Infigo and Alta Audio

Sinatra said it best: Regrets, I have a few.

On Sunday morning, the final day of the show, my main regret was that I hadn’t made it to the fourth-floor Alta/Infigo room a day or two earlier. If I had, I would have encouraged everyone to go listen. Are audio writers supposed to burn with evangelical zeal? Probably not. But the combo of the just-introduced Alta Aphrodite floorstanders (starting at $50,000/pair depending on paint job) and the recently overhauled Infigo Method 3 monoblocks ($55,000/pair) inspired a tendency to grab friends and strangers both by the collar and drag them to what was surely one of AXPONA’s most exceptional-sounding rooms.

The only other system that I felt this passionate about—the Focal Grande Utopia EM Evos driven by Naim Statement electronics—slayed me with its brutal brawn, its unapologetic spectacularness. I legit swooned when I heard it. The Alta/Infigo setup presented differently: It was perhaps easier to settle into, to glide away into the cocoon of music and forget about the equipment. It had a quieter kind of magnificence, although quiet is relative here: we listened to Tool’s “Chocolate Chip Trip” and Parker Millsap’s “You Gotta Move” at levels that would concern audiologists and possibly enrage a few neighbors.

Some readers may recall that specimen of the Method 3 monoblocks, reviewed in Stereophile last year, revealed issues on JA’s test bench, though not in JVS’s listening room. Infigo CEO and designer Hans Looman notes that he addressed the issues identified there with a thorough fix, including a redesign of the amp’s bias circuit that he says is now free of the measured anomaly.

During the demo, Looman and Alta’s head honcho Michael Levy beamed like proud parents. The speakers and the amplifiers seemed to build on each other’s strengths, producing great dynamic peaks and swings almost with a shrug, as if they were saying, “This? This is nothing.”

The other (related) aspect of the system that wowed me was the microdynamics. Not only could you easily hear whether a drummer played with plastic-tipped or wooden sticks; you could actually discern the tiny variances in force and velocity in a series of feather-light strikes on a ride cymbal.

The DAC was the $35,000 Infigo Method 4, which has a specified noise floor of –145dB. It was paired with a Method 7 preamp ($20,000) and connected with Infigo’s Sparkle-series Cryogen cables.

I heard many excellent systems at AXPONA, but this was one of only two that produced nothing but abundant smiles, goosebumps, and muttered “hell yeah”s.

Anton's picture

A live version of the song...

"Other Arrangements" is one of my favorite albums.

More great source material showing up at the show!

Furthermore, and in conclusion: those speakers give me a subtle Eggleston vibe.