Infigo Method-3 monoblock power amplifier

I should have trusted my ears. When I first encountered Infigo (pronounced In-FEE'-go) electronics, paired with Alta Audio's Adam loudspeaker, at T.H.E. Show 2022 in Long Beach, California, I wrote, "Timbres were beautiful on bass and high-pitched percussion. The chimes and vibes sounded special and clean, colors were plentiful, and deep bass was all of one piece." Nor was I exaggerating. In that system, Infigo's Method 3 monoblocks ($55,000/pair) pleased my ears as much as their blue-illumined interiors delighted my eyes.

Rather quickly, Editor Jim Austin suggested I review the Method 3. Perhaps he'd already been tipped off by Ken Micallef's praise when he first encountered Infigo in November 2021 at the Capital Audio Fest, and by the ensuing buzz (footnote 1). I was concerned, though, that the Infigo Method 3s might not be able to drive my Wilson Audio Alexia 2s. Even though Infigo owner/designer Hans Looman assured me that they would, "no problem," I decided to hold off until I could listen to the amplifiers again.

Some months later, I encountered the same pairing at the inaugural Pacific Audio Fest. Describing that experience, I wrote, "Smoothness was the system's strong suit, dwarfing (in this room) layering, detail, dynamics, and grandeur. Then again, sound on a 16/44.1 file of Chabrier's España was the most liquid of anything I heard at the show up to midday. ... Absolutely the right timbre and sound quality for this music. ... Equally impressive was the beautiful guitar sound on a 24/176.4 transfer of the Mercury Living Presence LP of The Romeros playing Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. The sound was superb."

Shortly after that, the somewhat easier to drive Wilson Alexia Vs entered my system. More confident that the Method 3 would mate well with my speakers, I requested review samples.

In retrospect, now that I've spent several weeks with the Infigos in my reference system, I wish I'd said "yes" at first opportunity.

The man and the company
Infigo means "impressive" in Latin; that word also describes Looman, the designer and company founder. Even as a child in The Netherlands, at a time when people were switching their televisions from tubed to transistor, he already knew that his future would be in electronics.

"I was always going through the garbage and pulling tubes out of old TVs," he told me during his visit to Port Townsend to install a pair of Method 3s. "It drove my parents nuts. I was always picking things apart to learn how they worked, with an eye on the future."

In 1986, after specializing in analog technology and digital technology during his undergraduate and graduate studies in Delft and Utrecht, Looman founded a company that specialized in measuring techniques. He started out measuring water quality, and nanovolt charges on particles in paper pulp. Measurement remained one of his two passions; the other was music. Even as he took the company full-time, in 1991, he played classical guitar. Later, he took up trumpet and French horn. Some Friday evenings, he made music with other guitar-playing friends. "I can't sit still, so I was always making music when I wasn't measuring things."

Wishing to understand why different amplifiers completely changed the sound of audio systems, he headed down "a deep rabbit hole" and approached amplification from a different point of view than many. "I treated music as if it were my nanovolt charges on particles in paper pulp, if you will," he said. "Those charges are so delicate that they will change or be destroyed if you touch them. I looked at all aspects of audio because there is so much more than meets the ear. Then, I built an input section that measured far beyond 20Hz–20kHz and would be completely pure sonically."

During the worldwide recession at the start of the new millennium, everything Looman had built over two decades fell apart in the span of two years. Needing to start over, he and his wife accepted an offer from Canadian relatives, wrapped their entire life up in a 40' container, and headed to Kelowna, British Columbia. There, Looman started a new electronics assembly company. After learning that Resonessence Labs, a spinoff of Kelowna-headquartered chipmaker ESS, needed someone to build their first series of D/A converters, Looman began consulting for Resonessence, establishing its presence at audio shows. He took the first show-ready version of his amplifier to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, with Resonessence, in 2011.

On Valentine's Day 2020, after Resonessence shut down, Looman founded Infigo Audio. Not a month later, the pandemic hit and audio shows went on hiatus. He focused his time on development, of amplifiers and a new DAC. He "basically engineered the Resonessence DAC the way I thought they should have engineered the thing," he told me; the result was the Infigo DAC, the Method 4. By November 2021, when Infigo products finally debuted at the Capital Audiofest, Looman had both a DAC and amplifiers ready for Ken Micallef to hear.

