Infinity Cascade Model Nine Loudspeaker Reviewed

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The Infinity Cascade Series models are unique among loudspeakers--they don't look like any others, thanks to their slim, narrow curvilinear design and exclusive Maximum Radiating Surface (MRS) flat-panel drivers. The MRS driver used in the flagship Cascade Model Nine (SRP: $999 each) and other Cascade loudspeakers incorporates engineering attributes that yield superlative sonic performance--when the speakers are set up properly and used with quality associated equipment.

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The Infinity Cascade Model Nine has an ultra-modern, high-tech yet elegant appearance, with a curved and tapered front panel available in a cherry wood or gloss-black finish. The front panel is accented by a silver driver mounting bezel, drivers and an integral stand that complements the smooth, flowing look of the rest of the speaker.

Measuring 47 inches high by 10-1/2 inches wide by 11-1/2 inches deep and weighing 28.2 pounds, the Cascade Model Nine's sleek form enables it to easily fit into a home entertainment system--and look sensational next to a flat-panel TV. A center channel speaker and subwoofers are also available, to create a complete surround sound home theater speaker system. In fact, the Model Nine must be used with a subwoofer, as its low-frequency response is limited to 72Hz (-6dB).

The Cascade Model Nine employs two 7-3/4-inch x 3-3/8-inch rectangular MRS drivers, along with a 1-inch tweeter. All driver diaphragms are made using the Infinity Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm material, an aluminum/ceramic sandwich composite material long favored by Infinity for its combination of light weight and high rigidity, yielding exceptional transient response and clarity with reduced sonic "overhang" or "smear." The Model Nine has an 8 ohms nominal impedance, 81dB sensitivity and a recommended amplifier power range of 10 to 150 Watts. The speaker has two sets of screw-type binding posts that enable bi-wiring or bi-amping.

The MRS flat-panel drivers used in all Cascade models (except the subwoofers) feature a flat-panel diaphragm, along with long, narrow dual-elliptical voice coils and a Same Plane Surround design that places the diaphragm level with the surround (as opposed to a conventional cone driver with the surround located in front of the cone), a design that is said to provide a back-and-forth movement that more closely approximates the behavior of a perfect pistonic radiator, for superior time alignment of all the frequencies produced by the driver along with other sonic benefits.

The sonic results are clearly and obviously audible. The Cascade Model Nine delivers exceptional, and I mean exceptional, transient response--fast transient sounds such as cymbal and snare drum hits and the pluck of an acoustic guitar string are almost hair-raising in their immediacy and resultant sense of realism. Low-level resolution is equally superb--the MRS driver's clarity enables you to hear deeply into a recording and enjoy sonic subtleties not audible from lesser driver designs. The sonic impression is one of quickness, cleanness and agility. If it's on the recording, the Model Nine can produce a thrillingly wide and deep soundstage with precise imaging of vocals and instruments.

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