Kappa 9. Parasound HCA-3500 WILL NOT power them


I purchased a pair of Infinity Kappa 9's a few weeks ago. I had the Infinity RS3A's and decided to sell them and upgrade to the Kappa's. I first hooked them to one of my Denon POA-2400 200wpc amps. Not enough power. So posted this problem on here and after some research I decided on the Parasound HCA-3500 350wpc dual mono amp. So I bought one from a real nice guy here on audiogon. I hooked it up last night and this thing won't power them! The amp gets real hot fast. It clips when turned up and the speakers sound like crap. We hooked up a pair of Infinity SM-152's to a Denon POA-1500 150wpc amp next to all this and it sounds better! Also, I think I blew one of the soft poly mid-ranges. The yellowish white rubber on the mids turned clear around the outter edges after listening to moderatly loud music. I'm really frusterated. Three thousand dollars later my stereo sounds way worse and I can't turn it up as loud as I used to. Does anyone have any advise? Could there be a short in the speakers? Why did my midrange blow? What amp should I buy now?
400bill
There is definitely something wrong with the crossover or one or more of the drivers is shorted. More power will not solve your problem. You need a knowledgeable tech to examine them. Do not buy another amp. Danger Will Robinson
Again Krell ksa300s.
I'm pretty sure the Parasound will drive them. Sounds like the amp could be defective. Or, the crossovers are shot in the speakers.

When you hooked up the Denon, what told you it wasn't enough power?
The midrange might not be blown. The domes clear up after being heated. In fact, if you CAREFULLY use a hair dryer on them, the yellow will disappear. I think I origionally recommended a pair of Carver Pro 1600's and I'll stick to that.

You're singing a song I've heard before.
Actually the Kappa's are know to dip under 1ohms, and if I remember correctly Threshold, Krell, etc or any other Apogee style amp ( you could look at the H20 digital amps that apogee owners get) Adcom 565's were modified to remove the protection circuitry so they could dip under one 1ohms but sometimes they would fry.

I hope you have the amp out in the open? Don't put that Parasound in a rack and run it on your speakers it will thermal for sure.

a sub 1ohm load is a short technically that's why your amps will heat up so much, and when they run out of juice they send crap directly from the wall to your speakers and cook drivers.

If you want to rock you will need a serious amp that can play at 1ohm. Not many amps will do that, look for 1ohm rating on amps.
Music Reference RM-200 handles loads down to 2 Ohms.A 1 ohm dip ask Rodger at Ram Labs/Music Reference.I've heard these speakers before with a Vintage HK Citation II Tube Amp that puts out 60 watts per side.JD
I have the amp out in the open. As far as the midranges may not be blown, there is no sound comming out of either one. Before I turned them up last night, both of them had sound comming out. I was told that you can't kill Kappa 9's. Only Kappa 9's can kill amps. I live in Indiana. Should I take the Kappa's to guru in Tennessee? What is his name and website? I've heard he used to work for Infinity and does work on the Kappa's and is in Tennessee. I could maybe go $3,000 on another amp or pair of mono blocks. What about the Threshold SA1 or SA2 mono blocks?
Surprising that the amp has a problem driving them, did the (current overload lights) turn red?...how about the (heat temp indicator light)...did it turn red? Parasound says that the amp can drive loads below 2 ohms...short term basis.

The book on my Krell Ksa-250 specs, power output: 2,000 watts a side at 1 ohm, you could try one of these if it turns out to be an amp problem?

Dave
The current lights on the front turn from green to red when I turn up the volume. I still want to know why the midrange speakers blown and can I rebuild the midranges or do I have to replace the whole thing? I do think that it's going to take a larger amp. Not all is lost. I also have a pair of Kappa 8's that are going in the front next to the 9's. I'm sure the Parasound can handle the Kappa 8's. I do want to find something that is all black to somewhat match the Parasound for the 9's.
I don’t get you??
It sounds more like you just want amp upgrade advice instead of finding out why you may have blown the midranges.
Could be the amp? Did you by chance cross or touch some wires together with the Equipment on?
I would worry more about finding out what happened then new amp advice.
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?cspkr&1146682440&openusid&zzNgjockey&4&5#Ngjockey
Sounds like your speakers are fried or the crossovers are toasted. The Parasound should be more than enough. Other than that, you may just be listening at levels that could melt the paint off your walls, and if this is the case you may need something like Pass X1000 monblocks. Even then abuse can fry speakers......
Btstrg: Kappa's are know at for killing equipment like Apogee speakers... they present a basic short to amplifiers and hence require amplifiers that can produce huge current at .8ohm-1ohm loads.. Very few amplifiers can do this for a sustained period. When these lesser amps fail they will clip the speakers and damage the amplifier or the drivers.

Another solution would be to sell the infinity and pickup some other brand of hard rocking speakers like Von Schweikert VR 4 Gen III SE which can kill the bass at 16hz but are an easy 4ohm load. Get yourself a pair of Parasound JC1 monoblocks and be in Rock heaven! Some of the larger Legacy speakers can produce high SPL. Or get some subwoofers to agument a new set of speakers so you can remove some of that load off your main speakers.