There's another aspect to the Looman story, which is still unfolding: a budding recording career. The same year he landed in British Columbia, Looman began making archival recordings for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) and Youth Orchestra (OSYO). "One of the most interesting recordings I did was ... of Keith Emerson (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer) performed by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in 2015 as part of a filmed biography, which landed me an entry in the IMDb," he explained. "My recording method is a spinoff of an audio measurement technology I am working on to visualize the depth and focus of a stereo field."

Technical details
Looman built his first prototype amplifier in 1998. "I was already sure that I needed to build a class-A amplifier, because those sounded the best to me," he said. "Unfortunately, they ran so hot that I couldn't even touch my 1W class-A amplifier. Wondering what I could do to create that good class-A sound without cooking the room kept me up at night.

"I decided that the brute-force [approach] of always running the entire current that a speaker would ever need through the amplifier was not the cleverest way of doing it. It puts a lot of stress on the components, sometimes shortening their life. And if something is constantly pumping its maximum load, it's not as agile or capable of performing in linear fashion. Finally, after three years at the design bench, I dreamed the solution at 1am. By 6am, I had changed my 1W amplifier, and the solution worked."

Looman strove to preserve the sound quality of his 1W amp while scaling up the power and ensuring the design would not run hot. "I'm not going to give away the entire secret sauce," he said, "but my amps run cold and only consume maybe 25 or so watts on top of what you need to run your speakers. If you're running 100W into your speakers, the amps will eat maybe 125W or 130W. So only this 25W or 30W will be consumed into heat. But the power is there to ensure that all transistors are open and at the ready. You never have crossover distortion. Instead, you have the beautiful sound of class-A with ultrafast transient response."

Looman is proud of the company's "DC Bias Adjustment System," which he says balances output DC level without limiting low-frequency output. He strove to eliminate phase distortion as well, by eliminating capacitors in the signal path. Low frequencies extend down to 0Hz, he told me, with a separate protection circuit that disconnects the speakers when the DC level gets too high.

How powerful is the Method 3? Looman said the Method 3 will handle dips below an ohm, but it won't double its power output all the way down. As for the amp's extension way beyond 20kHz and its ability to run cool, Looman said that the amp's heatsink is full of hundreds of superfast bipolar transistors. "If you use a lot of very small devices to spread heat over a large area, they are extremely nimble and fast, and each contributes to the power output. An analogy is to a rope-pulling contest. If you have four very big guys on one end and 400 kids on the other end, you know the kids are going to win."

The Method 3's curved heatsink eliminates mechanical resonance, Looman told me. "Even if you put the amps very close to a loudspeaker, they remain sonically dead. The idea for the heatsinks came to me after I took one of my prototypes to Westlake Audio and the guy said they were singing like xylophones."

Footnote 1: Actually, I had heard them, too, also with the Alta Audio Adams, at an event at the VPI House in Old Bridge, New Jersey.—Jim Austin

Infigo Audio Inc.
1395 Stevens Rd. Unit 1B
BC, V1Z 2S9, Canada
(888) 463-4465

jimtavegia's picture

Again, JA1 becomes a part of a company's QC department. Seems like it is happening too often, as at these prices once is too often. I do feel bad writing this as there are owners who are left unaware.

georgehifi's picture

Ditto, 4 x duds, it's not a good look for such an expensive amp.

Smells like a Class-D setup

Nice to see proper square waves though without the use of camo filters.

Cheers George

Joonas Viinanen's picture

Modern class D typically doesn't suffer from crossover distortion

MatthewT's picture

That was not the best ever? At some point a peak of perfection must be reached with no point in continuing. How do four defective examples escape QC?

Archimago's picture

The limitations of human hearing and points at the importance of making sure reviewers have *very* good auditory acuity as we get older to pick up hi-fi anomalies.

