Robert Martin (1958-2009)

These pages are dedicated to the memory of Robert Martin (aka Bobbyshred) who recently passed away. Bob dedicated his life to music, and enjoyed sharing his passion with others.

If you enjoyed these pages, I encourage you to sign Bob's guestbook to share any kind sentiments.

Also check out the video tribute here.





Vintage
Infinity
Speaker Page




Back in the late 70' and early 80's Infinity made a series of speakers named the Quantum Series.
They were the first to have the famed EMIT tweeters and Watkins Woofers.  The line evolved into the Reference Series that included the industry's first polypropylene woofers, 20 years ahead of their time.  They offered improved transient response to avoid distortion, or coloration.
If you never got to hear these speakers you really missed something.

They had a crystal clear high end and a tight & full bass unlike any other speaker I have ever heard.
The secret of these great speakers was the EMIT Tweeter, which stands for Electro Magnetic Induction Tweeter.  They used very powerful Samarium Cobalt magnets covered by a  thin diaphragm.  It was a ribbon style tweeter that was very light, thin, and super fast. Although not indestructible, they had the most crystal clear high end ever reproduced by any speaker.  Eventually these EMIT tweeters evolved into ribbon midranges and even upper bass drivers.

Some of the models used what is known as a Watkins Woofer, which has a special dual voice coil to better handle the different frequencies the low end.  If you had a Watkins Woofer back then, you never even thought of needing a subwoofer! William H. Watkins designed and patented these voice coil woofers and is still around doing great repairs on speakers today. These were truly great speakers.

Servo feedback controlled woofers were also used in the speakers ot further eliminate distortion.

Arnie Nudel was the man at Infinity who helped design all these speakers but he left to form Genesis Speakers which still make similar, but very expensive ribbobn/servo speakers today.

CLICK HERE if you would like to see a 2004 interview with Arnie Nudel about speaker design.

Infinity was eventually sold to Harmon-Kardon, and while they still make some great speakers, the famed EMIT tweeters and the Watkins Woofers are gone.  So in my humble opinion the heart of what those speakers were, is gone.

My first experience with them was when my college roommate bought a pair of Qa speakers and I was knocked out by the sound of them.  I thought they sounded better than any other speaker in it's price range, hands down. In fact they sounded a lot better than some speakers selling for twice the money.

I eventually bought those speakers from him and enjoyed them very much, but alas, they were stolen from me. I then came to know about the other Quantum speakers which all sounded great, but I was unable at the time to afford any of them.  By the time I was able to buy some nice speakers Infinity had been sold, and I wasn't too impressed with what they had to offer, so I bought a pair of Polk SDAs instead.

It's years later and I've made up for my poverty back then by buying quite a few pairs of older Infinity speaker systems from Ebay and other private sellers.  I don't even have room to set up all the speakers I've bought!

My newest, and best pair, are the Infinity IRS Gammas, which are simply incredible sounding speakers.

But I still have a pair of my least expensive, and oldest pair of Qb speakers set up and I still think they sound great. The EMIT tweeters really put out a nice clear high end.

One Note: This page is by no means meant to be an extensive guide to all of the older Infinity speaker systems. Most of the speakers I have displayed on this page are simply the one's I have had some experience with.  While I do have knowledge about working with speakers, I am by no means an expert.

A more extensive guide can be found here:  http://www.infinity-classics.de But this page, while very useful, is mostly in German.


Infinity Speaker Models
Click on the pictures to get a full description & more pictures of each speaker

The first Infinity
speaker was the 
Servo Static I

Qe
Qa
Qb
 Quantum Jr.
Q5
InfiniTesimal
Reference 
Standard B
Reference 
Studio Monitor
Reference 
Standard 1.5
Quantum Line Source
 Quantum 2
Reference Standard 2.5
Reference Standard I
No, I don't have a pair of these!

 
 
1980 REFERENCE STANDARD

Infinity ads were always nice, but this one I really liked. The ad "book" has awesome photography and excellent writing that just made you want these... regardless of cost.



From the original ad ".... We believe the optimal music system should be idling while performing at full power, nothing should sound strained or harsh. The Infinity Reference Standard has this elusive quality... the reserve capability is staggering, with virtually unlimited dynamic range at one's disposal, it reproduces the full musical spectrum with ease, exhibiting an overall imaging veracity and spacial dimension never before achieved."









 
 
IRS Beta - The Holy Grail!
Probably the best Infinity speakers ever made, and still one of the best sounding speakers available ANYWHERE!
I don't have these, but I do have their "little brothers" shown below,
the IRS Gamma's.

I am still looking for artwork.  Please send me any you may have and I might use it.


