Why are Infinities the Rodney Dangerfields of spe

I have yet to hear anything but praise for the baby Infinity 2.6 Intermezzos or the top end MTS Preludes. In searching the audiogon forums, however, I notice that the responses to Infinity threads is almost nil. What gives??? I am interested in some 4.1 Intermezzos that can flat out spank many speakers that are highly touted in some of the discussions. Am I missing something?
Infinity seriously lost their way for a number of years and became mass market, Circuit City junk. They have made great inroads with their newest product, but they are still fighting the perceptions. We have an Intermezzo system (4.1's, 3.5, 2.6's, and 1.2) on consignment from one of our clients who needs a larger system to fill his huge space, it is truly excellent. Infinity is still suffering from trying to be everybody's speaker company. They have 3 lines of mass market product (Entra, Intermezzo, and Kappa) that is sold at high discounts online and in Circuit City, but then they have two more lines (Intermezzo and Prelude MTS) which are truly excellent and targeted towards specialty audio. Unfortunately, the upper lines are still associated with the cheaper lines. What they need are fewer product lines (c'mon, who needs five different speaker lines!), better advertising of their product, and better control of Intermezzo and Prelude distribution if they want more credibility and respect.
My guess would be infinities decision to produce mass market loudspeakers. I personally was turned off by some of the stuff they produce for the low end. I haven't seen infinity at any hi-end shops lately. Why would that be? Before the mass market stuff, I used to lust over the IRS infinities.
The Kappa 200 monitors are pretty darn good little monitors...maybe not my first choice at the 1k level...but certaintly not a bad choice...you could do alot worse...they are Danish made...
Step back to the golden age when Arnie Nudell ruled the roost and try the RS1x or IRS Beta, Gamma or Delta. RSIIb can be delightful as well. These are getting older now, nice examples can still be found. I'm keeping the pair of Betas and Gammas that I own. Nothing today comes close to the Betas without spending 30K+.

here here (beemer)on the great OLD Infinity's..My wife polishes my RS1b's once a month and they are still going strong since 1988,and I can't get enough of them..At one time I did demo the Beta's ion 1989 but couldn't justify the extra money between the two.As a matter of fact there are a pair of Beta's for sale on AudiogoN now for a pretty good price.Not many people know about them since they are from the olden days of Infinity.To quote one person on them(if you come across the Beta's or RS1b's run to the bank don't walk.....)
Thesoundbroker explained the Rodney Dangerfield thing well re Infinity speakers in general, but if you really like the Infinities, buy them, enjoy, and don't let others opinions bother you. Good Luck. Craig
Nice post by Plugged/Sound Broker. In addition to what he said, I will add that when the shop I used work at during the early/mid 90's added the Kappas as a lower priced line, I thought they plainly sucked compared to other things we had at the same price points, such as the lower priced Snells or B&W's (guess they wanted that Infinity name to bring 'em in). So I suspect it's not just that Infinity made mass-market stuff, but also that it wasn't very good stuff for what it was.
I must add my 2 cents also.....I have a pair of "originnal" RS 1B's (they were 1A's but upgraded completely to 1B's). I have listened to numorous speakers over the years and the Infinity's still stands tall against the speakers of today. Sure, they may lack certin qualities but, like the folks said above,...you got to dig deep into the pockets to get something much better. Does anyone remember Arnies' Servo Static 1A's??? Not the 1's BUT the 1A's?? Boy, what a system.......
I think the mass market approach is definitely a double edged sword for Infinity. On one hand, it allows a good source of revenue for funding R&D but on the other hand, it creates a perception that their entire line is geared for the masses. How many companies could afford to create a whole new line of drivers, let alone create whole new technologies to improve their drivers? Check out the white papers on the Infinity site and you'll find that most every technical hurdle that affects speaker performance has been addressed.

Still, the proof is in the pudding and if they don't sound right, they won't garner the respect they deserve. This is where I think they make a mistake by selling their top-of-the-line speakers in the mass market stores. When I auditioned a pair of Prelude MTS at Ultimate Electronics, they were positioned less than a foot away from the largest media center I'd ever seen, there were NO acoustic treatments in a very bad room and the source was a cheap DVD player. Not pretty.

Never-the-less, since I'm an employee of Harman International and could get a good deal, I took the plunge and let me tell you, I'm glad I did. Properly set up, in a good room with good electonics, they sound more like real music than any other speaker I've ever heard. I've been an audio enthusiast for 25 years, I'm a hack musician, and I develop audio algorithms for a living and I think they're amazing.
I really like the Infinity Quantum & Q models from the late 70's (see: www.bobbyshred.com/infinity.html) I have a pair of Quantum 3's, Qb's and Qe's. I'd recommend these models to anyone, however, given their age, its not easy to find any that havent had some of their Original parts replaced.

I would like to point out another Infinity model that I own and it is a superb, repeat---> SUPERB speaker. The model is the Renaissance 90. Not too many people seem to know of this one. (Infinity also made the smaller Renaissance 80) They were made in 1992-94,95 when Cary Christie was in charge of the company and sold for a list price of approx $3600/pr. I can honestly say the Ren 90's are incredibly good speakers. They are a much improved design over the Kappa's that came before it with all new drivers- EMIT, EMIM, midbass coupler, and 10" Watkins woofer rated down to 27 Hz. To surpass the Ren 90's, you'd need to go with something like the Epsilon model- but given that those sold for approx $10,000/pr new in '95 and require much more complex setup and amplification, I think the Ren 90 is the absolute BEST BUY that can be made of any Infinity speaker. Not many are seen for sale, but a few do show up from time to time on Ebay and some other places and sell in the $1200-1600 range. The Ren 90's have NO weaknesses, they do everything extremely well- fast, tight, clean Bass, and OUTSTANDING Soundstage, Imaging/Focus. The blonde oak cabinet with the sculpted shape depthwise is GORGEOUS. A lmtd edition high gloss piano black finish was also available at extra cost. I have some foreign audio magazines (but translated into English) that reviewed the Renaissance models when they first came out in '92 and the reviews were impressive- the consensus was that the Renaissance was not merely a Great speaker, but one of THE best EVER made. Owner reviews can also be read at:


Note the Ren 90 looks MUCH more elegant than the scanned photo shown at audioreview.com. The black baffle is actually attached onto the back of the grille itself.

All of the drivers and components used in the Ren 90 are of the highest quality and built to exacting standards. No problems with woofer surround rot on this model as is so common with the older ones. Mr Watkins himself has framed photos of the Renaissance in his shop in Tennesee.

I realize I am not being overly- modest in writing about my admiration for the Infinity Renaissance 90:) - but the praise is justified. Infinity hit a home run when they made that model. I think more people should be made aware that this model exists.

Sincerely, B/F.