CEDIA: Infinity's New Flagship Loudspeaker

What better way to celebrate a 40th anniversary of producing audio components, than to debut a new flagship loudspeaker? Infinity Systems did just that, showing off its new Prelude Forty loudspeaker. This high-end tower features Maximum Radiating Surface (MRS) flat-panel transducer technology (as pictured, they are the silver midrange panels set on the black bezel). Among other things, this allows a narrow front width, and a slim profile. The panels use a ceramic metal matrix diaphragm (CMMD). Raised ribs, as well as gussets (indentations along the edges of the panel) are incorporated into the diaphragm to increase rigidity and are said to reduce diaphragm breakup.

A 1-inch CMMD tweeter is also used. Dual 8-inch, side-firing CMMD woofers with 2-inch-diameter edge-wound ribbon voice coils, high-Gauss neodymium magnets, and cast-aluminum frames handle the low end. The Prelude Forty utilizes a 3-1/2-way crossover network that allows the midrange drivers to operate in different frequency ranges. Also, the panels use two large elliptical voice coils, rather than a single conventional round voice coil, with rectangular neodymium magnets. This provides maximum contact and superior coupling between the voice coils and the diaphragm, resulting in increased efficiency.

Another key engineering feature of the panel driver is its Same-Plane Surround suspension. In a conventional-cone driver, the outer edge of the cone and the surround are located on a different geometric plane than the voice coil – a configuration that can cause the cone to rock back and forth as it moves, creating audible distortion. The driver eliminates this effect by placing the edge of the diaphragm and its surround on the same plane as the driving force from the voice coil.

The cabinet tapers from bottom to top, with a front baffle that curves into the top surface. Cabinets are available in three finishes: high-gloss black, real-wood cherry, and rosewood. All of them use removable black grilles.

If you have to as ask about the price....

...if you have to ask about the price, you probably can't afford it. The Prelude Forty will begin shipping in September at a suggested retail price of $6,000 each. You know, actually, that's not a bad price. I'll take four.-Ken C. Pohlmann