Having said this, I heard the Method 3 at Pacific Audio Fest in 2022 and thought they sounded excellent with the Alta Audio Adam speakers. Obviously a company needs to be true to their claims - proper XLR connection, Class A (no crossover distortion), and must achieve power specs. However, the "needs" for human hearing is simply not that high, and few speakers/rooms need more than 50W anyways as JA1 alludes to.

Yeah, a "good enough" kind of perfection presumably was reached for JVS based on his subjective opinion/review despite clear objective limits of this amp.

Ortofan's picture

... the Alta Audio Adam speakers as "a mixed bag."

hlooman's picture

The 4 units in question are all first builds, they have been shown on various audio shows to first get our new company out there. They went from an audio show to Stereophile so they were reviewed as is.

Also please see comment 'Core issue'

teched58's picture

But don't take my word for it. Read the experts:

JVS:"I've heard few amplifiers I've been as eager to return to time and time again as the Infigo Method 3 monoblocks."

BUT WAIT. What's this?

JA1: "The 6dB [gain] shortfall with the balanced connection was likely due to the XLR plug's pin 3 not being connected to anything."


"It appears that all four samples of Infigo's Method 3 amplifier had a manufacturing defect that disabled class-A operation."

And, finally, in the "Truer words were never spoken" dept.:
JA2:"Whenever a designer claims to be doing something fundamentally new—like "low-temperature class-A"—it makes one suspicious. "

Rodan's picture

Low-temperature class-A: the holy grail! Often claimed, never truly achieved. See room-temperature fusion.

Rodan's picture

Low-temperature class-A: the holy grail! Often claimed, never truly achieved. See room-temperature fusion.

hlooman's picture

The original design calls for boards installed in both sides of the amplifier, to run fully balanced, of course with all XLR pins connected in that case.
For several reasons these first amplifiers have only one board installed, which sadly creates the measurement discrepancies and power shortfall.
As mentioned in my manufacturers comment, we are implementing changes that remediate these.
Also as mentioned in the comment, we found and have fixed the issue that showed up in JA's measurements that "disabled class-A operation".

teched58's picture

Given that four of your early production units had defects, what are we to expect from your production units?

I don't mean to be unkind, but the fact is that you botched your pre-launch manufacturing, although you are very fortunate to have had Jason Victor Serinus as your reviewer, and you have have many nice words about your amp from his review. So as long as you avoid the objective part written by Mr. Atkinson, you should be ok.

At your previous gig (Reasonesence Labs), a firmware update was apparently botched, too. Also, if the comment is correct, the balanced inputs on the Infigo amp may also have issues.

The track record does not looking promising for those customers who may be concerned with the technical aspects of the product.

But again, fortunately you had JVS reviewing your kit.

Maybe you should raise the price to pay for the upcoming engineering and manufacturing fixes that appear to be necessary?

hlooman's picture

As mentioned in other comments, all four units were the same so they all behaved the same. I understand people like to pile up on words like 'defect' and 'botched' or other remarks about balanced inputs but don't take it out of context please.
As JVS mentions in his comment they sound wonderful.
We're a young company and unfortunately made a mistake launching these the way they were. Mea culpa.
To set this straight: I have never been involved with any firmware for Resonessence, I have only consulted for them to do their audio shows to help promote their DACs.

Thanks, Hans.

Gregory68's picture

Hmm the invention of class A Amplifier that actually operates as class a/b. Genius. I’ve never herd this amp but the review reminds me of the story of the emperors new clothes.

Glotz's picture

"In class-AB, the transistors that are on the half of the amplifier that is not contributing to the output current switch off above a certain setting." True. "In Infigo's approach, each half is separately biased to always keep conducting regardless of the cycle of the output signal." I'm no scholar of amplifier topology, but to me it does sound like something new, though experts may disagree.—Jim Austin

MhtLion's picture

Personally I understand QC can go south and the last minute adjustments can havoc things. But, you knew they were going to Stereophile but didn't do the final test before putting into the shipping container? If so, what kind of QC can a regular customer expected? More importantly, are you going to call everyone who already purchased it and offer free service? I failed to read it on your response. I urge you to reach out to everyone who may already have it and offer a free service.