Watkins WE-1
High Resolution Loudspeaker System
Although not an Infinity, the Watkins WE-1 Loudspeaker is legendary.
William H. Watkins, inventor of the Watkins Woofer,
designed his own fine loudspeaker system.

Click Here to learn more about this speaker system.

 

Most of  the older Infinity models were of the acoustic suspension design. That simply means they were in an enclosed box, unlike many of the speakers today that utilize the bass reflex system, or ported box.
Bass reflex systems are fine, and they get a lot of volume and bass out of a small speaker.
Acoustic suspension, however, is a much tighter sounding form of bass.

The Infinity Quantum, Reference and IRS speakers all had clear as a bell highs and a tight sounding bass, never boomy.

The tradeoff was that you needed a tremendous amount of power to fully appreciate these speakers. The bookshelf models could eat up 100-200 watts or more, and the floor standing models could eat up 500 watts of Bi-Amped power per channel!

Starting with the small Qe, the models got progressively larger.
They were called Qe, Qa, Qb, QJr, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Quantum Line Source and so on.

The Quantum Series evolved into the Reference Standard Series. They introduced polypropylene woofers & midranges.  EMIM Midranges, based on the same principal as the ribbon EMIT tweeters, also worked their way into the series along with L-EMIM upper bass drivers that are found in the IRS Beta and Gamma line.

Today Infinity is owned by Harman Audio, and they still make great speakers.
But to me, the old ones are really special.

Blowing the EMIT tweeters or midranges is a common problem.
Here are some suggestions on Repairing EMIT tweeters

I know some of you still have your old Infinities, and I would love to hear from you.

There is very little information on these great old speakers, so I have created a place we could all get together and talk about them.  I am interested in hearing about any of your Infinity information.
I need your help in getting pictures, and old info on them.  Please email me with any info, or pictures you may have.

This page is now close to 10 years old, and one of the first I ever authored.
I keep it posted because I get so much positive response from you readers.  I'm a lot busier than I used to be, and I don't update this page often anymore, and for that I apologize to you all.

I'd like to thank my college roommate, Steve Hud, for helping me find a lot of the brochures on this page, and for first introducing me to these Infinity speaker systems.

I am always being asked what these speakers are worth and the best answer I can give you is to look on Ebay and see what people are getting for them. If you ask me I'll just answer that I don't know:)

One bit of advice that I can offer is that if you are interested in buying a 20 or 30 year old set of Infinities be aware that you'll probably have to re-foam the woofers because that is the one part that significantly deteriorates over time. I've had to re-foam many of my Infinity speakers.

The good news is that Watkins Stereo & Engineering, the company who invented the Watkins Woofer,  does a great job of refoaming and re-coning of your speakers. They have great prices and do the best work around so I highly recommend them.
 

Vintage Infinity Speakers I currently own

InfiniTesimal

These tiny speakers
give you a clear,
tight sound.

I top off my old Polks
with them to
bring out the high end.
They also sound amazing with a sub.

Qb

Crisp highs, tight bass.
A "budget" speaker that
still sounds darn good,
even after 30 years.
RSb

Tighter bass and clearer
mids than the Qb's
due to the
polypropylene drivers.
Q5

Clear sounding,
full bass from the 
Watkins Woofers.
These are great speakers!
RS 1.5

Incredibly full sounding.
These are my favorite of the
"bookshelf" sized speakers
because of the poly drivers
and the Watkins Woofers.

 
 
Reference Standard II B
RS IIB

Incredibly live sounding with the addition of the EMIM mid drivers,
and the polypropylene woofers
which makes the bass very tight sounding.

I had the woofers expertly redone by Watkins Engineering.

These speakers have fantastic clarity,
and make you feel as though you are a live concert
because the high end drivers also fire towards the rear.
I REALLY like these speakers:)

You can read my review of them HERE.


 
 
Infinity IRS Gamma
Click Here to see these amazing speakers!

I got a pair of these in December 2007.
I've had the woofers refoamed by Bill Watkins.

CLICK HERE to read more about these speakers.

 


 

Please feel free to leave a comment in my guestbook.
Sign The Infinity Guest book

View The Infinity Guest book


 
LINKS
My buddy Nils has put together an AMAZING Infinity Classics web site.
Almost every great vintage Infinity speaker is listed on it.
I think he has transferred it to all German.

but there is still a lot of information on it you can figure out.
I give credit to him for many of the pictures and information on this site.

http://www.infinity-classics.de

Click Here to visit Watkins Stereo and Engineering

The official Web site of W.H.Watkins, inventor of the
dual voice coil Watkins Woofer
and the Watkins WE-1 High Resolution Speaker System.

