My Infinity Journey has Come Full Circle - Almost

Discussion in 'Infinity Loudspeakers' started by MCM_Fan, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,294
    Location:
    Oregon
    The very first high fidelity equipment purchase I made was a pair of Infinity Qb speakers I bought the fall of 1979, my freshman year of college. I bought them at a little stereo store in Coldwater, MI (I long ago forgot the name of the store, but would probably recognize it if I heard it.). Word had spread to our little college campus, that the dealer in Coldwater was having a tremendous sale on their stock of Infinity speakers. I remember I paid only $204 for the pair (brand new in the boxes, with warranty), which I thought was a great deal, because most places were selling them for $350/pair. The sale was limited to stock on hand, and I got the last pair of Qb's at that price.

    For the next six months, our dorm room stereo consisted of the Qb's, a Marantz 1030 integrated amp that I picked up used from another student, and my roommate's Technics entry level turntable. We listened to a LOT of vinyl, mostly courtesy the Columbia House and RCA record clubs. The turntable was our only source. The following spring, I picked up a slightly used Bang & Olufsen Beogram 3400 turntable, that I also still have and use regularly, to replace my roommate's Technics and give my my first complete stereo system. Unfortunately, the little Marantz was stolen about a year and a half later after I loaned it to a friend.

    The Qb's served as my main speakers all through college and the early years of my marriage. In the early 1990s they become my front main speakers in a 5.1 surround sound system, my first and only attempt at a home theater system. Then the kids came and such frivolities as stereos and home theaters took a back seat. The Infinities went into storage until December 2010, when I moved out and my ex-wife filed for divorce. I pulled them, and some of my other old stereo equipment, including my Beogram turntable and an NAD receiver from the early 1980s, and set up my first stereo system in over 15 years at the "divorce house".

    Hearing those Qb's for the first time in over 15 years brought back memories of how good they sounded. My kids, who had never heard a real, honest-to-goodness stereo were blown away by the sound quality and especially the imaging. They had never heard anything like it.

    So, the exact same pair of speakers that introduced me to quality audio listening, brought me back into the fold. Which has only snowballed from there. About five years ago, I discovered that my local Goodwill stores occasionally have some really cool stereo gear than even a divorced father of 3 can afford. I've gone through several pairs of speakers, currently have four systems running in my house, have given each of my kids, and my girlfriend, systems of their own.

    About 4 years ago, I pulled the Qb's out of the rotation, took them apart, ordered the components from Parts Express to recap the crossovers, but have never gotten around to completing the project - life and too many other projects got in the way. In addition to the crossover recap, my original Qb's have a few cosmetic flaws that need addressed (snags on the grill cloth, one grill frame broken, repaint the front baffles, tiny pin hole in one of the rubber woofer surrounds and do something about that hideous vinyl covering on the cabinets). A couple months ago, I did a complete restoration on a pair of JBL L36 Decades, that I purchased at Goodwill (where else?). That inspired me to dig the Qb's out of the back of the closet and get back to work on them. Well, I started by re-gluing all the cabinet seams with GorillaGlue and installing hardwood dowel braces between the front baffle and rear cabinet wall. But, that's as far as I've gotten (again, several other projects keep getting priority).

    Well today, as I was making my usual Saturday Goodwill rounds, I stumbled on some familiar looking boxes in the furniture section of the second Goodwill I visited. I immediately recognized them (of course). They looked nearly mint. The grills were perfect. When I pulled them off, I was slightly disappointed to see than they were Qa's and not Qb's. I was also a little daunted by the price. I won't mention it here (as I don't want this moved to Dollars & Sense), but it's the most I've ever paid for speakers (or anything else) at a Goodwill. Whoever priced them new what they had. So, no big scroe here, but they were in such fine shape, I had to have them. Logic being that I would swap the woofers, EMITs and grills with my original Qb's and then resell the Qa's to recover my cost. Basically, get my Qb's back to near mint condition at zero net cost (other that the crossover caps that I bought four years ago and still have on hand).

    When I see something in such nice condition at Goodwill, I always wonder why it ended up there. A quick look at the fuses on the back showed they were both blown. I suspect the owner wasn't aware what the fuses did and thought the EMITs might be blown. I took a chance that the EMITs weren't blown and thankfully, they are not. I've been listening to the Qa's all afternoon and evening and while they obviously don't have the midrange of my Qb's, they have that EMIT magic and nice tight bass of a 10" woofer in a sealed cabinet.

