The latest Ask Paul video - Arnie Nudell’s one of a kind speakers for sale!

The latest Ask Paul video, Paul announced Arnies one of a kind speakers will be for sale! Sounds like a potential purchase for @aangen! It would be a cool piece of history!

Ask Paul

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One thing no one knows about me is I have always found Infinity speakers unlistenable. Every last one.

Could be an emotional problem.

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While owning these is out of consideration for a soon to retire government worker, I’d love to hear these side by side with Paul’s new speakers, hear how the PS Audio development has morphed from the original. And for the record, vintage Infinity speakers speak music realism to me, more than any other speakers to which I’ve ever listened (although the breadth of my listening experience pales in comparison to most of the hard core here).

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Too late. Paul already stopped by with them…

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Did those speakers have a “polydome” midrange?
Or did you listen to speakers like the IRS Beta?

Or better yet, the Epsilon?

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I never had a chance to listen to and dislike the higher end Infinity speakers. Maybe I will get a chance some day.

Long long time ago in a distant land I used to own Infinity Alpha speakers,for a short period of time. I say no more… :joy:

But right now,owning a ( only? ) pair of those would be really cool !

I guess I have heard the “Big Box/Crutchfield versions of Infinity speakers but the same as Al not the Reference line.

The reason I asked, is that even back before I knew anything at all about high-end audio, I did not like that I could “hear” the midrange drivers of some Infinity’s. Once I started learning more about high-end audio, Infinity released a system called the Modulus. Those speakers looked so good and sounded so clean and musical that I had to get them. That was 30 years ago. Today, I still have 'em and they still look great and still perform well. They still sound clean and have good soundstaging.

I disagree. “Good” sound staging? If we are talking about the pricy Modulus with the satellite speakers featuring an EMIT tweeter that had optional stands that could be filled with sand, those were wonderful speakers. As far as Infinity speakers back in the day, they had one of the broadest number of lines (price points) for any speaker company, think the AudioQuest of speakers. They had speakers for most any budget. Hence, it was not uncommon for people to draw conclusions of the entire spectrum of speakers, based on hearing just a few models. Yes, I’m a biased long time Infinity owner. I even wrote Bascom King a letter about a model of Infinity speakers we owned in common, 37-38 years ago.

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I was being modest and wasn’t going to make any grand statements about the Modulus, but since you did, I’ll agree with you. :slight_smile:

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EMIT tweeters were the unlistenable portion of the speakers for me. They emitted a crispy foul noise.

you funny

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There are a few people who consider the EMITs as too bright. Placement and room interactions have something to do with that (not something unique to Infinity), and a majority of these Infinity speakers have adjustment controls for that reason. I played my Epsilon’s for an audiophile friend, and he said that was the first Infinity speaker that didn’t sound overly bright to him (Epsilon’s are one of the few more recent Infinity models with improved planar drivers).

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You have tubes in the signal path?

If that was directed at me, yes, just a few…BHK 300’s feeding the upper end.

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Years ago I had tried the Infinity Modulus with a very highly recommended pre & power amp combo that several audiophile publications were drooling over. Was able to listen to music through the solid state combo at home on a Saturday & Sunday and had to bring back on Monday. While the sound was definitely cleaner, more stable and solid sounding than with the NAD receiver I had at the time, I noticed that, track after track, I kept turning the volume down. Two salesman from the store brought over a Conrad Johnson tube pre and power amp the next weekend. After connecting everything together there and turning the power on, there was a terrible, terrible hum/buzzing sound coming thru the speakers. After a full hour of trying everything to get rid of the buzzing sound and not being able to, we gave up and decided to just listen to music. Well, 10 seconds Iater I knew I was buying a tube pre and power amp. It was years later that I learned that Arnie Nudell designed speakers with tube amps. In the 30 years of listening to the Modulus, the only time the sound was ever bright was that one weekend when the well-respected solid state gear was connected. This is not meant to be a bashing of solid state, as I have heard some very nice solid state systems, but is about my personal experience with system synergy.

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Funny thing is, I’ve owned high end Infinity speakers for nearly 40 years. The BHK 300s are the first tube gear I’ve ever owned. I don’t consider myself a “tube guy”, I bought the BHKs because I really like the amps, not BECAUSE they have tubes.

I don’t consider the EMIT tweeter too bright; the speed, accuracy, realism, and sound staging of the tweeter was one of the two main features that brought me to Infinity’s (the other being low, tight bass that wasn’t boomy or thumping…sorry if those aren’t the best choice of words). I think some people believe EMITs are too bright because their reference for high frequency reproduction is lacking these positive attributes. The audiophile who said my speakers weren’t as bright as other Infinity’s he’s heard owns Martin Logan electrostatics. The entire time I’ve owned Infinity speakers, the electrostatic guys have told me that ribbon drivers (like the Infinity EMITs) are too “aggressive.” I always thought that was a funny thing to say. Does that mean the drivers move faster than the signal? In the audiophile world, I’ve come to the conclusion that most terms we use to describe equipment we don’t prefer, are actually terms that counter the deficiencies of the gear we favor.

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The problem with these vintage Infinity speakers are not the drivers. The drivers are really more advanced for their time. It’s in the other parts, like internal wiring, cabinets, and a really big part, the crossover. They put these unnecessary contact fuses, dollar fifty junk capacitors and inductors, sound destroying level controls on the tweeters and midranges, and low quality flimsy hook up wiring in the speakers. The sound is really mediocre in a high end setting.
I changed a pair of 3b’s by taking all the garbage out and use Cardas hook up wire taken by opening up a pair of Cardas Golden 5C’s. I trashed the fuse and level controls and put in VCap, Mundorf, Duelund Cast Graphite resisters, and Jantzen inductors. I also did a lot of cabinet damping with Tekna noise cancelling devices and wool fiber insulation replacement. The resulting sound is nothing like the stock version. In fact I have been listening to a lot of modern high end speakers from shows and show room and haven’t found a pair I have a desire to replace this pair with. Maybe eventually I will, but for now I have not found the limitation of this pair. It just keep sounding better with every change I make.
The emit tweeters is really remarkable. With these latest upgrades, like Sunlight and even more so with the transformer upgrade, these emits, you can really hear the dynamic transient strike with the full body resonance, and the crystal clean air with the decay of the instrument. Incredible resolution.
The real standout is the bass. Changing the inductors and internal wiring really tighten up and increase the resolution and dynamics of these four 10" woofers.
These speakers really sounds more natural and organic than a lot of modern ones I hear elsewhere.
Anyway, I’m still enjoying the heck out of these Infinity’s.