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Kappa 9 VS RSIIa

Discussion in 'Infinity Loudspeakers' started by Brunt, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Brunt

    Brunt New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego
    Hi everyone. I've decided to temporarily retire my Sigmas from my front room to preserve them for when I have a better listening room setup since I'm currently renting and even the best room in the house has several flaws that really prevent the Sigmas from being able to perform at full capacity.

    I recently found a good deal on both a pair Kappa 9s and a pair of RSIIas in need of some minor restoration (refoaming all around, and new polydomes for the Kappas) but otherwise good condition.

    If anyone has heard both of these speakers I would love to hear some opinions about how they sound against each other so I can make a more educated decision on which to purchase without hearing them on my own since neither is currently working at full capacity.

    Note that I'm not worried about amplification on the Kappa 9s and am aware of their reputation for being amp killers but I believe I have that handled with an Aragon 4004 and don't mind dropping some more money in the near future on a more suitable amp if necessary.

    Thanks as always for the help.
     

     

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  2. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    To my ears, the 2b are more 'natural' then the kappas, until I bought my ren 90s I didn't realize how colored the sound of the kappas was.
    Nice sounding, but colored. RS 2b are much less colored.

    But, I've never heard the 2a, and I am putting the lack of coloration down to the Emim and Emit arrays, so the 2a might not sound that uncolored (again, I haven't heard 2a, just assuming)
    hth!
     
  3. pauljh

    pauljh Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    San Francisco
    The RS II has cone midranges. The RS2a/b both have EMIM midrange drivers. I assume (without knowing anything specific) that the difference between the ‘a’ and ‘b’ version is in the crossover.
     
  4. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    Thanks for the correction, paul.
     
  5. okeeteekid

    okeeteekid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    I've owned both the Sigmas and k9's.

    The k9's are dipole down to the lower midrange frequency's so they are going to need more room to breath than the sigmas.

    The K9's have four 12 inch woofers and will dominate a small room and could be too much.

    Also the k9's is just as big as the sigma.

    As for the RS IIA I've never heard them but I would think because they are dipole down to the EMIM mids they too would need more room to breath than the sigmas, one of the reasons Infinity absorbed up the rear radiation of the sigmas planar drivers was to make the speaker easier to place in rooms as compared to the older dipole Infinity speakers that had to be placed far away from all walls.

    I would save the $$ and just keep using the sigmas, it's been my experience when you store anything with electronics away parts in them go bad from not being used.
     
  6. Brunt

    Brunt New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego
    My mistake, I had assumed that the A version of the RSII was just the first one with the cones, this is just a plain old pair of RSIIs then, no A or B. As for the storage concern okeeteekid, I don't plan on putting them in a garage or anything, just in the other room in my closet until I find a house I want to live in long term where I can acoustically treat a room.

    The room I'm in isn't small, just has a bunch of random shapes and holes cut in walls where a heater is and one of the corners is a big angular fireplace. The Sigmas are currently about 3.5 feet out from the back wall and more like 5 feet from the sides, is that enough space for the kappas do you think? I had some Magnepan 1.6QRs in here that sounded fine a while back but I ditched them for the infinities.

    Is this a fools errand trying to preserve the Sigmas for when I have a better set up for them? I'm just afraid of using them up before I can appreciate them since I definitely can't afford the going price of a pair normally and they aren't exactly common, and I put a lot of time on my primary speakers.

    Even if it is I would still love to hear some opinions of K9 vs RSII vs Sigma, always interesting to hear what people think about each.
     

     

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  7. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    Personally, I understand what you're trying to do, in my bedroom I have the ren 90s and rs4b(on stands) side by side. 75% of the time I use the rs4b, as I'm in/out doing stuff around the house. When I'm gonna sit there and watch a film, or actively listen, I switch to the 90s.

    I've done this for the same reason, I don't want to 'use up' my rens with 'background' listening.
    I dunno if I'm being paranoid, but there it is. dunno if I could store the best speakers I have, could get hit by a truck tomorrow.(not trying to be paranoid)

    I do this in the main room for the same reasons,with a (currently) combination of Magnepan 2.5R, RS 2b, and KEF LS-50

    I sure wish I could hear a pair of Sigmas, Gammas, Deltas, or Epsilon as they were the last and one would hope, the greatest. I do know my 90s are superior to every other infinity and otherwise speaker I have in the house. (although that has taken a lot of time and critical listening to conclude, since they aren't 'showoffy' like the kappas or most of the RS series are/were)
     
  8. scottykarate

    scottykarate Ain't skeered! Subscriber

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    My listening room is small, I'm about 12-13' from mine and my Sigmas are backed against the wall, but I'm not going to let them sit. I bought them to listen to and not for value or a conversation starter. I'm saying you're doing anything wrong, I'm just giving my perspective since we're in the same boat. Couple that with the McIntosh technically being under-powered for them and they shouldn't sound good, but they're pretty detailed and aren't fatiguing.
     
  9. okeeteekid

    okeeteekid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    I wouldn't store them even in a closet, no use is no use no matter where they are stored and that is bad for electronics, ever store a old classic car? you have to run it every once in a while or things just go bad same with electronics.

