Infinity Reference RC263

For years, I had no home theater system at all.  I had a television, with its pathetic built-in speakers, and I connected a DVD player and a VCR directly to it.  When I finally built a system, I chose a Definitive Technology ProCinema speaker system.  It was a staff pick at Crutchfield, and it reviewed well.  And indeed, it sounded pretty good to me when I hooked it up.

A couple years later, I needed to build a new home theater system for my mother.  She had been using an analog system with two speakers.  The receiver had been acting up, and then the speakers literally crumbled apart.  I wanted to get her a pair of floor speakers that were decent but not terribly expensive.  After doing some research, I bought her a pair of Infinity Primus 363 floor speakers, in part because they were half price.  They arrived at my house, and before I took them to her, I hooked them up to my own system, just to give a listen.  I ended up rather upset, because they sounded better than my more expensive speakers in almost every way.  More and richer bass, more detailed and accurate high-end, a smoother mid-range, and they were noticeably louder.  Being louder surprised me, and as a result I learned about sensitivity as a technical specification for speakers.

Shortly afterward, I moved, and I moved my home theater system from a smallish living room to a larger living room that was part of an even larger open floor plan — about 880 square feet in total.  Suddenly, my system seemed woefully inadequate (it wasn’t really; I had plenty of head room in my system, I just needed to use it).  I bought myself a pair of the Infinity Primus 363 speakers, and my front speakers became surround speakers, which also upgraded me from a 5.1 to a 7.1 surround system.  I was happy with the results, except that my center channel speaker, a Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000, seemed comparatively under-powered.  This isn’t the speaker you want to be under-powered, since nearly all of the dialog in a film comes from this speaker.  I had planned to solve this problem by purchasing an Infinity Primus PC351, the larger of the center channel speakers in the Primus line.  However, before I got around to doing that, the entire product line was discontinued.

I simply lived with this.  Every now and then, I would poke around at available center channel speakers, but none impressed me.  However, last week I found the Infinity Reference RC263.  There weren’t many reviews, and it appears that the product is either discontinued or has been dropped by retailers.  However, all the reviews were very good.  In fact, the only review that wasn’t a five-star review was from someone complaining about a lack of banana connectors.  I ordered one at half price from the manufacturer’s own web site.

I can’t tell a difference.  I had hoped there would be more presence, more bass, maybe even more clarity.  For a short time I thought there was all three of those things, but it turned out I was just watching Frontline.