Arnie Nudell – From Here to Infinity

Imagine a speaker firm with an introductory product that pushes the outside of the performance envelope while tearing the pricing envelope to shreds. A reviewer in an audio journal that tilts toward the high end deems this speaker "appallingly expensive," notes he would have bought the test sample if he'd had the money, and confesses that being without it makes him feel "rather as though a member of the family has passed away." Now envision a speaker company at the peak of the industry sales curve, one so successful that a mainstream hi-fi magazine ranks it No.1 in market share for two separate years. Very different companies, right?

Wrong. Stereophile's founder, J. Gordon Holt, made the comments quoted above about the ServoStatik I (footnote 1), the loudspeaker that launched Infinity Systems—the same Infinity Systems that Stereo Review later determined, in two annual surveys, was the industry segment's market leader. Much of the credit—for Infinity's high-end products and high sales volume alike—belongs to Arnie Nudell, who grew up in Los Angeles, and cofounded the company there in 1968. I recently called him in Colorado, where he now lives, and where he's at work on a speaker with advanced versions of technologies he pioneered. Here's what Nudell had to say about his route to Infinity, and about some of the firm's achievements during his two-decade tenure as president and head of product development (footnote 2)