I would recommend fixing and selling the speakers... it will be cheaper than paying for maintenance on old Krell, Threshold, Etc amplifiers. Otherwise check out the Apogee forums to see what amplifiers they are having good luck with at these short circuit loads.

I've owned the Music Reference RM200 and while yes it could hand my 2.78ohm dip on my Wilson Watt puppies it still would not be a solution for your speakers.. Wolcott's would be one of the few tube amps for you. Stick with solid state.
Here is the Stereophile HCA-3500 test report:

http://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/100parasound/index3.html

Dave
I hope you mids arent fried, sounds like you clipped the amps and may have damaged the drivers. The kappas will need something that will drive a 1ohm load all day long. Big krells thresholds plinius will But I bet you still dont get all that loud of levels. A Great speaker that can rock is the stratus Goldsi that can be had for under 1000. Sorry to hear of the problems.
The InnerSound ESL amp is a possibility. Designer Roger Sanders told me that it was stable into a 1/2 ohm load.

Duke
I did not cross or touch any wires together. Asked for amp advice a few weeks ago when I purchased the Kappa 9's and my Denon POA-2400 wouldn't power them. I decided on the Parasound HCA-3500. The amp came in Thursday via UPS. I thought everything was going to be great. I hooked everything up Saturday and all this happened. I'm asking more than one question at a time because more than one bad thing happened Saturday. The drivers seem fine, but there is no sound comming from the soft polydome mids and they did have sound at first. I've already seen that Orange Co Speaker has replacements, but I don't want to replace anything until I get this worked out. I ask amp questions because so many say that it takes a monster amp to power these. I do think that the 85 Parasound is a monster. I'm just trying to find out if it's monsterous enough.
It's not the amp. There is something wrong with the speakers. Even if the Kappas drop down to 1 ohm occasionally you should not be having these problems. Was something in the speakers damaged??? That's the place to look, not the amp...

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I have a pair of Kappa 8's and use a Citation 7.1 amp bridged to drive them it has 130 peak amps of current.
Check the bass current limit switch on the right of the Xover, set switch to normal. I have cranked mine up loud enough that I don't need a Subwoofer.
Kappa 9's dual 12's can draw a lot of current, the Mid Bass Coupler driver is very delicate and have heard of many people blowing them by trying to overpower the woofers, the best way to drive them is get a high current amp to drive the woofers and a good amp to drive the mids and highs.
Find a pair of Carver Silver 9t monoblocs....they can be had for about $1500. They will drive the Kappa 9's with no problem. The Sunfire Signature stereo amp ($1500 used) will drive them also.

For an even more stunning sound, biamp them with four Silver 9t's or two Sunfire Signature amps.

I have four pair of Kappa 9's. Truly an undervalued speaker. They will wow you if given the right electronics.
Find a pair of Lazarus hybrid amps, 50 wpc in stereo or 200 watts as monoblocks. They are designed to be able to drive anything but a dead short and are unconditionally stable. They are one of a few amps that can drive Apogee Scintillas well, for example.
You probly already know this, but thier is a current limiting switch on the back of you speakers just to the right of the crossover. It's under a black plastic cap, with this switch put to the normal position that parasound should never have any trouble. It is a very durable amp. Even switched to extended it should be able to handle most music. I had a pair of kappa 9's years ago and found that I had to biamp them to get the sound out of them that they are capible of. I has one Bryston 4Bst on them first and had your problems but found positioning was very important, I played with them for a few nights to get them to sound powerful and smooth. Then i bought a second 4Bst and ran then in extended mode and they where incredible. I found they should be for best sound 10-15 feet apart, the distance between the speakers and the primary listing area should be slightly greater than the distance between the speakers. To obtain the lower coloration and excellent stereo imaging position them at least 2-3 feet from walls and corners, if the bass is a bit light under these conditions, move the speakers slightly closer to one of these boundaries. Moving the the seating position by as little as 6-12 inches forward or back can result in a large diff in bass energy. positiong is very important on these speakers, if not positiond wright they won't have any bass and sound bright and harsh.
I sold the kappa's and now have Infinity 1b's. the brystons could not handle any amounts of volume so I now have Krell and Conrad Jhonson mono blocks. I also spent many nights playing with positioning again, but once you find that sweet spot they are incredible speakers.

Darin
I have a couple questions for you. Are the mids soft and pliable? Can you see through them to the magnet behind them? If the answer is no to either question, I wonder if the coil has been frozen in place and basically a shorted driver. If so you know the results of that. Try pulling the mids out, remove the four allen screws and pull one lead from each. Try running them again to see if the amp is still having problems driving them. I have run my 9's on a yamaha receiver without any problems, so I do not know why you would run into the problems you are having unless a coil is shorted. Give a try and report back.
As a response to Darinkperih, I do not know if all the kappa 9's have the switch that you refered to. I believe only the last year model known as the (9a)had this feature. When I have run my speakers with an old Yamaha receiver, I use the switch. When I run them through my Adcom Mono's, I do not. They sound and look like new. There is a little too much hype about this amp killing thing. I have run these at extreme volumes without destroying either amp or speaker. I have thermal shutdown amps and I have blowen one mid dome which was easily replacable at the time.
I'm not quite sure why you were trying different amps, there is a major problem with the speakers. By ignoring that and trying other amps you are simply screwing up other things besides the speakers.

