I’m considering these as there are a few available in Europe with restored polydomes.
However I’m not quite sure if I should absolutely favour the originals with dipole EMIT K’s. Apparently the later revisions with a single EMIT R are easier to drive and great speakers, but… no dipole.
And I do have an amplifier that handles under an ohm.
Have any of you compared the EMIT K / EMIT R revisions of Infinity Kappas? Does the EMIT R in itself have such better dispersion that no imaging is lost without a dipole design?
I don’t have the Kappa 8’s, but I heard them in the showroom along with the 9’s. At the time I compared them with the Polk Audio SDA SRS, JBL L240T, and the Klipsch Klipschorn. I felt at the time the Kappa’s sounded more refined and showoff more with classical music and the other’s more suited for rock music with a more crude sound. The Kappa 9’s sounded phenomenal with a little more extension in the frequencies extremes, but the 8’s were not that far behind!
I do have the RS3b and it is very similar to the Kappa 8’s, with the 8’s more detailed sounding and the 3b with a little more bass extension. I’ve modified the 3b keeping only the drivers and cabinets and this pair actually sounds better than anything I heard in the $20k range, maybe even more!!
The only thing is the woofers surrounds rots and needed to be replaced which I did myself. The Kappa’s has the polydomes that rots also, but they still sell replacements on eBay. These drivers were ahead of their time in design and performance and still remarkable today.
The Kappa 8’s and 9’s replace the RS3b’s and they were the one’s that did not have any boxy sound at all. I listened to the RS4b and my brother bought a Kappa 7 and those did have a little boxy signature.
How far does the RS 3B fall behind the original dipole Kappa 8’s in terms of soundstage depth, can you say?
If the difference isn’t huge, I might just go with the RS 3B since I listen to a lot of bass heavy music… Amp would be happier too, it’s not a nuclear reactor and the K8’s might not sound their best even though it’d handle them.
I don’t hear that much difference in soundstage depth. Whatever’s in the recording. But with the 3b, you really need
to do some work on it to get the best sound
from it. First the binding post has to be replaced. It comes with spring loaded cheap
binding post. Then you take out the bottom
woofer to get to the crossover and bypass the
level controls for the mid and tweeter with good solid resisters. And change the internal wiring to audiophile wiring. If you can do those things, then the sound will blow you away. Otherwise go with the Kappa. The bass is still excellent with the 12” woofer.
Ok, thanks for this info. I’d love to do those things anyway and have to even, gotta learn to work with speakers.
Since you have them fully modified internally, mind telling me what components you used, or recommend? I’d like to spend under 500$ for the components.
Get Cardas binding posts and replace the orginals. Go to VH Audio and get 16 AWG hookup wires for speakers ($5.99 a foot). Go to Parts connection and get Duelund Cast Graphite resisters to replace the tone controls for the drivers. I find 1.5 ohm for the tweeters and 4 ohm for the mids is about right. You can try with cheaper resisters before the Duelunds to find the right ones for your taste. Ceramic wirewound 10w resisters are really cheap. Use 5w for tweeters and 10w for mids. Also bypass the resetable fuse in the crossover, you don’t need it. It sounds better without it and I have clipped my amps and have never damaged the drivers. The drivers are very rugged. If you need a new driver, no matter which one, go to eBay and get a used one. They are usually not that expensive and in excellent condition. I bought many for spares.
When you save up and decide to go further, then there’s the caps and inductors and they tend to cost a bit more. I use Mundorf and VCaps and find them extraordinary sounding. The VCaps actually blew me away!! All the crossover components are soldered lead to lead with no circuit board. Everything is hot glued to the back panel. That’s why the sound is so pure, no circuit board distortion.
I have two pairs of 3b’s. one originals and one I gutted and replaced with the highest quality parts I could find, including the crossover, stuffing and internal wiring. I put Tekna and Microscan vibration control devices to kill the cabinet resonance. And I use Mapleshade Megafeets for supports. The sound of the originals are quite nice, nothing like the modified 3b’s!! Incredible resolution and transparency with full solid bass down to 30 Hz!! Extraordinary palpable images!! Pretty good for an old set of speakers!!
Some of the replacement parts I use are >
Cardas Hexlink Golden 5-C for internal wiring.
VCaps and Mundorf caps.
Jantzen Wax Coil inductors.
I also added some more fiber wool fillings.
Just out of interest I’d really love to hear someone’s comparison of the original Kappas 8 & 9 and the revisions .1(i), .2(i).
I guess this mainly comes down to dipole EMIT K’s vs a single EMIT R. The cabinets are obviously very different as are the midbass drivers but I refuse to believe those make or break them as much as the EMITs since they’re the heart of their precise imaging capabilities.
…I notice a lot of the later revisions are furnished with a cheap-looking black veneer as opposed to the exquisite oak found on the originals… I don’t know if this is any indication of anything else being “cheaper” but it sure looks terrible in comparison!
Back in the day, I sold these speakers however it’s been so long ago, I can’t recall the difference between the two. I haven’t upgraded the inside of my 8.1’s which I would like to do someday. I am sure like others have stated the internal covers are so old they are holding SQ back quite a bit. However my room is nowhere close to ideal for 2ch audio since my 82in TV sits between my speakers… someday hopefully I will live in a place where I can have a dedicated 2ch room
Biggest issue is these speakers really need lots of power, 400w + RMS is the min I would feed them, be it a mono block for each speaker or bi amp
I keep looking for a set of 9.1’s somewhere close to me… still kicking myself for not getting the IRS Beta’s that were for sale 2hrs from me for a great price…
That’s definitely a lot, I thought the .1 revisions and onwards are less power hungry than the originals.
I just found a good deal for restored original Kappa 8’s, I’d hope my high-current dual-mono is sufficient to drive them, its max output is 500W and that’d be into under an ohm or so. Well, they’re big speakers so I won’t have to drive them that loud so I guess I’ll be okay.
Then again Electrocompaniet has explicitly stated that these amps handle down to under an ohm.
Hey, care to suggest me what components to eventually get for rebuilding Kappa 8 crossovers? Wiring also, I prefer silver-plated.
Those are some hefty circuits on those Kappa 9s! You are obviously the person to ask.