"XLR plug's pin 3 not being connected to anything". This may be a bigger issue in my regard. Because this is not a QC problem. This is a core engineering problem. Based on the review, yet it appears that you produced a beautiful sounding amp. I personally feel sad such tragic things happened on your first Stereohile review. But, I urge you to the right thing by fixing every amps which are already in shops and homes, not just what's in your factory. This way, I hope you can rebuild the reputation.

jimtavegia's picture

The MFG could have called any local musician and asked how do you wire a balanced cable with A3M and A3F connectors? So simple even a caveman can do it.

hlooman's picture

The 4 units in question are all first builds, they have been shown on various audio shows to first get our new company out there. They went from an audio show to Stereophile so they were reviewed as is.
The original design calls for boards installed in both sides of the amplifier, to run fully balanced, of course with all XLR pins connected in that case.
For several reasons these first amplifiers have only one board installed, which sadly creates the measurement discrepancies and power shortfall.
As mentioned in my manufacturers comment, we are implementing changes that remediate these.

kai's picture

When implementing changes you should revise the way the balanced input works.

Balanced is NOT about just feeding one leg/pin to one amp and the 2nd to another one.
You need a (forced balance) circuit to remove common mode signals (noise) from the signal path and make sure both amps are driven with the same signal level.

Only this way the amp can be made compatible with all kinds of balanced and unbalanced sources.

MhtLion's picture

It’s good that no one has it yet. I hope you survive this crisis.

PeterKKB's picture

For such a premium product they could have had at least spent a bit of money on design: this thing looks horrible (like a heating radiator).

jimtavegia's picture

1.) I could never be a reviewer and expect to hear the small differences people claim they can hear. 2.) Every reviewer has their own pet speakers that they are use to hearing, yet some claim reviewed amps are state of the art in comparison, but have a hard time hearing malfunctions at low volumes. 3.) It is hard to believe that these manufacturers do not have the same testing protocols that JA1 has and used all the time.

I feel for reviewers, but it may be time for testing to be done first and if the gear is found defective sent back and no review printed. This would be a radical change at Stereophile but might be due consideration. Broken products returned would lead to that the manufacturer not being allowed to resubmit any products for one full year.

The other dangerous issue is reviewers who rate products, but have no testing gear and cannot inform the audience of any sonic issues just by "listening" to said gear. Much money is often at stake here.

Anton's picture

No such thing as bad publicity?

georgehifi's picture

As much as I barrack for the good linear amps, this one with this kind of exposure has seen it's last hurrah.

Cheers George

Auditor's picture

"Infigo" definitely does not mean "impressive". It's a verb and it means "to fix (in), to drive (in), to attach". I wonder how the confusion might have happened, but I can't think of an explanation.

This isn't Jason's mistake. It's on the company's website.

hlooman's picture

There are always many different interpretations to translate a word.
Impressive is one of them.

It is confusing indeed.

Auditor's picture

I realize this is an odd place to have a discussion about Latin, but we have to.

Yes, words often have several meanings. But in a real language they don’t just have whatever meaning you feel like giving them.

In Latin, the ending of a word is of fundamental importance. It tells you what type of word it is (e.g. a noun, a verb, etc.) and what its function is (e.g. subject, adverbial phrase, etc.). A Latin word ending in -o is almost certainly not an adjective. This vowel doesn’t appear at the end of adjectives. So, if you find a Latin word in -o in the dictionary, there’s no way it can mean “impressive” because there’s no way it can be an adjective. (Actually, it could be a masculine/neuter dative singular or ablative singular, but let’s not get into that. I doubt you wanted to decline the word.)

There’s only one word “infigo” in Latin and it’s the verb I mentioned in my previous post.

At least, your link gives us the source of the error. I don’t know who compiled this dictionary and what he or she used, but it’s just bristling with errors.

Two lessons here...

1. Information found on the Internet should be used with caution. Anyone can just toss anything onto the Internet. “Is this a reliable source?” is a question that should always be on one’s mind when gathering information online.

