infinity speakers - any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mario_S, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Mario_S

    Mario_S Extra

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    hi. researching HT. i don't see a ton of people using infinity speakers. i thought this was a pretty high-end brand. no?
     
  2. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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    The Infinity brand is my choice of speakers.

    The Alphas are just excellent. They replaced the Interlude series. The Interlude series has replace the Reference Series(RS). The speaker lines all sound common but with smaller sonic differences. The Entra series uses the same drivers as the Interludes and Alphas but isn't in the same class as the Reference Series, Interludes or Alphas. It sounds "MUCH" different than any of the other 3 lines although sharing a similar voice. Before auditioning, I contacted Infinity. While the Entra series does use the same drivers, the crossover and cabinet designs are different. The is pretty easily seen when the comparing the Interlude 30 against the Entra Twos. They look the same, but the Interlude is much heavier from more internal cabinet bracing and the such. The Entras sound more compressed, not as smooth, boomier in the mid-bass and muddier in the midrange when compared to the Alphas. The Alpha 20 bookshelf sounds better to me than the Entra Two and Three tower speaker.

    When it comes to other brands, I prefer Infinity to most. I chose Infinity over Mirage, Polk, Definitive Technology, Martin Logan and JBL. I did like Martin Logan very much but it's lack of dynamics due to it's inherent design, didn't sound as realistic as did the Infinity Alpha. The Polk RTI series is awesome as well and would be my second choice to the Infinity. The Infinity and Polks are very close sonicly. I did find the polks a bit brighter than the warmer Infinities. The Polks offered a great sound which I wouldn't consider bright but they were a bit brighter than the Infinities which seemed to have a fuller lower midrange. I'm sure both are very accurate, they just deviate from the other in different octaves. I auditioned the Infinity Alpha 40s & 50s against the others which were in the same price class and even above. My brother was with me when comparing against the Martin Logans and Definitive Technology. We couldn't believe how much more realistic the Alphas sounded than other makes. My brother is a musician. The Alphas seem to be one of the best values in the market, with the performance they offer.

    The above is my opinion as other's do disagree. You owe it to yourself to go audition and see what you like best. Myself, I only buy speakers I can actually hear. I don't go for the internet only speakers that will cost at least $100 to send back if you find them lacking. That's a pretty high price for an audition! I'd try the Polk LSI series if that's in your price range, from comments I've read and reviews, these are the speakers to beat right now. I personally haven't heard them.

    Good luck in your audition!
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    In its early days, Infinity was the epitome of high-end speaker systems. The company was founded in the late 1960s by Arnold Nudell, and his debut product, the Servo-Static I, raised the bar for elestrostatic designs. That model achieved a performance zenith (and reliability nadir) with the Servo-Static IA of 1975.

    All the while, Infinitywas also designing lower-priced speaker systems to tap into the mass market. Its Model 2000A speaker system featured a 12-inch woofer, 3-inch midrange, and an electrostatic tweeter, and was quite a performer for the mid-priced market in the early 1970s.

    The company gave up electrostatic designs in favor of a new technology it called the "electromagnetic induction tweeter" in the late '70s. And this era culminated in a speaker system that laid claim to the state of the art throughout the 1980s, the Infinity Reference System (two tall, wide panels featuring vertical arrays of EMITs and EMIMs and two tall boxes containing an array of 12-inch woofers).

    By the early 1990s, Nudell (and Bascom King) had left the company.

    Now Infinity is another beast altogether. Its products are respected, but they don't command centerstage in the world of home theater as they did in the bygone days of so-called "high-end" audio.
     
  4. Mario_S

    Mario_S Extra

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    hey thanks all for the replies. the infinity alphas are what i was looking at. the speakers will be the last thing i upgrade however. i currently own a 2 pairs of old (1990) infinity speakers. the first is a studio monitor something (100 or 150). 10" woofer, no midrange, tweeter. stands about 38" tall. the other is the same series i think. 6.5" woofer, about 14" tall or so. i think i'm going to try these out for now, and then upgrade to something else in the future.

    thanks for the great info
     
  5. joe rizzuto

    joe rizzuto Stunt Coordinator

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    i have & love the infinity studio monitors (model 62 & 82). should you ever decide to sell yours, i would be most interested.
     