 Bill Watkins and his son still do expert re-coning, re-foaming,
realigning of the voice coils, restoration, and repairs of
Infinity speakers, as well as other vintage brands.

This is THE place to get your speakers reconditioned.

They are the best in the business!
They are also very nice people and easy to deal with.

Bill's speakers sound as good or better than anything that is out there today.
He is also an amazing individual.

If anyone has any pictures of Bill Watkins WE-1 loudspeaker
I'd love to post them on this site,
so please email me some if you have any.

Watkins Stereo and Engineering
http://www.watkinsstereo.com

If you ever need some old audio hardware repaired, Ken at Stereo Surgeons is a MASTER at repairning old amps and tuners. His tuner alignments are legendary.

Don't let the small shop fool you, it is FULL of talent.

Stereo Surgeons, Inc.
Established 1986
1195 Main Street
East Hartford, CT 06108-2245
860-528-8837


Parts Express
Parts Express offers some replacement ribbon tweeters.
HiVi RT1C-A Planar Isodynamic Tweeter


This company has parts for some older Infinity speaker models.

Orange County Speaker Parts and Repair

Aurum Cantus G2Si Ribbon Tweeter



Infinity Systems Home Page

Now owned by Harman Audio they still list some info on the older speakers
and even stock some of the parts.

Harman Audio has Infinity parts on THIS PAGE.

They can be called at this number: 516-682-6438
And emailed here: parts@harman.com



 
The Speaker Company is a great place to buy good quality bookshelf speakers at factory direct prices. 30 day in home trial. 5 year warranty. Please go look at the great deals at The Speaker Company! Quality speakers at half the price
Another great page for classic Infinity Speakers.
David's Audio



AudioKarma.org has a great
Infinity Loudspeaker Forum.


A great page for older Dynaco equipment.

Greg's Unofficial Dynaco Home Page

The Best of SANSUI

Sansui made some great old vintage old amps.
I power some of my Infinity speakers with some of the old models.

 
 
Speaker and equipment values.
Everyday I am asked what a particular speaker is worth. I cannot answer these questions. I don't know the conditions and these speakers are so old they are worth what someone will pay for them.
To some people they are worthless junk, to others of us they are priceless.
But I cannot answer the question of what a particular speaker is worth.
You can ask me, but I will simply tell you that I don't know.

 
AudioReview.com
equipment reviews
Audio Tech Talk  message board
Stereo 411.com
lists dealers
Heatherdale 
HI-FI
Stereophile Magazine
Vintage Tube Audio
Audio magazine links
Free Audio/Video Classifieds
Audio Classics.com
Audio Chat
HI-Fi Heaven
Classic Audio.com

My Personal Music Links
 What's a great stereo without some rippin' music?

BobbyShred's Music & More - Links to great old bands.


Was it really that loud ?!!!
(Yeah it was!)

Pop Quiz!
Who knows what fantastic album this cool picture is from?
This picture was in the middle gatefold of the album,
and does not appear on the CD version.
One hint: The tuner is set to 102.7 WNEW FM in New York where this album was first broadcast as a live concert.

If you know the answer to this question you have my ultimate respect!

P.S. I also know what you used that gatefold in the album for,
as did all of my college buddies:)---
Ah, the good old days!



OK, a very few of you did know where this picture was from, for others I know it's been driving you crazy for close to ten years
This is from the great album Climax Blues Band - FM/Live.
I suggest you check it out as it is one of the best rock/blues albums of all time, and totally live.  Buy it, while you can, NOW!!!

Click Here to hear the song "Standing By The River".
Click Here to hear the song "Flight".


Click Here to learn more about this great band.

Thanks to everybody for your continued support for this site.
The positive response has been astounding!

And thank you Mr. William H. Watkins.
This web page exists because of the work you did.
Your designs are brilliant, and you are true country gentleman:)
 

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Infinity Models & Links
Servo Static 1
Qe
Qa
Qb
Quantum Jr.
Q5
Quantum 2
Quantum Line Source
InfiniTesimal
Reference Standard B
 Reference Studio Monitor
 Reference Standard 1.5
blank
blank
blank
 EMIT tweeters &
EMIN Midranges
Vintage Infinity 
Owners Manual
IRS Gamma



Vintage Infinity Home

 
This page is getting so much traffic I must update to a much more expensive server. 

Sign The Infinity Guestbook

View The Infinity Guestbook

My Personal Music Links
 What's a great stereo without some rippin' music?

BobbyShred's Music & More - Links to great old bands.


Webmaster@bobbyshred.com


Updated Saturday, August 28, 2010