By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Infinity is replacing one speaker series and adding a sixth series to help achieve distribution goals.
The Alpha series will replace the Interlude series with a tighter selection, which Infinity brand manager Eli Harary said will top out at $1,000/pair for a floorstanding model and "focus on the price points and configurations that were most successful with Interlude." Alpha, for example, will exclude a $1,200/pair tower with integrated powered subwoofer.
Alpha includes two two-way bookshelf speakers at a suggested $329 and $399/pair, two floorstanding models at $399 and $499 each, and a two-way center channel. These models ship in late summer and will be followed sometime in the fall with a bigger center channel, a powered sub, and a selectable monopole/dipole/tripole speaker.
Like Interlude, Alpha will be open to all Infinity retail channels, including Circuit City.
In expanding to six series from five, Infinity resurrected the Kappa name, which hasn't been used since the early 1990s. The series consists of an $899-suggested three-way center channel and three speaker pairs, which are priced at a suggested $1,200/pair for a bookshelf system to $2,400/pair for a three-way tower. They add wood veneers and fit between Alpha and the existing Intermezzo series, Harary said. It's targeted to higher-end specialists and custom-only dealers.
The two new series pick up design and engineering elements of the Intermezzo and Prelude series, including stiff, light Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) drivers and contoured and rounded front baffles to reduce diffraction.
To these features, the Kappa series adds tilted-back front baffles, which time-align the midrange and tweeter, and side-firing woofer in the tower. Kappa's real-wood exteriors come in maple, cherry or black ash.
Despite "tough times" for component speakers, Harary said, Infinity is still growing its distribution. With 800 storefronts, including Circuit City, the brand is "70 percent where we want to be," he said. In six to seven months, Infinity expects to reach its distribution goal, only about six to seven months behind schedule, he said.
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