  6. Greg Kolinski

    Greg Kolinski Second Unit

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    I dont know much about the history of Infinity, BUT......
    a couple of weeks ago while checking out what was new at the local used speaker/repair store I saw a set of Infinity
    Kappa 9's[​IMG] WOW these things were incredable!!!about five feet tall 2 woofers and I believe 2 midrange's and tweeters.Guy said they went down to about 30HTZ.They are from around 86 or 87,and I just fell in love with them.He was gathering them up ,fixing some small stuff from age etc.The way he talked $1200 would buy them,and the way they sounded and looked I would probobly give that much,just cause they were sooooo damn cool looking.

    OK,thats all I know[​IMG]
     
  7. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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    Mario,

    I have Reference 2000.4s which sound great. I wanted to see if the newer lines sounded any better, not just different. I was thinking of getting the Entra 3 since the Alpha series has no moderate price tower speakers. When it comes to pricing, Infinity combined the 2 series.

    Entra One-$300 Alpha 10-$330 Entra Two-$400 Alpha 20-$400 Entra Three-$600 Alpha 40-$800 Alpha 50-$1000

    My RS2000.4 were originally $450. The only difference with the RS2000.5 was a LMT woofer which was said to give better bass. The LMT woofer was suppose to have a longer throw. The 2000.6 were as the 2000.5 but with '2' 6 1/2" woofers. I believe the 2000.5s were $600 and the 2000.6s were $800.

    I didn't hear much difference between the 2000.4s and 2000.5s so I wasn't going to spend $150 more, that would go for a Velodyne subwoofer anyhow. I didn't need the extra bass of the 2000.6 obviously with the Velodyne sub. These speakers were virtually the same except for their bass capability. The savings between the price of the 2000.4's and 2000.6's bought the Velodyne CT-100 subwoofer.

    I think most people were getting the 2000.4's because it represented such a value. Unfortunately, the 2000.4 $450 tower class was eliminated in the next line. The RS2000.1s, RS2000.2s, and RS2000.3s were replaced by the RS1s, RS2s, and RS3s. Both series costs were $200, $300, and $400. The speakers were virtually identical. The RS2000.4s were not replaced. The 2000.5s and the 2000.6s were replaced by the RS4 and RS5. prices at $600 and $800. The RS4 and RS5 changed to a rear back bass port. The 2000.4s, .5s, & .6s had internal ports that fired out of the bottom of the speakers. For a 6 1/2" woofer on my 2000.4s, it had very good low bass extension. While not the most powerful bass, they do go low for such a small driver. The Alpha series is in line with the older RS series' prices. The upper Alpha speakers are now using a 3 way system. Since they sound very alike to my RS speakers and to the Alpha 20s, I can only assume that the newer CMMD drivers have characteristics that work better in a 3 way system when the woofers are doubled up. However with an 8" woofer as is with the Alpha 50s and IL40s, I feel a midrange is manitory at this larger size, which 'could' cause smearing.

    The Alphas IMO, are the best valued Infinity speakers in a long time. Unfortunately, since Infinity obviously expected their Entra towers to fill in between the Alpha 20 and Alpha 40's price range, they didn't offer a tower replacement for the IL30, which were replacements for the RS4s. The IL30s were outrageously priced at $700 though! If there could had been a $600 Alpha 30, Infinity would most likely be drawing more sales.

    If I were to buy new Infinity speakers at this time, I'd look at either the Alpha 20s for $400 or some refurbished IL30's from harman's outlet.

    Good luck in your search. [​IMG]
     
  8. Greg Bright

    Greg Bright Second Unit

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    I got the Infinity bug about 5 years ago when I acquired a pair of Compositions Overture 3s. These had 4-6 1/2 in. woofers powered by an internal amp and polypropylene drivers. They were an incredible step up from the PhaseTech 730s I had. Beautiful slim design. Heavy. Floor-facing port. Overpriced at retail ($3000/pr). In the last issue of Audio magazine, Corey Greenburg reviewed the Infinity Preludes (their best speaker) and in passing called the Overture line "unlistenable". Mever could understand that.