2. Languages are tricky. To stay out of trouble, it’s best not to use a language one is not familiar with.

Auditor's picture

By the way, "impressive" in Latin is "mirandus" or "mirabilis".

MatthewT's picture

For the language lesson!

Turnerman1103's picture

Hans Looman proudly boasts about his connection to Resonessence Labs in his website
.I am one of probably hundreds of customers who were left high and dry by Resonssense Labs when they abruptly closed down .
I was the owner of the $5000.00 Reasonesence Invicta DAC . After noticing that Reasonesence Labs was offering upgrades to my DAC to “Invicta Pro “ status from the standard Invicta version at a cost of $1000.00 I happily sent my DAC in and $1000.00 for the upgrade .
10 days later I received my upgraded DAC back . Unfortunately, after just a couple of weeks after receiving my upgraded DAC back I started having problems with display .

I contacted Reasonesence Labs immediately only to discover that they had closed down ! There was no explanation given . Phones were disconnected - email address deactivated . Nor did not offer any information on their websites for the owners of their products who had spent thousands of their hard earned $$$ as to how they could at least have their expensive Resonessence products repaired in the future . Nothing ! They just disappeared.
I was stuck with a just upgraded $6000.00 DAC that stopped working properly after only a week.

I would never have sent Reasonesence Labs my $1000.00 upgrade if I had known that they would shut down just a few couple weeks later ! They were ethically obligated imo to have informed me before I invested a $1000.00 for their upgrade. An upgrade that turned out to be faulty
Resonessence took my $1000.00 for the upgrade knowing very well that they would be going out of business shortly afterwards . Very unethical business practices - a cash grab .

Last year I noticed Hans Looman had started a new audio company . He proudly advertises his previous connection with Resonessence Labs on his website !

Over the last year I’ve emailed and left voicemail messages for Hans Looman many times politely asking him if he could please just recommend someone who could help me get my Invicta DAC repaired. He has never once had the courtesy to return my emails or my phone calls .

I realize company’s go out of business - but the way Resonessence continued to take money for upgrades from their customers knowing full well they were going out of business is deplorable.

bhkat's picture

Wow! That is bad on so many levels.

hlooman's picture

I have been consulting to Resonessence Labs and helped them run the various audio shows they were presenting in the past nearly 10 years.
It is very sad indeed that they stopped business the way it happened.
I have not been part of any of the service of Resonessence products and have no tools or means to service them.
Unfortunately the person most qualified to do servicing passed away from a car accident...
I did not hear any voicemail messages but did see your message from our contact page today. The answer remains unfortunately that there is no official Resonessence service at this point...

MatthewT's picture

"En fuego" would be a more appropriate name for this company.

hlooman's picture

Well... this comment section certainly is on fire...

David Harper's picture

This is a good example of why "high end" audio is such a joke. 55K for a component that doesn't actually do anything other than impress silly audiophiles because it's so expensive. In addition to being profoundly ugly it doesn't even work properly. All together now.... PLACEBO!!!!!

MatthewT's picture

When expensive gear fails. My vintage and "mid-fi" gear keeps plugging along.

cgh's picture

This article and the comments haven't really reduced my confusion. I am not in the market for a new amp, but always enjoys reading about what's new and out there. Assuming that a SP review is basically one and done (notwithstanding any follow-ups buried in the back of the magazine) I am mystified as to why the amp being reviewed isn't the final design lent out with a bow on top. Further, I am always confused when one is reviewed that has defects or flaws (that didn't happen in transit). I realize that nascent companies may not have the financial resources to produce numerous products and, in this case, there may only be a few amps in existence, but I would think it would spend time on the bench getting a once-over before the review.

So when I read the manufacturer's comments I scratch my head. Comments like "we thank John Atkinson for uncovering some things that will lead to demonstrable improvements." Is this still a work in progress or an evolving product?

"Scrutinizing the bias circuit to find and fix what caused those issues revealed a small undershoot..." again, is this a final product at $55k or a WIP?

