Infinity IRS Sigma for $2.5K or DIY?

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I have a chance to get a '97 pair of Sigma's in great condition for a quarter of the original list price of $10K. There are no replacement parts any more if that's a problem.
I have build a couple of HQ standmounts before but i like big speakers. The Infinities are 200lbs each 60'x18x16' and very well built. Can i do better with $2.5K diy floorstanders? I was thinking of a pair of Seas Thor maybe with a sub.
But i also have to pay for woodworking as i have no tools and space. Zalytron is close to my place and they make great cabs.
Which is the better solution? Is a decade too long for HQ drivers? The Seas excel line is 7 years old but diyers don't consider them old.
Any other designs that can beat the Sigmas?
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The short answer is the $14 per kg for a pair of 200lb each monsters
seems pretty good, the weight pointing to the difficulty in making high
performance large boxes.

I'd say an enthusiastic builder can do better, but paying for cabinets
to be built on that scale properly, very unlikely. Listen to them and
if you like them go for it, its the painless route.

"Can I do better with $2.5K diy floorstanders?"

Possibly, but do you really want to do the research and work if the same money will get you the Infinity's? It's up to you.

"I was thinking of a pair of Seas Thor maybe with a sub." This is the level you would want to shoot for - SEAS Excel, ScanSpeak Revelator, etc. - but then refer to the answer to question #1 above.

"But I also have to pay for woodworking as i have no tools and space. Zalytron is close to my place and they make great cabs."

Send them your pic of the Sigmas, plus Sreten's link - I have a feeling if you want cabs like the Sigmas the cost will be staggering, but then again to get equivalent/better sound quality doesn't mean making a clone, using the same cabs etc. While you're talking to Zalytron you might ask them what they think about how some of their larger kits stack up to the Sigmas, but be careful as they may be a little biased.

"Which is the better solution?" Refer to question #1

"Is a decade too long for HQ drivers?" No.

"Any other designs that can beat the Sigmas?"

Difficult question to answer unless you can do things like measure their actual performance, including driver distortion, frequency response, etc. And it depends on what "beating" them means to you. Better sound for the same or lower price - it might be out there but you'd need a lot of technical data to know for sure, and it also depends on your personal tastes. Again see question #1.

You might try looking at some of the 3-way designs by Troels Gravesson and Tony G - and perhaps even consult with them. But a lot of of their stuff gets pricey too, but justifiably so.

If it were my decision - for $2.5k I'd go for the Sigmas and be done with it. I'm just guessing here but I'll bet they are a very good speaker, very nice looking and very well built. I'd love to have a pair of those in my own living room.
Take a peek at the Phenomenal 1,2&3 that Zalytron offers. I have the 2s at home and I love them. Honestly they are as good as it gets. 96 db efficient so flea power becomes an option. The Raven is among the best tweeters I have ever heard. They make everything sound effortless. You're welcome to take a road trip to VT to hear them if you would like.

I wonder if Eliot has any of these designs built that you could go and hear. It would be worth asking. He would of course have a biased opinion if you asked for it, but it would be worth while. The other thing to consider.... your DIY effort will likely have less resale than a pair of quite rare vintage infinity. With that, my experience with the orca designs sold by Zalytron is that they are top notch. I have a pair of line arrays design by D'Appolito himself. They are a custom design using 12 axon woofers and the Raven 2. I prefer the PHL based Phenomenal design.

Personally I find the magnesium Seas drivers a bit cold and harsh. Those hard metal cones always sound a bit off to me. All that in the perspective that I have lived with paper cone drivers for the past 10 years. The PHL drivers are top notch. They are very resolving, yet they have a pleasant laid back sound. I would suggest them to anyone looking in that price range as I believe that they compare favorably with all of the cost no object systems I have ever heard.
Do you need a sub for your phenomenal 2? 96db efficiency is too high to get any real bass from a box of that size. My experience from the 5 1/2" Excel is very favorable. My grip with the Sigmas is that drivers are not available in case something goes wrong, and any other replacements require crossover modification.
I don't see how efficiency has anything to do with bass response. The PHL's in the Phenomenal 2 box don't need a sub at all. I have 2 scan speak 10" subs that most of the time I don't use. I have found that things sound much more coherent without the subs. There is certainly a bit of the low end information missing, but my guess is that they are good down to about 40 hz.

There is nothing wrong with the seas drivers you are looking at. They are arguably as good as the PHL's . They are simply different. They will likely lean towards the resolving and cold side while the PHL's are a bit more relaxed and warm. I enjoy the hi-fi sound of seas based systems, but I prefer a more natural sound to live with.

About the value per dollar, I think you are better off with DIY, butI am biased. Zalytron makes damn good cabinets from what I have heard. The only thing I would do is upgrade the crossover parts. I can merely vouch for the design I have as to how good it actually is.
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