    But...just last week got a pair of Stereophile Class "A" rated (and discontinued) Interlude IL60s. An incredible bargain on Ebay. The Overture 3s look so much better with their slim design and real wood veneer, and they are slightly more efficient. But the IL60s sound so much more natural - warmer, not nearly as bright, more balanced - through the entire frequency range. Drawbacks - size, vinyl finish, Star Trek design. But the sound field they create and the frequency response, and the dynamic range.

    I can't imagine owning any other speaker brand.

    Greg
     
  9. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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  10. Phil*K

    Phil*K Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Mike, good to see you back.

    I'm like Mike in the sense that Infinitys are my speaker of choice. For that reason you're not going to get much from me but how great they are. While they don't dominate the scene like they use to they make some outstanding speakers. The Prelude MTS are stereophile grade A non restricted and the Intermezzo 2.6s are Stereophile grade A low feq restricted and rated above the Nautilus 905s that everyone seems to love. The Interlude IL60s are on the Sterophile guide to hometheater grade A list and the IL120s sub was reviewed by the same mag as the best sub under $1000. Hometheater Mag uses Interludes as their reference speakers. If I'm not mistaken the new Kappa line just won an award at CEA as did the Preludes and Intermezzos a couple of years ago. One thing you have to remember is that speaker are like fashion and Infinity fell out of vogue for a while, but make no mistake about it Infinity is back.

    Personally, I own a pair of IL60s, an IL36C, and IL25C, and a pair of IL10s. I know there are better speakers than what I have but for the $1500 I paid for the entire set. I would be very hard pressed to find anything that IMHO comes close. When I first heard the new Alphas I as was disappointed with them. I felt that they were just too bright, but now that some time has passed and the Alphas at the retailer I listened to them at have broken in I think that they are an excellent speaker for the money. However, having demoed a pair of IL40s IMO they were a little better than the Alpha 50s. I'm not sure what accounts for this. I would just chalk it up to personaly preference. Like Mike I felt the 3 way design is superior for the Infinitys and really didn't consider the IL30s. I would have bought a pair of IL10s and put them on speaker stands and saved the $300.

    Where Mike and I differ the most is that I think the best Infinity value at the moment is in the Interlude series. While I agree that they were overpriced when they were current right now you can get them for a song. You can get a pair of IL60s at Harmanaudio on ebay for less than $700 and you can get the IL40s or IL50s for less than $400/pr.

    Anyway, as you can see I love my Infinitys. But this is just my opinion other may feel differntly.

    Good luck,

    Phil
     
  11. Phil*K

    Phil*K Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Greg,

    I was just wondering if you have used the RABOS kit yet.

    Phil
     
  12. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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    Phil,

     
  13. Phil*K

    Phil*K Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Mike [​IMG]

    I agree with everything that you said about the Interludes. I didn't buy mine refurbished or on line. I was just able to get some good prices as they were closing them out. But as you said, with the 5 year warranty and buying them direct from the manufacturer I wouldn't have any problem buying them refurbished and that's a great price on the IL30s. Actually, I would feel more comfortable than some of the other ebay sellers.

    I just listened to the Alphas again the other day and they sounded much better to me. I really think this has to do with them being broken in as the IL10s that I have were NIB when I bought them and they sounded fairly bright for about a month. What you say about the Kappas makes perfect sense to me. I also agree with you about the Entras and not to offend anyone who has them, but to me there is a big difference in all respects.

    As far as the difference between 2 way and 3 way speakers your knowledge is far above mine and I really couldn't respond with any answer that has to do with expertese about the electronics involved. When I decided that the Interludes were the speaker I wanted I felt that the IL40s sound better to me than the IL30s. So I bought a pair. A couple of weeks later I was out getting my stereo fix and found a pair of IL60s for a great price and returned the 40s for the 60s. To me the difference between the 60s and the 40s was night and day. I really can give an educated answer except for maybe the built in sub.

    Maybe you can educate me on this, but Infinity calls the IL60s a 4 way speaker. It has a 1" tweeter, a 4" inch midrange, a 6.5 inch mid-bass, and 12" sub. The crossovers are 150,500, and 2800. Maybe this is just advertising hype, I really don't know.

