Apogee Diva's or Infinity IRS Beta's?

Anyone had the good fortune of listening to Diva's and IRS Beta's? How did they compare? Not really interested in amplifier requirments etc, just sonic qualities of those
speakers. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
I know of a friend of a friend that picked up a pair of Divas while owning the Betas, and the Betas went up for sale afterward. As I understand, it wasn't a completely obvious decision, but unfortunately I don't know the particulars that swayed him. If I can find out more, I'll post again.

As you may already know, the Divas will have somewhat faster bass, but you'll have the dipole cancellation that should probably make for some unevenness in the response down there, while the Betas will be very flat except for any room modes that both speakers will exhibit.
a fun read:


About 5 years ago a friend had both a set of Infinity IRS Beta's and a set of Apogee Diva's. This Diva's killed the IRS Beta's. It was not even close. Perhaps the other componets up stream could have been a better match with the Apogee's. What I observed was that the Diva's were way more coherent. The bass timing was way off on the IRS compared to the Diva's. No matter where we moved the bass cabinets or the ribbons on the IRS we could not get the same performance as we did with the Diva's. The midrange and the highs were much better with the Diva's as well. the timing of the driver complement on the apogee was far superior. In addition the control module for the IRS also induced alot of noise into the other componets. The IRS Beta's are a fun speaker to listen to but the Diva's are far better.
I never heard the Divas, but I have had my Betas for around 10 years now, so this is a bit one sided, but here goes anyway. The Betas require a lot of care to set up just right. The woofers simply overpower most normal sized listening rooms, and most audoiphiles eventually give up. Me, I moved and put them in a 16.5 x 40 foot room. That was a great start. If you want a plug and play, the Divas with Krells of the era are probably much easier to find happiness with. The Betas are a bit like a trophy wife/girlfriend. It will take time and effort to get them to perform just the way you want them. Big tube amps on the panels and big solid state amps with a high damping factor on the woofers is where you need to start. When you get them right, they are spectacular, and although I still go to high end shops and listen to big $$ speakers, I have yet to hear anything that makes me want to upgrade. To each their own, and hopefully you will find some audiophiles who have these set up so you can listen to them. Eventually this hobby does become subjective and personal. The control module, BTW, only needs to be hooked up to the woofers, which you can see for yourself when you look at the schematics.

Infinity IRS Beta

word which best describes the Infinity Betas is "fantastic". These speakers have to do more construction to prop up one's hair standing than any other system. I have goosebumps recordings with accordion and harmonica solos, which is unheard of, since I normally find neither really exciting music to listen to. These speakers sound like they were made ​​for big, dramatic musical works of the type that has inspired the HiFi flow from the very beginning (Why American audiophiles as matter their $ 20,000 use systems 200Wpc amplifiers to "original baroque instruments', guitar solos, singing and listening sextets is beyond my comprehension. are Americans the only people in the world who do not see how ridiculous it is to use a missile to kill a fly on the wall?). The Betas had a huge dynamic range, an incredible feeling of power, and a remarkable effortlessness during the loudest passages. The overall impression they gave of real, live music was something that had to be heard before it could be appreciated.

And yet, very different from other immensely "impressive" speakers I have heard, this could just as well with small, intimate musical works. The Wilson Audio Beethoven violin and piano sonata recording sounded almost as realistic as when Dave the original band played through the reference system of the plant. In fact, the violin sounded an even more natural by the Betas, which he almost had me in the room to stand.

In terms of harmonic structure - accuracy of timbre - the Betas are superior. When something is so close to the right tonality, it is difficult to describe his "sound". Heard by the Betas had every instrument exactly the "right" combination of gravity and texture. Cello, piano bass, and large brass - whose sounds are usually belittled by audiophile speakers - show were the Betas with a breathtaking authority and power, and the effect it had on the dynamic range of orchestral (and piano) was music quite dramatic.

The bass beautifully, with the possibility of a gigantic produce sound in great works such as Mahler's 8th and Mozart's Requiem . It is precisely in balance and shape of the Beta seemed the bass greatest part of the time absent. Then suddenly comes an incredibly deep sound from the system that shakes the floor. Because the floor of my listening room cement, I know this is not really possible, but there were times when I would have sworn that it really happened (probably it was just my bench shaking). And the quality of the bass was just as impressive as its quantity. Only the Synthesis subwoofers can match the detail and focus in the lower zones of the Beta's, and I've never heard a speaker who did it better.

Oh yeah (uhum), the issue of soundstaging. The only systems that soundstage reproduction can come close to the Betas have seen a couple of mini monitors. With good recordings "floating" stage almost literally between and behind the speakers, and awareness of the walls beside and behind the speakers is more than I would have believed if I had not experienced it myself. The Beta is only less impressive in specific image of the sound, and we now know why that is (at least, according to my tests).


Beta is a winner in every respect? Almost, but not quite. It has not quite the "snap" of full-range electrostatics as the Sound Lab A-3 capable of making sounds sensible, as if in person in front of you. Without a direct comparison, this minor flaw barely noticeable; Beta sounds really convincing. But under side-by-side conditions sounds A-3 just more realistic. There is also a slight hardness that I belong to the Sounds Labs, which can store about to irritation under the wrong circumstances, but which to a large extent contribute to the `There at zijn' feeling. This was one of the biggest differences I noticed between the two speakers. Or the Sound Labs have too much or too little of it the Beta is debatable, but there is no doubt possible that the Betas sounded pleasant, and often more musical than the A-3s. The Betas have a slight deficiency through this range (around 5 kHz), which is perhaps the reason for the superior vivacity of the Sound Labs.

Overall, I love these speakers, and I can not imagine anyone not be very impressed by their performance. If you can afford them, and have the space for it, they buy. If I could I would do it. But if you buy them, be prepared to give up some smug prejudices about the superiority of solid-state about tube amplifiers. A good transistor amplifier will be good enough for the woofers, but only the best tube amps and upper-range power amplifiers will provide the remarkable musicality and realism where they are