    No pictures yet, but I'm starting this thread to give me the incentive to FINALLY finish restoring my first ever real speakers. They deserve it after sticking with me all these years - and so do I. I can't wait to hear how they sound after I rebuild the crossovers. Still trying to decide what I want to do about the cabinets. I definitely want to pull off that hideous vinyl and apply some real veneer. The only question is what species? Walnut would be the safe choice, but I already have too many other walnut speakers. Perhaps oak (maybe whitewash them like I did the JBLs for a more contemporary look) or maybe cherry, or teak, or rosewood, or....

    Stay tuned for further developments.
     
    musicman95, Seppo, Infinity! and 2 others like this.
  2. chef free

    chef free AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    Oakland! What?!
    Hey! Me too! And I still have them and a second pair that I got for $15. I had them stacked for a while, it sounded good too.
     
  3. kkd

    kkd Member

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    A year ago, a pair of Qb's started an Infinity journey for me
    I had not heard Qb's, but had heard some of the BIG Infinity flagships of that era

    Qb's were surprisingly impressive. Since that purchase, in the past year, I have acquired a set of WTLC's, 2000A's and a set of 2000 II's
     
  4. HH-Bham

    HH-Bham Active Member

    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    So how is it going?

    I came across this as I'm working on a set of qBs with mids that don't work (both speakers) and was searching to see if there was any common issue.

    Anyway, I'm about two years younger than you and share similar audio story with kids (less audio) and divorce (return to audio) and even the portion about how my kids are amazed at how good music sounds through decent vintage speakers. I enjoyed reading your OP.

    Peace.
     
  5. goodolpg

    goodolpg AK Member Subscriber


    Do you have a volt/ohm meter?
    Remove the two leads (they may be push on or may be soldered on, I don't know but suspect there are push on) from the midrange drivers and check for resistance across the midrange driver terminals.
    Tell us what reading you get, that will tell us if the drivers themselves are good.
    Beyond that, maybe the midrange controls are dirty or broke, a deoxit cleaning might help.
    Failing that, it might be a crossover issue.
     
  6. HH-Bham

    HH-Bham Active Member

    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Thanks for your kind suggestions.

    After this thread I did more reading here (Infinity forum), found lots and lots (almost unending) good information. Then I did some checking.

    The mids are ok (well at least the one I pulled), pulling the woofer I find that the air core inductor (which feeds the mid) has fallen off and broken off the lead at the control pot. When I tilt the other speaker I can hear the inductor rolling around on the bottom.

    Found many good suggestions on refurbishing the speakers. I'm going for a simple plan: (1) re-glue the air core (no screws), (2) replace the 12.5 uF cap, (3) leave in place the yellow cap, and (4) glue along the seams of the cabinets.

    Sorry for hijacking the original thread, again liked the story in the OP and grateful for all the good info elsewhere here in infinity forum.
     
  7. Spitfirejoe

    Spitfirejoe Cheap Audio Aficionado

    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Fremont, Nebraska
    My story is similar, except for the divorce. My Qb's sat in the basement for quite a while - victims of low WAF. I've finished my fixups - glued the cabinet seams, braced the front baffle, recapped the crossover, moved one EMIT to the other side for an approximate "mirror" image, repainted the front baffle. They look OK - need to do something about that vinyl covering the cabinets, but they are good enough that people still think they are real wood when they see them.

    The Sound! I'm running them as the mains in a surround system that plays a lot of music in stereo. I can't believe how nice they sound. I'm still in love. Using Reference Four's for the rear, Infinitesimal IV's for side surround and front height, and have an Infinitesimal IV center channel speaker (very similar to the Kappa center channels that I've seen). The EMIT-R's blend nicely with the Qb EMITs. The Qb's have really responded to the power of my "new to me" Pioneer SC-1222-K AVR.

    I'm always pleased to see other people are still enjoying these fantastic speakers. It would be nice to see the OP chime in that he's finished his work and is digging the sounds.
     
  8. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,294
    Location:
    Oregon
    OP here...

    Sorry, completely dropped the ball on this one. Several other projects cropped up after I started this thread. So, the Qb's remain in the closet waiting for me to find the time to complete the rebuild. I did pass on the Qa's I mentioned to another budding AKer. They were in really fine shape and he was thrilled to get them.

    Honestly, as much as I remember loving the Qb's, once I get around to rebuilding the crossovers and putting them all together, I'll probably pass them along, too. Nothing wrong with them, but I just have too many speakers and don't really have a need/place for them. Perhaps, they will get handed down to one of my children, to keep them in the family.

    In any case, I was glad to see this thread brought back to life and see others restoring and re-enjoying their Qb's. I bought them all those years ago, as a poor college student, because I thought they offered an amazing value in terms of sound quality for their very modest price. The good news is, they still do. I think they are one of the classic speakers than fly under the radar and can still be picked up for a very reasonable price.
     
    Bahamayellow and Spitfirejoe like this.

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