"Thanks to John's input, we are incorporating a redesign of the topology of the bias circuit that is free of this anomaly..." again.. and a "redesign of the topology"???

Sounds like a WIP. It's galling that it should command a price tag like that. Presumably we are talking about a bunch of solid state analog and digital circuits and a box, so the NEW thing, the thing that commands the premium, is the design; something that is perfectly articulated by the designer, conceived, built and tested. Yet the design appears to be in flux. Yeah, I don't get it.

hlooman's picture

I am glad the manufacturers comments actually get read.
All of the issues at hand have no discernible effect on the sound quality of these amplifiers, otherwise they would most definitely not have been handed over to Stereophile for a review.
The word 'defective' gets taken very literal, for anyone who has heard them will not deem them to be defective in the literal sense of the word.
Was this review too soon? Maybe.
I take full responsibility for this and stand by the line in the comment that any equipment that goes out of our factory will meet specifications.
As for work in progress: things can always be made better and innovation should never stop.

Ortofan's picture

... an outfit with no track record when there are excellent products available from other well-established companies? Indeed, you could buy one each of the following two-channel amplifiers and still not have spent $55K.

daveyf's picture

I read the review by JVS and afterwards the findings by JA. All I can say is thank goodness for JA’s work.
These amps are clearly a ‘home made’ product from a fellow who is probably working out of his garage.
Nothing wrong in that, but let’s get real on the price!
For the ask, I think one can reasonably expect a level of QC that is far above what these ‘prototypes’ offer. As to the JVS review, well it is another one of those…if you don’t experience the product yourself in your system, you only have yourself to blame by going by what this chap reports.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I've been offline at a family wedding in the Bay Area. Having now read the comments, I'm glad I could enjoy the wedding in peace.

I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Archimago. But as the one person (besides me and Hans) who heard the Infigos before posting a comment to this review, he wrote, "I heard the Method 3 at Pacific Audio Fest in 2022 and thought they sounded excellent with the Alta Audio Adam speakers."

The pair of Method 3s many audiophiles heard at shows was the same pair I reviewed. Except for their bass, which lacked the solidity and color I expect, they sounded as good in my system as they did at the two or three audio shows where I heard them. (I tried to get into the Infigo room at AXPONA 2023 to write a show report, but the positive buzz around them was so strong that the room was too packed to afford a decent listen.) In the lighting used in the rooms I did manage to visit on other occasions, the amps looked as good as they did in my listening room. But I listen in low light where the blue glow emanating from their transparent covers was quite enticing. I'm sorry that black and white photos do not present them in the best possible light, as it were.

I was in shock when, after I had submitted my review, I learned of the Method 3's faulty construction and inability to perform according to spec. I remain mystified as to how monoblocks that did not perform as they were intended managed to sound as fine as the Infigos did at shows and in my listening room. All I can do is repeat what most Stereophile reviewers say time and time again (and which a lot of posters clearly don't accept): specs ≠ sound.

I am beyond eager to hear a correctly assembled pair of Method 3s in my listening room. If the sound remains as good as before but the bass gains in solidity and focus because of higher output power and true class-A operation, I expect they will be a knockout. Until then, I am not going to engage in back and forths with people who have never heard these amps in person. Life is too short, and I'm short enough as it is.


teched58's picture

JVS wrote: "I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Archimago."

The fact that Jason thinks it's highly unusual that he's in agreement with Archimago says much, much more about Jason (and his perspective as a reviewer) than it does about Archimago.

hlooman's picture

Thanks Jason...
I am very sorry that all of this happened the way it did, and once again, I take full responsibility for this and stand by the line in the comment that any equipment that goes out of our factory will meet specifications.
I am looking forward to getting you and John a new pair of Method 3s.
I fully agree: specs ≠ sound - but promised specs need to be met.


JPD-WA's picture

"Rather quickly, Editor Jim Austin suggested I review the Method 3."

