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  1. #1
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    Why did Infinity stop using the EMIT tweeter?

    I remember Infinity used to use this amazing tweeter in their home speakers but I can't seem to find them on the Kapp models any longer. Does anyone know why?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Infinity used the EMIT ribbon tweeters for a long time, and I think they were designed before Harman acquired the company. I've heard Infinity's reference systems before, and their original Kappa line up. Those were excellent speakers, and I recall that the EMIT tweeter sounded great.

    From what I've read about the EMIT tweeters, they had high failure rates, were expensive to produce, could not go especially loud, and were more difficult to drive than other tweeters. All that and more probably spelled the end for the EMIT. I'm trying to recall the company (Legacy Audio?), but at least one high end company right now still uses ribbon tweeters.

  3. #3
    RGA
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    Apogee and Legacy still uses Ribbons as do many high end speaker companies.

    I'm not entirely convinced that they're superior to regular silk/soft domes. Certainly they're faster.

    Infinity is now controlled by a different design team headed by Floyd Toole...since the change a lot of Infinity owners are upset now that the speakers sound like dung heeps...then again the people that though Infinity sounded like dung heeps before love the new stuff.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Apogee and Legacy still uses Ribbons as do many high end speaker companies.

    I'm not entirely convinced that they're superior to regular silk/soft domes. Certainly they're faster.

    Infinity is now controlled by a different design team headed by Floyd Toole...since the change a lot of Infinity owners are upset now that the speakers sound like dung heeps...then again the people that though Infinity sounded like dung heeps before love the new stuff.
    Good gawd, get your facts straight before you start spouting off about "dung heeps" (do you live on a farm, or do you just need more fiber in the diet?). Just so you know, Infinity hasn't made the EMIT tweeter in about a decade. Even though it was a revolutionary design when it first came out (read last month's issue of The Absolute Sound, you'll see that it's on their list of 10 most important audio products), it had long-term durability problems, among other issues. The EMIT tweeter was used for a long time even after Harman acquired Infinity in 1982.

    And who are "a lot of Infinity owners" that are upset about the changes to Infinity's product line? And who are the "people that though [sp] Infinity sounded like dung heeps before (that) love the new stuff"? These generalities sound like they're just conjured out of the air.

    If anything, the newer designs that have come about since Toole came on board as Harman's VP of research (i.e. the Intermezzo, the RABOS system, and the revived Kappa series) have now reestablished Infinity's presence in some of the higher end markets, where they had been absent for years following the discontinuation of the original Kappa series and their IRS reference models. If you're basing your opinion strictly on their Alpha or IL series, you're totally missing the boat with these ill informed generalizations. I know you've got some Pavlovian gag reflex anytime Floyd Toole or one of the companies that benefited from his research is mentioned, but get this fact straight -- Dr. Toole is an acoustic researcher, NOT a speaker designer. He does not head any design team, so he's not some kind of boogey man who goes around pillaging speaker companies.

    Also, Apogee hasn't produced any speakers in six years, so I would avoid using them in the present tense.

  5. #5
    RGA
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    "And who are "a lot of Infinity owners" that are upset about the changes to Infinity's product line? And who are the "people that though [sp] Infinity sounded like dung heeps before (that) love the new stuff"? These generalities sound like they're just conjured out of the air."

    Sorry my bad for lack of specifics. Some posters at AA complained about the new designs by Toole and like the old one's by the guy before him who I don't remember the name.

    UHF reviewers thought the older Infinities were garbage - sound and build wise. I heard their lower end stuff more thana decade ago and thought mediocre or worse.

    The new line I have not heard that is why I made no comment...just that is what I heard(err read).

    Though There is not necessarily a worship of the speaker by everyone going on:
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=2646
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=1953
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=1108
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=471

    And because you always think they automatically hate any non British brand they indeed loved the Intermezzo http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=2420

    forgot about Apogee they died a while ago --- there are others though
    Alternate Audio,
    Soundline
    Newform Research
    Ambiance
    VMPS
    Red Rose
    Piega

    Apogee is simply the best known or was to Ribbon nuts. I only ever heard one of their speakers.

    Back to Infinity you are right it was unfair to judge Infinity by their lower priced models from a small window in time from 1990-1995 - what I heard was not good...but perhaps their higher models were. It would be like judging Paradigm based off my audtion of the Titan or the or B&W off of the CM series.

    I shall attemt focus on the specific speakers' line AND NOT generalize the entire company.
    Last edited by RGA; 02-24-2004 at 09:17 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Sealed's Avatar
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    Emit

    The EMIT tweeter was very good in it's day. The designer was Arnie Nudell who runs Genesis now.

