Infinity Reference Standard 4.5


I got to listen to my former speakers (not this actual unit, but same model) again after about 3 decades. A friend of mine was able to acquire this pair recenlty and he invited me to come over and share with him my old tweaks with the 4.5.

My old pair went thru several mods like spikes, de-foaming, silver internal wiring, etc. But for now, we just played around with positioning and degrounding of amp and preamp.

These are huge speakers. But make no mistake- these mothers can disappear. They may not pinpoint image like the Proac Tablette or LS35a, but the 4.5 will give a lifelike realism to the soundstage. I’m not so sure if the layers of depth is a result of the open baffle configuration of the mid and highs.
The lows are apltly handled by two 10-inch woofers per speaker. The curved (phase aligned?) configuration of the EMIMs (4 per side) dish out vocals in goosebumping musicality. While the EMITs, which need no further introduction, did their job in an unobstrusive silky smooth manner. No treble beaming whatsover.

In the past 13 years that I have been part of the HiFi Show, I have heard some of the best speakers. Not all, but a decent representation of what’s out there in the high end audio jungle. I would boldly say that the 4.5s (with its 40 year old technology) can still go head-to-head with the ‘new kids on the block’.

Arnie Nudell and Bascomb King sure did their homework on these babies. The 4.5 was Stereophile’s resident speaker during the early days of high end audio while Pearson and the guys over at Sea Cliff once used the 4.5s as reference – biamped with an Audio Research D79 and a 200-watt Stasis – in room #2.
(I believe room #1 was reserved for the HQD system.)

Yes, the 4.5s are power hungry and wouldn’t get invited to your next SET get-together, but considering its size, I was amazed how it could be driven with my 75-watt ARC D79 without going full throttle. 200 watts per channel was the reco by Infinity.

For that afternoon session, the speakers were driven by Mang Rod’s 100-watt dual mono amps, Audio Research SP8 (RAM modification). Front end was VPI TNT / Eminent Tech linear track arm / Clearaudio Concerto V2. Yeah, old school.
But how did the 4.5s sound?  . . .Terrifying.

Terrifying because I wanted to rush out, sell my car and hunt for a pair of my own. 🙂
It’s good I lack the space at home for these now . . . or I would be Uber-ing to work next month.  😀

Yes, the RS 4.5s need room to breathe. In as much as I wanted the speakers at my home when I had them back then, my smallish bedroom, during the mid 80’s did not give justice to the 4.5s. So I hauled the pair to my dad’s office. Even before the ‘audiophile-mandatory-30 min-warm up”  🙂  , I began to understand the heapings of praise for this speaker.

I once invited Senor Gelano over for a listen. He was so enamoured with the sound which gave him the inspiration to set up The Philippine Audio Society. During the infancy of PAS (1990-91), meetings were held at dad’s office while listening to these speakers.

Going price for this vintage babies is around the neighborhood of P100K plus (Shucks! I sold mine for P30K), if you can find one.
Still, P100K plus, for me, is worth every inch of this speaker considering that modern bookshelves run around the same ballpark figure . . . and only a fraction of the 4.5s size and sound.

Sheesh! I should never have accepted my friend’s invitation for a listen.
. . .Kinakati na naman ako. 😉





2 Responses to “Infinity Reference Standard 4.5”
  1. Weiman Wei says:

    Boy B !!!!! I remember the 90-91 infancy of the PAS. That is where we met !!! hahahahaha we go a long way back na pala !!!

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