I have a pair of Kappa 7's and have had for years. I always ahd the issue of the "screaming at me" and although the emits are accurite and quick they can as you say fatigue you. First off Kappas love power. I started out with a Yamaha M85 Amp with 350 (yamaha watts) and they were ok, then I went to a Mcintosh 5 channel amp with 200 watts. They sounded cleaner but still screamed. So I bought a McIntosh MC352 with 350 (mcintosh watts) and WOW
the tweeter tamed down without losing thier accuracy, the sound stage really opened up and the imaging has been great. I wish I could afford a MC602 because I really beleive that the speakers would come to fruition of the designers intent. I don't know what your drving them with but my recommendation is POWER to the SPEAKERS. Or use the amp money and go buy some more efficent speakers, which is what i am trying to do.
Thanks Theo, I am also using a large yamaha pc2602m amplifier. Some one has shown intersest in the Kappas and I was thinking of going to the other end of the chain and trying a set amp with single drivers. In the interum I have a pair of RS3'S that do well with a lesser amp.
The Kappa's have a couple of below 1 ohm dips in there responce, you will need an amp that can deal with this to get them to sound their best. Any amp under constant strain will cause listener fatigue and no amount of tweeter padding will help this. Get an amp that is stable with this tuff to handle load and most of the emits brightness will go away, you can then deal with the tweets on their own with little problem. A toe-out of your speakers may help, along with a few other small tweeks. The Infinity emits get more than their fair share of blame for the brightness of the Kappa line.
i have owned the 8's and 9's you need the big powerful amps to push them! they are awesome speakers when powered right.
As a current Kappa 8 owner everyone is giving you good advice. These speakers should not be used with Monster cable bi-wire. They just sound awful. However, they do work well with MIT cable, Slima cable and the old Tara Time and Space.
These speakers love tube power. They also like amps that can be driven into low impedance loads. The Odyssey monos sound good with them. The PS audio HCA-2 sounds good with them except beware the tweeeter can get hot if you play them loud ( think the amp is a little underpowered). Older Thresholds are also good. In my opinion most Japanese amps need not apply (except Stax). The Japanese amps are either too bright or can't drive the impedance. The Marantz Ma700 sound good with them.
I would also think the Innersound amp or a Classe would work well.
You might also try taming the wall behind the speaker with a Persian rug. Also stabilize the base. I use 50lbs. of sand on each speaker.
The owner's manual suggests raking them back at an angle
if they are too beamy. That's why the rear leg is adjustable. Getting a high powered amp is the best solution.
I wound up getting a Sunfire Signature 7, which seems to power the 9's without any strain, very sweet, have a room about 15 ft deep by 14 ft. wide; I wired the amp in current mode, sounds smoother that way. Use Kappa modulus, 2 pair for rears, plan to change to Kappa 6 if I can get them reasonbly. Like to get the santos rosewood cabinets in Kappa 6 if they made that option as my 9s are rosewood.
The Sunfire was also a good price. Handles low impedance no problem.
I also plan to get another Sunfire amp, this time stereo, and run it with an electronic crossover on the 9s. More control that way. The Sunfire puts out about 800 watts into 4 ohms,way more into 1 ohm, without protest so far.
Try a tube pre-amp along with your solid state power amp, you won't be disappointed. The "harshness" in the tweeters is your solid state pre-amp. I have run the Kappa 7s for years with a Conrad Johnson tube pre-amp into a Denon 200 watt amp and they sound great.
I'am running the Kappa 8's through a McIntosh MC-2205 amp , with an Elite pre-amp, and they sound awesome.
JUST THOUGHT I WOULD MENTION IT.... NO PARTICULAR REASON..
I have Kappa Eights with a single Onkyo 504/304 combo (tried bi-amping with two 504s, but they still weren't up to it), and Monster cable. Now while I would love a high current amp,(I know, Onkyo is kind of...basic) I can still crank the volume somewhat-and still get sound that is not only non-fatiguing, but sweet without bring overly bright.
The answer is a very simple one GOOD Power.Altough my set is the Kappa7.1 i I think this would apply to the 9s as well.
With power you will tame the Emmit tweater,therefore you will not fatigue when listening for long periods of time.
Also if you can try bi amping ,and playing with differnt cables.I have two Linns LK 140 and have never heard my Kappas the way I do now.Even though the are 8 years they sound better than most speakers out there and I have had a few . Shame that Infinity is now puttin out a lot of junk .
I ran mine in a horizontal biamp config with a pair of sunfire signature stereo amps ( 1200 wpc @ 4 ohms).....very good results.
I changed to two pairs of Carver Silver 9t monobocs ( 900 wpc @ 4 ohms )in a biamp setup and it has been head and shoulders above the biamp setup witn the Sunfire amps. While the Sunfires were good, they didn't deliver the bass slam that the Carver monoblocs do. The bass with the Sunfires sounds "round" compared to the slam I get from the Carver monos. I am using an Audio Research Ref 2 Mk2 tube preamp with Signal Cable interconnects and speaker cable.
If you can afford to biamp, please do...or, buy as much power as you can to throw at those beasts.
I tilt mine back and I don't have a problem with tweeter harshness.
I have owned the the Kappa 7 and Kappa 8's also...never had a problem with the tweeter being untamed...I've always run them all with at least 900 wpc @ 4 ohms. They are all really great speakers if fed enough power.
Photos of my Kappa 9's can be seen at the website below.
I also used them in a home theater setup with two Kappa 7's in the rear and a Kappa center......no subwoofer was needed.
Hello, I've been using the Kappa 7.1's since 1994 and seriously looking now for a pair of the Kappa 9's if you know anyone who has a pair they would like to release! I'm on here trying to learn more about the pros and cons of the K-9's VS. the K-9.1's myself.
I realize that the K-7.1's are 3 way VS. 5 way on the
K-9's, but listening to the K-7.1's for many years, I was very impressed! Recently I got an older pair of the
RS IIIb's and prefer the overall sound above the K-7.1's.
The main difference is the RS IIIb's are much brighter with more dynamic range, and also have a much tighter bass response. I was looking for something with the brighter sound and I believe this is caused by 2 reasons. 1) the
RS IIIb's have 2-10" woofers VS. 1 in the K-7.1's. 2)The RS IIIb's are totally enclosed with acoustic suspension VS. the bass reflex port in the bottom of the K-7.1.
I'm not totally up on the Kappa 9.1's, but if you listened to them in the same enviorment, (provided they have a passive port) you may find the sound you are looking for!
Still a very wide dynamic range, but maybe more suitable to your listening pleasure! Keep me posted as I need to get past the same learning curve!