"It appears that all four samples of Infigo's Method 3 amplifier had a manufacturing defect that disabled class-A operation"

Maybe Stereophile needs to have a policy that they will only fully review equipment (especially like very expensive $55K mono amps, et al!) once it has come to market, rather than letting consumers assume it has and be beta testers for that gear, in this case seeming to be prototypes!. All four samples were defective! How can that possibly happen if a manufacturer has their act together? If I had bought these based on a review, only to learn of this problem, I would be absolutely furious. The mea culpas from the manufacturer are weak.

I would be shocked if something like this ever happened with much less expensive Schiit Audio, for example (and I don't own their gear). I've seen videos and read interviews about their manufacturing and excellent quality control. I have a modest but well-reviewed Odyssey Audio amp (a Jon Valin top budget pick), and I know builder Klaus Bunge would never let this happen, and would be embarrassed to his core if it had.

daveyf's picture

Is justifying an issue like these amps had really the way to go? As the poster above stated, if he, or for that matter, anyone else, had bought these amps for the price asked and found these issues, they would be furious. IMO, rightly so.
The question that could, and maybe should, be asked is…would it not be prudent for a few protocols to be enacted? Firstly, it would seem to be appropriate for any manufacturer to bench test their gear to make sure it is performing as advertised before sending anywhere for reviews.Secondly, it would seem to make sense that JA might consider measuring the gear before a reviewer lays his hands on it…that way the kind of surprise that JVS received would be less likely. A faulty product could then be sent back before review.
Sound does not equate to measurements, but what the manufacturer correctly states…for a lot of folks, a product needs to meet its advertised specs. The higher the price asked, the more imperative this is.

georgehifi's picture

daveyf :" it would seem to make sense that JA might consider measuring the gear before a reviewer lays his hands on it…"

Now that's a great way to do things JA, what about it???

Cheers George

Anton's picture

Listen and report, then measure seems great.

Otherwise, JA would just be sending the crap back and we'd never hear about an issue and its sonic correlation.

There is not even any need for the follow up review at this point, we have seen it with past reviews: "Everything I said remains true, only even more so now."

'Just sniff it and move on,' as my dog tells me when I go to pick up its poop on a walk.

I like this way because it shows us that we are mere humans; and it is a bit amusing because audiophiles who say they can hear beyond what can be measured get a chance to stand there with their pants down while JA shows us that either 1) we are sometimes fooling ourselves, or 2) those stupid objective tests don't catch the essence of a product even when it is broken.

This way is more fun.

georgehifi's picture

It should be sent back if it's playing up on the bench and never reviewed or exposed to the public, and it makes the reviewer look like a fool if he waffles on about how good it sounds. (reminds me of that other mag).

Cheers George

ok's picture

..move on.

georgehifi's picture

Nah!! it really needs to be thrashed out.
As it happens now nearly every second or third review!!!.
And what happens if it's a "good subjective review" because of "whatever", and then the impressed reader doesn't read the measurements because he/she has no idea how to interpret JA's measurements, he/she can end up buying a lemon of a product, that has no re-sale value because of the bad measurements caused by design faults or whatever before being sent for detailed subjective/objective review.

Cheers George

funambulistic's picture

After reading all the wildly negative comments here, I thought I would offer my experiential $.02 based on actually listening to actual and real Infigo product. Last June, I attended the Lone Star Audio Fest and Infigo had a room featuring their Method 6 stereo amplifier and Method 4 dac, driving a lovely pair of Rosso Fiorentino Volterra speakers (and associated cabling, of course). This was, by far, the best sound of the show but that is not what really struck me, as fantastic sounding as it was. What really stood out to me was the noise floor (or really lack thereof). I've never experienced such a void behind, below and between the music - the mental image that came immediately to mind was a vast black, noiseless chasm that almost gave me vertigo! It is a phenomenon that is really hard to explain but is readily apparent once one hears it (or, more accurately, does not hear it).

I cannot say how that specific equipment measured but I know how it sounded and I was very, very impressed (the Volterras were no slouch either). Impressed enough that I am seriously weighing the need for two kidneys. Based on that presentation, I believe Mr. Looman is onto something special (it did not hurt that his lovely assistant played just about anything I asked her!).

