Tag Archives: speaker

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Without design compromise

Origin stories of Infinity’s flagship loudspeaker, the IRS, have as many variations as M&Ms but this is the one I was told.

It all took place over a dinner attended by Infinity partners Cary Christie and Arnie Nudell along with their international sales manager Leon Kuby. It was Kuby who challenged Arnie to consider building a line source loudspeaker without design compromise. Nudell is reported to have scoffed at the idea saying such a speaker would be absurd, taking up most of the room and costing a king’s ransom. Over time the challenge moved from the absurd to the possible and finally to the practical.

From TAS’ Jim Hannon:

“Like Infinity’s previous flagship loudspeakers, the goal of the formidable seven-feet, six-inches-tall, four-tower, Infinity Reference Standard (IRS), introduced in 1980, was to reduce “the musical distance between the live performance and its reproduced illusion.” Its sole design objective was to “achieve the world’s highest level of musical accuracy, and to develop the new technology needed to attain that objective.” Originally conceived as a statement of what a large line-source dipole without any design compromises could achieve, the IRS attained surprising commercial success, and served as HP’s long-time reference. That alone should be enough for the IRS to reach iconic status!”

In fact, Stan and my first meeting with HP of the Absolute Sound was at a time when this very speaker was his reference. We had come to visit Harry and show off our new little phono stage, a $120 silver box about the size of a pack of English muffins that was our sole product. Harry kept promising to give the phono preamplifier an audition while we sat transfixed by the sound of the IRS—but the audition never happened. When 2 a.m. rolled around we were all tired. Stan and I went back to California the next day changed by those speakers. Our horizons had been forever extended as we witnessed what few people ever get the chance to do: be in the same room when the musical distance between a live performance and its reproduced illusion had been reduced to near nothingness.

The IRS loudspeaker system changed my life and the lives of others. It was a seminal work that deserves its place in history. It will live in permanency at our new building with its own dedicated room. Sometimes history has to be preserved so we can understand our roots.

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

The last full paragraph is exactly how I did my own listening room.!!

Building a room

In early September we’ll be moving much of the company into our new building across the street. We’re pretty excited. We’ll do our best to make our move as seamless as possible from your standpoint: keeping the phones live, using remote access for emails, reducing downtime to nearly nothing.

Once the offices, engineering, and production have moved the next phase will be the building of the Music Rooms of which there are 3 planned. Our original hope was to have the music rooms as well as our offices, production facilities, and engineering all humming along at the same time but what is it they say about plans for mice and men?

Starting with Music Room One, the largest of the three. It’s 16′ 6″ wide and nearly 30 feet long. On one end of this room sits Arnie Nudell’s reference loudspeaker prototypes and on the opposite side whatever new PS loudspeaker we’re working on at the time. Just to the right is Music Room Two the new home for the Infinity IRSV. It’s a foot wider than our existing room at 16′ 2″ and about the same length of 22 feet. To the right again will be Music Room Three with our Affordable AN3 loudspeakers (or the new Sprout Speaker) and a Stellar Stack in combo with a nice little showroom so visiting folks can see what we make.

Note how the center wall between rooms One and Two is slightly angled and that each corner too is angled. These angles, along with a pitched ceiling, will greatly reduce standing waves by virtue of limiting the parallel wall bounce.

Much more to come as we progress.