    The EMIT was basically a single ended ribbon, and there is also the emit-r which was a radial, and more like a leaf tweeter.

    There are loads of companies that use ribbon tweeters now, from all over the world.
    Australia, UK and USA.

    I agree with RGA, that ribbon tweeters are not necessarily superior to the dynamic counterparts. They have limitations also. In fact, ribbon tweeters for most applications are not very good at all below 10khz. Dynamic tweeters like focal, vifa, scan speak etc work better from about 2.5Khz to beyond 20khz.

    Ribbon tweeters and driver are hard to integrate with dynamics and do it right without a big dropoff at the crossover point.

    Listen to some old emit- equipped Infinity. They are very good, but have sonic shortcomings compared to a lot of modern designs.

    IIRC the the last infinity to use ribbons was kappa series (kappa 9.) They used an emit-R similar to that found in neat, genesis and VMPS now. That speaker had a lot of good points about it. Alas, without Floyd Toole and Arnie Nudell, Infinity has changed designs multiple times since.

    There is a nice website devoted to infinity here:

    http://oellerer.net/infinity_classics/

  7. #7
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealed
    The EMIT tweeter was very good in it's day. The designer was Arnie Nudell who runs Genesis now.

    The EMIT was basically a single ended ribbon, and there is also the emit-r which was a radial, and more like a leaf tweeter.

    There are loads of companies that use ribbon tweeters now, from all over the world.
    Australia, UK and USA.

    I agree with RGA, that ribbon tweeters are not necessarily superior to the dynamic counterparts. They have limitations also. In fact, ribbon tweeters for most applications are not very good at all below 10khz. Dynamic tweeters like focal, vifa, scan speak etc work better from about 2.5Khz to beyond 20khz.

    Ribbon tweeters and driver are hard to integrate with dynamics and do it right without a big dropoff at the crossover point.

    Listen to some old emit- equipped Infinity. They are very good, but have sonic shortcomings compared to a lot of modern designs.

    IIRC the the last infinity to use ribbons was kappa series (kappa 9.) They used an emit-R similar to that found in neat, genesis and VMPS now. That speaker had a lot of good points about it. Alas, without Floyd Toole and Arnie Nudell, Infinity has changed designs multiple times since.

    There is a nice website devoted to infinity here:

    http://oellerer.net/infinity_classics/
    That was the guy's name thanks.

    Frankly with all the weird technology being putout these days in speakers with 22 small drivers and multi driectional pods super tweeters panels blah blah it all gives me a headache. Kevlar and speakers only Batman would have as decor from B&W and eyeballs on sticks from Cabass and gigantic stone henge speakers from JM Labs and Dynaudio it amuses me that the sound I liked best was the 70s inspired Audio Note line ---- a square plain box with two direct firing drivers.

    I just don't see the need for it to be any more complex - and for each advantage those fancier designs bring they also seem to bring at least 2 disadvantages to counter act the advantage.

    Find something that makes you not think about them...then I think you have found yourself a speaker.

  8. #8
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acqui
    I remember Infinity used to use this amazing tweeter in their home speakers but I can't seem to find them on the Kapp models any longer. Does anyone know why?
    I was quite familiar with the IRS speakers having heard HP's pair many a time back in the 80s. The "challenge" with ribbon tweeters is that you need lots of them in a line array to handle the power and to provide a large image. The Magneplanar MG 20.1s are an excellent example of a successful design using ribbon tweeters that doesn't entirely bust the bank at $12k. They produce very extended and sweet highs. At the other end of the spectrum is the Alon Grand Exotica that also uses large arrays of drivers and produces the most incredible high frequency response I have ever heard. Unfortunately they cost as much as a small house. They are at once powerful and graceful. As contradictory as that sounds, they can produce prodigious amounts of utterly effortless sounding high frequency energy. Naturally, the pair of 600 watt triode VTL amps driving the main towers helped!

    I'm with RGA. Infinity was Arnie Nudell ever since the Servo Statik days, not the current Harman bunch who will likely never produce anything like the Genesis One.

    rw

  9. #9
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    Lightbulb

    This is a old disscussion..but i can help myself.