    I also have a IL36C and a IL25C. I think that the sound of the 25C is very good, but to me the 36C is much better. I had assumedt that this was do to it being a 3 way and the 25C being a 2 way, but maybe I'm wrong. The 36C has a 1"tweeter, a 4" midrange and a 6.5" woofer with the crossover set at 800 and 2500. The 25C has a 1' tweeter and a 5.5" woofer with a 2200 crossover.

    To be complete the IL10s have a 1" tweeter and 6.5" woofer with crossover at 2800. Which I think is the same as the IL30S.

    Anyway sorry for the long post, just trying to understand this.

    Take care,

    Phil
     
  14. LinhT

    LinhT Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I demo the Alpha40 and Polk RTi70 at Circuit City in the same price range $800. The Alpha40 sound louder, more midrange and treble than the RTi70 but no bass.
    The RTi70 has less mid and treble but has more bass, sound open than the Alpha40, probably because the lower freq.
    Anyone compare these pairs at CC. Please give me your opinions and thoughts
    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. Albert Damico

    Albert Damico Stunt Coordinator

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    Infinity speakers? I have two RS3's as bookshelf speakers in my HT system in my bedroom along with two Infinity smallish rear effects I power them with a Yamaha RX-V2095 receiver and they are great. In my music room I have two Infinity RS4's that are connected to an NAD T-752 receiver and they sound fantastic. In my media room I have two Overture 2's as my front mains and the mids are crystal. I drive them with a Sherbourn amp and Ref 50. I also have an Infinity HPS1000 sub that is phenominal. So, as you can see, I believe Infinity offer great value and outstanding sound. I would be cautious with Infinity surrounds and especially with Infinity center channels. I have owned three seperate Infinity centers, a CC2, a CC3, and an HPS center channel. All were a little muddy, but this is all just my opinion. I wonder if I would get better sound in my mains if I repleaced the Overture 2's with IL60's. Anybody have an opinion? Thanks
     
  16. Tony Gibbons

    Tony Gibbons Auditioning

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    FWIW a few months ago I picked up
    2-IL40s, 2-IL30s, 2IL10s, and an IL36c all for under $1000 shipped. Got the IL40s, 10s, and 36c on seperate auctions from ubid and 30s from ebay. All new not refurb'd. The black 40s, 30s, and 10s are going pretty cheap on ubid right now.

    I love these speakers and I really think you would be hard pressed to beat them at the prices that can be had on ubid and ebay. Just watch the shipping on ubid!
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Back in 1982 at my local Pacific Stereo store (anybody remember that company?), they sold Infinity's--these got me excited about affordable hi-end equipment. And they looked so awesome--I used to bring the brochures to school with me just to show them off! :b.

    Anyway, they stocked one of the Reference standard ("RS") series speakers like this one (but their's used three open-backed 5.25" clear poly midranges, one EMIT tweeter, one rear firing EMIT & no controller). Yikes, what a power sponge! But when it was powered correctly...mmmmmm[​IMG] Super deep & clean bass, and gentle but highly detailed treble. What a neat speaker.

    Here's an awesome site for Infinitys (lots of pictures):
    Bobby Shred's Infinity website

    LJ
     
  18. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    My first Infinity speakers were in my car around 1989. They were 3-way component speakers with EMIT tweeters. Simply marvelous!

    Next up was a pair of Reference 4's (not be be confused with the RS series) bought around 1991 . They are still going strong and I'm currently using them as surround speakers for my IL60 fronts and IL36c center. This will change soon though as a pair of Alpha 25es's just came in for me [​IMG]

    Not to offend anyone, but I wasn't a big fan of the RS series. Really, this is the line the hurt Infinity's reputation the most and I recall rejoicing about 3 years ago when my rep informed me that the entire line was being scrapped.

    I just spent some time listening to a pair of Alpha 40's that we just got in and I'm very impressed. I have them hooked up to an H/K AVR8000 and I've got nothing but praise for them. The sound is clear as a bell, spacious and effortless. I'll have to do a head-to-head at home with the IL60's.
     
  19. Phil*K

    Phil*K Stunt Coordinator

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    I would have a hard time trading my IL60s for Alpha 40s or 50s. I like the Alphas and they are more efficient, but they are a little brighter than the Interludes IMO and there is no Alpha equivalent for the IL60s.


    I did just see a pair of "Vintage" Kappa 8s on ebay. Wish I had the cash for the pair and just use them for music.
     

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