Ortofan's picture

... what impresses you, then you should try the Benchmark AHB2.
As a bonus, it might save you a kidney, or two.

funambulistic's picture

... is not the only thing that impressed me, impressive as it was. Thank you for the suggestion, but I have not heard the Benchmark, so...

georgehifi's picture

And buyers should buy a pair based on that and don't read or believe any measurements and spec on anything they purchase???.
The ideal mag for that type of subjective/suggestive only reviewing/purchasing, is Absolute Sounds.
Maybe this way of buying should go for purchasing ones car/fridge/tv/anything the same way also??? Just believe the one selling it to you and don't do any due diligence.

Cheers George

funambulistic's picture

I do not believe I wrote anywhere that buyers should by this. I was just reporting on what I heard and what I heard was excellent. I do not know how the specific components I auditioned measure (nor do I really care) and guess what? Neither do you!

Of course, you are free to interpret what I wrote as you see fit (which you obviously did)

daveyf's picture

While the question of value differs for each of us, the price point that these amps has been offered at lets one look at a number of competitors. Personally, I would not touch an amp that is constructed so that it is unable to drive a variety of speakers at the price asked. These amps, even if they sound good to one listener at a show, are not a product that would give a consumer confidence. I think one of the interesting arbiters of gear, and many will disagree here, is how well the product holds up on the secondary market, price wise. Should be interesting to see how these amps do?

georgehifi's picture

"I think one of the interesting arbiters of gear, and many will disagree here, is how well the product holds up on the secondary market, price wise. Should be interesting to see how these amps do?"

Looking at what's happened to it here, I think that may be a very rare one to see on the used market, and rightfully so.
Unless potential new buyers don't do their due diligence to see what rep it's got or going to have.

Cheers George

vlavalle's picture

This product is a Canadian made product, but to sell it in the USA, you need to list the specs of the amp at 8 ohms (NOT 4) RMS and across the entire audio frequency range (20-20K) and at what distortion level. Thus, your 250 watts may actually turn out to 125 RMS w/ch with both channels driven at .08% distortion (just a guess at the distortion level) across the full audio range! If my guess is correct, and the amp only produces half of what you are advertising, who would pay such a high cost for a medioric amp?

a.wayne's picture

Amp needs a total redesign ..... !

The End ..

hiendmmoe's picture

Reading measurements is always somewhat a YA or NA specifically when the objectives vs subjectives poor their options into the subject matter. Usually I dismiss those ones as members of the YA vs NA when measurements produce some sort higher or lower numbers that some will call out on.
But, a manufacturer that sells a &50,000. Amplifier who sends it out for the world to hear and doesn’t have his shit together first; that’s is totally unacceptable. Just think if you’re the purchaser off of this amp and run into these issues after your investment. That’s not what this hobby should be about: it should make you happy not sad!

13DoW's picture

A manufacturer knows that JA measures most review equipment so I am incredulous that you would not measure what is being sent to ensure it is working! A well established manufacturer should be able to pull a piece from inventory and check the production test report. A new company can't do that but why-oh-why not hand measure the sample as a pre-review check? The words 'roost', 'home', 'to', 'coming' and 'chickens' spring to mind. And, JA-classic was told it was a manufacturing issue but the designer comments suggest it a design flaw that was not worked out.
Qudos to JA-classic for not giving the design a hard time but the reviewers, whose reviews would have been pre-biased (pun intended) to think the product was class-A, must be pissed.

adifferentpaul's picture

This is one of those times where measurements do help in finding something to be resolved, and looks like an issue is now fully known about and already corrected. But the real reason for all the drama is the simple fact that Infigo amps sound fantastic, truly fantastic. I heard the Method-3 monoblocks and Method-6 stereo amps at multiple hi-fi shows, and the Infigo/Alta rooms really stood out as some of the best sounding rooms. The amps sounded ultra-clean and ultra-smooth, and are definitely worth auditioning. I do wish pricing was more user-friendly, as I would easily purchase the stereo amp if more affordable.

Joonas Viinanen's picture

Someone finally achieved what was impossible... he made a low temperature class A amplifier. How? by making it class A/B of course. lol