    First of all the emitters don`t lack any durability....the problem why these units fried was nit due to the fact the Emitters were weak,,,,let me tell you one secret ladys and gents.. the key for the classics is as follow

    CONTROL is the most important thing with a kappa 9 [this speaker is otherwise know as a AMPKILLER] Iff you have drive these speakers with enough power,,,that most haven`t done because of the money it costs this is the reason that you destroy the tweeters The 4xemit and 2xsemit [both speakers] don`t ask much but the need the right control to preform flawless...why? very simpel iff your can`t handel the power the demand it will clip [yes even when you think it`s not] the emit units are capable to go as far as 45khz.. eat that for a change!!!

    The kappasereis is a extremely difficult speaker to drive correctly...specially the kappa 9 this speaker will kill most amps...This is a BI-AMP speaker ladys...@33hz 0,8ohm...says enough i think The newer kappas [made under the HK flag] are nothing compared to the classics.....In the audioworld the kappas-series [Arnie nudell] are famous for there preformance. The are never surpassed by the new ones

    The problem of the Arnie nudell speakers were very simpel...very difficult to drive..
    Does the name WATKINS say anything to you all??!!?!!

    I can go on and on and on about the facts of infinity classics....

    One thing tho...the man who said the kappa 9 has the last emit units produced... NOPE the epsilon and sigma!

    EHEHEehhee teh last mails were correct here BTW,,,Greetz Muziekfreak

    PS i own a pair of kappa 9 speakers...the just sound glorieus

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muziekfreak
    This is a old disscussion..but i can help myself.

    First of all the emitters don`t lack any durability....the problem why these units fried was nit due to the fact the Emitters were weak,,,,let me tell you one secret ladys and gents.. the key for the classics is as follow

    CONTROL is the most important thing with a kappa 9 [this speaker is otherwise know as a AMPKILLER] Iff you have drive these speakers with enough power,,,that most haven`t done because of the money it costs this is the reason that you destroy the tweeters The 4xemit and 2xsemit [both speakers] don`t ask much but the need the right control to preform flawless...why? very simpel iff your can`t handel the power the demand it will clip [yes even when you think it`s not] the emit units are capable to go as far as 45khz.. eat that for a change!!!
    Nobody said they were weak. I'm a huge fan of Infinity's Kappa series, and will fully vouch for the IRS line as well, but unfortunately solid performance does not necessarily equate to reliability or durability over the long run, and reliability is not something that I would equate with the EMIT tweeter. A friend of mine at that time worked at a store that carried the entire Infinity line and he saw first hand how many speakers with the EMIT tweeters wound up in their service bay. I doubt that all of those failed units came back solely because the customers were constantly driving them up to the clipping point.

  11. #11
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    Yes thats true my friend...you say it as it is the people see a bigspeaker [american brand...and americans like big] the think it's rather a PA systeem then a true reference loudspeaker that needs the right stuff to operate.

    Thats a pitty...the classics are nomore...take care of them...enjoy them. The are true collectors items enjoy them to the fullest or sell them iff you think the lack in bass-respons.Then sell them to someone who cares and will enjoy them. Just do'nt break them down..please
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  12. #12
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    As I remember it...I actually had some of the emit-k's in the front of my toyota pickup along with some other speakers. I can remember hearing only the clearest of highs from these things...and ohhh boy did they get loud. I was stunned!! I am currently looking out for these tweeters to possibly put with my new system. An amazing tweeter.

  13. #13
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I've been privileged enough

    Quote Originally Posted by acqui
    I remember Infinity used to use this amazing tweeter in their home speakers but I can't seem to find them on the Kapp models any longer. Does anyone know why?
    To stand in front of a referance Infinity IRS, and it was quite an experiance. Not many
    speakers have been made that could match it.

    As I recall, the EMIT tweeter was difficult to produce, and was expensive to the point of not being cost effective. Markets change, and so did Infinity.

    There was a vintage IRS up on ebay last week;

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...718500951&rd=1
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoiven
    I am currently looking out for these tweeters to possibly put with my new system. An amazing tweeter.
    For a company that still manufactures ribbon drivers and that also uses them in some of their own speaker systems you may want to take a look at Swans Speaker Systems. Some of their ribbon drivers are available in the U.S. from Parts Express under the name "Hi-Vi Research" Isodynamic Planar Tweeters.

  15. #15
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    There was a vintage IRS up on ebay last week;

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...718500951&rd=1
    $3 GRAND?!? An IRS system went for only 3 large? Crap, if I would have known there was only going to be 6 bidders, I would have forced myself to accept the hideous walnut finish and found some place to put those suckers. Maybe I'm off my rocker but it sure seems like somebody got a helluva deal on what has to be considered one of the greatest speakers ever made.

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