370 center and the ADP370 rears. They cost just a bit more but it was like night and day. I've had them for over a month now and continue to be impressed by the quality of sound.

    If you can, try them both out side by side, I am pretty sure you will choose the Paradigms for the money.
     

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