• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Infigo Method-3 review by Stereophile

D

Deleted member 21219

Guest
Did I read that correctly? Three examples in a row, all with the same fault? Tell me I've got that wrong! :oops:


Jim
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
20,680
Likes
37,388
Triple fail. Fail on the maker. Fail on the reviewer. Fail on JA who though he caught this and printed it didn't make enough of the poor results. In fact after testing the only right thing to do is get a functioning current product and redo the review.
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
3,893
Likes
6,011
That’s crazy. I feel like I could put a HypeX amp in a really nice case, pot the whole thing in resin, add a couple of PS Audio Noise Harvesters, underrate it like heck, and sell it for $55K, pay for some advertising, and then I would have some LEDs that flickered showing my amps removal of HF noise on the AC power and SOTA measurements at my rated power.
 

restorer-john

Grand Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
12,663
Likes
38,735
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
That’s crazy. I feel like I could put a HypeX amp in a really nice case, pot the whole thing in resin, add a couple of PS Audio Noise Harvesters, underrate it like heck, and sell it for $55K, pay for some advertising, and then I would have some LEDs that flickered showing my amps removal of HF noise on the AC power and SOTA measurements at my rated power.

Well, instead of all the idle talk, why don't you just do it, huh? See what happens.
 

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
3,739
Likes
6,444
Ouch: Stereophiles review of a $55k monoblock amplifier: Infigo Method-3
Looks like a major failure by both manufacturer and subjective reviewer. The comments tell a lot.

Laugh all you will at Stereophile, and there's a lot to laugh over, but if it wasn't for Atkinson, no one would know. I hope he is paid well.

You'd have thought the editor, or whoever is running that circus, would have pulled the copy before it hit the stands, once the lab report came in. At least that way, they wouldn't look like total fools. But I guess there's no insight into reality over there, or they just don't care.
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
3,893
Likes
6,011
Laugh all you will at Stereophile, and there's a lot to laugh over, but if it wasn't for Atkinson, no one would know. I hope he is paid well.

And credit to the editor-in-chief and publisher for not suppressing any of the data.

Well, instead of all the idle talk, why don't you just do it, huh? See what happens.

It’ll be probably be a few years before I have the time/budget to start another company. :). I bet we’ll see an influx of great amps coming out in about seven years.
 

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
3,739
Likes
6,444
And credit to the editor-in-chief and publisher for not suppressing any of the data.

You know, I never thought of that. The old hi-fi slicks (Audio, Stereo Review, Hi Fidelity) usually measured the stuff first, and then refused to publish anything if they found it was broken. So you never read a bad review. Even Aczel, who was usually pretty hard-core, did that a few times.

Maybe the editor at Stereophile has a sense of humor. Just lounging, throwing back a few cool ones, thinking, "You know, if I'm condemned to a life steering this ship of fools, then what's it to me if they make fools of themselves?"

So kudos to him, if that's what he's thinking.
 

mhardy6647

Grand Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
11,358
Likes
24,541
Yeah, I just read the review. Pretty interesting.
The old hifi magazines are rife with ads for pseuodo-quasi-hemi-semi-Class A bias schemes that weren't Class A -- but this one takes the cake.

It appears that all four samples of Infigo's Method 3 amplifier had a manufacturing defect that disabled class-A operation...
source: https://www.stereophile.com/content/infigo-method-3-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements

Value engineering (aka "Muntzing") taken to a whole new level.
 

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
3,739
Likes
6,444
Value engineering... taken to a whole new level.

Ranks right on up there with VW's 'Clean Diesel' software. Only at least VW had the intelligence to disable the 'cheat' function when the thing was undergoing EPA testing. If Infigo had have been as clever, Atkinson would have never found out. :)
 

mhardy6647

Grand Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
11,358
Likes
24,541
Ranks right on up there with VW's 'Clean Diesel' software. Only at least VW had the intelligence to disable the 'cheat' function when the thing was undergoing EPA testing. If Infigo had have been as clever, Atkinson would have never found out. :)
I must confess - that's exactly what I thought of as well. Yeah, this amp seems like the polar opposite(?) It only cheats when it is being tested(?!).
The whole thing might be very Heisenbergian. It's Class A until one tries to measure it.
;)
 

anmpr1

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
3,739
Likes
6,444
Well, I'm sure the amp designer already has a 'Method 4' mod already in the works. :facepalm:
 

John Atkinson

Active Member
Industry Insider
Reviewer
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
168
Likes
1,089
Laugh all you will at Stereophile, and there's a lot to laugh over, but if it wasn't for Atkinson, no one would know.

