It is with a heavy heart I report to you that my dear friend, mentor, inspiration, and partner, Arnie Nudell, passed away last week from complications of pneumonia. He slipped away at peace and wasn’t in any pain.
In 1968 nuclear physicist Nudell, engineer John Ulrick, and cabinet maker Carrie Christie formed one of the most famous loudspeaker companies in the world, Infinity. I first met Arnie at the insistence of my friend (and another mentor) Harry Pearson. HP was concerned for me. The fact I was listening to speakers he did not approve of was too much for Harry and he made arrangements for Stan and me to meet Arnie Nudell of Infinity Loudspeaker fame. It proved to be a fateful moment that changed my life and that of my family. I will forever be in Arnie Nudell’s debt.
Arnie loved music but I suspect he loved the art of reproducing it most. He was obsessed with high-performance audio. Even in his last few days of life, he could not shake it. When PS engineer Darren Myers visited Arnie in the hospital—and he had just come out of sedation—the only thing Arnie wanted to talk about was HiFi, his deteriorating physical condition seemed a distant second of conversation.
He wanted nothing more than to finish the work he had started with Darren, Bascom and I, to build his next generation of loudspeakers—a project we had been working with him on for more than the last year—a request we shall carry forward with in his memory.
Arnie’s passing was the end of an era that became audio’s golden age, where musical truth and the absolute sound was its guiding light.
Arnie Nudell will be missed.
Arnie’s son, David, has reserved the website domain www.arnienudell.com. There’s nothing there to see now, but over time we will help the family build a website where his friends and fans can post their thoughts about Arnie, Infinity, and what he brought to the world of music and its reproduction. We will endeavor to list all the speakers he had designed and perhaps form a small community of like-minded people who share updates, mods, schematics, ideas, and all things relevant to this man’s enormous body of work.
We all know we’re not going to make it out this world alive, yet deep down inside few of us actually believe it. I certainly never thought Arnie would slip away from us. He was the toughest son of a bitch I ever met. And the most generous too.
See you, man.
If you want to know more about Arnie from his own lips I had the good fortune of interviewing him a few months ago for a new podcast series I was planning on launching someday, called Ohm’s Law. While I haven’t had the time to put the series together yet I can certainly make available the interview which has never been made public.
You can hear the entire interview (about 20 minutes) by clicking the link.