Infinity IRS Beta loudspeaker Righting Wrongs

Sidebar 1: Righting Wrongs

Before I listened at all, I decided to right the Infinity manufacturing wrongs uncovered by JGH. One of the knobs of his equalizer had come off, and it's not simply replaced. I had to remove the equalizer cover, with difficulty remove three screws holding on the milled-from-solid-aluminum front cover, and carefully reposition the knob so that, when tightened, it lined up with the appropriate numbers on the front panel (which was removed). For good measure, I filed a flat onto the switch shaft so the knob would not subsequently come loose, and I tightened all the other knobs' set screws (accessible only with the cover off)—several were quite loose. Total time: 35 minutes.

The other defect was speaker terminals on the woofer towers that became horribly loose with respect to their mounting plates, making it hard to attach speaker cables. This repair, requiring only a 4mm Allen wrench and two 10mm open-end wrenches, was simple, but impermanent! After tightening down the 10mm nuts as much as I felt I could without breaking the hollow shaft they were on, and reinstalling the panel, I found the terminal was almost immediately loose again. I suspect the culprit is the ridiculous red and black plastic spacers between the shaft's shoulder and the plastic panel: the spacer compresses, defeating one's attempt to really tighten up the shaft. The colored spacers, supposedly there to indicate positive and negative, are ridiculous because they're so small you can't see the colors without a flashlight; the raised "+" and "–" symbols are similarly tiny, and almost impossible to discern. Of course, if you switch + and – on your cables, not much happens—the amp just goes into full-power low-frequency oscillation, scaring you to death during the moment before the crossover turns off.

Both these problems are disgraceful in a $12,000 product; I trust that Infinity, in a fit of shame, has engineered solutions as unlikely to go wrong as most $1000 speakers.—Larry Archibald