    My brother stored his k9's in a closet and a greenish/white mold grew all over the grills, drivers, and the carpeted baffle probably because there was no fresh air circulating around them and he had them on the 2nd floor of his house
     
    scottykarate likes this.
  10. Bahamayellow

    Bahamayellow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    746
    I have the K9s and really like them. My room is really small but sounds great and non fatiguing. I can listen to them all day and have for 6-7 hours and no problem. I haven’t heard the other speakers you talking about but I’m sure they are great also. I still have my eye on the ren 90s in my area but now the guy wants too much for them. Should have bought them when he offered me them for a great price. But I am patient. I think 80s are more suited for my room upstairs as I would put them next to my 8.1s and switch off. Let us know what direction you go.
     
  11. Bahamayellow

    Bahamayellow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    746
    I made a couple videos so u can listen to them. One with vocals and another with instruments. Hope it helps some. Recorded with a iPhone.



     
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  12. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    Hey Brunt, not to be too blunt (see what I did there?) but since you asked: Yes, it's a fools errand. Sounds more like you have a classic case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Which is perfectly understandable. You're in good company. But I personally don't believe in "using up" speakers. Speakers don't "wear out" like a car. Their components don't have a certain number of plays that can be used up. They "age" out. Time will take it's toll (very very slowly) on certain components like woofer surrounds and capacitors. But this happens regardless of how much play time they receive. They will degrade just as quickly in a closet (or even faster as okeeteekid mentioned) as they will being played nonstop in the middle of your room.

    The Sigmas are IRS, meaning they're the last of the best of what Infinity could do. They have better components and better cabinets than either the Kappa 9 or the RSII. They were far more expensive when new. They're newer. They were designed to be easier to place in a room.

    But maybe most importantly: They were designed to bring joy to the listener by BEING PLAYED!! My advice would be to not delay your own enjoyment by using your hard-earned money to buy lesser speakers when you have a great pair collecting dust.
     
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  13. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,023
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    This is one of the most accurate and relevant statements I have seen posted in a LONG time. Time marches on--nothing you can do about that. Used or un-used, speakers and other electronic gear degrade with age. Storage conditions certainly influence that, but time marches on. I know people that have paid "premium" prices for NOS/NIB items that were in worse shape than a "used" daily-driver. Yes--they are cosmetically "perfect", but woofer foams still deteriorate, ferro fluid still turns to tar, stylus suspension still turns to a brick (or collapses), and lytic caps still dry out--"stuff" just happens with time. I'd rather buy a car that is only 3 years old with over 100K miles on it with a folder full of service records than a 30 year-old car with only 20K on it--because it just sat and "wasted away". I don't buy sealed albums to just look at them--I bought them for the music and they get played.
     
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  14. Brunt

    Brunt New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego
    I suppose its decided then if all of this is true. I'll take the Kappa money and put it towards better amplification or more music to listen to on the Sigmas or maybe I'll buy my husband something nice, who knows.

    Any suggestions on where I should go from my current (quite simple) setup of an Emotiva PT100>Aragon 4004MKII>Sigmas when I get the chance/excuse? I'm using the PT100 doing double duty as the preamp and DAC until I figure out how much I want to spend on the DAC. I briefly toyed with the idea of getting a pair of Dynakit MK IIIs to power the mid highs, but couldn't find too many opinions and don't want to drop the ~$1200 it would take until I know whether it would actually sound measurably better or not. Anyone have experience with using tubes in a bi-amp setup on big infinitys?
     
  15. BrianLW

    BrianLW New 'Hood' Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,327
    Location:
    WNY
    I power my Kappa 9s with a Belles 450 (solid state high current beast) on the woofers, and an ARC VS-110 on the rest. It sounds very good.

    I have a pair of Dynakit MK IIIs that I tried before I got the ARC, and as much as I love them, they were underpowered for the job.
     
  16. 7.62

    7.62 Gearhead Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I can't speak on the 9's dammit, they have eluded me. But I did have a pair of RSll's way back, I think it was my first Infinity speaker, they came without the woofers. I ordered some 10's from parts express to get them going while searching for originals. Funny how things work out as I have woofers now doing nothing and they are long gone.

    Anyway I remember I had my first audiophile stuff, an Adcom preamp and 555-ll amp, one day I was just gettin way to happy having a JAM session, the wife had got off early from work, shit went off I come in from the backyard and :angel: ohhhhh......Hi Honey ! She says I could hear the bass from those around the corner :eek:.:D.

    For a sealed cabinet they can really get down, tuff speakers.
     

     

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  17. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    IMHO, the Aragon is one mighty fine amp, hard to beat, especially when driving Infinitys.

    YMMV, but unless your going to buy a totl Mcintosh, or AR (and maybe even if you are) that Aragon is a fine, fine amplifier.
     
  18. scottykarate

    scottykarate Ain't skeered! Subscriber

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    My MC7270 is in need of a refresh, so that may be the cause, but I flash the Power Guard lights on it when I rev up anything with a lot of kick drum or a lot of steady bass such as Sorrow by Pink Floyd. Don't let anyone fool you, they (Sigmas) will take every ounce of power you can give them. I may put a pro amp on the woofers. I believe I have the bass switch on the "more bass" setting, and I don't want to turn that down as my sub is doing home theater duty.
     

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