Thank you. The mystery is that not just Stereophile's reviewer, but others had auditioned the same samples of the Infigo amplifier that the magazine reviewed and that I measured at audio shows and at a listening event at VPI and no-one heard any problems, I discussed this paradox at the end of the review's Measurements section: https://www.stereophile.com/content/infigo-method-3-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements

You'd have thought the editor, or whoever is running that circus, would have pulled the copy before it hit the stands, once the lab report came in. At least that way, they wouldn't look like total fools. But I guess there's no insight into reality over there, or they just don't care.

Soon after joining Stereophile in the late 1980s I implemented the policy that once a manufacturer or distributor has submitted a sample of a product for review, the review would always be published. As I wrote in the essay linked to below, "Once a writer has embarked upon a review for Stereophile, nothing can stop that review from eventually appearing in print....If a product sounds bad but appears to be working properly, then we will proceed with the review on the grounds that it is typical of production. If it eventually turns out that a loudspeaker's crossover was wired incorrectly, or that the wrong transistors were installed, or that the hum was due to a production fault, we will happily review the corrected version, but [the magazine's readers] will always learn about the original problem....[T]hey need to know that a manufacturer can't always supply a working sample, even when the user will be a reviewer.

"If a product does turn out to be faulty, or just doesn't work out of the box, we ask for a second sample....Similarly, when a manufacturer asks if he can send an updated version, we comply on the grounds that we need to be able to describe the most recent sample for the review to be relevant. However, the writers are instructed to include in their reviews all their experience with all the samples they've received, not just the most recent or best-functioning...The magazine's primary responsibility is to its readers. Ergo, quality-control problems must be reported in the review, and to make exceptions for some companies would be both inconsistent and unfair."

See https://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/1105awsi/index.html

Stereophile's current editor, Jim Austin, continues this policy, hence the publication of the Infigo review. Infigo has promised to send new samples of the amplifier that are working correctly and the magazine will publish a follow-up review.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile
 

John Atkinson

Active Member
Industry Insider
Reviewer
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
168
Likes
1,089
The old hi-fi slicks (Audio, Stereo Review, Hi Fidelity) usually measured the stuff first, and then refused to publish anything if they found it was broken. So you never read a bad review.

Larry Klein explained at a 1990 AES Conference that this was Stereo Review's policy when he was that magazine's Technical Editor back in the early 1980s.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile
 

Ron Texas

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
6,181
Likes
9,255
@John Atkinson I'm glad to hear Stereophile has journalistic ethics. Thank you for visiting with us. This isn't the first time some super expensive box of electronics had an epic fail, so these tests serve as a cautionary tale.
 

antcollinet

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
7,565
Likes
12,683
Location
UK/Cheshire
Ouch: Stereophiles review of a $55k monoblock amplifier: Infigo Method-3
Looks like a major failure by both manufacturer and subjective reviewer. The comments tell a lot.
Loving the "associated equipment" list. It's like a what's what of snake oil. Perhaps one or two exceptions.
 
OP
LTig

LTig

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
5,803
Likes
9,510
Location
Europe
Thank you. The mystery is that not just Stereophile's reviewer, but others had auditioned the same samples of the Infigo amplifier that the magazine reviewed and that I measured at audio shows and at a listening event at VPI and no-one heard any problems, I discussed this paradox at the end of the review's Measurements section: https://www.stereophile.com/content/infigo-method-3-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements
I've taken part at audio demonstrations where the room was full of people and no one noticed that
  • the LP was played at 33 rpm but was cut at 45 rpm - even the service man from Ortofon who had claimed before that a TT which runs 0.1% too fast is a bad TT did not notice;
  • one of the horn drivers of the Avantguard Acoustic Trio Classic was wired out of phase, and the developers who did the wiring hadn't noticed either;
hence I'm not really surprised that amplifier distortion has not been noticed as its effect is much less audible than the failures shown above.
 
Top Bottom