View Full Version : Need help choosing amplification

09-04-2017, 02:02 PM
I have an old set of Kappa 9's which are getting new foam surrounds on the 12's right now. The center was the small infinity kappa video series 2 center with 6.1 kappa surrounds. The center channel was first to require foam surrounds. At this time I was shopping for new/better center to match the old Kappa's. I opted for SVS ultra center but when I received it I had taken it directly from Fed Ex to the store that was repairing Kappa video series 2 and compared. The SVS was awesome with its full sound and great depth. I asked the guy in the store to find something with vocals as of course the center is used for dialog. I asked if he had any Mark Knopfler (Dire Straights) as I feel this blends good known vocals and music. He did. We had both setup side by side and just used a L/R fade to adjust to each. The SVS was a beast and I will not cut speaker down but for me it failed to deliver in the vocal or upper end area. It seemed like on the Kappa that he (Knopfler) was right in front of me singing, although the bass was terrible, then when fading to other side (SVS Ultra), it appeared that he turned around and walked a few steps back and the rest of band was much more pronounced. What a disappointment. That is when I realized that my old wimpy Kappa center would outshine the new supposedly badass SVS Ultra center at least in the important to me dialog area. I then set out to find something that utilized a ribbon as I find myself preferring the sound.

I am now the recipient of a AA Horizon. This should take care of any issues I have with anemic vocals while supplying plenty of low end. O.K. now for the real ?. What should I power these with. I currently run a Yamaha RX-v2700 with the mains bi amped to feed the power hungry Kappa 9's. I cannot help but feel there may be a better solution for power. I have available to me an Emotiva XPR5 but have been reading that this may be a great midrange amp. Should I opt for a Parasound A51 or just get a newer Yamaha unit? ( Please advise)

As side note when I run the Kappa's in bi amp config., I do not get the bang for the buck that I would expect. Is there something with running more amp sections running the effective power down. I felt the system was better off when running speakers in single channel config. In fact when letting the YPAO adjust for room it picks the mains as small when bi-amped and large when singularly amped. Thought that the choice to bi-amp may hinder the entire setup.

09-14-2017, 05:43 PM
Well I guess I'll reply to my own post. 116 views, no help. I am dusting off some old Adcom 5500's that have been sitting around the house unused for 15 years. I am setting the DC offset and dialing in the bias to a high class A 53 mV. I think I will run the Kappa's bi-amped. These are 6 ohm speakers and the Adcom are high current amps. The 5500 will drive these pretty easily at 200watt into 8 ohm and 350 into 4. Running the 2 12's into a set and the top into a set should yield good sound and volume. I hope the AA Horizon will like this power for center.

09-15-2017, 08:15 PM
There you go! I use a GFA-5500 with my Sierra-2's and it sounds great.

10-06-2017, 09:47 AM
From what I've read, the Kappa 9 has a high sensitivity of 102 db(?), which is 12 db higher than the Horizon's 90 db. Also, this might be one of the Infinity speakers that dips down to 1 ohm at some point of the frequency graph, which would be a tough load, and quite a handful for a receiver.

Also, one thing about any room correction software is, it's going to somewhat neuter the speakers as it tailors the sound to the room. But with a good correction software like Audyssey's top of the line, the results are worth it, depending on one's end goals, and using one's own subjective judgements. Personally, I've got a separate 2 channel system apart from the theater system.

As for amplification, if the Adcoms work for you, no point in spending at this point. I used to have the little brother to the 5500, the 5300. I was fond of that amp and only sold it when I the Adcom pre I acquired(around 2009) was defective as was its replacement. Then I had an affair with Emotiva which ended badly, but I won't get into that here! If you do decide to upgrade the amps at some point, the Parasound Halos would worth putting on the short list.