Chances are the speakers came to you with a problem, Kappas were an interesting period in Infinity design and depvelopment.
I think you need to check your speakers crossovers. I own the Kappas. For about seven yerars I powered them with Adcoms. Then a Marantz. They have a 4 ohm switch in the back if you're worried about frying the amp. Later I used Odyssey monos. The only problem I ever encountered was with the Adcom in the summer in an unairconditioned building. Even then it would just shut down.
Hi, I would check your midrange controls as they might have burned.
Try this URL for a PDF of the schematic: http://www.infinity-classics.de/infinity/technik/manuals/Kappa_9_technical_sheet.pdf
I believe that removing the huge series cap and shunt coil they have coming into the woofer curcuit would cure this speaker's famous bad reputation. I've removed them from several Infinity models (Delta/Gammas, RS II's, RS 4.5's) and it really helps the amp and to me, makes the bass a bit more quick and clean. Typically, amps hate capacitance. JAY
From what you described it sounds more like the loudspeaker. Call Bill at Millersoud. He repairs your speakers to the original specs. The crossover should be checked too.

If you experience a knacking sound in the midrange and tweeter it can also be the polyswicthes. Those protection circuits need to be removed. They don't work well within the age.

On the other hand a Parasound HCA 3500 can drive a Kappa 9 very good. I have had them to my Kappa 9's and it really sounds like your crossover is defective.
Bill

What everybody is telling you about the speakers being defective in some way is true. It's the Kappas, not the amps. The Denon had more than enough power, and if the Kappas were right the Parasound would launch them. Something is wrong with the Kappas, and it sounds like they are shorting somehere. The guy in Tennessee is Bill Watkins, who worked with Arnie Nudel at Infinity and designed the Watkins dual voice coil woofer. He still repairs stuff. I bought some RS 2.5s a couple of years ago which Bill Watkins had just refoamed. You can find him online.
Klaus Polig's Infinity-Classics.de website has a lot of Infinity info. Here's the address for the Kappa 9 page which has a schematic.
http://www.infinity-classics.de/infinity/models/Kappa-series-1987/index-Kappa.htm
If you haven't already, post your question on the AudioKarma website. They have an Infinity only forum.
It's the speakers, not the amps.
Plus if you keep them you are going to have to bi-amp them. If you are putting all that juice into them the mids are a little delicate, and they won't handle the load after a while. I just asked my friend Jay who works on them about your problem and he says you will have to modify the crossover. It forces the woofers down to 1 ohm. So if you want to avoid all that, sell the Kappas and buy some Vandersteen 3As. They may not play quite as loud, but they will hammer the Kappas in every other aspect.
Good luck, Martin.
Guys......you do know that this thread is almost 4 years old don't you?

Dave
LOL.......... :):):):):):)
Bill

What everybody is telling you about the speakers being defective in some way is true. It's the Kappas, not the amps. The Denon had more than enough power, and if the Kappas were right the Parasound would launch them. Something is wrong with the Kappas, and it sounds like they are shorting somehere. The guy in Tennessee is Bill Watkins, who worked with Arnie Nudel at Infinity and designed the Watkins dual voice coil woofer. He still repairs stuff. I bought some RS 2.5s a couple of years ago which Bill Watkins had just refoamed. You can find him online.
Klaus Polig's Infinity-Classics.de website has a lot of Infinity info. Here's the address for the Kappa 9 page which has a schematic.
http://www.infinity-classics.de/infinity/models/Kappa-series-1987/index-Kappa.htm
If you haven't already, post your question on the AudioKarma website. They have an Infinity only forum.
It's the speakers, not the amps.
Plus if you keep them you are going to have to bi-amp them. If you are putting all that juice into them the mids are a little delicate, and they won't handle the load after a while. I just asked my friend Jay who works on them about your problem and he says you will have to modify the crossover. It forces the woofers down to 1 ohm. So if you want to avoid all that, sell the Kappas and buy some Vandersteen 3As. They may not play quite as loud, but they will hammer the Kappas in every other aspect.
Good luck, Martin.
Well sometimes i have to read twice. Why selling such good speakers. They are pretty close to the Genesis 5 in terms of preformance, sometiemes even better.
I

I would suggest you contact Bill at Millersound and let your speakers built up like new. You can't believe how the Kappa's can sound when you power them right.

Look for an Audio Research SP-10 or SP-11 as preamp and power the whole speaker with the Parasound HCA3500 and tell me one loudspeaker that sounds better in the 20,000$ range.

I assume you might have it hard then to find anything that can cope on that level